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Reiki A Complementary Approach For Cancer Patient: Benefits And Health

 May 24, 2022
Reiki A Complementary Approach for Cancer Patient

Reiki is a type of complementary therapy that is used in health problems where practitioners make an atmosphere by placing their hands lightly and gently on or just above a patient or a person to enhance and promote a sense of wellness. In the early 20th century, Mikao Usui, a Japanese spiritual teacher and Buddhist, founded Reiki and in the 1930s it was brought to the United States. Now it has become a very famous practice and also popularity is increasing. Reiki, an emerging technique which reduces stress and relaxation, has now a days become a subject of wonder for patients suffering from cancer. Various studies and evidence supported that, along with promoting relaxation among cancer patients, Reiki can also be explored to improve healing and provide many other benefits. Some such studies have used the impact of Reiki on various patients who are being treated with tumors. These studies have shown that, maybe Reiki is not an alternative for multiple cancer treatments, it has the capability to enhance these treatments and provide a lot of benefits to the patients as they suffer with many symptoms of cancer (Dr. Seluzicki).

Unlike various other complementary therapies, Reiki practice treats the whole individual. Reiki reduces the side effects of cancer patients which were due the conventional treatment like pain, fatigue, nausea, stress, anxiety. A Reiki treatment balances the body and mind. As a result patients report relief from various unwanted symptoms. Reiki can also improve and enhance the emotional health of the patients, which can increase the patient’s willingness for the treatment and align to the doctor's instructions for the treatment protocols.


Case Study (Reiki intervention feasibility impact and effect in cancer patients):   

Reiki works as a complementary approach that is used to decrease the symptoms of stress/anxiety and enhance relaxation. Patients with advanced stages of cancer and their family members face challenges in the process of disease progress and management that force them to participate in stress reduction approaches which are alternatives to the main treatments.  12 cancer patients and their caregivers were recruited for the study from oncology outpatient centers. A certified and well-known Reiki instructor provided two 4 hour sessions for the caregivers to learn the basics of Reiki and practice it. The Reiki instructor monitored the usage, protocol and daily practice for three weeks.

The majority of everyday practice episodes indicated that 72 % of caregivers were practicing Reiki 45 minutes/day, out of which 79-93% practiced daily and 61-82% did in the evening and in a lying position respectively. Deterioration in the health of patients was majorly because of the lack in the daily Reiki practice. Both patients and family caregivers mentioned that Reiki intervention is highly satisfactory. Reiki at home was found to be feasible and provides support for the Reiki-at-home intervention for patients with tumors and higher stages of cancer (Dr. Radziewicz).


In a double-blind RCT with Reiki and placebo, results indicate that Reiki was found to be more effective in increasing post-therapy comfort and also overall well-being when compared to standard care at a chemotherapy treatment center. In a separate study, researchers reported that as compared to basic and normal care, Reiki led to more improvements in life quality and also mood swings in breast cancer patients (Dr. Williams).

A randomized controlled trial of around hundred patients who were pre-surgical with breast cancer indicates that the Reiki treatment arm reduces anxiety and improves the mood in the patients. In another trial of twenty-four patients, who were randomized to receive a standard approach in combination with Reiki or a standard therapy only, the Reiki group was found to be more significant in reducing pain as compared to the standard approach. Penn Medicine reported that a study that was conducted by the Integrative Oncology Initiative from Abramson Cancer Center showed that Reiki practice can provide multiple benefits to patients in combination with traditional treatment approach. Experts and trainers suggest that Reiki has been investigated and shown improvements in cancer symptoms and its effect on various parameters like anxiety, pain and quality of life and overall human well-being.