2020 GLOBAL REIKI SURVEY
We believe this to be the largest consumer Reiki survey to date with 1288 respondents covering 68 Countries. Our aim is to quantify the benefits of Reiki as reported by its users and look at any key success factors in utilising Reiki for more significant results.
Summary Key Findings:
1. Key Findings
1. Reiki is a Proven Tool to Increase Wellness and Decrease Stress
91% of respondents reported an improvement in overall wellness since beginning their Reiki practice, 92% reported increased feelings of peace, 87% reported more contentment, and 85% less stress. All these measures are several percentage points higher than the 2010 survey. Considering these questionnaires were filled out during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic is extraordinary, and a testament to the resilience and benefits of a Reiki self-practice.
2. Most Significant Benefits seen in Supporting Mental/Emotional Well-being
The most significant benefits are seen around measures of mental/emotional well-being, 87% reported less anger, 86% less anxiety and worry, and 84% more happiness. The thousands of personal stories shared in this survey support this with anecdotal evidence of personal empowerment, life balance and transformation. Reiki has been life-changing for so many of the respondents.
3. Reiki helps Physical Health and Lifestyle changes too
The breadth of improvements reported with Reiki is what is impressive. Reiki affects all areas of wellness including physical illness and pain. 80% of respondents found they suffered from less colds/flu, 72% saw improvements in headaches/migraines and 69% in muscle cramp/pain. 66% reported improved sleep. As a simple method for self-help, the results indicate a huge variety of applications.
4. The Key to Success is a Regular Reiki Self-practice
Self-practice was the key parameter for success, and it appears cumulative – the more Reiki a respondent does, over time, the better the reported results. Respondents who did more weekly hours of self-practice gained the most significant benefits. However, compared to the 2010 survey, 2020 saw respondents doing less Reiki per week on average yet reporting on average better results. This indicates shorter self-practice still yields positive results.
5. Online or Face to Face Reiki Education is Equally Effective
The vast majority of respondents reported improvements irrespective of their Reiki education methods. Those who learned Reiki online, face to face or a mixture of the two all reported similarly excellent results. This is great news for both Reiki teachers and students in the time of COVID-19. The way respondents learned how to apply their Reiki practice does not appear to impact the results they achieve.
6. Shorter Time spent in Reiki Education is Trending
The trend appears to be moving towards shorter hours for Reiki education. The traditional way of teaching Reiki as a weekend workshop and many months for Reiki Master training may be shifting. This is an unfolding and changing evolution and much has changed in the past ten years. The data suggests that these changes do not appear to be to the detriment of Reiki’s benefits.
7. Recommendations for the Reiki Teacher Community
There are recommendations for best practices to help our Reiki community gain more significant improvements. There are trends that point to:
Ongoing Teacher support after class positively impacts reported benefits
Training of a day or more may be better than a few hours for Levels 1, 2 and 3
Longer Reiki Master training of a week or more may be better than a few hours, and Reiki Masters with many months of training report the best results
Face to Face trained Reiki Masters are more likely to become teachers than Online trained Reiki Masters
However, it is important to note that these recommendations and the results given in this report are given to help boost improvements even more. It would seem that overall, simply learning Reiki in whatever form is attractive to the respondent, and then applying it as a regular self-practice, is enough to quantify improvements to their well-being.
Deepest gratitude and thanks to all the Reiki respondents for their time and efforts, we hope that the questionnaire was also an inspiration of how much benefit we receive from our Reiki practice.
Many thanks to the following organisations and webpages who disseminated the questionnaire link amongst their members and communities:
Reiki Rays https://reikirays.com/
The Usui Reiki Association https://www.usuireikiassociation.com/
Reiki Conciliation https://reiki-conciliation.org/
The Reiki Network https://reikinetwork.org/
Reiki Evolution https://www.reiki-evolution.co.uk/
Reiki Home https://reikihome.org/
Global Reiki Webinars https://www.facebook.com/groups/GlobalReikiWebinars/
Thank you to the individuals and Reiki teachers who shared the links within your own Reiki communities.
Enormous thanks to the following people for all your help pulling these findings together!
Anne Marie Brooks
Shee Li Kuang
Gitta Van Roy
Sharing these Summary Findings
You are welcome to share these summary findings, charts and tables provided they are shared without any edits or changes. Please copy the acknowledgment two lines below with a link back to:
Author: Elaine Hamilton Grundy, The Reiki Centre
Aims of the Survey
Reiki is a subjective and personal inward journey, encouraging the person to grow, discover their inner life, and rebalance themselves. It is not something we can scientifically replicate in a laboratory. Scientific studies may have their place in a narrow band of research on Reiki, but consumer research highlights the overall and true value of a Reiki practice. The main aims of the 2020 survey were to:
Gather personal perceptions and experiences to help quantify evidence of the benefits of Reiki.
Understand the key criteria for successfully utilizing Reiki to provide the maximum benefits.
Gather Reiki usage and education data to help guide best practices within the Reiki community.
The survey questionnaire was online from 27th April to 2nd June 2020. A total of 1288 respondents started the survey using the online software provided by www.surveymonkey.com. Of those, we report data on the most complete responses (there was some drop out before final completion of the questionnaire). Data reported varies from n=1180 to 1288 response counts. The demographic data reported is at n=1180. Note percentage data has been rounded to the nearest whole number so charts may vary by 1 percentage point from reported numbers.
Survey links were publicised via a variety of online methods including social media, email campaigns and Reiki websites. The sampling methodology is not a randomized or representative sample of all Reiki practitioners globally.
The questionnaire was designed to measure perceptions of the benefits of Reiki across three areas of wellness: general or lifestyle; physical issues; and mental/emotional measures. Improvement ratings used a five-point scale from significantly worse to significantly improved.
The educational aspects of Reiki collected data on training with more than one Reiki teacher; style of Reiki learned; delivery method of training (online or face to face); length of training; and additional support provided by the Reiki teacher. Note the terminology “training” simply means the process of learning Reiki.
Demographic and usage data were also collected, namely age; gender; country of residence; years of Reiki experience; hours of self-practice per week; and level of Reiki training.
Other data was collected on how respondents typically use their Reiki, if they feel sensations during Reiki practice, and open-ended questions to gather case studies and personal experiences.
Demographics of Survey
The survey covered 68 countries but was only offered in English so is skewed towards English speaking countries. The top five countries make up 75% of the respondents: United States of America (30% n=351), United Kingdom (22% n=259), India (8% n=100), Singapore (8% n=93) and Canada (7% n=83)
The survey respondents are heavily female dominated (83%) with an older age demographic, 78% of respondents are between 41-70 years of age.
This survey represents a high degree of Reiki experience with professional Reiki teachers making up 25% of respondents, and 36% being professional healers (many within these categories do both). This experience is also reflected in the high level of Reiki training attainment and number of years of self-Reiki. It is expected that this group of respondents would be positively biased towards Reiki.
1. High Level of Reiki Education
The level of education training is very high, 72% of respondents are either Level 3 or Reiki Masters.
2. Many Years of Reiki Experience
Respondents have many years of experience with Reiki, almost half have seven or more years’ experience.
3. Regular Reiki self-practice
Looking at the number of hours per week respondents are applying self-Reiki, the majority are doing some form of weekly practice, only 23% do an hour or less per week.
There has been a proliferation of styles of Reiki over the past decade as well as the growing online availability of Reiki classes. We wanted to map the education trends and see if this impacted the results reported by respondents. Note the phrase “Reiki training” refers to how the respondent was taught Reiki and does not assume any level of competency apart from what the respondent reports. The attunements were not investigated in this survey.
1. Style of Reiki Education
The questionnaire did ask for Reiki style, for example Usui Shiki Ryoho, Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, Jikiden. The majority of respondents (53%) reported Usui Shiki Ryoho, 10% reported the newer Japanese lineage styles, 29% reported Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai. 15% were unsure and 20% reported other styles. However, on deeper investigation of the “Other styles” it became clear there was some confusion over style names and perhaps a confusion over the differences between Usui Shiki Ryoho and Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai. To avoid trending incorrect data we have not included any deeper investigation of the styles of training in this survey.
2. Training with Different Reiki Teachers
37% of respondents varied their training with different teachers – the main reasons being to broaden their knowledge, to move to a teacher or Reiki style that they felt more connected with, or because of circumstances/location/availability.
Those who trained with different teachers were more likely to be Reiki Masters (77% who answered Yes are Reiki Masters) and more likely to have seven or more years of Reiki experience (64% who answered Yes have seven or more years of Reiki experience).
3. Online Learning is Growing
The online learning platform is of particular interest as it is such a new phenomenon. Overall 11% of respondents trained online, but this appears to be trending over time. The chart and table below show the rise of online learning with 34% of respondents with less than a year of Reiki experience choosing online learning. This could also be due to COVID-19 and the lack of availability of face to face alternatives.
Online education is evenly distributed throughout the Reiki Levels. Respondents tend to have less years of Reiki experience which would be expected given the recent growth of online methods. Online trained respondents were more likely to combine Reiki 1 and 2 in the same training (30% as opposed to 10% of face to face trained respondents).
Online methods also had longer training hours at Level 1,2,3 than face to face trained respondents but shorter at Reiki Master level. This shorter training at Reiki Master Level may also account for the low percentage of online trained Reiki Masters who were professional Reiki teachers (only 7% versus 44% of face to face trained Reiki Masters).
4. Most Teachers Provide Support After Class
The vast majority of Reiki teachers provided support for their students after class with only 14% having no further interaction. The most common forms of support were social media (71%), email or phone support when required (56%) and gatherings (both face to face (52%) and online (34%)). This support is also seen to have a positive impact on results, respondents with ongoing interactions with their teacher reported more significant benefits than those with no further teacher interactions.
5. Length of Reiki Education is Getting Shorter
The most common training was one or two days for Reiki Level 1 and 2, with a much wider range of hours for Reiki 3 and Master. This appears to be trending towards shorter hours; respondents with less than three years’ experience are more likely to take up shorter courses.
The chart below looks at Reiki 1 training where a clear trend sees a decline of two-day workshops and a rise of one day or shorter training.
Greatest Benefits of Reiki
The chart below highlights the changes reported by respondents. Mental/emotional measures see a higher percentage of reported improvement than physical and lifestyle changes.
An extraordinary 92% of respondents reported more peace, 91% improved overall wellness and 87% better contentment. 87% reported less anger, 85% less stress and 86% less anxiety/worry. This is taken from the top two ranks “has improved” and “has improved significantly”. Note due to rounding percentages to the nearest whole number, chart data may differ by one percent.
It is worth pointing out that improvements are seen across all measures, including improved sleep and diet. Physical health improvements, less back pain and headaches were also reported. These results really speak for themselves, the wide range and breadth of improvement seen across all measures sets Reiki up as an ideal “all-rounder” for overall wellness.
Key Success Criteria for Utilizing Reiki
1. Reiki Self-Practice is Key
The number of hours per week a respondent does their self-practice provides a strong correlation with the level of significant results they see. i.e. the more self-practice, the better your results.
Note that 82% of all Respondents who do less than an hour of Reiki per week still report improvement, so the difference is in the level of significant improvement. Reiki practice at any level will give results, but for those looking for significant improvements, the more the better.
In this regard, it is more accurate to see the following key success criteria as recommendations for increasing the effectiveness of a Reiki practice. But do bear in mind that the findings indicate any practice, or education of Reiki is having a positive impact. This in itself is a remarkable finding.
2. Reiki Benefits Cumulate Quickly
The chart illustrates respondents who do 4 or more hours of Reiki self-practice per week compared with respondents who do 3 hours or less. It is clear here that those who are doing more self-practice achieve significant results immediately and then continue to improve over time.
Those doing less hours achieve less significant results even after ten years of practice as compared with a “Heavy” user after one year. This points to the importance of encouraging a regular and ongoing weekly self-practice. Even half an hour per day would yield significant and fast results.
3. Reiki Community and Support Helps
There is evidence that continuing support after class plays a part in respondents reported success with Reiki. As a Reiki teacher this would suggest building in a support system is advantageous to students, and as a student it would suggest that seeking an ongoing Reiki community helps to increase results. It could be hypothesised that a feeling of community helps to encourage a regular Reiki self-practice and feeling of well-being.
This slight advantage is seen across all the wellbeing measures of physical, mental and emotional improvements.
Reiki Education is Changing
The education of Reiki has changed and diversified dramatically over the past decade. Online courses have developed and appear to be flourishing, different styles and lineages have become more popular, and a much broader variety of training times has developed.
Although the traditional face to face one- or two-day workshop is still very prevalent, when looked at over time there are indications that diversity is growing. Of note is that this does not appear to be damaging the effectiveness of Reiki. In fact, when comparing results with education it is hard to find trends. It would appear that Reiki education differences are not particularly correlated to results achieved.
1. Online Reiki Education Equally Effective
Online versus face to face delivery methods do not significantly differ in the results reported. The table looks at the total response by delivery method, combining both ratings “has improved” and “has improved significantly”.
The similarity in breakdown is also seen at each rating point, i.e. Significant improvement is similar in both face to face and online delivery methods. Due to the small sample size of online respondents we could not delve further, but our initial observation is that the online methods of education help respondents achieve very similar results to face to face workshops.
This is important news during the COVID-19 pandemic as it means people can still learn and benefit from Reiki whilst social distancing. It is expected that this method of learning will continue to grow over the next decade.
2. Length of Reiki Training at Levels 1,2,3 Not a Key Factor in Results
There is some indication that those respondents with a few hours training at Levels 1,2,3 do not report as much improvement as those with longer training, but this is not across the board. For overall wellness and physical pain one to two day training report better results. But for emotional/mental improvement the correlation is less clear.
The table below looks at the total response by Reiki Level 1,2 and 3 by length of training, combining both ratings “has improved” and “has improved significantly”.
Note: when the degrees of improvement are investigated, we see a pattern illustrated in the charts below. Although respondents with “a few hours” training report the highest ‘no change’ or ‘worse now’ they also report the highest ‘significant improvement’. This pattern is seen throughout the measures.
These results caution against jumping to conclusions around length of Reiki training as a factor for success, particularly at Levels 1,2 or 3. Unfortunately the small sample size does not allow for deeper analysis.
Note the sample size is small for the sub-category “A Few Hours” N=45 so is indicative only.
The same pattern is seen throughout the mental/emotional measures, note the small sample size of “A few hours” N=58
These results indicate that it is more important what the student does with Reiki afterwards rather than the time spent learning Reiki.
3. Longer Training at Reiki Master Level Reports Better Results
At Reiki Master Level there would appear to be more indication that length of training correlates to reported results. However, this could also be demographic - longer lengths of training are traditionally what occurred within the older Reiki Master community. This community is also more likely to do more hours of self-Reiki per week and have been doing Reiki for more years.
The charts below plot the same measures Muscle cramp/pain and Self-love to highlight these differences at the Reiki Master Level. Indicatively this would suggest longer training at Reiki Master Level has benefits for the respondents.
These results are fascinating, especially when considering the difficult times we live in.
During this time of uncertainty there are many important things we need to be doing to keep resilient, calm, healthy and happy. Could it be that Reiki provides all these answers in one easy to use package?
This survey would say YES!
The results speak for themselves and confirm not only the efficacy of Reiki but also the breadth of success – Reiki self-practice sees improvement on many levels of wellness across all mind, body, spirit paradigms. A truly holistic self-help therapy.
If you are already Reiki trained the results urge a consistent, regular self-practice. Even half an hour a day will see wonderful results. Other tips gleaned from this survey is to join a Reiki community or leverage on whatever your Reiki teacher is offering to stay connected and motivated. And finally keep learning, reading and growing your practice. Keep an open mind and move with Reiki’s evolution, as the teaching of Reiki moves into the 21st Century be willing to try out new ways of practice and come into your own truth as to how you want to learn. No 'one way' is seen to be correct and ‘right’, the only aspect of importance is your own personal self-practice.
If you are curious about Reiki and see the results as inspiring, when looking for a teacher - the style and length of training, or whether it is online or face to face is your own matter of choice. There is no ‘right’ way of learning Reiki apart from the one that will encourage you the most and set you up for a life-long self-practice. When looking at the choices think about what will best suit your own learning style and how you would want to be supported afterwards. A smaller more intimate face to face group in your hometown may be perfect for you if you are not comfortable online. But if you are ready to launch into the online world then an international teacher with a wider experience and breadth of knowledge may attract you more. Coming into your own truth and your own preference is what the practice of Reiki invites in everyone, and it is wonderful to have it confirmed empirically through the feedback of 1,288 people.
A few quotes from our open-ended responses sum it up perfectly!
“Reiki changed my life”
“Wow just wow I have never felt so good. Feeling balanced and so much peace”
“It is impossible to describe the improvements in my life connected to Reiki: my entire life has changed, being transformed and elevated by the constant presence of Reiki”
“I am more centred, confident and at ease”
“It has been a journey of self-discovery. I am calm, more at peace and patient”
“I know who I am”.