Can Reiki Help Ease Postpartum Depression?

According to a recent study in JAMA Psychiatry, 1 in 7 women may experience postpartum depression within 12 months after giving birth.  Across the globe postpartum depression is said to affect tens if not hundreds of millions of women  per year.

Nearly every new mom feels slightly depressed or overwhelmed at some point during the first few days that follow delivery. Additionally, studies have shown that 10 % of new fathers also experience depression during the first year after baby’s birth. The “Baby Blues” are said to occur to some degree in 75-80% of new mothers. However, some women experience a more severe form of depression, known as “postpartum depression.”

Postpartum depression is a significant problem worldwide, affecting 10 to 20 percent of women around the globe. Women dealing with this condition may try to alleviate their symptoms by taking medication, getting plenty of rest, and attending counseling sessions. However, research has also shown that Reiki may potentially be beneficial to women with postpartum depression. It may also help new fathers who are adjusting to the demands of the new baby and schedule and less sleep.

How Reiki Can Help

Reiki offers several benefits for moms suffering from postpartum depression. Some of the potential benefits of this gentle modality include:

Lower perceptions of stress

People who participate in Reiki sessions often report feeling less stress. Because stress is one of the most significant factors contributing to postpartum depression in new moms, relieving stress may help to improve the symptoms of depression.

Connection with another person

Mothers suffering from postpartum depression often feel alone, withdrawn, and disconnected from the people around them. The one-on-one attention received during a Reiki session may help the mother to feel more grounded and connected to the world around her.

More autonomy

New mothers sometimes feel as though they have lost control of their lives. Scheduling and participating in Reiki sessions lets the mother feel more proactive and autonomous, which may alleviate some of the symptoms of her condition.

A chance to relax

Reiki sessions give new mothers a chance to relax and recharge. This can be especially beneficial to mothers who have depression accompanied by feelings of anxiety.

A better sense of balance

Many clients who participate in regular Reiki sessions report feeling more mentally and physically balanced. This change may help mothers with postpartum depression to overcome their negative mental state.

Research studies support the efficacy of Reiki sessions for depression in general. It is likely that these benefits will translate to postpartum depression as well. Below is some information about some of the research studies that have been conducted on the effectiveness of Reiki for people with depression.

Effects of Reiki on Depression, Anxiety, and Pain

In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Southern Maine, researchers evaluated the effect of Reiki treatments on measures of pain, depression, and anxiety. Individuals participating in the study were divided into two groups: a control group and an experimental group that received Reiki treatments. Measures of depression, anxiety, and pain improved significantly among members of the experimental treatment group.

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Efficacy of Reiki at Benefiting Mood and Well Being

In this study conducted by the University of London, patients underwent two to eight weeks of 30-minute Reiki sessions. At the end of the study, researchers found that participants who were experiencing high levels of anxiety and depression experienced an overall improvement in mood.

Finding a Reiki Practitioner

If you are interested in learning more about Reiki or scheduling a session, you can search for a registered Reiki practitioner right here on our site.

This article appeared in The Reiki Times, Vol. 23, Issue Q2, the magazine of IARP: International Association of Reiki Professionals. © 2019. International Association of Reiki Professionals LLC.  All Rights Reserved.

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