The Dangers of Reiki

The Dangers of Reiki

The Truth about Reiki & Energy Medicine from a Catholic Perspective…

The Dangers of ReikiThere has been an explosion of popularity in the field of holistic health today.  This includes Reiki and other forms of energy medicine; such as, Therapeutic Touch, Healing Touch, Hands of Light, Qigong, etc.  It is rapidly gaining acceptance in hospitals, clinics, and personal alternative practices.  Even many Catholic hospitals are buying into this Eastern Oriental practice, and a number of Catholic lay people and religious orders practice it devoutly.

Yet, Reiki is spiritually incompatible with Catholic faith.  The following will briefly outline the problems with Reiki and show why it is incompatible for Catholics (or for any Christian) to practice or even participate in.

Who Started Reiki?

It is generally accepted that Dr. Mikao Usui founded Reiki on Mount Kurama in Japan.  Dr. Usui was on a 21-day Buddhist retreat at a Buddhist temple.  It was here that the great “Reiki Energy” was said to have entered into his crown chakra (the energy center in his head) bestowing on him a new gift – the ability to heal people without diminishing his own energy (www.Reiki.org).

What is Reiki?

Reiki comes from the Chinese word Chi, or the Japanese word Ki, also known as prana, which is a universal life-force energy that everyone and everything in the universe supposedly possesses.  Proponents of Reiki claim that everything in the universe is made up of (and is permeated by) this life-force energy – even human beings.  Thus, when someone is feeling sick, depressed, or unhealthy in any way, it is an indication that their energy is “out of balance.”  Consequently, it is the function of the Reiki practitioner to channel positive energy into the person, bringing them back to balance and wholeness.

The Problems with Reiki and Energy Medicine

There are two problems with Reiki and energy medicine.  First, there is little to no scientific evidence for Reiki in the medical field.  Secondly, and more importantly, the beliefs and practice of Reiki contradict those of Christianity.  Since the spiritual problems are more problematic, we will be spending more time on those.  If the scientific aspect of this article doesn’t interest you, just skip down to the spiritual below.

The Dangers of Reiki

“Animal Reiki”

Scientific Problems of Reiki:

Many Reiki practitioners assert that energy medicine has the full backing of science, that it is scientifically and medically proven.  However, this is an unprovable claim and entirely untrue.  With that being said, there are many other practitioners who understand that the energy of Reiki is a spiritual energy which cannot be verified or demonstrated by science.  Moreover, the Eastern Oriental religions from which this practice originates also considers it a spiritual energy, and therefore could never be measured empirically by science.

Many Reiki and Healing Touch practitioners do not understand the energy of Reiki.  I personally interviewed a number of Reiki masters and energy healers.  I asked them all the same questions regarding what the energy is, how it works, and other similar questions.  Yet, every practitioner gave me a completely different answer demonstrating that no one really understood and the energy they claimed to be a conduit for.  Some said it was a spiritual energy.  Others said it was only a physical energy.  Others said it was both.

How can something be seen as sound “medicine” when all it’s adherents contradict each other?  The fact of the matter is that Reiki, according to Usui and the earliest Reiki beleifs, is a spiritual energy coming from the universe.  This is something that science could never empirically prove.

Even the Foundation for the Advancement of Energy Medicine, Inc. states regarding putative energy [the unseen, unprovable energy]; “Due to the lack of unquantifiable evidence of these purported energies, therapies based on putative energy are more controversial.  The postulated energies are claimed to be of a more subtle nature and have not been directly measured by reproducible methods.”

Even national health care groups working against fraud warn that energy is not scientifically proven, and many times it can be a complete sham.  Recent tests have been performed by major institutions including the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. They set up a major study on fibromyalgia and found that Reiki had no effect (http://nccam.nih.gov/).  The more scientific the studies are, the less evidence there is.  For those who still accept that Reiki can be demonstrated scientifically, they could win a lot of money.

“In 1996, the James Randi Educational Foundation offered $742,000 to anyone who could demonstrate an ability to detect a ‘human energy field’ under conditions similar to those of our study.  Although more than 80,000 American practitioners claim to have such an ability, only one person attempted to demonstrate it.  She failed, and the offer, now at $1,000,000, has led to no further takers despite recruiting efforts, including a direct appeal to Dr. Krieger” [Founder of Therapeutic Touch]. (Article: Why Therapeutic Touch Should be Considered Quackery).

Even if energy medicine could be demonstrated someday through scome scientific means, from a Christian point of view, the spiritual problems of Reiki pose a much greater concern.  Thus, we will now examine the spiritual problems of Reiki.

ReikiSpiritual Problems with Reiki

One of Reiki’s many problems, spiritually and theologically, is that God is seen as energy.  God is said to be an impersonal energy force, or even a “loving” energy.  Energy emanates and proceeds from God (or the universe) who are often seen as one and the same.

The problem is that God is not energy in any way.  It does not emanate from Him or come from Him.  God is not the universe or part of the universe.  Therefore, channeling energy is not a Christian practice and finds no foundation in Jesus Christ or the Catholic faith.  Unfortunately, many priests and religious have fallen prey to this false Eastern Oriental belief.

The Bible clearly states that God created everything, and nothing exists without Him (John 1:2-3; Col. 1:15-17). God created all things and this absolutely includes energy. The Catechism of the Catholic Church confirms this in paragraph 296 where it states that God created everything from nothing, and creation itself is not an emanation from his divine substance (emphasis added).  Moreover, Scripture states multiple times that God is spirit (John 4:24; 2 Cor. 3:17), and spirit is not energy.  As we have stated, the concept of energy is not a Christian one, but an Eastern Oriental one which finds no place in the Bible or 2000+ years of Christian teaching.

There is another problem.  While Reiki teaches that mankind is alive because of life-force energy, Catholic doctrine states that we are made up of body and soul, and that it is the soul which gives man life. (Catechism #355-368). The Bible mentions the soul over and over again (Matt. 10:28; Mark. 8:36-37; Mark. 12:30), yet not a single word regarding a supposed life-force energy.

The Dangers of ReikiJesus did NOT Practice Reiki:

Many Reiki masters, including Catholic practitioners, falsely assert that Jesus was a Reiki Master.  The claim is that when Reiki Masters lay hands on people to heal, they are only imitating Jesus who laid hands on people. Of course, this is a false comparison.  While Jesus did lay hands on people for healing, and while the approaches may appear similar at first, the two are incompatibly worlds apart.

First, whereas Reiki claims that healing comes from energy and ultimately the universe, the Bible states that the healing of Jesus’ was by the power of God.  Jesus merely touched people and they were healed on the spot forever with no regression (Matt. 8:1-3; Matt. 8:14-16).  In stark contrast, the energy healer stands over a person for 45-90 minutes channeling an unseen energy and without the results of Jesus.  The healings are usually “emotional” or “mental.”

How often has it been said that a person came in with some sickness, and even though the sickness was not healed, the person left “feeling more relaxed.”  Making someone “feel more relaxed” isn’t miraculous in any way and can’t be compared to the miracles of Jesus or the Bible.

Moreover, there were many times Jesus did not touch the sick but merely uttered a few words, and the people were cured instantly and permanently (i.e. Matt. 8:5-13; Matt. 9:2-8; John 5:5-9). Our Lord even raised people from the dead in this way (John 4:47-53).  Can Reiki raise people from the dead, make legs grow out on crippled people, or cure tuberculosis instantly?  On occasion, people who touched Jesus were healed instantly to demonstrate His divine power (Matt. 8:20-22).  The above Biblical verses are unambiguous, and the reader will find no mention of energy healing anywhere.

Now some people still won’t give up on their practice just yet.  They seek to still find support for it in the Bible.  However, an honest examination and study of Scripture will demonstrate that Reiki is not taught or even hinted at anywhere in the Bible.  Since most Christian practitioners resist examining the evidence too deeply or don’t study it from an authentically Christian position, here are some questions to show that Reiki is NOT Biblical.  Answer the following:

  • Where does the Bible (or where does any Catholic teaching) mention energy, a universal life-force energy, an energy aura, energy centers (i.e. charkas) or energy medicine?
  • Where does the Bible state or even hint that healing comes through channeling energy?
  • Jesus and His apostles may have “touched” or “laid hands on” people, but where does the Bible show Jesus or His Apostles standing over them for 45 or 90 minutes channeling energy, or letting the unseen energy force “direct itself”?
  • Where does the Bible mention attunements? (An attunement is the formal process needed to become a Reiki master where energy is passed on from master to student. It is said that an attunement is akin to turning a radio dial to a station that comes in that comes in more clearly.  In like manner, this process opens up the practitioner to higher frequencies of Reiki energy”). So, where does Scripture teach attunements, or show that attunements are necessary in order to heal?
  • Where is evidence in Scripture that demonstrates people going to school, taking courses, and paying money to learn how to heal?
  • Where does the Bible mention the use of Reiki symbols to heal people – symbols such as the Power Symbol or the Distance Symbol, for example?
  • Not everyone in Reiki uses spirit guides or crystals, and not all talk about past life regression, psychic experiences, or the Higher Self, but many practitioners do. Even a Catholic nun states, “I ask permission from unconscious patients on the mental level, knowing that their Higher Self will respond.” Higher Self? Where does the Bible or the Church say a word about any of these aspects except for the condemnation of them?

The fact is that Reiki and energy medicine are of Buddhist and Eastern Oriental origin with many additions from the New Age Movement and sometimes occult practices.  Reiki is unbiblical and is not found anywhere in Christian history. The healings that Jesus performed, and what He Himself claimed to do, are light years removed from what Reiki purports to be.

No Christian Reiki

The Bishops of the Catholic Church state in no unclear terms in their document on Reiki;

“Without justification from faith or natural Science, a Catholic who puts his or her trust in Reiki would be operating in the realm of superstition, the no-mans-land that is neither faith, nor Science… [Therefore], it would be inappropriate for Catholic institutions, such as Catholic health care facilities and retreat centers, or persons representing the church, such as chaplains, to promote or provide support for Reiki Therapy” (Emphasis added).

So, naturally, now that the Bishops have spoken, this settles the question right?  For many, yes.  For many others, the document does not answer their questions sufficiently and so they choose to ignore the people God put in charge.  They have even changed the name Reiki to something like, “Relaxation Message,” or some analogous title.  Their document is clear though.  Summed up, there is no Christian Reiki, and the Catholic Church does not adhere to nor allow any participation in this practice.

I have expanded the bishops thoughts in this article and shown why Reiki is incompatible with Christianity.  The full information on this subject will be released in a book I’m writing on the New Age Movement.  As a side note, everyone should be aware that Reiki is done on people in hospitals with and without their permission.  This information is important to know, please share it with others and may God set people free!

Click here to see my Youtube Channel on this topic:

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About Bryan Mercier

Bryan Mercier is a thirty-eight year old speaker and retreat leader. He has spoken to adults and teens for the last fifteen years on a wide variety of topics; ranging from catechetics and faith formation, to morality, spirituality, and apologetics. He has spoken at youth and adult retreats, workshops, seminars, Catholic schools, parish missions, local, regional and national conferences. He has spoken in front of crowds ranging from thirty to three-thousand and has been aired on both TV and radio in different states. Bryan also runs the R.O.C.K. (Revival Of Catholic Kids) Ministry Team that puts on all-day retreats for teens. He is going for his Masters in theology and working on writing numerous books and tracts.
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69 Responses to The Dangers of Reiki

  1. I would recommend looking into the type of Christian Charismatic healing that Jesus taught us and of which He is the Power behind. I would not give up on healing your friend or praying for his healing, but I would avoid the dangerous avenues like Reiki and stick more with Christian healing. Christ has all the power of the universe, all the power of healing and over evil spirits. Sticking close to Him and the way He taught us is the best way. Or find a Christian healer who can help.

  2. Hi Paul, I’m not sure that I said God “did not create energy.” If i did it was a typo because i don’t believe that. Obviously energy exists. I actually said in my blog post that God “created all things and that would include energy.” My whole point is that God himself is not made up of energy. Rather energy is a creation of God. My other point was that Jesus taught us how to heal, He gave us the model, and it wasn’t through energy. That is a recent Buddhist concept that Christians later co-opted and attempted to Christianize.

    Regarding your friend (which i’m sorry to hear about) the Power that God heals by is just that… His very own power which is eternal and infinite. God is a Being of perfect power and wisdom. He can do anything. As demonstrated when He came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ who healed everyone who ever came to him. He was healing by His own power, his own essence. Energy is not God’s his power and any substitute can never take the place of the real thing. (Look up Sister Breige Mckenna and Fr. Fernando Suarez and other world wide healers and the miracles they do in the powerful Name of Jesus. So, I guess in summary, keep praying for your friend, but only pray to Jesus and for his power. There is no need for energy when you have the power of God which is so far higher. (Also, I might add that Jesus doesn’t heal everyone right away. We leave the judgment and timing to God. Sometimes he allows us to suffer for some specific reason or to learn some particular lessons. This needs to be discerned too. Remember the person who was paralyzed in the Bible? The first thing Jesus said was “Your sins are forgiven.” This man’s sins were an impediment to healing. I’m not saying that’s the case with your friend but only that sometimes God allows us to suffer for a reason. Perhaps it’s not the right time for someone to be healed. God is in control of that. We don’t dictate when the healing will take place, we leave that to Him knowing how much he loves us whether we are suffering or whole. Jesus himself showed us the value and redemptive quality of suffering when he did so for us on the cross.). Hope that helped a bit.

  3. warren says:

    Years ago on the way to work listening to my car radio There was a preacher saying that with the faith of a grain of mustard seed you can move mountains. I looked across a field and said to God I have more faith in you than that and I would love to move that mountain. The lord works in mysterious ways because several years later I bid on a tax acquired property for thirty one acres. I won the bid and it was located at the pinnacle of that same mountain. I bought a bulldozer and ended up moving a great deal of that mountain building a road to it and constructing my camp up there. Was this divine intervention ?

  4. EJ says:

    Right, because faith is only possible through Christianity. Really? Really?!

  5. Beverly Briggs says:

    This is a good example of religious bashing of anyone or any philosophy that is different. There is no scientific proof that God exits or how stories of healing was achieved according to the bible.

  6. My friend, this is not religious bashing. Reiki is not a religion, so it can’t be religious bashing. Second, bashing is just insulting something or degrading something without anything to back it up. I offered ample evidence for my points. Perhaps your comment is religious bashing because it’s different than yours?

  7. Nobody made that point. Strawman argument.

  8. Lynne Galbraith says:

    I am a Reiki practitioner and feel blessed to be able to help people,even if the help only lasts a couple of hours or a couple of days.
    How can spirit working through you be so wrong and even saying that it says as such in the bible. So you are saying when Jesus was healing it was wrong. Where do you think Jesus received his gift from, for that is what it is, a gift. End off.

  9. Kayla says:

    This is why people are so sick of some Christians. And this is why people are leaving Christianity. I’m so sick of this. This is one of the many reasons why I left Christianity.

  10. Kayla says:

    I find it funny that some Christian group can post lies about other religions, But if someone were to do the same thing to you people would freak out. (and let’s keep it real it would probably be in the news) I wish people would understand that there are other beliefs other than Christianity. I do know many Christians who understand this. But to the people that don’t, you need to understand that Christianity is not the only way.

  11. Ummm, I wonder if you even read my blog from beginning to end. I don’t think so. If you had, it would have answered your questions you just mentioned. Jesus’ healings were good, but there were not a “gift” as if he acquired them or something from above. His healings were done by His own power because He is God. The same God who created the universe. He also gave that power as a gift to His apostles and to many others down through the ages, but you just receive the gift. You don’t have to learn how to use it, go to school for it, have to receive an attunement, or anything else connected to Reiki. That is something else entirely than what Jesus taught, a horse of a different kind.

    Moreover, Jesus also told us that there was a good Spirit, the Holy Spirit, and bad demonic spirits who can disguise themselves as “good” spirits. He laid out specific guidelines for following Him and His commandments. If we don’t, and do things against what He commanded, than no matter how much good we think there is in something… it’s just not good. You may have a desire to help and heal people, and that is good, but if someone claims to follow Christ, it has to be his way with His Spirit. Reiki is not that way, as I outlined in my article and youtube video.

  12. Sarah says:

    One thing that I thought of while reading this is whether one could find support in Scripture to back up Western conventional medical practices. Where does the Bible talk about taking natural materials, extracting components of those materials, altering them to be something that can be patented, and then giving them to people to cope with symptoms, while making profit? Where in the Bible does it tell us to take medicine that will help us cope but have a list of side effects that will cause harm to the body? Where in the Bible does it say that a person can be healed of illness by looking only to their physical bodies, ignoring their emotional and mental well-being? Where in the Bible are we encouraged to have our bodies cut open to provide further healing? Where in the Bible does it say that all things must be proven empirically through controlled trials for them to be valuable? I personally have a disease called endometriosis and the only treatments, other than surgery, are hormonal treatments (often birth control) that stop my reproductive organs from functioning naturally, where in the Bible does it say that we can try to control our organs by the use of synthetic, man-made chemicals? I am by no means saying I think Reiki is a good idea. I am not disagreeing with you, I am only trying to wrap my head around how Western medicine can truly be seen as what God had intended for us, and as Scripturally sound. I personally haven’t been helped at all by conventional medicine. The only help I have received is through alternative therapies, some of them energy-based. I don’t feel comfortable with Reiki however. I guess I would just be interested to know what you think about backing up Western medicine with Scripture? Especially when things like contraception, abortion, euthanasia, sex reassignment, etc. all come from this system? Everything seems pretty grey to me on either side.

  13. Christine Patterson says:

    I was reading the article, especially the questions toward the end, and then substituting words associated with Western medicine for the terms associated with Reiki like- a doctor healing a patient with instruments powered by an unseen energy force (electricity), or the word medical degree. One can see that the most common forms of healing seem to be out of alignment with the bible in a way similar to Reiki. I am a Catholic but feel disillusioned by my experiences in the Catholic faith. There is so much focus on sin and condemnation, fear and exclusion. I don’t know about Reiki, but in my personal experiences, I have grown much more in the way of love, forgiveness, healing, wholeness, and wellbeing by drawing from eastern methods and philosophies as well as my already firm faith in God than I did with living a strict observance of Catholic orthodoxy. Living in that “pure” Catholicism, I became very fearful and paranoid of anything unpure or spiritually harmful that it eventually led me to lose my entire life and everything I loved ( family, friends, children, my sanity). Thank you for your article. I will continue my research.

  14. Hello Christine, thank you for your honest and candid comments. I too grew up like you with a Catholicism that was routine, guilt infested, and focused a lot on sin and following rules. Oh, and you are not supposed to question God… you just need to “have faith.” It’s no wonder I didn’t find god on a close and personal level. Unfortunately, that is what Catholicism has become (not all of it) over the last 50 years. Thankfully I went to one of the best Catholic colleges in the country where everyone was incredibly happy, joyful, loving, accepting, peaceful, and really non-judgmental. These people loved me for who I was and it was here at this college of Franciscan University that I found Jesus in a real way. Not the God that was angry all the time and watching every little thing I did, but the real God of the universe, the one who changed my life upside down and backwards, replacing my hate with an overflowing love, sadness with a bubbling joy and happiness, and my brokenness with peace and complete fulfillment. Even when I sinned against Jesus, He took me back lovingly and unconditionally every single time. And the power of His love that I felt I can’t explain. In short, real Catholicism done right is not just about sin and rules. That’s a counterfeit. It’s about a relationship with the God of the universe who is madly in love with us and wants to bring us joy. Now, of course there are rules. We can’t do whatever we want, but it’s not about the rules. It’s about the relationship. Like my wife. I don’t say, “Oh darn, I can’t cheat on her, abuse her, or get drunk and beat her.” The fact is I can’t do those things but I wouldn’t want to… because I love her. Same with God. I live the Catholic faith now with all my heart and it’s a love relationship with God. I have learned that God is on my side and not against me; He wants me to get to heaven, and He would die for me if he needed to in order to show me that… which He did do in Christ. So, I guess I can relate to you, but I want to say don’t leave Catholicsm. Just leave (or don’t follow) the people who do it wrong. Many people in the Catholic Church know ‘of’ god but they don’t ‘know’ God. The closer you come to God (and not mere religiosity) the more loving and virtuous you will become (not rigid and angry) just like Mother Teresa and all the other saints before her. :) With all that being said, there are things that are right and others that are wrong. There are great people and practices from the East, and the Catholic Church is not against anything that is incompatible with our Catholic faith. However, Reiki is against it and so I had to say something. Not trying to be mean or condemn, but to inform and educate Catholics so they know… since so many have had questions on the topic and ask me my thoughts.

    Not to shamelessly plug myself, but I would recommend my new book: “Why Do You Believe In God?” Found on Amazon. It addresses proof for the existence of God and a lot of the misconceptions people have about Him, as we discussed above. It’s loving and positive and discusses the Catholic faith in the way it should be… charitably. :) I think you would like it and get a lot out of it. If you have any more thoughts or questions, feel free to let me know. Thanks and God bless. :)
    My Book: http://www.amazon.com/WHY-You-Believe-Conversations-Non-Believers/dp/1530749182/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483212131&sr=8-1&keywords=why+do+you+believe+in+god

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  17. Follower says:

    Just would like to repeat Reiki is not any religion, is not any God is just the way of helping yourself by using an energy which is created by God to heal yourself by yourself…. Jezus said ‘ your faith healed you’. The Reiki practitioners are just the tools, they don’t heal they just channel the energy, everyone has the power to heal ourselves. The faith is the ‘golden pill’ or we can say ‘miracle’. To get to the conclusion modern medicine, acupuncture, psychotherapy ect. or Reiki there are for people and we are allowed to use them to heal our body and spirit. This can leads us to miracle of healing ourselves phisically or spiritually even to experience God no matter the religion. There are different ways to get to the ‘source’. And please don’t be an ignorant or think that you already know everything.There is no wrong way if lead us to God. In a name of God we supposed to be united and respect diversity, culture and religions sharing love to each other. God bless you all. Open yourself to the good angels (good energy) and spirits ( saints) because there are here to help us to find the right way to ourself and God as every single of us is a part of our Creator.

  18. reader says:

    Several things need to be addressed here: Firstly, since when did the catholic church consider scientific data?? There is scientific data supporting evolution. yet the catholic church doesn’t acceot it. Therefore, the presence or lack of scientific data cannot be used as a deciding factor; you are already contradicting yourself. In addition, what kind of scientific data is there to support that there is a god, or healing power in prayer?
    Secondly, Catholicism taught me to treat my body as a temple. Based on that, I try to avoid the use of drugs to treat ailments/disease and gear towards natural, sustainable methods of healing the body, which would include Reiki, accupuncture, massage, and homeopathy, just to name a few. If Reiki and the like is condemned by the church, is that to say that toxic drugs are acceptable to consume, despite that the same drugs that may or may not help in treatment, also have the potential of being misused or potentially cause more harm than good, including addiction? Treating your body as a temple but condemning healing methods that do just that, is also a contradiction.

  19. Bay says:

    This method of healing was used on me under the deception and masking using all the right Christian language. I was deceived by a so called Christian. I am not a catholic but do see that the catholic religion brought much mystics into their religion. One example is the book Brother Lawerence. My question is how to get free from these manifestations that are in my body. I was guilliable and used as an experiment. I don’t know now how to have a personal relationship with Jesus or even what to expect from him now.

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