Objectives: This study examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the experience, practice and future of Reiki in the UK, including the personal impact of the pandemic on practitioners and their work, practitioner perceptions of the future of the profession and Reiki delivery, and practitioner experiences and views of distant Reiki in comparison to hands on or near the body treatments.
Method: A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews was carried out with 10 Reiki practitioners. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis.
Results: Three themes were identified: adapting and growing with the challenges of COVID-19, Reiki for individual and community resilience, and moving from the mainstream hands on to lesser known distant Reiki.
Conclusion: While the COVID-19 pandemic personally impacted Reiki practitioners, they focused on turning adversity into opportunity, to overcome a sense of disconnectedness and social isolation, by providing social support and promoting individual and community resilience. Practitioners focused on self-care, personal development and reaching out to the community. Personal Protective Equipment was perceived as necessary for infection control but a potential barrier to the client's experience of Reiki. They saw value in adapting their practice as part of the future of the profession by utilising new technology and distant Reiki healing, but were clear this could not replace in person contact.
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; Practice; Reiki.
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