Reiki is increasingly finding its way into institutional settings, from hospitals to hospices, and the push appears to be coming from patients as well as clinical practitioners.
“More and more, patients are requesting care beyond what most consider to be traditional health services, and hospitals are responding to the needs of the communities they serve by offering these therapies,” according to researcher Sita Ananth of Health Forum, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association (AHA). “And hospitals are responding to the needs of the communities they serve by offering these therapies.”
Reiki is now one of the top three complementary in-patient therapies in U.S. hospitals, according to an AHA survey. Massage therapy takes first place, with 37% of hospital patients requesting it. Number two is music and art therapy at 25%, and a very close third is “healing touch therapies” at 25%, which included Reiki and Therapeutic Touch.
Hospitals are responding, discovering for themselves the many benefits Reiki can offer. “As our health care system challenges institutions to offer high-quality but cost-effective service, Reiki is being recognized as an important tool to maximize patient care and minimize recovery time,” according to Libby Barnett and Maggie Babb, co-authors of Reiki Energy Medicine: Bringing Healing Touch into Home, Hospital and Hospice.
Reiki: Patients love it.
For example, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York not only offers Reiki therapy to patients but also teaches Reiki once a month, inviting the patients’ caregivers, the patients themselves, and the general public to learn it. “Patients love it,” says Simone Zappa, RN, an administrator in the Integrative Medicine Department at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. “And they love it because it works.”
According to an International Association of Reiki Professionals (IARP) study of “America’s Best Hospitals” (the top 25 ranked by U.S. News and World Report in 2002), 60% of them had formal or informal Reiki programs in place. All hospitals using Reiki said that they believed Reiki to be at least somewhat beneficial for patients, and 67% said they believed Reiki to be highly beneficial.
Dr. Oz used Reiki in his practice for over 10 years
The highest profile advocate of complementary therapies, especially Reiki, continues to be Mehmet Oz, M.D., Professor and Vice Chairman of Surgery at Columbia University in New York City, Director of the Cardiovascular Institute, and Founder and Director for the Complementary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Oz has used Reiki and Therapeutic Touch therapists in his cardiovascular surgeries for more than 10 years. And because he frequently talks about energy medicine on his television show, the general public as well as healthcare professionals are hearing about the implications of these therapies from a credible Western medical source.
“We’re beginning now to understand things that we know in our hearts are true but we could never measure. As we get better at understanding how little we know about the body, we begin to realize that the next big frontier in medicine is energy medicine,” according to Dr. Oz.
Dr. Oz has conducted research on the effects of Reiki on his surgical patients with Julie Motz, RN, a Reiki-trained therapist, who assisted Dr. Oz during 11 open heart surgeries and heart transplants. These 11 patients had no post-operative depression, pain or leg weakness; no organ rejection (in transplants); a better functioning immune system, and a positive attitude toward healing.