Reiki is considered a healing method, which works by channeling and transmitting vital energy through the laying on of hands. Part of the basis that everything that exists is energy.
One of the practices that is spreading the most in the West along with Yoga is Reiki. This current belongs to the so-called “New Age disciplines” and it is already something that was gaining adherents with great force in today's society.
Catholic people are not oblivious to this reality, many of them, out of ignorance, practice it or have practiced it at some time. The word "Reiki" is of Sanskrit origin and its meaning is divided into two: REI means universal energy and KI, vital energy.
For Reiki followers, when someone feels sick or depressed, it indicates that their energy is "out of balance." Consequently, it is the Reiki practitioner's function to channel positive energy towards the person, to bring them back to a state of balance and integrity.
What problems does Reiki present for the Church?
We can talk about two types of problems that this method has:
1) Spiritual-theological problems.
Reiki is related to pantheism (doctrine and belief according to which everything that exists participates in the divine nature because God is immanent in the world), with which it teaches that man is a simple emanation of the “cosmic divine energy. Everything that exists participates in this energy, everything is God.
With which for Reiki, we have not been created by God, but everything comes from a cosmic energy, and making the idea of a Divine Creator Being of the world disappear. The Bible to the contrary teaches that God created everything that exists.
In addition, Reiki affirms that the principle of life of all men is Ki, the energy of life, when this energy goes, man dies. But for Christians, man is made up of soul and body, this is a biblical truth also confirmed by the Catechism. Therefore there is a theological error and that is that God has never been defined in the Christian faith as energy.
All this makes reiki a magical practice and its followers superstitious because they believe in something that has no scientific basis.
What has the Church said about Reiki?
In a document called "Guidelines for the Evaluation of Reiki as Alternative Therapy," published in March 2009, the North American Episcopal Conference argued that the practice of this method is not based on science or faith and corrupts the worship of God. Also from the institution highlighted that "the Church recognizes two kinds of healing: healing by divine grace and healing that uses the powers of nature", which "do not exclude each other."
2) Medical-scientific problems.
For science, the "vital energy" of Reiki is undetectable, there is no proof that it exists. Even if it did exist, and if the Reikists knew how to "drive" it, there is no proof that they cure with it.
However, the use of Reiki in hospitals, clinics and health centers around the world is an indisputable fact and its recognition as a complementary therapy confirms its effectiveness as a real tool, going beyond a simple placebo or suggestion therapy.
Some scientists argue that if a "bridge" could be made between science and spirituality it would go a long way toward improving the lives of all of us.