Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Health Promotion

Department or School/College

Department of Health and Human Performance

Committee Chair

Laura Dybdal

Commitee Members

Annie Sondag , Gilbert Quintero


Attunement, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Health, Primary Prevention, Reiki, Self-Care


University of Montana


The purpose of this study was to understand the essence of becoming a Reiki practitioner and Reiki’s relationship to an individual’s personal health. The phenomenological research perspective utilized in this study allowed the data to speak for itself and represented the essence of Reiki and Reiki practitioners in Missoula, Montana. Ten Reiki practitioners were interviewed about their personal experience with Reiki. Interviewees were all volunteers, over the age of 18, who were trained in Reiki II or higher and had more than three years of experience practicing Reiki. Participants had practiced Reiki either on themselves or someone else regularly, which was defined as at least three times per week. Collection of the data was limited to participant disclosure of the phenomena to the researcher, and by memory recall of given events. Analysis of the interview transcripts produced comprehensive data from which several themes emerged. The themes that emerged were as follows: 1) Reasons for becoming a Practitioner, 2) Balance as Health, 3) Personal Growth, 4) Facilitator & Conduit, 5) Trust & Intuition, 6) Self-care, 7) Addressing Doubts and Validation, 8) Attunements and, 9) Sensations during a Reiki Session. These themes provided a context for examining health and healing outside the biomedical model. Reiki is grounded in Chinese medicine and provides an Eastern perspective to view health and medicine. Results of this study revealed that Reiki enhances the relationship between mind, body and spirit, and initiates a redefinition of health for practitioners. Results were consistent with previous research demonstrating a relationship between Reiki and decreased stress, anxiety, and increased coping skills. Consistent with the literature, results of this study illustrated that Reiki is an effective tool for self-care and primary prevention. Reiki is a health strategy that can be invoked by anyone, anywhere at any time. Reiki would be best modeled by Health Educators as a strategy for self-care and primary prevention in conjunction with Health Behavior theories such as the Health Belief Model. It is the hope of the researcher that through the application of Reiki, the shift in Western society from secondary and tertiary prevention to primary prevention and self-care will increase. Further research is suggested in the area of Reiki and self-care and healing practice.



© Copyright 2008 Tannis Mardece Hargrove