My family received so many wonderful cards this holiday season that I enjoyed reading and re-reading. There was one card, however, that really stood out for me personally. It was from the Wellness House in Hinsdale, Illinois, where I offer Reiki sessions to cancer patients and their families. Here is the story that was inside the card:
“It was November 22, 2013 when the snowstorm hit . . . CANCER
It stopped me hard and fast along my journey.
I was blinded by the frosty winds of this unprejudiced disease.
But, YOU gave me a compass that guided me to find a new path, albeit untrodden.
The heavy snowy blanket of pain and fright suffocated me.
YOU lifted it; helped me breathe and embraced me with a warm coat lined with comfort and peace.
My boot, no longer fitting me, left me motionless and frozen.
YOU gave me new ones, providing me with strength and purpose once more.
My hands were frostbitten, as the gloves I once wore were now tattered from anxiety and bewilderment.
YOU mended them and with your healing touch, you restored my hands so that I may heal again.
YOU are Wellness House.
But what is Wellness? WEllness is having a healthy life encompassing physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
What a perfect name for such a special place; and it is because of this special place that I was able to be truly present with my children and family during this snapshot of my journey. Those of us entering the Wellness House may have had cancer, but it does NOT have us. We enter through these healing doors fragmented and we leave whole once again.” by Gaile Sabaliauskas
With my offerings of Reiki, it is an honor and a privilege to be part of helping each person who I encounter at the Wellness House feel whole once again.
Wishing you all love, light, peace, and wholeness!
If you’re a Reiki Practitioner who would like to offer Reiki to cancer patients, I’d like to share with you my experience offering Sessions at the Wellness House in Hinsdale, Illinois, for the past three years. The Wellness House is a welcoming center for people living with cancer. It provides many programs to support cancer patients, survivors, and their families, through support groups, workshops, and a variety of classes in exercise, nutrition, meditation, and other wellness topics. I offer Reiki Sessions as part of the Wellness Tune-Up Program. It is such an uplifting experience to see a client, who entered the room full of anxiety and distress, leave with a feeling of calm and lightness.
As a Reiki Practitioner working with cancer patients, there are some things to keep in mind:
- Be scent free. Do not use perfume. Also, avoid any scented soaps or fabric softeners on the sheets used for the Reiki table.
- Offer a variety of seated or reclined positions. Sometimes clients are unable to lie flat on their back during a session so they sit in a chair or on a sofa. I remind them that Reiki goes where it is needed, so that even if I spend the whole session at their shoulders only, they are still getting the full benefit of Reiki.
- Bring flexibility to the session. Often I tell my clients that they are welcome to shift positions during a session, to add or remove blankets, or even to talk through the whole session. Ideally, it is an experience that they find most comfortable.
- Test hand pressure. For some clients, their pain level is very high, so it is important to “test” the amount of hand pressure that you will apply during the Session before getting started. However, I have never had a client refuse to be touched (i.e., ask me to work only in the energy field above the physical body). We are a touch-starved culture and this remains the case for cancer patients as well. How wonderful to be touched in a non-threatening and healing way!
- Try to minimally disturb the client. For instance, I usually have clients remain on their back only, if they are lying down. I rarely use the hand position behind a clients head at the Wellness House because of neck and/or shoulder pain or sensitivity experienced by cancer patients. In addition, sometimes this hand position disturbs clients as they enter a state of deep relaxation.
Why offer Reiki at a Cancer Center? As noted in a previous post, Reiki recipients experience a decrease in stress and anxiety after a treatment. Their mood improves and they are more relaxed and experience less pain.
Finally, as a Reiki Practitioner, if you plan on working with cancer patients, it is important to be prepared for the questions that you receive after a Session. Often the clients want to know what you have felt and where the energy was being drawn in the strongest. It is important to remember that as a Reiki Practitioner, we do not diagnose. The process is an offering. Therefore, the proper response to these questions is to find out what the recipients experienced. Their experience will be the one that matters in the long run and Reiki is offered for their highest healing good — always.