Reiki Program in Hospitals

Reiki is not an alternative to medicine, but rather an integrative way of healing when practiced in conjunction with traditional medical care, Dickinson explained.

Reiki is a method of healing that involves balancing and restoring the body's natural energies for the purposes of increasing vitality, balancing emotions, and improving health. Reiki is trending among the Integrative and Complementary Therapies programs of so many hospitals. Reiki is provided as a complementary therapy in 5 Australian hospitals.

Reiki in Australian Hospitals and Palliative Care Centres

If you have already read

Reiki is reaching the Top Hospitals, then you probably remember that the Solaris Cancer Care offers Reiki for their patients. They teamed up with the International Institute for Reiki Training (IIRT) and the Reiki Association (WA), and created the Reiki Community Clinic, in order to provide Reiki as a service to their members. Here you will find useful information about the current presence of Reiki in Hospitals in Australia.


Reiki’s use in complex medical settings has grown steadily in many hospitals around the world, along with other complementary therapies. Reiki’s simplicity, the lack of known contraindications and ease of providing treatments make it an ideal therapy for integrating in healthcare settings.
The award-winning Reiki project at St George’s is just the beginning. Full Circle Fund Therapies is creating a transferrable clinical training and mentoring programme which allows Reiki practitioners to work on acute and high dependency units in a way which can be accepted by the medical professions. Practitioner training takes place on the bone marrow and transplant wards. Treatments are also available for oncology and neurosurgery patients who have medical referrals, and was introduced for paediatric patients in early 2020.


St. John of God is considered as one of the leading healthcare providers in the country, and so far 19 Hospitals are part of this enterprise. This includes the previously mentioned Solaris Care Cancer Support Centre , where Reiki is one of the most accessed complementary health treatment for cancer and leukemia patients. This teaching hospital is home to Western Australia’s only comprehensive cancer treatment centre the state’s principal neurosurgery and liver transplant hospital.

The St. John of God Murdoch Hospital manages the Footprints Day Centre, and their complementary therapies include reiki, reflexology, pranic healing, meditation, beauty therapy, wellness and support groups.


Palliative Care Australia is the national peak body for palliative care, and it represents eight member groups. Their objective is based on improving the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, by building strong networks between specialist palliative care providers, primary generalist, primary specialist, support care providers and the community.

Among the massage group of therapies, they include modalities such as relaxation massage, therapeutic massage, reiki, touch for health, craniosacral therapy, polarity therapy, tuina, and acupressure.


The J. W. Whittle Palliative Care Unit aims to promote the quality of life of people under a life-limiting illness,focusing on comfort rather than cure. The palliative care team recognizes that an illness has physical, psychological, social, spiritual and cultural process that is experienced uniquely by each person and each family.

Complementary therapies are available to patients in the Unit, and are offered by professional practitioners and trained volunteers; which are used together with conventional medicine, and include: aromatherapy, massage, reiki, music therapy and art therapy. This is all explained in the Patient and Family Handbook which you can find online.


Finally, the Cancer Council in New South Wales, (a ramification of the australian council), provides resources, information, and support among cancer patients and relatives. They have a very informative PDF file called Understanding Complementary Therapies, where reiki is one of several energy therapies that are being offered there. by Eugenio Lepine


Several top medical facilities are realizing the benefits of Reiki, especially in the areas of pain control and cancer complementary care. In 2014, The Washington Post stated that: “more than 60 U.S. hospitals have adopted Reiki as part of patient services, according to a UCLA study, and Reiki education is offered at 800 hospitals”. ~

Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic is ranking No. 1 at’s Best Hospitals Honor Roll in 2019-20. This is a clear example of an integrative model, where the latest developments and technology are applied, but not neglecting the spiritual and emotional conflicts and needs that might arise during cancer treatment.

Their Integrative Healing Enhancement Volunteering Program, along with the Clinic’s Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program, has a long-range of well being and healing services, in which Reiki is included.~


The scene is a familiar one for Sharon Dickinson, MDiv, coordinator of the hospital’s Reiki Program, who recounted it recently as an example of how certified reiki practitioners help care for patients by relaxing their body and mind.

Stemming from the Japanese words for “universal life energy,” reiki is a healing and meditation practice that promotes wellness and resiliency. At the Brigham, volunteers deliver reiki therapy as a hands-on relaxation technique that helps promote the body’s natural immune response. It is not affiliated with any religion.

Volunteers start a session by turning on soothing music or eliminating distracting noises, dimming the lights and then placing their hands in standard reiki positions on the head, shoulders, arms, hands, lower legs and feet. After the 15- to 25-minute session, the volunteer quietly slips out of the room to leave the patient in their state of deep rest.

Behind the Scenes at the Brigham: Reiki Program

reiki therapy

Mathews Carvalho Jr. receives reiki therapy from Nina Averbuck in his hospital room on Braunwald Tower 7A. ~bwhbulletin

Reiki in hospitals

Reiki can benefit hospital patients of all ages. It can be used to promote relaxation during childbirth, decrease pain perception in patients with sprains and fractures, stimulate wound healing, alleviate anxiety during the dying process, and assist with emotional burnout, shock, loss, and grief. It can benefit patients of all ages.

In outpatient settings, a session can last from 30 minutes to hours. In the hospital, however, shorter sessions (lying down or sitting) are offered to avoid interfering with other scheduled medical care. What a person feels during a session varies. Some describe extreme warmth or coldness, while others see colors, hear music, or feel buzzing sensations. Some recipients cry, while others may laugh. Many patients fall asleep or enter a relaxed dreamlike state.

Reiki doesn’t cure disease, so carefully explain this to patients when you offer this as a treatment option. Emphasize that it’s a tool that can be used to assist with medical treatment and shouldn’t be substituted for a provider’s prescribed care plan. Reassure patients that Reiki hasn’t been shown to have any negative side effects.

If you’re interested in providing Reiki to patients, you’ll need to receive training from knowledgeable Reiki Masters. (See Reiki training.) And if your organization doesn’t already have a Reiki program, you’ll need to get approval from leadership. Reiki in hospitals is becoming mainstream, but every organization has its own framework. For example, some hospitals employ full-time nurses to work in the spirituality department and provide Reiki, along with other complementary and alternative therapies. Other hospitals train interested nurses and grant them a set number of hours per month to step away from their regularly assigned jobs to provide Reiki to patients.

Reiki and nurse self-care

Nurses in U.S. hospitals report that their work is mentally and physically exhausting and that they suffer from burnout. Many nurses worry that their fatigue will affect patient care and consider resigning.

Once you are trained in Reiki, you can perform self- Reiki (conducting a series of hand placements on yourself) as a way to aid relaxation and improve resilience. Incorporating self-Reiki and adhering to the Reiki principles may help alleviate the stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, and pain related to the physical demands of patient care. (See Reiki and self-care.)

Energy therapies:

In addition to Reiki, nurses can use these three other energy therapies as complementary patient treatment or as part of their own self-care.

Healing touch (or therapeutic touch) is a technique developed by a nurse to open the recipient’s energy blocks. It’s similar to Reiki, but no waiting period is needed between training levels. (See Reiki training.) Also, this is a hands-on technique; Reiki is most often performed without touching.

Emotional freedom technique is a meridian-based energy healing in which a person is taught to tap on body meridians to help clear energy blocks and restore the body to homeostasis.