Energy Healing

As I alluded to yesterday, my mom and I hit the road on Wednesday for a mini adventure!


One thing that cancer introduces you to, is the big world of alternative medicine. I have so far ignored this because Hodgkins Lymphoma can actually be cured through traditional medicine. I don’t want to stray from the tried and true methods with something as serious as cancer. With that said, I have been slightly interested in complementing my chemo with safe methods to gently help it along. I’ll try anything to make sure I’m in that 80% of people that are cured!


My mom, the former microbiologist, is a big proponent of reiki. It’s something that my great-grandmother did (and did successfully) before it came known to people as Japanese energy healing. Put simply, someone performs reiki on another person by using the energy around them to heal or calm the recipient’s body. This can be done through gentle touch, or moving their hands over the body.

When my mom made an appointment for me to get reiki in Sussex, I figured what the hell. I can’t do massage or acupuncture in my current state, so a gentle therapy sounded like the next best thing.

I arrived not really knowing what to expect. The Reiki Master first asked me a bunch of questions, then laid me down on a massage table. He began by going through the reflexology points on my feet. He pushed on various areas and I told him when one hurt more than the other. This part was the most interesting, because the areas I picked out as being tender were those areas I have the most troubles with – inner ear, sciatic nerve, lymph glands, ovaries, and pancreas. He taught me how to work these areas on my feet to help ease these spots.

After that, he began the whole-body therapy. He began by gently touching my feet and went up through the whole body. I closed my eyes and tried to relax, but it was hard not to get distracted. The Reiki Master spent a lot of time moving his hands quickly over my heart (where the most active part of the cancer is) and I could feel the air whistling down my body as he pushed the energy towards my feet.

When we were all done, he taught me how to meditate, which I am SO thankful for. I’ve been trying and failing to meditate for over a year now. I will definitely give his method a try.

Overall, I don’t really have many deep thoughts on the experience. I think I was too preoccupied when I walked in the door to get a deeper experience out of it. I’ve been having pain in my skeleton all week as a drug side-effect and was very wrapped up in that. The reiki did help temporarily ease the pain because it helped me relax and take my mind off it. If anything, I just hope the reiki helped reduce the inflammation in my body, and maybe help the chemo kill those cancer cells.


The other part of the mini adventure included the out-of town trip!


Sussex, New Brunswick is a small town surrounded by dairy farms and home to about a gajillion murals.


Mom knew just the place for lunch – Broadway Cafe.


A cute little place that doubles as a cafe-restaurant during the day, and a place for drinks at night.


They had an extensive sandwich menu. I went with one of my favourites – smoked pastrami with mustard and pickles. I ordered this right after the Reiki Master told me not to mix my meat and starches. I’m working on it!!


A+ on the meat, A+ on the bread, but together the bread got soggy. My mom and I discussed how this is a combination Montreal has managed to perfect.


Side salad was delicious. Called a “Red Head Salad” it had red cabbage, apples, carrots, cucumbers, raisins, walnuts, and a creamy herbed dressing.

With our bellies full, Mom and I wandered the streets of Sussex, enjoying being tourists for a day.


We poked our heads in all the knick-knack shops. I love antiques! Actually, I don’t think these are even technically antiques. “Old junk” may be more appropriate.


I can’t wait until the day I have a house to fill with my own cool junk :)


Everyone has been asking me if reiki is something I will do again, and I think my answer would be “yes.” But not right away. I think I will let the chemo do its thing first and perhaps explore more alternative medicine when the poisons are out of my body and I can focus more on making sure the cancer never comes back. One treatment at a time I think.

Posted on August 25, 2011, in Cancer, Health and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. Another combination Montreal has managed to perfect: fries, sauce, cheese curds.

  2. Very cool. I used to spend my summers camping in Sussex and I love it there. Although, you didn’t have to go all the way to Sussex for Reiki, hehe. I’ve gone in Moncton before, to a friend of my mom’s. My mom also is an alternative health practitioner in Salisbury. She does some Reiki, I think, as well as acupuncture, reflexology, aromatherapy, raindrop massage (essential oils), and lord knows what else now. She wrote about Reiki, and some other complementary/alternative treatments, here:

    If you’re ever interested in something closer to home, and the sweetest, most understanding practitioner ever, give her a call, haha.

  3. darling, i’ve been reading your posts as i get them…i am impressed with your wonderful energy throughout this experience….

    you mentioned the reiki master mentioning not to mix protein and starch–i just read this in a book called the PH Miracle about living an alkaline diet….so for me to read this in your blog and just having read this last night–well, i call that kismet…usually things happen in 3’s when i start to pay attention, but the immediate twice in a row–i have to make mention ; )

  4. Susan, I’m so glad you had a Reiki session. My only thought on “one treatment at a time,” is Reiki is meant to be complementary, as opposed to alternative; that’s why hospitals like Mass General, Brigham & Women’s, Lahey Clinic, and dozens of other world-class hospitals in the United States offer it to their patients in tandem with chemotherapy, radiation, etc., and why physicians like Dr. Oz are such advocates for it.

    Should you choose to consider complementing the chemo with Reiki, my offer for complimentary :-) sessions (more is better; you’re a candidate for at least twice per week) stands. Rather than in-person, they would be distant; not face-to -face, as there is no need for that with Reiki.

    If you want references, I can provide them. If you want more information about me, go to No strings; no pressure!! This is purely an open-ended, human to human offer. :-)

    • Oops, what I meant was that I’d use it as a complimentary therapy *after* chemo along with other things. I plan to use the meditative methods he taught me every day to help with the chemo, but I’m honestly just in too much physical pain to be able to focus on anything besides the screaming in my skeleton right now. And while it did help ease the pain for an hour, I was still in pain afterward. I don’t want to spend the money on it if I’m not yet 100% mentally committed to it.

      • P.S. Just realized that response may seem a little abrupt, I’m just not good at putting words together this morning. Clearly, I still haven’t made up my mind about this reiki stuff, and don’t have the heart to figure it out at this particular time, but thank you for your help :)

  5. ps the PH Miracle also says to stop drinking coffee—-ummmm, well…hmmm…that’s a tough one for me…one step and day at a time for me!

    • Definitely! I keep saying that I’m aware of the lifestyle changes I need to make, but even a cancer diagnosis can’t force you to make them overnight!!

  6. Not abrupt at all! I’m a firm believer in timing, whether it be Divine or otherwise. It needs to be the right time for you; it needs to be “right” for you, period. :-) As I said, no pressure! :-)

  7. I can fex ex you a poutine and smoked meat if you want ;) Schwart’s is right around the corner!!

  8. oh my gosh.. typos.. i meant FED EX and SCHWARTZ’s :S

  9. I love the lobster/bug shoe-getter-offer thingy in that pic! I always see them in old people’s houses on the east coast!

  10. I love the murals and the old junk store! I love old stuff! :) That looks like a really neat town!

  11. What great little trip! That is a super cute town. And your sammy looks amazing :P

  12. girl I am doing alternative medicine right now for my gallbladder. Really, i believe in it! Accupuncture, muscle testing, pH, etc. It is worth it. Keep us posted on how you feel!

  13. What a cool town! I love all those murals- I can’t imagine being upset there! :) I had reiki done once and it was definitely interesting. I’m with you- I’d do it again, but I don’t know if I feel an immediate need to do it again immediately.

  14. Hi Susan,
    You look wonderful and are doing such a good job of staying positive! I can’t believe you have been writing a post everyday too! When I was going through heavy chemo here in San Diego I was blessed to have Reiki, Healing Touch, Massage, acupuncture, yoga, and several other types of alternative therapy available free of charge at the Cancer Center. Practioners from around the county actually volunteered their services on a regular schedule. Maybe you can get that going someday in Canada along with better drug coverage. Each patient chose what therapies, if any, they wanted to experience. Sometimes I would actually roll my “chemo pole” with me into the therapy rooms for treatments. Other times I would have therapy on days I was not having chemo. I did Reiki a couple times, it was relaxing but did not take away bone pain or nausea. I had 8 rounds of chemo and by the fourth round I was nauseaous all the time. The nurses kept pestering me to try accupuncture and I kept saying no because I felt so terrible and might throw up on the therapist. They actually forced me into it one day. I reluctantly laid on the table on my back with a bowl on my chest to throw up in. Within minutes, the therapist inserted a few needles in my feet and stomach area and the nausea went COMPLETELY AWAY! I couldn’t believe it! My nausea did come back several hours later but not as intense. My oncologist and the acupuncturist came up with a plan of treatment, acupuncture on the two days before a chemo treatment, chemo treatment day, and the two days afterward. It really helped to ease the nausea symptoms for rounds 5 and 6. Rounds 7 & 8 were really tough but I believe I would have even been worse without the acupuncture. Just a thought, acupuncture also helped a lot of the patients with bone pain from the Nuepogen shots. It may help you too if you get a chance to try it.
    Sorry for such a long comment, I’m just so inspired by you and really enjoy your writting style. Wishing you wellness

    • Ann, you’re making me think twice about acupuncture!! I did it before when I shattered my elbow, and it did absolutely nothing for the pain and swelling. If anything, it just caused more pain (I experienced shooting pains from where the needles were). But I guess that is a different scenario from what I’m going through now. The bone pain is so bad I can’t relax on a reiki table, but it’s also so bad I’ll try anything to ease it!

  15. Hi Susan, glad you tried reiki, and so happy you had a wonderful time with your Mom. The little town looks soooooo cute! Bummer about the soggy sandwich…Perhaps Shwartz’s in Montreal will send you a special delivery and yowza, that meat/starch combination is WELL worthwhile!!! All the best every day!!!

  16. Hi Susan, I haven’t read through all the comments so I don’t know if this was mentioned; drinking hot lemon water as soon as you get up in the morning helps to balance the ph in your body and a body whose ph is balanced between acid and alkaline cannot support cancer cells. Just a tip.
    I love that you experienced Reiki. I’m a Reiki Teacher in Southern Ontario and I find that my cancer patients always find regular treatments to help alleviate side affects of their medical treatments, which helps them to use their time on this planet more productively and healthfully.
    I wish you many blessings on your journey and keep you in my prayers for a speedy, full recovery <3

  17. Susan,
    Reading this reminded me of an interview I did last week. A Calgary oncology psychologist has spent the last 15 years studying meditation’s effects on cancer. She wrote a book on it that you might be interested in.

    My piece is also still online:

    I really want to get into meditation myself.

    • I have to read that book! Meditation is something I’ve been trying to do for a long time now, and I really believe in its benefits. So far though I only find it beneficial after yoga (which was specifically designed to prepare your body for meditation). I have a hard time just waking up in the morning and sitting still for an extended period.

  18. Neat post! I’ve been seeing a Tibetan physician myself (and writing about it on the blog), and it’s been a real eye opening experience. They do Reiki at that healing center, but I wasn’t ever interested in trying it. I just may!

  19. This is really interesting. There is so much out there that seems so “deep” to me and I have a hard time wrapping my brain around that sort of stuff. So when I get confused, I just decide to comment on the fact that the wall paintings are beautiful ;)

    I would have a hard time not getting distracted, too. Remember when you tried to be a meditator? Yeah. That’s me.

  20. I have tried a good deal of alternative/complimentary medicine, to help treat my own condition of Multiple Sclerosis. So while different conditions/diseases , I thought I might share with you some observations I have had.

    Just like anything, you have to be comfortable with whomever is administrating the alternative/complimentary therapies. I have encountered some super lovely individuals & have also had those whose energy was completely off putting. I think energy is important & do whatever feels right to you.

    One of the most useful alternative/complimentary therapies I have found, is bio-feedback. It’s been a great tool assist with pain management, which is always nice. I also appreciate how it makes me feel somewhat “empowered” over my mind & body, given that there are times I lose track of that feeling. The fact that bio-feedback teaches one to decrease the body’s response to stress is a great tool of life.

    Reflexology is another area that I am a fan of. I know you mentioned you were not comfortable with massage right now (understandable all the way), just thought I would throw reflexology out there, since you brushed upon it a bit, via your experience with reiki.

    Sending all the best to you !!!

  21. I’m just now coming back to this after a visit with my doctor… she has recommended yoga and meditation… which I have tried before but have never gotten anything out of. Do you have any tips on how to meditate “properly”?

    • Personally, I meditate best at the end of a yoga class when my body and mind are all warmed up. Try signing up for a class with a focus on meditation. Or try downloading some meditation recording or buying a CD. I personally don’t do well sitting on my own in silence, I need someone to guide me through it. Also, morning or night works best, sitting or laying down. A lot of people get frustrated that they can’t quiet your thoughts, but sometimes I find it’s nice to even just sit still and allow myself to think for a few minutes :) Good luck!

  22. Thank you, Susan! I tend to over think and over analyze things… so being quiet and allowing myself to think is often my downfall. ;) I can’t believe I didn’t think about finding a podcast or something similar to try!!

    Best wishes!

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