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Effects of Reiki on Stress


Effects of Reiki on Physiological Consequences of Acute Stress




Complementary therapies such as Reiki are becoming popular. Reiki is a practice used for relaxation and pain management that involves physical touch and social contact with a trained, empathetic practitioner. Unlike many relaxation therapies, Reiki requires no participation by the patient, a feature that makes Reiki particularly attractive in the hospital setting, where patients are often extremely anxious, depressed, in pain, or sedated. Our primary research questions are to determine whether physiological changes are induced during a Reiki session and whether a Reiki session affects responses to a subsequent acute stressor. Secondary research questions include assessing which benefits result from placebo or unique abilities of "attuned" Reiki practitioners and assessing background characteristics of recipients that are associated with acceptance and responsiveness. Based on its use to reduce pain and anxiety, we will study potential mechanisms by which Reiki decreases activity of the sympathetic nervous system and other stress pathways. Comparison of the responses in a Reiki group with those in supine-control and sham groups will allow us to gain insights into mechanisms by which Reiki effects are mediated. Information obtained from the proposed studies will provide detailed information on physiological pathways affected by Reiki. Should Reiki decrease stress pathways or reduce physiological responses to stressful situations, it could be a useful adjunct to traditional medicine and have significant health and economic benefits.

Study Status: Completed


Condition Intervention Phase
Stress Other: Rest
Other: Sham
Other: Reiki
Phase 1

Verified by The Cleveland Clinic September, 2012

Sponsored by: The Cleveland Clinic
Information provided by: The Cleveland Clinic identifier: NCT00346671

Study Type: Interventional

Study Design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Cleveland, Ohio 44195
United States

Joan E. Fox, PhD., Principal Investigator

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