Between Kanye's Sunday Service, Kim's CBD-themed crystal-inspired baby shower, and Kourtney Kardashian's Goop-like lifestyle website Poosh, it seems like the Kardashians are leaning heavily into spirituality these days. This season on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Kourtney shares some spiritual practices that she's relied on to heal from her breakup: tea ceremonies, which she says put her in a good mood, and Reiki, which helps with her anxiety. On the most recent episode, Kourtney says that during her Reiki sessions, the practitioner often burps above her, which can be distracting. Khloé expresses that she's not down for burping, even if it supposedly works for her sister's anxiety.
So, what exactly is Reiki? In Japanese, Reiki translates to "universal light energy," and it's a practice that involves placing hands on or above a person to "direct energy to help facilitate the person's own healing response," according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Although Reiki is trending right now in the wellness world, it's been around for thousands of years. Many people use Reiki as a complementary approach to treat chronic pain, manage anxiety, heal from injuries, and reduce depression, although the research on its effectiveness is wishy-washy. For people recovering from a breakup, some say Reiki can help release negative thoughts and calm the mind.
During a Reiki session, a practitioner might place their hands just above or on parts of their client's body, such as the head or feet, to help the "energy" flow through their body. Breathing techniques might also be involved, and the whole process is supposed to be meditative and calming. A Reiki session lasts one hour to 90 minutes, and people usually book a series of sessions to continue their Reiki practice.
As far as burping is concerned, that can be a common side effect of Reiki work. Some say that burping and yawning are signs that the Reiki recipient's energy is being soothed and released from the body. Other physiological sensations include tingling hands, buzzing, or changes in the temperature of the hands, according to the International Association of Reiki Practitioners. But it's also common for nothing to happen physically during Reiki, so it totally depends.
It's worth noting that there hasn't been any scientific proof that the so-called "energy field" involved in Reiki exists at all, according to the NCCIH. But that doesn't mean Reiki is a complete waste of time; studies have shown that Reiki can help reduce psychological distress and relieve pain. This could be due to the placebo effect: if you believe something will work for you, then that treatment or product will be more effective for you. The general belief among the medical community is that Reiki should be used in conjunction with traditional treatments, not as a replacement — and the same is true of other holistic treatments for anxiety.
Breakups and anxiety are very personal cases, so if Reiki works for Kourtney, that's great. And if it doesn't, the good news is that KUWTK viewers will absolutely tune in to see what wacky wellness treatment the sisters try next.