The Role of Reiki in Gambling Recovery

Gambling addiction is the condition of feeling compelled to gamble despite an awareness of the negative consequences of doing so.

It is estimated that more than 2 million people in the United States are addicted to gambling.

Dr. Henrietta Bowden-Jones, director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic at NHS Foundation Trust, said about gambling addiction:

”Gambling addiction can have a devastating effect not just on patients, but also their families.”

Dr. Henrietta went on to say:

”It can result in people losing their job, and leave families and children homeless.”          

According to a 2017 study from Imperial College London, gambling addiction activates the same brain pathways as alcohol and drug cravings.


Common signs and symptoms of gambling addiction include:

  • resorting to fraud or theft to get gambling money;
  • having an obsessive preoccupation with gambling;
  • losing important work opportunities or relationships due to gambling;
  • attempting to get back lost money by gambling more;
  • gambling to relieve feelings of depression, anxiety, guilt, or helplessness;
  • feeling irritable when unable to gamble;
  • unsuccessfully attempting to stop gambling.

Risk Factors

According to recent research, there is a strong association between personality disorders and pathological gambling. Other risk factors for gambling addiction include:

  • not understanding gambling fallacies;
  • being in the twenties;
  • having an early big win;
  • being males (they are at greater risk of developing the disorder);
  • mental illness;
  • gambling in adolescence;
  • antisocial behavior;
  • access to gambling opportunities, especially accessing an online casino;
  • family history of addiction;
  • being attracted to competition;
  • friends who gamble.

Phases of Gambling Addiction


  • the winning phase;
  • the losing phase;
  • desperation;
  • hopelessness.
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Treatment Options

Gambling addiction treatment is based on counseling and behavior modification therapy. Commonly used therapies are – Twelve Step Facilitation, Interpersonal Therapy, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Alternative therapies are – sleep therapy, mindfulness meditation, exercise, essential oils, or acupuncture.

Reiki & Gambling Addiction

Another possible alternative therapy to gambling addiction is Reiki.

Reiki is a Japanese technique for relaxation and stress reduction that also promotes healing. It is a completely benign healing technique.

According to a 2019 study published in NCBI, Reiki has the ability to positively impact those activities of life that pain frequently interferes with.

Reiki was brought to the world’s attention through Mikao Usui in 1922. The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine defines Reiki as a form of energy healing. Currently, over 60 hospitals in the United States include Reiki as part of patient services.

In a typical Reiki session, practitioners hover their hands over the receiver’s body. It’s done in a quiet, relaxing place. 

How Can Energy Healing Help Addicted People

#1 Promotes Relaxation

Reiki creates deep relaxation and helps the body to release tension and stress.

Josie Znidarsic, D.O., a family medicine physician at Cleveland Clinic, said:

“I believe that it helps to relax a person, turn on the parasympathetic nervous system, and quiet the flight-or-fight response.” 

On a physical level, being relaxed allows your bodies’ natural self-healing process to work like they are supposed to. On an energetic level, it allows your energy to shift more easily to a state of healthy flow and balance. 

#2 Balances Your Chakras

There are seven main energy centers in the body, known as chakras. They are usually associated with the subtle or energy body. 

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Each chakra is related to specific body parts as well as to the endocrine system which relates to your spiritual, emotional,  mental, and physical state.

When your chakras stay active and aligned, they allow you to experience vibrant health, happiness, and peace. Also, if your chakras are open, you will feel energetic.

When there is an imbalance in any of the 7 chakras, it is necessary to open the chakra again. This is one of the purposes of Reiki treatment: to stimulate the chakras in the body.

Reiki treatments clear out all negativity from your chakras and balance your chakras.

#3 Renews, Revitalizes, and Releases Old Behaviors & Patterns

Reiki helps you release any old behaviors and patterns that are keeping you from experiencing connection, health, and abundance in your life.

Final Words

Just like you don’t need to completely understand the law of gravity before you can fall down, you don’t have to be spiritual to benefit from Reiki treatments. Another important aspect regarding Reiki is that one does not have to be sick to experience the benefits.

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