Reiki brief report: using Reiki to reduce stress levels in a nine-year-old child

Explore (NY). 2014 Jul-Aug;10(4):253-5. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2014.02.007. Epub 2014 Feb 26.


A nine-year-old female with a history of perinatal stroke, seizures, and type-I diabetes was seen for six weeks of Reiki to determine the effects of Reiki on relaxation, and in turn, the prevention of future seizures. The secondary and tertiary aims were to determine the effects of Reiki on sleep patterns and the stress levels of the mother. There was a decrease in stress in both the child and the mother, as measured by a modified Perceived Stress Scale and a Perceived Stress Scale, respectively. There was no change in the child's overall sense of well-being, as measured by a global questionnaire. There was a positive change in sleep patterns on 33.3% of the nights during which the study occurred, as reported on a sleep log kept by the mother. The child and the Reiki Master (a Reiki practitioner who has completed all three levels of Reiki certification training and trains and certifies individuals in the practice of Reiki as well as provides Reiki to individuals) experienced warmth and tingling sensations on the same area of the child during the Reiki sessions. The child relaxed within the first five to seven minutes of each session as reported by the Reiki Master. There were no reports of seizures during this study. Reiki may be a useful adjunct for children with increased stress levels and sleep disturbances secondary to their medical condition. Further research is warranted to evaluate the use of Reiki in children, particularly with a large sample size, and to evaluate the long-term use of Reiki and its effects on adequate sleep.

Keywords: Reiki; children; stress levels.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mothers
  • Relaxation*
  • Seizures / complications
  • Seizures / therapy*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy*
  • Sleep*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Therapeutic Touch*