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Journal of Nursing

Alternative Treatments: Doubting Thomas to Believer

Christine Beechel, RN [email protected]

Patty, a close friend of mine, for as long as I can remember has been involved with "new age" practices. She has always been after me to open my mind and expand my horizons; stating "You are an RN why aren't you open to alternative treatments." Back then I was a "doubting Thomas". Little did I know after giving in to Patty to attend a new moon ceremony with her would I have an experience that altered my nursing practice forever.
About ten years ago I accompanied Patty to a new moon ceremony. At the hostesses home candles were lit and incense was burning. Everyone sat on the floor in a circle. During the ceremony I felt lost and was extremely happy when it concluded. Afterward we preceded to the kitchen where a mini feast was served. Standing in the kitchen shooting pains radiated up my back as I have bulging disks between L4 and L5; I remember tensing up and gasping. Immediately Kathy and Ann raced behind me and placed their hands on my back; later I found out their hands never actually touched me they hovered about two inches above. Kathy and Ann moved their hands over the surface of my entire back and as they did the pain dissipated. I noted one set of hands felt intensely hot while the other felt like light electricity. I was in awe. What I found incredible was not only did my pain go away but these two sets of hands felt completely different. After standing there speechless, trying to grasp what I just experienced, I humbly thanked Kathy and Ann for their help. Patty smiled, and said "That's reiki."
No longer able to doubt the beneficial affects of reiki therapy, I enrolled immediately in training classes. There I learned about the interconnectedness of energy, the energy body, and how reiki can remove blocks that inhibit the energy body's natural flow alleviating symptoms in the physical body. My eyes were beginning to open, much to Patty's delight. The knowledge obtained allowed me to broaden my nursing practice to include reiki. I offered my clients reiki therapy as an adjunct to their treatment regimen. Coworkers became interested and sought reiki treatments as well. One gentleman in particular scheduled sessions with me three times a week for a three month period. He stated "The reiki sessions help me feel more relaxed and I am better able to deal with the sale of my house."
Acknowledging my mistake in doubting the benefits of reiki I was curious what other alternative treatments had merit. This led me to the doors of a master herbalist, Rosalie. I studied the medicinal properties of herbs under Rosalie, learning plants have signatures which reveal their benefits to the body. Again, needing to see the results before being a believer, I made basic herbal preparations for family and friends. The results were outstanding. Chickweed and comfrey ointments lessened the itch and irritation of poison ivy. Calendula, a pot marigold, cream seemed to calm the inflammation of eczema and fungal rashes. While I do not make herbal preparations for clients I will suggest they might wish to seek the advice of an herbalist.
Due to Patty's persistence, my life and nursing practice has drastically been altered. No longer am I so quick to doubt the validity of alternative treatments. I am forever grateful to all my teachers. As I grow in awareness so does the care I provide my clients.

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