Stead, Maxine, Kirshbaum, Marilyn and McCluskey, Serena (2015) An exploratory study of reiki experiences in women living with cancer. In: CAMSTRAND 2015, 10 June 2015, London, UK.

Introduction: There is limited empirical evidence demonstrating the efficacy of Reiki in cancer care. As the demand for complementary therapies increases, there is a growing need for wider investigation of how Reiki is experienced. The study aimed to explore and document perceptions and experiences of Reiki for women living with cancer.
Methods: An exploratory, qualitative study based on semi structured interviews of ten participants was conducted. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using Framework Analysis.
Key themes identified were:
• limited understanding of Reiki prior to receiving Reiki
• release of emotional strain during Reiki – feelings of a release of energy, a clearing of the mind from cancer, inner peace/relaxation
• experience of physical sensations during Reiki
• physical, emotional and cognitive improvements after Reiki
• overall positive experience of Reiki.
Conclusions: In the middle of a life-changing experience, full of medical tests, treatment, anxiety and fear, Reiki appeared to offer people an escape from the strains and stresses of living with cancer. Findings suggest that Reiki could be a beneficial tool in the self-management of quality of life issues for women with cancer, and that further research is warranted.

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