How Reiki Treatment Helps Doctors

The space between medical science and the patient can be formidable in conventional medicine, and can lead to problems with compliance. It’s well known that 50% of patients don’t follow their doctors’ advice. Reiki treatment can help doctors bridge that gap.

Although it’s the physician’s job to bridge that gap, many doctors find it challenging. Doctors typically have limited time with their patients, not nearly long enough to develop the relationship of trust that was once the foundation of doctoring.

Additionally, knowing how to fix a problem—increasingly the focus of medicine—and engaging patients as allies in their own health and well-being involve very different skills.

Medical fixing requires a take-charge approach, especially in surgery or emergency medicine. Patient engagement, on the other hand, is an act of collaboration, a ceding of control.

It may be unrealistic to expect physicians to be equally good at both skill sets, but pioneering advocates for humanism in medicine such as the Arnold Gold Foundation (founded in 1988) have long suspected there’s more to the story. Something about the highly competitive way doctors are educated might squeeze out the collaborative people skills, the bedside manner that distinguishes an excellent doctor from a capable one.

The good news is that medical education is changing. I have, for example, taught Reiki practice to medical students at Yale and Einstein medical schools, and presented Reiki at Harvard and the National Institutes of Health, good steps in the right direction. However, it will take time for this change to impact the practice of medicine. In the meantime, sadly, the space between medical science and patients seems to be growing.

How Reiki treatment can help conventional doctors

Whether the patient receives Reiki treatment in a hospital, in the office of a Reiki professional, or practices self-treatment at home, the experience of Reiki treatment is generally settling. Patients usually feel some sense of relief in even their first session. That’s because Reiki treatment is balancing and optimizes self-healing.

After a Reiki treatment, people typically feel calmer, more clear-headed, and in a better state of mind to partner their doctors. They’re more likely to trust their doctors, to be forthcoming with information that help doctors take care of them, and to have confidence in their doctors’ recommendations.

People who feel better are also more likely to take actions to improve their health. Patients often have in mind things they could do to help themselves but can’t muster up the motivation because they feel poorly. Once they start either practicing Reiki self treatment or receiving Reiki treatment from a professional, people often feel better enough to make behavioral changes such as stopping by the gym or even parking at the far end of the lot to add some walking to their errands. Small lifestyle improvements lead to more improvement and confidence that daily lifestyle choices make a difference.

Compassionate, well trained, experienced Reiki practitioners can step skillfully into the gap between medical science and patients, and help, as one of my physician students put it, “prime the patient for healing.”

Tell your doctor about your Reiki treatment

If you practice self Reiki or receive regular Reiki treatment, consider letting your doctor know. Don’t try to explain Reiki. That’s a recipe for confusion. Just let your doctor know you’ve been practicing or receiving treatment and the difference it’s made. Share simple, but crucial benefits such as, “I’m sleeping better. I often sleep through the night and feel more refreshed when I wake up in the morning, more optimistic about my day.”

If you think sleeping better is too inconsequential to share with your doctor, think again. Doctors know most self-healing occurs during sleep. They also know sleep problems are associated with a host of medical ailments including but not limited to diabetes, heart disease, neurological disorders, kidney disease, thyroid disease, respiratory illness, and mental health issues.

A Reiki practitioner or enthusiast who communicates simply, clearly, and succinctly can help their doctors appreciate that Reiki treatment is helping them and might help other patients as well. Patients who gently educate their doctors about Reiki practice might even open the door to collaboration.

Reiki practitioners who understand the pressures that doctors are under can better communicate how Reiki treatment helps doctors. Educate yourself about medical education by reading two of my favorite physician-writers, Emily Transue and Atul Gawande.


Related reading: Letting Go

An earlier version of this article is available in Spanish translation, Como los Tratamientos de Reiki Ayudan a los Médicos. More Spanish resources are available at Reiki en Español.

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5 thoughts on “How Reiki Treatment Helps Doctors”

  1. Catching up on a little light reading. Integrative Medicine is just starting to catch on in the UK. But I’ve experienced doctors being dismissive of the benefits of CAM, or at best showing polite indifference, though as you know, on the flip side, I also am blessed with working with a very enlightened consultant. I was interested to see that the Andrew Weil centre has a Wellness and Lifestyle series which has a unit looking at Spirituality in Health amongst other things.

  2. This summary of an interview isn’t specifically about Reiki. Nevertheless it shows there is some development in the medical field. It also points to what imo the ultimate aim of Reki practice is or should be, lifestyle modification. Stellenbosch University now has a post-graduate program in integrative medicine.

    Integrative Medicine

    Integrative medicine is the new buzzword in the medical word and we speak to Dr. Van Velden about the issue.

    He writes; “The foundation of family medicine is firmly rooted in general practice, but the role of the traditional general practitioner has expanded in the post-modern era to incorporate the holistic concept of the bio-psycho-social – and spiritual perspectives.

    Family medicine has appropriately articulated a patient-centred model of care, replacing the traditional, more physician or disease-centered approach originating from the modernistic, reductionalistic post Newtonian era.

    Integrative medicine promotes physician well-being and self-reflection, where the doctor is a role model promoting wellness. Wellness promotion enhances physician credibility proposing a transformational component to combat the epidemic of lifestyle related diseases responsible for 37% of deaths due to non-communicable diseases in South Africa.

    Integrative medicine embraces the notion that the body is innately self-healing and attempts where possible to promote healing rather than suppressing symptoms. It emphasises the therapeutic doctor-patient relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative to stimulate healing. The physician must remove the barriers to healing to assist the healing process, using suppressive therapies only when necessary.

    Lifestyle modification becomes the cornerstone of early interventions to prevent disease by prescribing non drug and natural interventions such as diet, exercise, stress management and smoking cessation to combat chronic and degenerative diseases such as the enormous burden of cardiovascular disease and cancer on society. Integrative medicine provides a supportive setting where patients can take responsibility for their own health by making healthy choices based on physician supported individualised health education.”

    Guest: Dr. David van Velden
    Organisation: Stellenbosch University
    Position: Physician, Part-time lecturer
    Cape Talk, JOHN MAYTHAM 02 November 2011 4:20 PM

    1. Thanks for posting, Peter. Having been involved with the development of integrative medicine for so many years, It’s rewarding to see it characterized as being the new buzzword in health care.

      Andrew Weil MD has long made the point that the goal is ultimately to have good medicine, rather than various factions, but integration of complementary therapies and lifestyle education are important components. He has been a strong force in changing medical education to include these values. Look at the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

      Additionally, the term “lifestyle medicine” returns much of health care to the home, where it belongs. As Mehmet Oz MD often points out, we have to make it easier for people to make good health choices. Right now, most people have to go seriously out of their way to live a more health-promoting lifestyle, and many people are so stressed that they don’t have the direction, time or means to do so.

  3. Always good to hear from you, Abby.

    But if it were up to me, I’d rather see a Reiki practitioner as grounded and experienced as you are take more concrete steps to bring Reiki practice into health care. We all need to take action so that conventional medicine can recognize the benefits that Reiki treatment can bring to patients, families and staff.

    What’s your action plan? How can I help you implement it?

  4. This is so true, Pamela. Whether Reiki is the vehicle for a positive attitude to healing, or it is a tool to reduce the stress around the fear of surgery, it benefits both the patient and the doctor when the patient is more relaxed. Reiki also can help the families of patients who are going through the trauma of their loved one being sick in the first place. Reiki is a wonderful support, it is a pity that it isn’t more widely recognised as such. I am sending Reiki right now to heal the situation of a lack of acceptance and openness to Reiki within the medical arena.

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