LifeSpark Research

2022 Fifteen Nurse Resilience Study

Reiki is a self-care tool widely used by Reiki practitioners to stay calm and relaxed. Supporting nurses with this versatile and easy-to-use tool could help them be less stressed and provide better care, supporting the cancer patients we serve.

In 2021-2022, LifeSpark conducted a COMIRB-approved research project at UCHealth Anschutz Cancer Center. We trained fifteen oncology nurses to use Reiki as a self-care tool over a four-month time period.   This study used the CD-RIS survey to evaluate resilience before and after the training.  Notable improvements in resilience were recorded at the end of the four-month Reiki training and three—and six-month intervals after the training.

To see the full details, go to Reiki Resilience Study.

2019 Five Nurse Pilot Program

In early 2020, we organized a four-month class for five oncology nurses in the UCHealth Anschutz Cancer Infusion Center, teaching Reiki as a self-care tool. We used the Connor Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RIS) as our pre-post measure.  Evaluations showed a 17% increase in the nurses’ median resilience scores at the end of the program. Feedback from the nurses was also very positive.

2021 Survey of Remote Sessions

Before COVID-19, all sessions were conducted in person. However, in March 2020, LifeSpark switched to remote/distant sessions to keep everyone safe. In July 2020, we began emailing surveys to our program recipients on the first week of each month.

Between July 1, 2020, and June 31, 2021, 1,837 distant sessions were delivered to 164 people, and 208 surveys were completed. Participants reported that stress, pain, and depression were the top issues.  On a five-point scale, 91% rated the distant sessions as either 4 or 5 for helping a lot.

2019 Pre-Post Session Survey at UCHealth

In 2019, the last full year of LifeSpark’s presence at UCHealth Anschutz Cancer Center before COVID-19, we provided 719 sessions in their Infusion Center. Their staff created a before and after self-report survey for patients receiving our therapies. Thirty-five patients participated, and their responses reported that pain dropped by about a third, and stress and anxiety dropped by about two-thirds after just one session.

2012 LifeSpark Study with 108 individuals with cancer

A number of years ago, we conducted an informal study of our weekly hands-on program. 108 LifeSpark participants completed in-person surveys before the first and twelfth sessions. (At that time, our program was three months long.) Results showed statistically significant improvements in physical and emotional states. Depression, somatization, anxiety, and fatigue decreased while physical well-being, functional well-being, and peace/meaning improved.

Research by others

  • Over 150 studies demonstrate that Reiki and Healing Touch may improve depression and anxiety and support a sense of well-being. 
  • A Harvard University study with 1,411 sessions reported that a single session of Reiki significantly improved pain, anxiety, depression, nausea, and fatigue.
  • A University of Iowa study showed significant improvement in the immune system of cervical cancer patients using Healing Touch compared to the control group. 
  • A study at St Joseph Hospital in Minnesota demonstrated a shorter hospital stay and improved mood with Healing Touch.
  • Two studies published in mainstream medical journals indicate that Reiki may reduce fatigue in cancer patients and reduce pain for advanced cancer patients.
  • Yale study with heart patients indicated that Reiki may improve heart rate variability in patients hospitalized for a heart incident.

Potential Benefits of Reiki and Healing Touch (as indicated in the research)

  •  Positive improvement in energy and well-being
  •  Decreased pain, anxiety, and depression
  •  Support for healing after surgery and medical procedures
  •  A feeling of being cared for and nurtured

Resources for additional research information