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Other Alternative Medical Therapies

Other Alternative Medical Therapies

The field of alternative medicine is eclectic and diverse. Many types of treatment are available that may offer benefit to cancer patients, either by boosting the body's ability to deal with the cancer or by helping it cope with conventional medical therapies. In this chapter we explore three key alternative therapies you might want to consider including in your plan for cancer recovery:

  • Hydrotherapy
  • Traditional Chinese medicine (including acupuncture, qi gong, and tai chi)
  • Reiki therapy
Hydrotherapy

We define hydrotherapy as the application of water in any form for the treatment of disease and the maintenance of health. In its broadest sense, the term includes both internal and external uses of water. Hydrotherapy is often recommended for cancer patients because it is a gentle treatment that can produce powerful benefits to the immune system.

The history of hydrotherapy goes back to the earliest recorded times. The Egyptians, the Chinese, and the Greeks all used it. Hippocrates,the father of Modern Medicine, wrote about the use of hot and cold application for the treatment of various illnesses. Modern hydrotherapy begans with the publication in 1697 of the book The History of Cold Bathing by an Englishman, Sir John Floyer. The popularity of the technique increased in the eighteenth century thanks to the work of such famous hydrotherapists as Vincent Preissnitz (1799-1852) and Father Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897). People from around the world focked to clinics in Europe seeking water cures. The founders of naturopathic medicine, Benedict Lust and Henry Lindlahr, were also advocates of hydrotherapy as a powerful healing agent. J. H. Kellogg, a medical doctor and founder of the Kellogg's cereal company, published a detailed scientific study, entitledRational Hydrotherapy that discussed various techniques and their indications. In the early 1900s, naturopathic physician O. G. Carrol opened a hydrotherapy clinic in Spokane, Washington, which ran continuously until his death in 1962.

The underlying principle of hydrotherapy is to support the inherent healing power of the body. Internal hydrotherapy does this by stimulating the elimination of metabolic waste products. External hydrotherapy works by stimulating reflexive changes in the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid to increase the ability of your cells to absorb oxygen and nutrients.

Many conventional physicians tend to discount the healing power of hydrotherapy. But research clearly supports some of the claims made by proponents. For example, studies indicate that hydrotherapy treatments can boost immune function, eliminate excess fluid, and reduce the frequency of colds and flu by over 50 percent.

Internal Hydrotherapy

Internal hydrotherapy involves any internal use of water and fluids, including drinking bottled, filtered, or purified water; using water or teas as enemas or douches; and breathing steam inhalations.

Most people today do not drink enough water. We strongly encourage our cancer patients to increase their consumption of fluids to facilitate elimination of metabolic wastes from the cells. As tumors break down, they release large amounts of dead tissue that needs to be carried out of the body. Adequate hydration can be particularly important duing chemotherapy, especially when taking agents that can damage the bladder or kidney. Extra water helps to dilute and flush those chemicals out of the body after they have done their job, thus reducing the risk and severity of long-term side effects.

As a general rule we suggest drinking approximately eight glasses (48 to 64 ounces) of water daily in the form of plain, spring, bottled, filtered. or purified water of any sort. Tap water is less desirable because it often contains chlorine, fluoride, and other undesirable chemicals. In addition to plain water, we recommend drinking fresh vegetable juices, green drinks (see page 63), and herbal teas, which can count toward the total fluid intake and which can also offer anticancer benefits of their own.

The other internal hydrotherapy techniques are more specific and should be used only under the guidance of trained physicians. For example, some alternative health providers recommend that cancer patients take coffee enemas. This technique may have some value in controlling pain and in helping the liver and gall bladder release wastes. As a rule, however, we do not recommend this technique. Coffee enemas can lower your electrolyte levels. Electrolytes are chemicals that facilitate electrical signals in nerves, muscles, and other tissues. Low electrolytes can induce cardiac arrhythmia, muscle cramping, and weakness. If you use enemas of any sort, be sure to have regular blood tests to evaluate electrolytes.

External Hydrotherapy

External hydrotherapy uses applications of hot and cold water to stimulate the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid. Methods can be as simple as a foot bath or a sitz bath, or they may involve more complex procedures. In all cases, the effect of treatment depends on regulating such variables as temperature, duration, and site of application. Hydrotherapy can be used to draw blood to an area, to direct blood flow away from a congested area, or to alternate blood inflow and drainage.

External hydrotherapy treatments have been shown to produce profound effects on immune function. In particular, applications of hot water have been shown to boost the number and activity of natural killer cwlls-key white blood cells in the fight against cancer.

External hydrotherapy should be provided by someone knowledgeable in the technique and its uses, such as a naturopathic physician. But there,s one simple external hydrotherapy treatment that just about any body can use, involving the use of alternating hot and cold water after a shower. This technique is a good way to stimulate overall vitality and immune function:

  1. Begin by taking a 5-minute comfortably warm to hot shower.
  2. After 5 minutes of hot water, turn the water to cool for 20 to 30 seconds.
  3. Return to hot water for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Reapply cool for 20 to 30 seconds.
  5. Return to hot for 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Finish with cool for 5 to 30 seconds.

The above can be modified by slowly increasing the coldness of the water to increase the contrast between hot and cold over several weeks. You can also begin with a shorter duration of cold until you build up your tolerance.

There are several guidelines generally applicable to almost all external hydrotherapy:

  • Always begin with warm-to-hot applications.
  • Always use less cold than hot.
  • Always finish with a cold application.

Among the advantages of hydrotherapy for cancer patients are its Simplicity and low cost. It's helpful to have a powerful yet inexpensive

Warning

Use external hydrotherapy only under supervision if you have heart disease, are debilitated, or have nerve damage that affects your ability to judge temperature.

technique chat facilitates recovery from illness or treatment. Ask your health care provider about other individualized hydrotherapy treatments that might be right for you.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a complete medical system developed and refined over the past 5,000 years. The first book on acupuncture, The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, appeared approximately 2697 B.C. and was attributed to the emperor Huang Ti. This text discusses many of the principles that still guide TCM today.

To derive the full benefit of TCM, it helps to understand something of its language, concepts, and philosophy.

One essential difference between TCM and Western medicine lies in the primary emphasis in diagnosis and treatment. Western medicine tends to focus on matter and on material changes in body chemistry. Western doctors use lab tests, fluid samples, and other concrete materials to determine how best to prescribe medications, which of course are other types of physical matter. In contrast, a Chinese medical practitioner analyzes a patient's energy, looking for signs of excess or deficiency, for indications that something is blocking energy flow, or for clues that there is an imbalance between the main types of energy in the body-the yin and the yang.

In our view, there is no fundamental clash between Western medicine and TCM. Like the black and white keys on a piano, both can coexist happily. There are many ways of approaching a health problem, especially one as complicated and stubborn as cancer. Just as a beam of light can exist as both particles and waves, health problems can affect both chemical balance and energy balance. TCM and Western medicine analze and treat the same illness via two distinct but not necessarily tradictory processes. Remember, TCM has been practiced for millennia, longer than any other medical system. There must be something valuable in it!

The main underlying concept of Chinese medicine is qi (proednounced "chce"; also spelled chi). Qi is the fundamental life force that guides and controls all life processes, from breathing and the beating of heart to digestion and sleep. Qi is produced by the metabolism of food and the intake of breath. Qi serves many functions throughout the body and exists in various types, such as protective qi and food qi. Pratitioners of TCM evaluate the adequacy of a patient's qi and determine whether something is disrupting its smooth flow throughout the body. Too much or too little qi can lead to imbalance and illness, as can stagnation or blockage of qi. The goal of diagnosis in TCM is to identify the state of one's qi and then decide on steps to correct any disharmony.

Another fundamental concept is that of yin and yang. These terms represent the primary opposing and counterbalancing forces that operate in the universe and, consequently, within each individual. Yin and yang are not merely opposites, like black and white. Instead, taken together, they represent a complete dynamic equilibrium, a constantly changing balance. Yin and yang are expressed in many ways: hot and cold, inner and outer, moist and dry, dark and light, male and female. When there is a balance between the qualities of yin and yang, harmony and good health exist. If either becomes too predominant, then disharmony exists. Illness may result. Here's a simple example: One yin quality is moisture. If too much is present, the body may experience edema (swelling) or diarrhea. But if dryness (yang) predominates, a person may experience dry mucous membranes, dry skin, or internal dryness leading to constipation. It isn't a question of which is better, yin or yang. Both are necessary. What's important for good health is the balance between the two. An analogy is that of an engine: the yin is gasoline and the yang is the spark. Without either one, the engine can't operate. Neither is more important than the other until one is missing.

The system of TCM is based on the existence of 14 major channels for the flow of energy. These channels are called meridians. Qi flowing smoothly through the meridians results in health. Excessive, deficient, or blocked qi leads to illness. Each meridian regulates one or more organs and has other associated qualities, such as emotions.

In the Chinese view, the body has five major organs (see box). Bear in mind, however, that these aren't necessarily the same organs we would identify on a Western anatomical diagram. What a Chinese doctor calls a "spleen" is what a Western doctor would identify as creas. The important thing to understand is that in TCM, organ more generally refer to energetic complexes that regulate a wide variety of body processes, emotions, and functions. In similar fashion, when we in the West say that people have "heart," what we're talking about their emotions, compassion, courage, and love.

Organ Recital

The five major yin organs in TCM are the lungs, kidneys, liver, heart, and spleen. To the Chinese way of thinking, the organs are complexes that include the organ's function as well as associated emotions, seasons, foods, flavors, and predilections. Each of the organs has an associated paired organ as well as an element; these associations help explain the relationships among the various organ systems.

Lungs

The lungs serve the function of breathing and absorbing air qi. They are associated with the immune function and the skin and are paired with the large intestine meridian. The lung energy can be damaged by too much dryness and also by excess grief. Signs of weakness in the lungs include frequent colds and flu, asthma, chest tightness, and skin rashes as well as chronic melancholy. The yang organ associated with the lungs is the large intestine. The lung element is metal, and the lungs feed the kidneys, whose element is water.

Kidneys

The kidneys are considered the root of life. They hold the Jing, which is the essence or spark of life. Through their action on the Jing, the kidneys determine the strength of a person's constitution. The kidneys govern the fluids in the body and support the nerves, brain, and bone marrow. Signs of kidney imbalance can include slow growth or early degeneration, infertility, back pain, and edema. The yang organ associated with the kidneys is the bladder. The kidney element is water, and the kidneys feed the liver, whose element is wood.

Liver

The function of the liver is to store blood and to regulate the free flow of qi and blood throughout the body. The associated yang organ is the gallblad. The emotion associated with liver imbalance is anger. Symptoms of disharmony can include breast tenderness, PMS, high blood pressure, headaches, and red eyes. Emotional signs of liver blockage or congestion include frustration, irritability, and rage. The liver element is wood, and the liver feeds the heart, whose element is fire.

Heart

The heart's role is to move the blood. In the world of TCM, the heart is also the regulator of the spirit as well as the other organs. The paired yang organ of the heart is the small intestine. Symptoms of heart meridian imbalance include chest pain, confusion, anxiety, and severe depression. The heart element is fire, and the heart feeds the spleen, whose element is earth.

Spleen

The function of the spleen in TCM is to form blood and qi. The spleen is sometimes referred to as the transformer and transporter. Other functions of the spleen include assimilation of information, holding the abdominal organs in place, and maintaining the muscles. Signs of spleen weakness include fatigue, obesity or wasting diseases, digestive problems, prolapse of organs, diarrhea, and obsessive thinking. The associated yang organ to the spleen is the stomach. The element for the spleen is earth, and the spleen feeds into the lungs, whose element is metal.

There are other concepts that reflect the difference in perspective between East and West. For example, a TCM practitioner might decide that a patient has a diagnosis of "wind." This doesn't necessarily mean excess stomach gas (although it might). Instead, wind symptoms have to do more generally with things that are moving changing, and sudden in onset, such as a sudden cold. Western medicine has no equivalent concept.

As we see it, the advantage of Western medicine is that it does an excellent job of treating infectious disease, surgical problems, and traumatic illness, whereas TCM is better at helping patients manage pain chronic illness, and nonspecific diseases. In particular, cancer patients seem to respond quite well to the various elements of TCM, especially acupuncture (discussed below).

The main branches of Chinese medicine are acupuncture, herbal medicine, qi gong, tai chi, reiki therapy, and massage. All have the same goal: to improve the balance and flow of energy. Traditional Chinese herbs are powerful tools that can benefit cancer patients. The same principles and underlying philosophy apply, but their use requires a greater degree of expertise than many Western physicians and healers can offer In China herbal medicine is considered a specialty, much like internal medicine in the U.S. The clinical use of the herbal formulas is beyond the scope of this book. If you are interested in this approach to trearment, we urge you to consult with a care provider who has had specialized training in the field.

The following discussion focuses on acupuncture, qi gong and taichi, which have been used widely in integrated cancer therapy programs.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture first gained wide recognition in the United States in 1971, when President Richard Nixon made a much-publicized tour of China. During that visit, a reporter for the New York Times, James Reston, had to undergo an emergency appendectomy. He was treated with acupuncture for postoperative pain. He wrote such a glowing report about the benefits that the American public became fascinated with this 5,000-year-old technique. Since then, interest has continued to grow and millions of Westerners have been treated with acupuncture for a range of complaints.

Acupuncture involves the use of extremely fine stainless-steel needles inserted into points along the meridians to direct the flow of energy. Practitioners have identified 365 major points and hundreds of minor points along the meridians where needles can be inserted.

There are many schools of acupuncture, each of which uses different techniques in choosing points for insertion.Some methods use only a few needles,some use many. Some focus on smaller meridian subsystems, such as relying mainly on points in the ear or on the hand. Whatever the system,the goal is to determine the form and location of energy blockage or imbalance and then remove the blockage to restore free movement of gi. We emphasize to our patients movement of qi. We emphasize to our patients that the needles themselves are not doing any healing. Instead, the patients' bodies are enjoying the benefits that come from redirected energy.

Form a scientific standpoint, stimulating these acupuncture points produces measurable biological effects. It increases levels of brain chemicals called endorphins, which act as the body's natural pain relievers. It produces favorable changes in blood chemistry and affects electrical stimulation of nerves.

The acupuncture treatment for the cancer patient is designed to strengthen the immune system and strengthen the energy channels that are deficient or weak. The results that can be expected are that the patient has more stamina, less fatigue, and fewer of the side effects that result from conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation.

What is an acupuncture session like?

Practitioners each have their own way of treating patients. However, there are some general statements that can be made about almost all acupuncture therapy. Usually at the first visit the practitioner will ask you a series of questions. These will include questions about your main complaint but often will include seemingly unrelated questions about sleep, dreams, appetite, food cravings, digestion and elimination, emotions, moods, and fears.

The question-and-answer session will generally be followed by a brief exam. This may include an examination of the affected area as well as of the tongue and pulses. To the trained eye, the shape, color, and coating of the tongue reveal information about the internal state of the body, and the quality of the pulses (three in each wrist) gives information about the energy in the meridians and the organs.

From the information gleaned during the exam, the practitioner will determining if there is excess or deficient qi, where the areas of energy blockage are, the balance of yin and yang, and how best to address the problem. Once the imbalance is understood, the acupuncturist can correct it by selecting appropriate points. The goal is to restore balance without causing disturbances in other parts of the body.

During the session, you will lie on a table while the practitioner inserts the needles. Most patients find the process painless, but it can also be quite painful. Most people experience a momentary prick as the needle is inserted, followed by a sensation of tingling, pressure, warmth, or dull aching near the needle or along the meridian. Many patients find the process surprisingly relaxing-many even fall asleep during the treatment! A single session lasts anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes, after which all the needles are removed and discarded. When the session is over, some patients feel energized, while others feel sleepy and relaxed depending on the points chosen by the acupuncturist.

How often you need treatment depends on the type and severity of the problem. As a general rule, patients go for sessions once every week or two, but it may be as often as three times a week or as seldom as once a month. Results will also vary. As is the case with Western medicine, deep-seated and complex problems will take longer to resolve, while milder and more acute problems are generally resolved more quickly.

Does acupuncture work?

Yes. According to an evaluation of acupuncture done by the National Institutes of Health, acupuncture can effectively relieve chronic pain, musculoskeletal injuries, and nausea from chemotherapy and anesthesia. The World Health Organization confirmed that acupuncture offers these benefits and expanded the list to include dermatological complaints; asthma; digestive problems; mental and emotional problems, such as depression and PMS; reproductive problems, such as infertility and menstrual cramps; and infections such as bronchitis and hepatitis. In our personal experience, Chinese medicine has helped our patients to make some of the most remarkable improvements we have seen in our years of medical practice, especially in cases of long-standing pain.

Research has demonstrated that acupuncture and Chinese medicine as a whole are beneficial in certain aspects of cancer treatment. For example, there are antiemetic medications available to prevent the vomiting associated with chemotherapy, but these drugs aren't as effective in alleviating the accompanying nausea. Studies have found that acupuncture, used alone or in conjunction with electrical stimulation, helps prevent nausea.It's worth noting that several studies involved a placebo strategy in which needles were placed in "sham" acupuncture points.Patients in the placebo group did not experience the same benefits as patients who had needles placed in correct positions.

Acupuncture used as part of anesthesia for brain surgery was found to enhance the effectiveness of the anesthesia and to lead to smoother recovery with fewer complications. Other researchers have reported that acupuncture prior to surgery reduces postoperative pain, nausea,and vomiting and the requirement for pain pills or morphine, and reduces pre- and postsurgical stress.

Many patients who undergo radiation for head and neck cancer experience irreversible loss of salivary gland function. This results in dry mouth (xerostomia), a painful and annoying condition. Acupuncture has been shown to restore at least some level of salivation, even when medications fail.

Other troublesome symptoms improved with acupuncture include hot flashes in prostate cancer patients, diarrhea and neuropathy from chemoherapy, and shortness of breath in advanced lung cancer patients.

Several studies have found that acupuncture enhances immune function by increasing the number of white blood cells, T lymphocytes, natural killer cells, and cytokines such as interleukin-2. All these effects are valuable in the treatment of cancer.

When done properly by trained personnel, acupuncture is extremely safe and side effects are rare. In fact, the NIH evaluation of acupuncture commented specifically on its safety record and the fact that the incidence of adverse effects was lower with acupuncture than with many Western drugs and medical procedures used to treat the same conditions.

Before you undergo treatment, however, be sure to verify that the acupuncturist has been adequately trained and uses sterile technique at all times to minimize the risk of infection. There are several questions to ask any practitioner before undergoing acupuncture treatment.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR ACUPUNCTURE PRACTITIONER

Where did you go to school?

In general, acupuncturists have training equivalent to a master's degree. some cases they may have a doctorate in Oriental medicine, which represents even more extensive training. In all cases you want to go someone who has been through an accredited program of training.

Do you have a license?

Acupuncturists in the United States have a national accrediting body the National Commission for Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), which administers a national board exam and certification. If your state issues licenses, make sure the provider also has a state certificate. Even if your state does not license acupuncturists, be sure that the provider has a current certificate from NCCAOM.

What type of acupuncture do you do?

Understand whether your acupuncturist does Japanese, Korean, Chinese, or some other form of acupuncture. This is mainly important if you are looking for a particular type of treatment. Otherwise, the type of acupuncture is less important than the results.

Have you worked with cancer patients before?

Cancer is a complex illness, and experience in its treatment will help the acupuncturist to help you better.

What type of needles do you use?

You only want to go to someone who uses disposable, single-use needles. This eliminates the risk of infections such as hepatitis, which can come from improperly sterilized needles.

How will we evaluate progress?

Determine whether there is a measurable effect you can assess, such as levels of pain or nausea. Even for vaguer qualities, such as energy levels, try to rate yourself every day and see if the average level improves over time with acupuncture.

You should be able to evaluate results after 6 to 10 treatments. For a complex condition like cancer, it is not reasonable to expect a cure, but you should notice a reduction of symptoms such as nausea and perhaps an improvement of energy. Other symptoms such as nerve numbness or insomnia may also improve.

Are there other strategies we should try?

In addition to acupuncture, your practitioner may recommed tui na,Chinese massage, and may suggest an herbal formula or dietary changes degined to help your body move back toward a healthier balance.

Qi Gong

The term qi gong means "energy cultivation" and involves a series of internal exercises designed to stimulate the production and flow of energy. Training in qi gong teaches you how to regulate your own energy flow more consciously, reducing the need for external treatments such as acupuncture.

Qi gong consists of a series of movements and breathing exercises done repeatedly over time. Each exercise is designed to teach you how to breathe in a relaxed yet deliberate manner and to learn to coordinate the breath, mind, movement, energy, and intention to a single focus. There are over 80,000 different qi gong exercises. Some are very simple and others are more complex. There are even qi gong exercises you can do while lying in bed or while seated.

Qi gong has been practiced for 3,000 years in China and is taught to patients in many Chinese hospitals as part of their recovery program. To succeed with qi gong you must be persistent, because change happens slowly. But just as dripping water can eventually erode a mountainside, the daily use of qi gong can improve the flow of qi and the balance of yin and yang, leading to improved health and vitality.

It is best to learn qi gong from a teacher, but for those who have no teacher nearby there are books and videos available. One source of information is the Qi Gong Association of America (www.qi.org).

Tai Chi

Tai chi is a series of gentle flowing movement exercises derivedn from martial arts. The goals of tai chi are to improve physical balance and to integrate inner and outer strength. Over time one learns to sense and regulate the flow of chi energy.Tai chi has sometimes been called a " moving meditation," because the concentration required often hels quiet the mind. The technique is valuable for those who would benfit from some form of relaxation or meditation exercise but find it difficult to sit still for the required time. Tai chi has also been shown to help improve heart and respiratory function and immune capacity and improve physical balance for those who may be at risk of falling. It helps patients regain both physical and inner strength.

Tai chi is best learned from an experienced instructor. Most cities have several teachers who work through schools, colleges, and fitness centers. However, if there are no teachers in your area, it is possible to learn some of the basics from videos and books. For beginners, we recommend the videotape program Tai Chi for Busy People by Keith Jeffery (www.easytaichi.com).

Reiki Therapy

Reiki is a form of therapy that resembles the "laying on of hands," an ancient technique common to many spiritual traditions. The basic concept behind reiki, as in other forms of traditional Asian medicine, is that the body has an energy field that is central to health and proper functioning and that this energy travels in certain pathways that can become blocked or weakened.

In a typical reiki treatment, the patient, fully clothed, reclines comfortably on a massage table or sits in a chair. While standing in a sequence of standardized positions, the practitioner places his hands on the patient and transfers his energy, beginning at the crown of the head and moving toward the feet. The patient usually turns over once during the session. The practitioner's hands are held in each position, usually for as long as 5 minutes, to allow the transfer of energy and the healing process to take place. In each position, the hands are kept stationary This is different from a typical massage, in which the hands move constantly. During the session, both the giver and receiver attempt to maintain an attitude of awareness, openness, and healing.

Although reiki practitioners believe that formal training is necessary to learn the proper methods of energy channeling and healing, individuals can still use some of the basic positions of reiki to relieve stress and to stimulate healing (see the "Healing Hands" box). Applying reiki to a

Healing Hands

Following is a general outline of a reiki session. As you'll see, the hands generally move from the top of the body down, but feel free to apply hands wherever there is pain or stress.

Position one: The hands are placed on the top of the head, with the wrists near the ears and the fingertips touching the crown of the head. Eyes should be closed. Hold for 5 minutes or more, until the mind feels clear and calm.

Position two: Cup the hands slightly and place the palms over the closed eyes, with the fingers resting on the forehead.

Position three: Place the hands on the sides of the head, with the thumbs behind the ears and the palms over the lower jaws, with the fingers covering the temples.

Position four: Place one hand on the back of the neck, at the base of the skull, and put the other hand just above it, on the back of the head and parallel to the first hand.

Position five: Wrap the hands around the front of the throat and rest them there gently with the heels of the hands touching in front.

Position six: Place each hand on top of a shoulder, close to the side of the neck, on top of the trapezius muscle.

Position seven:Form a T shape with the hands over the chest, with the left hand covering the heart and the right hand above it, covering the upper part of the chest.

Position eight: The hands are placed flat against the front of the body with the fingertips touching. Hold for 5 minutes or so, and repeat 4 or 5 times, moving down a hand width each time until the pelvic region is reached, which is covered with a V shape of the hands. Then, for the final position, repeat this technique on the back, beginning as close to the shoulders as the hands can reach and ending by forming a T shape with the hands at the base of the spine.

 
Reiki is
  • a subtle and effective form of energy healing using the hands
  • practiced in every country of the world
  • being used in many settings, including hospitals and hospices, as well as in private practice and in self-care
  • a complementary modality in any healing program
Reiki is not
  • affiliated with any particular religion or religious practice
  • new, but at least thousands of years old

loved one with cancer can be extremely gratifying for both the giver and receiver. The important thing is to focus on filling the mind and heart of both participants with peaceful, loving, caring, and healing thoughts and energy.

For more information on reiki and to find a practitioner in your area, contact:

  • International Association of Reiki Professionals
  • P.O. Box 481
  • Winchester, MA 01890
  • Phone: 781-729-3530
  • Fax: 781-721-7306
  • Web site: www.iarp.org