Healing Power of Reiki as Cancer Treatment

Healing Power of Reiki as Cancer Treatment

This is my Research on Reiki in people with cancer. Reiki complementary therapy. While there are many personal reports about the benefits of Reiki, there are no well-designed scientific research studies showing Reiki to be effective. Individuals have reported Reiki to increase feelings of well-being, reduce stress, and help relieve chronic pain.


Scientific evidence has shown that Reiki can minimize patients' symptoms and improve their quality of life. Research carried out at the Hartford Hospital in Connecticut, revealed that Reiki improved the sleep pattern of patients by 86 percent, reduced levels of pain and nausea by 78 percent and 80 percent, respectively. Hospitals and clinics across Australia and the U.S. are beginning to acknowledge Reiki as a meaningful way to improve patient care. California Pacific Medical Center, one of the largest hospitals that state, offers a range of complementary therapies, including acupuncture homeopathy, aromatherapy and Reiki, for acute and chronic illnesses.

Over the past two decades, the Australian medical profession has acknowledged the connection between the body and mind, and its role in our overall health. Mind-body therapy now plays an integral part of whole-person care. " by Lorraine Kember


Interestingly, in a double-blind randomized controlled trial - RCT, both Reiki and placebo Reiki were statistically significant in increasing post-therapy comfort and well-being compared to standard care in outpatients at a chemotherapy center. Also, researchers conducting a feasibility study reported that compared to usual care, Reiki or companion care led to greater improvements in quality of life and mood in patients with breast cancer. However, a pilot RCT of 54 men undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer randomized to Reiki, relaxation response therapy, or wait list control did not identify statistically significant improvements in anxiety or depression. Because Reiki does not require equipment and can be done at the bedside or during chemotherapy, it may be easily integrated into the oncology setting. Available evidence, although limited, supports Reiki for managing symptoms such as pain and anxiety and improving well-being and quality of life in people with cancer. In recent years, National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers have begun offering Reiki. It is safe for people of all ages and is not associated with harmful effects. ~https://voice.ons.org


Reiki's Place in Cancer Care

Complementary therapies in cancer care are on the rise. With their hospital's blessing and support, 2 nurses have been providing free Reiki to patients for 10 years as part of their approach to care. In today’s oncology world we are not only discussing chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgical intervention, we are also talking about the physical and emotional side effects from long-term treatments. Complementary therapies in cancer care are on the rise and have broken through some previously defined barriers. I have had some very effective and powerful experience with one such alternative therapy, Reiki, in treating the side effects and emotional aspects of cancer with my oncology patients.

Reiki is a healing technique many believe was created by the Japanese monk, Mikao Usui, in 1922 (though others contend it existed in other forms before that). Sometimes referred to as the “laying on of hands,” the goal of the practice of Reiki is to balance the “chi” or life force energy.

About 10 years ago, only 2 years into my oncology practice, I had a young lung cancer patient who happened to also be a nurse. Due to her disease, she had vocal cord paralysis and spoke with a strained and diminished voice. After her Reiki sessions with another practitioner, that same strangled voice would be strong and clear for 2-3 days.

We, as her chemotherapy providers at Lahey Health, saw this phenomenon repeatedly in our time working with this patient. And, although I was initially skeptical, and a believer in Western medicine and science, I could not discredit what I had witnessed.

 A fellow nurse and I decided to get certified as level 1 Reiki practitioners, which required 8 hours on a Saturday and 6 months of self-administered Reiki treatments to complete the attunement. I honestly felt “something” – a vibration is the best way that I can explain it. We decided to continue the levels of attunement through to master.

With our hospital's blessing and support, we have been providing free Reiki to patients for 10 years as part of our approach to care. Patients have found it helpful for sleep, anxiety, pain, and neuropathies. In a career where I have to give life-prolonging but toxic substances, I feel very thankful that I opened my mind and heart to this gentle, supplemental, non-invasive treatment.

Many Eastern medical techniques have been around for thousands of years and by safely integrating these treatments into our science-based Western medicine I believe can bring more holistic care and may even decrease the needs for some pain and anxiety medications. ~ www.oncnursingnews.com


Reiki Therapy Improves Symptoms in Cancer Patients

Reiki, a gentle non-invasive form of mind-body medicine, has shown significant promise in helping to relieve sometimes-debilitating symptoms in cancer patients. The treatment involves a Reiki practitioner placing his hands on or just above your body in specific positions. This is said to exert healing effects by clearing negative energies that are blocking the flow of your life force energy (or Ki).

Anecdotal reports from those who have received Reiki treatment support its use for stress relief and relaxation, but new research suggests it can offer much more, like pain relief, improved sleep and better mood. A sampling of the latest research shows Reiki may be particularly beneficial for cancer patients.
Specifically, adults receiving Reiki at a university hospital cancer infusion center reported much to great improvement for:

  • Relaxation (89%)
  • Anxiety and worry (75%)
  • Improved attitude (75%)
  • Improved mood (81%)
  • Improved sleep (43%)
  • Reduced pain (45%)
  • Reduced isolation and loneliness (38%)
  • Improved mood (30%)

Researchers concluded: “Reiki results in a broad range of symptomatic benefits, including improvements in common cancer-related symptoms.”~www.gatewaycr.org/


The purpose of this pilot study was to explore whether individualized Reiki given to cancer patients at a Brazilian hospital improved symptoms and well-being. Data from 36 patients who received 5 Reiki sessions were collected using the MYMOP and were compared before and after their treatment and also with 14 patients who did not receive Reiki and who acted as a comparison group. Twenty-one patients reported feeling better, 12 felt worse, and 3 reported no change. Of the comparison group, 6 patients reported feeling better and 8 felt worse. The Reiki practice delivered as part of the integrative care in oncology did produce clinically significant effects, although not statistically significant results, for more than half of the patients undergoing cancer treatment. ~https://journals.lww.com/

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