Reiki for Whole Person Care: Case Studies in Oncology Patients, a Preliminary Report
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Objective: Reiki has been introduced as part of the complementary therapy program for oncology patients in two major university hospitals to which our institution is affiliated, with the objective to provide whole person care. Reiki is a deep relaxation technique that promotes balance, healing and harmony in all aspects of the person – body, mind, emotions and spirit. A Reiki session is given using very light or no touch on a fully clothed individual, sitting or lying down. Reiki is best understood by actually experiencing a session.
The objective of this preliminary study is to document how Reiki can support and benefit oncology patients in facing the day-to-day challenges related to their illness.
Methodology: Weekly Reiki sessions lasting from 20 to 60 minutes have been conducted with adult patients. Inclusion criteria: any patient living with cancer: all stages, from pre-diagnosis to diagnosis, ongoing treatment (in and out-patients), post-treatment and palliative care. Data has been collected using a questionnaire and a symptom scale, before and after sessions, as applicable. Qualitative experiences from palliative care patients will also be obtained from staff and family caregivers.
Results: Preliminary results after each session indicate a significant reduction of anxiety and stress, in addition to improving regulation of pain, fatigue, emotional state, and digestive issues. Patients commonly express a feeling of serenity, calmness, and peace. Qualitative results will be presented.
Conclusion: Data collected so far suggests that Reiki as a complementary therapy, improves overall quality of life for patients. A more relaxed and less anxious patient facilitates the intervention of medical staff and lightens the efforts of caregivers and family. Closer communication between the medical and complementary therapies staff can manifestly enrich the whole person care.
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