Reiki and Reflexology are soothing complements to traditional treatment
“This is the first time in a long time I haven’t been in pain.”
The woman who spoke those words had just finished her first combined Reiki and Reflexology session at the Community Cancer Center. She had been battling cancer for years, recalls Jana C. Crane, certified registered reflexologist and reiki master. “When she came in, I sensed what she needed most at that moment was just to be calm.” With her soothing relaxation techniques, Crane was able to ease the woman’s stress level, as well as her pain.
Reiki therapy (pronounced ray-kee) is often called the “healing touch.” This Japanese healing art uses a light touch—or no touch at all—to promote relaxation and a sense of well-being. During a session, Crane places her hands gently on, or just above, the client’s body. “Reiki is a lot like a prayer, sending good energy to the person,” notes Crane, “It’s very spiritual.”
Crane likes to combine Reiki with another complementary therapy, Reflexology. It’s the application of pressure to the feet, hands and ears. “People don’t realize how relaxing it is to
get your hands and feet rubbed,” explains Crane. “We focus on those areas, but it benefits the whole body.”
Studies indicate Reflexology may reduce pain, anxiety and depression while enhancing sleep and relaxation. Crane’s clients often find it helps reduce the “toxic” feeling of cancer drugs in their system. Other benefits can include improved circulation and easing of side effects like neuropathy. “After a session,” says Crane, “my clients will tell me I ‘worked my magic’ again.”
Crane adds Reflexology and Reiki are great alternatives to massage for individuals who can’t lie flat or on their stomach. She says, “You can be sitting in a chair. It doesn’t tickle and it doesn’t hurt.”
Reiki and Reflexology are both part of the Community Cancer Center’s Integrative Wellness services that focuses on the whole person rather than on just treating the disease.
Other holistic therapies available at the Community Cancer Center include acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga, meditation and Tai Chi. The services are designed to complement an individual’s treatment plan. Members of the patient’s support team—their family and friends—are also encouraged to use the center’s holistic services.
“Cancer is a scary thing for patients and their loved ones,” says Crane. “I enjoy helping them escape from their worries for that hour. I tell my clients this is all for you, just relax and enjoy.”