Enhanced coherence within the theta band between pairs of brains engaging in experienced versus naïve Reiki procedures.
J Altern Complement Med. 2014 Aug ;20(8):649-53. Epub 2014 Jun 26. PMID: 24967637
Anabela Carraca Ventura
OBJECTIVES: The study objective was to discern whether the coherence between brain activities of the"patient"and practitioner differ between Reiki experts and novices.
RATIONALE: If the physical process associated with Reiki involves"convergence"between the practitioner and subject, then this congruence should be evident in time-dependent shared power within specific and meaningful frequency electroencephalographic bands.
DESIGN: Simultaneous quantitative electroencephalogram measures (19 channels) were recorded from 9 pairs of subjects when 1 of the pairs was an experienced Reiki practitioner or had just been shown the procedure. Pairs recorded their experiences and images.
SETTING/LOCATION: The"practitioner"and"patient"pairs were measured within a quiet, comfortable acoustic chamber.
OUTCOME MEASURES: Real-time correlations and coherence between pairs of brains for power (μV(2)·Hz(-1)) within the various frequency bands over the 10-min sessions were recorded and analyzed for each pair. Descriptors of experiences were analyzed for word meanings.
RESULTS: Only the coherence within the theta range increased over time between the brains of the Reiki pairs relative to the Sham pairs, particularly over the left hemisphere. The pleasantness-unpleasantness rating for the words employed to describe experiences written after the experiment were more congruent for the Reiki pairs compared to the reference pairs.
CONCLUSIONS: The increased synchronization of the cerebral activity of the participant and the practitioner during proximal therapies involving touch such as Reiki may be an important component of any subsequent beneficial effects.