Reiki and Western Medicine

- by Oriethyia

The term Reiki comes to us from the Japanese, and means, roughly, "universal life force energy." The practice of Reiki is a non-invasive, non-manipulative, laying-on-of-hands in which the practitioner opens themselves to this healing energy and transmits it to the client. It accelerates the body's natural ability to heal itself, helping to bring the body, mind, and spirit back into balance and greater health.
At St. Francis hospital in New York's Hudson Valley, the Wellness Projects Coordinator is a nurse, educator and Reiki Practitioner. At one of New York's VA hospitals, one of the physicians is a Reiki Practitioner. And Nancy Eos, M.D. practicing family medicine at Grass Lake Medical Center in Michigan, is also a Reiki Master. What's going on here?
Two recent books and a number of articles in both popular and medically oriented magazines attest to the way Reiki is becoming accepted by increasing numbers of western-trained health practitioners. And the primary reasons seem to be twofold. First, health care consumers are demanding information about and access to complementary therapies in addition to their western medical treatments. And second, medical personnel are finding that Reiki helps support not only their patients, but also their own work on their patients' behalf.
In the introduction to her book, Reiki and Medicine, Dr. Eos writes:
"I became a happy, serene, medical doctor with Reiki....The Reiki has not always produced predictable results, but consistent results for the highest good. Marvelous results. Happenings not even able to be pre-conceived, not imagined. Lungs expand in spite of major chest trauma. Heart arrhythmias revert to normal sinus rhythm. Anger subsides to understanding. Narcotic addicts are satisfied with a mild sleeping pill. Strokes in progress reverse. ... And I would not have believed any of this unless I had seen it for myself. ... My life, my medicine and my career have all dramatically changed."
In the February 1996 issue of RN Magazine, Sharon VanSell, RN, EdD notes that although Reiki practitioners can point to clients who have responded well to Reiki treatments, the benefits do not stop with management of disease. "One nurse trained as a Reiki practitioner summed it up this way:
'I have gained more patience, understanding, empathy, and love for patients, in addition to the actual healing ability.'"
VanSell adds that health care practitioners who add Reiki to their list of available modalities increase "... the tools needed to minister to their (patients') physical, emotional, and spiritual needs."
Reiki Masters Libby Barnett and Maggie Chambers specialize in training health care providers. The list of institutions that have invited them to teach is impressive. And in their book, Reiki Energy Medicine, they clearly state the reason for the increasing interest from the medical establishment.
"In the intensifying search to find a solution to the high cost of medical care, complementary methods are slowly becoming recognized as important because they are cost effective and they work. Reaching out to explore the field of mind/body healing in order to improve the quality of patient care and simultaneously lower their costs, several hospitals and hospice organizations have invited us to teach Reiki to their staffs."
Most people who go into the health care professions do so to help and to heal. Increasing numbers of these people, and the institutions within which they work, are finding that Reiki assists them in those crucial endeavors.