Reiki - uniquely suited to complement all other natural healing modalities and allopathic treatment - innovative Reiki program at Maine's largest teaching hospital
By Patricia Keene
Hats off to Maine Medical Center and to the dedicated volunteers and employees who are utilizing Reiki every day, in almost every part of this place of healing! Beginning in August 2004, the hospital has endorsed this training program that certifies Reiki I and II practitioners. Classes held each month at the Falmouth, MMC location, are purposefully kept to a small teacher/student ratio, with an inviting and supportive circle style format. Additionally, the hospital sponsors a facilitated once a month Reiki Support/Enrichment group to provide informative, supportive gatherings for sharing, learning and keeping skills fresh. Volunteers as well as clinical personnel and other employees throughout the Maine Health system have availed themselves of this opportunity to enhance clinical and personal development. The product of this venture is twofold:
1. A well received and rapidly growing volunteer program at the hospital that provides Reiki, at no cost, to patients and their families who have self-referred or been referred by health care workers, including, several physicians
2. Health professionals who, in vastly increasing numbers, make this modality an integral part of their day-to-day patient care and are restored and rejuvenated all the more for it! How could this be, you say?
Reiki is a unique complementary health modality that provides deep relaxation, reduces stress and promotes the innate healing process on all levels of being. The practitioner is a conduit for the Reiki energy; the recipient self-directs this energy to wherever it needs to go. The overall intelligence of one’s being will direct the healing energy, even if the person is unaware, unconscious, or not cognizant, e.g., a newborn or someone in a comatose condition. Additionally, the practitioner or anyone in close proximity will receive the energetic benefit and come away refreshed! Happily, Reiki does not need any particular time frame and the practitioner need not give a “session” in order to benefit self or others. With grounding exercise and intention, Reiki will flow as one goes about daily tasks.
Not having any religious affiliation, Reiki is a spiritual practice was founded in the 1900's by Mikao Usui, and takes into account the whole person, and, indeed, the whole of life. After many years of questing, Usui formalized and ordered this wonderful work as a natural healing modality which can aid and assist every other method of healing, allopathic or complementary. It is simple yet profound; anyone and everyone can learn this work and benefit from it. Children as young as six years of age can incorporate Reiki and learn applications, albeit from a modified class presentation!
From the onset of the Reiki program at Maine Medical, all involved recognized the importance of data capture. To that end, data has been compiled that shows where, when and how referrals are made and results of Reiki treatment as perceived by patients/family and anecdotal information, all of which clearly evidences the enormous positive effect of Reiki as part of the hospital experience. Varying reports of Reiki treatment point to anything from achieving a more relaxed state and better rest to easing pain and enhancing the healing process! Many patients report emotional soothing effects of Reiki and an overall sense of peacefulness. The remarkable possibilities streaming from this work are practically endless; calming during both pre- and post-surgery, soothing and lessening unpleasant side effects of anesthesia, de-stressing and relaxing so that the body’s own intelligence can more easily tune in to the healing process at hand.
Students of Reiki who have been experiencing and practicing this modality share extraordinary stories. Several have recounted incidences where people who, at the end stage of life have been greatly soothed and aided, thus being able to put affairs to right, mentally and emotionally clear in order to say goodbyes and make transitions with greater ease. Likewise, Reiki has aided family members of patients in these same ways.
Reports from the nursery and the NICU show that babies are benefiting. Reiki seems to calm and sooth them, especially, those born addicted to substances.
Equally important and not to be overlooked, is the benefit to busy health care professionals as they take on what sometimes may feel like Herculean tasks. Reiki, the modality of being as opposed to doing, self-administered or administered by another, even for 3-5 minutes, can serve to refresh, relax, re-focus and buoy; on all levels, administering maximum benefits with minimum time and effort. In fact, there really is no effort with this “work” as the already available universal energy does it all for us. The single, most significant awareness when offering Reiki to another (or self, for that matter) is to detach and let go of the outcome, keeping the intention that the work be done for the individual’s highest healing good. Thus, one avoids making predictions or setting restrictions on the process.
I extend appreciation to all those within the hospital who work with Reiki and/or who refer patients for this life enhancing treatment that has a myriad of benefits for well being.
Projected hopes are that soon Reiki will be an integral part of the offerings at Maine Medical Center and Maine Health out posted offices, especially places such as the Breast Care Center and the Brighton campus. The only deterrent presently, is that volunteers have more requests than they can fill in the hospital proper. It is important to note, many clinical employees in other locations are Reiki trained and most of them are integrating Reiki as they administer health care. This is a step forward!
As training continues, as education brings awareness of this complementary offering to the forefront and as patients continue to request Reiki, it is only a matter of when, not if, this life enhancing modality will be offered throughout the system.
Editor's note: This article originally appeared on the author's website in February, 2008. Since then, Patricia reports that Reiki is being more formally integrated with other offerings for treatment on the oncology wing, the Gibson Pavilion, coordinated by Dr. Mark Hand, and at the cancer treatment facility in Scarborough. Patricia facilitates the once a month Reiki Support/Enrichment Group at the Dana Center at MMC and continues to teach Reiki I and II classes as well as Reiki Master/Teacher year long apprenticeships, all of which MMC reimburses employees for through individual training funds. Her classes are open not only for MMC employees but others as well.
Patricia Keene is a Reiki Master Teacher and polarity therapist who provides integrated bodywork, including polarity, Therapeutic Touch, Reiki and basic cranial work. She has recently expanded her practice and offers Reiki in both Westbrook and Auburn, Maine.