- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Reduce Colonoscopy Pain with Reiki
A colonoscopy is a fairly standard procedure these days. It is an outpatient medical procedure that is done to provide doctors and their patients with information about the health of the patient’s colon. It is useful for identifying and even treating a number of different gastrointestinal disorders. Despite the fact that this is a common procedure that is considered to be safe, it is not the most comfortable procedure in the world. Patients undergoing this procedure are understandably anxious. Unfortunately that anxiety may lead to the procedure being more uncomfortable or even painful than it otherwise would be. Studies are beginning to show that using Reiki to calm this anxiety might help reduce the pain experienced by patients undergoing a colonoscopy.
More about the colonoscopy
A colonoscopy is a procedure that involves inserting a small camera into the anus in order to observe what is happening in the colon. It is a very effective procedure for determining the cause of a variety of different gastrointestinal problems. However, as you can imagine, it is not the most comfortable procedure that you might undergo in a doctor’s office.
How being anxious makes the colonoscopy more painful
Many people feel anxious about the colonoscopy procedure because it is unfamiliar and uncomfortable for them. Think about what happens to your body when you are anxious. You tense up. Your sphincter may tighten up. You can’t relax your muscles. Unfortunately, these very symptoms of anxiety can serve to make the colonoscopy more painful than it would be if your body was able to relax. Of course, your doctor will do all that he or she can to relax your body so that the colonoscopy is less uncomfortable for you.
A little bit about Reiki
For people who aren’t familiar with Reiki, this is a healing art form that relies on manipulation of the body’s energy to induce health. A Reiki practitioner places his or her hands on or near the patient’s body. Using techniques that are somewhat similar to light massage techniques the Reiki practitioner eases the body by redirecting its flow of energy. Some people believe that this can cure a wide range of ailments. Other people may not believe this but will at least concede that Reiki is capable of meditative properties that relax the body and may be beneficial on their own.
Studies using Reiki for colonoscopies
Recent studies have shown that the relaxing power of Reiki may be beneficial to patients who are undergoing a colonoscopy. A study of 21 patients undergoing colonoscopy procedures for the first time concluded that patients receiving Reiki therapy prior to their procedure were less anxious and also needed less pain medication than patients who did not receive Reiki therapy prior to treatment. The patients receiving Reiki therapy actually had more symptoms than those patients who did not receive Reii therapy but the calming properties of the Reiki therapy were capable of soothing the patients enough so that they could relax. This relaxation minimized the stress of the procedure as well as the pain caused by the procedure.
More studies should be done
Although this study is very promising in terms of showing that Reiki could be beneficial to colonoscopy patients, it is a very small study using only a handful of patients. It is difficult to draw sweeping conclusions from such a small study. For that reason, people who want to see Reiki widely used to reduce anxiety for colonoscopy patients should push for further studies of this kind.
Reiki certainly can’t hurt
The fact that the study on colonoscopy patients was so small doesn’t mean that it wasn’t an important study. If you are a patient who is about to undergo a colonoscopy, should you get Reiki treatment? Possibly. It is important to realize that Reiki isn’t a formal medical procedure and that there is no guarantee that it will make your procedure less stressful or less painful. It is also important to discuss all of the medical options for colonoscopy patients with your doctor. However, it’s certainly notable that Reiki can’t hurt the procedure in any way. Reiki, like massage therapy, is a treatment that can be used by anyone for relaxation and healing. Even if it doesn’t make your procedure go any better, it won’t hurt your colonoscopy procedure in any way.
Implications for other patients
One of the things that should be noted is that it may not only be colonoscopy patients who can benefit from pre-procedure Reiki treatments. The colonoscopy procedure is a great procedure that can benefit immensely from the healing properties of relaxation. If the body can be relaxed for this procedure, it goes much more smoothly. However, it is hardly the only procedure that patients could do better with if they were more relaxed. Everything from dental surgery to pregnancy complications might be eased at least somewhat by getting the patient into a calmer place. Reiki is capable of taking patients to that calmer place. Although the results of the colonoscopy study shouldn’t be generalized, it is safe to say that any procedure that relaxes a patient prior to surgery is probably going to be beneficial for the patient.
Merging of Western and Eastern forms of healing
We are seeing an increasing trend towards acceptance of Eastern healing techniques, like Reiki, among Western medical practitioners. As studies like this one progress, we may even see more and more medical doctors keeping a staff of Reiki practitioners and massage therapists on hand for their patient’s comfort. Only time will tell!