Patients at The Hospital of Central Connecticut n New Britain receive care with the latest medical advancements as well as through a technique that is so simple, it involves just the use of hands and energy.
The hospital now provides free Reiki sessions to oncology patients and those undergoing surgery. It is done in a hospital room with the patient either lying down or sitting in a chair.
Developed by a Japanese Buddhist monk, Reiki has grown in popularity as a form of healing in the United States in recent years.
During a recent session, Donna Zagorsky, a Reiki instructor, ran her hands over patient Theresa Suarez, who sat in a chair in a quiet hospital room.
Zagorsky said everything emits energy and, as a Reiki practitioner, she knows how to feel for any disturbance in the energy field.
She uses Reiki to help treat several conditions.
“Emotional upsets, for pain, recovery from surgeries or any illnesses. It works on the physical, spiritual and emotional aspect of the person,” she said.
She runs her hands around her patient’s head and along their body and Surarez said she felt warmth and then coolness during her Reiki treatment, but most of all, she felt relaxed. Some patients report a slight tingling as the practitioner’s hands come near them.
The hospital also uses eight Reiki volunteers who have some level of training. Rhonda Salvatore of Middletown spends three hours each week performing Reiki on patients. Many fall asleep, which she takes as a compliment since they can be anxious about their health issues.
Salvatore is often moved with people’s responses.
“Patients who cry during a Reiki session, who grab my hand and say thank you, thank you. The pain in my legs is gone, arthritis is gone and they are just so elated,” she said.
Response to the Reiki sessions has been positive and Zagorsky said other departments have inquired about expanding the treatment.