A pilot study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management demonstrated the feasibility and acceptability of reiki therapy for children receiving palliative care.
Twenty-one child-parent dyads participated in the study, in which two 24-minute protocolized reiki therapy sessions (12 hand positions for 2 minutes each) were administered at the child’s home by a single Reiki Master.
All 16 mothers stated they would participate in the study again, and 100% of the verbal children liked the way the reiki was done. Themes identified by both parents and children included Feeling Better (with sub-themes Really Relaxed, Not Hurting That Bad, Calmed Me Down, Happier, and Heats Me Up), and Still Going On.
Parents and children were generally positive regarding the experience of receiving reiki therapy. Verbal children reported they “felt really relaxed,” and mothers stated, “it was a good experience” and “she was relaxed afterward.” These results offer evidence that reiki therapy may be a useful addition to traditional medical management of symptoms in children receiving palliative care.