Reiki, terminal illness and grief

A growing number of terminally ill patients are looking for some kind of complementary treatment, bearing in mind that complementary medicine is not a cure, but relaxation and acceptance of the patient's condition.


Reiki, in particular, is very high on the list as it has been found to help with pain and the effects of Chemo, etc. This was researched by the National Cancer Institute of Rome, which found, in the majority of cases, that it highly reduced the side effects of the treatment.

How can Reiki help with a terminal illness?

In my opinion and experience, Reiki helped not only reduce pain, and the effects of treatment, it brought peace and compassion to what is a hideous disease. It especially helped the fatigue brought on by the treatments, when given a daily Reiki treatment. Reiki is extremely effective on our physical and mental health, as to feel at peace is going to help on all levels, after all, 50% of disease is fear. Overcoming fear is just as important to isolate, as is medicine.

I have also treated people who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis and, in a few cases, Reiki was shared at the end of their lives. It is wonderful to feel a strong connection to these people who suffer pain and fear, it is also wonderful for a person like me who is a Practitioner not to judge. We feel very humble, instead, as most patients with terminal illnesses are incredibly brave and stoic.

A few patients with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) were very young and the disease was very progressive. I saw them at the beginning of their diagnosis. I saw how their lives changed so drastically almost in a moment, going from working and a career, to being totally reliant on carers who did the most incredible job. However, for the patients, it was an invasion of privacy and humiliation, especially when intimate parts were involved.

For me, this was soon overcome by gratefulness, being grateful for all the help, whether it was being hoisted onto a bed or having a Urine bag changed, etc. Their decline was very rapid and, each time I went to the nursing home, I found deterioration, but the spirit was not squashed and we would laugh and joke before the Reiki treatment, which eased the almost serious atmosphere.

What I am trying to say is that we all suffer in one way or another. Terminal illness is another part of the circle of life, hideous for those who watch their loved ones deteriorate, and hideous for them when they are no longer physically here. 

How can Reiki help with grief?

The suffering and grief are always there for those that are left. Grief is personal to everyone, and each of us must grieve in our own way.  Judgement is not in the vocabulary. How often have those who are suffering grief been told by someone who has absolutely no idea what it feels like, "time is a great healer". It is nonsense to hear a remark like that. I know only too well as my beautiful son died at the beginning of lockdown.

Grief never leaves us, it changes, of course, but the raw grief diminishes leaving a big sadness forever.  Reiki and my daily Reiki practice guided me through the rawness and despair; it still does, and will always do so.

Reiki is an amazing system, full of knowledge and depth. We continue to learn from its ancient practices always and forever - we never stop learning.

If you would like to contact me and talk through this ever-increasing pain and sadness, you can do so at any time via my profile below.

Take care.

With love,


The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Therapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Corsham SN13
Written by Jenny Newman, Connect With Reiki Reiki master/Teacher
Corsham SN13

Jenny Newman is a graduate teacher of the International House of Reiki and has been teaching for 20 years. Jenny continues to study every year with her teacher Frans Steine, and through this study and research, she has gone to a very deep level within the system of Reiki, teaching the ancient and traditional Japanese esoteric practices.

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