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Reiki in Complimentary Medicine

Healthcare Research September 6, 2018


Reiki is now being practiced in several hospitals in the US

Reiki is a simple hands-on healing modality that is becoming very popular in the world. Increasingly, reiki is getting more attention from medical practitioners and several hospitals in the US have now incorporated reiki in their programs.

The term reiki is a combination of two Japanese words: rei, which means “spiritually guided” and ki, which is the Japanese word for “energy.” Reiki was re-introduced to the world by the Japanese spiritual seeker Mikao Usui in the late 1800s after a lengthy period of fasting and meditation.

Reiki is one of the most simple hands-on healing modality in the world and is also one of the most effective. No wonder then, that doctors and nurses are now beginning to study and use reiki to help patients heal faster.

One of the first to include a reiki practitioner in his department at The Columbia Presbyterian Medical Centre in New York City was Dr. Mehmet Oz.. Dr. Mehmet Oz is one of the leading cardiovascular surgeons in the United States. The New York Times Magazine reported that Dr. Oz has allowed the use of reiki during open heart surgeries and heart transplant operations. Says Dr. Oz: “Reiki has become a sought-after healing art among patients and mainstream medical professionals.”

Two other hospitals in New York, namely Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital and Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital have also embraced reiki. Marilyn Vega is a nurse who has given reiki sessions to patients in both hospitals. “Reiki sessions cause patients to heal faster with less pain,” says Vega.

Several other hospitals across the US have included reiki in their roster of patient services.

Since 1998, the Columbia/HCA Portsmouth Regional Hospital in Portsmouth, New Hampshire has been giving their surgical patients the option of 15 min pre- and post- surgery reiki treatments. As a result of this, there has been less use of pain medication, shorter length of stay in the hospital and an increase in patient satisfaction.

In the Reiki Clinic at Tucson Medical Center in Arizona, a team of Reiki practitioners give reiki to patients. Reiki was first offered to patients in the Cancer Care Unit but has since expanded to other units after it had been proven that pain, chronic conditions, and post operative surgery conditions all responded well to reiki.

One of the largest hospitals in northern California is the California Pacific Medical Center and here, Dr. Mike Cantwell, a pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases, provides one to three hour-long reiki sessions. When asked how reiki helps his patients Cantwell said, “I have found reiki to be useful in the treatment of acute illnesses such as musculoskeletal injury, pain, headache, acute infections and asthma. Reiki is also useful for patients with chronic illnesses especially those associated with chronic pain.”

Dr. Nancy Eos of the University of Michigan Medical School is one of the increasing number of doctors who incorporates reiki in their medical practice. “I can’t imagine practicing medicine without Reiki,” Eos says. “With Reiki all I have to do is touch a person. Things happen that don’t usually happen. Pain lessens in intensity. Rashes fade. Wheezing gives way to breathing clearly. Angry people begin to joke with me.”

Reiki practitioners are also becoming mainstays in delivery rooms in hospitals where reiki is given to mothers and babies to help alleviate the trauma of the birthing process. Tests conducted at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut show that Reiki used during pregnancy reduced anxiety by 94 percent, nausea by 80 percent, pain by 78 percent and improved sleep by 86 percent.

Ironically, Reiki still has to gain a modicum of acceptance in the East, where it originated. Reiki flourished in Japan because the Meiji emperor supported Usui’s efforts to teach and give reiki, and the older people of his generation welcomed the return to spirituality. Since his death, however, reiki has not been incorporated into the Japanese healthcare system and continues to remain largely in the shadows of modern medicine.

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Manual Therapy Diagnostics

Healthcare Research August 19, 2018

Manual Therapy Diagnostics

Hands-on Assessment for Health and Vitality

A headache might feel like a bone bruise of the temporal bone to an Integrative Manual Therapy practitioner. That same headache can look like an energy disturbance in the tissue to a Reiki master. The headache might smell pungent to an acupuncturist.

So, which is the “real” headache? The pain, the blood flow, the bone, the energy, the smell are all just manifestations of structures and processes in the body. To each individual their perception of this manifestation is what is “real”. That is what they can work with to shift the uncomfortable symptoms and improve health.

Myofascial mapping, developed by Sharon W. Giammatteo, PT, PhD, is an assessment tool used by Integrative Manual Therapy practitioners to get an image on paper of what is contributing to the symptoms a client is experiencing. It involves the client lying clothed on a comfortable table, as the practitioner palpates, feels the surface of their body first on the front then on the back of the person.

The practitioner is feeling for several things. One, the quality of the tissue. Is it too dense, too spongy or swollen, too hot, too cold or too hard? Two, are there areas of redness, paleness, or sweat on the palms or feet. Three, they are palpating the rhythm of the connective tissue, a circadian rhythm that gives an indication of the health of the deeper tissues. Just as one can feel the effects of the heart beat far from the heart (at the wrist, for example), a skilled therapist can feel the effects of connective tissue dysfunction with their hands on the surface of the body.

Manual Therapists will also consider the range of motion or how well the joint and tissues move. They can press on a joint and feel the response or lack of response of the bones, cartilage, muscles and even whether there is enough space for the joint and muscles to move freely. This makes it easy to locate areas that don’t move as well as the surrounding tissue. These are considered to be contributors to the pain and symptoms.

The location of the tissue that is not moving the way it should, or is too hot or there is too much muscle tension or swelling can also be important. There are certain points that are considered reflex points and when they are different from the surrounding tissue it can indicate specific things.

If there is myofascial mapping over the liver but not the head, that could indicate that toxicity from the liver is contributing to the headache. If several acupuncture points along the heart meridian are more dense than they should be, it can indicate that the circulatory system is contributing to the headache.

If there is swelling and tenderness over the Chapman Reflexes, it indicates that a disturbance of the lymphatic system is contributing to the headache. Chapman Reflex points are found along the spine and the middle of the chest, they are points developed by an American Osteopath, Frank Chapman.

In 1993, Inamura, et al. in Environmental Medicine noted, the role of sympathetic (fight or flight part of the nervous system) nerve outflow to the muscles in the generation of one-minute waves in body fluid volume. A power spectral analysis of muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) was performed in an upright standing position simultaneously with the measurements of body circumference, venous pressure at the dorsum pedis veins at the ankle, intrathoracic fluid volume, soleus (muscle in the calf) EMG, and calf fluid volume.

They found that several things changed during the one-minute oscillation:

  1. an increase in calf fluid volume;
  2. a decrease in intrathoracic fluid volume;
  3. an increase in venous pressure at the dorsum pedis veins;
  4. an increase in the soleus EMG activation;
  5. an activation of muscle sympathetic nerve activity;
  6. a decrease in calf fluid volume; and
  7. an increase in intrathoracic fluid volume.

It is concluded that sympathetic nerve activity as well as cardiovascular variables have a cyclic rhythm with a duration of one minute to maintain hemodynamic homeostasis in humans in an upright standing position.

These, are the kinds of things a manual therapist pays attention to, assesses and palpates with the goal of balancing out any disturbance. Each practitioner will use their own method of assessing the problem listening to the client’s history and symptoms, observing the way they move, talk and even smell.

They will note the quality of the tissue and palpate for subtle changes. The shifts in the tissue indicate where there are bone bruises, circulation and lymphatic dysfunctions. The skill with which they assess and gather information and then put it together to come up with a plan of care, will determine the effectiveness of the treatment, the reduction of symptoms and recovery of health.

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