Cancer, Surgery and... Reiki

by Kathie Lipinski, R.N.

Everyone knows someone who has experienced cancer. Most people have had to undergo surgery at least one time in their lives. In this article, I would like to share a different way to go through the experience of cancer and, or, surgery.

Both cancer and surgery (and even just the thought of them) can evoke feelings of fear... fear of death, fear of disfigurement, and fear of the loss of the lifestyle that one is currently living. The knowledge of having to undergo surgery, or receiving a diagnosis of cancer, is a total experience that involves feelings, thoughts, physical sensations, as well as questioning of one's connection to a higher power.

The western medical way is to treat the symptoms or "cut out" the problem. These solutions put the body further out of balance because the body has to adjust to the new medicine and its side effects, or the removal of a part of the body thus changing the way it functions. The "cure" often creates more problems for the person to deal with then what they were first experiencing. For example, chemotherapy or radiation treatments are necessary poisons to the body and create their own miseries.

A different way to approach the experience of surgery or a cancer diagnosis and treatment is to consider the use of Reiki. As an ancient eastern healing technique, Reiki works to put the body back into balance. It works on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual realms of each experience. Reiki can calm the emotions, decrease or remove physical pain, calm the anxious and chattering mind and help one to reconnect with their spirituality. It also helps to cleanse the body of toxins and speed up and strengthen the body's ability to heal itself. It can make the experience of chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery, more tolerable.

In my private practice I see many people with cancer: in the early stages, before surgery, during chemotherapy or radiation treatment, and after surgery. I also see people who are preparing for different types of surgery.

Several women have come to me in "preparing" for a hysterectomy with hopes of making it a better experience. How this works is that a person comes for several Reiki treatments before surgery. This puts the body in the best shape. It is like a cleansing or strengthening of the system before the "injury" of surgery.

People that have had "pre-op" Reiki treatments, have found that they have less pain, minimal blood loss during the surgery, and are up on their feet soon after surgery.

They also experience little or no pain. They then continue with Reiki treatments for several weeks after surgery, which speeds up and supports the healing process. On their follow-up doctors' visits, their physicians often comment "how fast you healed. Whatever you did, keep it up." The people I have worked with that are currently undergoing chemotherapy, or radiation treatment, have told me that the Reiki treatments help them feel better.

Reiki can help release the toxins of their treatment and lessen their discomfort. Reiki can also calm their emotions, help them to deal with the fatigue, and strengthen them so that they can "keep on keeping on" during the difficult time. Some people have even told me that after a Reiki treatment, the nausea and vomiting is less. A Reiki treatment is also good for the caregiver or support person. Reiki can help them stay strong for their loved ones.

The effect that energy healing can have on a person undergoing heart surgery or radical lifesaving procedures, was written about in the book "Hands of Life" by Julie Motz. Ms. Motz is an energy healer that has worked in the Operating Room in Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City with Dr. Metmet Oz, a heart surgeon. They were first written up in the New York Times in August of 1995, for the extraordinary "synthesis of high-tech medicine and ancient healing wisdom."

In the book, Ms. Motz offers the prospective of how "totally unprepared the body seems to be for what is happening to it." And, "no one has thanked the body, either in parts or as a whole, for its courage in undergoing this ordeal." This is another way to look at the experience. So, if you are about to undergo surgery, or are preparing for the treatment of cancer, think about your body. How can you strengthen it, support it, and help it heal from the upcoming experience? Why not think about the ancient healing practice known as Reiki? Your body, your mind, and your spirit, will thank you for loving it enough to support it through the process.