Research proves Reiki should be offered as complimentary therapy by NHS
The jury still seems to be out on whether Reiki has any scientific medical benefit but we do seem to be moving closer to the correct decision.
New research provided by the University of Huddersfield claims that Reiki can improve the quality of life for cancer patients by lowering their levels of anxiety, depression and fatigue.
This research went under the name An exploratory study of Reiki experiences in women living with cancer was conducted by Dr Serena McCluskey and Professor Marilynne Kirshbaum both highly qualified in areas of research at the University. The third member of this research team is Dr Maxine Stead who who has an academic background in psychosocial oncology research.
The intention of this research was to find out whether Reiki could bring about beneficial change in sufferers of cancer by improving their well-being.
They have concluded that “Reiki could be a beneficial tool in the self-management of quality of life issues for women
with cancer”. The team now believes that there is a case for Reiki being added to the roster of complementary therapies that are available via the NHS.
“Acupuncture and other techniques that were regarded as quite unorthodox are prescribed on the NHS, so we just thought that more research on Reiki was needed,” said Dr McCluskey. “We are not suggesting that we can establish scientific effectiveness, but we are adding to the body of evidence for the quality of life benefits it has for women with cancer.”
Over the course of a year, the researchers conducted detailed interviews with ten women who had received Reiki therapy at two hospices in the local area. They discovered benefits such as a release of emotional strain, “a clearing of the mind from cancer” and feelings of inner peace and relaxation.
The benefits could last for as long as a fortnight, said Dr Stead. “It really gave them an escape from what they were going through. They were often undergoing a lot of treatment, and the Reiki was a respite and seemed to help them cope. It got them out of their blackness.”
Dr McCluskey and Dr Stead, who is now a Reiki Master, were colleagues at the University of Leeds in the Psychosocial Oncology Research and Clinical Trials Unit – largely funded by Cancer Research UK – where they researched quality of life issues.
“Due to more effective methods of diagnosis and treatment, people are living longer with cancer and it is now often classed as a long-term condition. “Patients don’t go into the hospital or see consultants as frequently, so they often look at things outside of normal medical treatment to help them cope with the effects of living with the disease, such as depression, anxiety, fatigue and pain,” said Dr McCluskey.
The findings of the pilot project are to be presented in a paper at the 2015 conference of the British Psychosocial Oncology Society, taking place in Leeds (March 19th-20th). The researchers plan to publish their findings and also hope to expand their work.
In addition to the fact that Dr Stead is a practitioner of Reiki at the Alexandra House Health Spa in Huddersfield, her fellow researchers have also experienced the therapy and report the benefits, although not on a scientific basis.
“We are aware of criticism from the empirical evidence about the validity and credibility of Reiki and so we did a scientific literature review on the subject. We will publish the findings of that,” said Dr McCluskey.
Dr Stead added: “We don’t know exactly how and why birds migrate to the other side of the world and come back to the same place every year. But one day we might be able to – and the same goes for Reiki.”
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Provided by University of Huddersfield
Reads the complete article here – Reiki aids wellbeing cancer