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Reiki in the Hospital

Published March 24, 2010 11:25 AM by Jennifer Ford
Talk about holistic health - now nurses and nurse practitioners are providing Reiki treatments, a spiritual stress-relief and healing practice developed in Japan, in hospitals. "A healing energy? Now in hospitals, Reiki musters critics and fans," an article on, describes the Reiki programs at several hospitals in New York.

What is Reiki? Developed almost 100 years ago in Japan, the practice involves placing hands on the person being treated to channel "life force energy" and promote wellness. It's a spiritual practice but isn't considered a religion. And many people think it has no place in the hospital setting, especially because there's no scientific proof of its effectiveness. But patients surveyed at Crouse Hospital reported reduced pain and stress after receiving Reiki treatments.

One man quoted in the article had chronic pain and received Reiki treatments from an NP: 

North has tried painkillers, but they don't help. He said he has a hard time relaxing. North said Reiki is the only thing that eases his anxiety. He got his first treatment in 2001 from Nancy J. Barnum, a nurse practitioner in the VA's pain clinic. "Within a matter of minutes after barely touching my forehead, all of a sudden it felt like every problem just flushed out of me," North said. "I couldn't believe it."

I found this interesting because I've received Reiki treatment myself on several occasions, but never in a healthcare setting. Are there any NPs readers out there providing Reiki in their practice? Do you think it's a worthwhile endeavor? Why or why not?


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