Objectives: This empirical study explored the efficacy of using Reiki treatment to improve memory and behavior deficiencies in patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild Alzheimer's disease. Reiki is an ancient hands-on healing technique reputedly developed in Tibet 2500 years ago.
Design: This study was a quasi-experimental study comparing pre- and post-test scores of the Annotated Mini-Mental State Examination (AMMSE) and Revised Memory and Behavior Problems Checklist (RMBPC) after four weekly treatments of Reiki to a control group.
Settings/location: The participants were treated at a facility provided by the Pleasant Point Health Center on the Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation.
Subjects: The sample included 24 participants scoring between 20 and 24 on the AMMSE. Demographic characteristics of the sample included an age range from 60 to 80, with 67% female, 46% American Indian, and the remainder white.
Interventions: Twelve participants were exposed to 4 weeks of weekly treatments of Reiki from two Reiki Master-level practitioners; 12 participants served as controls and received no treatment.
Outcome measures: The two groups were compared on pre- and post-treatment scores on the AMMSE and the Revised Memory and Behavior Problems Checklist (RMBPC).
Results: Results indicated statistically significant increases in mental functioning (as demonstrated by improved scores of the AMMSE) and memory and behavior problems (as measured by the RMBPC) after Reiki treatment. This research adds to a very sparse database from empirical studies on Reiki results.
Conclusion: The results indicate that Reiki treatments show promise for improving certain behavior and memory problems in patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild Alzheimer's disease. Caregivers can administer Reiki at little or no cost, resulting in significant societal value by potentially reducing the needs for medication and hospitalization.