ver the years, various studies have suggested a correlation between stress and the immune system. This is particularly true in individuals coping with major illnesses, such as cancer. The very stress caused by learning of one's illness may, in and of itself, impede the healing process. Stress can aggravate the effects of treatment by causing additional symptoms such as depression, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and others. At the very least, it has negative impact on quality of life and frame of mind.
Phoenix Community Cancer Center (PCCC) and Community CancerCare, the provider of radiation therapy services at PCCC, have created an exciting program aimed at easing the stress experienced by cancer patients. Specially trained volunteers are available to perform Reiki, an ancient Japanese form of hands-on energy work intended to promote healing of the mind, body and spirit through a series of soft touches along energy centers and pathways, such as the head, neck, chest, abdomen, legs and feet. The goal of Reiki is to decrease stress, diminish pain, strengthen the immune system and accelerate healing.
The idea to offer Reiki at PCCC came from Hartford Hospital, where staff members have been exploring the positive effects of this complementary treatment since 1997. Maria Frassinelli Sierra, PCCC Social Worker and Coordinator, reports that the program has been a major success. Volunteers and patients have found it to be immensely rewarding. Among the many benefits most often recognized by patients are a deep feeling of peacefulness, pain relief and a greater sense of well-being.
The Reiki sessions are held in a special room that has been decorated with relaxation in mind. A trickling water fountain, gentle music, artwork, plants and soothing lights contribute to the effect of the treatments. The service is offered free of charge to PCCC patients and family members, who are encouraged to take advantage of weekly sessions.
If you would like more information about the PCCC Reiki Program, please call (860) 272-3030