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An Integrative Review of Reiki Touch Therapy Research

Vitale, Anne MSN, APRN, BC

doi: 10.1097/01.HNP.0000280927.83506.f6

Reiki touch therapy is a complementary biofield energy therapy that involves the use of hands to help strengthen the body's ability to heal. There is growing interest among nurses to use Reiki in patient care and as a self-care treatment, however, with little supportive empirical research and evidence to substantiate these practices. The purpose of this integrative review is to begin the systematic process of evaluating the findings of published Reiki research. Selected investigations using Reiki for effects on stress, relaxation, depression, pain, and wound healing management, among others is reviewed and summarized. A summary of Reiki studies table illustrates the study descriptions and Reiki treatment protocols specified in the investigations. Synthesis of findings for clinical practice and implications for future research are explored.

The author is a full-time doctoral student (PhD in Nursing) at Villanova University, Villanova, Pa.

Corresponding author: Anne Vitale, MSN, APRN, BC, College of Nursing, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Ave, Villanova, PA 19085 (e-mail:

The author thanks Nancy Sharts-Hopko, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and doctoral program director, and Suzanne Smeltzer, EdD, RN, FAAN, professor and director for Nursing Research at the Villanova University for their mentorship and guidance in preparing this article.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.