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Reiki and the Catholic Church

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Let’s just be honest. When people hear the word Reiki some automatically think one of two things: “This is woowoo”, or “This is against my religion.” Someone recently asked me, “How does Reiki effect my Christian Religion and belief system?” What a wonderful question! I love questions. It says to me that you are at least open to the idea of receiving something different.

In 4/2/2009 the Catholic Church came out and said that Reiki is “Unchristian”. Reiki & the Catholic Church I encourage you to read this article. I will be referring to it frequently.

Before I continue I want to say that I respect a person’s right to practice any faith of their choosing. This blog is in no way meant to offend. It is meant to clarify any information that was perceived incorrectly. Which unless you have taken the classes, practiced, or experienced it is very easy to do. Once again.. This article is not written from a place of judgement. In fact I was brought up Catholic.

Like with anything Reiki is what you make of it. It is important to know the history, but where you take it is up to you. It is the responsibility of the patient to find a practitioner that resonates with them. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. For a full description on Reiki please visit

The article that the Church posted is correct. Dr. Usui did study Buddhism. However, like I said before… It is where the practitioner takes it. There are a number of Catholic Reiki Practitioners. Even though it is not traditional Usui method a number of practitioners work with (call in) specific Arch Angels to help guide the healing session, and protect the space. For example the Arch Angels Micheal, and Raphael.

Reiki “has not been accepted by the scientific and medical communities as an effective therapy,” noted the guidelines. “Reputable scientific studies attesting to the efficacy of Reiki are lacking, as is a plausible scientific explanation as to how it could possibly be efficacious.” If you were to Google Reiki Studies you would come up with hundreds of scientific studies from reputable sources. It has been shown through Quantum Physics, and it is currently being used by the Department of Defense as a means of treatment for PTSD. Granted the Church wrote this in 2009, and the Reiki community has come a long way in a very short time.

The article goes on to explain. Nor can faith be the basis of this therapy, the bishops affirmed, as Reiki is different than the “divine healing known by Christians.” They explained, “The radical difference can be immediately seen in the fact that for the Reiki practitioner the healing power is at human disposal.” For Christians, they said, “access to divine healing is by prayer to Christ as Lord and Savior,” while Reiki is a technique passed from “master” to pupil, a method that will “reliably produce the anticipated results.” The article is correct. The practitioner is not using prayer to heal. However, every class a Reiki practitioner takes they receive an attunement from their Reiki Master. This attunement is NOT the Reiki Master transferring their energy. The Reiki Master is only helping your own body to become a better conduit for universal or source energy. Depending on your belief system some people view source energy as anything from universal energy to energy that they receive from a higher power (aka God, the Lord). Same thing different name.. All depends on your belief. It is the source energy that the practitioner is “tapping in to” in order to cause a healing response. Incidentally, both Zimmerman (1990) in the USA and Seto (1992) in Japan have scientifically proven that during a healing session the practitioner is generating 7-8 Hz of energy. If the average person can pray to have powers of the Lord heal someone, then why can they not act as a conduit for His energy and his will?

“Without justification either from Christian faith or natural science, however, a Catholic who puts his or her trust in Reiki would be operating in the realm of superstition, the no-man’s-land that is neither faith nor science. “Superstition corrupts one’s worship of God by turning one’s religious feeling and practice in a false direction. While sometimes people fall into superstition through ignorance, it is the responsibility of all who teach in the name of the Church to eliminate such ignorance as much as possible.”

Well that’s an interesting point of view. Reiki is in no way superstitious. Like with prayer, it works to lift you up to a higher vibration. By doing so it allows anything of a lesser vibration to drift out of your life. Like with prayer, you find yourself making choices that are for your highest and greatest good. You find yourself reacting differently in stressful situations. Like with prayer, Reiki makes you feel at peace with yourself and your surroundings. The difference is that it does it without having to BELIEVE in something. It’s great if it resonates with you on a spiritual level, but it is not necessary.

As a Reiki practitioner, I am an interesting mix of scientific and spiritual. I assure you that Reiki will not corrupt your soul or lead you into a realm of superstition. If you choose that Reiki is not for you I respect that. However, I do ask that this decision is made by reviewing all the facts. Do your research. Jesus never judged anyone. He believed in choice. The Church’s stance on things like Reiki and Yoga are man’s interpretation, not divine law.

As always, if you’re interested in learning more about Reiki, please contact us.

About the author

Teri Calandra

Teri Calandra Dipl.Acu, MSTOM, L.Ac., LMT, RMT

Teri began her studies in energy medicine as part of her own personal development journey, and continues to to learn and integrate that knowledge into her practice. Teri is the founding practitioner of Calandra Center for Health & Wellness in Schaumburg, Illinois. She is licensed by the State of Illinois in acupuncture (L.Ac.), and board certified through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).

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