An Exploratory study of Reiki experiences in women who have cancer

Marilynne N Kirshbaum, M Stead, S Bartys

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


    Women cancer survivors experience fatigue, pain, depression, lowered self-esteem and loss of functional role. Many will use complementary
    therapies to manage symptoms or promote well-being, despite strong evidence.
    This study aimed to identify the perceptions and experiences of Reiki, an energy-based natural therapy and to identify appropriate outcome
    An exploratory design was used to encourage women to talk about their experiences with Reiki and to capture their perceptions in their own words. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 women and analysed using Framework Analysis.
    The findings were split into four themes: Views and understanding prior to receiving Reiki, Experiences during Reiki, Experiences after Reiki, and Views after having Reiki. Participants described body sensations relating to a movement of energy with feelings of emotional release; feelings of inner peace and relaxation; a sense of being cared for; the ability to relax at home by thinking about Reiki; experiencing a sense of hope and improved self-confidence. They reported clearing their minds and forgetting about their anxiety.
    Perceived physical benefits included pain relief, improved sleep and increased energy levels. Emotional benefits included feelings of wellness, a sense of calm and reduced depression. In some cases these benefits lasted up to a week.
    Physical, emotional and well-being benefits were identified. Measurement instruments that capture sensations such as ‘energy release’
    and ‘release of emotional strain’ are proposed for intervention studies to quantify the extent of benefits of Reiki as reported in this foundational original study.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventAnnual Conference of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care - Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
    Duration: 4 Sep 20167 Sep 2016


    ConferenceAnnual Conference of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care
    CityHong Kong


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