Reiki as a pain management adjunct in screening colonoscopy

Gastroenterol Nurs. 2012 Sep;35(5):308-12. doi: 10.1097/SGA.0b013e3182603436.


The purpose of this study was to determine whether the use of Reiki decreases the amount of meperidine administered to patients undergoing screening colonoscopy. The literature review reveals limited studies to show whether Reiki has been able to decrease the amount of opioid the patient receives during screening colonoscopy. A chart review of 300 patients was conducted to obtain baseline average doses of meperidine patients received as the control. Following the chart review, 30 patients were recruited to the Reiki study. Twenty-five of the study arm patients received Reiki in conjunction with meperidine. Five randomly chosen study arm patients received placebo Reiki in conjunction with meperidine in an attempt to blind the clinicians to the treatment received by the patients. Results showed that there were no significant differences in meperidine administration between the patients in the chart review group (control) and the Reiki group. The study revealed that 16% who received Reiki, together with intravenous administration of conscious sedation, received less than 50 mg of meperidine. All the patients in the chart review group received more than 50 mg of meperidine. Results from this pilot study suggest that there may be a decrease in meperidine needed during screening colonoscopy when patients receive Reiki treatments before the procedure. A larger study powered to detect smaller medication differences is the next step in more accurately determining the effect of Reiki on pain management.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage
  • Colonoscopy / adverse effects*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Conscious Sedation
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Meperidine / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Therapeutic Touch*


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Meperidine