The Science behind reiki

You've probably heard people talk about the placebo effect in relation to reiki and energy healing.

Now of course, having an open mind, a positive outlook and the belief that a treatment will help is definitely going to enhance your reiki session, BUT hands on energy healing is a proven physical process not just a placebo or phenomenon. 

So how come?

"Reiki has measurable electrical and magnetic qualities". states James L. Oschman, Ph.D., one of the leading authorities on the science of energy medicine, in his book Energy Medicine in Therapeutics and Human Performance. “We focus on these energies because these are the easiest to measure and we know more about their effects.”

Ampere’s Law  is a basic law of physics which explains the electrical and magnetic energies within and around the human body. This law states that 'when electrical currents flow through conductors- whether they are wires or living tissue - a magnetic field is produced in the surrounding space'. Since living tissue conducts electricity, the heart, brain, and other muscles and organs create a magnetic field around the body, called the biomagnetic field.

Magnetobiology is a modern science which explores the effect that magnetic fields have on living systems. Fields can be measured instruments like the magnetometer and the superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID). Since the emergence of quantum physics, tools for measuring biogmagnetic fields, continue to become more sophisticated.

Western medicine has been working with the biomagnetic field to diagnose and treat patients for about a hundred years! The electrocardiogram and electroencephalogram have been in use since the 1920s. Other methods include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, lasers, magnetic and electrical biopsies.

Pulsing magnetic fields jumpstart the healing of tissue, bone and other body parts. In the 1970s, biomagnetic research showed that certain magnetic fields stimulated the growth process in bone fractures that weren't healing. Soon after, the FDA approved Pulsing Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) for bone healing (in which wire coils placed near the fracture induce electrical current flows in the bone) The necessary frequency range is 7 Hz. 

The optimum level of electromagnetic frequencies for stimulating human tissue repair have been documented as:

  • 2 cycles per second (Hz) for nerve regeneration
  • 7 Hz for bone growth
  • 10 Hz for ligament repair, and
  • 15 Hz for capillary formation.

These are frequencies are known as the extremely low frequency range (ELF)

The magnetic fields which radiate from the hands of Reiki therapists are in this same (ELF) frequency range. Dr. John Zimmerman measured the magnetic field frequencies of Reiki and other energy practitioners while they worked and found that they all emitted ELF frequencies from their hands. The range was 0.3 to 30 Hz, (the same range of frequencies associated with healthy tissue and organs)

The most commonly occuring frequency in the hands of energy therapists was 7 Hz ( so the same frequency as the device approved by the FDA for stimulating bone growth!) Further evidence of this is documented in 'The Electricity of Touch' by the Institute of HeartMath.

The Schumann Resonance ( estimated as 7.83 Hz) is the basic frequency of the earth's electromagnetic spectrum. Some scientists call the Schumann Resonance the “tuning fork” of the planet- saying that it generates natural healing properties when living things are 'entrained' to its rhythm.

Entrainment is a process where two objects 'synchronise' with one another as the result of a common vibration or frequency. This sort of entrainment is common among energy healers when focussing on healing. Researcher Robert C. Beck studied brain wave activity in a variety of energy practitioners whilst they were treating clients (using ECG) All healers studied registered brain wave activity in the alpha state (averaging about 7.8 to 8.0 Hz) His conclusion was that during active therapy, healers’ brain waves became synchronised with the earth’s electromagnetic spectrum. 

Reiki Practitioners often describe Reiki as the channeling of “universal energy.” They definitely conduct the “universal frequency” found to be optimally healing to the human body.

Compassion and loving intention amplify the magnetic field. The heart generates the largest electrical and magnetic field of the body (about 100 times stronger than that of the brain- able to project about 15 feet). Rollin McCraty, research director at the Institute of HeartMath, demonstrated a relationship between a person’s emotional state and the frequency spectrum of the electrical signals of their heart.

McCraty measured the electrical fields of two people holding hands or using light touch on the other (as a hands-on therapist would do with a client). The data showed that when people touch, a transference of the electromagnetic energy specifically produced by the heart occurs- evidenced by one person’s electrocardiogram peak at different sites on the other person’s body surface.

According to McCraty, when we experience intentional feelings of compassion, love and appreciation we produce a certain frequency spectrum of the electrocardiogram that shows up in our biomagnetic field- ( which in turn affects the cells of the body in a beneficial way). If we maintain this level of intention, the frequency is powerful enough to induce changes in the structure of water and DNA. Therefore, the more the healer can focus on a state of sincere love or caring, the more coherent the energy, the greater effect on tissue repair.

Visualizing a Reiki symbol creates measurable electrical and magnetic fields. This happens through a common physiological process called amplification, according to Dr. James Oschman: “An image of a symbol or any other object on the retina of the eye results in a pattern of electrical activity that travels through the optic nerve to the optic lobes of the brain. The pattern of light on the retina is translated into a pattern of impulses on the occipital cortex.”

An amplification then takes place, because the cortical map of the brain is about 10,000 times the size of the retinal area. Nerves from the retina contact many other nerves, so the electrical and magnetic fields produced by activity in the brain spread throughout the body- via the nervous system, connective tissue, and the circulatory system. So physically looking at a symbol, or merely visualizing it, results in neural activity that creates measurable electrical and magnetic fields.

So this also goes some way towards explaining why living a compassionate, peaceful and loving way, whilst incoprating the reiki principles and regularly practicing and using reiki and other healing symbols will amplify a healer, or group of healers energy. 

References:

'The Science behind reiki' Bernadatte Doram BS, RMT Equilibrium energy

Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis by James L. Oschman
Energy Medicine in Therapeutics and Human Performance by James L. Oschman
The Heart’s Code by Paul Pearsall
The Science Behind Reiki: What Happens in a Treatment, Tamisha Sabrina, The UK Reiki Federation
Science of the Heart: Exploring the Role of the Heart in Human Performance, HeartMath Research Center, the Institute of HeartMath
EEG Amplitude, Brain Mapping and Synchrony in and Between a Bioenergy Practitioner and Client During Healing, Subtle Energies Journal, Vol. 1, No. 3, The International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine Science and the Human Energy Field, James L. Oschman interviewed by William Lee Rand, Vision Publications