Independent research by Dr. Robert Becker and Dr. John Zimmerman during the 1980's investigated what happens whilst people practice therapies like Reiki. They found that not only do the brain wave patterns of practitioner and receiver become synchronised in the alpha state, characteristic of deep relaxation and meditation, but they pulse in unison with the earth's magnetic field, known as the Schuman Resonance.
Zimmerman (1990) in the USA and Seto (1992) in Japan further investigated the large pulsating biomagnetic field that is emitted from the hands of energy practitioners whilst they work. They discovered that the pulses are in the same frequencies as brain waves, and sweep up and down from 0.3 - 30 Hz, focusing mostly in 7 - 8 Hz, alpha state. Independent medical research has shown that this range of frequencies will stimulate healing in the body, with specific frequencies being suitable for different tissues. For example, 2 Hz encourages nerve regeneration, 7Hz bone growth, 10Hz ligament mending, and 15 Hz capillary formation. Physiotherapy equipment based on these principles has been designed to aid soft tissue regeneration, and ultra sound technology is commonly used to clear clogged arteries and disintegrate kidney stones. Also, it has been known for many years that placing an electrical coil around a fracture that refuses to mend will stimulate bone growth and repair.
Becker explains that 'brain waves' are not confined to the brain but travel throughout the body via the perineural system, the sheaths of connective tissue surrounding all nerves. During treatment, these waves begin as relatively weak pulses in the thalamus of the practitioner's brain, and gather cumulative strength as they flow to the peripheral nerves of the body including the hands. The same effect is mirrored in the person receiving treatment, and Becker suggests that it is this system more than any other, that regulates injury repair and system rebalance. This highlights one of the special features of Reiki (and similar therapies) - that both practitioner and client receive the benefits of a treatment, which makes it very efficient.
It is interesting to note that Dr. Becker carried out his study on world-wide array of cross-cultural subjects, and no matter what their belief systems or customs, or how opposed to each other their customs were, all tested the same. Part of Reiki's growing popularity is that it does not impose a set of beliefs, and can therefore be used by people of any background and faith, or none at all. This neutrality makes it particularly appropriate to a medical or prison setting.