Thursday, July 12, 2012

Reiki C-section: A Case Report

The benefit of Reiki  in childbirth is most noticeable with the anxious patient scheduled for a repeat cesarean section. This is a case report of how Reiki and the discipline of a Reiki Master/Karuna Reiki(tm) Master made a difference in one couple's experience in childbirth.

The Reiki process starts out with preparation: all the equipment and medicine required to anesthetize for surgical childbirth are in place. Organization and consistency increase the calm for everyone involved in the procedure. Anesthesia sets the tone for the O.R., no matter what.

Next is the patient interview and quick examination. I am taking in a lot of verbal, non-verbal and body language cues when we first meet. I set you at ease talking about your last experience, and what can be done to make this experience better for you? For example, if the last time you were so numb you could not breathe and just sort of went to sleep, I would instantly know that you were too anxious for surgery, were moving and panicking enough to endanger yourself and the surgeon, and that the anesthesiologist snowed you with sedation. That your arms were strapped to the arm boards when we normally do not do this at this hospital, confirms my hunch.

 I counter this with kindness, friendliness, and asking if you would enjoy a little music during surgery? You are caught off guard, pleasantly surprised, and make a specific request for a religious music station on Pandora. I agree.

Next I warn the room what to expect. Anything outside the range of typical, I let my colleagues on your case know about it so we match. Anesthesia, nursing, scrub tech. I want seamless delivery of care. Any concerns of yours, I make sure everybody will know.

 Upon your arrival to the Operating Room, I switch to Pediatric Mode because I know you are anxious. Everything I am about to use, I show you first. I explain. And I imply (you are an adult so I don't actually say it for each thing, just the major ones) that it will not hurt. I make a point to show you the Carpuject cartridges of midazolam, and point out that if the anxiety gets intolerable for you, you can ask for me to give it. I let you know you are in control. Psychologically, it is like knowing that the chicken exit door is there when you are in line for Space Mountain at Disneyland. I am honest, and let you know I would like to wait until after the baby is born, so that baby will not be born under sedation, and that you will remember the experience of childbirth, for it is special. You agree.

The block is placed with instruction and explanation. See this, I use it to scrub your back. It is cold, wet, and a little scratchy. Here are the papers I stick on you. Here is a bee sting. It is numbing you skin so you won't feel the rest of the spinal going in. The medicine is going in now. Your legs are going to go numb right away. Think of it as my borrowing your legs for a while until your baby is born. I do this in less than five minutes. My skill is exceptional at this point, technically. Speed, accuracy, and keeping you calm with my manner. You have no clue, but I know the others in the room are impressed.

We lay you down and put the rest of the monitors on. I give you antibiotics. Your anxiety kicks in, and you grab both of my hands in terror. There is a trick to anesthesia in obstetric surgery: you won't feel hot, cold or pain, but you WILL feel someone is working on you. Like at the dentist. This is a challenge for you to grasp. I see this in the anxious and the less educated. I am okay with this. I let you hold my hands. The charting can wait.

As long as you are monitored and doing okay with your blood pressure and heart rate and oxygen saturation, the Reiki training helps me to focus on YOU. You are terrified and therefore in need of my services. Now. It can't wait. I start Reiki.

No wonder why you are terrified! You have no connection to ground whatsoever! You take your spirituality to heart, and are more focused on the higher chakras and Heaven than here. I ground you. I give SHK to calm your emotions. And I give transition symbol for the impending birth. I do many many symbols with my eyes and I see them work in the same manner as if I had pushed a drug. Same onset. Same efficacy. Your partner arrives, and is a professional spiritual person. A pastor. You look up to this person, and ground yourself to them, but not to Gaia. I get it.

And I work. I let all my work pile up, and I console you with your partner as every little tug and pull gets you on edge as the surgeons work. The baby is born and I see your anxiety go up instead of down. Is the baby okay? The bonding you do with your partner at this point is intense. I say I am blessed to be here at this special moment in your lives, and I mean it sincerely. I reassure you both.

Soon your partner cuts the cord and you are anxious again. I have to give medicines for uterine contraction and catch up. I let you know and you apologize for 'being so worried', and also refuse sedation that I offer.

You meet your newborn, with wonder and delight of a child. I take pictures of the new family. The baby and partner go, and you clutch my hands again. I am caught up with orders and charting. It is no skin off my back, and I roll with it.

The conversation turns to Friday the Thirteenth. It is my lucky day! You share that you would never schedule an elective c-section on that day. There is talk of Winchester Mystery House. The surgeon does not know what it is. I joke and share it was job security for the laborers and craftsmen, and still income source now. I mention our family has a picture of a ghost there. It's true, it was a bedroom, and when the film was developed, there was a body size light lying on the red bedspread. You say that you don't believe in ghosts. I backpedal artfully, and say we used to spook each other while watching slides.

I know it was real. I was there when that picture was taken. I felt her presence. But this is not the time or place for such. You thank me profusely for letting me squeeze your hands. You are okay now.

Your family member says she felt a calm when I walked in the room and introduced myself earlier. She knew at once everything was going to be okay.

You are a twin. And I asked about the twin experience? When your sibling gave birth, you felt the pain. You couldn't explain it. And you show up at family events wearing similar outfits without even planning it. You are best friends and yes had a language of your own. People treat us like one person, you share. That is real. That is what Reiki is all about. Being real, putting up with people's programming, and making space for the real person inside of your heart to speak.

You do have psychic experiences. More so than most of my patients. I used Reiki to set the tone and do adjustments on you, the way the guy would on City Dog (that mojo just flows down the leash from him to the dog, an owner said), or a horse whisperer would to horses.

Reiki lets me get into your aura and give you a better experience than the one you had the last time, the one that had you afraid of re-experiencing this entire pregnancy.

I gave you joy. I gave you hope. I gave you comfort and exceptional care. I went against the grain of every anesthesia training I had in my body (drug her! ) I worked with the best in you that was hidden and it showed.

The one who experienced it the most was your partner. I got a hug of deep appreciation, for only they knew how anxious you truly were. More so than you imagine! And I contained it without the use of sedative drugs.

I gave you a chance to remember the birth of your child. But in the grand scheme of things, I was only a tool in the hands of our Creator. I think your religion would let you agree to that. (Although if you knew the rest of me you might shun me and say I was not holy enough for you to tolerate me, because I talk to dead people and that is from Satan according to your religious beliefs.)  I am okay with it. And this is what the practice of energetic medicine, in particular, the application of Reiki during cesarean section, is an advantage on all counts.

Only anesthesia can use it with the patient unawares. Everyone else has too much to do. Any Reiki volunteer with their hands would make it obvious, and be unacceptable to you.

I visited you in the morning. You thought is was very nice of me to stop and check. You gave a great big smile, right from your heart.

Love knows no boundaries. And the work of a healer is to neutralize fear in all of its manifestations.


Reiki Doc