Health & Harmony

Bringing Reiki, life and wellbeing to Galashiels and the rest of the Scottish Borders

Reiki Research and Stress Reduction

Reiki has been shown to work on rats, and to reverse the effects of gut leakage caused by stress. In this research project, Reiki was compared with ‘sham-Reiki’ and a control group. Reiki reduced leakage significantly compared with the two other groups. The research indicates that Reiki could be used to reduce the environmental stress experienced by laboratory animals and also for hospital patients. The project was run by Ann Baldwin PhD, who wrote the following while on a research trip to Bristol:

“I am a professor at the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA and during the last few years I have become concerned about the environment in which animals (mainly rodents) are housed for research. I have also become interested in Reiki. Although most facilities are extremely clean and the animals are free of disease, the environment is often extremely noisy and I have shown that this type of noise actually causes inflammation of the animals’ blood vessels and intestine (Wilson and Baldwin, Microcirculation 5, 299-308, 1998; Wilson and Baldwin, Microcirculation 6, 189-198, 1999). In addition, more often than not, rodents are housed in tiny cages with little or no enrichment. There is evidence to show that noisy and/or Spartan conditions affect the scientific data obtained from rodents and so confound experimental results. I came to Bristol for a month to study a technique to measure stress hormones in rodents so that I can provide data to show that the animals are stressed by such living conditions. By doing this, I hope to improve the welfare of research animals and the validity of the data obtained from them.

How does Reiki fit into this? Well, one reason that I jumped at the chance of learning Reiki was to see whether it would help the rats that are stressed by excessive noise. The answer was yes!  Of course, when I arrived in Bristol one of the first things I did was to search the Internet for a Reiki group because I was curious about Reiki in England. I would be interested to know if there are any other scientists who read this and are using Reiki in their experiments.”

Ann Baldwin PhD

Ann Baldwin PhD

Personal Interaction with a Reiki Practitioner Decreases Noise-Induced Microvascular Damage in an Animal Model

J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Jan-Feb;12(1):15-22.
Ann L. Baldwin, Ph.D.
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
Gary E. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology, Centre for Frontier Medicine in Biofield Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

To determine whether Reiki, a process of transmission of healing energy, can significantly reduce microvascular leakage caused by exposure to excessive noise using an animal model.

Reiki is beginning to be used in hospitals to accelerate recovery. Despite many anecdotes describing Reiki’s success, few scientific studies are reported and none of those use animals. Animal models have the advantage over human subjects in that they provide well-controlled, easily interpretable experiments. The use of noise is relevant to hospital patients because of the excessive ambient noise in hospitals in the United Kingdom and United States. Loud noise can lead to several nonauditory disorders in humans and animals that impair recovery. In the rat, stress from noise damages the mesenteric microvasculature, leading to leakage of plasma into the surrounding tissue.

One group of four rats simultaneously received daily noise and Reiki, while two other groups received “sham” Reiki or noise alone. A fourth group did not receive noise or additional treatment. The experiment was performed three times to test for reproducibility.

Outcome Measures:
Average number and area of microvascular leaks to fluorescent albumin per unit length of venule.

In all three experiments, Reiki significantly reduced the outcome measures compared to the other noise groups (sham Reiki and noise alone) (p < 0.01).

Application of Reiki significantly reduces noise-induced microvascular leakage in an animal model. Whether or not these effects are caused by Reiki itself, or the relaxing effect of the Reiki practitioner, this procedure could be useful for minimizing effects of environmental stress on research animals and hospital patients.

 To learn more about Ann Baldwin, please see:

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