Many people may not know it, but Reiki is slowly being introduced within hospitals as a complementary therapy. At the moment it is offered only as a volunteer service at scheduled appointments to patients with certain pathologies (cancer, depression, fibromyalgia), but the beneficial effects perceived by the people enrolled in the program are encouraging. The positive attitude shown by doctors and nurses, who are traditionally skeptical towards this type of therapies, is quite encouraging too.

If I had to choose one among the Reiki sessions I have been giving during these years of practice I would undoubtedly choose my experience with terminally ill patients. What a drama! (Most of you will think) … well, no, my dear friends, what a joy! I’d dare say. And here is why: death scares us, everyone shies away from it as something that causes grief. That is understandable: when people die all their loved ones are distressed over loss.

There is, however, another point of view: death does not only bring sadness and tears. I believe that this can just be noticed by the patients, during their last moments, and the therapists who are by their side. All the times I have had the honour of being next to a human being that was about to pass away I could feel the infinite peace caused by the acceptance of their own destiny. Beyond the physical pain, that is unfortunately always there, a new serenity emanates from the soul of that person.

During a Reiki session, it is very common to feel a very beautiful patient-therapist connection. It is as if the person receiving the treatment opened up and said: “This is me and this is what I feel”. Doctors look at X-rays and scanners the same way Reiki therapists look through patients’ souls. I have to say that during those special sessions I witnessed a celebration of their life. The love that the patients felt for their friends and families and the satisfaction for what they had achieved in life hit me like a wave and warmed my heart.

I have just realised that during those sessions I have never felt dissatisfaction or regret. This is a very clear message to me: the good things people do in their life is what is truly worthwhile at the end of the journey, the love they give or receive. Anything else is dispensable.

We all wonder what’s in the afterlife. Well, nobody knows it exactly, but, every time I give Reiki to a terminally ill patient, I have a vision of a wonderful golden bridge. It is probably a metaphor for the passage to the other side, but it is so beautiful that I am sure it cannot lead to a bad place.

I believe that the fact that therapies like Reiki are being accepted in hospital structures is a great sign of spiritual evolution. Maybe we are finally beginning to understand that drugs do not cover all our needs and that there are aspects of our existence (and death is one of them) that we do not take care of enough. We need good doctors to recover as well as we need good therapists to take our hand and help us when we are in a dark place.

Please do not misunderstand my opening words. I described my experience with terminally ill patients as full of “joy”, but this does not mean that I didn’t cry when my patients departed this life, not at all! The point is that I KNOW in my heart that they are well, they are simply on the other side of the bridge.

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