Reiki on the NHS

Reiki. is the latest treatment on offer – from Manchester NHS.

I’ve tried this therapy, and would agree with protesters that it did nothing for me – except it could provide mental benefits for those on the treatment conveyor belt.

As the therapist’s hands hovered over me during my session, supposedly channeling energy into my body, I you can feel very lonely, but she listened and I chatted to her – and had her undivided attention.  During treatment, you feel you are being pushed from one bit of machinery to another, and are totally bewildered with no time to think, and no one to talk to.  No one to aswer queries, nor time to reflect.  I wanted to ask so many questions, but felt they were too ‘small’ to bother anyone, let alone get them to listen (Cancer Nurse Specialists might be on offer, but I never found one).

Having someone listen to my fears and worries – or just to talk to – was incredibly therapeutic.  Being able to voice concerns out loud found me sorting out answers for myself, and the soothing response from the therapist helped calm my fears.  Thinking about her responses afterwards, she hadn’t given me any medical advice, but just let me voice my fears, which helped me enormously.

Reiki is a therapy based on a Japanese belief that vital energy flows through your body.  A Reiki practitioner uses gentle touch — or places their hands just above your body — to supposedly help guide this energy in a way that “promotes balance and healing”.

Now, if you are like me – this sends your skepticism meter soaring.  But thinking back on my experience when I tried it out, as I lay back on the couch, I realised that this was the first time during my conveyor-belt treatment that I had had the undivided attention of someone who focused on me, and had time to chat.;

I’m of the ‘try anything once’ faction, and have to say that when I tried Reiki I got absolutely NO physical benefit whatsoever.  but as I lay on the couch with the practitioner’s hands fluttering above me, I realised actually, there was a big benefit, although one I am sure the NHS has never considered. .While there’s no research to show that the energy involved in Reiki exists, you may find it lie on a couch and the centre of attention for an hour – someone there who actually listens to you.

I agree with Michael Marshall, of the Good Thinking Society, who was quoted in The Telegraph as saying the NHS “should not be aligning itself with something completely anti-scientific”.

If Reiki rocks your boat, fine – but my feeling is you should pay for this yourself – the NHS should use its funds to pay for scientifically-proven treatments such as hydrotherapy (which is being shut down all over the UK). Employ Cancer Nurse Specialists who can listen to us, answer our fears and provide much-needed TLC.  Our mental health is important, but in today’s conveyor-belt treatment plans is often forgotten.