The objective of this work was to determine any changes in HRV (heart rate variability) using shorttime
measurements (140 seconds) in a quasi-experimental therapeutic application study on Reiki.
HRV was determined using a ready at hand electrocardiogram device the size of a cellular phone, which requires
a measuring time of 140 seconds and electrode contact only with the finger tips. Measurements were performed on
healthy test subjects, before and after a defined control rest period and a defined test intervention period (Reiki treatment).
27 test subjects were enrolled.
SDNN (the standard deviation of all heartbeat intervals in ms) and TP (total power of heartbeat interval
variability in the frequency range 0.003 – 0.4 Hz in ms2) were together interpreted as an indicator of test subjects'
autonomic nervous activity and as a measure of their ability to cope with demands on their health (regulatory capacity).
These values increased both in the control (p < 0.05) and in the test intervention period (p < 0.01). However the increase
was more marked after the Reiki intervention (57.8% / 81.7%) than it was after the control rest period (19.6% / 42.8%)
(interactions: p < 0.01 / p > 0.05).The LF/HF ratio (sympathico-vagal balance) was interpreted as a measure of the balance
between activation and relaxation. No changes in the LF/HF ratio were observed in the course of the control or the test
intervention period (p > 0.05).
Both control rest and Reiki treatment had a favourable effect on heart rate variability, but the effect of Reiki
treatment was markedly stronger. The measurement device used seems to be a promising tool for practical application
studies of this kind.
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