Reiki1 has been fashionable since the 1990’s and from the beginning of the century, developing with great speed in all situations. Our therapeutic experience shows us that It is one of the largest and constant sources of spiritual infestation2. This spiritual danger is greatly ignored and underestimated, which is why it seems useful to transmit our experience regarding this theme and our thoughts about this social phenomenon, as a warning to those using it.

Where we are speaking from

The Takiwasi Center, place I have been running for 24 years, receives many people who are in search of healing, or what these days is called "personal evolution". This apart from a population of drug abusers treated through a prolonged residency, health seekers without a major addiction problem3 make shorter stays that allows them to benefit from a process that includes the use of traditional Amazonian medicines, in particular with the use of medicinal plants, articulated with a psychotherapeutic focus.

In the latter very diverse population, many people have turned to Reiki, are initiated and eventually have become “Reiki Masters”. Our clinical observation during ritualized therapeutic sessions, has constantly put us in the presence of maleficent entities that influence these people to a greater or lesser degree. The manifestations of these entities in the daily life of these persons generally go unnoticed, and the problems they produce are generally not identified, or connections are not established between the various problems that arise and this spiritual contamination. These problems can range from economic and labor problems, family discord, and even sequences of "unfortunate events", all occurring in a progressive and uninterrupted way, leading to a physical and/or psychological pathology.

Our practices rely as well on the controlled induction of modified states of consciousness through the ritualized use of psychoactive plants. These procedures, very precise and rigorous, allow the "energetic status" of the patient to be revealed and to eventually detect spiritual infestations. From the perspective of the patient, he can visualize what is at stake in his interior, and become aware of the quality of these "spiritual openings" to which he was exposed in the course of his existence4.

We invited a psychologist who practiced Reiki and had been experiencing a great and evident fatigue, to explore, through a therapeutic sesión, what was really being developed at the bottom of her practice. The following day, amidst sobs, she told us that during the session she thought she had died. As a result of this she “had clearly seen that the origin of Reiki was not good, that the Japanese monk who had created the practice was guided by his ego, and that she might die.” She vomited all day “enormous amounts of energetic filth.”

We regularly receive emails like the following:
"I have practiced Reiki with dubious people for 12 years: since a few years ago I started to hear voices and I know that my problem is spiritual. Some voices attack me, others protect me, but I need to have peace because I’ve been losing all my jobs during the last 12 years even though I like my profession. I have to find a definitive solution to have peace and stabilize."

Within the healing sessions, these people who felt they could channel energies, paradoxically reveal themselves with weak energy, with an underlying exhaustion associated with psychic elements of confusion. In Reiki masters who intensively practice this activity, the "energy problems" end up being somatized in the medium and long term, producing extremely serious pathologies. In these Reiki "masters" we can mainly observe cases of cancer5, but also tuberculosis, kidney failure, restless legs syndrome... In one case, in a French clinic where Reiki was performed, 4 out of 5 therapists who practiced it, had serious illnesses!

The quick and easy access to a Reiki practitioner status (2 to 3 weekends) and then to be promoted "Reiki Master" (achievable with completing a few additional weekends), deeply caught my attention, considering the long journey of training that must be done to master an effective therapeutic practice, whether in western conventional medicine, traditional non-western medicines, physical care and even more so in psychological care, whatever the schools and currents of such knowledge: from psychiatry, through psychoanalysis and the different forms of psychotherapy, as well as the so-called "shamanic" practices of indigenous peoples.

On the other hand, in any group or school of western or non-western knowledge, access to practice is never universal, but rather considers different skills, naturally endowed persons or not, and variable abilities depending on the subject. On the contrary, Reiki is intended to give universal and undifferentiated access: everyone, without distinction, can practice Reiki effectively because this procedure it’s not based on a specific aptitude, years of learning, or the mastering of techniques, and even less so on "working on oneself", but simply depends on a "good will" that is sufficient to transmit an "energy" located beyond the practitioner and available to anyone, willing to transmit it in a neutral and passive way.

This extraordinary and unique speed of learning and accessibility of Reiki represents at the same time a huge seduction that seems to contribute greatly to its huge success, and at the same time it provokes an extreme caution and suspicion about what can happen at the bottom of these practices.

We propose to start from our clinical observations based on the practice of Reiki as it is presented to westerners today and as presented to us through practitioners and masters who visited us. We do not intend in any way to be considered as specialists in Reiki, and for more details and information on the history of Reiki, its basis, its origins and its diversification in the western society, we refer to the work in three volumes of Pascal Treffainguy, which he himself presents as some sort of "Reiki Code"6. As he specifies it, there is no "The Reiki", but there are several forms generated from the proposal of its founder, the Japanese Mikao Usui.

Channeling energies

Reiki forms part of the techniques denominated as “channeling” where a person supposedly contacts “superior energies” which operate through his body to invest the patient and harmonize his/her own energies in order to restore his health. In some form, it is offered as an energetic canal, assumed to be neutral and open, appealing to an impersonal energy, a vital energy, or “ki”, (qi, chi), to “recharge” the energetic body of the patient. Since it is only a “channel” it is supposed that he who intervenes does not suffer any consequence of this transference. Its generosity and good will are considered as a warranty protecting from any adverse effect.

This view suffers from multiple defects, and is based on false assumptions considered natural:

  • Only good intentions would be needed, to be protected from any negative consequences.
  • Contact with the spiritual world would be led by good intentions that would allow automatic connection with beneficial spiritual entities.
  • The neutrality of the channel would install immunity against any possible disturbance.
  • Energetic interchanges would automatically come from above to below, from the spiritual world to the body of the patient.
  • Every human being has this healing power that only needs to be activated.
  • This universal gift of healing permits quick access to using it efficiently, considering it is but a natural function.
  • This technique finally allows for self-healing to take place, without depending on other persons or medicines.

These axioms contradict all ancestral healing practices, and the millenary experiences of processes of spiritual liberation, in fact:

  • Good intentions, certainly necessary, will never be sufficient and need to be accompanied by knowledge, wisdom, and appropriate techniques.
  • An opening into the intermediate world of the spirits, exposes us to an intrusion by malefic entities, where good intentions do not provide sufficient protection from these contaminations. This opening or connection with the spiritual world must be ritualized in the proper way, to avoid spiritual infestations and to simultaneously protect both the therapist and the patient.
  • Using his own energetic body is part of the work of the healer, but it must be constantly cleaned and purified, in order to be rid of the energetic “refuse” of his work; absolute purity is never achieved, because the therapist is “dirtied” to a greater or lesser extent during his intervention.
  • During those interventions, the therapist is exposed to energetic charges, manifestations of the entities that parasitize, invade and contaminate his patient.
  • The power of healing is a possible charisma, but not a universal one, in the same way that not everybody has genius in mathematics, music or languages.
  • If this charisma exists, it must be worked, refined, exerted during a long apprenticeship, which includes severe tests and difficulties.
  • Spiritual healing assumes mediations and/or mediators and reference to the divine. In self-healing, we pretend to avoid all mediations, and exclude or place the divine in a second rank.

Power and Protection of Rituals

Reiki adepts assert that their initiation ritual will protect them and give them this power of healing.

The initiation ritual7 has the purpose of integrating the patient into the essence of Reiki. This essence conforms to a type of psycho-spiritual entity placed under the guidance of a superior spiritual instance. It is therefore essential to know which being presides over this conformation of essence to which the candidate/therapist voluntarily submits to. In our experience, no Reiki initiate has been able to give us the name of this spiritual being, and neither have the Reiki masters we have come across done so8. They evoke vague entities (universal love, cosmic force, Christic energy9, the energy of the vacuum, violet light, primordial energy, vital energy, etc.) or symbolic forms, alluded to with equally vague and imprecise designations10.

Nevertheless, the spiritual beings are defined with their names, and when this name is not given clearly, nothing is available to know or prove what they really are11

During these initiation trainings, a spiritual chimera is proposed made up of a mixture of orientalist spiritual traditions, revised and arranged in the Occidental style. The initiation includes memorizing Japanese names and symbols, which must be invoked to “gather healing energy"12. After these procedures, the practitioner begins to feel an “electric energy” in his hands, proof of the acquisition of that healing power. This first phase can be completed in one or two weekends.

Total initiation consists of 4 levels, after which the Reiki master would achieve supernatural gifts, like the power to discover occult things, predict natural catastrophes, understand dead languages, see spirits, etc. What was initially presented as impersonal “healing energies” reveal themselves at the end of the initiatic path as spiritual entities, with some practitioners affirming that they are affiliated with “an invisible being or angel of light” who would lead them through the spiritual path and would provide them with occult information.

To find the spiritual being who presides over Reiki activities, we can try to ascend in the hierarchy of this essence towards its founder and to the spiritual connection that he himself would have established and nominally designed. Nevertheless, the biography of its founder, Mikao Usui, changes from different manuscripts and seemingly modern or contemporary Reiki is quite far from its Japanese origins. The most certain reference seems to be the text of his funerary plate13. The sources of Mikao Usui lie in the "original Buddhism and the subsequent schools, the Shinto in Japan, and the Chinese Taoism. These three traditions in fact constitute the intellectual, liturgical and cultural basis of the time of Mikao Usui"14. The name of this spiritual being to which he submits is never clearly identified. Reiki might have surged in Japan towards the end of the 19th century, when Mikao studied the Buddhist texts, and would be directly tied to an illuminating experience of its founder, after a 21 day fast made in Mount Kurama in 1922. The structure of Reiki rests upon a personal experience of its founder, in a mystic vison or trance. The diffusion of this apprenticeship would happen rapidly by ritual transmission from master to disciple through initiatic rituals.

However, Pascal Treffainguy concludes his study of Reiki summarizing in a concrete formula: “Reiki obeys a pseudo-initiatic logic, it demands diving into the seas of lost thinking, from where no-one emerges unsullied”. In other words, Reiki initiation is an efficient operation, like any ritual, where the participant makes an alliance with a being, while ignoring the latter’s nature or attributes. This is equivalent to saying the initiate accepts putting himself voluntarily under the guidance of possibly malignant entities, no less.

Nevertheless, it works…

The conviction of candidates is generally strengthened by the fact that after an extremely rapid apprenticeship, and having taken the first initiatic step, the imposition of hands upon the patient shows immediate beneficial results. In the face of this direct experimental aspect, the eventual questionings about the harm of these practices tend to immediately disappear.

The first phase provides a short-lasting welfare sensation, which acts as bait.

This ‘trap” is well known to all spiritual and healing traditions: the demon world proceeds by means of seduction. The first seduction is power. The carrot lures the donkey. The immediacy of the early results does not exonerate from the observation of long range effects, which are the true measure of efficacy. At a clinical level, as we have pointed out at the beginning of this text, Reiki masters show extremely grave pathological signs. The other initiates systematically show a degree of spiritual infestation in the therapeutic sessions we have conducted. Their deficient energetic state signals a permanent vampirism of their energetic body, characteristic of an infested state. More prosaically said, they “are sucked” by entities in the spiritual world, and eventually and unconsciously by the persons who initiate them and the patients who come to them.

Demonic agents are astute by definition, as indicated by their habitual qualification as “malign”. They possess the attributes necessary to effect healing and even prodigies to better hook their victims and orient them to false tracks. The capacities of a “medium” as called upon by Reiki, permit to influence the unconscious of other persons, other situations, and even animals and matter. To give away a “good” for a greater bad forms part of its classic strategy. Ignorance and ingenuity in the desacralized modern world facilitates this work of false coinage.

Reiki seems to respond to the powerful desire “to help others”, a true calling upon the human mind. Demonic forces cannot initially lean upon this “call” of human nature, which leads to love, to concern about others. They manipulate it to progressively defame it in a narcissistic caress of self-satisfaction for the demonstrated goodwill. The love of the other one is transformed into ego inflation. One begins by wanting to serve others, and ends by serving their own egotistic needs, image and self-love.

The energetic sensations in the hands are accepted without caution as healing forces, and never interpreted as a sign of infestation by a demonic entity, whose existence is negated by modernity. These perceptions, associated with evident effects in the one who receives treatment, on the other hand responds to a need for a sensible relationship with the spiritual world.

The speed within the possibilities of intervention that follow Reiki initiation, furthermore responds to the rush and avidity of the Occidental world. One wants everything and immediately: Reiki fully satisfies this wish. Therefore, seduction is multiple.

The fascination induced by these criteria of immediate efficacy, ease in use, speed of apprenticeship and utilization, and personal valuing, constitutes the main factor in the diffusion of this technique. News gets around, and this interpersonal communication acts as a medium of exponential multiplication of patients who rapidly convert into followers and soon into proselytes. A Reiki master confessed to us that she had initiated between 300 and 400 persons in her practice… who soon become carriers of this “good news”, of “rapid healing” (the “fast healing” following the alimentary “fast food” and the “fast trip” of drugs).

Reiki seems to respond to the powerful desire “to help others”, a true calling upon the human mind.

Even with the absence of scientific evidence, hospitals and clinics, animated by these same concerns about modernity, have adopted this technique, inducing a reduced consumption of analgesics and a diminution of anxiety15. The results surprise not only patients, but also the medical personnel astounded by this "Japanese discipline that requires only the hands to heal". It is evidently forgotten that the effective imposition of hands requires a previous initiation ritual, even when the spiritual dimension is invoked, as for example in what is pointed out by Dr. Teresa Franco, anesthetist and doctor specialized in pain treatment and intensive palliative care, coordinator of the Pain Center of Tornu Hospital "This pain center is multi-disciplinary, that is to say we are trying to handle pain integrally, from the physical, emotional and spiritual ends”. And she adds: “What we are seeing is fewer complaints about pain, an increase in hope in relation to the chronicity of the diseases, and satisfaction with quality of attention and the creation of a Reiki service within the hospital". Again, subjective evaluation prevails in this observation about “the sensation of well-being, and physical, mental, and spiritual equilibrium”. We wonder how does Dr. Franco, herself an initiate and self-practitioner, evaluate “spiritual well-being?”. In the same way, personnel initiated into Reiki, “feels their consultations are more efficient”, and say they have not observed “any adverse effects” without specifying what methods of scientific evaluation or even spiritual, were used, specially over a long range.

According to Victor Fernandez Casanova, Reiki Master and President of the European Federation of Professional Reiki, “Reiki is present in 12 hospitals and 14 health centers in Madrid and more than 3000 professionals have been formed (initiated) in Reiki”. According to the same publication Reiki is one of the most utilized complementary therapies in the hospitals of the USA, and is available through British and German agencies of Social Security and other several complementary health institutions in Switzerland and Spain.

More and more scientific studies are trying to evaluate the benefits of Reiki16 and several attempts to scientific explanation have been made, for example introducing fractal theory, or electromagnetic resonance phenomena, as well as Schumann resonance. These explanatory essays rapidly turn us towards concepts about the origin of the world, and the definition of human nature, and therefore, to a particular worldview and metaphysical questions that would require a theological point of view. In fact, if scientific analysis allows going deeper into “how does it work”, it cannot pretend to explain “why does it work in this way and not in another way”. These studies also allude to an “initiatic trance” and mention significant differences between the groups treated with Reiki, and others treated with “Reiki placebos” or “false Reiki”. This observation confirms that ritual conditions the observed effects, although the ritual dimension is ignored and Reiki is presented innocently: “It does not consist of a system of religious beliefs, Reiki is simply a relaxing treatment, which considers the natural healing vibrations”.

This scientific focus, which ignores the spiritual dangers, unconsciously risks of placing ourselves at the service of spiritual forces of destruction and dissolution. Pascual Treffainguy eloquently observes: “The influences that science seeks to make observable, could be all types of vultures and carrion-eaters of the subtle domain. The phenomenon of the “conversation with the beyond” using tape recorders and other technological gadgets could open ways into the real towards the subtle, particularly unhealthy dimensions. And this is true generally also in psychoanalytic practices and the awakening of “karmic memories"17

The New Age Context

Without a doubt, the New Age responds to the legitimate need to give meaning to existence, facing the accelerated desacralization of actual society. But this movement seems to promise more than it can really deliver, to the degree that it conserves, in its roots and under false appearances, the axioms of the same society that pretends to refuse and critique, and adopts the main conceptual and philosophical errors the inanity of which was demonstrated by the history of Occidental society.

This society was born in the judeo-greco-christian tradition, and the New Age came about in opposition to this tradition, in a process similar to the one followed by the individuals who search for alternative, autochthonous, shamanic, and soul-oriented spiritualities. Reiki is part of those propositions which retain some part of Christian humanism, but sufficiently exotic and colored, tinged Japanese, to seem de-Christianized, while maintaining a supposed ancestral line to give it legitimacy and above all would not imply Christian references, origins or legacies. The majority of Reiki practitioners come from the Occidental world and subscribe to this dynamic. The concept of “energy”, with scientific connotations, allows to consider this universe without having to attribute or recognize to it any strictly religious dimension. In fact, in this perspective it assumes that the qualification “spiritual” is opposed to the “religious” one, principally referring to the Catholic church, the main object to reject.

If the benevolent and loving Jesus is easily adopted by these spiritual currents, the crucified, bleeding Jesus does not generate much enthusiasm. Jesus without the cross. The Christic energies seduce, but his demanding Word does not. As Father Luis Santamaria del Rio has indicated: “His hands cure, before everything, pierced by nails, open definitively for love”. And derides this sugary focus in the sacred texts “Where one reads a list of rules of conduct inspired by Christ and extracted more or less from the sacred books”. Because exist literally words from the Master and other “assumed” ones or directly invented to feed a decorated discourse on the spirituality of Jesus. Lastly, do not believe that a summary would be something like “you miss one thing, donate your money to the poor and then come and follow me”. It is nothing like that. The summary of those new commandments and precepts full of kindness is the following and does not require any comment: “Above all and before all, live and soar with the wings of love, understanding, and the tenderness of the heart of Jesus with everyone. Amen"18

Where the tradition demanded a long apprenticeship process, now it is affirmed that one can learn sufficiently after a few months, or even after only a few weeks; where it was once necessary to register into a lineage or affiliation, the roots of oneself are happily severed (judeo-greco-christian in this case), faith is excluded in the name of liberty, and reason prohibited in the name of excessive mentalization; where it recommended reference to a structured tradition, it prefers instead auto-reference (“the inner master”); the warning against a too fast contact with the “other world”, especially in its intermediate states where malignant entities circulate, is replaced by an idealized version of a spiritual world empty of all adversity; the importance of mediation by the Elders and the Masters is substituted by individual autonomy and direct access to divinity; to the existence of immutable and implacable physical, psycho-affective and spiritual laws it is from now on preferred to substitute the affirmation that the only valid laws are those one gives to oneself; to intangible Truth, it replies with the inalienable right of each one to find his own truth; to the need for suffering, the idleness of a soft and sweet apprenticeship; to the purified intention, the simple wish to “be at the service of”; to the rigorous manipulation of symbols and rituals, the improvisation, inspiration of the moment, and the esthetic sense; the idea that goodness is dangerous, when it is not illuminated by knowledge is terminated; the old proved which says that hell is paved with good intentions is discarded.

Reiki has adopted different forms and each spiritual master can associate his own “spiritual helpers” (that is to say, the demonic entities with whom he/she is associated). Thus, one speaks of Osho Reiki, Bagwan Reiki, Saibaba Reiki, Yoga Reiki, Karuna, Harboti, Rainbow Reiki…, etc. The syncretic chimeras of the New Age assume a thousand and one forms.

If we had the need to even further convince anyone that Reiki is an excellent place for spiritual infestation, one of the best a posteriori proofs consists of the difficulties met by those who seek to abandon and break the invisible ties established . They confront diverse problems in their work, their finances, and material possessions, family or love connections, the sexual life, physical and mental health, as well as a series of misfortunes. These problems are greater when the person is higher in the initiatic hierarchy and the connections last longer. As the saying goes: “the devil has no friends, only slaves”, and rebelling against him is fraught with more than a single counter-stroke.

Reiki and Christianity

A certain number of Christians, including some members of religious sects20, find an answer to some of their expectations in the practice of Reiki. Because even though Jesus is called “Christus Medicus” by the Fathers of the Church, theologians of the first centuries of Christianity, in fact, the contemporary Church has relegated the healing dimension to the forgotten. The notion of salvation imposes itself over that of healing, as if one excluded the other one. We believe otherwise, as demonstrated by Jesus in the scriptures, that healing precedes and conducts to salvation. The ritual unction of the sick is seldom performed and often assimilated in the pre-mortem treatment, unction of the dying. The Church seems to have forgotten that it is no less that a recognition of the faithful, defined by Jesus “Here are the miracles that will accompany the believers. In my name they will cast out demons, they will speak new languages, they will hold snakes in their hands; and if they drink mortal venom, that will not harm them; they will place their hands on the sick and the sick will be cured”. (Marcus 16:17-18).

Foi et ayahuasca - Takiwasi

The search for a Christianity that will again consider this dimension of healing, central in the Scriptures, has led certain Christians to find in the appearances of Reiki something similar to the actions of Christ, healing not being something reserved for clerical persons. The imposition of hands is in fact a common gesture, associated with a so-called spiritual world21. But the comparison ends there.

Christian initiation in effect (Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation) does not require any other power than that of Christ himself and the Holy Spirit. And it is only in the name of Jesus that a Christian heals and cures, not invoking unidentified entities, as imposed by the Reiki initiation ritual: in the previous Marcus reference, healing takes effect in the name of Jesus, and it is by the same Name that demons (whose existence is thus confirmed) are thrown out.

Bishops in the United States, asked to pronounce themselves about Reiki, since it is so extraordinarily diffused in their country, in a document titled “Directives on the evaluation of Reiki as an alternative therapy”, (25.3.2009)22 clearly specify "the radical difference that comes in view consists of the fact that, for a Reiki practitioner, healing power is at the command of the person”. While, according to them, "for Christians, access to divine healing is realized through prayer to Christ as Healer and Savior". Reiki, therefore falls into the category of superstitions believed to be "a deviation from the religious sentiment, and the practices it demands, which affect the cult dedicated to the true God". In conclusion, "it would not be appropriate for catholic institutions, as well as medical facilities and retirement centers, or for people who represent the Church, such as Catholic chaplains, to promote or encourage Reiki therapy”.

If we adhere to the conclusions of this document of the Church, we nevertheless regret that the bishops considered or believed necessary to refer to, not only the theological arguments within their competence, but also to the state of contemporary science. In fact, they inform that Reiki “never is based in any case on the discoveries of natural science. (…) Believable studies on the efficiency of Reiki are needed, as well as a plausible scientific explanation of its eventual efficacy”. Nevertheless, it is probable that some scientific studies may prove some efficacy of Reiki, at least in the short range, which would not alter the previously indicated religious warnings, and with reason. Diabolic powers have their own degree of efficiency, including those over matter, because otherwise they would have no seductive power.

On the other hand, the reticence of the scientific community facing the “energetic” dimension, originates more from an ideological bent than a rational posture. In fact, the “energetic body” can be visualized by means of specific techniques, such as developed by Russian investigators such as Kirlian or the physics Korotkov, inventor of GDV that permits the visualization and measuring of the human electromagnetic field. Science cannot pretend to “speak the truth”, but only “what is considered false as of this date”… knowing adequately that the development of scientific discoveries annuls, corrects, or complements today, what yesterday was considered “real” (or more correctly, not false). The very principle of the postulate of contemporary science, contains its own limitations, and in exceeding them, the scientist as well as the religious commit an epistemological mistake. What can be considered as an abuse of power, gives arguments to the adversaries of faith, and runs the risk of being questioned by new scientific developments.

The discovery of an energetic physiology (acupuncture meridians, chakras, etc.) should in no way frighten the church, since it does not in any way affect the essence of faith. It would be a shame to see again the startles of the Church facing the discovery of the blood circulation in 1628 by Harvey, disfigured and described as a charlatan. Energetic circulation does not present more theological problems than the blood circulation.

We previously pointed out that Reiki apparently responds to a need of establishing a sensible relationship with the spiritual world. The spiritual life needs mystical nourishment and would not know how to accommodate to only a pious humanism or religious doctrine, even if the latter respects the utmost orthodoxy. Tendency toward intellectualization and conceptual adoption of faith does not satisfy the need for a direct and sensible experience, affecting the heart and the body. The tendency of the Church to reserve the mystical dimension only to exceptional beings, and demonstrate a systematic doubt towards any experience of this nature, deprives souls of this essential nourishment. Elsewhere, we have defended the cause of a “democratization” of the mystical, so to speak. If it is true that the Christian life does not consist of a permanent ecstasy or of a constant state of beatitude, it is also true that a love relationship where the “other One” seems to be absent and where even any contact appears suspicious or dangerous, does not provide much attraction. To the degree that the Church, with a necessary but excessive prudence, instead of putting obstacles in the way of these experiences, would favor them within an adequate context (retreat, prayers, fasting…) many persons would not seek “elsewhere”. Before joining a doctrine, or follow a catechism, human beings need an authentic contact with Jesus or his messengers. Starting with this reunion which seduces, everything else falls into place and becomes acceptable. The drive of the Charismatic Renovation or that of groups such as Focolarini Movement, as well as the success of monastery retreats and the Exercises of Saint Ignatius, seem to go in that direction.

In general, the diverse practices of alternative medicine actually available only present a spiritual problem to the degree that they would imply a ritual dimension. In fact, the establishment of a ritual induces an opening and a possible connection with the intermediate world, which must then be closely examined, in the light of faith and the doctrine of the church. This lack of discernment tends to create an unhappy amalgam, and leads to indiscriminate and eventually erroneous condemnation of any alternative therapeutic practice, not conventional, which departs from the dictates of official science. Yoga or meditation can be very good practices as psycho-physical disciplines without any specific spiritual connotation, but it is another thing to adopt a yoga practice connected with the ritual forms that in their turn require revision and spiritual discernment.

In many articles and books, exorcists and religious people abusively condemn any non-occidental discipline, from martial arts to autochthonous traditional medicines. This indiscriminate and massive rejection is not audible to contemporary people who know and practice these methods and disciplines, and furthermore constitutes an abuse of power to the degree that the work of discernment in each has not been completed. One thing is a healthy warning about the possible spiritual dangers in these procedures, that may hide toxic spiritual connections, and another thing is their systematic exclusion without prior analyses of the conditions under which they are exercised. Precaution principle does not justify absence of variations in judgement.

I believe we can contrast these postures without reflection of the Christian participants with the “New Age” representatives who, from their side, ingenuously support without any vacillation the harmlessness of these practices. In both cases, the lack of analysis and discernment does great harm to a serious and rational evaluation of benefits and inconveniences.

In front of the New Age arguments of the “Christic Reiki”, St Paul conveniently warns us : “Beware of anyone making you their prey by means of philosophies and various deceits, leaning on the traditions of mankind about the rudiments of the world, and against Christ. Because in Him corporally resides all the plenitude of divinity” (Col 2, 8-9).

The contradiction is nevertheless flagrant in this issue. The religious analphabetism associated with the hegemony of rationalism serves as a fertile soil for these wanderings. The synthetic affirmation of the Capuchin Thomsas G. Weinandy, secretary general of the Episcopal Conference of the United States, seems to us to resume well this impasse: “If one tries to turn Reiki into something authentically Christian, then it is no longer Reiki; and if one wishes to maintain the authentic Reiki, it is not compatible with Christianity"24.

Reiki in its different versions includes notions contrary to Christian doctrine. For example, the pantheistic concepts25 according to which the human being would be a simple “emanation of cosmic energy” and would just need to gain consciousness of that to obtain divine powers in the way of the temptation in Eden: “They will be like gods” (Genesis 3:5). Others incorporate the belief in reincarnation, Jesus benefitting from multiple incarnations into various “spiritual masters”. Syncretism also permits the creation of chimeras on Reiki, as we have already pointed out.

The attempt to influence the unconscious of people, without their acknowledging, in order to change their behavior, seems similar to magical and spiritualistic practices.

Reiki is situated in that contemporaneous “spiritist” movement that seeks to counterbalance the preceding materialism, but in reality, is located in a mirror position, equally toxic.
“These spiritualisms have been studied since the 1920’s by Rene Guenon in two books: the first one refers to the Theosophical Society of H.P. Blavatsky, and proposes to unmask the “orientalist sects”; the second one is dedicated to the spiritism of Allan Kardec, precursor of the “Freudo-Jungian” psychoanalysis. These two groups are the ancestors of the modern spiritualist movements, and numerous schools of Reiki are inspired by their doctrines and their imaginative practices"26.

Spiritual fruits, for Christians, would be measured in any case not only in psychosomatic healing terms, but also furthermore for their ulterior progress in the road to salvation through conversion, and the reunion with Christ, the church, and the practice of its sacraments.

Petit exemple illustratif

A young person, who participated in one of the seminars in our Takiwasi Center, after my observations about Reiki listed in this article, sent me the following e-mail:
“After finishing reading your article, which spoke to me very much, I finally obtained the answers and arguments that I had lacked. Following certain dreams I have had, I understood that Reiki was not a good practice, but I lacked the reasons to understand why. The assumptions of Reiki are false, that I unconsciously knew, but that absolutely did not worry me. I had found a simple, easy and without difficulty method to enter the spiritual world, which has always interested me, and furthermore, I could help others. In the context of the New Age, the search for oneself, this spiritual quest, independently from being a confessed Christian, needed real proof in order to believe in other things: books, catechism and biblical texts were not sufficient! Proofs were needed, and living through things, “believing through seeing”. After my session in Takiwasi, where God himself came to help me, I really began to believe in Him. And I thought Reiki would provide that. It is only that I can see the connection between my chronic pains in my legs and back, and Reiki; pains which assaulted me after I began regular Reiki practice, and increased even with all my efforts to control them. I was in my way to Santiago de Compostela, I had planned to do a three-month pilgrimage, and because of my pains, had to stop at the end of the first week”.

From this valuable testimony, I believe we can learn some lessons:

  1. This girl, who I will call Miriam, firstly manifests the need for a reasonable argumentation. The appeal to reason is healthy and shows that invectives, threats or condemnations alone do not replace the need for truth. Christ is the Logos, and faith must be explained in the same way as oppositions to the faith.27
  2. Miriam then mentions the need for proofs, quoting St. Thomas, which refers not to intellectual proofs, but sensible ones. Jesus does not condemn St. Thomas, recognizing his faith, although valuing more the faith of those who have not waited for sensible proofs before believing28. The sensible, “mystical” experiences contribute to nourishing faith and are even more necessary in a rational and desacralized world. They are nevertheless, not indispensable.
  3. Having said this, sensible experience as experienced in Takiwasi, is not sufficient if it is not prolonged by a life in the church, a coherent teaching, and sharing in a community where this experience can be welcomed and considered, or eventually be nourished.
  4. Teachings (books, catechisms, biblical texts) not resting upon an experience of faith and an authentic relationship with the divine, risks to remain sterile. It appears a critique of a very doctrinaire, intellectual, and mental form of transmission and way to teach the faith.
  5. The different seductions outlined in this article, are found here: ease in learning, need to “help others”, apparent efficacy, sensible effects (“this works”), the context of the New Age…
  6. Miriam was warned of the falsity of Reiki thorough dreams and physical pains, from the beginning of the initiation, and that increased gradually along with her practice of Reiki... she already knew this unconsciously.
  7. The infestation was already evident in symbolic form, when these pains impeded her to complete her pilgrimage, they prevented her from “going to God”, and suddenly “she can’t walk!”.

A total incompatibility then exists for a Christian with initiation and the practice of Reiki. In any case this is not needed, because Christian tradition already offers the healing tools through the mediation of Christ (and the Virgin, Angels, and Saints). Without a doubt, it remains for the church to again adopt this tradition initiated by Jesus himself, which tends to be ignored, but which nevertheless orders its disciples to continue: “Heal the sick, resuscitate the dead, clean from their disease those who suffer from leprosy, banish the demons. That which you freely received, give away freely” (Matthew 10:8).

This actual absence of knowledge between Christians, of the spiritual dimension of the battle, or even of the very negation of the existence of the powers of evil, makes them susceptible to be dragged into an alley without exit, forgetting the recommendations of St. Paul: “Because our battle is not against human beings, but against powers, against authorities, against dominions which control this world of darkness, against malignant spiritual forces in celestial regions”. (Ef.6:12). In fact, as reported by St. John, Jesus affirms: “The whole world lies under the power of the evil”. (1 John 5:19).

How to free oneself?

The needs for liberation are proportional to the degree of infestation by Reiki and the intensity and duration of its practice. We cannot include in the same group a person who received some healings with Reiki, eventually passing the first grade of the initiation assuming only a practice by itself, with another person initiated as a Reiki master and with an intense practice in an office for many years. In this second category, liberation can become long, difficult, and penurious. We will distinguish below between persons not admitting themselves as in the Christian faith and those who adhere to it.

Any act of rupture or cutting off acquired spiritual connections and repair of a spiritual transgression should include three steps: a) Formal renunciation of the practices and contracted spiritual connections; b) asking forgiveness to others, to oneself, and to Life in general for the damage that could have been inflicted by these practices; c) accepting to do an act of reparation.

1. Non-Christians

For someone who does not identify with the Christian faith, renunciation to the practice of Reiki can be realized individually with sincerity of heart and each can add the symbolic gestures that can manifest this decision, without evidently reproducing a similar ritual nor calling upon poorly identified spiritual entities, which would bring forth a new toxic connection with the world of the spirits. For example, you can build a fire and burn the books on Reiki that one possesses, or an object that symbolizes that practice, and one can also burn a sheet of paper where one had precisely consigned a formula of renunciation, with a petition for forgiveness and a clearly defined commitment to renounce, standing for a return to a sane and ordered spiritual life. To give greater weight to this gesture, it would be better to convoke one or two witnesses to presence this commitment.

Asking for forgiveness can take place toward persons nominally identified, but this is often impossible. In those cases this request can take place in a general way during a separate ritual or associated with the separation ritual, this option being usually more practical. A good way to manifest regrets in this matter is to make known the dangers of Reiki, which becomes a sort of obligation, if one wishes to be coherent in the decision to abandon it.

Reparation seeks to compensate for harm done, located in the current of Life, and as a concrete way of manifesting regrets. Each should choose the manner most adequate for this purpose, from an economic donation to needy persons, up to assuming responsibility for an altruistic activity toward society or for example nature. It is desirable to precisely specify which are the obligations to this purpose, which must be limited in time so that it can end this reparation, once the time limit is reached, and to avoid generalities which do not allow auditing. For example, one should discard to vaguely undertake to “now help others better”, without specifying whom, nor how, nor how long, which would convert it into an unrealizable or unverifiable proposal. It is preferable to undertake a commitment such as “during six months I will visit the sick in such hospital every Saturday afternoon”. This proposal is defined and verifiable and if it is not followed, one disposes of the means to notice it and apply necessary corrections. This does not impede continuing with this activity at the end of the “contract” but considering that the reparation has been fully satisfied and that this extension is independent from it.

“Renouncing” the implications of death and destruction associated with Reiki is accompanied by a “pronunciation” in the opposite sense, namely the commitment or ratification of the intent to continue fighting for the Good and for Life in general.

The selected reparation option should proportionally aim to correct the evil it has caused, to the degree that one is conscious of it. This does not refer to self-punishment or condemnation, but to purification and personal questioning to put in order the life dynamics which feed the values that we aspire to. The extremes of both masochist self-flagellation, and self-justified complacency, both strongly egotistic, are evidently to be avoided.

Beyond this tryptic: “renunciation - asking for forgiveness - reparation” a cleansing of the energetic body and of the acquired spiritual connections engraved upon the body may be necessary, even more if Reiki practice has been intense and prolonged. To do that it is possible to take the following steps:
- Get help from a serious and competent therapist or spiritual master. Discernment is necessary here to avoid falling into the same traps generated by the practice of Reiki. We have mentioned before some degrees of this discernment, especially identification, nominal and precise, of the spiritual instances this guide refers to. It is possible also to request the services of an exorcist priest specialized in liberation prayers, respecting these procedures, even if one does not identify as a Christian.
- Use purgative or purifying plants. One may do simple purges by oneself (castor oil, magnesium sulfate, abedul bark extracts, desmodium, etc.), but always it is preferable to be accompanied by a specialist. Some are competent in the use of potent and effective purges in this field, as for example the purge with extract of tobacco leaves, that one should not attempt to do oneself because of the danger involved.
- Baths with aromatic plants. It is enough to select aromatic plants in one’s environs, crush them by hand, and place them in warm or hot water. Leave for an hour. Then take a shower with this perfumed water, and go to bed. This can be repeated every night, as long as desired. It carries no danger to children. You can bless this preparation prior to use with your proper words and manifest your intention.
- Fast under adequate conditions (it is here also that it is good to be accompanied by a specialist if one is not familiar with this practice), better yet if associated with a time of meditation, retreat, prayer, isolation.

During all of these operations performed by oneself, it is important to remember the power of human speech and of intentions manifested with sincerity of heart. It is then recommended to stop for a moment before carrying out the selected operation, in order to pull back and manifest what is expected from this gesture, and to address benevolent spiritual powers to solicit their help and protection.

2. Christians

For a Christian who has practiced Reiki, there are multiple and more codified resources in the area of liberation available from the Church. The suggestions previously indicated for a non-Christian retain their value, but they can be extended and amplified by the accompaniment of a qualified priest and the pristine identification of the spiritual instances we refer to. It is evidently imperative to abandon this practice and, depending on the degree of gravity, follow the recommendations listed below (not exhaustive):

  1. Proceed with a complete confession with a priest, with sincere regrets from the heart, for having practiced Reiki, considering it a fault against the first commandment: “You will adore only God, and love Him above all else”.
  2. After absolution, live a Christian life, particularly with frequent participation in the Eucharist (daily, in the wort cases), manifesting a renunciation of all Evil and of Satan.
  3. Ask for the benefit of the sacrament or unction of the sick.
  4. Pray the Holy Rosary and the Rosary of the Precious Blood29, daily in the worst cases.
  5. Use the catholic prayers of liberation (see the Internet).
  6. Do a novena, asking for the complete liberation from the spirits invoked through Reiki.
  7. Resort to elementals such as exorcized salt, exorcized water, exorcized oil, exorcised incense, medals of protection (specially of Saint Benedict and the Miraculous Virgin), etc.
  8. If needed, resort to an exorcist priest (normally one designated by the dioceses) or specialized in problems of spiritual liberation, and the ending of connections.

The process of spiritual liberation can sometimes demand lots of time, and it is necessary to arm oneself with constancy, patience and humility. The accompaniment of a spiritual director is highly recommended. Absolution and renunciation do not signify that liberation happens automatically, or that the consequences of the established toxic connections are automatically annulled. For that, a journey, of duration frequently proportional to the time spent on these occult practices and to the degree of initiation reached, is required.


Reiki belongs to the class of channeling practices, coherent with the New Age atmosphere, and its self-referring characteristics, which seem to respond to the modern, materialistic and technological mentality, which looks for speed in learning and in execution, immediate results and sensible manifestations.

This seduction nevertheless hides serious spiritual questions generally ignored, especially the infection by malignant entities from the intermediate or subtle world, by means of the subjugation executed by means of the ritual initiation. The consequences go from the unconscious energetic vampirism, to serious pathologies in the physical and psychic world. The structure of Reiki is based upon invocation of malefic spirits or demons.

It is completely incompatible with Christianity.

Reiki therefore represents a spiritual poison, that it is best to avoid, and a deceit that should be denounced and fought. Remedies exist to liberate oneself, and to recover freedom.

1 English translation of the article “El Reiki o el engaño espiritual”. Translated from Spanish to English by Ken Symington, August 2017. Originally published in French “Le Reiki ou l’arnaque spirituelle”, November 2016.
2 By "spiritual infestation" we mean the fact that a human being can be infected by evil entities of the invisible world that cause him harm and sap him energetically. The different traditions use different terminologies: evil spirits, demons, negative presences, malign spirits, entities of the low astral, etc. We group under this general term several degrees of contamination that range from simple contact to massive possession (rare) including intermediary states of "obsessions", "harassments" and others.
3 This covers a wide spectrum: people on a personal quest, trying to define the vocation or mission of their life, with existential searches, relationship difficulties, psychic and even psychiatric disturbances, unhappiness, incomplete psychotherapeutic processes in previous therapies, etc.
4 For more details, please consult the articles that we have already written on this subject and can be accessed through our website:
5 While writing these lines, some colleagues inform us that a friend of them, a Chilean therapist and Reiki master, has just died of cancer at the age of 40...
6 Reiki: "The mystical medicine" of Mikao Usui. Volume 1. Reiki: its documents, history and schools. Volume 2. The possible sources of Reiki. Volume 3. Reiki, inside the sects and facing modern science. By Pascal Treffainguy, EDITIOUN VUN KILLEBIERG, LËTZEBUERG.
7 In this instance see the detailed testimony of an ex-follower:
8 Unless they have preferred these names to be kept unrevealed, which makes them even more suspicious.
9 Typical expression of the New Age movement, searching to recover the positive image of Jesus, without recognizing him as Christ, and moreover without any reference to his church.
10 In his book “J’ai vecu le supernaturel, mes experiences inedites” (Ed. France Loisirs,2003), the French journalist Marc Menant relates in chapter 9 dedicated to Reiki, his encounter with Ronald Mary, Reiki master. To his question “Where do you receive this energy from?”, Ronald Mary responds without any vacillation “I don’t know”. I remember the word Reiki means “universal life energy…”, p. 262.
11 In fact, it is by means of invocation of its name that spirits or powers that preside these interventions can be identified. Some testimonies give precise names such as: Dai-ko-myo, principal demon, sovereign of Reiki; Hon-cha-se-shonen, contact spirit with Reiki energy to establish connection at a distance, meaning “from my energy to yours”: Sei-heki, guiding spirit of Reiki which allows manipulating the unconscious of persons and manipulating them without their being aware of it; Tjoko-rei, principal spirit of Reiki for activating or augmenting energy, meaning “God, come here” (to be understood as “demon come here” ); Ling, principal spirit of Harbori-Reiki with the same functions of energetic activation; Raku; Fire Dragon, etc.
12 In this regard, see the testimony referred to in note 7.
13 Some information transmitted by Hawayo Takata about the history of Mikao Usui could not be confirmed until now, such as the fact that he was a Catholic priest, a university professor, or a theology student at the University of Chicago. Nevertheless, the tracks of Mikao Usui were found: born in 15-8-1865, and died in 9-3-1926, he was private secretary to a politician named Shimpei Goto. He obtained a doctorate in literature and received a reward (Kun-San) from his emperor for his honorable work. He created a school called Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Ryoho=technique; Gakkai=organization) which still exists today. He is buried in the Saihoji temple, a Buddhist temple in a section of Tokio. His wife and son are buried in the same place. He practiced martial arts, Qi Jong, was an initiate in Tendai and Shingon Buddhism. .
14 Pascal Treffainguy, op.cit. tome 1.
15 For example, see this article in a magazine of alternative medicine:
16 For example, see:
17 Pascal Teffainguy, op. cit., tome 3.
18 See “What do we do with a priest that predicates “The Christic Reiki?” -
19 This is valid for all organizations which establish ritual connections with subtle beings and with demonic entities that secretly preside them, like for example masonry.
20 The bishop of Orense in Spain, Jose Leonardo Lemos Montanet, signed in August 20, 2012, a penal decree against Gumersindo Mirino Fernandez, priest in his dioceses, for the diffusion of “heterodoxical doctrines” referring to the practice of an assumed “Christic Reiki”. On the other hand, according to the French newspaper “La Croix”, “the retirement center of Notre-Dame-Les-Pins in Fremont (Ohio) patronized by the Sisters of Mercy in Cincinnati, uses a “Christian interpretation of Reiki based on the life, teachings, mission and teachings of Jesus” and offers Reiki “in the context of prayer” as one can read in their web page. In the same way, the Spiritual Center Mont Saint-Joseph, near Cincinnati (Ohio) proposes Reiki “as an opportunity for spiritual enrichment through a vast program of practices”.
21 This is precisely what Gumersindo Meirino Fernandez refers to in his blog, affirming that “it is a spiritual therapy based on theology ….) and founded upon the healing power of Jesus. We have not discovered anything, but simply practice the healing developed in his scriptures”.
23 In many articles and books, religious and exorcists improperly condemn any non-Western discipline as such, from martial arts to indigenous traditional medicines. This massive and indiscriminate rejection is inaudible by contemporaries who know and practice these disciplines and methods, and moreover constitutes an abuse of power insofar as the work of discernment on a case-by-case basis is not carried out. One thing is a healthy warning against the possible spiritual dangers of these practices when they hide toxic spiritual ties.
24 The newspaper “La Croix” 27.4.2009
25 Some present Reiki as a pantherapy, see for example:
26 Pascal Treffainguy, op. cit. tome 3.
27 On this theme, see the Encyclic Fides y Ratio (Faith and Reason) of John Paul II, 1998.
28 “Jesus told him: Because you have seen me, Thomas, you believed; blessed be those who have not seen and yet believe” (John 20:29).
29 A priest in his blog ( says he knew a person who when she tried to abandon Reiki, her “guides” unmasked themselves and began to insult her and to threaten her with everything, even death, day and night. When this person prayed the rosary, they would not stand for it and demanded her to stop praying.

English translation of the article “El Reiki o el engaño espiritual”. Translated from Spanish to English by Ken Symington, August 2017. Originally published in French “Le Reiki ou l’arnaque spirituelle”, November 2016.