Reiki is no longer being offered to cancer patients at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, it has been revealed.
The holistic treatment was one of several complementary therapies being funded at the hospital for all cancer patients on the Fylde coast, regardless of where they are being treated, by the Rosemere Cancer Foundation and Blue Skies Hospital Fund.
But the sole qualified therapist providing the ancient Japanese technique has now left the hospital, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said, though patients can still benefit from aromatherapy, reflexology, and relaxation techniques, which aim to help people through their anxiety.
Reiki – which means ‘universal energy’ in Japanese – is a healing technique based on the idea that energy can be channelled into patients through touch, which activates natural healing processes and restores physical and emotional well-being.
According to reiki.org, ‘reiki energy is a subtle energy’. “It is different than electricity or chemical energy or other kinds of physical energy,” it added.
“Reiki energy comes from the Higher Power, which exists on a higher dimension that the physical world we are familiar with.”
Cancer Research UK said Reiki does help people feel relaxed, and cope with stressful situations, but said studies show it’s because a therapist is spending time with them and touching them.
“After the rush and stress of hospitals and treatment, it can be very relaxing when someone gives you attention for an hour or more,” it said.
In a response to a request for numbers made under the Freedom of Information Act, the hospital trust said it could not say how many patients had accessed its Reiki service.
It said a satisfaction survey completed at the end of each treatment course measured psychological outcomes, but did not provide further details.