Sadly, cancer has become a very common illness in the past decade, with terrible predictions being made about it affecting even more (up to one in four) people in the very near future. We’ve all got used to the camaraderie of fighting the disease – from doctors to researchers to charity workers to fundraisers to cancer survivors – we are all in it together. It is great to witness such enthusiasm and know that all of it is for good cause. Yet, fighting cancer is really only about winning the battle. It is an important battle, but there is so much more beyond it.
I remember my despair when choosing the best treatment option for myself. Offered to have surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy all thrown at me at once, I tried to concentrate on a bigger picture of what I would be like after all this has finished – on the war over my health, not solely the battle with cancer.
That’s when I started looking into complementary medicine to help me go through the illness and turn into an even healthier individual than before cancer (I know, I’ve always been very ambitious).
Even though many healthcare professionals are cautious about linking stress and cancer, I personally believe the theory developed by Dr Gabor Mate (among others), who says: “Emotional stress is a major cause of physical illness, from cancer to autoimmune conditions and many other chronic diseases. The brain and body systems that process emotions are intimately connected with the hormonal apparatus, the nervous system, and in particular the immune system.”
With this insight, I came across Reiki and haven’t looked back since. I can see how it has helped me to deal with side effects of a rather harsh cancer treatment and got me back to living in full, realising my potential and enjoying most of what life has to offer.
Reiki isn’t a substitute to conventional cancer treatment, but many cancer patients, who have tried Reiki, comment that their pain and feeling of tension decrease, their sleeping improves, and that they feel improvement in their well-being after cancer treatments.
Hospitals and hospices across the UK, Europe and the US have started including Reiki practitioners on their staff or invite volunteers in. They seem to view Reiki as part of a comprehensive cancer treatment plan.
Because Reiki is a non-invasive technique that causes no side effects or complications, it can be performed on cancer patients at any time following their diagnosis and throughout their treatment. Reiki might also be effective at reducing anxiety and inducing relaxation and balance among those in remission. (Please note that it’s important to tell your doctor about any complementary therapy, including Reiki, you add to your treatment plan!)
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Cancer Research UK suggests:
“After the rush and stress of hospitals and treatment, it can be very relaxing when someone gives you attention for an hour or more, in a calm setting.”
Relaxation is one of the pillars of healthy and balanced living. Reiki, as a safe complementary therapy, promoting good sleep, relaxation, and stress reduction, might well help us win the war.