Reiki in Hospitals
At hospitals and clinics across America Reiki has been gaining acceptance as a meaningful and cost-effective way to improve patient care. There are close to 200 hospitals in the United States where Reiki is offered as a standard service to patients. Reiki is quickly becoming a favorite among alternative health care. Web sites have been started with lists of hospitals and clinics offering Reiki services.
Reiki sessions cause patients to heal faster with less pain,” says Marilyn Vega, RN a private –duty nurse at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital in New York. “Reiki accelerates recovery from surgery, improves mental attitude and reduces the negative effects of medication and other medical procedures”, says Vega. She has also been asked to do Reiki sessions on cancer patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, including patients with bone marrow transplants. Recognizing the value of Reiki in patient care, six doctors and twenty-five nurses have taken Reiki training with her.
The general public opinion has been turning with ever increasing interest to complimentary and alternative health care, including Reiki, acupressure and Reflexology. A study conducted by David M. Eisenberg, M.D. of Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital has shown the American public has been using alternative medicine, including Reiki, spending well over
14 billion dollars on alternative health care in the year 1990 alone.
Hospitals are undergoing major changes. Since 1999 they have been experiencing a need to reduce costs and at the same time improve patient care. Under the old medical model based on expensive medication and technology, this posed an unsolvable dilemma. Not so with complimentary and alternative methods such as Reiki, Acupressure, or even Reflexology. These modalities require no technology or equipment at all.
Julie Motz, a Reiki trained healer, has worked with Dr. Mehmet Oz, M.D. a cardio thoracic surgeon at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, who has been seen quite often on Oprah. Motz uses Reiki and other subtle energy techniques to balance the patients’ energy during operations. She has assisted Dr. Oz in the operating room during open-heart surgeries and heart transplants many times. Motz reports that none of the heart patients treated so far have experienced the usual post-operative depression, the by-pass patients have no post-operative pain or leg weakness, and the transplant patients experienced no organ rejection to date.
An article in the Marin Independent Journal talks about Motz’s work at the Marin General Hospital in Marin County, California. She makes a point of communicating caring feelings and positive thoughts to the patients, and has been given grants to work with mastectomy patients in particular.
David Guillion, M.D., an Oncologist at Marin general, has stated, “I feel we need to do whatever is in our power to help the patient. We provide state of the art medicine in our office, but healing is a multi-dimensional process…I endorse the idea that there is a potential healing that can take place utilizing energy.”
Mary Lee Radka is a Reiki Master and an RN who has the job classification of Nurse-Healer because of her Reiki skills. She teaches Reiki classes to nurses and other hospital staff at he University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor. She also uses Reiki with most of her patients. She has found Reiki to produce the best results in reducing pain and stress, improving circulation and eliminating nerve blocks.
Reiki Master Nancy Eos, M.D., was a member of the teaching staff of the University of Michigan Medical School. As an emergency-room physician, she treated patients with Reiki along with stand medical procedures. “I can’t imagine practicing medicine without Reiki,” Eos says. “With Reiki all I have to do is touch a person. Things happen that don’t usually happen. Pain lessens in intensity. Rashes fade. Wheezing gives way to breathing clearly. Angry people begin to joke with me.”
In her book Reiki and Medicine she includes descriptions of using Reiki to treat trauma, heart attack, respiratory problems, CPR, child abuse, allergic reactions and other emergency-room situations. Dr. Eos now maintains a family practice at Grass Lake Medical Center and is an admitting-room physician at Foote Hospital in Jackson, Michigan, where she continues to use Reiki in conjunction with standard medical procedures. According to Dr. Eos, there are a t least five other physicians at Foote hospital who have Reiki training along with many nurses.
The Reiki Clinic at the Tucson Medical Center in Arizona has a team of Reiki practitioners who give Reiki to patients in their rooms. The program was founded by Sally Soderlund, RN, who was the Support Services Coordinator for Oncology. The program first began in the Cancer Care Unit, but has since expanded to many other areas of the hospital. At first, the attending physicians had to give permission for Reiki to be provided. This has changed, and now the attending nurse makes the request. Reiki sessions are given by two-person teams as this creates a feeling of safety and confidence for patients who may not be familiar with Reiki healing.
Phillis Buchanan is now in charge of the Reiki program at the Tucson Medical Center and works closely with Arlene Siegel who has been with the program from the beginning. Siegel says, “from the time we enter a patients room, the patients best interests are uppermost in our minds. We take time to establish rapport, listen to them describe their condition and make them as comfortable as possible. Then, as we become channels for Reiki to do its work and the Reiki begins to flow, the real reason for our presence becomes apparent.”
The Tucson Medical Center reports the success of the Reiki program is due in fact that the patients like Reiki and request it. The patients enjoy the sessions and request more after their first experience. Some have reported spiritual experiences. Nurses also report that Reiki has positive effects in their patients including reduced pain, increased relaxation, better sleep, better patient cooperation and increased appetite.
Patricia Alandydy is an RN and a Reiki Master. She is the Assistant Director of Surgical Services at Portsmouth Regional Hospital in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. With the support of her Director Jocclyn King and CEO William Schuler, she has made Reiki services available to patients within the Surgical Services Department. With the support of her Director Jocclyn King and CEO William Schuler, she has made Reiki services available to patients with the Surgical Services Department. During a telephone interview with pre-op patients, Reiki is offered along with many other services. If patients request it, Reiki is then incorporated into their admission the morning of surgery and an additional session is given prior to their transport to the operating room. Reiki has also been done in the operating room.
“It has been an extremely rewarding experience,” Alandydy says, “to see Reiki embraced by such a diverse group of people and spread so far and wide by word of mouth, in a positive light. Patients many times request Reiki based on the positive experience of one of their friends. It has also been very revealing to see how open-minded the older patient population is to try Reiki. In the hospital setting Reiki is presented as a technique which reduces stress and promotes relaxation, thereby enhancing the body’s natural ability to heal itself.”
The California Pacific Medical Center is one of the largest hospitals in northern California. It’s Health and Healing Clinic, a branch of the Institute for Health and Healing, provides care for both acute and chronic illness using a wide range of complimentary care including Reiki, reflexology, acupressure, acupuncture, hypnosis, biofeedback, homeopathy herbal therapy, nutritional therapy and aromatherapy. Several physicians including Mike Cantwell, M.D. and Amy Saltzman M.D. staff the clinic. Cantwell is a Pediatrician and also a Reiki Master. The doctors at the clinic work with the patients and their referring physicians to determine what complimentary modality will be appropriate for the patient.
Dr. Cantwell states, “ I have found Reiki to be useful in the treatment of acute illnesses such as musculoskeletal injury/ pain, headache, acute infections, and asthma. Reiki is also useful for patients with chronic illnesses, especially those associated with chronic pain.”
Libby Barnett and Maggie Chambers are Reiki Masters who have treated patients and given Reiki training to staff members in over a dozen New England hospitals. The have helped to add Reiki to the regular medical procedures they and others administer to their patients. Bettina Peyton, M.D., one of the physicians Libby and Maggie have trained states, “Reiki’s utter simplicity, coupled with its potentially powerful effects, compel us to acknowledge the concept of a universal healing energy.”