Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide

Reiki has found its modern-day champion. Pamela Miles’ new book, “Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide,” is without a doubt the best tome to date for both physicians and patients who wish to understand the Japanese healing art.


Miles’ book not only describes Reiki, its history and practice, but also delves into how it can help children and families and discusses related research. Some will be skeptical, as the mechanisms for Reiki are still not “explainable” by conventional scientific reasoning, yet the power of Reiki as a healing tool is evident upon receipt or witnessing. As with many complementary and alternative therapies, Reiki is not meant to treat a specific condition in a specific person in a specific way; it is meant to balance and “heal,” in the truest, holistic sense of the word. Below is an excerpt of the press release for the book:

Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide by Pamela Miles (Tarcher/Penguin) is the first mainstream book about a healing practice popular with the public and increasingly used in hospitals. Miles writes from nearly two decades of Reiki practice, 30 years experience with natural medicine, and over 40 years studying meditation and yoga. The book has been endorsed by a number of prominent physicians, including Drs. Andrew Weil, Mehmet Oz, Christiane Northrup, and Larry Dossey, who calls it “the best guide to this healing art currently available.” The author has created Reiki programs in major New York City hospitals and published papers in peer-reviewed medical journals.


  1. At long last, an insightful and intelligent Reiki book appropriate for seasoned practitioners and medical professionals as well as individuals who are simply looking for an objective explanation as to what Reiki is, how it works, and whether or not they want to engage in Reiki treatment or training. In Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide, Tarcher/Penguin, April 2006, Pamela Miles offers an intriguing and thorough exploration of the many aspects of Reiki healing. In chapters examining subjects from “What is Reiki and How Can it Help Me?” to “Reiki Master Training,” from “Reiki Practice, Continuing Support” to “Reiki and Integrative Medicine,” Miles covers every important point concerning Reiki healing that I have encountered in my twenty-three years of Reiki practice, as well as raises questions and points of view I have yet to contemplate.
    Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide, has received praise from such notable medical professionals and authors as Christiane Northrup, MD and Andrew Weil, MD, as well as others in the natural and allopathic healing communities. Larry Dossey, MD and author says, “Reiki is, increasingly, being incorporated into modern medicine because of one compelling reason: it works. Reiki Master Pamela Miles has written the best guide to this healing art currently available.”
    While honoring and clarifying the history and traditions of her own Reiki background, Miles exhibits respect for and recognition to the many different styles of practice which have developed since the time when Hawayo Takata first brought Reiki out of Japan and to the West. Miles, founding director for the Institute for Advancement of Complementary Therapies, says, “That is why it is important to create dialogue among Reiki masters of various lineages and practice styles, to foster greater respect within this highly diverse community.”
    Reiki self-treatment is emphasized as the foundation of practice whether the practitioner is simply using Reiki on herself, family, and close friends or is a professional bringing Reiki to her patients in a medical setting. Even as Miles discusses the complexities and challenges of developing a holistic model for research purposes, she embraces and encourages the essence of Reiki healing: It is simple. It is harmless. It is at once primordial consciousness itself, and our connection to, and experience of, that source.
    Writing a book that is accessible to both novices and seasoned Reiki people as well as to medical professionals who seek to understand what Reiki is and why they should consider incorporating it into their conventional healing systems is no simple task. The author must be able to remember and access the elementary aspects of Reiki practice in order to bring those basics to the reader in a clear, understandable way. But she must also understand the scientific method and be able to communicate in the language of medical professionals.
    Miles’s thirty years of experience as an educator, clinician, and lecturer in natural healing, as well as her years of Reiki mastery, yoga and meditation practice provided the perfect grounding and foundation from which to write this lucid, intelligible, and distinctly unique Reiki book.
    As Andrew Weil, MD says about the author, “Drawing from an uncommonly deep understanding of Reiki, Pamela Miles articulates the essence of healing in language accessible to both professionals and the public.” I would add that in Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide, Miles opens her Reiki heart to us. She not only teaches what Reiki is and why it’s an important holistic method of healing, but also shares with us some of her own personal experiences with Reiki: self-treatment and treating others in both non-medical and medical settings.
    In the current and sometimes competitive climate of natural healing, which offers every conceivable method of Reiki instruction from sitting in the presence of a well-trained Reiki Master to receiving Reiki from a stranger over the Internet, Pamela Miles presents reason and simplicity. She says it best in her introduction: “There is not one way. In these pages, I share the path I am traveling in the hope that it will enrich your journey.”
    I have been enriched beyond my expectations. Miles’s book has further opened my own Reiki heart. Through her expression of Reiki, my own experiences have been deepened. With each chapter, a nod of my head. Yes, that is the Reiki I know and love.
    © February 2006 Karen J. Gordon
    Karen J. Gordon is a freelance copyeditor/writer and independent Reiki Master Teacher. Contact:

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