CE News talks to Dr. Natalie Trent about her work at Harvard Medical School and Reiki
Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton, UK.
The Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital is providing four specialist Reiki therapists, who offer treatments for 10 hours a week, while working closely with clinical teams. The program is fully funded by the Rockinghorse Foundation (the hospital’s official fundraising charity).
The specialised team provide Reiki treatments for parents with children and babies, to help relieve symptoms of chronic and acute illness, manage stress levels and aid relaxation and sleep. Eight-month-old Blake Mlotshwa from St Leonards is one young patient currently receiving therapy. He suffered a serious infection when he was 18 days old, which led to him having two thirds of his bowel removed and he is struggling to absorb the food and nutrients he needs to grow. The Reiki therapists are working with the doctors and nurses to help keep him as comfortable as possible.
Mum Denisa feels the therapy offers ongoing benefits for both her son and the family, she explains: “Reiki has been absolutely brilliant for Blake. Besides his digestion issues, he also has an ongoing problem with his left arm, which he cannot move properly. When therapist Ali is treating him, he seems to gain more movement in the joint because he is more relaxed. Blake always settles down beautifully after his sessions with Ali, and he loves the calm and peaceful interaction with the therapists. I love seeing Blake so settled and happy.”
“So often parents tell me they are delighted that during treatment their child drops off to sleep or they see their child become more calm and comfortable,” says Reiki therapist Ali Walters. “It is wonderful to be able to give both the children and parents an opportunity to relax and unwind. I am delighted that Rockinghorse is now funding our work so we can provide more therapists and treatments to support the critical care that is provided.”
Dr. Sheldon Feldman, head of breast surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, talks about working with Reiki practitioners during surgery.
Scientific Validation from Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, USA
A research study at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut found that Reiki improved patient sleep by 86 percent, reduced pain by 78 percent, reduced nausea by 80 percent, and reduced anxiety during pregnancy by 94 percent.
Specially trained Reiki Volunteers currently provide Reiki throughout the main hospital, the Harry Gray Cancer Center, the Dialysis Unit, and the Brownstone Outpatient Clinic. Although most medical practitioners are interested in seeing more research on Reiki therapies, patient feedback cannot be denied when looking at the effectiveness of the program over the past 15 years. Here are some of their patient comments:
"I hope Reiki is always available because it helped me a lot in relaxing and healing, giving me energy to think positive and forget the bad things wrong with me. I thank you for Reiki, it really, really helped me!"
“I will never go to another hospital again because of the effect Reiki has had on me. I have had eight operations and the last one at HH was the most painful. The Reiki session helped me handle it and believe I can go through it again with Reiki.”
“Even on pain medications, after a Reiki session was the only time I was pain free!”
Italian Hospitals introduce Reiki for Cancer Patients
The benefits and effects of Reiki have recently been the subject to in-depth scientific experiments and research by internists, neurologists, immunologists, psychologists, oncologists and cardiologists in Italy. The research was carried out in different centers such as C.O.E.S, The Study Center for the Prevention of Cancer, the R.E.F. and I.R.E. and later verified by several Italian hospitals, who tested the effectiveness of Reiki on their patients, reporting the following results:
- Reduction of intensity of pain and of the number of painful episodes
- Faster recovery time.
- Decrease in the administration of medicines and painkillers
- Reduction of depression and anxiety
- Patients were calmer and more serene throughout the process
- Better overall quality of life
- Shorter hospital stays
- Reduced sense of helplessness
- Reduction of physical and emotional exhaustion
The benefits provided by a cycle of 8 weekly Reiki sessions showed:
- Improved quality of sleep
- Greater relaxation and less fear of intervention; this had a positive impact during the administration of anesthetics.
- Number of infections reduced by over 80% in patients treated with Reiki versus 20% spontaneous regression of infections in patients not treated with Reiki.
- Decreased number of cases with post-operative depression.
- Decreased number of patients with post-operative pain or weakness
- Fewer cases of organ rejection in transplant patients
- Improvement of the functions of the spleen, immune system and nervous system, in patients with chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, fibromyalgia and thyroid goitre
- Reduction and elimination of anxiety and depression
- Measurable physiological benefits on hemoglobin and hematocrit
- 98% of patients treated with Reiki reported having immediate psycho-physical benefits.
Further and equally positive results were published in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and in the report of the XII National Congress of Medical Oncology held in Rome in November 2010.
Integrative Reiki for Cancer Patients: A Program Evaluation
Kimberly A. Fleisher, MEd1 Christina Seluzicki, BA1, Elizabeth R. Mackenzie, PhD, David Casarett, MD, Eitan S. Frankel, BA, and Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE Abstract: This mixed methods study sought to evaluate the outcomes of an integrative Reiki volunteer program in an academic medical oncology center setting. The team used de-identified program evaluation data to perform both quantitative and qualitative analyses of participants’ experiences of Reiki sessions. The quantitative data was collected pre and post session using a modified version of the distress thermometer. The pre and post session data from the distress assessment was analyzed using a paired Student’s test. The qualitative data were derived from written responses to open-ended questions asked after each Reiki session and were analyzed for key words and recurring themes.
Of the 213 pre–post surveys of first-time sessions in the evaluation period, the team observed a more than 50% decrease in self-reported distress (from 3.80 to 1.55), anxiety (from 4.05 to 1.44), depression (from 2.54 to 1.10), pain (from 2.58 to 1.21), and fatigue (from 4.80 to 2.30) with P < .001 for all.
Using conservative estimates that treat missing data as not endorsing Reiki, the study found 176 (82.6%) of participants liked the Reiki session, 176 (82.6%) found the Reiki session helpful, 157 (73.7%) plan to continue using Reiki, and 175 (82.2%) would recommend Reiki to others. Qualitative analyses found that individuals reported that Reiki induced relaxation and enhanced spiritual well-being. Conclusions. An integrative Reiki volunteer program shows promise as a component of supportive care for cancer patients. More research is needed to evaluate and understand the impact that Reiki may have for patients, caregivers, and staff whose lives have been affected by cancer.
Themes and Illustrative Quotes From Participants: