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Reiki Benefits for Cancer Patients

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust’s (WWL) Oncology Unit at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary has become the first NHS hospital in South Lancashire to start a Reiki complementary therapy service for the benefit of cancer patients, family members and staff.

Offered alongside conventional medical treatment, Reiki complementary therapies are provided by a team of 12 volunteer therapists who give cancer patients a chance to take control, feel better, and reduce uncomfortable symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and nausea.

“Offering Reiki therapy is a fantastic addition to the services we provide here at Royal Albert Edward Infirmary and improves the patient experience,” says WWL Oncology Unit Manager, Leo Anson. “Reiki has a real benefit for patients who are living with cancer and I would like to thank the volunteers for giving their free time and skills to our patients and staff.”

Reiki is the Japanese healing art and can help with physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being, as well as being a very useful way to relax. Research has demonstrated how Reiki can help combat depression, anxiety and stress.

“Patients say they feel better after Reiki because it helps them cope with their cancer and its treatment. After the stress of hospitals and treatment, it can be very comforting when a therapist gives you attention in a relaxed setting,” says WWL Lead Cancer Nurse, Janet Irvine.

Further research shows in 2008, a review looked at 24 studies using therapeutic touch to treat pain. 3 trials used Reiki. Overall, the review found that people who had the touch therapies had less pain than people who did not have the therapies. Trials carried out by more experienced touch practitioners seemed to give better results in pain reduction. Reiki also seemed to give greater benefit than other types of touch therapy. The researchers suggested that more research should be done into whether experienced practitioners or certain types of touch therapy can give better pain reduction. 2 of 5 studies looking at painkiller use supported the claim that touch therapies lowered painkiller use. You can read about this touch therapy review on the Cochrane Library website.

 

Is Reiki Safe?

There are no reports of harmful side effects.

Reiki is considered to be safe. There is nothing invasive about reiki therapy. Be sure to always talk to your doctor prior to having any alternative or complementary treatment.

Most practitioners will advise you to rest and drink plenty of water after treatment.

Average cost of Reiki:  $30 – 100 per session depending on session length.
In the Photo: Volunteer reiki therapists and WWL cancer care staff with patient Angela Hunter

Sources:

www.nhl.com

Cancer Research UK

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Animal-Human Relationship can improve our health – Story of Owen – a 7 year old and his dog Hachi who was hit by a train

Almost everyone who has owned a pet knows the experience of bonding with an animal. For many pet owners, these animals become our friends and family members. According to research over the last few decades, these animal-human relationships can improve our health. Since the 1980s, we have known that having a connection with an animal reduces blood pressure. Contact with animals has (also) been shown to reduce stress hormones, which allows our bodies to heal faster. Animals are also believed to increase oxytocin, which is a hormone related to feelings of love and trust. This may be the reason that animals aren’t just good for our physical health, but also good for our mental and emotional health.

Owen Howkins is a 7-year-old boy in England with a rare medical condition that only affects 30 people around the world. This condition causes his body to be constantly tense. He’s very muscular because his muscles never relax. This is a very painful condition and it affects his balance. Because his muscles are always contracting, he has trouble walking and needs to use a wheelchair.

Hachii is a dog, who has also suffered at a young age and struggled with balance problems. Someone put a rope around Hatchii’s neck and tied him to a train track when he was just a puppy. Hatchii was hit by a train. His leg and tail were damaged beyond repair and had to be amputated.

Owen’s mother heard about Hatchii’s story and went to see him. When she first saw Hatchii she felt an immediate connection. And the feeling was mutual. When Hatchii saw her, he waved his tail stump for the first time.

The full story can be seen HERE

(Original story written by Dan on “Deepenglish”  and image by Greg Westfall)