Aims: To explore the perceptions and experiences of reiki for women who have cancer and identify outcome measures for an intervention study.
Methods: A cross-sectional qualitative study of 10 women who had received reiki after cancer treatment was conducted. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed and coded using framework analysis.
Results: Key themes identified were: limited understanding of reiki prior to receiving any reiki; release of emotional strain during reiki-feelings of a release of energy, a clearing of the mind from cancer, inner peace/relaxation, hope, a sense of being cared for; experience of physical sensations during reiki, such as pain relief and tingling; physical, emotional and cognitive improvements after reiki, such as improved sleep, a sense of calm and peace, reduced depression and improved self-confidence.
Conclusion: Findings suggest that reiki could be a beneficial tool in the self-management of quality of life issues for women who have cancer.
Keywords: Cancer care; Complementary therapy; Neoplasm; Palliative care; Reiki; Wellbeing.