Case Study: Reiki, Yoga, And Massage Improve Cancer Patient Well-Being

This last decade has seen a rise in holistic healthcare. While some swear by this method, others are skeptical as to what this ‘alternative’ medicine can accomplish. Basmati.com is bridging the gap between ancient traditions and modern science, with weekly case studies that provide an overview on the recent accomplishments of traditional, holistic practices.

This article explores the profound effects that integrative health like yoga, massage, and Reiki, can have on cancer.

Cancer centers often offer integrative therapies to their patients. However, some centers use certain types of integrative therapies, such as yoga, as a one-size-fits-all treatment for everyone. A study published in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing in 2015 compared three types of treatment in their ability to improve the quality of life of patients: yoga, massage, and Reiki.

150 patients were surveyed at two times during their treatment program: 50 in Reiki, 50 in massage, and 50 in yoga. Each factor (stress, pain, anxiety, mood, overall health, and quality of life) was measured on a 1-10 scale, with 10 representing “intense” for the negative factors (stress, pain, and anxiety) and “excellent” for the positive factors (mood, overall health, and quality of life). A score of 1 represented “none” for stress, pain, and anxiety; while a score of 1 represented “bad” for mood, overall health, and quality of life. A score of 5 represented moderate or average. The patients underwent their treatment 1-3 months, 4-6 months, 7-12 months, 1-3 years, or more than 3 years.

The second survey was able to detect significant changes in how the patients felt. All three treatment methods reduced the amount of stress, pain, and anxiety. Reiki changed the scores from being in the 4-6 range to being in the 1-2 range. Massage changed the scores from being in the 3-5 range to the 1-2 range. And yoga changed the scores from being in the 3-5 range to being in the 1-2 range. Regarding the positive factors that were surveyed, Reiki increased the scores from being in the 5-6 range to being in the 7-9 range. Massage increased the scores from being in the 6-7 range to being in the 7-9 range. And yoga increased the scores from being in the 6-7 range to being in the 7-9 range.

In conclusion, yoga, massage, or Reiki all reduced stress and anxiety levels, while increasing mood and feelings of overall well-being. Reiki reduced the amount of pain better than either massage or yoga.

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