Extended Perception Corroboration: A Pilot Study with Energy Medicine Practitioners

February 14, 2022
Garret Yount, PhD, Helané Wahbeh, ND, MCR

Wahbeh, H., Speirn, P., & Yount, G. (2022, February 14). Extended Perception Corroboration: A Pilot Study with Energy Medicine Practitioners.


Background: Reiki is a type of energy medicine with growing evidence for its benefit for various conditions and populations. The “energy” in energy medicine implies a life force rather than a conventional physics definition, and many people feel they can perceive this energy through extended perception beyond their traditional five senses. This study evaluated extended perception during Reiki energy medicine sessions.

Objective: Six expert Reiki Masters gave 30-minute sessions to 40 participants. Participants had one or more of the following conditions: acute physical injury (such as broken bone), mental impairment (memory issues), and psychological symptoms (anxiety and/or depression). Six people vetted for extended visual perception made observations before, during, and after sessions using quantitative and qualitative measures. Participants and Reiki Masters also recorded their observations. Data were analyzed for corroboration: 1) within-perceivers, 2) between the Reiki Master and perceivers, 3) between the participant and Reiki Master, and 4) between the participant and perceivers. Participants’ well-being outcomes and potential predictors were also evaluated.

Results: Well-being improved after the sessions (F(3,159) = 12.3, p <0.00005; Baseline – 55.7 ± 18.8, Before – 58.9 ± 18.1, After – 73.2 ± 16.2, One-week later – 64.3 ± 20.3; effect size is 0.61, 95% confidence interval [0.39 to 0.59]). The perceivers generally reported similar information in free-form drawings and free text. Perceivers’ observations about the participants’ health were highly corroborated and matched participants’ self-report.

Conclusion: No predictors revealed themselves, supporting the tradition that Reiki applies to anyone regardless of health condition. Furthermore, the symbols perceivers noted were meaningful to the participants, but perceivers did not see the same symbols nor ascribe the same meaning to them that the participants did. Future studies are needed to refine the methods developed here to continue the exploration of extended perception, its validity, and practical application in healthcare.

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