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Reiki can be taught to just about anyone. There are no prerequisites or licensing needed to receive the attunements or training. Many of those who become Reiki practitioners already practice some form of bodywork; many do not. More and more there are also doctors and nurses who are receiving attunements and using Reiki on their patients. Many hospitals across the United States are beginning to include Reiki in their treatment options, often at no cost to patients. Often nurses are used to administer this technique, but massage therapists are used as well, whether on staff or as independent contractors.

As time goes on and more empirical evidence is gathered, Reiki is gaining popularity in hospitals. At least 70 hospitals in the U.S. are now either using or studying the use of Reiki with their patients, including the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and New York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center.

Hospitals are finding that Reiki sessions cause patients to heal faster and have less pain. Patients having surgery ask for Reiki before the operation and during recovery. It was been used in hospital operating rooms as early as the mid 1990s and has grown exponentially since then. At Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center and Hospital in New York City, at least six doctors and 25 nurses have taken Reiki training. A survey in 2007 indicated that about 15 percent (over 800) of U.S. hospitals were offering Reiki as a regular part of patient services.

Reiki Studies Show Positive Results

A study conducted at the Hartford Hospital in Connecticut showed that patients receiving Reiki have an 86 percent improvement in sleep, a 78 percent reduction in pain, reduced nausea by 80 percent and a 94 percent reduction in anxiety during pregnancy.

At Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center a Reiki practitioner assisted in 11 heart surgeries including heart transplants. None of the patients experienced the usual postoperative pain, leg weakness, depression or organ rejection.

The Center for Reiki Research (CRR) currently has 33 studies of evidence-based research summaries available. The overall results show strong indications of Reiki being highly effective in reducing stress as well as offering a significant reduction in anxiety and pain in chronically ill patients. High stress levels cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Stress can also cause an increase in pain levels. Reiki has been shown to counter this by activating the parasympathetic system, or vagal nerves, which in turn helps the body to relax.

Documenting Reiki Sessions

In the field of medicine, documentation is important. Documentation shows a patient’s evolution from illness through health. It shows if a particular treatment is working or not. It can be used to evaluate and enhance the practitioner’s work. Over time accumulated documentation can give a particular treatment protocol credibility. Documentation is important for sharing patient information with other medical professionals. This can help them keep track of patient progress.

For those Reiki practitioners who are also licensed bodyworkers, nurses and doctors, documentation is already a big part of what they do. Even so it may seem unnecessary for a Reiki session. However, it is still important to document these sessions, especially if you are part of a medical team or if you simply want to be able to show that Reiki has worked. Eventually this documentation could even be compiled and used as research data.

Usually a person will receive more than one Reiki session. A busy practitioner will have many clients. A massage therapist may have a mix of bodywork sessions and Reiki sessions. Documentation helps to keep this all in some kind of order rather than trying to remember each client’s needs.

No matter what kind of work a therapist is doing with a client, perhaps the most important documentation is the intake form. If an intake form is already being used for massage sessions, the same can be used for Reiki. It is also prudent to have the client sign an informed consent form which describes the nature and purpose of a Reiki session – including both the benefits and limitations. The rest of the consent form would be similar to those of the massage therapist: a definition of the scope of practice; that the practitioner does not diagnose, prescribe medication or interfere with care being provided by other medical practitioners; and, the assurance of confidentiality as outlined by HIPAA regulations.

Using SOAP notes, a medical professional standard, is the best way to document the Reiki sessions. Even with Reiki you can use the basic subjective (Why have they come for Reiki? What is their current health status, medications, pain or stress levels? etc.), objective (the practitioner’s non-judgmental observations), assessment and plan.
If you are performing hospital-based Reiki, bring your intake, consent forms and SOAP forms with you. Don’t rely on your memory to write them up when you get back to your office or home. This is especially true if you will be working with several clients in a day’s time.

No matter what type of work you do with clients – in the healthcare field – accurate, concise and detailed documentation equal professionalism and credibility.

Expand Your Practice

By expanding your massage practice to include Reiki, you will be able to offer your clients more choices as well as offer new clients some alternatives to hands on bodywork. With more and more hospitals accepting and offering Reiki to their patients you can be included in this emergent field.

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