Reiki is believed to be an alternative medical practice. It is concerned with healing through “external energies”. According to the oxford dictionary “Reiki is a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.” (Oxford english dictionary, 2017) The word Reiki is a combination of two Japanese words Rei and Ki. Rei means ‘a higher power’s wisdom’ and Ki which is considered to be ‘the
energy of life force’. The practice of Reiki was originally founded in Japan by Mikao Usui in the late 20th century. The practice of Reiki was further developed by Chujiro Hayashi. In the late 1930’s the practice of Reiki was introduced to America by an American named Hawayo Takata, who learned Reiki from Hayashi in Japan. Usually the people who have faith in spirits and ghosts are strong believers of Reiki. Some practitioners claim that the spirits help them in
producing the proper flow of energy. Reiki was mostly popular in the olden ages but has been gaining quite a lot of buzz in the recent years. It is an important topic to talk about, as it suffices all the necessary qualities to be deemed as an extraordinary belief. The practice has no credibility in the scientific world.
There are many reasons that point towards the fact that the practice of Reiki is nothing more than an extraordinary belief. Firstly, the scientific and medical societies have not accepted it as an effective therapy. It is not falsifiable, whenever a practitioner fails in any of his sessions, he avoids accusations by making claims about lack of connectivity with the spirits due to lack of faith. In addition, the practitioners claim that all things have a ‘universal life energy’ that helps
them channel their healings. Unfortunately, the ‘universal life energy’ phenomena, is unknown to natural science. The government has invested a lot of time and money to study the practice of Reiki, but the research has only led to one plausible conclusion, that it is a hoax. Reiki claims have been objected by the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)
more than five times. On the other hand, the only reason that it is still a part of the alternative medical industry, is because the practitioners have successfully been able to manipulate people into believing this hoax. People all over the world have made claims about how Reiki treatment has changed their lives in a positive way. According to a survey in United States in 2007, Reiki has been tried by more than 1.2 million adults at least once in the year 2006. Even hospitals have
started getting on board with Reiki, by offering these services to their patients.
The five main cognitive processes that we know about are attention, perception, memory, learning and reasoning. As we discussed earlier in the blog people who believe in these kinds of hoax practices need to make a leap in faith. Blind faith as we all know does not take into consideration the five main cognitive processes. The people who believe in these practices have already invested so much time and money, that looking on the other side becomes really hard for them. They find the smallest of changes in their bodies or minds to be a result of the practice. As we had discussed in lecture this is due to fact that the belief might have held behavioral consequences, the person must have done something that is difficult to take back (in this case money), the world refutes the belief, the person recognizes that the event has truly taken place and lastly the person has social support. Due to the fact that Reiki is a practice of superior power from the spirits, researchers often fail to reject the null hypothesis. One of the main reasons why
people follow Reiki is because of the practitioners who are like minded people, like the believers, due to this they relate to what the practitioner puts forth. Confirmation bias is something that plays a large role in these kinds of beliefs. People tend to look for evidence that sustain their beliefs.
When we talk about the contributions due to which this belief prevails. We can only talk about faith. Faith is something that requires the banishment of doubt. Even if research proves otherwise, people choose not to give into it. Because at the end of the day the only thing that matters is faith. Faith is to humanity what food it to the homeless. It is faith which makes life worth living. It is faith that motivates humans to lead a positive life. Faith in the unknown is something people all over the world cherish.
In conclusion the only thing that makes sense in the scientific world is that, the practice of Reiki is a hoax, it isn’t supported by scientific evidence. It fails most of the scientific tests, it is an unfalsifiable claim, it’s a retreat to the supernatural. People believe in it as their conviction increases when faced by opposing evidence. Last but not the least, it is easy for people to give into faith as it is the driving force for most of the human beings.
Newman, T. (2017, September 06). Reiki: What is it and what are the benefits? Retrieved from
Barrett, S. (n.d.). Reiki Is Nonsense. Retrieved February 09, 2019, from