Reiki, Hospice and Pallative Care

Working with patients and caregivers dealing with end-of-life issues, Reiki is a treatment that can alleviate pain and bring about opportunities for resolution of long-standing family conflicts.

When I started on the Reiki path over sixteen years ago, I was working in a nursing home as director of social services.

I noticed that if I gave my elderly patients just 10 minutes of Reiki while I was meeting with them during my check-in sessions, their demeanor would soften, and their nurses and nurse’s aides would ask me what intervention I had been doing with them because they saw a distinct change in their patient’s sleep and eating patterns-both had improved.

I saw the value of bringing Reiki into nursing homes and hospice care facilities then, but was in the midst of my own professional growth, returning to graduate school for a counseling degree, eventually going on to establish my own private practice.

Years later, after establishing that practice and my own Reiki training program in Seattle, WA, I became aware of a volunteer program at a local hospice specifically focused for Reiki masters.

Evergreen Hospice of Kirkland, WA offers the opportunity for Reiki Masters to serve patients with a life limiting illness. Reiki volunteers complete a comprehensive training about hospice philosophy of care and are supported by the hospice team and volunteer coordinators.

Several graduates of my Reiki program have already received training and have been seeing clients.  I am currently completing the training myself, although I have had years of prior experience and education in this same field.

My Reiki colleagues and I have found that in working with hospice and in the role as a palliative care practitioner,  offering Reiki in medical settings demands a different level of professionalism and preparation in providing outreach than that provided in a traditional Reiki class or session in your private office.

Your own class or office has a certain structure and predictability to it, and for most practitioners, the majority of the public they do does not deal with the severity of issues encountered in the medical setting.  It’s imperative that Reiki practitioners bring both sensitivity and practicality to each interaction.

You may be fortunate enough to find a hospice near you that already has an existing volunteer program for Reiki practitioners, but if not, you will have to approach the administration with professionalism and integrity.

I will be presenting at Phoenix, AZ Hospice later this month and will have a follow-up blog on that experience.

Copyright 2012 Eileen Dey


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Anonymous
    Jul 08, 2012 @ 16:38:15

    Thank you or this post. Although I work full time, I would like to work at a hospice/palliative care center, but am unsure about the requirements (besides being a Reiki Master). Currently, the Cancer Center of American in my area has posted a job for Reiki Master at their center. It’s an actual 20 hour a week job! I’m glad that they are doing this, however, I am still interested in volunteering at the palliative care center across from my office and there is also one near my home.
    I am going to check them out and see if they have a program already started and see if I can volunteer during the week.

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