A capital healthcare centre has taken steps to ease the suffering of patients with serious illnesses with the launch of a holistic palliative care programme.
NMC Royal Hospital, which recently founded the first palliative care unit in a major hospital in the region, has partnered up with Reaching Out With Reiki Middle East to offer healing sessions for patients suffering from cancer and other severe diseases.
Used as a complementary therapy alongside traditional medicine, reiki is a modality that provides emotional support and relaxation for patients.
“We care for very sick people, such as cancer patients who need to control their diseases in a symptomatic way,” explained Dr Mohanad Diab, head of medical oncology at NMC Royal Hospital.
“We have noticed that there was a tremendous effect with reiki when it comes to controlling our patients’ pain,” he explained. “Some of our patients were taking high doses of painkillers, but after sessions they were able to decrease their dosage by 80 percent.”
With sessions available twice weekly, the hospital is now hoping to expand the popular scheme to other branches across the UAE.
“When I came to the UAE, I started reaching out to cancer survivors here and I was really surprised at the lack of emotional and palliative care provided in hospitals,” said Kasey Conrad, founder of holistic organisation ChangeWorks and reiki practitioner at the hospital.
“Reiki has been scientifically proven to reduce stress in the body,” Kasey explained, herself a cancer survivor. “When excess stress is reduced, this reduces the degenerative chemicals and hormones, and the body is able to produce serotonin, dopamine and melatonin to rebalance.”
“Emotional support is very important for these patients,” Kasey added. “Patients who don’t have it don’t recover as quickly and experience more difficult recoveries. It’s holistic – it’s about the whole person.”