Reiki is a non-invasive health approach that originated in Tibet around 2500 years ago. It involves the gentle placement of hands on or just above the body, with the intention of directing energy to stimulate the body's own healing abilities. It is considered an extremely safe therapy that aims to restore balance and promote a sense of well-being on physical, mental, and emotional levels.
Sara Shumsky, Golden Pond's new Assistant Director of Special Care Residences, has offered Reiki treatments to complement existing memory care practices and foster a sense of tranquility for residents. Sara says she has had an incredibly positive experience offering Reiki in Legacy Village.
“It has brought comfort to residents, and especially improves the quality of their day,” Sara says, “to experience love, to receive a healing touch, and to connect our souls between our eyes, where I feel their deepest pains, and where and what needs to heal most.” Sara has also been crucial in sharing science-backed evidence for Reiki’s therapeutic potential with other staff members.
One such example includes an empirical study conducted at the Pleasant Point Health Center on the Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation. In it, researchers explored the efficacy of Reiki treatment in improving memory and behavior deficiencies in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild Alzheimer's disease (AD). The study included 24 participants aged 60 to 80, who were divided into two groups: one receiving Reiki treatment for four weeks and the other serving as a control group with no treatment. Pre- and post-treatment assessments were conducted using the Annotated Mini-Mental State Examination and the Revised Memory and Behavior Problems Checklist.
The study's results demonstrated statistically significant improvements in mental functioning, memory, and behavior among the group receiving Reiki treatment. These findings suggest that Reiki holds promise as a complementary therapy for individuals with MCI or mild AD, offering a non-invasive and cost-effective approach to addressing their specific needs.
As we at Golden Pond strive to provide the best care and support for our Memory Care residents, we are excited to continuously explore practices that can enhance overall quality of life. Sara says, “through Reiki, I see the light return to their eyes with the incredible healing miracles that touch provides. I aim to create an environment where residents can experience relaxation, reduced stress levels, and improved overall well-being in their assisted living experience and I am excited to bring that to our residents, in part, through Reiki. “