Saturday, May 25, 2013

Parallels between Hospice and Reiki

As a medical director, I don't always have the opportunity to lead "Team," but when one of my Team Physicians is away it is one of the things I really enjoy doing. Hospice Teams are uplifting to be a part of!

This week I covered a Team, and as so often happens in Hospice, the meeting started with a commemoration of the lives of those persons who transitioned while under the care of the Team in the previous week. While our music therapist played guitar, the names of each of the transitioned patients was read out loud by our Chaplain, and team members added remembrances .....

In thinking on the words of the song from our music therapist, i had to work at the translation, i am "functional" (by no means fluent) in Spanish and French but this was close and neither ..... and so i found our it was Latin - not one of my skills .....

Ubi caritas    et amor     Ubi caritas    Deus ibi est ......

or loosely "Live in charity"   "and love"    "live in charity"     "God is there"

Although Reiki is certainly not a religion, (and i wouldn't want to imply it was), our basic Reiki precepts of avoiding Anger and Fear, and Being grateful - of trying to work hard and bring kindness to others .... all reflect a sense of faith and connection.

Perhaps then - not "God is there" but a faith that we are all connected, that everything will work out for the best, that we simply need to be present and to do our part ........

Hospice team members face this every day .... they are helping people every day who have no hope for cure and yet still need to be cared for ..... if we cannot cure someone we can care for them and be there with them at least "just for today."

I have had a number of patients in the past week very near transition, still quite alert - and i have asked them what they believe will happen when they transition..... and a very interesting dynamic happens patients witness to what faith strengthens them, they share ..... and i listen ..... in some ways i do nothing but be present.

And so often they look at me and tell me that they "are not afraid." And they are in less pain.

It is not my place to witness to them my beliefs, nothing in this moment is about me - it is time for me to be there for them and about whatever they happen to believe in ....

People ask me - "what do you do when you find an atheist" .... and really - the answer is the same .... i listen. In every case of caring for an atheist I have found that they appreciate someone else listening to them related about their life - what we often call "life review" -

My own self Reiki helps me in these moments ...... it helps me stay calm myself, and focused, and in a place without anger or fear - so that i can provide the simplest gift of being present and listening.

And so Hospice teams for me connect so effortlessly for me to my Reiki .....

For those interested in reading studies that are evidence based supporting the use of Reiki i advise

and for a recent study on music therapy

Keeping in mind the Reiki precepts and the best practices of Hospice,

Ubi caritas    et amor      ubi caritas     deus ibi est

Thank you to all who share these journeys!!

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