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Monday, January 31, 2011
Yesterday at Trader Joe's my son was in the cart, handing items to the cashier for her to scan them. She had a *hard* time. It would not scan. Try and try again. She said, "I had no problems with the one before!" in exasperation. I had seen it. She was right.
What she didn't know is that my son is attuned to Reiki, and is a level one practitioner.
A classmate of mine, right before our Reiki II class together, said she was at home shortly after Reiki one. She picked up the remote and tried to use it to turn on the t.v. It wouldn't work. She kept pushing buttons and moving around the room. Nothing would happen. She complained to her husband (they were newlyweds). He picked it up and clicked and it worked just fine. It was her Reiki energy that was 'jamming the circuits'
Reiki has a sensation. It feels like something flowing from one's hands. It feels this way from the base of the palm, the center of the hand, or the fingertips. The client can often sense warmth or coolness, and so does the Reiki practitioner. In Karuna Reiki, and advanced form of healing (it has been called 'Reiki on steroids'), the entire arm has this sensation. Although it hasn't been documented as electromagnetic or ultrasound or microwave or anything, it is common knowledge in Reiki circles that it has this effect.
For me, I work in the operating room. I monitor vital signs electronically. I blew out a couple monitors--just some glitch that wouldn't read right and they had to exchange them. Only when I was first new to Reiki. I don't recall any other things I may have broken. But like my friend with the remote, I saw enough to know that there was 'something there'.
It's just something to think about. Have a terrific day!
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Today I will write about what happens in the Operating Room.
The Operating Room is actually a team of 'inside the OR' people interacting with 'take care of the OR' people and 'take care of the patient' people.
The patient starts in Pre-Op. The nurses there started YESTERDAY preparing for the patients. All the charts were checked to make sure everything was ready for today. There were many phone calls, electronic chart checks, and FAXes. Pre-Op's function is to get everything ready for the patient to undergo surgery. They start the i.v., enter data into the system, and sometimes call into the O.R. during one patient to ask questions about my plan of care for the next patient.
The O.R. team has a surgeon, surgical assistants (another surgeon, RN first assist, physician assistant), a scrub nurse or scrub tech who is in charge of all the instruments, anesthesia, and anesthesia technician, and a circulating nurse. Between all of these people the actual surgery gets done. There is a 'time out' at the beginning of surgery like a flight check on a plane, to make sure everyone in the room knows what is to be done.
After the surgery, the Recovery Room (or PACU, post-anesthesia care unit) watches over the patient until they are safe to transfer to the floor or go home, depending on the surgery involved.
For the patient, depending on what is given to them in Pre Op, they might or might not know what the O.R. actually looks like. The patient is moved, either on their own or by themselves, to the operating table. Tables are not all the same. Some bend in certain ways, some slide out so the x-ray movies can be taken, some are for fixing certain kind of fractures. There is a 'bean bag' that can be put on top of the table, that when suction is applied, holds the patient in the lateral position (on their side).
Once I put a patient to sleep, I help them breathe, and administer the anesthesia to meet their needs for the surgery. It changes. Depending on the part of the procedure, they may need more or less. I watch all the monitors, chart everything on the anesthesia record, and write orders for recovery room to meet their pain and nausea needs. If everything is going well, I sometimes may prepare my syringes for the next case. I am sure to keep it clean and separate from the other patient. My system is 'the anesthesia machine is for this patient' and the 'anesthesia cart is for all following ones'. There is a list printed every day with all the cases, patients, surgeons, anesthesia personnel, and rooms listed. I refer to it a lot. There are also the billing slips I have to fill out, so the pharmacy gets paid, and so I can charge for my services. I wake the patient up and make sure the PACU nurse knows what to expect in taking care of our patient's needs.
How much of this time is spent doing Reiki? Not a whole lot. On a long slow case, about five minutes. Today, there were interruptions due to tasks that arose. Anesthesia ALWAYS takes priority over Reiki. Reiki can wait. I get back to where I was, when possible. Sometimes the Reiki is unfinished...but really isn't.
Let me explain. Energetically speaking, Reiki is a partnership between Reiki practitioner and Spirit. Spirit helps to smooth out the gaps, no matter where and under what circumstances Reiki is given.
It all has to do with the intent.
So in a Reiki-based viewpoint, Reiki can start BEFORE surgery. It can be sent in advance to a place and time. I did that for a hostile operating room I worked with, where they did hearts and the surgeons were cranky and I had no time to do Reiki in the O.R. As a medical intuitive, I often know what size equipment to pick out first. My intuition is quite helpful in this regard, before I look at the chart or examine the patient.
With the patient, my tone and manner helps them stay calm when we meet in Pre Op. I do not do actual Reiki until they are asleep and the surgery is underway.
My Perioperative Reiki is 1) starting it 2) opening the aura and scanning for problem spots 3)grounding the patient 4)doing an actual treatment. Sometimes adding advanced techniques, but not always. 5) closing the aura and 6) turning Reiki off. I do not touch the patient. I use my mind and when it's not too visible, my hands. For example, I may 'check the bair hugger' over the arms if I am actually doing Reiki there.
Five minutes. It isn't much, and yet it is. I learn much about disease. My Reiki skills are sharp from practice. The energy flows like in a traditional healing. And the patients *smile* very much when they wake up.
Furthermore, according to studies in the metaphysical arts, there are times when the aura is weakened. Great stress is one of them. Having anesthesia is another. What I do counteracts this process by strengthening the aura at a time when it is weakened. (This subject, if you are interested, is well addressed by Margaret Mc Cormick, if you want to look it up. www.margaretmccormick.com)
Having things go well for our patients is most important. Perioperative Reiki is given much like I give routine anti-nausea prophylaxis--it is given at the time of surgery to decrease the chance of common side effects, and give the patient a wonderful healing experience at an important time for them.
* Photo is taken during 'deep hypothermic circulatory arrest'. The patient is technically 'dead', but once cardiopulmonary bypass is restarted and patient is rewarmed, will be having normal heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation and will emerge with no ill-effects.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Have you ever come across a 'train wreck'? You know what I mean--the kind of patient where everything goes wrong with them, all the time, no matter what. A lot of drama.
I had one yesterday. A BMI of 55 with the worst airway I have ever seen going to the O.R. Because of my hospital's electronic medical record, I was able to track the height and weight ahead of time, as well as the pertinent medical history and surgical history. This patient needed a brief procedure prior to the case. I gave strict instruction that no one except an anesthesiologist was to provide sedation for this brief radiologic intervention. It could be lethal, if the airway was lost. The patient would stop breathing and not be rescue ventilated properly from 'conscious sedation' that was the routine in that part of the hospital. Only experienced hands could get air through that mask through the corpulent mouth into those lungs once apneic.
I met the patient *in* the radiology suite. Called there emergently. The patient and doctor were both screaming. Doctor, in frustration over the size of the patient making the procedure technically near impossible. And patient in fear, I quote, 'I was dying!'. Both wanted sedation but it was not an option. I had full drug box with me, but one look at that airway, flat on the table, and I said 'no'.
Except for the 'verbal valium'. Some patients are so sick, they cannot be sedated. Only a calm, reassuring prescence to calm them down. I use it all the time. In c-sections, for the anxious, I cannot sedate because the baby will absorb through the bloodstream and be born floppy. Instead of charting, I hold hands for the few moments before the baby is born. This is the tactic I used in the radiology suite. Asking the questions I would ask in pre-op to distract and calm the patient. Examining the mouth and listening for cardiac and breath sounds. Explaining what to anticipate in the procedure, and how much longer it would take. 'It will be done in ten minutes'.
By the time I got to pre-op, the patient was quite worked up. The family was supportive and said the patient, 'gets emotional'. Sometimes this is secondary gain (attention seeking), sometimes it is from deeper psychological issues.
Navigating the emotional environment is difficult in the hospital. Emotions are contagious.
As a Reiki Master, I draw from my source to calm others. But at this time, I was not calm. I was drained, concerned about the technical challenges of intubation, and busy with the tasks of preparing equipment for safe anesthesia. I had a blanket ramp for optimization of the airway, a GlideScope video device to help in cases of difficult airway, a special endotracheal tube I'd never used before, but was made just for cases like this, and an experienced assistant as an extra pair of hands.
I waited for end-tidal O2 to reach ninety-nine percent. The morbidly obese desaturate to BLUE in thirty seconds. Breathing out pure oxygen only happens when all of the tissues are saturated with oxygen. The 'tank is full' and 'buys the most time' until intubation without desaturation. The best I could get was ninety-two. I took it. With a 'cho ku rei' I induced anesthesia. I did a deep intubation with the glide scope so as not to burn any bridges if the airway was difficult. Even the tube did not want to pass, although the cords were open and I had a clear view. Three times I tried, even using the trick to line the bevel up with the glottis. And it went in.
Once the surgery was underway, and my charting caught up, I thought to myself...this patient is a MESS. It took some time for the thought to come up that 'Reiki is what this is all about'--making change for the positive in an otherwise not so positive life. Small gains, big losses, try a 'hail mary' pass for the team. So I did choose to give an intraop Reiki treatment.
The energetics of this patient were quite different from the ordinary sick. I learned a lot from my brief Reiki session with this case. And a lot about myself. I wanted to laugh, scoff, and brush it off...the negative energy cloud from this patient. But on second thought, isn't that what healing is all about?
This afternoon I did a post-op and checked to see if everything was all right. The same drama, the same habitus, the same horrible airway. But one patient very much alive. With successful surgery. And no complications. And maybe, a little something 'extra' in the mix...Reiki Universal Healing Energy. ; )
Friday, January 21, 2011
Yesterday I worked a twenty-four hour shift on Labor and Delivery. This is where more often than not, emotions run high. I am impressed with the team of nurses, scrub techs, ward clerks, and obstetricians...as well as the neonatologists and NICU nurses and respiratory therapists that help the new ones 'get on their way'.
Labor is manageable. To some degree, the team can hasten or slow an impending birth. It depends on the medicines given, whether the water is broken, and the position of the patient. There is some stretch in the natural process so that timing will allow an obstetrician to be present for the birth.
The nurses are grounded. Very grounded. They have seen *everything* and nothing fazes them. They are the mother's and infant's best advocate. They set the energetic tone for the place, keeping the expectant parents within a normal range of birthing experience.
What never fails to reach me is the impact of the mindset of the mother on the birth process itself. Most trust in that 'everything is going to be okay' and allow the medical advances to be used for their safety and comfort. Others, are afraid. Often times this fear gets in the way of their own care. The epidural is a source of great fear for many. I take my lead from the mother and adjust my interaction with them accordingly.
For this, I use my Reiki. I go entirely by intuition on the best approach to 'connect' with my patient, be it making jokes, acknowledging their concerns, education, or taking a more 'parenteral' approach. Often times I 'feel' which will be the best interspace to go. The needle is inserted blind, and my hands are sensitive to the tissue structures through which the needle passes. When I have trouble, I say in my heart, 'Cho ku rei', and ask for divine intevention. I do not anticipate the outcome, but patiently keep trying as long as the mother is willing to try. There is a point of relaxation, metaphysically, when I am one with spirit, and the mother relaxes just enough for me to get the needle into the epidural space.
It is a powerful gift being able to relieve pain at a time like this. Reiki makes all the difference. It will work for you if you set the intention.
Namaste : )
Saturday, January 15, 2011
I just watched "Celebrity Ghost Story" followed by "My Ghost Story". If you watch those, you will want no part of this. There is no entertainment value whatsoever!
To those of you who were raised that there are evil spirits 'out there' that want to cause harm, Reiki may be somewhat of a challenge to accept into your everyday practice.
To those of you who think the Paranormal is a source of excitement, although I find Reiki exciting and I am passionate about it, you might be disappointed to learn there are no bells and whistles, and certainly nothing worth videotaping.
There also is a fringe of somewhat loose-thinking people, that energetic work is only for those types--the tarot card readers, the mediums and psychics, who lead an alternate life from the every day nine-to-five folk that go seek help from them. I saw a psychic today give a reading in a bookstore where I was buying books. At a table in the middle of the room. Nothing was private. Some gentleman walked up to the reader and client, interrupted, and asked for what was the fee to get a reading. Fifty-dollars a half hour. For that. It affected my shopping, and I felt compassion for the woman with the deceased husband who was getting the reading. This was at the Learning Light Institute, the oldest and most reputable place for sensitive folks to follow their interest and brush up on their skills.
It makes me sad.
Nowhere is there a place for science-minded people to go, to learn something new that might help them in their practice. Except here, perhaps. I promise you level-headed discussion about something that is truly cutting edge. I doubt drug-makers will be sponsoring any studies. And I doubt any double-blinded randomized study will prove something from outside the 'normal experiences'. Somehow, it seems that would be beside the point of being spiritual beings in human bodies in this life.
What Reiki can do for you is to build confidence in your perception, and a rigorous outlet of energy that is healing. It can be hands on, up close, or from a distance. I will talk about distance healing another time.
Take care, and thank you for your interest. One day, like-minded folk like us can discuss openly about this subject. For now, I am not sharing my identity like I would, because of common misperceptions about Reiki that are in conflict with my daily work. I want to keep bringing home the groceries like you!
: D Have a nice day!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I had a Reiki treatment by another practitioner yesterday.
I was shocked.
Not only did she give unauthorized medical advice, she did not follow the guidelines my teacher gives. She had another teacher. Anne is a licensed clinical psychologist, and draws the line on what Reiki IS and what Reiki IS NOT.
As a physician, I am licensed to interpret medical data, come to a diagnosis, and give a prescription. I have worked long and hard to accomplish this. Reiki, on its own, is no substitute for orthodox medicine and the psychological specialties. Although Reiki cannot hurt, its use in the untrained practitioner can.
Through repetition, Reiki gives a practioner an idea of what is going on energetically in the body of their client, or in my case, patient. I feel cancers, other illnesses as imbalances. There is no one descriptor for an imbalance. Each Reiki worker has to discover their own sensation for imbalances. For me, I sense an emptiness or lack in the general area of the body.
With training, even though you pick it up, it is not okay to tell the client exactly what you pick up. A gentle hint is enough. I was told 'there was something hot in your right breast and you need to get it checked out. I removed it though.'. This is medicine. Without followup or referral to appropriate care. This is BAD and FRIGHTENS the patient. My mammogram was normal in September. What am I going to do, get another? I asked. The Reiki worker said, 'Just go check yourself real good in the shower.'
As a licensed physician AND a certified Reiki Master-Teacher, I feel obliged to describe its use in medical practice. And outside. Sometimes if a loved one gets a cut, or perhaps if one comes upon the scene of an accident, Reiki can be activated informally by just a touch, a healing touch, perhaps on the wound, or the shoulder. It will go where it is needed to go.
The Reiki practitioner in the medical field will be using this approach, in the midst of delivering medical care, as something extra that can be done for the patient. Reiki in no way supercedes the business at hand in the hospital. It also carries a responsibility to be used in the interest of the patient. When one is not a licensed medical provider, it is key to stay within the scope of one's practice.
Whew! I feel better now!
Monday, January 10, 2011
Last week, I was faced with patients who were at the end of their life. Hepatoma, renal disease, multiple bowel surgeries. One was addicted to heroin.
Ever since I began my path as a physician, I was struck by how little time some of these people have left in the world. They would be 'graduating' soon, and their suffering up to that point will be immense. Doing 'everything possible' medically still left the feeling that there was 'something more' that needed to be done. I just didn't know how to do it.
Reiki is just what is in store for these patients. During their anesthetic, I give Reiki. One of the most powerful methods in Reiki is to prepare someone for 'making their transition'. Energetically, it prepares the soul to depart. There will be less stress and panic over the death experience. It humbles me to give that to a patient. I know it is the best way to help in a difficult situation. Whether the dying occurs weeks, months, or years later, I know it will be a better one than it would have been without Reiki.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Since I am a practitioner of traditional medicine, let me share the training I have been through. After a Bachelor in Science at Berkeley, I worked for five years in industry as a research scientist. I left this position to follow my dream of being a physician. I moved to San Diego, put myself through medical school, and started residency in General Surgery. One of the challenges I faced as I progressed in this path, is that I was working so hard I was not able to take care of myself as well as I had in medical school. Lack of sleep, recreation, and exercise began taking its toll. As a result, I switched from Surgery to Anesthesia, a move that matched my personality as well as my lifestyle. I am busy, but nowhere near the way I was in my General Surgery days.
I was an assistant clinical professor and enjoyed teaching my students very much. However, I noticed patterns in my patients. Some of them, especially the heart surgery patients, sometimes were surrounded by an aura of dread--so much that lines did not get in, i.v. access was a challenge, and sometimes even the surgery was difficult.
Something was going on in the mental aspect of my patients that was having an impact on delivery of their medical care. I wanted to understand more of it, and see if there were ways to counteract it.
After Reiki training, I have learned MY mental state profoundly affects care, often streamlining it, and gives a better result for my patients.