As a direct result of their beautiful and beneficial but stressful chosen career and work environment, nurses face high levels of stress and anxiety on a daily basis. Over time, this continued stress can lead to a number of physical, mental, and emotional issues for nurses that may reduce the quality of life and decrease productivity. To prevent complications from work-related stress and anxiety, nurses must find ways to relax and regroup during their downtime. Fortunately, research has shown that Reiki sessions can produce positive results among nurses dealing with chronic stress.
Nursing and Stress
According to the National Institutes of Health, stress is very common among nurses in all areas of the field. Typical sources of stress on the job include patient care, responsibilities, making decisions, and dealing with changes. Most nurses also deal with difficult interpersonal relationships, staffing issues, long work hours, emotional stress related to dealing with human suffering, and frequent physical labor. Because of all of these issues, nurses are at high risk for a condition known as “burnout syndrome.” Some of the symptoms of burnout syndrome include reduced personal accomplishment, depersonalization, and emotional exhaustion. In many cases, nurses suffering from burnout syndrome will experience problems in both their personal and professional lives, as it is difficult to separate these two domains completely.
Reiki is a Japanese stress reduction technique that may help nurses who are already dealing with burnout syndrome, as well as those who are dealing with only mild stress. This technique can be performed in a Reiki Practitioner’s office and is entirely non-invasive.
Some of the benefits of Reiki for nurses may include:
Reiki helps to reduce anxiety and stress.
Reiki sessions can induce relaxation in the client, thus reducing stress and anxiety. Since stress and anxiety are so common among nurses, this effect can be very beneficial, especially among nurses with burnout syndrome.
Reiki helps bring about a sense of balance.
Many Reiki clients report feeling more balanced, both physically and emotionally, after participating in Reiki sessions.
Reiki may help reduce pain.
Because of the intensive physical labor that is often involved in nursing, many nurses suffer from aches and pains. Reiki sessions may reduce sensations of pain, thus improving nurses’ overall sense of well-being.
Reiki may boost the immune system.
Nurses often work long, odd hours, which can be hard on the body. Unfortunately, nurses are frequently exposed to bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens while working with patients. Reports indicate that Reiki may potentially boost the immune system, due to a relaxation response, which may prevent nurses from getting sick as often or being vulnerable to infections.
Reiki provides a sense of control.
Although nurses often have the opportunity to assume leadership positions, they often feel as though their life is not entirely in their own control. They may not be able to set their own schedules, decide what tasks they will take on, or make other important decisions that impact their lives on a daily basis. When a nurse engages in Reiki sessions, however, he or she is taking control over his or her own body, mind, and health. This can restore a sense of control, thus improving self-esteem and quality of life.
A recent research study explored the relationship between Reiki and nurses suffering from burnout syndrome. During the study, researchers examined the effects of Reiki sessions on certain physical indicators, such as blood pressure, α-amylase, and secretory immunoglobulin A. The study included eighteen nurses, all of whom were diagnosed with burnout syndrome. When the study was complete, researchers analyzed the results and determined that nurses who participated in regular Reiki sessions experienced a significant improvement in diastolic blood pressure and secretory immunoglobulin A.
Based on both research and anecdotal reports, it seems that Reiki could be beneficial to nurses in multiple ways. Nurses who are already stressed and dealing with burnout syndrome may experience a reduction in anxiety after participating in Reiki sessions, which may help them to deal with their stress more effectively and enjoy a richer, more productive life. Likewise, even nurses who are only mildly stressed and/or experiencing no complications of work-related stress may experience benefits from this treatment. In fact, it is possible that nurses who engage in Reiki before they begin experiencing the symptoms of burnout syndrome may be able to prevent this syndrome from ever occurring and/or reduce its severity. Furthermore, Reiki has been shown to produce other benefits, including an increased sense of balance, improved feelings of control, and more, all of which may be helpful to individuals working in the field of nursing.
Nonetheless, nurses should keep in mind that Reiki is not the only effective method of reducing stress. Nurses can also lower their stress levels and reduce anxiety by spending time with friends and families, engaging in regular exercise, and participating in enjoyable activities and hobbies. For best results, nurses should combine Reiki sessions with other methods of relaxation. Nurses who are experiencing severe anxiety, depression, or other such symptoms should also talk to a qualified physician and/or licensed therapist.
Find a Practitioner or Teacher
If you are a nurse interested in Reiki, you can find a qualified Reiki practitioner or teacher here
**This article appeared in The Reiki Times, the official magazine of the International Association of Reiki Professionals.
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