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Reiki For Weight Loss: Healing and Treatment Tips (from a Coach)

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Reiki for weight loss, coaching tip

Updated September 27, 2022

Christina Aguilera’s weight loss and Reiki 

Did you know it's rumored that Christina Aguilera attributes Reiki to help her lose 30 pounds? The pop star and her mother reportedly receive Reiki treatments three times a week.

Not everyone can afford Reiki treatments a couple of times every week, but lucky for us, Reiki can be self-taught. Everyone can benefit from the reduced stress and emotional grounding Reiki can contribute to weight loss.

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The story of Reiki

So in 2013, Christina Aguilera endorsed Reiki as her strategy to lose weight for Women’s Health. But before we go into the bare bones of reiki and weight loss, let’s just be clear for a moment – it’s probably not Reiki that actually made her lose weight, but rather its effects on her. 

Reiki is an ancient form of healing that dates back as far as the 1800s in the Tibetan Sutras and was later revived in Japan. But Reiki was actually popularized in the USA by Takata, a Reiki Master based in Hawaii. Because the practice of Reiki preexisted way before us, there’s nothing much written about it. It’s only been taught by verbal communications and passed down through firsthand or witnesses’ accounts. Things being what they are, Reiki is still practiced and was even endorsed by the "Voice of a Generation". 

Reiki healing, Reiki for weight loss, coaching tip

What is Reiki?

The term Reiki is a combination of two Japanese characters – Rei and Ki. Rei pertains to our unchangeable human nature and the force of life while ki pertains to the power and energy that shapes rei. Together, Reiki brings about stability and harmony within via physical contact, which is why it is considered a touch therapy. It helps relax your body, mind, and soul (Wardell & Engebretson, 2001). 

Reiki offers healing energy to replenish and realign the human energy fields. In fact, it literally translates to “universal life force” in Japanese. And all this recharge and rebalance of human energy fields allow for the body’s natural healing system (vanderVaart et al., 2009). No wonder Christina Aguilera was on board! 

When our energy fields are off balance we can start to show different symptoms in the body on a more physical level. Sometimes this can be a result of weight gain, and fat carried around the midsection. Reiki will help you detox because it helps you get in touch with your energy within. 

Now, let’s move on to how it can actually help you lose some weight.

Reiki for weight loss, coaching tip

How does reiki help you lose weight?

1. Reiki can prevent overeating.

Reiki, combined with massage therapy, has proven more effective to lower stress and anxiety levels compared to when used alone (Kurebayashi et al., 2016). Now, what role do stress and anxiety play in overeating, and further, in losing weight? 

Have you ever wondered why you feel hungry or crave something fatty or sweet when stressed? When we're all worked up and distressed, our bodies release cortisol, the hormone for inducing appetite (American Psychological Association, 2018). As you would expect, you won’t have much control over your appetite when you have a lot on your mind. You probably start eating mindlessly especially when you get a hold of food, say a bag of chips which is a good example of convenient yet unhealthy foods. Ultimately, eating related to stress can interfere with your general eating habits.

And whenever we feel stressed, it’s not just the mind that experiences it. The body also fails to heal – our muscles tense up, our breathing speeds up, and we sometimes feel butterflies in our stomachs (American Psychological Association, 2018). But unlike the butterflies we feel watching rom-com movies, stress makes us feel uneasy. So at times like these when we tend to overeat, destressing is the only way to deal with the effects of stress on our minds and bodies (Harvard Health Publishing, 2021). 

relax, Reiki for weight loss, coaching tip

Destressing with reiki

With reiki, you acquire a different level of calmness. You become more aware of your surroundings and yourself. Reiki soothes you, which makes you analyze the situation you are in and confidently decide on your actions. 

When it comes to weight loss, Reiki can assist in stabilizing your appetite and stopping you from overeating. Because you increase your mindfulness with the help of reiki, you can opt for healthier options when eating. These days, it’s normal to see somebody eating while watching a movie, working, or even driving. But activities such as these distract us from realizing how much we eat. So when you adopt reiki into your life, you become more aware and put more focus on what you take into your body.

And soon enough, you’ll notice that you no longer have a dilemma about which food to eat; either you reach for a healthful pack of strawberries or a highly processed bag of chips. Now you understand that mindful eating, without any form of distraction, can help you with controlling your food portions and decrease your cravings for unhealthy foods. Mindful eating brought about by Reiki helps in losing weight (Dunn et al, 2018).


Reiki can assist in stabilizing your appetite and stopping you from overeating. Because you increase your mindfulness with the help of reiki, you can opt for healthier options when eating. 


2. Reiki can help manage pain.

In a study on cancer patients, including Reiki in the treatment was able to alleviate pain and symptoms in addition to receiving opioid analgesics. One of the reasons believed why Reiki led to a positive outcome for the patients has something to do with acupuncture. When acupuncture is performed, the body releases endorphins which help in reducing stress and alleviating pain. Since Reiki also involves the same meridians treated in acupuncture, it helps the body release more endorphins which may explain why the patients felt reduced pain with Reiki treatment (Olson & Hanson, 1997).

Now, what does pain have to do with weight loss? Chronic pain and the signs and symptoms of a disease can affect a person’s daily life, especially if they’re not tolerable and controlled. They can stress people out and cause anxiety. They can interfere with everything that you do because they limit your movement and flexibility. They make it difficult for you to sit, stand, or move objects around which is essential for staying physically active (Katz, 2002). Pain can hold back. 

If you feel pain, it is important to address it because you won’t be able to concentrate on anything else aside from it. Losing weight may not entirely be easy but it shouldn’t feel painful. With the power of a touch, Reiki will help you feel less pain and direct your focus more on your weight loss journey. 

proper eating, mindful eating, Reiki for weight loss, coaching tip

3. Reiki can help with digestion and detoxing.

Reiki helps you balance the on and off the energy around your body so it helps your organs function better, particularly to chump down and digest food. As previously mentioned, Reiki helps take the stress out of the body, so in its absence, the body can successfully detox and be rid of all the built-up toxins from years of eating unhealthily.

4. Reiki can improve your sleep.

If your sleep quality or pattern has been suffering, Reiki may be able to help you. In recent studies, people who were taught Reiki techniques for self-healing showed positive changes in treating insomnia. The thing is, it is expected for people who practice Reiki to fall asleep during sessions because of how deeply relaxed they get. Why does this happen? Reiki soothes you by stabilizing your nervous system. And when you feel calm, you can sleep better (Pugh, 2008; Costa et al, 2022).

quality sleep, Reiki for weight loss, coaching tip

According to research, good quality sleep is associated with weight loss, particularly fat loss. This is because when people sleep poorly, they tend to eat more, especially foods with high calories and not enough nutrients, and decrease their physical activity. Poor sleep also lowers your daytime alertness. Therefore, little amount or poor quality of sleep can lead to weight gain (Kline et. al, 2021). 

Sleep is an important predictor of weight management so if your goal is to lose weight in a healthy way, you may consider improving your sleep with Reiki. 

5. Reiki can help you tune into your body’s real needs.

Reiki can help you become more aware of your body's nutritional needs. When you understand your own needs, it’s easier for you to guide and control your eating. You can decide on healthier options and eradicate unhealthy cravings for salty and sugary snacks.

Some clients have reported that after only a few sessions of Reiki, they completely changed the way they feed their bodies. They reported an increase in their willpower too (Dyer et al., 2019).

how reiki helps weight loss, prevents overeating, manages pain, helps with digestion and detoxing, improves your sleep, tunes into your body's needs

Reiki benefits

In order to lose weight and keep it off, you have to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle. Just like any other hobbies or fun activities, Reiki is a great addition to your everyday life because it heals you from within. 

Yoga, massage, acupuncture, and the bio-mat are other forms of energy work and they work well with Reiki, so you might want to consider adding them to your new healthy lifestyle. Unlike other healing activities, reiki doesn’t require a specific time or place to be practiced. But it’s best for you to find a quiet environment so you can best focus on activating your energy. Some Reiki sessions are held in calm treatment rooms and some in outdoor settings. Although Reiki is often done face-to-face with Reiki masters, it can also be taught virtually which is a safe option during an ongoing pandemic (Clayton, 2022).

hands healing, Reiki for weight loss, coaching tip

Because Reiki allows you to get in touch with your energy within and realign your emotions, it helps hasten your body’s natural healing process. With Reiki, you will be able to eradicate unnecessary negativities, stress, and unhealed trauma so you can become your best self (Bedowski, 2022).

Given all these reasons, Reiki may be worth a try in your weight loss journey. It's much easier to walk away from the things that distract and impede your success when you have a deep love for yourself and your body. And when you’re trying to lose weight, Reiki will help you avoid overeating sugary, fatty, and generally unhealthy foods.

Shedding the weight you have gained as a protection 

For some of us, it is possible that weight is something we gain to safeguard ourselves because of the traumatizing incidents and memories that haunt us from the past. According to the Survivors of Incest Anonymous, women actually put on extra weight around their bodies to help them from abuse and harm.

Sometimes, we have to work on our way of thinking before we set our sights on new goals. When we resolve the discouragement and hopelessness we give ourselves in the form of negative thoughts, we can conquer the world!

Reiki allows you to heal your body, mind, and spirit. During Reiki sessions, you will feel a white light coursing through your body to fill in voids and heal where you need healing. You inhale and exhale with purpose – to relax – and so you become more comfortable, and better yet, confident! You let go of the barriers that impede you from moving forward. You unchain yourself from emotional captivity to channel your energy. When you become more aware of yourself, it’s easier for you to shed some weight and achieve a healthier body.


Reiki allows you to heal your body, mind, and spirit. During Reiki sessions, you will feel a white light coursing through your body to fill in voids and heal where you need healing. 


Reiki for a successful weight loss journey

Although the jury is still out on the existence of Qi or Ki, people have been experiencing positive changes through the practice of Reiki for years. People are able to heal themselves, and to this day, Reiki is still deemed generally safe (Lee et al., 2008).

Reiki may be ancient but its effects are extensive when it comes to healing and weight loss. In the past, reiki effectively made a positive impact on dealing with pain, exhaustion, anxiety, and depression. In fact, you only hear good things about reiki, and the good news is it is backed by science.

But be aware, anything related to healing takes time. The effects of reiki won’t be felt overnight, and just like building a hobby or working on a project, it can take several sessions to see and feel positive changes. If you are someone who is health-conscious and wants to try other methods to aid in weight loss, you can always try Reiki. At the end of the day, what do you have to lose?

Jessa Johnson

Life coach

Weight loss doesn't begin in the gym with a dumb bell; it starts in your head with a decision. Toni Sorenson, Reiki for weight loss

FAQs

1. Is there scientific evidence that Reiki has benefits?

Reiki alone doesn’t cure anything, but there have been many studies on its benefits as a complementary treatment. At this time, research on Reiki has covered the alleviation of pain, reduction of anxiety and stress, lowering of heart rate, blood pressure, and salivary cortisol, and addressing burnout, depression, and other health conditions. Reiki has been generally considered a safe, gentle, and highly relaxing practice (McManus, 2017).

2. What happens in a Reiki session?

In one Reiki session, you’ll be asked to lie down comfortably on a massage table. A Reiki practitioner will gently brush their hands on your body, specifically on the areas with energy. The duration of a Reiki session depends on how much it is needed by the client but it is guided by how quick or strong energy flows. This involves hand placements on 12 positions on the head and torso or wherever the client feels pain. Each Reiki session usually takes 45 to 75 minutes to complete (Miles, 2003). 

3. How does Reiki help in weight loss?

Reiki realigns your human energy fields which allows you to destress and concentrate. Reiki also promotes quality sleep and helps you control pain. Factors such as unresolved stress and anxiety, chronic pain, and poor sleep are predictors of weight gain. So when you address those issues, you will be able to lose weight more effectively as you aim because you can concentrate better on your weight loss journey. 

4. What does Reiki feel like?

Each session will make you feel the energy course through your body as the Reiki practitioner taps into certain areas on your body. You may feel warmth, painless and slight prickling, or pulsation. Some people even fall asleep during the session. While this is what most people experience, some do not notice anything at all. However, after their Reiki sessions, they generally lighten up and feel calm. 

5. Can Reiki replace traditional treatments?

Unfortunately no, Reiki is only a complementary treatment that works best along with other treatments. It shouldn’t serve as an alternative to any medical or serious condition.  

6. Which chakra is associated with weight loss?

Chakra is a Sanskrit term that translates to wheel and pertains to the energy points in the body that bear a resemblance to a wheel. 

The chakra most linked to weight loss is Solar Plexus (yellow). Solar Plexus can be located above the navel (the indentation or bump where the umbilical cord was attached before birth) and below the rib cage. Solar Plexus connects with our power and strength, but more than that, it also helps in regulating our blood sugar. A healed and balanced Solar Plexus allows us to control our eating which can improve our weight management. 


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