Note by Dr Suraj Manjunath: This is a guest post by Haripriya Suraj, a Reiki Practitioner with a special interest in integrating wellness therapies with modern medicine. The article explores the role of Reiki and similar practices in modern healthcare including cancer care.
A diagnosis of cancer is a huge blow that not only disrupts the body but also wreaks havoc on the mind and emotions. The complexity of the disease and its treatment can take a toll on not just the patient but also the caregivers.
As a Reiki practitioner, I am sometimes approached by people and families dealing with cancer. Most of these people want to feel supported and understood. They also want to feel reassured that they aren’t fighting a lone battle. Some people need help to manage their fear of surgery or other treatments. Some terminal patients seek Reiki for peace and comfort as they prepare for their transition. All of this is understandable as humans have an innate need for love and connection. A handful of people feel helpless and desperate and ask if Reiki by itself can make their cancer go away. While I do empathize with their suffering, I help them understand that Reiki is not a substitute for medical care. But it can act as supportive therapy that brings comfort and ease to their journey.
Considering the benefits it offers, several hospitals across the world1 now offer Reiki as a complementary therapy to patients.
People have different needs and also different ways of coping with challenges. While some need emotional support, others need help to overcome stress. Some seek solace in the spiritual. Reiki and other wellness therapies can help create a loving unconditional space for cancer patients and their caregivers to feel supported.
- Sandy Herron-Marx, Femke Price-Knol, Barbara Burden, and Carolyn Hicks. Alternative and Complementary Therapies. Feb 2008.37-42.http://doi.org/10.1089/act.2008.14108