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New therapist Karin Segers at work in the Oncology Unit

Monday, 24 November 2014Healing hands for cancer patients

Patients at the newly-revamped oncology unit at Furness General Hospital are now benefiting from Reiki healing as part of their treatment.

Karyn Segers has been helping patients through their cancer journey with treatments that can help with pain management, anxiety and stress so their physical and emotional wellbeing is improved.

Her role is one of Reiki Practitioner, funded through the Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust. South African-born Karyn, started work at the Trust in May. “Reiki is a holistic treatment,” she says. “It is a form of hands-on healing, that has been known to bring a deep sense of relaxation to the patients. Reiki works emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually and will go where it is needed.”

Karyn Segers

“Some patients are very worried and tense before chemotherapy or procedures such as needles. They might be worried about needles or anxious about the effects of chemo or shocked that they are going through this. Reiki can help the patient to relax before having a chemotherapy treatment and has benefits in helping the patient to cope with what they are going through.”

Her youngest patient is 47 and the eldest in his 80s. Karyn says initially there were more men than women coming for the treatment but now it has evened out. “It is a real privilege to be able to provide this service to cancer patients. I find that they are willing to try Reiki and once they have tried it find it has almost immediate benefits.

One patient has said severe back pain eased after his treatment and another said he is always “charged up” for his next chemo after Reiki.

Jayne Bickerstaff, one of the staff nurses in oncology, says it has been popular with the patients. “From what they are going through psychologically they are happy for a bit of relaxation. It’s some much-needed ‘me time’ and that really benefits them.”

The oncology unit offers aromatherapy with Lynda Dixon, lymphedema with staff nurse Denise Hardy and Dawn Jones fits patients with wigs on a Friday. The Reiki treatment is open to cancer patients and those with life-threatening illness and their carers or family members who are referred by healthcare professionals.

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