The OC Register's article on Kerri and Reiki
By EVA KILGORE / FOR THE REGISTER
Kerri Draper, 40, is a cancer survivor. After treatment, she still had a lot of pain, but then discovered Reiki, a Japanese healing technique promoting relaxation, stress reduction and pain relief. It was the perfect fit. We caught up with the Reiki practitioner, teacher, and founder of Free Reiki 4 Cancer nonprofit to find out more.
Q: So, Reiki has changed your life, right?
A: After my cancer treatment, I wanted to try some holistic therapies to help with issues related to treatment. I found Reiki and gave it a try. It helped with my pain, fatigue and emotional problems right away. I was so impressed I decided to learn all about it. I knew helping others was my calling after the first class. I started in 2007 and do most of the sessions out of my house and teach monthly classes when I can at wellness centers and yoga studios. Right now, my health is excellent.
Q: What happens in a Reiki session?
A: The client lies on a massage table fully clothed. There is music and aromatherapy in the room. The practitioner places their hands in different positions to balance and clear the person's energy field. This is the same energy field that is used in acupuncture. I've had cancer clients coming in feeling completely overwhelmed, crying and feeling like they can't continue, leave after a session feeling very good. A lot of the patients have bone and joint pain. I've seen Reiki completely get rid of the pain. It's amazing.
Q: What is Free Reiki 4 Cancer all about?
A: It's a nonprofit program that offers free Reiki sessions and classes to cancer patients, their families and caregivers. I also own Huntington Beach Reiki. I offer Reiki sessions and classes for donations. I believe everyone should be able to get and learn Reiki. I've also gone out into the community and started Reiki programs at local hospital cancer centers, for hospice care, a senior complex and animal rescue places. If I see a need for it, I try and get a program started.
Q: Animals and Reiki?
A: I go out to Hanaeleh Horse Rescue in Trabuco Canyon and give Reiki to all of the horses. I've been doing this for more than two years. Horse energy calms as soon as we walk onto the property. It's a great experience for the horses and practitioners. We've also gone to Rosarito, Mexico, to help the animals at Baja Animal Sanctuary.
Q: Any plans for expansion?
A: My goal is to open a center where those touched by cancer can come in and get free Reiki, massage or take yoga and meditation classes, with support groups outside of the hospital or doctor's office settings. I just need the funds and/or a space to do it. It will happen. I've seen it do amazing things and I'd love to make Reiki a household word.
Info: freereiki4cancer.com or 714-496-5760.
Reiki Master Teacher Kerri Draper has mobilized a group of Reiki practitioners to help cancer patients at Hoag Memorial Presbyterian Hospital in Newport Beach.
It's taken more than a year of hard work to get the Reiki treatment
program running at Hoag Hospital's Cancer Center in Newport Beach,
California. Thanks to Kerri's hard work and commitment, a group of
around 10 dedicated Reiki practitioners now regularly visits the
hospital twice a month to give Reiki treatments to cancer patients, and
both the doctors and patients are feeling the benefits says Kerri.
M: What made you decide to start a Reiki program at a hospital?KD: Reiki helped me so much I wanted to help others
KD: I started by going to hospitals in the area volunteering Reiki. I let them know I had a large group of practitioners willing to help and would love to get a Reiki program going. I spent a lot of time talking to volunteer services, directors and board members. I ended up with 3 hospitals interested. Hoag has been the first to get going. I have a program at Fountain Valley Hospital almost ready to start. Orange Coast Memorial is very interested and will start at a later date.
M: What challenges did you face in setting up the Reiki volunteer group at Hoag Memorial Presbyterian?
KD: We had to start with a pilot program last year. It's taken a year to get everything in place; getting approval from the directors and legal department, writing protocols and procedures, etc.
M: Have the doctors and nurses been supportive? Had they heard of Reiki before you started at Hoag?
KD: Very supportive. Hospital care providers are also welcome to come in for Reiki treatments, which they do. They love it and want to learn. Some have heard of Reiki before, and Hoag has a social worker that practices Reiki too, Nandini Narayanan [an oncology social worker], and she has been very helpful in getting the Reiki program at Hoag started so quick.
M: Describe the set up — you visit Hoag Cancer Center twice a month with your group of Reiki practitioners and... what happens next?
KD: We set up a in a conference room and put up 3 to 5 massage tables for the Reiki treatments. We give 20 minute Reiki sessions. The patients can sign up at the front desk for a time between 10 and noon. If they want, they can stay the entire time and relax or meditate in chairs at the back of the room. We run the Reiki program at Hoag on the first and third Friday of the month.
M: How many cancer patients do you see each time you go?
KD: 20 or more.
M: Any stories you'd like to share of people you've helped at Hoag Cancer Center?
KD: I have a patient now that was very upset and felt out of control over her life. Reiki has helped her to become more in control and has also helped her pain tremendously. Her attitude has completely changed to positive. Many other cancer patients say Reiki helps with pain and helps them completely relax and feel positive.
M: Now that you have the Reiki program running at Hoag, what's next?
KD: I plan on going into the operating room and give Reiki during surgery. I would also like to expand to other areas of the hospital. I'm also trying to get Reiki into other hospitals and cancer centers. I've been trying to get into the hospital setting for about 2 years, so it's been a long and hard road. Totally worth it!