The Brain Waves of Reiki


by Judith Pennington

Who the best healers are and how healing works has been the subject of scientific research since the 1970s, when investigators first began to study the brain waves of hands-on healers. I have always been interested in energy healing, especially since 2001, when I discovered in my own brain waves that sending out healing prayers at the close of meditation expands and evolves the mind more than anything else—and in precisely the same way as loving communion with universal Light.

So it was with considerable excitement that last year I acquired a second electroencephalograph (EEG) allowing me to simultaneously observe the interactions of a healer and subject, and promptly embarked on studies of Reiki healers. To my surprise and delight, all of these studies, both with Modern Reiki and traditional Japanese Reiki healers, proved in every case that energy healing expands and evolves the minds of healers and their recipients.

I did this research with a Mind Mirror, a unique dual-hemisphere, composite-picture EEG invented and used by British biophysicist and Zen master C. Maxwell Cade to study the interrelationships of four categories of brain wave frequencies—beta, alpha, theta and delta—during meditation, energy healing, psychic inquiry, and spiritual communion with Source.

Modern Reiki Healers in New York City
In several studies beginning in January of 2011, I observed the brain waves of as many as six modern Reiki healers working at the same time on a single recipient (also a Reiki healer). At times all of them produced—and some consistently—the two brain wave patterns identified by Cade in his groundbreaking book, The Awakened Mind, as higher states of awareness: 1) the open, flowing awakened (meditative) mind of clarity, creativity, insight, intuition and spiritual connection, and 2) the evolved mind of unity, bliss and illumination.

These brainwave patterns are commonly seen in practiced meditators, highly creative people, energy workers, yoga practitioners, and spiritual seekers, but rarely in people not committed to some kind of mind-calming contemplative practice. Seeing these advanced patterns so consistently in 12 New York healers convinced me of the power of Reiki to transform consciousness in much the same way that meditation does: the quiet mind (beta) opens to its subconscious (theta), resonates with the energies of healing and growth in nature (alpha), and intuitively attunes to the quantum Field of consciousness (delta) containing all energy and information.

Thus open to self, nature and the Field, the healer receives and transmits healing energy and information to the subject without blocking, or impeding, the current of energy. Researchers say that healing light typically travels in the 0- to 30-hertz frequency range, with a strong concentration in the 7.8-hertz borderline of alpha-theta, where peak meditation and healing take place in the human body, mind and spirit. The awakened and evolved mind brain wave patterns carry precisely these frequency ranges.

Usui Reiki Ryoho as taught by Frans Stiene of the International House of Reiki
While studying the brain waves of four Shinpiden students, trained by the International House of Reiki, working on one client, I was surprised to see an altogether different brain wave pattern. Still more surprising were the unusual brain wave patterns of founder Frans Stiene and his subject Deborah Harrigan during a healing session in Washington, D.C.

What I saw in Frans’ brain wave patterns was so startling that I checked his hookups repeatedly to make sure the electrodes were snug and secure enough to transmit a clear signal to my Mind Mirror. The hookup was good, but the images were hard to believe: Whether Frans was telling a joke or healing Deborah, he produced the brain wave pattern known as yoga nidra, or “psychic sleep,” wherein only the lowest and slowest delta waves are present to receive and transmit energy from the Field—without any but the slightest appearance (and interfering mental activity) of beta, alpha and theta.

Yogic Consciousness
The delta-only yoga nidra pattern is so rare that I’d never seen it before, although I had been watching for it since finding in Max Cade’s book a piece of information that had been lost in translation: that this pattern appears just before consciousness merges with theField to form the circular evolved mind of transcendence.

This made perfect sense to me, since the other three categories of consciousness—beta, alpha and theta—must let go of their content and separate awareness (a huge leap of faith) in order for delta to amplify itself enough to reach into and unite with the quantum Field in the circular pattern of the evolved mind. But normally the yoga nidra state is elusive. The seasoned meditator lies on the floor in the spread-eagle “corpse” pose of yoga. So relaxed as to almost lose all conscious awareness, the meditator attunes to the Field for healing and psychic insight.

Frans’ operating in this yoga nidra pattern in waking awareness could only mean that his 13 years of daily Reiki practice and the healing it has brought him conditioned this superconscious state of mind into his brain waves—as in a yogi. In fact, the psychic sleep of yoga nidra is the pattern required of yogis at the time of initiation: Using their relaxation skills to drop into physical catalepsy, their minds roam the outside world to obtain information that must be accurately reported upon waking as a condition of initiation.

‘When I am in this state’, Frans explained after the session, ‘I feel my physical body collapsing and my sense of separation disappears’.
Remaining in what he calls ‘the witness consciousness’, he enters the ‘formless’ in which he is aware only of energetic impulses moving through his body.

In brain-speak, his delta waves are intuitively sensing/feeling the energy in the most basic way of human knowing—without any analysis or interpretation.

A Dance of Light
While Frans’ default pattern was yoga nidra—that is, an extremely quiet mind connected to the Field—he was not limited to it: At times, his pattern shifted from delta-only yoga nidra to a “no-mind” pattern of virtually flat brain waves known as the out-of-body pattern, meaning, as I like to joke, ‘There’s nobody home’.

While of course there is someone home, the brain/mind has so absented itself from mental activity that it is like a clear, still pool of water, reaching for nothing and only receiving what comes from the Field.

Deborah was the perfect recipient for Frans—and for this brain wave study—because she is a psychic empath. While entrainment—the synchronization of brain waves—is a desired result in any healing, a psychic empath reaches out with the anticipation and “clear mind” that facilitates this exchange of energy.

Deborah’s anticipation of healing produced consistent awakened and partial evolved-mind patterns (half of the circle, either at the top or bottom of the pattern), which allowed her to easily ‘mindwalk’ with Frans. It was almost as if Frans was coaxing Deborah into the no-mind pattern that is so familiar to her. In Session 2, when Frans was kneeling on the floor and performed a spiritual blessing (reiju) across the room, she shifted into his yoga nidra delta-only pattern.

In both sessions, Frans and Deborah were engaged in an energy trade wherein her brain waves shifted into his states of consciousness, and at one point, for a period of eight seconds, his low-amplitude awakened pattern nearly doubled in strength as it picked up her high-amplitude awakened mind brain waves.

As if these patterns weren’t remarkable enough, a frame-by-frame study of the Mind Mirror’s recorded images back at home revealed in Frans and Deborah’s brain wave patterns a fascinating and rare progression: a sudden shift from their no-mind, out-of-body patterns to super-high-frequency gamma waves stretched out above an awakened mind pattern, and then back to the no-mind.

Frans later on explained this phenomenon: ‘I was just connecting, merging as much as possible with Deborah to just let the energy flow’, he said. Huge energy downloads are ‘very normal during a practice like this’, he continued. ‘Then it all settles down again, as you call it, into the out-of-body pattern. In Japanese this is called Mushin, which means no-mind and is linked to the level III symbol and mantra’.

The few times I have seen gamma—most frequently in International House of Reiki healers—it looks like an inverted crescent moon sitting on top of an awakened mind pattern. At one point in our session, I saw in Frans’ brain waves two awakened mind patterns stacked underneath a gamma crescent moon.

Inside the Photon
Why do International House of Reiki healers produce these gamma frequencies? Studies conducted by several different researchers show that people produce gamma in three instances, all during deep meditation states: as the result of attentional focus (possibly on mantras), unity consciousness, and loving compassion.

International House of Reiki graduates, engaged in energy healings producing the awakened, evolved, no-mind and out-of-body patterns of deep, profound meditation, may be generating gamma for any or all three of the above reasons. But it’s also true—and I strongly conjecture this—that any meditative mind, consciously or unconsciously, can tap into these super-high gamma frequencies in order to conduct high-voltage light to people in special need of it.

Why would someone need a high-frequency supercharge? Researcher James L. Oschmann, in his book Energy Healing: The Scientific Basis, explains that healers are directly transmitting to their recipients the missing frequencies that have caused discord or disease in the body. Most people, he points out, receive healing in the 0- to 30-hertz frequency band; apparently others need the supercharge emitted by 30- to 100-hertz gamma frequencies to fill the body with high-powered photonic light, much like a lightning bolt charges up the atmosphere.

This doesn’t mean that the awakened and evolved mind patterns produced by Modern Reiki healers are inferior, only that the lower frequencies in which they are operating are carrying more photons containing less power—a steady current of lower-frequency energy, rather than a lightning bolt.

Which, you may wonder, is better: the awakened/evolved mind’s strong, steady current saturated with photons of light or the gamma brain’s supercharge of fewer photons but powered-up light?

At this point in time, only the healer and recipient can answer this question, based on their subjective experience. In the end, it is likely that supernal Light travels as needed through those most capable of channeling it; if the capacity is not present, Light undoubtedly finds other ways to go where it is needed.



Harmonic Waves of Love
What these studies prove—not only through brain states, but subjective experience—is that real healing is occurring through Reiki. We know this because brain wave frequencies are not confined to the brain, but cascade via harmonic wave motion into every cell and atom in the body (see Oschmann). The frequencies conducted by the healer jumpstart the “body electric” and instruct repair systems to do their repair work. In the process, light flowing into every level of one’s being carries intuitive insights into the mind, love into the heart, and illumination to the spirit.


Researchers have shown that an increase in the strength of brain waves, whether from the awakened and evolved mind patterns or gamma waves, increases the output of energy from the fingers and this energy ripples into infinity, with the consequence of healing the world. While this is a precious service to humanity, just as beautiful is the ability of energy work to heal and evolve the healer’s consciousness as much if not more than the person being healed.


Of course, no one needs to see brain wave patterns to know that healing has occurred. We can feel, experience and know this. And yet, it’s always good for the doubting ego to logically understand the process, so that it can unreservedly believe, trust and surrender to the divine Light which so deeply loves and heals us and all things.

Judith Pennington is an internationally published journalist, author, and founder of the Institute for the Awakened Mind, an international consortium of EEG awakened mind trainers. Visit the and to see live brain waves, meditate online, and explore her free online publications, The StillSmallVoice and OneWorldSpirit, both devoted to personal and planetary peace.


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