Reiki Services for Patients at Franklin Memorial Hospital are Found to Dramatically Decrease Pain and Stress
July 12, 2007
Meredith Kendall, MSN, RN
A complementary healing modality offered at Franklin Memorial Hospital since November is striking a harmonious chord with patients and proving to dramatically decrease their pain and stress levels.
The procedure being used is Reiki, an ancient Japanese technique that uses gentle touch to promote relaxation, a sense of well-being, and bring energy into the body.
"During the project’s initial eight weeks, 39 Reiki sessions were provided, with more than half of the recipients requesting Reiki due to anxiety, stress, or pain," said Meredith Kendall, MSN, RN, and the hospital’s Reiki Team Leader. "They reported a 72 percent decrease in stress levels and 60 percent less pain after receiving Reiki. These are remarkable reductions in pain."
Besides the above benefits, research has also found that Reiki can improve immunity, speed healing, and promote relaxation and sleep.
Reiki at Franklin Memorial Hospital came about after several administrators and staff expressed an interest in offering complementary healing modalities. A committee then formed to explore the options and researched aromatherapy, music therapy, Reiki, massage, hypnotherapy, and relaxation techniques.
The group eventually decided to pilot a Reiki program because of the availability of skilled practitioners, and the simplicity and effectiveness of the procedure. The project was then modeled after similar programs offered at Maine Medical Center and at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut.
Hospital patients can ask their nurse or doctor for the treatment, which is offered at no additional charge by a trained volunteer Reiki practitioner. Comments received from patients after a session include: "pain left at once, less depressed, very relaxing, and it’s nice." Most sessions last about 30 minutes.
The Volunteer Office coordinates the sessions and the Reiki practitioners wear purple jackets, embroidered with FMH Integrated Health Team, to distinguish them from other volunteers.
Kendall wrote an article on Franklin Memorial’s Reiki project, which was published in the March 2007 issue of Advance for Nurses, a regional nursing magazine. "The article stimulated interest in the project and I received calls from several nurses wanting more information," she said.
Kendall welcomes calls from anyone who might be interested in volunteering for the project. She can be reached at 779-2539.
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