Date of Award

Summer 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Feldner, Sarah B.

Second Advisor

Wolburg, Joyce

Third Advisor

Sturgal, Tracey


Complementary alternative medicine (CAM) is rising in popularity, in particular, the practice of Reiki. While there is substantial research that focuses on the medical benefits of Reiki, little work has been done that addresses what Reiki means to participants and how it impacts an individual's sense of self. This study seeks to fill that void. To explore this, I argue that Reiki practice should be viewed through a communication lens that draws from theories of identity and sensemaking. Results show that identity is not seen as an individualistic concept but rather as a social process that shifts to a more intrapersonal understanding of the self.

Included in

Communication Commons