An exploratory study of reiki experiences in women who have cancer

Int J Palliat Nurs. 2016 Apr 2;22(4):166-72. doi: 10.12968/ijpn.2016.22.4.166.


Aims: To explore the perceptions and experiences of reiki for women who have cancer and identify outcome measures for an intervention study.

Methods: A cross-sectional qualitative study of 10 women who had received reiki after cancer treatment was conducted. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed and coded using framework analysis.

Results: Key themes identified were: limited understanding of reiki prior to receiving any reiki; release of emotional strain during reiki-feelings of a release of energy, a clearing of the mind from cancer, inner peace/relaxation, hope, a sense of being cared for; experience of physical sensations during reiki, such as pain relief and tingling; physical, emotional and cognitive improvements after reiki, such as improved sleep, a sense of calm and peace, reduced depression and improved self-confidence.

Conclusion: Findings suggest that reiki could be a beneficial tool in the self-management of quality of life issues for women who have cancer.

Keywords: Cancer care; Complementary therapy; Neoplasm; Palliative care; Reiki; Wellbeing.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / nursing
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Therapeutic Touch*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Women's Health