Reiki and Cancer

I have been a Reiki practitioner since 1997. At the time, there were probably only 3 or 4 books written on the topic while today there are hundreds of books, magazines, countless internet articles and blogs.

Reiki is described as a Japanese energy healing technique used for stress reduction, relaxation and the promotion of healing.Healing doesn’t necessarily mean curing. Reiki heals on physical, mental, spiritual and emotional levels. During a typical session, the recipient will lie down on a massage table and remain fully clothed. The Reiki practitioner will channel energy through them to the person on the table. The energy emanates from the palms of the practitioner.The practitioner will then slowly guide his/her hands above the body of the recipient or gently rest their hands on their body. A typical session lasts about one hour.

What does it feel like? For me, it is total bliss when I receive a Reiki treatment. But more often people describe it as feeling warmth or tingling beneath the hands of the practitioner. They feel inexplicably calm, relaxed and marvel at the sensations they experience.

This is a very abbreviated description of a Reiki session process and if you are interested, you can read more about it on-line as well. I have taught more than 50 Reiki classes over the years and this practice is very easy to learn. Having an open mind and heart will help to facilitate your training. Students learn how to do Reiki on themselves and on others.

In my career as an occupational therapy assistant, Reiki proved invaluable when I worked on critically ill patients and others with chronic discomfort to help reduce pain, ease their fear and anxiety. I documented the success of Reiki treatments in an article entitled Reiki in Occupational Therapy which was published in Reiki News Magazine. As a former hospice volunteer, I often performed Reiki on those at the end of their life’s journey. Each person expressed how amazed at the level of calm and peace they felt during and after the session.

Never did I imagine that after over 26 years since I was trained how beneficial Reiki would be to me today as I embarked on my own cancer journey. I was shocked when I received my unexpected diagnosis which occurred between my 6-month mammograms.

In the past I have performed Reiki on many individuals who had cancer. From my personal perspective as a practitioner, I found that cancer has a unique energy sensation. Ironically, I did not feel that distinctive energy of cancer when I worked on myself.

Once diagnosed, I came to appreciate and utilize Reiki more on myself constantly as well as receive sessions from other practitioners. Reiki’s healing energy provided relief and was there to soothe me as I painfully struggled through the adverse side effects of chemotherapy and the stinging sensations of radiation.

Reiki was also there for me after my lumpectomy and mastectomy to ease the pain at my incision sites. It helped with recovery after having the port installed. I dreaded the brain fog I experienced after taking prescribed pain medications and was so grateful for this side-effect free complementary energy therapy to help me with easing my symptoms.

For anyone going through cancer, caregivers and family too, I know you can understand the emotional toll this disease takes on us all. Fear, uncertainty, the complexity of the disease, what course is it going to take next, why me and so many other thoughts run through our mind all day like a hamster wheel. It is always on days like that I rely on the healing energy in my own hands and perform self-Reiki to bring me back into balance, centered, grounded and quiet my brain.

Recently I found out that Reiki is readily offered at no cost to cancer patients at our large network hospital by area volunteers. This is offered on a regular basis to outpatients by appointment. Further research reveals that there are many prominent hospitals offering Reiki to their inpatients for all types of medical conditions not just cancer.

I urge you to check with your cancer support organization and area hospitals to see if they offer a Reiki program in your area. Everyone’s experience is different; and it feels different from session to session but it is always wonderful in my opinion. Try it. You just might like it!

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