The Touchstone Process: an ongoing critical evaluation of reiki in the scientific literature

Holist Nurs Pract. Sep-Oct 2010;24(5):260-76. doi: 10.1097/HNP.0b013e3181f1adef.


Background: Reiki is used by a growing number of people but little is known about the scientific basis for its use.

Purpose: The Touchstone Process was developed as an ongoing process to systematically analyze published, peer-reviewed studies of Reiki, the results being made accessible to the public online.

Method: Thirteen scientifically qualified experts in the field of Reiki were assembled into 3 teams to retrieve, evaluate, and summarize articles using standardized, piloted evaluation forms.

Results: Summaries of 26 Reiki articles, including strengths and weaknesses, were posted on a newly developed Web site (, together with an overall summary of the status of Reiki research and guidelines for future research: The Touchstone Process determined that only 12 articles were based on a robust experimental design and utilized well-established outcome parameters. Of these articles, 2 provided no support, 5 provided some support, and 5 demonstrated strong evidence for the use of Reiki as a healing modality.

Conclusion: There is a need for further high-quality studies in this area.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Bibliometrics
  • Biomedical Research / standards*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Peer Review, Research
  • Research Design / standards*
  • Therapeutic Touch*
  • Treatment Outcome