I am often asked by people at networking events is Reiki based on a religion. My answer is no; it is not based on a religion or a faith.  I have Reiki practitioner friends who are devoted Catholics, Baptists, Jews, and atheists who practice Reiki. I will admit I do not know the origins of all the varieties, there are over 1,000 sub-types of Reiki, but the foundations of Reiki are not based on a religion.

I often describe Reiki as a belief: it is a belief that our bodies can heal themselves. It is similar to the belief that various complementary modalities, such as acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic, can assist the body in healing. A lot of scientific research correlates physical and mental symptoms to a disease; in other words, the mental state is just as important as physical signs. For example, if we believe cancer is curable then it is curable.  It does not matter if the cancer disappeared because of chemotherapy, radiation or change of lifestyle. What matters is us having a strong belief that through modern medicine or complementary modalities, that cancer can disappear.