I'm going to be interviewed on "Reiki Radio" in September, an organization that is centered around nurses and doctors doing Reiki or are thinking about how they can bring it into their practice or situation. Just so happens that I am reading a wonderful book by Reiki Master Teacher Pamela Miles called "Reiki - A Comprehensive Guide" which is very much about this topic as Pamela does Reiki in many hospital settings, and works with Dr. Oz while he is performing heart surgery.
I am finding out a lot about how Reiki can assist those who are in hospitals or hospice settings for one reason or the other. Here are some examples:BREATHING: Reiki changes ones breathing pattern, by shifting it to a freer, more rhythmic and open pattern, even as the treatment begins. As the treatment progresses, the receiver (person having the Reiki session) falls into a deep meditative state of relaxation and the breath becomes quieter, similar to what happens when one meditates. Why is this important? Ancient Yoga texts speak at length of the connection between the breath and the ones mental state . If your client is dealing with anxiety or stress, they are most likely doing a lot of chest breathing (short rapid upper chest breathing keeps the body in a state of alarm). So to be able to facilitate a deep pattern of relaxed (probably abdominal) breathing, helps to turn off the fight/flight system and the body can relax, be open and receive the healing energy more readily. There is a whole cascade of healing effects that takes place when one relaxes.
SLEEP: Disruption of normal sleep patterns is one of the first signs of stress, compromised breathing being one of the first. It is very common for people receiving Reiki to fall into a deep state of what looks like sleep but is actually a sort of meditative state (what Reiki practitioners call "Reiki slumber) which greatly refreshes both the body and the mind. I have had people report they don't remember when they have been that relaxed in ages and want to know how they get back to that state more often. The result of being able to "go down with the power" as Carolyn Myss calls it, is that even people with a long history of insomnia report sleeping better the night after their first Reiki treatment or the evening after their first Reiki class. Pamela says many of her students/clients who had a history of trying many medications to help them sleep, were able to lower their doses or get off their medications altogether after having regular Reiki treatments or doing daily self-treating.