Long-Distance Reiki: Healing Energy That Transcends Space and Time

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Energy Therapy

Long-Distance Reiki: Healing Energy That Transcends Space and Time

Suzanne Wentley September 22, 2021
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash (article on long-distance Reiki)
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash


Imagine a type of healing energy sent from a practitioner in San Diego to a woman in New York City with chronic insomnia. Now imagine that woman sleeping through the night. Imagine that woman is no longer debilitated by anxiety. Perhaps this scenario sounds unrealistic or even a little bit crazy, but such processes exist and are supported by some scientific research. Reiki is a great example.

What Is Reiki?

Reiki is a healing practice that dates back to the 1920s in Japan.1,2 Based on the concept that universal healing energy exists and can be accessed and channeled to others by trained practitioners, Reiki supports self-healing, alleviates physical and emotional suffering, and often generates positive feelings and happiness among those who receive it.3

Within Reiki practice, everyone is capable of connecting with this energetic power through a process known as attunement, a practice in which two or more people seek to establish an energy circuit with each other and universal energy.

What Is Remote or Long-Distance Reiki?

Some scholars have described distance healing techniques as “a compassionate mental act directed toward the health and wellbeing of a distant person”4 and include numerous modalities including intercessory prayerenergy healing, quantum touch, and others.4

Although Reiki is most often administered through an in-person, hands-on treatment while fully clothed recipients sit or lie down, it can also be practiced remotely. Long-distance Reiki, also known as remote Reiki, does not require recipients to be in the same location.

Through four levels of attunement, recipients learn from highly trained and experienced teachers to access and connect with universal energy. Reiki practitioners learn to administer long-distance Reiki in the second level of attunement. Instead of directly transferring Reiki energy through touch, practitioners can use their thoughts and intentions to move energy into a recipient’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and even physical being.5

What’s more, Reiki can also be sent through time to situations that occurred in the past and events that will happen in the future. For people who struggle with acceptance of past trauma or worry excessively about future scenarios, a Reiki treatment can facilitate healing and help manifest future betterment.

Let’s say a client with an eating disorder, which they attribute to a controlling boss at a former job, contacts me from another country. By sending Reiki to that past relationship, the client can release the anxieties that stem from this lack of control. By feeling more in control of their life, they can begin to incorporate healthier food habits.

Long-distance Reiki can also be used during in-person sessions for clients who are not comfortable with being touched. Practitioners, like myself, see remote Reiki as just as powerful.

How Does a Long-Distance Reiki Healing Session Work?

Long-distance Reiki works best when recipients are in relaxed environments. Places of work, areas with distractions, and other spaces with stressors are discouraged. Depending on the situation, treatments usually take between 10 minutes and 1 hr.

As a Reiki master who has facilitated scores of remote treatments, I prefer first to call a client directly to ensure they’re in a comfortable, quiet location. This also creates an opportunity for us to discuss anything they wish to focus on for the treatment. Then I ask the client to rest and prepare to receive energy.

To initiate treatment, I incorporate secret, sacred symbols that I was given through the attunement process to allow energy to flow through physical and temporal dimensions. Then, I place my open palms facing one another and imagine placing my hands on each of the seven chakras, or energetic centers, within the client’s body. Some practitioners use an object, such as a teddy bear, as a substitute for a client’s body.

When I complete the process, I call the client back and ask them about their experience and feelings. They often describe a warm, relaxing sensation. Some will tell me they felt an emotional release. Others say they were so calm they drifted to sleep. Some clients have vivid visualizations that relate to their life circumstances.

After they’ve shared, I share my experience. I often see bright colors, feel warmth in my hands, and even intuitively know some homework I’ll encourage my clients to complete. Recently, a client complained of her ankles hurting and mentioned she recently moved. After the treatment, I asked her if she still had unpacked boxes in her house. She did. I encouraged her to unpack fully; this would support her root chakra, which, when unbalanced, can contribute to ankle, knee, and leg pain.

The Potential Benefits of Long-Distance Reiki

At its most basic, a Reiki treatment is highly relaxing. Because all illness arises from some form of stress on the body, reducing stress through relaxation is a fundamental step in the healing process.From there, practitioners can balance life-force energy, also known as chi or prana, which can often get blocked or pool excessively in areas of the body. According to the principles of Reiki, we are better able to progress in health and life when we allow energy to flow.

The list of potential benefits includes but is not limited to

  • reducing physical pain caused by several ailments, including dental surgery and chronic pain conditions;7
  • alleviating anxiety;7
  • managing depression;7
  • lowering heart rate and blood pressure;8 and
  • strengthening the immune system.8

Long-distance Reiki also offers a productive alternative to hands-on healing. Although some people presume that remote Reiki treatments aren’t as effective as in-person sessions, long-distance energy healing can be better in certain situations.

If a client has experienced physical assault or is uncomfortable with touch for any reason, long-distance Reiki may be more appropriate. Similarly, long-distance treatment is undoubtedly their best bet if a client lives somewhere without any Reiki practitioners.

I have also found that being alone while undergoing a self-healing process can be extremely powerful. This type of treatment often minimizes people’s worries about social dynamics, which inhibit their ability to have an emotional or verbal release. Not everyone is comfortable crying in the presence of someone else, even if that person is a healer.

In contrast, hands-on healing is excellent for those who are skeptical of Reiki. Clients who are new to Reiki may also benefit from touch-based therapy, which in itself can be a powerful healing practice — especially for those who lack enough loving touch in their lives.9 Being in the same room as a practitioner can make the experience feel more concrete, even though remote sessions can be just as or even more effective.

The Effectiveness of Long-Distance Reiki

Through training, practitioners can reach back in time to address and heal traumatizing issues from the past or help with future success. Research studies in neuroplasticity and growth-mindset psychology have shown that Reiki enables this kind of energy manipulation.10,11 Developments in neuroplasticity allow for increased recovery in the brain, especially following disease or injury.10 Practicing growth-mindset principles also allows for learning and development to occur.11

Entanglement theory argues that energy transcends space and time. Honorary Professor at the University of Plymouth School of Psychology Michael E. Hyland writes in his 2003 paper that12

extended Network Generalized Entanglement Theory (Entanglement Theory for short) combines two earlier theories based on complexity theory and quantum mechanics. The theory’s assumptions are: the body is a complex, self-organizing system (the extended network) that self-organizes to achieve genetically defined patterns (where patterns include morphologic and lifestyle patterns). These pattern-specifying genes require feedback that is provided by generalized quantum entanglement.

Entanglement can be used in healing as a way to communicate between people or animals.12 Even when separated by a significant distance, energetic particles can connect and communicate.

Reiki requires more scientific research to understand better how it works. Research shows a noticeable change of temperature in a Reiki healer’s hands during a treatment session. The Reiki practitioner’s and their client’s brain waves synchronize with one another and the earth’s magnetic field. This synchronicity is reminiscent of states of meditation and relaxation. Additionally, the size of the biomagnetic field around a Reiki healer’s hands increases.13

Even though several scientific studies support the effectiveness of Reiki and energetic healing therapies in general,4,14 there are many skeptics of Reiki and, even more so, remote Reiki. As a Reiki master, I can say long-distance Reiki is highly effective.

That said, if you’re like anyone I’ve ever worked with, you may not believe me until you’ve tried it yourself. If a client is open to the possibilities of Reiki, it can be very effective, in person or remotely. If a client has already predetermined that it’s just not going to work, however, it may be a waste of time instead of an opportunity to heal.


  1. Rand, W. R. (n.d.). An evidence-based history of Reiki. International Center for Reiki Training.
  2. Petter, F. A. (1998). Reiki: The legacy of Dr. Usui. Lotus Press.
  3. Stein, D. (2011). Essential Reiki: A complete guide to an ancient healing art. Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed.
  4. Baur, C., Radin, D., & Schlitz, M. (2018). Distant healing intervention therapies: An overview of scientific evidence. Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 4, 67–71.
  5. Lipinski, K. (n.d.). Distant healing and the human energy field. International Center for Reiki Training.
  6. Salleh, M. R. (2008). Life event, stress and illness. Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, 15(4), 9–18.
  7. Billot, M., Daycard, M., Tchalla, A., & Wood, C. (2019). Reiki therapy for pain, anxiety and quality of life. BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care, 9(4), 434–438.
  8. Miles, P. (n.d.). How does Reiki work? University of Minnesota.
  9. Keltner, D. (2010, September 29). Hands on research: The science of touch. Greater Good Magazine.
  10. Voss, P., Thomas, M. E., Cisneros-Franco, J. M., & de Villers-Sidani, E. (2017). Dynamic brains and the changing rules of neuroplasticity: Implications for learning and recovery. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, Article 1657.
  11. Fraser, D. M. (2018). An exploration of the application and implementation of growth mindset principles within a primary school. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 645–658.
  12. Hyland, M. E. (2004). Extended network generalized entanglement theory: Therapeutic mechanisms, empirical predictions, and investigations. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 9(6), 919–936.
  13. Burden, B., Herron-Marx, S., Hicks, C., & Price-Knol, F. (2008). A systematic review of the use of Reiki in health care. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 14(1), 37–42.
  14. McManus, D. E. (2017). Reiki is better than placebo and has broad potential as a complementary health therapy. Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, 22(4), 1051–1057.

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