The US Catholic bishops laid out several reasons why Reiki can be spiritually harmful.
Reiki is a popular alternative healing service that has its origin in Japanese-Buddhist culture and seeks to help individuals relax as well as heal.
According to William Rand, founder and president of the International Center for Reiki Training, “Rei is the all-knowing God-Consciousness and Ki is life energy, which animates all living things. According to Rand, the free and balanced flow of Ki is the cause of health. Blocks, or disruptions in the flow of Ki, are the main cause of illness.”
Many Christians connect with this spirituality and become trained in the art of Reiki with the belief that it is in accord with Christian teaching.
However, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement a few years ago about the spiritual dangers of Reiki.
They believe that Reiki does not have the scientific credibility to be used as a natural means of healing. This means that the methods used are not based on medical science, but on a belief in a spiritual power. While some believe this power comes from God, the method of Reiki is not in accord with divine healing as seen in the Bible.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that for Christians the access to divine healing is by prayer to Christ as Lord and Savior, while the essence of Reiki is not a prayer but a technique that is passed down from the “Reiki Master” to the pupil, a technique that once mastered will reliably produce the anticipated results. Some practitioners attempt to Christianize Reiki by adding a prayer to Christ, but this does not affect the essential nature of Reiki. For these reasons, Reiki and other similar therapeutic techniques cannot be identified with what Christians call healing by divine grace.
The bishops conclude by warning Christians of the dangers behind using such a practice.
In terms of caring for one’s spiritual health, there are important dangers. To use Reiki
one would have to accept at least in an implicit way central elements of the worldview that undergirds Reiki theory, elements that belong neither to Christian faith nor to natural science. Without justification either from Christian faith or natural science, however, a Catholic who puts his or her trust in Reiki would be operating in the realm of superstition, the no-man’s-land that is neither faith nor science. Superstition corrupts one’s worship of God by turning one’s religious feeling and practice in a false direction.
While it may seem like Reiki can be used in a Christian context, its origin and central spiritual teaching are at odds with Christianity and can lead a person away from God, invoking alternative spiritual powers to produce a desired result.
If we seek bodily healing from God, the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has been passed down to us throughout the centuries and administered through the hands of a priest, can strengthen our resolve and authentically heal us, body and soul.