Reiki: A 20th Century Healing Practice For The 21st Century Patient

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By Sharon Yeskel

Reiki practice, which began with the teachings of Mikao Usui in Japan around 1922, has found its way into mainstream healthcare in the United States. Reiki is offered at many hospitals around the country including Raritan Bay Medical Center (RBMC) in Perth Amboy and Old Bridge. As part of the medical center’s Division of Integrative Medicine, I have the privilege of visiting patients in their hospital rooms and providing Reiki treatments.

Reiki (pronounced RAY-KEY) is a spiritual healing practice administered by light touch (or with hands above the body) to a fully clothed recipient. Reiki treatments are not condition specific so they may be helpful for any condition and treatments are never a substitute for medical care. There is no physical manipulation or diagnosis, to receive a Reiki treatment you just have to be willing to give it a try.

There is strong anecdotal evidence that Reiki treatments make people feel better. Learning about a diagnosis, experiencing pain or having surgery can make even the calmest patient feel anxious and vulnerable. At RBMC, we target patients for treatment who are experiencing pain or anxiety or their family members who are stressed and fatigued from caring for a loved one. Response has been positive.

“I feel so relaxed and peaceful” is a typical comment I hear after treatments. Many patients experience a decrease in physical pain or fall into a peaceful sleep after receiving Reiki. The practice is also beneficial as a self-care tool. Anyone who has an interest can learn to practice Reiki for personal use and to offer Reiki to friends, family or even pets.

Sharon Yeskel is a trained Reiki practitioner and has provided Reiki treatments for 20 years. For more information or to schedule a treatment or class, call 732-442-3700, ext. 5861 or email integrativemedicine@rbmc.org.


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  • Ellen M. Gregg

    Excellent post about a practice that is helpful for so many. Peace.