Reiki - is it compatible with Catholic faith?

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There seems to be a lot of Catholics who are advocates of Reiki.
It is my understanding that Reiki is an “Eastern” religious healing technique that falls into New Age spirituality and thus anti-Catholic Christian. Can you shed light on this? Thanks, Steve
I looked into Reiki a few months ago as I was going to a massage therapist who practiced Reiki and started doing some strange things that I asked her not to do (using crystals, calling upon spirits, etc.). I’m no expert, but the information I found said the Reiki is based on the occult and should not be practiced. I spoke to a man in our diocese who is an expert on the occult and satanic worship. He supported the information that I had found.
There seems to be a lot of Catholics who are advocates of Reiki.
It is my understanding that Reiki is an “Eastern” religious healing technique that falls into New Age spirituality and thus anti-Catholic Christian. Can you shed light on this? Thanks, Steve
Short answer: Reiki is not an acceptable Catholic practice

There have been attempts to tie Christianity into Reiki with claims that Jesus was some sort of “Reiki Master” and thus His miraculous healing abilities. Some bend the philosophy and say that Reiki is a gift from God to be used for good, blah, blah, blah…In my opinion, it is simply a New Age/Eastern spiritual heresy that (sadly) Christians try to take and adapt to their own beliefs, while, in the process of doing so, stray from their faith.

The following are excerpts from an article from the Catholic Culture website.
Neither “healing” nor “energy”, Reiki is actually a manifestation of Tantric magic studied by Usui during a prolonged Buddhist retreat and fast during which time he reportedly studied a Buddhist Tantric text.Tantra is a form of yoga in which sexual “energy” is manipulated for a variety of purposes – from seeking a magical union of lovers to attaining “union” with God or with the “Supreme Self”. Tantra is one of the most powerful forms of yoga (tantric yoga) and involves secret practices and ceremonial rituals including group sex. Lovers visualize each other as “manifestations” of the male or female aspect of God and attempt to achieve ecstasy and a melding together of souls with or without physical union…

…Usui was said to have originally descended the mountain from his retreat with healing powers and the desire to heal the masses. He lived in the slums of a city for several years, performing seemingly miraculous healings on the poor without charge. Then, after a time, these same “patients’ who had been healed returned to him, having lost their “healings“. Usui meditated on why this was so and how he could remedy the problem. He decided that his patients became ill again because they did not sufficiently value the healings they received, and so he began to charge money for his services.

Like most New Age healing techniques, practitioners and schools of Reiki vary their practice and combine it with other practices such as the use of crystals, magical incantations for protection, “psychic” surgery, group energy channeling, and spiritualism that includes the taking over of the body by one’s “guide”…

…Many seriously ill patients in hospitals are exposed to occult techniques, including Reiki, without full knowledge or consent. While in a weakened and vulnerable state, “volunteers” perform Reiki magic over them…

…In essence, Reiki and the New Age paradigm in general, seeks to change our bodies and minds, which are temples of the Holy Spirit, into dens which spirit guides may inhabit, and which are reduced to metaphysical machines that can only be corrected and perfected through mechanistic energy infusions. It is a power paradigm which emphasizes control and domination…
Wow, thanks Todd! That really helped me better define the practice as well. God bless!
There seems to be a lot of Catholics who are advocates of Reiki.
It is my understanding that Reiki is an “Eastern” religious healing technique that falls into New Age spirituality and thus anti-Catholic Christian. Can you shed light on this? Thanks, Steve
Reki healing, well there is only one Holy Spirit so I would think it better to stay away from it, there is the HOLY SPIRIT & evil spirits, I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole, “First I am the Lord thy GOD thou shall not have strange gods before me”
Just thought I would mention this. The link above is a story about someone who had reki removed by prayer. I too was under the impression that if something heals it can’t be bad.

My story?
Prior to having reki done I went to a women for “auric healing”. I had no idea that this women was a witch or I would have never went. Before I went in to her place I felt a strange sensation come over me. When I went into her house it was clear she was. I wasn’t a strong practicing Catholic (actual non-practicing but I didn’t know that) but I knew one thing I wasn’t pagan! The lady that set up the appointment said “you might get the wrong impression, she is a good women”. I was desperate for healing though and felt compelled to go through what seemed to be a harmless session. I did refused to drink Holy Water. I figured that she was probably a gyspy and was scamming money at the very worst. Later I went back to my martial art instructor and told him that I didn’t like it. He said “maybe she is a good witch, relax”. He was friends with the people who owned the new age store next to the Kempo school (the lady that set up the appointment). I suspected something wasn’t right but thought I was being irrational. Ironically the martial art I was studying was pagan as well. Kosho Ryu Kempo. I didn’t know this at the time. I thought the “religion of Kosho Ryu” was an enlightened form of Bruce Lee’s philosophy. Since then I have talked to two priest and they have reassured me it is not Catholic. I was always encouraged to study reki since “it’s” a healing art. After a fall out with my instructor I left the martial arts. However I continued to believe that reki was still ok. Again, I thought if it heals it can’t be bad.

I had reki level one done and felt that it was quite relaxing. An unusual thing happen to me though after I had it done. I went to a Renaissance fair to see middle age stuff (knights and swords) . I came across a stand that sold pagan stuff (I had no interest that) in addition to reki materials. The two people at the booth gave me a strange look. It was as though they knew something about me.
I still continued to believe that reki was ok though since its a healing art. I was still desperate for spiritual healing so I went back for reki level two and that was the last!!! The people there started talking about talking to their “spirit guides”. And stated that they were talking with them! I made it obvious that I was resistant to the session. I didn’t play along. Key point to ruin a new ager’s day! Since then I have gone back to the Church and I go to confession weekly and commuion at least twice a week.

Why didn’t I just go to Church…well to make a long story short poor Catechism as a child and my parents didn’t take me to Church or confession often enough. I did not even know about the Real Pressence(spelling?) until about a few months ago. I attended Church, when I did, by going through the motions. My mother was Luthuren and became Byzantine Catholic to get married, that may have had something to do with it. They didn’t want to push religion on me. Misguided compassion! I have learned alot since I started talking a priest. has some other great stuff as well
I too was under the impression that if something heals it can’t be bad.
YES! Thank you for pointing that out. Just because we might appear to benefit from a practice (whether it’s Reiki, talking with spirits, yoga, etc.) doesn’t mean it’s GOOD FOR YOU! We have to remember that the devil mocks God, so even though it may APPEAR we feel better or some condition has gone away through “healing”, it really hasn’t.
Just another note. For those out there invovled in the martial arts or know someone in the martial arts. Rememeber that religion has nothing to do with your fighting ability. Keep meditative practices focused on Christ. I would strongly urge you to avoid reki, zen, buddhism, tao, “a course in miracles” and other stuff that does not offer true honor to Jesus Christ.

It will not make you a better fighter!!! spread the word
Is yoga wrong too?

I think the basics of yoga are good, it gets you stretching , and relaxing.

What do others think ?

And why do all the other religions like this seem to have some sort of meditation exercise, but Catholics don’t.

Surely we could benefit by reflecting on God, while helping our bodies.

Love Kellie
Is yoga wrong too?
I’m not an expert on this by any means, but I watched a program on EWTN featuring a woman who had gotten deeply into tantric yoga (suggested by her priest) and ended up learning that it was steeped in the occult. She was getting advice from a “yogi”. Eventually she ended up having an exorcism following by many difficult months trying to get away from the evil spirits.

While it may seem harmless to participate in yoga for stretching, etc., this person also said that many of the positions for yoga are satanic worshipping stances, inviting the demons into your body.

Guess I would say there are many other forms of exercise, stretching, etc., to benefit your body and if you want to pray during your exercise, all the better!

This woman’s philosophy was, “When in doubt, go without.” If you’re not sure, it’s better not to even go there.
I suggest reading the document put out by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith “*On Some Aspects of Christian Meditation” *which you can read for free on Go to the document library and search. Actually, here is a link to it as well:
Just another note. For those out there invovled in the martial arts or know someone in the martial arts. Rememeber that religion has nothing to do with your fighting ability. Keep meditative practices focused on Christ. I would strongly urge you to avoid reki, zen, buddhism, tao, “a course in miracles” and other stuff that does not offer true honor to Jesus Christ.

It will not make you a better fighter!!! spread the word
What about Dr. Wayne Dwyer? Has anyone read “The Purpose of Intention”?
I had actually never heard of Reiki until tonight, and I see that the thread has actually progressed beyone Reiki into other occult subjects.

I would like to share my own brush with the occult just to show where it almost took me…had I been really alone.

At the time I was seperated from the Church, although I still called myself Catholic.

Well, Greg and I, co workers, got together for coffee and he told me the mailbox at his apartment was under his roommate Mark Foster’s name. Before we went out, he offered to give me a special Tarot reading.

I conceeded to the reading and sat in enjoyment while he began interpreting the cards. I disbelieved him immediately as he began telling partial truths. Anyway, I didn’t stop him and he went on with the lies.
Greg continued to tell me all kinds of interesting things…like I was destined to die a fiery death and that I had lived before and “came close” but never figured out the right way to live; that he could tell me exactly what I had done wrong in a previous life and why I wasn’t in heaven with God; that he could teach me the secrets to the universe and that I could have the knowledge of God.

Already I was equating him with the serpent of the Bible, and I let him go on while inside I was actually quaking as I realized that I was in the presence of Satan.

But for some reason, although I was afraid, I also felt a new strength to which I can only attribute to the Holy Spirit being present with me.

Greg made all kinds of promises. He told me he could not turn over the last card, that I had to do it for myself. Greg really built this up into a promise of glorious revalation, as though I could be on par with God from the knowledge of the last card.

Then he really stuck a fork in himself.

He talked about Adam and Eve and the appearance of the serpent. He equated himself to the serpent, told me that the last card was the apple, the pattern of cards the tree. He told me my salvation was in that card and that I could have knowledge that surpassed God’s knowledge.

I would have been laughing hysterically had it not been for the look in his eyes. I still remember his red hair and his green eyes nearly glowing, reptilian in his fervor. I still remember thinking that I should be afraid, but instead, there was actually some amusement. Although a part of me was curious, there was no question in my mind. The reminder of Adam and Eve was enough.

But Greg went on . He actually TOLD me that he was known by many names; Papa Legbah (did I spell that right–common term in southern folktales), the Hairy Man, Satan, Lucifer, the Morning Star, etc. He told me who he was. He told me he was Legion whom Jesus Christ had sent into the swine.He told me that he was the Devil.

I still can’t believe he actually offered me the example and the titles; why would I make the same mistake as Adam and Eve? Why eat the apple when I already knew the suffering a quest for such knowledge would entail?

I let Greg speak, the Holy Spirit keeping me amused and immune to his allegedly seductive words. Finally Greg fell silent and I could almost swear that I saw a forked tongue pass between his lips in anticipation of my response.

I let him sweat as I pretended to study the cards. Instead, I prayed for strength and for Jesus to help me get out of there safely.

I looked Greg/Satan in the eye and I told him that there is some knowledge that we are not meant to have. I shook my head and told him that I’d prefer my life and death to be in God’s hands, not mine.

I’ve never seen such disappointment as he gathered up his cards and put them away.

A few weeks later I watched a story on TV about a murdered man found over in Wisconsin with a list of names in his shoe. He was allegedly a member of a “Voodoo Cult” and believed that if he was murdered, his spirit would live on in his murderer(s). He was allegedly the leader of this cult and his death was the passing of the torch.

The mans’ name was Mark Foster.

On the night that Greg gave me a reading he told me he was going to become a priest and that he had yet to break only 1 of the commandments, but had broken all others. He was very proud of this, and seem excited in anticipation of breaking the last commandment.

Amazing that Mark Foster was his roommate and was murdered only a short time later. Amazing that Greg was into the occult and had mentioned to me a “drum circle” that he wanted me to join, and bring a coconut for a special “reading” he’d learned about in Africa. Part of a group ritual.

Amazing that I escaped not only with my life, but with my soul and with knowledge that was somehow given to me when I needed it.

this has been heavily edited

In my experience with martial arts (stretching). Go to your local university and take a course in Kinesiology (spelling?) . You will find that many of those postures are not healthy for your joints. Check with the American College of Sports Medicine. Let many years of Western medical science and Olympic training work for you!
Sircah 14,

Dr. Wayne Dyer, in my opinion, is still recovering from “Woodstock”. I threw away all of his books because he borrows heavily from the course in spiritual death! As for the book called “a course in miracles” its not to be read by Catholics. Its Evil! . Read Fr. Groeschel’s book “A Still Small Voice”, he had personal experience with the writers of the course. In fact he described what seemed like demonic activity in one of his stories (EWTN story). Check out these links. … By the way I am back in the Truth Church and couldn’t be happier!!!

Hope that helps.
I have practiced Yoga on a daily basis for over 25 years. I enjoy excellent health and run several marathons each year. I take the US Marine Corps physical fitness test every month and score in the top ten percent for active duty Marines aged 18 to 25.

The point is not that I am a great guy, but that Yoga is an excellent practice and will enhance all aspects of life and health.

Yoga ia a huge area, and there are various forms and philosophies. Some have spiritual aspects, and some don’t. A person can easily find a yogic system that fits in with their other beliefs. It is mistaken to take a practice from one form of Yoga and attribute it to all forms of Yoga.

Many people are doing Yoga exercises and don’t even know it. Most modern sports stretching programs,.books, videos, etc. incorporate practices which once were only found in Yoga. Many of the exercises in prenatal programs are Yogic in origin. They are simply not called Yoga outside of a Yogic circle.

A Yoga book from fifty years ago looks very different from the Western sports stretches recommended at the same time. Today the Western stretches look very much like those same age old Yoga postures.

A Catholic missionary who spent 25 years in Pakistan once told me that women who practiced Yoga in his neighborhood looked the same when he left as when he arrived. He said he didn’t know why, but he had to acknowledge it.
I guess some of the yoga strecthing can be ok. I still stress that Olympic and professional athletes know what they are doing. It is my understanding that there is a form of Yoga that is sport oriented.

What I am against is spiritual context that is associated with yoga. For insatnce saying the Lord’s prayer while doing the Sun salutation? This has nothing to do with stretching. Studying the chakras is another joke. By all means stay away from Kundalini meditation!!!
The bulletin at church listed a retreat center in Ferdinand Indiana that features Reiki amoung other new age practices. I talked to my priest and requested it be removed from the bulletin. My priest said he would remove it but he wanted to be sure I understood that Reiki wasn’t necessarily wrong. He said relaxation and meditation were good for people. I strongly disagree with him when it comes to Reiki or any other new age practice. Who needs something like Reiki when we have many prayers and practices to reach the Holy Spirit. The only Spirituality I need. What does one do when the parish priest has such an open mind towards new age thinking? My priest is very young, and I like him a lot but how can I let him know Reiki is not excepted by the Catholic Church.
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