There is no harm in using Reiki as a complement to traditional treatments for patients with mesothelioma and other types of cancer. If it helps individuals to feel better, then it is worthwhile. There is, though, some important evidence from research that Reiki really does improve some of the symptoms of cancer, and that it does actually reduce stress and help patients feel more relaxed and at peace with being sick.
In one study, researchers surveyed and measured the results of Reiki sessions on over 200 cancer patients. The quantitative measurements evaluated the patients’ distress, while the surveys asked for self-reported evaluations of each patient’s depression, anxiety, fatigue, and pain. The results determined that the patients experienced significant reductions in all of these and that they enjoyed the sessions and wanted to continue with them in the future.
Self-reporting studies can be problematic, but other studies have taken a more quantitative approach to evaluating the effects of Reiki on cancer patients. In one study, the researchers compared the effects of Reiki sessions to sessions that involved rest only as a restorative technique. This study found that the patients experienced significant reductions in fatigue and that all reported better quality of life after Reiki sessions.
Another study looked at pain in cancer patients and how Reiki impacted pain and the use of opioid painkillers to manage pain. The patients that were given Reiki sessions experienced less pain but did not use any less of their painkillers. One hypothesis for how Reiki affects pain is that it changes a person’s perception of pain. Because there is no physical touch or manipulation of muscles, it is difficult to explain the results. It may simply be that the power of suggestion helps people feel as if they are experiencing less pain.