Reiki for Cancer Survivors

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on May 08, 2015

Mind-Body-Spirit News

Reiki, a form of Japanese energy healing, may help women with cancer to improve their quality of life. University of Huddersfield researchers, in Huddersfield, England, conducted an exploratory, qualitative study of Reiki experiences among women living with cancer. Serena McCluskey, PhD, a senior research fellow in the university’s Centre of Applied Psychological and Health Research and a Reiki practitioner, said, “Due to more effective methods of diagnosis and treatment, people are living longer with cancer and it is now often classed as a long-term condition. Patients don’t go into the hospital or see consultants as frequently, so they often look at things outside of normal medical treatment to help them cope with the effects of living with the disease, such as depression, anxiety, fatigue and pain” (University of Huddersfield news release).

Over a 1-year period, investigators interviewed 10 women who had received 
therapeutic Reiki treatments at local hospices. Interview evaluations revealed that 
the women consistently described feelings of inner peace, relaxation and release 
of emotional strain from Reiki therapy.

McCluskey said, “We are aware of criticism from the empirical evidence about the validity 
and credibility of Reiki and so we did a scientific literature review on the subject. We will publish 
the findings on that.”

The pilot study was presented at the March 2015 conference of the British Psychosocial Oncology Society, in Leeds, England. The study abstract is available at

To learn more about Reiki, go to

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at