6 Reiki Side Effects and Why It May Not Be Good for You


Last Updated on February 7, 2023

Nowadays, many people have become increasingly interested in learning about reiki therapy, a Japanese healing energy practice. Similar to other complementary therapy or medical treatments, there are also disadvantages of Reiki that only some talk about.

Every day, people are searching for ways to improve their health. People are always looking for new and innovative ways to stay healthy, from eating healthy foods to practicing yoga.

Asking questions like “Is reiki safe?”, “What are some reiki benefits and risks?”, and “Is reiki dangerous?” are completely fine.

Given how much you want to receive the best treatment for your body, check first whether this energy-healing therapy would be a good option for you!

What research has been made on Reiki?

There have been numerous studies conducted that evaluated the legitimacy of Reiki. Some provided evidence that it does help relieve illnesses, while other studies failed to deliver any promising results.

A study by David McManus found that Reiki is more effective than a placebo. In a 13-person study, around 8 have had noticeable positive benefits from Reiki. And only one showed evidence of the contrary. 

Furthermore, a study by Janice Joyce reported a lack of benefits from Reiki when it comes to depression and anxiety. Although, this method has mostly been conducted as narrative experiences rather than utilizing quantifiable variables.

One more study from Melike Doğan studied the effects of Reiki on healing pain. This was evaluated using a VAS pain score. The 104 participants (against a control group of n=108) reported feeling less pain after treatment. This proves that this method works in relieving physical pain.

Despite its growing popularity, the efficacy of Reiki as a medical treatment remains controversial due to inconclusive research findings. While some studies suggest it can provide therapeutic relief for certain illnesses, trusted sources such as National Health Center for Complementary and Integrative Health have found no evidence that supports any health-related benefits from this practice.

While not the be-all-end-all solution, Reiki is a safe and gentle health alternative method. By undergoing it, patients activate the parasympathetic nervous system to help their body and mind heal.

What are the side effects of Reiki?

reiki side effects

While Reiki is considered to be a safe practice, some side effects may occur after the session. However, these effects are normal and don’t cause any harmful and long-lasting repercussions.

Physical Discomfort

Although many reiki practitioners believe that reiki is a gentle and harmless therapy, there are some reports of physical discomfort experienced by people during their reiki sessions.

See also
Reiki Sensations and What They Mean?

Some people may feel pressure on the areas being touched or a burning sensation when energy is being moved. In addition, it is possible to experience fatigue, headaches, nausea, or muscle tightness after the session.

Although side effects are usually mild and temporary, it is important to be aware of them before engaging in a reiki session. According to a reiki practitioner, this is a normal side effect for your body since it means your body is healing. 

Strong Emotions

Reiki helps balance the body and mind, which can lead to strong emotions during or after a session. This could be anything from sadness to fear, anxiety to joy. It is essential to take note of these feelings and use self-care practices to help yourself process them.

The strong energy associated with Reiki can sometimes cause emotional upheaval for some people. It is believed that the reiki energy forces can stir up unresolved emotions from the past, resulting in anxiety, sadness, or anger.

Some people also report feeling uneasy after their reiki treatment due to the intensity of the energy they experienced during them.

Thus, one must be mindful of one’s emotional state while engaging in a reiki session.

Mental Fatigue

Reiki has a relaxing effect on the mind, which can be beneficial sometimes. However, people can become overly relaxed and experience mental fatigue afterward. To avoid this, it’s important to listen to your body and only engage in comfortable activities.

Spiritual Disorientation

Although some people may experience spiritual transformation and enlightenment during their reiki sessions, there are reports of individuals feeling spiritually disoriented or confused after the reiki treatment. It is because Reiki works on a person’s energy field and can sometimes alter the direction in which a person is going.

For this reason, it is important to reflect on one’s experience after each session and ensure that it aligns with one’s desired spiritual path.

Decrease in blood oxygen levels

A double-blind (n=18 sham, n=12 true) study conducted on child dental patients had interesting results. One child among the 12 participants experienced a decrease in blood oxygen level.

Some scientists considered this a negative placebo effect since no other side effect had been observed in the study.

Session-induced discomfort

In a Reiki session, patients lie on a flat mat or massage table in a dimly lit room. A Reiki practitioner won’t converse with you; the only sound you’ll hear is soft, relaxing background music.

For some patients, this could induce anxiety, panic attacks, or a hindered ability to relax.

Related: Is Reiki Safe

Disadvantages of Reiki

reiki disadvantages

Reiki is a healing practice that involves the use of energy to promote healing. While many people swear by the benefits of reiki, there are some disadvantages to consider before deciding if this is the right healing modality for you.

1. Limited scientific evidence

Reiki is a form of complementary health therapy that involves transferring energy from one person to another to promote healing.

Reiki practitioners believe that this energy therapy deals with the body’s energy field to remove any energy blocks that can hinder growth and positive well-being.

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While proponents of reiki claim that it can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims (unlike other conventional medicine). In fact, quantum physics tried to explain the supposed effects of reiki but to no avail.

This means there is no way to scientifically measure or detect the “energy fields” that some reiki practitioners talk about, especially about reiki being sexual. So there is also insufficient evidence that reiki healing works in the way practitioners claim.

2. Unregulated reiki practice

Reiki is an unregulated practice, which means that no governing body oversees who can practice it and how. Unlike other regulated medical practices, reiki therapy lacks the nationwide standards for:

  • educational attainment
  • reiki training
  • credentials
  • certification

It leaves the door open for anyone to call themselves a reiki practitioner, whether they have been formally trained or not by a reiki master.

In addition, anyone can become a qualified reiki practitioner, even those without medical expertise or background. Some people see this as a downside to Reiki, making it difficult to know who to trust when looking for a healer.

3. Not covered by insurance

Not Covered By Insurance

Despite its popularity, insurance does not cover Reiki as it is a complementary treatment. Those who want reiki treatment must pay for them out of pocket.

However, if it’s part of another required treatment plan, your insurance provider may cover it if it comes with an embedded medical procedure.

Another option to consider aside from paying it personally is to find a reiki practitioner who offers sliding scale fees or payment plans.

4. May not work well for everyone

When you go to a reiki session, you may feel relaxed and happy when you leave, but there are also some potential after-effects. After receiving Reiki, some people reported feeling rejuvenated, while some find that the energy is too strong or makes them tired.

Practitioners claim that this is your body’s reaction to healing, so there is nothing to worry about.

Feeling of tiredness can also go along with:

  • headache
  • nausea
  • weakness
  • stomach pain

5. Discomfort during reiki sessions

There are many people who feel discomfort during a typical reiki session. It is one of the most common reasons people choose not to continue with Reiki.

The discomfort can be anything from mild to severe and can last for a few minutes or the duration of the session.

Typical factors of this discomfort could be because of the following:

6. Does not treat conditions

Reiki is not a complementary and alternative medicine and should not be treated as such.

There is a lot of misinformation on the internet about Reiki, and some people believe that reiki therapy can be used as an alternative and complementary medicine to treat conditions like cancer and other serious illnesses. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

If you have a disorder or a disease, it is best to get the appropriate medical care and treatment for it while getting reiki.

See also
Where Does Reiki Energy Come From?

7. Lack of Government Regulation

Although there is a governing body for Reiki, it is not regulated in the same way as traditional medicine. It means that anyone can practice Reiki without knowing if they undergo reiki training, and there is no guarantee of quality or safety during the reiki session.

8. Risk of Harm

While most people do not experience any negative side effects from Reiki therapy, it is possible to become ill due to a lack of knowledge or poor practices. For instance, if a practitioner is using incorrect techniques or has not been properly trained, it can lead to physical and mental harm. 

9. Unclear Benefits

Although many people swear by Reiki as a form of healing negative energy, there is little scientific evidence that supports its effectiveness. Additionally, some people may place too much faith in Reiki and rely on it instead of seeking out healthcare professionals for medical help.

Potential Health Benefits of Reiki

Potential Health Benefits of Reiki

There is little scientific evidence to support the claim of reiki therapy benefits, but some preliminary research suggests that it may be helpful for a variety of conditions.

Some studies showed that reiki treatment might be beneficial in the:

  • reiki reduces anxiety and relieves pain in cancer patients
  • improving sleep quality and reducing stress in people with chronic fatigue syndrome
  • reducing depressive symptoms

If you are a reiki skeptic yet considering trying, it is important to research and talks to your medical doctor to make sure it is right for you.

Is energy healing good for you?

Reiki energy healing has been used for centuries, but there are potential side effects and risks associated with its use. These include potential harm if not practiced correctly, the cost of sessions, and the lack of scientific evidence to support its claims.

Be cautious when engaging in Reiki attunement, and always consult a professional reiki master if necessary. Additionally, be aware of the need for more regulation and scientific evidence available on this healing energy.

Until more research is conducted, it is difficult to say whether Reiki benefits you. Ultimately, it is up to you to make an informed decision about your health and well-being.

If you are thinking about trying Reiki, carefully weigh the pros and cons to decide if it is right for you!

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