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Does Reiki Work?

Updated: Mar 2

Or is it just a Placebo?

Does Reiki Work

As I prepare to fully immerse myself in 5 beautiful days of reiki at the Reiki Master Course Retreat, this question popped into my mind.

It’s a question that’s occasionally raised by my students during teaching sessions and we often conclude ‘however it’s working, it’s good.’

When I focus on the question more deeply, however, I remind myself of what the ‘placebo effect’ actually is.

The placebo effect is often part of a medical experiment where a group is given a dummy pill, treatment or injection but they’re told it’s the real thing.

Usually, another group is given the real drug and a third group is given nothing at all, just to see if the ailment would naturally get better on its own.

The medical world is often amazed when the placebo group exhibit the same benefits and sometimes even side effects as those taking the real drug. This illustrates the power of our minds and our beliefs.

The key thing with the placebo effect is that recipients of the fake drug believe they are getting help. They believe in what the doctors are telling them and this belief alone can kick-start the body's own ability to heal.

When it comes to Reiki the placebo effect i.e. the resolute belief that something beneficial is happening, probably contributes to its success in some way.

However, the experience of my students when they first learn reiki and go home after day 1 to practice with their friends and families is revealing.

Does Reiki Work?

Many students come back on day 2 to report giving reiki to a family or friend who didn’t believe it was going to work. They may even have considered reiki to be a ‘load of nonsense' but they were willing to be given reiki just to placate my student. 😅

So in this scenario, there’s no conscious or unconscious positive belief about the treatment. In fact, they’re expecting failure and sometimes my students also doubt their own abilities.

Frequently, these initial doubters become the biggest advocates of Reiki because they weren’t expecting anything at all. Still, then they experienced so much during the treatment and their ailments are reduced or completely disappear afterwards.

So from the above, we can see that Reiki isn’t just a placebo. The person’s belief that they are being helped means less resistance to Reiki but belief isn't needed for Reiki to be effective. Reiki works whether you believe in it or not - Good to know 🙂

If you’ve had a similar experience when either giving or receiving Reiki let me know. 💜


Gwen x


Gwen Allison

Is a Transformation Coach, Spiritual Business Coach, Accredited Meditation Teacher and Reiki Master/Teacher with a desire to open your mind to new possibilities, whilst gently guiding you towards your goals and personal transformations.

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