Reiki; a strong ally to population receiving heamodialysis!

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

#Haemodialysis is an essential treatment for end-stage renal disease, with over 440,000 individuals receiving it in the United States. Pain, one of the most unpleasant symptoms, is being reported to be in more than half of individuals undergoing hemodialysis and is not being adequately controlled. Moreover, many of those people are describing ineffective pain management.

Davison & Jhangri, 2005 established a relationship between depressive symptoms and chronic pain. Their findings showed that 55% of individuals receiving hemodialysis reported pain interfered with their mood. Then, they found that 72% of individuals receiving hemodialysis reported pain, 92% reported fatigue, 91% reported decreased well-being, and 65% of the patients reported depression.

#Reiki is a non-invasive, natural healing system that uses universal life force energy to promote healing, relaxation, and restoration of the whole person. Reiki emerged in the early 20th century in Japan and is a holistic modality that supports overall healing and well-being by moving and releasing blocks of energy in the body that are contributing to illness or symptoms and promotes mental and emotional balance. It has been studied as an adjunct therapy for pain, depression, anxiety, sleep, and quality of life with mixed results among procedural, surgical, and oncology populations.


Reiki is ideal for individuals during haemodialysis because Reiki is a holistic, passive therapy requiring low cognitive load and no movement, thus promoting much-needed relaxation during fluid shifts and prolonged periods of immobility during haemodialysis treatments. Moreover, individuals receiving that treatment are becoming increasingly interested in using or are already using complementary and alternative treatments, such as mind-body techniques.

Rogers’s (1970) Science of Unitary Human Beings guided a study named "Reiki for Pain During Haemodialysis". According to the researchers, by strengthening the individual energy field and balancing

both the individual and environmental fields, Reiki can promote #wellbeing and aid in improving symptom management.

For this study, a group of adult patients who received haemodialysis participated. The Reiki sessions were administered during the second and third haemodialysis sessions of the week, as toxic by-products have more time to accumulate in the bloodstream before the first treatment of the week and this may negatively affect participants’ symptoms experience. Protocol treatment frequency and time for Reiki healing were 20 minutes, 2 times per week for 4 weeks during haemodialysis sessions. Participants completed a series of online self-report symptom instruments.

The participants reported general relaxation feelings with Reiki. Additionally, there was observed a significant decrease in the symptoms mean scores after four weeks of Reiki. This study demonstrated that Reiki has no side effects and is appreciated by patients. Reiki seems to be a promising, holistic adjunct for pain relief.

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