Reiki for Mesothelioma Patients
Reiki is a type of complementary and alternative medicine that was developed in Japan but is now practiced worldwide. Reiki is a healing technique that utilizes the flow of vital or universal energy in the body. A reiki practitioner channels energy into the patient through touch. In this way, the reiki practitioner induces relaxation, reduces stress, and activate’s the body’s natural healing process.
Reiki’s validity has been challenged by academic and medical studies and research has found some useful benefits for mesothelioma and cancer patients. While reiki proponents do not claim it can replace traditional medicine, they do believe this healing art can be a complementary treatment for cancer patients.
What is Reiki?
Reiki was developed in the 1920s to provide stress reduction, relaxation, and healing for participants. It is often considered mind-body therapy because it aims to create balance of the body, mind, and soul. In addition, reiki can be used to heal on a physical, mental, and spiritual level.
Reiki uses the natural energy that flows in all living things. This energy is called ‘Ki’ in Japan and ‘Chi’ in China. Someone who practices Reiki manipulates this energy with his or her hands. One session of Reiki may last an hour or more with the patient lying on something like a massage table or sitting in a comfortable chair. The practitioner may actually touch the patient, but much of the work is done with the hands hovering over the body rather than actually touching it.
Reiki is not a type of massage and it is not a religious practice. Although reiki was developed within the last century, it is based on traditional energy work that is thousands of years old. While there are proven healing benefits to reiki, it should not be used as a replacement for traditional medical treatments, especially for cancer.
Why People Use Reiki
There are many reasons people turn to reiki practitioners. Most commonly, people choose reiki for relaxation and stress relief. Some also use reiki to improve overall health. Practitioners claim that reiki promotes healing, making it a useful complement to traditional medicine.
Cancer patients may choose reiki to reduce stress and promote relaxation, helping them cope with the general difficulties of living with cancer. Reiki can also be used to reduce pain, ease cancer symptoms, and reduce the side effects of treatments like chemotherapy.
Reiki in Cancer Research
There is no harm in using reiki as a complement to traditional treatments for mesothelioma and other types of cancer. If it helps individuals feel better, then it is worthwhile. However, there is some important evidence that reiki really does improve cancer symptoms. Research also suggests that reiki does reduce stress and help patients feel more relaxed and at peace.
In one study, researchers surveyed and measured the results of reiki sessions on over 200 cancer patients. Quantitative measurements evaluated patient distress, while surveys asked for self-reported evaluations of depression, anxiety, fatigue, and pain. Results determined that patients experienced significant reductions in all of these areas. In addition, patients enjoyed the sessions and wanted to continue with them in the future.
While self-reporting studies can be problematic, other studies have taken a quantitative approach to evaluating the effects of reiki on cancer patients. In one study, researchers compared the effects of reiki sessions to sessions that involved rest only as a restorative technique. This study found that patients who received reiki experienced significant reductions in fatigue and that all reported better quality of life.
Another study examined how reiki impacted pain in cancer patients and how it compared to opioid painkillers. The patients given reiki sessions experienced less pain, although they did not use fewer painkillers. One hypothesis for how reiki affects pain is that it changes a person’s pain perception. Because there is no physical touch or manipulation of muscles, it is difficult to explain the results. Some believe reiki works through the power of suggestion, making people believe they are feeling less pain.
Reiki in Hospitals
There is enough research evidence and positive patient reports that many hospitals are beginning to offer this complementary service. Hospitals providing care for cancer patients recognize the healing power of reiki and other complementary healing strategies. If you are living with mesothelioma, ask your medical team about reiki and other complementary practices.
Reiki has many followers who believe in the power of healing energy. This alternative healing practice has been evaluated as a worthwhile complementary strategy. While it cannot serve as a substitute for treatment, reiki practitioners may help better cope with mesothelioma and other cancers. Be sure to work with a trained and experienced practitioner and that you feel comfortable during your sessions. With the right expert, reiki may help you enjoy a better quality of life while you fight cancer.
Page Edited by Dave Foster
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