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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Reiki and the benefits of Meditation - Implications from the Reiki Centre Survey

By Elaine Grundy
Photo courtesy of istockphoto.com

 This is the first in a series of articles looking at how we can interpret the findings from the Reiki Centre Survey carried out last year to help us better understand how Reiki works, and how we can best use it. The data allows us to draw some interesting conclusions about Reiki.

First it seems that the more Reiki we do, the better the results we notice. In general, people who have been using Reiki for over seven years are three times more likely to notice significant benefits than those using Reiki for less than one year. This makes us conclude that Reiki is cumulative, and improvements are step by step. A useful finding in itself as it urges us to keep practicing and allow the body to rebalance in its own time.


Having said that, one significant anomaly is that even very new Reiki practitioners who only practice Reiki now and again see improvements in what I call the ‘peace pathways’. The Reiki Centre Survey found that respondents noticed improvements very similar to those of meditation. Nearly 70% of respondents reported a reduction in their levels of anxiety, worry and stress in less than one year. Correspondingly, over the same period, over 70% of respondents noticed an increase in their levels of self-love, peace and contentment, with this figure rising to over 85% of respondents over a longer period of time.


Since the Survey only captured data in yearly blocks, the improvements could have been noticed within weeks or months, certainly the qualitative responses indicate respondents saw changes soon after beginning self-Reiki, and this would mirror my own experience and the experience of many of my students.

Meditation, for years, has been known in the East to be extremely health giving, calming and beneficial. Most Reiki practitioners attest to the similarities between Reiki and meditation, especially when it comes to the results they feel. As the art of meditation spreads to the West, research is confirming its qualities. Dr Andrew Newberg has run several experiments on expert meditators to find that there is a difference in the way their brain’s function compared with non-meditators. Specifically, there is a decrease in activity in the logical (left) brain, resulting in less brain chatter. Over time, when meditators are not meditating they show increased alertness, consciousness and empathy with others.


In Dr Newberg’s recent research involving non-meditators who were given a chant to practice for eight weeks, results similar to those among the expert meditators were shown. These results show that anyone can learn to lessen the hold of their busy brains in a very short period of time and with little effort.Reiki can provide an access point which allows us to experience inner peace by encouraging the meditative effects as described by Dr Newberg and others.

Reiki seems to follow very similar pathways to meditation by lighting up the intuitive (right) side of our brain that resonates with connection, empathy, oneness and wholeness therefore increasing our feelings of contentment, peace and happiness.

Like meditation, it also can occur in a very short period of time. The way I look at it, when we allow the body to balance, we experience our natural state of being. This is not something that needs to be ‘worked at’ as it simply ‘is’. Like flicking a switch, we have direct access to inner peace as soon as we decide to look for it.

Author and Reiki Master Elaine Grundy is an international teacher and has just published The Reiki Report, a survey about self care.

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