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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