These are confusing times as people deal with restrictions and staying healthy during this pandemic. Many people are experiencing pandemic fatigue and anxiety. Many feel stressed due to the losses from Covid-19. During this time, people have been feeling socially isolated while unable to visit their friends and family.

Reiki, a healing practice that started in Japan, can help us deal with this stress and anxiety. Stress makes the nervous system go into “fight or flight” mode, secreting hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin. The body cannot easily heal and relax. Reiki practice changes this pattern and promotes healing and relaxation by stimulating the “rest and digest” part of the nervous system, which secretes dopamine, a feel-good hormone, and serotonin, a natural anti-depressant. Reiki helps people feel better and can help increase people’s immunity and resilience.

How can we access Reiki and reap the benefits that so many people are finding right now? Three options are described below.

In-person Treatment by a Reiki Practitioner

The client lies on a table or sits in a chair fully clothed while the practitioner moves through a series of light hand placements on the head, torso, back and extremities. Some practitioners choose not to touch the client during treatment. Responses to treatment vary individually, include feelings of warmth, coolness or tingling as well as increased well-being and relaxation. Clients report benefits such as better sleep, decreased pain, less anxiety, increased concentration and improved digestion. Chemotherapy patients often experience less nausea and fatigue.

In-person Reiki Classes

You can attend Reiki classes to learn to practice Reiki on yourselves and others. Various levels of Reiki are taught. Once you learn to practice Reiki, it will always be accessible for you to use, particularly if you self-practice daily.

Online and Distance Options

Depending on the practitioner, various arrangements are offered. Reiki self-practice in small groups with live, interactive videoconferences is taught online by Pamela Miles, an international Reiki Master and practitioner (visit Online classes to supplement and deepen your Reiki practice are taught by many practitioners.

In this time of stress, Reiki helps promote balance of mind and body. It helps people feel more grounded and focused. It can be practiced hands-on or remotely and can be used to send healing globally. Reiki practitioners have been connecting and practicing together online using platforms such as Zoom.

Reiki can be easily and successfully combined with conventional medical treatment. An increasing number of hospitals are offering Reiki treatments to patients. Medical professionals have observed the following from Reiki treatments: stabilized blood pressure and heart rate, easier breathing, normalized blood sugar, and faster recovery from surgery. A person can benefit from Reiki even if they are healthy.

During the pandemic, there has been an increase in pet ownership and gardening. As people care for their plants and animals, some are discovering that plants and animals can benefit from Reiki as well. Reported results are quite positive, including plants looking healthier and pets more relaxed.

Eileen Anderson, a CCRN alumnus, is a Reiki master who teaches Reiki and offers private treatment sessions in Wallingford, Orange and Middletown. Connect at 203-314-5401, and

Mary Kay Porter is a developmental editor with experience in writing, publishing and user interface design. She has been practicing and studying Reiki for over seven years.

Photo credit: astropix/