Researchers from the Institute of Neurological Sciences, South Glasgow University in Scotland, UK, investigated whether Reiki has any impact on indices of autonomic nervous system function – heart rate, blood pressure, baroreflex response, cardiac vagal tone and breath rate.
Forty-five subjects were assigned at random into three treatment conditions: no treatment (rest only); Reiki treatment by an experienced Reiki practitioner; and placebo treatment by a person with no knowledge of Reiki but who mimicked the Reiki treatment.
Quantitative measures such as heart rate, cardiac vagal tone, blood pressure, cardiac sensitivity to baroreflex, and breathing activity were recorded continuously for each heartbeat. Values during and after the treatment period were compared with baseline data.
The investigators found that subjects’ heart rate and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly in the Reiki group, as compared to the placebo condition and/or the control condition.