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What is Reiki?

Reiki (ray-key) is a Japanese stress-reduction and relaxation technique that’s been used for nearly 100 years. Today, medical institutions worldwide use Reiki to help patients maintain and regain health. New York Presbyterian Hospital offers Reiki to patients as hospital data shows Reiki can help reduce blood pressure, heart rate, anxiety, and pain among radiation oncology patients.

How Reiki works

Reiki uses a gentle, non-invasive form of energy therapy where a trained practitioner lightly lays their hands on areas blocked by stress, such as the torso, head, and arms. As in other energy medicine-based modalities, like acupuncture, Reiki rebalances the body’s energy to release pent-up stress. Once the stress releases, the body’s natural processes are freed to do what it’s designed to do: keep you in a balanced state of health.  


"Because Reiki is intended to induce relaxation in a manner similar to yoga or acupuncture and attenuate people's stress response-or the release of cortisol from their adrenal glands and activation of the sympathetic nervous system-it can be a creative and useful way to reduce stress." –Ashwini Nadkarni, M.D., Attending Physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital Instructor, Harvard Medical School

What to expect during a Reiki session

Assess: At the beginning your session, I’ll ask you a few questions to understand your symptoms.


Relax: While fully clothed, you’ll lay on a table as I gently lay hands over areas of your head, limbs or torso where stress is stuck. As your nervous system resets, you’ll feel more relaxed and begin taking fuller, easier breaths.


Relief: At the end of your session, you’ll feel more peaceful and refreshed. Pain symptoms may be significantly reduced or disappear completely. You can continue as normal feeling peaceful, in control, and more focused.


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Reiki health benefits

• Decreases pain and discomfort

• Enhances and accelerates normal healing processes

• Reduces stress and promotes relaxation

• Increases blood flow to treated areas

• Promotes psychological healing

• Assists the body with eliminating toxins

• Energizes and rejuvenates the mind and body

• Can bring relief to side effects of cancer treatment

• Promotes sense of peace, wellness and balance

• Improves sleep quality