Reiki Treatment in European Health Care

I met Christin Bjergbakke, a Reiki practitioner and chairwoman of the Danish Association of Healers, when she attended my Reiki and Medicine Intensive in Dublin. She is an active advocate for the integration of Reiki treatment in European health care systems.

ChristinReiki Treatment in European Healthcare Settings
by Christin Bjergbakke

A growing number of hospitals and health care clinics in the U.S. offer Reiki treatment to patients and relatives. The U.S. consists of 50 states of varying sizes and population densities, each with its own healthcare licensing law.

The situation in Europe is somewhat similar in that the European Community consists of 28 countries, each with its own law and traditions. Some countries are more progressive than others, but overall, awareness among practitioners and clients of the benefits of integrating Reiki practice into conventional healthcare is growing.

Spanish Reiki master John Curtin and his 3000 member organization, Foundacion Sauce, have initiated 400 volunteers, who gave more than 8000 Reiki sessions at in Madrid hospitals in 2013. Nearly 100 medical staff have been initiated, and brochures are distributed in hospitals.

In some German states, Reiki is offered as an additional service in conjunction with cancer treatment and physiotherapy.

Reiki organizations in Switzerland and Ireland seek to develop professional Reiki practice, and a number of health insurance companies in both countries offer Reiki treatment repayments.

In 2012 in the United Kingdom, the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) established a voluntary national register for Reiki practitioners. The UK Reiki Federation was one of 11 alternative therapy groups invited to write self-regulatory standards that would assure the public and health care that Reiki professionals meet national requirements.

Since 2007, the Danish Health Council has issued RAB-certificates for members of the Danish Association of Healers (Healer-Ringen). RAB is public acknowledgment that a practitioner has a minimum of 660 lessons of the chosen modality in combination with courses in psychology, physiology, anatomy and clinical practice. One lesson equals 45 minutes supervised training or class time.

RAB registration serves a similar purpose to the UK version – to assure the public that professional Reiki practitioners are highly trained. The Health Council allows all patients in Danish hospitals to be treated by CAM practitioners of the patient’s choosing and at the patient’s expense. Despite that recognition, it is not yet common for Reiki practitioners to work in Danish hospitals or hospices.

As nurses, doctors and other healthcare providers experience Reiki treatment and receive credible information about Reiki practice, they will likely welcome the support that Reiki practice provides staff, patients, and family members.

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