When it comes to cancer therapies, there are a growing number of options for patients and an increased following of ancient Eastern medicine traditions including Reiki . Although it’s been practiced for thousands of years in other parts of the world, it’s a relatively new phenomenon in the US. Read on for a quick guide to the basics about Reiki and cancer care.
What is Reiki?
Reiki is a spiritual tradition with its roots in Japan. To understand Reiki, you need to understand the concept of qi. In traditional Asian medicine, qi is believed to be an “energy force” or “life force” found in all things, including human bodies. Reiki can translate to “universal qi” or “soul qi”. The practice originated in the 19th Century in Japan and began to be popularized in the West in the 1970s.
The idea behind Reiki is that a practitioner can affect the flow of this qi in a body by touching it with the palms of their hands. This is said to be able to treat emotional or even physical ailments. In this way, Reiki is similar to other “energy” or “touch” treatments for diseases (including cancer), such as acupuncture, therapeutic touch, and magnetic healing.
From a cultural standpoint, Eastern medicine believes cancer to be the result of an energetic blockage in the body. Reiki and other touch treatments are spiritual practices believed to help clear these blocks and ease patients' physical and psychological challenges resulting from the illness.
What Can Reiki Do For Cancer?
Reiki treatment for cancer patients is considered to be a complementary treatment, used in tandem with medical support to assist patients with pain management and anxiety. During Reiki cancer treatment, the patient will make themselves comfortable lying down on a table or sitting in a chair. The Reiki Practitioner will lightly place their palms on or over different areas of the body, holding them there for a few minutes, channeling their energy onto their patient. The entire session can last between 15 and 90 minutes.
While scientists are unsure how Reiki works entirely, there are some theories. The most common theory relates the healing properties to each human’s “biofield.” The biofield is the electromagnetic field that envelopes every human. Some people believe that the interaction of these electromagnetic fields when touching actually alters the psychosomatic processes of the person undergoing Reiki treatments.
Despite the lack of definitive scientific data regarding Reiki, cancer patients who have undergone Reiki treatment report feeling extremely relaxed and as a result, have improved mood during the day and sleep at night.
How To Find a Reiki Practitioner
If you Google Reiki practitioners in your area, you’ll likely find a bunch. How do you pick the one that’s right for you?
Like finding the right talk or massage therapist, it may take some time to connect to the right Reiki practitioner. Here are some questions you can ask to make sure that they are well-trained and a good fit for your needs:
- How would you describe Reiki?
- Where and how long did you study Reiki?
- How long have you been practicing?
- Do you practice Reiki on yourself every day?
Their answers to these questions can tell you a lot about their practice. Reading testimonials and reviews online can fill in the informational gaps. If you’re still unsure, check with your doctors or insurance company about locally recommended practitioners.
What to Wear to a Reiki Session
Once you pick out a Reiki practitioner, you might be wondering: what should you wear to your appointment? Unlike massage therapy, you won’t be undressing at every session. Instead, wear comfortable clothes with soft fabrics like cotton so you can feel relaxed. It’s recommended that you remove jewelry before arriving.
Is Reiki right for you?
Every patient has different needs. If you find yourself struggling with anxiety and pain management, Reiki might be a right choice for you. But remember, Reiki is not a substitute for medical care; it’s a complementary therapy that can work in conjunction with other medical services.
Learn More About Reiki Treatment for Cancer Patients
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