Reiki is a Japanese form of alternative medicine called energy healing. Reiki practitioners use a technique called palm healing or hands-on healing through which a "universal energy" is said to be transferred through the palms of the practitioner to the patient in order to encourage emotional or physical healing.
Reiki is a pseudoscience and is used as an illustrative example of pseudoscience in scholarly texts and academic journal articles. It is based on qi ("chi"), which practitioners say is a universal life force, although there is no empirical evidence that such a life force exists.
Clinical research does not show reiki to be effective as a treatment for any medical condition, including cancer, diabetic neuropathy, or anxiety and depression, therefore it should not replace conventional medical treatment. There is no proof of the effectiveness of reiki therapy compared to placebo. Studies reporting positive effects have had methodological flaws.