Reiki In Cancer Care

Inspiration for Helping Cancer Patients In Their Journey

Many people consider a healing modality such as Reiki a luxury item that’s only used for stress relief for relaxation.

In this article, I would like to share with you how Reiki can play an integral part in the care of cancer patients.

Understanding what happens to patients when they’re diagnosed with cancer helps all of us to visualize where holistic healing can help. Particularly for Reiki practitioners, I would like you to understand some of what cancer patients go through. Hopefully this will provide you inspiration to add distance Reiki for oncology patients to your services.

Can Adding Reiki  Help Cancer Patients?

The answer is a resounding yes! Receiving Reiki during the cancer journey can and should be offered in modern medicine. It can help patients and families cope with the difficult journey of cancer care.

A small study performed at the University of Calgary with 16 patients sought to measure if Reiki treatments could improve Cancer Related Fatigue. The study showed that high compliance of participants (inferring increasing interest in complementary care).  This study compared prescribed rest periods with Reiki sessions in patients being treated for cancer. The overall results show that repeated Reiki treatments helped to improve Cancer Related Fatigue.(1)

Practical applications of Reiki in oncology care

One of the most powerful aspects of Reiki healing is that it can be offered from a distance. Keeping in mind that moving forward social distancing and public health will remain a major concern for all of us, distance Reiki  could help to augment care for cancer patients. My personal recommendation is to consider doing distance Reiki session during certain scheduled events that can help those treatments go easier.

During Surgery

One of my favorite times to provide Reiki to my clients is during surgical procedures. Healing energy can be channeled directly to the patient as well as to the surgical team. I have received positive feedback many times from the clients that this helps to speed up their recovery and also helps calm anxiety before the procedure.

I personally performed distance Reiki on my mother while she was having major surgery on her lumbar spine. Naturally, I was very nervous for her and felt very powerless before her surgery. It was one of the most powerful experiences in my life as a Reiki healer and of course as a daughter. I was able to send energy into her surgery and get a sense of what was going on in the room. It immediately helped to calm my nerves. It also seemed to make the waiting period go by much faster. Initially I had been so nervous in the waiting area I was not able to carry on conversations. Because my anxiety had improve, I ended up making a very pleasant connection with a gentleman working in the hospital and learning his story.

During Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is often a necessary part of cancer care. It’s particularly taxing due to the frequency of treatments, and dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy. One inspiration for Reiki healers is to offer Reiki healing during chemotherapy. Reiki can be delivered effectively by distance without any interference in therapy. Sending Reiki during chemotherapy can help the patient deal with the side effects of the medication. The healing energy that’s been transmitted can also help the patient fall asleep during chemotherapy which will help the whole process go faster.

During Radiation

Sending Reiki during radiation can also help reduce the stress anxiety of a frequent medical treatment. Radiation treatment tends to be shorter than chemotherapy and occurs more often possibly even daily. If a person has an agreement with a regular practitioner, sending regular treatments during chemotherapy may be worthwhile.  Reiki healing can be used for instance, to reduce the risks of side effects from the radiation treatment.

Doctor’s Visits

Interacting with physicians during the cancer journey can be physically, emotionally and spiritually taxing.  Every cancer journey is individual, but most visits are typically a turning point in what will happen next in treatment and finding out progress as well as prognosis. I often recommend and offer distance Reiki to the appointment with physicians. The reports that I’ve heard from my clients is that they felt much less anxious going into the appointment. They also felt that they understood the information they received much better and the overall visit was much calmer with the Reiki energy flowing there. In a similar fashion to surgery and chemotherapy, there’s no absolute need to send the energy if the exact same time is the appointment. This can be done ahead of schedule.

Getting Started with Reiki in Cancer Care

Reiki Healers-Offer Distance Reiki

I would like to encourage Reiki practitioners that are actively practicing to consider offering distance Reiki to oncology patients right away. As a practicing physician, I often witness how taxing and stressful the cancer journey can be. Availability of Reiki practitioners is limited. Also public knowledge of this healing modality is very limited. Therefore, I do hope to start a conversation that can spread around the world. Reiki practitioners can easily offer distance treatment to those undergoing cancer care. It’s a simple as offering the service right now.

Caregiver-Learn Reiki

If you find yourself in the position of being a caregiver of a loved one with cancer, and you are considering learning a holistic remedy to help with the care at home, I will strongly encourage you that it is worth it.  Reiki can help to protect you against caregiver stress and you will have a healing modality in your home that you can invoke at any time to help heal stress, calm anxiety, and side effects from treatments.

Cancer Patient-Learn Reiki

This may seem like the most outrageous of all the recommendations, but if you have recently been diagnosed with cancer, you may wonder if you should learn Reiki. You may wonder if you would have the energy to do this. I can tell you from personal experience and having worked with my own clients that learning Reiki when you are diagnosed with cancer can be one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself. Yes, you will have all of the taxing decisions to make about your cancer care. Yes, you will meet a new specialist and feel very uncomfortable and experience pain. You would be surprised to find that learning Reiki would help you tap into a strength you didn’t know you had. I’ve seen this in my own clients and I have been amazed. I’ve witnessed how a cancer patient learning Reiki can help themselves so much to the journey.


Tsang, K. L., Carlson, L. E., & Olson, K. (2007). Pilot crossover trial of Reiki versus rest for treating cancer-related fatigue. Integrative cancer therapies, 6(1), 25–35.

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