Thursday, March 31, 2011

Reiki and a place of calm

In demonstrating Reiki at Long Term Care Medicine 2011, almost every participant described a sense of relaxation and calm. From a Reiki prespective, this is not unusual, Focus, Breathing, Reiki Energy, an awareness of precepts avoiding worry and anger and expressing gratefulness and compassion, lead to a sense of calm.

...Recent studies suggest however that these attributes are especially important for physicians, and as a result, for their patients. American Medical News, a publication of the AMA noted a study just published that concluded "The hypothesis of a positive relationship between physicians' empathy and patients' clinical outcomes was confirmed, suggesting that physicians' empathy is an important factor associated with clinical competence and patient outcomes." (Academic Medicine, 2011 Mar;86(3):359-64 Hojat M, Louis DZ, Markham FW, Wender R, Rabinowitx C, Gonnela JS)

...For doctors, nurses, and volunteers seeking to introduce Reiki programs into their institutions, Reiki being a method that has a focus on connection and calm is reinforced. Another powerful study was published in JAMA (2009 Sep 23;302(12):1284-93 Krasner MS,Epstein RM,Beckman H,SuchmanAL,Chapman B, Mooney CJ, Quill TE). This study, "Association of an educational program in mindful communication with burnout, empathy, and attitudes among primary care physicians," concluded, "Participation in a mindful communication program was associated with short-term and sustained improvements in well-being and attitudes associated with patient-centered care. Because, before-and-after designs limit inferences about intervention effects, these findings warrant radnomized trials involving a variety of practicing physicians."

...Evidence is piling up in such a way that colleagues since our presentation at LTC Medicine 2011 last week have commented to me that, modalities such as Reiki, Acupuncture, Aromatherapy, and Music Therapy "have so much support that they are now being considered evidence based."

.... I want to keep promises in this Blog to people I met last week in my journey. Flying from DC to Tampa, I shared the journey with a man traveling to see his 39 year old daughter, Lisa. She had a terminal illness and had recently entered hospice. Hearing that I was a hospice physician, he shared her story, and I promised to add my prayer on her behalf. I have done so every day since. Flying back home I sat next to a Wounded Warrior. Derek had served his country in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and he was in prolonged recovery from serious wounds. His bravery in service to our country, and the sacrifice he and his family have made and continue to make are compelling. I continue to keep him in mind in my prayers.

....My teacher Amy Rowland, reminds me how transformative shared experiences can be, both for ourselves as individuals, and collectively to the human race, at a time when we so need (both individually and collectively) connection and healing. Methods that bring us to a place of calm, and allow us to provide empathy and compassion to others, make us more effective health care providers and happier human beings.

...A new friend wrote me this week of her efforts to start a Reiki program in her hospital. She had done a lot of work, and collected a tremendous amount of supporting information, to do a presentation - when the time came, her hospital CEO said, "we don't need a presentation, just add Reiki to your department and just start doing it."

.... Things "grow from experiences shared" - just for today, don't worry and be grateful - and please add a prayer for Lisa and Derek who I met on my journey.

Note: - the photo at the top of this Blog is of a work by Apache Sculpture, Bob Haozous. It was erected by the city of Tampa, in memorialization of the Seminole Indians forcibly removed from their homes and relocated to Seminole, Oklahoma. It reflects on the interconnection of all human beings, and on the obligations of all human beings to the planet.

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