Long- Standing Reiki Clinic at Edward Hospital
|Linda & Janice
In 2004, Linda Conlin, LCSW, was given the task of starting a psychosocial program at the Edward Hospital Cancer Center in Naperville, IL. “My goal was to develop a holistic program that included personal counseling, financial assistance, complementary therapies, networking groups, children’s camp, and educational programs for both patients and families.” Programs include exercise, yoga, meditation, Reiki, and nutrition education. “We had no budget so we have depended on professional volunteers to provide many of these services.”
Linda first learned about Reiki from a co-worker who is a Reiki Master. “Eight years ago, very few people had heard of Reiki. I needed an understanding of what Reiki is and how it could be presented credibly in a health care setting.” Linda was introduced to Reiki Master Teacher Janice Spoelma who agreed to provide her expertise in setting up and supervising the new Reiki Clinic at the Cancer Center. Janice carefully recruited Reiki Master volunteers for this program. “It takes a special person to work with people who have a serious illness such as cancer.” Janice now has approximately 20 Reiki volunteers who offer their services.
For the past eight years, this free clinic has been held once a month during evening hours at the Cancer Center. Patients, caregivers, and staff are welcome to attend and receive 10-minute Reiki sessions. On average, the clinic has 10-12 participants each month. Linda Conlin recalls that “we were one of the very first Reiki clinics in the Chicago area. I had many calls from around the Midwest asking about our program and how we were able to bring Reiki into a healthcare setting.”
This clinic has been well received and supported by medical, nursing, and social work staff. Both Linda and Janice agree that participants “love the Reiki Clinic” and often return bringing friends and family to experience Reiki. According to Janice, a number of people who are cancer survivors of many years also regularly visit the clinic. “It is so wonderful to see people who are newly diagnosed with cancer interacting with these survivors who are thriving and living their lives.”
Edward Hospital Cancer Center has created its own Reiki community. Says Janice, “the Reiki Clinic has given people the chance to open up and explore other possibilities, other ways to experience relaxation and healing.”