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Reiki in Hospitals — A round–up of Reiki in Medical Settings

Guest writer Sean Mitchell takes a look at some of the latest hospitals offering Reiki as a complementary therapy, and finds some of the biggest names in healthcare reporting that Reiki is proving to be very beneficial in the recovery of patients.

Article by Sean Mitchell / Oxford, England / June 8 2008

An ambulance of the New York-Presbyterian Emergency Medical Services. More Info

An ambulance of the New York–Presbyterian Emergency Medical Services. The hospital offers Reiki therapy.


It seems the use of Reiki therapy in hospitals is on the increase. Certainly the number of medical institutions that have registered their details on the Reiki in Hospitals web site ( has almost doubled in the last six months.

But what is particularly significant is that these recent registrants include some of the biggest names in healthcare, with Harvard and Yale affiliates listed among them.

Equally significant is the general consensus on what the medical teams and patients are reporting about Reiki, namely that Reiki therapy is having very beneficial effects on the health of patients. The Harvard–affiliated Dana–Farber Cancer Institute is one example, stating on its web site that Reiki “has been found to be effective in helping every known illness, including cancer”. (More information including links can be found later in this article.)

 “It is the great error of our day in the treatment of the human being that physicians separate the soul from the body.” 

— Plato (Quoted by Duke Integrative Medicine, NC to describe the philosophy behind their mind–body services, which include Reiki.)

Reiki in Hospitals in 2008

Here is a summary of some of the Reiki in Hospitals care providers that have registered so far in 2008. Note that some of the hospitals and clinics listed here are reporting that they have been offering Reiki as a complementary therapy for many years.

(Full details of all of the Reiki programs offered by these medical institutions can be found on the Reiki in Hospitals web site.)

Dana–Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a Harvard Medical School affiliate offering Reiki. More Info

The Dana–Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, is a Harvard Medical School affiliate offering Reiki.

Thomas Steiner [Enlarge for full credit.]

The Dana–Farber Institute is a Harvard medical school affiliate which is reported to have been ranked as the best cancer hospital in the New England states for the past five years. It is also a major research facility.

Explaining the philosophy behind the use of Reiki, the Institute states that the “Dana Farber Institute believes in treating the ‘Whole Patient’”, and that “Reiki is one of the interventions used in treating the ‘Whole Patient’” with the aim being to “support and encourage the body's natural mechanisms to recover from illness, by addressing the needs of the mind, body and spirit.”

The Dana–Farber Cancer Institute has a fairly comprehensive page on its own web site about Reiki (see link below) which states that Reiki “has been found to be effective in helping every known illness, including cancer”.

See the Dana–Farber Cancer Institute's Integrative Therapies page on Reiki.

Dana–Farber Cancer Institute
44 Binney St.
Boston, MA 02115

Duke Integrative Medicine, Durham, North Carolina

Duke Integrative Medicine claims that as part of Duke Medicine, it consistently ranks among the top 10 health care organizations in the country.

The care provider reports that they are in the process of “changing their focus of medical care to a health–oriented practice rather than a disease based model of care” and that they have included Reiki in their mind–body services as a result. Karen Ziegler, a Registered Nurse, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Reiki Master involved with the program, endorses the view of author Pamela Miles regarding Reiki saying that “I think it is very important that the NIH reclassify Reiki; I agree with Pamela Miles that this is a spiritual practice (mind/body) not an energy therapy.”

My favorite quote which the care provider used in describing its overall philosophy is this one, from the Classical Greek philosopher Plato: “It is the great error of our day in the treatment of the human being that physicians separate the soul from the body.”

See the Duke Integrative Medicine page on Reiki.

See the Duke Integrative Medicine page on Karen Ziegler, RN, FNP and Reiki Master.

Duke Integrative Medicine
DUMC Box 102904
Durham, NC 27710

New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center Campus, New York, New York

The New York-Presbyterian Hospital, which offers Reiki therapy. More Info

New York–Presbyterian hospital ranked sixth–best in the U.S. Reiki therapy is offered.


According to Wikipedia, the U.S. News and World Report rankings placed the New York–Presbyterian Hospital as the sixth–best hospital in the United States in 2007.

The Columbia Integrative Medicine Program (CIMP) of the New York–Presbyterian Hospital is reported to provide “integrative [i.e. complementary] services, such as mind–body techniques, somatic therapies, Reiki, and more, to patients who have been admitted to Columbia University Medical Center for cardiothoracic surgery”, with one of its goals being to research the effectiveness of complementary therapies when treating cardiovascular disease. The CIMP is located at the Department of Surgery at Columbia University.

A spokesperson for CIMP is quoted as saying “I find the practice of Reiki very rewarding, as a practitioner. Patients have reported deep relaxation and a sense of profound healing, after one session. I feel that Reiki is a huge asset for any hospital setting, because patients sense that they are in a truly caring environment.”

See the Columbia Integrative Medicine Program web site.

See the Columbia Integrative Medicine Program staff list, which includes Reiki I and II Practitioner Melissa Stewart, MSSW, CHT who is Clinical Services Coordinator.

See the Columbia Integrative Medicine Program links page which mentions referrals to Reiki practitioners, and specifically to the Reiki Alliance web site.

New York–Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center Campus
177 Fort Washington Ave.
New York, NY 10032

Yale–New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut

Yale-New Haven Hospital is a Yale School of Medicine affiliate offering Reiki. More Info

Yale–New Haven Hospital is a Yale School of Medicine affiliate offering Reiki.

Yale School of Medicine

Yale–New Haven Hospital (YNHH) is affiliated with the Yale University Schools of Medicine and Nursing, and was founded in 1826. It is the second largest employer in New Haven, Connecticut.

The hospital reports that “When Complementary care is practiced in combination with traditional medicine, the two disciplines complement each other and together they provide optimal health care”, and that “Reiki is a complementary therapy that has been practiced at YNHH since 2002”. Furthermore, the conclusion is that “Practitioners and patients who use Reiki therapy at YNHH attest to its ability to promote relaxation, ease pain and pave the way for healing.”

See Yale–New Haven Hospital's Intensive Care page which lists Reiki as a complementary therapy for family and patient support.

See Yale–New Haven Hospital's Volunteer Opportunities current page requesting Reiki volunteers for Patient Support.

See Yale–New Haven Hospital's September 2006 Issue of Advancing Care with a brief description of Reiki and a request to recruit Reiki practitioners.

Yale New Haven Hospital
20 York Street
New Haven, CT 06510–3202

Sharp Memorial Hospital Inpatient Cancer Support Services, San Diego, California

Sharp Memorial Hospital is part of Sharp Healthcare, a not–for–profit hospital system, which in January 2008 became the second Sharp hospital to receive the American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet recognition for nursing excellence.

The hospital reports that their Inpatient Cancer Support Services department is offering Reiki therapy to oncology patients. According to the Hospital, the Reiki program began 12 years ago when an oncology social worker by the name of Laurel Barile was diagnosed with stage 4 head and neck cancer. The hospital says that Laurel recovered from her condition after being referred to a Reiki practitioner, and that the Reiki practitioners who treated her went on to start the hospital's Reiki program. Also reported is that in 2006 a study into the effects of Reiki was approved, with the results still pending.

See the Sharp Memorial Hospital's Inpatient Cancer Support Services which includes Reiki.

Sharp Memorial Hospital
7901 Front Street
San Diego, CA 92123

Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, Massachusetts

The Integrative Therapies team at Children's Hospital Boston reports it is offering Reiki as one of its complementary therapies. The hospital team says that “The feedback from patients and their families has been extremely positive”, and that “patient demand, nursing observation and MD observation has encouraged and promoted the growth of Children's Hospital Boston's Reiki program.”

It is also reported that the hospital has even published a children's book as an aid aimed specifically at introducing Reiki to children, and that Reiki is also available to parents so they can experience what their children experience.

In terms of research into Reiki therapy, the hospital reports that “We have completed some Evidence–Based Practice exercises, linking Reiki's use with decreased levels of pain, anxiety, and nausea, etc.”, with the conclusion being that “We are very pleased with our progress and we [are] always trying to increase the availability of Reiki for our patients”.

See the Integrative Therapies Team at Children's Hospital Boston which includes Reiki as a therapy.

Children's Hospital Boston
300 Longwood Ave., Main 752
Boston, MA 02115

Other Hospitals offering Reiki

There are many more hospitals and clinics registered with Reiki in Hospitals, but there is one more I would like to include in this round–up simply because it is located close to where Yadira practices Reiki in Southern California.

Citrus Valley Medical Center Cancer Resource Center, Covina, California

The Cancer Resource Center at Citrus Valley Medical Center first registered its Reiki program in 2006, and continues to list Reiki Energy Therapy as a support service to help with the effects of Cancer treatment.

According to the medical center, the grant–funded program has been a great success with patients reporting “a marked decrease in levels of fear, insomnia, anxiety and pain.”

See the Citrus Valley Medical Center's Support Services which includes Reiki Energy Therapy.

Citrus Valley Medical Center
Cancer Resource Center
315 N. Third Ave., Suite 303B
Covina, CA 91723

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