Energy Therapies Offer Physical and Spiritual Healing for Cancer Patients
When Jan Egerton was diagnosed with mesothelioma, her oncologist sent her to a holistic therapy center at the hospital. It was there Egerton – who already practiced spiritual healing – discovered Reiki. She realized it complemented spiritual healing quite well, and it became a regular part of her treatment. Reiki and spiritual healing are meant to be used along with conventional medicine. Both energy therapies rely on the concept that healing the mind and spirit are crucial to restoring health to the body. While these therapies are spiritual in nature, patients do not need to have religious beliefs to benefit from them. However, spiritual healing practices are often tied to religion.
Reiki is a Japanese practice in which the practitioner uses his or her hands to calm the patient’s mind, states the International Center for Reiki Training. The goal is to help the patient tap into the life energy that promotes relaxation and a feeling of well-being. This, in turn, promotes physical healing.
Most Reiki sessions last from 45 minutes to an hour. They may involve light touching or the hands hovering about an inch above the body. Energy guides the practitioner’s hands, which generally stay still for most of the session. For those suffering from chronic or terminal illness, Reiki may help ease symptoms such as fatigue and pain, according to UMN.edu. Each session is customized to the patient’s needs at the time.
Spiritual Healing Practice
Spiritual healing incorporates many different methods, including meditation and the balancing of chakras. However, cancer patients like Jan often prefer hands-on treatments that channel energy to certain parts of the body. Most sessions last from 10 to 20 minutes.
During these sessions, healers sometimes only place their hands on the patient’s shoulders. There is no massage or manipulation. The energy is then sent to the parts of the body that need healing. However, patients sometimes prefer to be touched in the specific areas that are causing them pain.
Alternatively, healers may not come into direct contact with the patient, instead placing their hands near the body. Both methods are said to be effective, according to the Spiritualists’ National Union. Friends and family members may help with spiritual healing therapy by directing healing thoughts toward the patient.
Jan wrote on MesotheliomaHelp.org that often during her sessions, one of the practitioner’s hands generated heat to soothe the painful areas of her body. The other hand would be ice cold, relieving her muscle soreness and stiffness.
Some may be skeptical about the healing power of energy therapies, but they are harmless and have no side effects. These practices complement an integrative approach to care by relieving the patient’s stress and promoting feelings of inner peace. Jan was such a believer that she became a certified healer herself, helping others in the way that these therapies helped her.
 Miles, P. What is Reiki? Retrieved July 10, 2014 from: http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/reiki