Reiki in Hospitals
In 2009, it was estimated that over 15% of hospitals included Reiki in their complementary services. This included such hospitals as John Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic and Yale-New Haven University Hospital. It has also estimated that over 2.2 million people have used Reiki. Despite research showing that Reiki reduces stress and pain in relatively safe manner, these programs continued to be offered by volunteers. In most settings, these programs are arranged for the volunteers to come in on a weekly basis. While it has been a tremendous breakthrough for the Reiki community, I don’t believe Reiki is being used to its fullest potential on in-patients due to the limited time Reiki is being typically provided.
It’s interesting to note that while many studies have demonstrated Reiki providing stress and pain reduction, it has not been effectively demonstrated that Reiki causes actual healing. In fact, when healing has been demonstrated it has been referred to as “anecdotal” evidence. One of the reasons that Reiki will remain in the anecdotal evidence category is because Reiki programs were not set up in a way that that provide on-going consistent treatments to patients on a daily basis.
Madame Takata, known for bringing Reiki to the United States from Japan, expressed in her interview with Helen Haberly that she was able to dissolve cancerous tumors the size of walnuts within three weeks. This seems pretty far-fetched according to scientific evidence, but in reality it may actually be quite possible. One of the ways Madame Takata worked with Reiki was by empowering a patient’s support system with Reiki so that treatment could be on-going 24/7 by several people. If Reiki has the benefit of relieving pain within an hour, imagine its potential if family and friends took turns providing Reiki energy.
In addition, as a former Medical Social Worker, I recognize the need for families to be involved with the patients care. Usually families sit by the bedside feeling hopeless and powerless in being able to help their loved one. Usually the stress they feel carries over to the patient and ultimately does not benefit anyone. If hospital Reiki programs were restructured into also providing family members the option of working with the Reiki energy, it would have the added benefit of healing family members, which ultimately would aid in the accelerated healing of the patient. The next two stories provide two different scenarios in which this approached was used.