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Reiki for Depression

According to the World Health Organization, depression affects approximately 400 million people around the world. When it isn’t properly treated, this condition reduces quality of life for sufferers and can lead to a number of serious consequences. Many different treatments exist for depression.

However, regardless of the treatment methods chosen, patients dealing with the symptoms of depression may experience benefit from participating in Reiki sessions in conjunction with their professional treatment programs and methods.

Benefits of Reiki for Depressed Clients


Reiki can be beneficial to clients with depression in multiple ways, and this has now been backed up by research as well.


Studies have found that people who receive regular reiki sessions have improved symptoms of depression, which continue after treatment has ended.


Studies also found that reiki improves post-operative depression in heart transplant patients.


Some of the benefits of reiki sessions for people who suffer from depression include:

  • improved in mood

  • decreased feelings of shame, guilt, and sadness

  • a significant lowering of anxiety (both short term and long term)

  • improvement in relationships and interpersonal effectiveness

  • increased energy/less burnout


Relevant Research​

Several research studies support the use of Reiki for people with depression. Some of these studies are listed below.

  1. Reiki aids in relaxation. – Center for Reiki Research 
    According to the Center for Reiki Research, Reiki has been shown to reduce sympathetic autonomic stimulation and produce a significant relaxation response among people who had been diagnosed with Burnout Syndrome, a disorder characterized by exhaustion and emotional issues. It is likely that the same relaxation response would be produced among clients with depression.


  2. Reiki reduces the symptoms of depression. – Alternate Therapies in Health and Medicine 
    In addition, according to a study published in Alternate Therapies in Health and Medicine, patients who received regular Reiki treatments demonstrated a significant reduction in the symptoms of psychological distress and depression. The symptom reduction experienced by these patients continued for one year after the treatment regimen was complete.

  3. Reiki may reduce postoperative depression. – Anecdotal Evidence 
    Furthermore, anecdotal reports by trained Reiki healer Julie Motz indicate that Reiki can effectively reduce postoperative depression among heart transplant patients. These reports were generated as a result of Ms. Motz’s involvement in multiple heart transplant surgeries with television Dr. Mehmet Oz. Ms. Motz performed Reiki during the transplant procedures and the patients were evaluated for symptoms of postoperative depression during their recovery periods.


Implications for Patients

Based on the research studies detailed above, as well as reports from patients who have experienced benefits from Reiki sessions, it seems that Reiki may be a valuable addition to treatment regimens for patients suffering from depression. However, although Reiki may help to alleviate some of the symptoms of depression, it will be more effective when used in conjunction with traditional therapies. Other treatments that may be beneficial to people who are suffering from depression include cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy and certain medications. Patients with depression may also experience a reduction in symptoms with regular physical activity.

For best results, people experiencing depression should participate in multiple Reiki treatments over an extended period of time. A single treatment may be helpful, but multiple treatments are more likely to result in long-term symptom improvement.


If you are experiencing depression be sure to also see a qualified counselor, therapist and/or medical professional to assist with your road to recovery. Reiki can also help on this road.

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