The enrichment of magical thinking through practices among Reiki self-healers


  • Outi Pohjanheimo University of Helsinki


Religious change, Postsecularism, Health, Healing, Reiki (Healing system), Ritual, Magic, Spirituality, Alternative medicine, Holistic medicine, Finland, Psychology and religion


Reiki is an example of a spiritually based healing context, which offers an entry into the magical thinking through the ritual initiation. There are several practices like Reiki in the field of new spirituality. Their backgrounds are situated in a variety of religious traditions, although many religious ideas in the field are based on assimilation of ideas and practices familiar in Eastern religious traditions. Why is Reiki so particularly famous in the field? It would seem that Reiki is very flexible and easily integrated to other practices. One factor which explains the popularity of Reiki has to do with healing. Healing, as well as illness and sickness, involving pain and relief from pain, are universal experiences felt by everyone. Complementary and alternative ways of healing are as popular among ordinary folk now as they have been throughout the history of medicine. Even medical nursing staff participate in Reiki courses in their leisure time. One reason for the popularity might also be that Reiki courses are open to everybody. Everybody can learn to heal. After initiation, participants are promised, and believed, to be rewarded for the ability to heal themselves and those near to them with the help of cosmic energy.The focus of this article is the enrichment of magical thinking among Reiki self-healers.The term ‘enrichment’ refers to an observable thickness (or density) of spontaneous reasoning going along lines of magical trains of thought. This includes, for example, assumptions of agency and magical contagion.



How to Cite

Pohjanheimo, O. (2012). The enrichment of magical thinking through practices among Reiki self-healers. Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis, 24, 289–312.