Through the Unite for HER Wellness Program, breast cancer and ovarian cancer patients can access a variety of integrative therapies to help mitigate side effects through cancer treatment and beyond. Reiki is a Japanese healing technique that promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and can relieve pain.  

If you are curious about trying Reiki and incorporating it into your personalized plan, keep reading to learn more about this unique and gentle practice from one of our trusted providers.  

Rae Whatley is a Reiki Master from Philadelphia and one of the Unite for HER providers; she has been working as a Reiki practitioner for over 20 years. Prior to becoming a Reiki master, Rae worked as a massage therapist. She now exclusively practices Reiki because of how gentle, simple and effective it can be for so many people.  

What is Reiki?

While different types of energy treatments exist, Rae specializes in Japanese Reiki. It is a gentle, hands-on energy treatment.  

What does a typical Reiki session look like?

Your experience may vary depending on the style of your provider. During an in-person Reiki session, clients typically lay on a massage table, reclining chair, sofa or bed. However, you can receive Reiki sitting up or in whatever position you are most comfortable.  

Reiki can consist of touching and/or hovering hands over the body to transfer energy. Some providers go through a traditional series of hand movements. Others focus on treating more specific spots. For example, if you recently had surgery or radiation on a specific part of the body, your provider may work mostly on those areas as long as you are comfortable.  

Distance Reiki

While Reiki is typically a hands-on practice, it can also be experienced virtually. This is a great alternative to those who are not near a Reiki provider or may be concerned about COVID exposure. A Distance Reiki session may look a little different, but works the same way. Through a video or phone session, the provider will go through hand positions as if they were there in person. Most people report they can feel the energy as if their hands were actually touching them. 

During a session, many people fall asleep or feel as though their mind has shut down. If you struggle with racing thoughts (especially when trying to rest), Reiki can help to create peace, quiet, and calmness.  

Is Reiki safe for cancer patients?

What is wonderful about Reiki is it will not create negative side effects in combination with any medications you may be taking. Whether you are undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, or even if you if you recently had surgery or lymph nodes removed, you can still use Reiki safely and effectively.  

What are the benefits of Reiki?

Reiki is known for managing pain, aiding digestion, boosting energy, regulating sleep, and helping with circulation. Overall, Reiki helps to balance the body. The body is designed to cope with a variety of situations. At times, it can be out of balance due to medical issues, environmental factors, or emotional distress. Reiki is considered a mind-body-spirit treatment as it helps to balance the three. As a result, once your body is more in balance, you will notice benefits such as a more supportive immune system, restful sleep, and decreased feelings of anxiety and depression.   

To learn more about Reiki, visit our resources at uniteforher.org/reiki