Tips for Reiki Practitioners working with the elderly
The elderly are often challenged with loneliness as well as physical illnesses. To be able to share Reiki with an elderly friend or relative is both rewarding and beneficial. Reiki is being used in Nursing homes and in respite care units worldwide.
The reported benefits include better sleeping routines, a calming effect and noticeable mood improvements. Some nursing homes have in house nurses giving Reiki treatments while others have structured volunteer Reiki programmes.
It is amazing how even a few minutes of Reiki can improve a person’s day. In my nursing career I observed that old people love having their hands gently held. They also find a gentle rotating motion on the central back comforting. This may be because it reminds them of a soothing feeling they got when their mothers rubbed their backs as babies.
I suggest that if you are sharing Reiki with an elderly friend that you start by gently holding one of their hands. Place one of your hands under theirs and the other one gently on top. If the person has arthritis or sensitive hands you could beam in the energy instead. When finished with one hand, move to the other one. You can even be chatting to the person while doing this, as conversation is welcomed by people who do not have much social interaction.
Other Reiki hand positions you could use are to gently cradle the head ( 3rd position you learnt at your Reiki 1 courses). You could then move gently to the shoulders as stiffness can be common in old age.
The elderly often have stomach challenges and if you can comfortably apply Reiki to this area, it is usually appreciated. As the solar plexus area also holds on to anxiety and fear, the Reiki energy when applied here can have a calming effect.
To conclude you could gently rub the persons back in two or three clockwise motions before resting your hand to give Reiki here. It is wonderful to get feedback from staff members about any benefits noticed following Reiki treatments
If you wish to become part of a Reiki volunteer programme, you will need to have completed your Reiki Practitioner level of Reiki training. There may also be some supervised Reiki training involved in the relevant organisation or hospital involved. You will be required to have relevant malpractice insurance, and you may also be required to have a basic course in Anatomy and Physiology.
The rewards of sharing Reiki with our elderly friends are many. This natural healing energy therapy means so much to those who are so often marginalised.