While there is nothing unethical about using Reiki, it is important for nurses and other healthcare practitioners to follow a few basic rules to make sure that their conduct is ethical and appropriate.
Helping others is at the core of the nursing profession, and I am sure that every nurse who has ever done Reiki for a patient has only done it with the patient’s best interests at heart.
As someone who has seen first-hand the incredible positive effects that Reiki may have on people with various health conditions (scientific research to back this up is still lagging), I can tell you that for many nurses who know Reiki, it may feel unethical not to offer it. How could you not offer a patient something that has no side effects and that the nurse knows could potentially help the patient tremendously?
Because of this, many caring nurses who practice Reiki and other holistic modalities may accidentally cross some ethical and professional lines while trying to help their patients.
Here are a few basic rules that may help avoid some of these ethical dilemmas:
There could be many other types of ethical scenarios of Reiki in nursing, but it is impossible to predict all of them. Some ethical questions and dilemmas are easy to answer and resolve, while others may be more challenging. Each situation is unique and must be addressed in a unique way while staying true to the fundamentals of professional and ethical behavior.
The bullet points above are a few basic ethical suggestions regarding using Reiki in nursing practice and they closely relate to the general principles of nursing ethics, which are justice, beneficence, nonmaleficence, accountability, fidelity, autonomy, and veracity. You can read more about these pillars of nursing ethics HERE.
Hope this helps bring clarity to the ethics of using Reiki in a nursing profession.
Dr. Maria Danilychev, MD is a hospice doctor, clinical research physician, and a Jikiden Reiki Shihan (master/teacher).