pink ribbon making cancer support symbol

How Reiki Can Help Cancer Patients


Reiki is not a cure for cancer. But it can be used with cancer patients to alleviate the suffering caused by fatigue, stress, and pain, improving the patients’ quality of life.

How Reiki Works

Reiki is a healing technique that focuses on realigning the chakras to restore the body’s natural energy flow. The Reiki practitioner places their hands on or just above your body in specific energy locations, acting as a conduit between the patient and the universal energy force. Focusing the energy in these specific positions improves the energy flow in a similar way to how it is unblocked and redirected with needles during acupuncture. There have been numerous studies on the effectiveness of Reiki that prove it can be used to treat many different ailments.

Reiki as a Complementary Therapy for Cancer Patients

An ethical Reiki practitioner would never advise you to consider Reiki your sole form of cancer treatment; that is outside their scope of practice, although it may be your personal choice. Reiki practitioners would, however, encourage you to try Reiki sessions. They, and many of their clients, know the power of the work. Reiki is complementary therapy that helps to improve cancer patients’ quality of life while they are receiving traditional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.

Stress Relief

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a stressful experience. Fear and anxiety are normal reactions for people receiving this news. In an instant, your whole life changes. It now revolves around harsh treatments, constant vigilance, and never-ending travel back and forth for hospital appointments, treatments and tests. Life is now an anxious waiting game, hinging on the latest cancer numbers from the doctor.

Reiki is a very different experience. Instead of in a cold, busy hospital, your treatment is conducted in a relaxing, quiet treatment space. It may even be done in your own home, while your practitioner works on you remotely or in-person. Rather than being rushed between busy doctors and nurses who are caring for multiple patients, your Reiki session is a one- on-one experience devoted solely to you.

woman receiving a reiki treatment

Reiki sessions begin with a conversation about how you are feeling; having someone to open up to and to listen deeply can itself help to reduce your stress. Calming music is played quietly in the background as your treatment begins. Your practitioner will place their hands on (or just above) your body. The light physical touch invokes feelings of comfort, lowering your anxiety level. As your practitioner starts to move their hands around your body, balancing the energy flowing through you, you’ll sink into a state of deep relaxation. You may also experience Reiki’s capacity to slow your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and decrease the amount of stress hormones in your body.

Pain Management

The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes pain as “a localized or generalized unpleasant bodily sensation or complex of sensations that causes mild to severe physical discomfort and emotional distress and typically results from bodily disorder (such as injury or disease).”

When your body experiences Reiki’s deep relaxation, you’re likely to find a reduction in pain and tension. Reiki may also help decrease pain perception by healing the emotional aspect of pain.

In an interview in Everyday Health, Dr. Kenneth Martay, MD, explains that there are five pain centers in the human brain. Two of the pain centers are located in the limbic system which processes emotions, making a strong connection between pain and emotions.

Physical Healing

The human body is designed to heal itself. The surgeon’s knife may cut out the cancer and the technologists may administer the radiation, but it’s the body that has to make sense of those treatments and begin the process of healing. When Reiki is performed, the energy flow in and around the body is restored to its optimal state. This boosts the immune system and allows the body to operate as it should and heal itself as God and nature intended.

See How Complimentary Therapy Could Help You

If you are currently undergoing treatment for Cancer or any other injury or disease and would like to see how Reiki can be used to improve your quality of life book a session now.

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