The Effects of Reiki Therapy on Pain and Anxiety in Patients
Attending a Day Oncology and Infusion Services Unit.
Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2011 Oct 13. [Epub ahead of print]
The Effects of Reiki Therapy on Pain and Anxiety in Patients Attending
a Day Oncology and Infusion Services Unit.
Birocco N, Guillame C, Storto S, Ritorto G, Catino C, Gir N, Balestra
L, Tealdi G, Orecchia C, De Vito G, Giaretto L, Donadio M, Bertetto O,
Schena M, Ciuffreda L.
SC Oncologia Medica, San Giovanni Battista Hospital, Torino, Italy.
Reiki is a system of natural healing techniques administered by laying
of hands and transferring energy from the Reiki practitioner to the
recipient. We investigated the role of Reiki in the management of
anxiety, pain and global wellness in cancer patients. Building on the
results of a pilot project conducted between 2003 and 2005 by a
volunteer association at our hospital, a wider, 3-year study was
conducted at the same center. The volunteer Reiki practitioners
received 2 years of theory and practical training. The study population
was 118 patients (67 women and 51 men; mean age, 55 years) with cancer
at any stage and receiving any kind of chemotherapy. Before each
session, the nurses collected the patient's personal data and clinical
history. Pain and anxiety were evaluated according to a numeric rating
scale by the Reiki practitioners. Each session lasted about 30 min;
pain and anxiety scores were recorded using a Visual Analog Scale
(VAS), together with a description of the physical feelings the
patients perceived during the session. All 118 patients received at
least 1 Reiki treatment (total number, 238). In the subgroup of 22
patients who underwent the full cycle of 4 treatments, the mean VAS
anxiety score decreased from 6.77 to 2.28 (P <.000001) and the mean
VAS pain score from 4.4 to 2.32 (P = .091). Overall, the sessions were
felt helpful in improving well-being, relaxation, pain relief, sleep
quality and reducing anxiety. Offering Reiki therapy in hospitals could
respond to patients' physical and emotional needs.
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