Reiki In Hospitals

Over a decade ago I had a total abdominal hysterectomy and had to literally jump through hoops to get some energy healing in pre-op and recovery. That was how my surgeon learned about the effects of this work (in my case less pain, less blood loss, and quicker recovery).

Her training as a registered dietitian and master’s level health-care administrator left Cathy Keith with little regard for complementary medicines and therapies such as Reiki.

“I was definitely thinking this was all out on the fringe and kind of woo-woo, foo-foo,” Keith said.

Now, she makes Reiki — a therapy using a light touch or hands placed near a patient’s body to assist the idea that energy as a universal life force can be channeled for healing — and a half-dozen other mind-body services available to patients as manager of SwedishAmerican Hospital’s Holistic Health Services.

Keith changed her mind about complementary therapies when she heard what patients said after they had received the treatments.

Like my own experience, most patients report feeling better, feeling calmer, sleeping better, and having less side effects from medications.

Sandy Farnham, a practitioner who performs treatments in hospitals and hospice situations, said she can sometimes feel heat in an area and feel it dissipate as she works. “I work at least 20 hours a week in hospitals,” Farnham said. “And when they are hooked up to the monitors, you can see the blood pressure go down, you can see the heart rate go down. You can see them relax.”

Hopefully this is a sign that Reiki and other energy healing therapies that are useful to patients will continue to be used and accepted in our Western medical model.