I discuss reiki from time to time. But I really recommend doing your own further research. You’re gonna need more information than just “My friend says.” This will get you started . . .
Reiki practitioners supposedly channel the “universal life force” into the patient. Though some promoters deny a spiritual context, others openly acknowledge that the practice is spiritual. For instance, one pro-reiki site says that patients sometimes “express a sense of connection to their own innate spirituality.” (Without a connection to the Lord Almighty, just what “spirituality” would that be?) Another site defines the rei of reiki as “the Higher Intelligence that guides . . . the universe.” (My Japanese dictionary defines rei as “spirit” and that’s the context I learned in Japan. If reiki’s “Higher Intelligence” were the true Holy Spirit, it would not be rei-something, but seirei-something. And even then, the Holy Spirit is not channeled/manipulated, especially by people who don’t know him. Remember the poor 7 sons of Sceva in Acts 19?) Some promoters admit there can be negative side effects, but one site says we should welcome those—that they’re just normal cleansing of things left from the many lifetimes we’ve lived before.
Practitioners go through an initiation to become “attuned” in order to practice. Reiki.org says their attunement process is “a powerful spiritual experience,” is “attended by . . . spiritual beings,” and includes “a special Tibetan technique.” (That same site has a page dedicated to soothing any Christians who are skeptical about all this.)
There’s something less than honest in the ads we’re seeing in medical facilities—and also in the administering of this “treatment.” I know of a reiki practitioner who admitted to a nurse that she often doesn’t tell patients she’s doing reiki on them; she just asks permission to touch them. I personally know a patient who learned after the fact that what she had been subjected to was actually reiki.
Since reiki is often done in association with a hospital and/or under the auspices of a recognized group of doctors, I find two things particularly distressing: (1) The double standard. Mainstream Christian practice like prayer or sharing Scripture is somewhat pooh-poohed in a medical setting. Christian chaplains even have to be careful about what they say to patients. Mustn’t be “too religious,” you know. Yet here is a religious/occult practice offered with a wholesale stamp of approval. (2) The secrecy. If a doctor gave a patient a prescription without honestly disclosing what was in it, he’d be up for a lawsuit. How is it that trusted medical facilities would allow a reiki practitioner to perform reiki without disclosing the truth of what’s being done? Of course—and don’t miss this, friends—it’s likely that some naive practitioners themselves have no clue, because they have no filter through which to discern the underlying spiritual implications. Other, more savvy, practitioners probably don’t totally disclose the truth because . . . well, you decide.