The Mountain Times

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Reiki at Rutland Regional Medical Center

In April of this year, Rutland Regional Medical Center (RRMC) introduced a Reiki program. The program is run entirely by a team of volunteers, and is now included as part of the therapies offered to patients. Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes spiritual, emotional, mental and physical healing. Kelly McDermott-Burns, the Reiki Volunteer Coordinator, began the process of establishing a Reiki Program at RRMC with the Foley Cancer Center and the Palliative Care Program back in 2006.
Reiki heals by flowing positive energy through the body and setting the body in balance, McDermott-Burns explained. "Reiki practitioners help others to bring their energy into balance. When a body is in balance, it functions better, and the likelihood of disease is reduced."
As Kelly McDermott-Burns treats a patient, she changes her own personal vibration through meditation, which then allows for specific healing or general relaxation to take place.
As a trained hospice and palliative care volunteer, McDermott-Burns has worked in many different units, with many different patients. Reiki is a non-invasive, non-intrusive therapy and can benefit those too weak, or unable to use massage or acupuncture as part of their healing process. Cancer patients can find a Reiki session helpful if they are dealing with radiation therapy. Sessions at RRMC typically last 15-20 minutes. Reiki offers some peace and security for people who are anxious, not sleeping well, or stressed. McDermott-Burns noted that more and more often hospitals are utilizing eastern medicine, "The medical world is starting to realize that we all should work together."
The study of Reiki involves an ongoing commitment and self-practice. McDermott-Burns is currently engaged with two teachers, "That is what Reiki is; essentially self-improvement and personal development," she says.
Reiki promotes the following precepts; be humble, be compassionate, be honest, do not worry, do not anger. By utilizing these precepts in everyday life, Kelly feels centered, serene, and focused. She said, "The study of Reiki helps me to focus no matter what is going on around me."
McDermott-Burns recalled the time she was skiing down Superstar, when she crashed and landed head first down the hill, "There was no one around, but instead of panicking, I utilized what I had learnt from Reiki, and meditated, which enabled me to think clearly about my next actions. I was able to pack my knee with snow, and sit and wait for the toboggan."
Kelly McDermott-Burns was clear that Reiki does not offer a cure. "Reiki helps to alleviate stress, and gives patients the opportunity to have some time out, some time of rest and peace. It helps the healing process, but does not claim to offer any cure."
Physical benefits exist, such as improvement in blood pressure, stress relief, general relaxation and sleeping well, she said adding, "Reiki can aide in the improvement of illness. There are so many aspects that can prevent us from moving into a place of peace. When the energetic system is in balance, the body is working as best it can. "
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