Reiki Northwest is always working for your best interest.
We at Reiki Northwest agree whole heartedly with the conceptual principles stated in
the article below, we also recognize the need for some form of standardization among Reiki Practitoners.
Therefore, we at Reiki Northwest are doing all that we can to assure a consistency of Reiki Certification
through out the Northwest so that there is an understanding and agreement among Reiki practitioners, established organizations
such as Hospitals, Care Facilities and Universities and the clients receiving Reiki, about the type of methods used and the
type of training and education received by the Practioner. We believe that such standards are a necessary part of establishing
ourselves as health care practioners whether as a Reiki Volunteer or a Paid Reiki Pratitioner.
Reiki Energy Medicine: Enhancing the Healing Process
With increasing frequency and confidence, we speak of Energy Medicine (also known as “energy work”)
as if it was a new form of therapy for our patients’ ailments. Not so. Thousands of years agoancient cultures understood
intuitively what scientific research and practitioners world-wide are confirming today about the flow (or lack of flow) of
energy in the body and, how the use of energy therapies can enhance the healing process. As well known medical surveys report
approximately 50% of the American public using some form of complementary or alternative therapy, “energy work”
is among the ten most frequently used. Research has shown that these therapies (often called “mind-body-spirit techniques”)
can help decrease anxiety, diminish pain, strengthen the immune system, and accelerate healing, whether by simply inducing
the “relaxation response” (and reversing the “stress response” and subsequent impacts on the body,
illness, and disease) or, by more complex mechanisms. When patients choose these options, there is often a greater sense of
participation in healing and restoration of health and, patient satisfaction is often increased in the process. It was with
this understanding that Women’s Health Services at Hartford Hospital (in collaboration with Alice Moore, RN, BS, Reiki
Master and Volunteer Services) began to integrate Reiki healing touch (one of the most well known forms of “energy work”
) on the inpatient gynecological surgical unit in 1997. Patients have been very pleased to be offered an option that is so
relaxing and helps decrease their anxiety as well as their discomfort. Comments from patient satisfaction questionnaires include
“I am so grateful for the pain relief and peacefulness I felt after the Reiki session”, “Reiki was the highlight
of my day and I am so thankful to the volunteers”, and “I would highly recommend this program. I feel the Reiki
(and guided imagery) helped me recover faster.”
After the tremendous success of this program, the formal Integrative Medicine Program under the direction of
Dr. Molly Punzo, M.D. was developed in 2000 incorporating Reiki Pilot Programs (as well as Massage, Guided Imagery, Acupuncture,
and Art for Healing) on the Cardiology, Orthopedic, Oncology, and Palliative Care units, as well as in the outpatient Cancer
Center. During the pilot phase, outcome measurements were obtained from patients rating their anxiety and pain pre and post
Reiki sessions. After analysis by the Quality Management Department, the results not only showed a decrease in anxiety and
pain, but a statistically significant decrease regardless of specialty area (see following diagram):
This was also in line with JACHO’s recent focus on offering non-medicinal options for relief of anxiety
and pain. More formal research is currently being proposed. Reiki has become an integral part of the traditional medical care
on these previous “pilot” units utilizing approximately 60 Reiki Volunteers trained and validated by the hospital.
As the word spreads, and as the program is being expanded to other areas of the hospital, the Dept. of Integrative Medicine
also receives a growing number of special requests daily.
As mentioned before, although Reiki is relatively new to many of us, it is an ancient hands-on relaxation and
healing technique dating back several thousands of years, rediscovered in Japan in the 1920s. Here are some of the most frequently
What is Reiki?
Reiki is a Japanese “hands-on technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing.
It is based on the concept that everything in the universe is made up of energy and this “life force energy” that
flows all around us is drawn in by the body nourishing the cells, organs, and glands. This same energy also radiates from
the body and is called the human energy field. When one’s energy is depleted, imbalanced, or the flow is restricted
by stress and “holding”, injury, illness, etc., one is more susceptible to discomfort, further illness, and disease
(as with restrictions of the circulatory and nervous systems).
When one’s energy is restored, free-flowing, or balanced, one is more likely to feel relaxed and the body’s
own innate healing abilities are “jump-started” and utilized for healing. According to research done as early
as 1930 by Dr. Harold Burr from Yale, disease (imbalances) can be detected in the energy field before symptoms and can be
altered by altering the vibrational frequency of the energy field. This was not well accepted at that time but is becoming
more widely recognized.
What does Reiki feel like?
Although Reiki is “hands-on”, unlike massage, it is administered through a softer touch rather than
a deeper pressure. While the patient is seated or lying down and fully clothed, the practitioner’s hands are placed
along energy centers and pathways on the head, neck, chest, abdomen, legs, and feet (similar to those used by acupuncturists).
As energy is transferred to the body, the patient may feel warmth, coolness, gentle tingling, or just deep relaxation. For
those in the final stages of life, it can also provide a more peaceful “transition.”
What are the benefits?
Research on various types of “energy work” has shown that, in addition to deep relaxation, there
can be a reduction in muscle tension and pain, accelerated wound healing, and a greater sense of health and wellbeing. It
is useful during illness, after injuries, pre and post-op, as well as for health promotion. The patient does not need to believe
in the process but only needs to be receptive to experience benefits.
Who can learn?
Anyone can learn - the ability to tap into the universal “life-force energy” is not dependent on
intellectual capacity or belief, only a desire to offer comfort. “Hands on healing techniques” are often approached
with a spiritual perspective and yet, based on basic physiology, can be approached very neutrally. The human body is designed
in such a way that whenever we touch someone with the
offering comfort, there is automatically an energy exchange. Research and measurement of energy flow from a trained practitioner’s
hands has shown that when the practitioner is in a meditative, healing state (centered, relaxed, with clear intention, “present” for the patient’s highest good) there is an even
greater flow of energy.
Based on this concept of energy flow and “intention,” using the SQUID magnetometer, Dr. John Zimmerman
of the University of Colorado Medical School has been able to measure not only a difference in the vibrational frequency coming
from the non-trained and trained practitioners’ hands, but from the
practitioners, a range from .3 Hz to 30 Hz. The most frequent measurement observed was 7-8 Hz (the vibrational frequency found
most often in nature in harmony and in the music that research has shown to be the most healing). This research was also later
confirmed in Japan. This range of frequencies correlates with the varying vibrational frequencies of healthy tissues and organs.
The range also incorporates the frequencies used in the electromagnetic treatment equipment now being used in traditional
medicine to accelerate healing in bone, skin, etc. (see following diagram from Energy Medicine, a Scientific Basis by Dr. James Oschman).
Since energy flow in the body is not an easily understood or accepted concept, a personal experience or the
ability to measure and document is certainly helpful, especially for the more skeptical mind. In addition to the magnetometer,
Kirilian photography (a Russian discovery) can help us see the energy remanating from the body, show us how it changes with
stress, thoughts, emotions, etc., and as the following diagram conveys, specifically show the energy from the hand:
Although we are beginning to measure energy fields and energy transference, the mechanism for Reiki and other
“hands-on” techniques is still uncertain. Since the practitioner’s hands are placed over the energy pathways
used by acupuncturists, is there a release of endorphins as in acupuncture? Is there a release of nitric oxide since cells
in which nitric oxide is produced are influenced by energy fields? We’ll have to wait and see. Until recently, alternative
and complementary therapies including “energy work” were felt to be too mysterious, confusing, and controversial
to be approached scientifically. Now science and energy practitioners are discovering similar results. However, waiting for
the research does not change the fact that patients are seeking healing options such as Reiki and giving us very positive
Being hospitalized is rarely a patient’s first choice. However, having access to skilled physicians and
staff, as well as the opportunity to integrate additional healing options such as Reiki (Massage, Acupuncture, Guided Imagery,
Art for Healing, etc.) into their care, can sometimes be life enhancing for our patients and help them feel calmer, more comfortable,
more empowered, and more in control during a very stressful time for them. Although modern medicine has tended to focus more
on the physical aspects of healing, we are coming full circle learning that healing is more holistic when we incorporate these
“mind, body, spirit techniques”. Jeffrey Migdon, MD in the “Alternative Advisor” very concisely summed
it up by saying “The face of healthcare is changing…moving toward a more open-minded view of nonconventional remedies…some
new, some long forgotten.”
1.Barnett, Libby, and Chambers, Maggie. Reiki Energy Medicine: Bringing Healing Touch into Home, Hospice, and
Hospital (Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 1996).
2.Benson, Herbert, MD. The Relaxation Response (New York: Avon Books, 1997).
3.Eisenberg, David, MD, et al. “Trends in Alternative Medicine Use in the United States, 1990-1997.”
the American Medical Association
4.Gerber, Richard, MD. Vibrational Medicine: New Choices for Healing Ourselves (NM: Bear and Co. Publishers,
5.Olson, Karin, RN. “Using Reiki to Manage Pain: A Preliminary Report.”
Prevention and Controle en
Cancerologie, 1997: 1(2).
6.Oschman, James, PhD. Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis (NY: Churchill Livingston, 2000).
7.Pert, Candice, PhD. Molecules of Emotion: the Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine (NY: Simon and Schuster,
8.Wetzel, M. RN, MSN. “Reiki Healing: A Physiologic Perspective.”
Journal of Holistic Nursing. 1998: 47-53.
9.”The Efficacy of Reiki hands-on Healing: Improvement in Spleen and Nervous System Function as Quantified
Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 1997: 3 (4) 89.
The Hartford Hospital Dept. of Integrative Medicine is available for consultation and educational
presentations. For more information, call Marcia Rothwell, LMT, Program Coordinator at (860) 545-
firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www.harthosp.org/intmed
Alice Moore, RN, BS, Reiki Master-Teacher (a former ICU Nurse Manager), was involved in the initial
development of Hartford Hospital’s Reiki Program, is currently the teacher and coordinator for the
Integrative Medicine Dept., and can be reached at (860) 545-4308 or email@example.com. She also
has a private practice offering Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Craniosacral Therapy, and Guided Imagery for
The Heart--A Powerful Peacemaking Tool
For centuries, the heart has been considered the source of emotion, courage and wisdom. The Institute of HeartMath (IHM)
Research Center, is exploring the physiological mechanisms by which the heart communicates with the brain, thereby influencing
information processing, perceptions, emotions and health. The Institute is asking questions such as: Why do people experience
the feeling or sensation of love and other positive emotional states in the area of the heart and what are the physiological
ramifications of these emotions? How do stress and different emotional states affect the autonomic nervous system, the hormonal
and immune systems, the heart and brain?
Over the years the Institute has experimented with different psychological and physiological measures, but it was consistently
heart rate variability, or heart rhythms, that stood out as the most dynamic and reflective of inner emotional states and
stress. It became clear that negative emotions lead to increased disorder in the heart's rhythms and in the autonomic nervous
system, thereby adversely affecting the rest of the body. In contrast, positive emotions create increased harmony and coherence
in heart rhythms and improve balance in the nervous system. The health implications are easy to understand: Disharmony in
the nervous system leads to inefficiency and increased stress on the heart and other organs while harmonious rhythms are more
efficient and less stressful to the body's systems.
More intriguing are the dramatic positive changes that occur when
techniques are applied that increase coherence in rhythmic patterns of heart rate variability. These include shifts in perception
and the ability to reduce stress and deal more effectively with difficult situations. Heart Math researchers observed that
the heart was acting as though it had a mind of its own and was profoundly influencing the way we perceive and respond to
the world. In essence, it appeared that the heart was affecting intelligence and awareness.
The answers to many of
the original research questions now provide a scientific basis to explain how and why the heart affects mental clarity, creativity,
emotional balance and personal effectiveness. The research indicates that the heart is far more than a simple pump. The heart
is, in fact, a highly complex, self-organized information processing center with its own functional "brain" that communicates
with and influences the cranial brain via the nervous system, hormonal system and other pathways. These influences profoundly
affect brain function and most of the body's major organs, and ultimately determine the quality of life.
Traditionally, the study of communication pathways between the "head" and heart has been approached from a rather one-sided
perspective, with scientists focusing primarily on the heart's responses to the brain's commands. However, we have now learned
that communication between the heart and brain is actually a dynamic, ongoing, two-way dialogue, with each organ continuously
influencing the other's function. Research has shown that the heart communicates to the brain in four major ways: neurologically
(through the transmission of nerve impulses), biochemically (via hormones and neurotransmitters), biophysically (through pressure
waves) and energetically (through electromagnetic field interactions). Communication along all these conduits significantly
affects the brain's activity. Moreover, our research shows that messages the heart sends the brain can also affect performance.
The heart communicates with the brain and body in four ways:
• Neurological communication
(nervous system) • Biophysical communication (pulse wave) • Biochemical communication (hormones) •
Energetic communication (electromagnetic fields)
The studies have probed several of these communication pathways, looking specifically at how the brain responds to
patterns generated by the heart during positive emotional states. Taken together, the results of these studies demonstrate
that intentionally altering one's emotional state through heart focus modifies afferent neurological input from the heart
to the brain. The data suggest that as people experience sincere positive feeling states, in which the heart's rhythms become
more coherent, the changed information flow from the heart to the brain may act to modify cortical function and influence
performance. These findings may also help explain the significant shifts in perception, increased mental clarity and heightened
intuitive awareness many individuals have reported when practicing the HeartMath techniques.
The heart is the most powerful generator of electromagnetic energy in the human body, producing the largest rhythmic electromagnetic
field of any of the body's organs. The heart's electrical field is about 60 times greater in amplitude than the electrical
activity generated by the brain. This field, measured in the form of an electrocardiogram (ECG), can be detected anywhere
on the surface of the body. Furthermore, the magnetic field produced by the heart is more than 5,000 times greater in strength
than the field generated by the brain, and can be detected a number of feet away from the body, in all directions, using SQUID-based
magnetometers (Figure 12). Prompted by findings that the cardiac field is modulated by different emotional states, (described
in the previous section), the HeartMath Institute performed several studies to investigate the possibility that the electromagnetic
field generated by the heart may transmit information that can be received by others.
The Heart's Electromagnetic Field
The heart's electromagnetic field--by far the most powerful rhythmic field produced by the human body--not only envelops
every cell of the body but also extends out in all directions into the space around us. The cardiac field can be measured
several feet away from the body by sensitive devices. Research conducted at IHM suggests that the heart's field is an important
carrier of information.
The findings were significant. When two people are at a conversational distance, the electromagnetic signal generated by
one person's heart can influence the other person's brain rhythms. When an individual is generating a coherent heart rhythm,
synchronization between that individual's brainwaves and another person's heartbeat is more likely to occur. For the first
time, there was scientific proof that a compassionate heart can actually bring peace to the room.
The key to developing this power is to learn how to create a coherent heart rate. Using the biofeedback hardware and software
developed by the HeartMath Institute will help you create a coherent heart.
Reiki is a complete system of natural healing. It is 100 percent pure, organic, natural and holistic.
Reiki works with your whole being on all levels. It is the most primal and basic form of healing available. Everyone has the
ability to perform Reiki healing and anyone can learn it. It is ideal for children because in the process of learning Reiki,
they learn about their bodies, their inner spirit, their personal power and their connection to the universal life force,
which is universal love.
ReikiKids.com was created to provide information for children interested in learning about Reiki,
and for their parents in hopes that they offer encouragement and support on their child’s journey…
"Thank you for being a part of the Positive Change!"
Reiki Northwest Practitioners!
"You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have
a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should." Written by
Max Ehrmann in the 1920s