Reiki and Energy Work for Skeptics

Reiki has become a bit of a runaway train in the massage and healing profession. There is no easier way to start a battle on social media than to bring up this subject on a massage therapy forum. When you come across websites that claim you can learn 100+ types of "Reiki", each for the cost of $15 (or a discounted package rate), all taught over the internet, including distance spiritual empowerments transmitted via the "chi ball" method, it only strengthens the argument that Reiki is a sham treatment.

For the purposes of this article, the terms, Reiki and Energy Work, are used as umbrella terms to refer to the use of positive thinking combined with a focused meditative state in an attempt to cause positive change. Of course, this oversimplification of terms and definitions is meant to be used only as a starting point for initial understanding.

How does Reiki work?

Due to the overwhelming amount of information that is already available on Reiki energy work, I have chosen to defer to previously published work. I recommend the University of Minnesota's unbiased overview as a good reference. University of Minnesota: Reiki Facts

The key to understanding the mechanisms of Reiki in health and healing resides in the brain. Much like meditation,