Our aim is to introduce, evaluate and research Reiki in clinical practice. This simple hands-on therapeutic system can be helpful to both the body and mind. There is evidence that energy-based therapies can help ease patients’ pain (Evanoff and Newton 1999; Turner et al., 1998; Baldwin et al., 2017).
One of the most commonly reported effects of Reiki is that of relaxation or a reduction in stress. It is believed that a link may exist between ‘energy’ therapies and activation in the autonomic nervous system (ANS) (Mackay et al., Ramnarine-Singh,1999).
For instance, Wardell and Engebretson (2001) measured the biological effects of Reiki on the ANS and found significant reduction of anxiety and systolic blood pressure, and a significant increase in salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels.
The project aims to add to the understanding of how Reiki improves patients’ quality of life by collecting case studies, undertaking evaluations and supporting further research. The information we collect will then support the use of Reiki at St George’s Hospital and other clinical settings.
From the charity’s original base at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, one of London’s leading teaching hospitals, Reiki has been introduced as an evidence-based practice. In line with Full Circle’s ethos its progress will be continuously evaluated to support patient care.
Through Full Circle’s research committee, which includes medical consultants and researchers, and our established links with research institutions in the UK and elsewhere, the charity aims to disseminate findings of how Reiki may help in hospitals, including supporting families and very sick children on the paediatric wards.
It is also intended to look at how Reiki supports cancer, sickle cell and palliative care patients.
The pilot Reiki project at St George’s is just the beginning. Full Circle Fund Therapies is creating a transferrable clinical training and mentoring programme which allows Reiki practitioners to work on acute and high dependency units in a way which can be accepted by the medical professions.
Training is taking place on the bone marrow and transplant wards, and is planned as well for paediatric medicine.
Funds are being raised from donations to support different elements of this visionary project including the provision of: a rigorous, clinical training as part of Full Circle’s commitment to evidence based, best practice in acute medical settings, including an extensive clinically-based mentoring programme for joining practitioners, data gathering, confidential data management, preparation of reports and case studies, analysis and systematic review of quantitative and qualitative data to support rationale for future research into the application of Reiki in various diverse and complex medical environments.
This project also includes the work of a post graduate Research Assistant [typically a PhD graduate or similar], an Academic Research Lead based at St George’s University of London (or another recognized research institution and as directed by Full Circle’s Research Committee).
As a comprehensive evidence-based project, it therefore requires support for the ongoing commitment and work of the Full Circle team of carefully selected, experienced and comprehensively clinically trained, Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council registered Reiki practitioners.
- Mackay, N., Hansen, S., McFarlane, O. (2004) Autonomic Nervous-System-Changes During Reiki Treatment: A Preliminary Study, The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine (10) 6., 1077-1081.
- Ramnarine-Singh, S. (1999) The surgical significance of therapeutic touch. AORN J 69:358–369.
- Turner, J., Clark, A., Gauthier, D., Williams, M. (1998) The effect of therapeutic touch on pain and anxiety in burn patients. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 28, 10–20.
- Wardell, D., Engebretson, J. (2001) Biological correlates of Reiki Touch healing. Journal of Advanced Nursing 33, 439– 445.
- Baldwin, A., Vitale, A., Brownell, E., Kryak, E., Rand. W. (2017) Effects of Reiki on Pain, Anxiety, and Blood Pressure in Patients Undergoing Knee Replacement: A Pilot Study. Journal of Holistic Nursing Practice; 31(2):80-89.
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Filmed at St George’s University Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust