Complementary Therapy and Cancer Care
Helping your body to heal itself
Helping your mind and spirit to journey with positive determination
Therapeutic Touch® (TT) and Reiki are complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments that are gaining recognition by cancer patients and at cancer centres in Canada and beyond. Both modalities safely and effectively help patients manage the side effects and other difficulties of cancer at every stage of treatment, without interfering with their medications or treatment.
These complementary therapies offer mental and physical benefits, including the following:
Reduce the side effects of treatment
Increase resilience and the ability to cope with stress
Reduce stress and therefore, reduce cortisol and pain
Strengthen the immune system
Improve physical and mental well-being
Other benefits include relief from post-operative discomfort and more.
When is the best time to receive Therapeutic Touch and/or Reiki?
At the time of diagnosis: Therapeutic Touch and Reiki help you relax and balance your mind and body so you can prepare for what lies ahead. During these first weeks, you will want to have a quiet mind to hopefully reach a point of acceptance and be able to fully devote your energy to helping yourself to heal.
During active treatment: Therapeutic Touch and Reiki can help you by reducing the unpleasant and difficult side effects of treatments, such as relieving anxiety, nausea, and pain without interfering with your medical treatments and medications.
It is believed that because of the relaxation and balancing effects on the body, mind, and spirit, Therapeutic Touch and Reiki sessions have the potential to help improve your response to treatments by strengthening the body’s ability to heal.
During post active treatments: Many cancer survivors incorporate regular Therapeutic Touch and Reiki treatments in their Recovery Plan. They do so to support the body, mind, and spirit in the healing process; boost the immune system, and slowly gain the strength needed to finally “return to a normal life.”
These regular sessions not only offer relaxation but they also improve mood and help with the side effects of medications you may need to take following your active treatment. This can include improvement in body and bone pain, headaches, fatigue, and depression. During this phase, the goal for including Therapeutic Touch and Reiki is to continue helping your body, mind, and spirit by providing non-invasive and gentle therapies to relax and balance your energy fields.
Therapeutic Touch and Reiki for caregivers
Cancer also affects loved ones and caregivers in many ways. Often they experience more emotional distress than the person with cancer. They act as “holding tanks” and feel the tremendous pressure of keeping their emotions to themselves. Husbands, wives, children, and parents also benefit from energy healing therapies to help alleviate anxiety, anger, fear, and frustration so they feel more calm and balanced.
Therapeutic Touch and Reiki are meant to complement, not replace, conventional medicine.
[I Anne Vitale, “An Integrative Review of Reiki Touch Therapy Research,” Holistic Nursing Practice (July/August 2007):167-176.