Why Cancer Sufferers Choose Reiki

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How Reiki Works With The Big “C”

Reiki has become a well renowned complimentary therapy for people with all types of cancer. Below you will find a quick guide by Cancer Research UK that aims to give a quick overview of how Reiki is used to aid recovery from this devastating disease.

You will read about what Reiki is to why Reiki is a chosen therapy to work with all types of  cancer. From breast cancer to prostrate cancer, utilizing this universal energy will be of great benefit.

What is Reiki

Reiki is a Japanese healing art that was developed by Dr Usui in Japan in the early 20th century. It is pronounced ray-key. You may also hear it called

  • Reiki healing
  • Usui system of Reiki
  • Therapeutic touch

The Japanese word Reiki means universal energy. Eastern medicine systems work with this energy, which flows through all living things and is vital to well being. The energy is known as ‘Ki’ in Japan, ‘Chi’ in China and ‘prana’ in India. Reiki isn’t part of any type of religion or belief system. It is best described as a hands on healing used as a complementary therapy.

A Reiki practitioner aims to change and balance the energy fields in and around your body to help on a physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual level.

Reiki and Cancer

Why people with cancer use Reiki

Reiki practitioners say that it can

  • Help some people to feel deeply relaxed
  • Help people cope with difficult situations
  • Relieve emotional stress and tension
  • Help to improve overall wellbeing

Some people with cancer say they feel better after using therapies such as Reiki. Studies show that this is often because a therapist spends time with the person, and touches them. After the rush and stress of hospitals and treatment, it can be very relaxing when someone gives you attention for an hour or more, in a calm setting. Reiki is sometimes used in palliative care, especially in hospices.

Some people say that Reiki has helped to control side effects of their cancer treatments, such as

  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Sickness

They also say that it helps them cope better with their cancer and its treatment. But it’s important to bear in mind that while Reiki may help you to cope with your symptoms or side effects, it is not able to treat your cancer. We have general information about why people with cancer use complementary therapies.

Get Access To An Affordable Reiki Home Study Course

There is no scientific evidence to prove that Reiki can prevent, treat or cure cancer or any other disease. But many healthcare professionals accept Reiki as a useful complementary therapy that may help to lower stress, promote relaxation and possibly help reduce some types of pain.

General studies of Reiki

In 2008 UK researchers carried out a review of studies into Reiki for any medical or psychological condition. They looked at 9 randomised clinical trials that used Reiki. 

  • 2 trials found helpful effects of Reiki in people with depression but another trial did not
  • 1 trial found that Reiki seemed to help to reduce pain and anxiety
  • 2 other trials seemed to show that Reiki and distant Reiki reduced stress and hopelessness.
  • 1 trial showed that Reiki did not seem to reduce anxiety and depression in women having breast biopsy

The researchers stated that all the trials were small and there is no strong evidence that Reiki is an effective treatment for any condition. 

A 2009 review by Canadian researchers looked at 12 trials and they found that 9 of the trials showed that Reiki had significant helpful effects but the quality of 11 of the studies was poor.

Reiki for pain control

A Canadian study in 2003 looked at whether Reiki could control pain in people with advanced cancer. People did have a significant reduction in pain after Reiki treatment but the study was small and had only 20 patients.

Therapeutic touch to treat pain review

In 2008 another review looked at 24 studies using therapeutic touch to treat pain. 3 trials used Reiki. Overall, the review found that people who had the touch therapies had less pain than people who did not have the therapies. Trials carried out by more experienced touch practitioners seemed to give better results in pain reduction. Reiki also seemed to give greater benefit than other types of touch therapy. 

The researchers in the 2008 review suggested that more research should be done into whether experienced practitioners or certain types of touch therapy can give better pain reduction. 2 of 5 studies looking at painkiller use supported the claim that touch therapies lowered painkiller use. 

Further research

We need to do large randomised clinical trials before we really know how much Reiki can help people with cancer. An American clinical trial is currently looking at the effects of Reiki healing in men with prostate cancer. 

You can see the details of this trial on Reiki in prostate cancer on the American National Centre of Complementary and Alternative Medicine website (NCCAM).

Side effects of Reiki

Generally speaking, Reiki is safe for most people with cancer. Most practitioners will advise you to rest and drink plenty of water after treatment. There are no reports of harmful side effects.

It is safe to have Reiki alongside your cancer treatment. But it’s important to tell your doctor about any complementary therapy, alternative therapy or diet supplement that you use. Then your doctor will always have the full picture about your care and treatment.

The cost of Reiki

Some cancer centres and hospitals in the UK offer free or low cost Reiki treatments to patients. Ask your nurse or doctor if this is an option in your ward or treatment centre. If not, they may be able to tell you about nearby organisations or support groups that provide complementary therapies.

Private Reiki treatments usually cost £15 to £100 an hour. Treatments may be more expensive in bigger cities.

Get Access To An Affordable Reiki Home Study Course


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