My Reiki practice is primarily hands-on. My viewpoint is that physical treatment is always preferable if it’s possible. But sometimes, distant treatment is the only way we have to offer Reiki.  

Over Thanksgiving, my husband Paul and I had the chance for a brief visit with two old and dear California friends. Eileen had been to India this past summer with two girl pals, her college roommates from the 60s. She was telling us about the trip and sharing her photos when her voice suddenly caught and she began to cry.

Eileen continued, holding back her tears. Shortly after getting home, one of the friends, Jill, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She had a full hysterectomy and strong chemotherapy. Jill was a little over half way through her chemotherapy when we saw our friends.

In the beginning, Jill’s chemo was manageable, but progressed to become completely overwhelming, both physically and psychologically. Jill was sick. She lost all energy, and her hope was shaken. To continue treatment, she needed blood transfusions to keep her white blood cell count up. Her oncologist had already had to re-schedule one chemo treatment because she wasn’t strong enough. She had hit the wall.

Eileen wondered, Would Reiki help Jill? Yes, we were confident it would. She asked, Would we be willing to send Jill distant treatments. Yes, of course, we said.

We gave the first treatment, then talked with Jill. She was game to try more, although she didn’t really know how it would help or precisely how she’d benefited from the first treatment.

This was a Saturday and the next chemo treatment would be her final hospital stay, scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday. We agreed to do four treatments in succession to prepare her. Meanwhile, the oncologist told Jill this last session would be very hard on her. Over those four days of distant Reiki, Jill began feeling stronger and stronger—both physically and emotionally, and her white blood cell count was high enough for her to be admitted to the hospital on Tuesday. We continued treating her while she was in the hospital. On Thursday morning, the bulk of the chemo administered, Paul and I both treated Jill. Then Eileen went to stay with Jill for several days. She emailed us when she returned home,

“Jill’s doctors had forewarned her that this last treatment would be pretty horrific because of the cumulative effect of the chemo. While she was tired and had some pain, overall she felt so much better than she had expected and than she had experienced last treatment. It was a great relief and she attributes it to your Reiki treatments. Our hearts are filled with gratitude.

Paul and I will keep sending Jill distant treatments as she regains her health, and we’ll stay in touch weekly to see how to best match her need.

Treating Jill has been a poignant reminder in the midst of this season of giving that I, and all of us who practice Reiki, have received an incredible gift.

Note: The names in this story have been changed.