Reiki Healing: Reiki Research

(From Reiki News of summer 1995, published by the Centre for Reiki Training Southfield Michigan, USA)

Scientific research in (lie area of laying-on hands had been conducted for some time. There are now quite a few experiments that validate the usefulness of Reiki-like healing techniques. Some of the more interesting results of these experiments demonstrate that their positive results are coming from more than just the placebo effect, while others indicate that the energy is non-physical in nature in that the benefits do not diminish regardless of the distance between sender and receiver. The following are few of the more interesting experiments.

Wendy Wetzel, a registered nurse, describes a Reiki experiment she conducted, in her paper, “Reiki Healing: A Physiologic Perspective .” In her study, 48 people made up the experimental group while 10 made up a control group. Both groups had blood samples taken at the beginning and at the end of the experiment. The experimental group received First Degree Reiki training. The control group was not involved in the Reiki training.

The blood samples were measured for haemoglobin and haematocrit values. Haemoglobin is the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen. Haematocrit is the ratio of red blood cells to total blood volume. The people in the experimental group who received Reiki training, experienced a significant change in these values with 28 per cent experiencing an increase and the remainder experiencing a decrease. The people in the control group, who did not receive Reiki training, experienced no significant change. It is thought that changes, whether an increase or decrease, are consistent with the purpose of Reiki which is to bring balance on an individual basis.

One individual experienced a 20% increase in these values. She continued to treat herself with Reiki daily and after three months, her increase had been maintained and, in fact, had continued to improve. This improvement was appropriate for her as she had been experiencing iron deficiency anaemia.

Another experiment using a Reiki like technique has also demonstrated its ability to increase haemoglobin values. A medical doctor, Otelia Bengssten, M.D., conducted an experiment with a group of 79 sick patients. Together the patients had a wide rage of diagnosed illness including pancreatitis, brain tumour, emphysema, multiple endocrine disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and congestive heart failure. Laying-on hands treatments were given to 46 patients with 33 as controls.

The treated patients showed significant increase in haemoglobin values. The effect was so pronounced that even cancer patients, who were being treated with bone marrow-suppressive agents which predictably induce decreases in haemoglobin values, showed an increase. The majority of patients also reported improvement or complete disappearance of symptoms. Both this experiment and one stated above demonstrate that healers are able to induce actual biological improvements in the patients they treat rather than simply create a feeling of well-being.

Laying-on hands healing has been validated by experiments carried out at St. Vincent’s Medical Centre in New York. The experiment was carried out by Janet Quinn, Assistant Director of nursing at the University of South Carolina. The design of this experiment tends to rule out the placebo effect. Thirty heart patients were given a 20 question psychological test to determine their level of anxiety. Then they were treated by a group trained in laying-on hands healing. A control group of patients were also treated by sham healers who imitated the same positions as those who had training. Anxiety levels dropped by 17 per cent only after five minutes treatment by trained practitioners, but those who were only imitating a treatment, created no effect.

Daniel Wirth of Healing Sciences International in California conducted a tightly controlled experiment involving a Reiki-like healing technique. Forty four male college students received identical minor wounds deliberately inflicted by a doctor in the right or left shoulder. Twenty three then received a Reiki-like healing and the other twenty one did not. The treatment was given in such a way that the possibility of a plaoebo effect was ruled out. All forty-four students extended their arms through a hole in the wall in the other room. A trained healer was present for those who received healing and administered healing from a distance without touching. From those who did not receive healing, no one was present in the room. Both the students and the doctor who administered the wounds and later also evaluated their healing rate, had been told that the experiment was about the electrical conductivity of the body. Neither knew that the experiment was about healing. Eight and sixteen days follow-up measurements of the rate of wound healing were done. After eight days, the treated groups’ wounds had shrunk 93.5 per cent compared with 67.3 per cent for those not treated. After sixteen day the figures were 99.3 and 90.9.

After debriefing, the Students stated they did not know the true nature of the experiment and had felt no contact with the healer. The possibility that expectations to the students caused the healing, was ruled out.

Dr. John Zimmeman of the University of Colorado using a SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device) had discovered that magnetic fields, several hundred times stronger, are created around the hands when trained healers undertake healing work on patients. No such fields are created by ‘sham’ healers making the same movements indicating something special is happening with the trained healers, the frequencies of the magnetic fields surrounding the hands ol the trained healers were of the alpha and that wave range similar to those seen in the brain of meditators.

Dr. Barmard Grade of McFill University in Montreal used barley seeds to test the effect of psychic healing energies on plants. The seeds were planted in pots and watered with a saline solution which is known to retard their sprouting and growth. With elaborate doubleblind conditions set up, one group of seeds were watered with saline held by the healer in sealed container for fifteen minutes. The other seeds were watered with untreated saline. The person watering the plants did not know which group was getting the treated saline and which was getting the untreated saline. The plants watered with healer treated saline solution grew faster and were healthier producing 25% more weight and having a higher chlorophyll content. These experiments have been replicated in Dr. Grad’s lab and in other laboratories as well.

Dr. Grad carried out similar experiments involving tap water and plants. Sealed containers of water were given to a psychic healer to hold and others were given to a severely depressed patient to hold. The plants watered with the healer held water had an increased growth rate & those watered with the water, held by the severely depressed patient, had a decrease in growth rate compared to controls.

These experiments involving plants, in addition to confirming the non-placebo nature of psychic healing, scientifically confirm the ancient metaphysical understanding that healing energies can be stored in water for future use.

In another experiment involving psychic healer Olga Worrall, Dr. Robert Miller used an electromechanical transducer to measure the microscopic growth rate of rye grass. The device used has an accuracy of one thousandth of an inch per hour. Dr. Miller set up the experiment in his laboratory and then left, locking the door behind him to eliminate any unnecessary disturbance. Olga was located over 600 miles away.

When Dr. Miller returned to the laboratory the next day, the test equipment had recorded normal continuous growth of 6.25 thousandths of an inch per hour up to 9 PM. At that time, the record began to deviate upward and had risen to 52.5 thousandths of an inch per hour which was an increase of840 per cent! This increased growth rate remained till morning when it decreased but never to its original level.

The Soindrift group has done extensive research involving prayer on plants. Their results indicate that prayed-for-plants always grow faster and are healthier than non-prayed-for-plants even though the conditions are equal for both groups of plants and those doing the praying are miles away. These results were consistent regardless of the distance involved and occurred over and over. One of the interesting results of their research work is that they were best when the prayer was non-directional, that is when the prayer was simply for the plants’ general well-being rather than for a specific result, such as a certain growth rate or overall height.

More experiments are being done and scientific theories are being developed to describe Reiki and Reiki like healing techniques. As we continue into the new millennium, increasing interest along with more sensitive equipment will allow science to more completely understand, validate, and accept the reality of Reiki. As this happens, we will see increasing use of Reiki and other laying-on hands healing coming into common use by individuals for themselves and family along with its use in hospitals and doctor’s offices. With a deeper understanding about the nature of health and the unity of all life, this rediscovered age old wisdom will reduce suffering and make our Earth a more worthwhile place to live in. With this in mind, let us be encouraged to continue in the spirit of Reiki to help others and to heal the planet.

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