Reiki, a form of Japanese energy healing, may help women with cancer to improve their quality of life. University of Huddersfield researchers, in Huddersfield, England, conducted an exploratory, qualitative study of Reiki experiences among women living with cancer. Serena McCluskey, PhD, a senior research fellow in the university’s Centre of Applied Psychological and Health Research and a Reiki practitioner, said, “Due to more effective methods of diagnosis and treatment, people are living longer with cancer and it is now often classed as a long-term condition. Patients don’t go into the hospital or see consultants as frequently, so they often look at things outside of normal medical treatment to help them cope with the effects of living with the disease, such as depression, anxiety, fatigue and pain” (University of Huddersfield news release).
Over a 1-year period, investigators interviewed 10 women who had received therapeutic Reiki treatments at local hospices. Interview evaluations revealed that the women consistently described feelings of inner peace, relaxation and release of emotional strain from Reiki therapy.
McCluskey said, “We are aware of criticism from the empirical evidence about the validity and credibility of Reiki and so we did a scientific literature review on the subject. We will publish the findings on that.”
The pilot study was presented at the March 2015 conference of the British Psychosocial Oncology Society, in Leeds, England. The study abstract is available at http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/22884/.
To learn more about Reiki, go to www.reiki.org.