Reiki Helping Cancer Patients

Touch. It’s such a simple thing yet so vitally important to our health and well-being. It’s how we show affection, offer comfort and promote healing. When someone becomes sick, another’s touch takes on new meaning and importance. At St. Charles Cancer Center, patients have access to a full complement of evidence-based integrative therapies, including Reiki, funded by grants, these therapies are offered to patients at no cost.

Reiki is an energy healing that originated in Japan. It helps support their body systems on all levels: body, mind and spirit. Reiki comes from two words, Rei and Ki meaning “highly or purely guided energy to increase life force.” Reiki practitioners, through training and an “attunement,” are able to create a strong connection to this flow of energy for themselves and others. Patients report feeling relaxed and at peace. This alone helps facilitate healing. Patients who have Reiki services are welcomed to a friendly, nurturing environment where they’re able to take off their hat and shoes, even their wig, relax on a table under a blanket.

A Reiki practitioner then gently sets his or her hands on the patient’s head and feet, moves to their arms, torso and legs. Many patients find during their treatment, they’re able to decompress and set aside their concerns about their illness, doctors’ appointments and to-do lists. They simply feel warmth and contentedness. Reiki practitioners leave each session feeling fulfilled as well, knowing they provide a service to give patients a sense of respite. Patients are often seen before they go in for chemotherapy or radiation treatment, so these sessions are even more important to their overall well-being.

If you are a St. Charles cancer patient and would like to receive Reiki or other integrative therapies like acupuncture and massage, contact the Integrative Therapies Center at St. Charles Cancer Center.

If you are a Reiki practitioner interested in becoming a volunteer, call 541-706-6723 or visit

About the author: Claire Demarest is a St. Charles Cancer Center volunteer and certified Reiki Master with years of experience both private practice and clinical settings.


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