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Reiki and Medicine

© Pamela Miles

Reiki appears to combine safely with any medical intervention needed and is used to soothe dental and surgical anxiety and improve recovery; reduce side effects of pharmaceuticals, radiation and chemotherapy; improve sleep; strengthen sobriety; relieve anxiety; lessen pain; and support recovery from trauma. The benefits of Reiki treatment can be dramatic when used on patients awaiting emergency medical treatment.

Some patients have been able to reduce their dependence on pharmaceutical treatment for depression, anxiety, pain, sleep and diabetes - this must always be done with the physician's explicit agreement and careful oversight. One of the patients I treated during heart transplantation surgery felt Reiki kept him from needing any pain medication after awakening from surgery.

Reiki can be combined with any complementary or alternative therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic, or homeopathy. Because Reiki treatment is precipitated by the need of the recipient and operates on a subtler level than these modalities, it will enhance their effectiveness without creating interference.

Miles P, True G. Reiki-Review of a Biofield Therapy: History, Theory, Practice, and Research. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 2003;9(2):62-72.

Case Report:
Enhancing the Treatment of HIV/AIDS with Reiki Training and Treatment

Background
Since the introduction of highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) in 1996, the rate of death from AIDS in the US and Europe has decreased more than 50 Quality of life and productivity for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWA) have significantly improved. However, HAART regimens are complicated and must be followed strictly to remain effective.

PLWA have a higher frequency of psychiatric distress, substance abuse and disruptions in social support networks, making adherence to the demanding HAART protocols even more difficult. PLWA often need healing beyond their medications. A comprehensive approach to care is required.

This case report describes how one PLWA successfully used a hospital-based Reiki treatment and training program as part of a comprehensive approach to address depression, anxiety and substance abuse, to support adherence to HAART, and return to work.

Case history
In January 1998, a sixty-two year-old man came to a large multi-disciplinary HIV treatment program seeking primary medical care. He had been diagnosed with HIV in 1985 and had used HAART inconsistently in 1996-97. By January 1998 he had not used HAART for seven months and was diagnosed with AIDS based on his CD4 count of 170 (normal range is 800-1200, below 200 meets the criterion for AIDS). Viral load in his blood measured 504,000. He complained of fatigue, body-ache, and psoriasis.

Prior to coming to the HIV treatment center, he experienced significant psychological distress. He had struggled with substance abuse his entire adult life. After his lover of seventeen years died of AIDS in 1995, his cocaine use accelerated to a daily habit of approximately two grams per day, limiting his professional accomplishments and satisfaction with personal relationships. His physician referred him to a psychiatrist who diagnosed major depression and cocaine dependence. By January 1998, his financial reserves were exhausted and he was at risk of losing his apartment. Through the help of the social work department, he was enrolled in a public assistance program and referred to an outpatient drug treatment program.

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About The Author
Pamela Miles, founding president of the Institute for the Advancement of Complementary Therapies (I*ACT) www.complementary-therapies.org, has 35 years experience as a clinician, educator and lecturer in natural healing. She has been a student of meditation and yoga for 45 years. Ms. Miles began practicing Reiki in 1986 and was initiated as a Reiki master in 1990....more
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