Reiki Room ~ Healing Arts Studio


Ellis Medicine

In 2013 we are developing a program for Inservice Training for staff at the Ellis campuses.

The 2012 complementary therapy training program for Ellis Medicine
was designed to inform Nursing Staff regarding holistic therapies they can use for self care to relieve the effects of Compassion Fatigue. This curriculum was a series of eight – one hour classes that were focused on one aspect of self care, using lecture and experience each week. Each class began with a Guided Meditation to de-stress and re-focus the participants. The instructional component  provided an overview of the highlighted modality and the opportunity to experience and learn to do it. At the end of each class each participant received Reiki energy therapy to complete their weekly relaxation journey.

The modalities included in the study were Reiki, Healing Touch, Meditation, Chakras, Yoga, Reflexology, Massage, and Essential Oils. The Nursing Staff who completed the study enjoyed the curriculum and expressed an interest in followup studies. 

During the summer of 2011 Sue Vazal collaborated with Ellis Medicine in Schenectady NY on an Integrative Therapy Research Study to determine the effects of Reiki and other types of Energy Therapy in the Oncology Unit. The published results are below.

The Business Case for Complementary Therapy: A Feasibility Study


In 2010, Ellis Medicine set forth on a journey to reinvent our approach to patient care. As a result, nursing professionals adopted the Patient-Centered Care Delivery Model and selected Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring to create the framework for our professional practice model. Dr. Watson’s theory integrates the humanistic aspect of nursing with scientific knowledge to create a holistic approach to caring. Dr. Watson acknowledges that the healthcare professional must treat the mind, body and soul in order to achieve overall wellness. At Ellis Medicine, the practitioner is trained to acknowledge that individual values, attitudes, beliefs and perceptions of health and wellness are major contributors to both the disease and recovery process. Additionally, patient’s perception of quality of care depends upon his/her overall experiences and interactions with healthcare professionals and the hospital environment. In 2011, a group of nursing professionals expressed a desire to integrate complementary therapy services into the acute care environment. Complementary Therapy consists of holistic forms of noninvasive treatments such as Therapeutic Touch, Reiki and Healing Touch which is provided by certified practitioners, in conjunction with traditional medicine to enhance healing, wellness and the customer experience. Providing these services would create an additional cost for the organization which would need to be offset by benefits of the implementation.

The purpose of the study is to determine the feasibility of integrating a complementary therapy program at Ellis Medicine and to determine overall benefits to the organization and the patient population as a result of the integration. 

STUDY QUESTIONS: The study will aim to answer the following questions:


1. Will the integration of the complementary therapy program provide benefit to our patients ultimately to Ellis Medicine in the area of quality improvement and finance?

2. Will the complementary therapy program improve patients overall satisfaction, comfort level and pain level?

3. To what extent will patient who receive complementary therapy desire future complementary therapy sessions during hospitalization?

4. To what extent will patient who receive complementary therapy while hospitalized desire additional outpatient complementary therapy sessions post hospitalization?

5. What do patients receiving complementary therapy report after treatment sessions?

6. Do patients who receive multiple complementary therapy sessions report greater satisfaction than patient who only receives one complementary therapy session during hospitalization?

7. To what extent will patients who receive complementary therapy while hospitalized recommend complementary therapy to other patients?

POPULATION FOR STUDY: For the purposes of this study, the inpatient oncology unit was selected as a pilot unit.

STUDY DESIGN: This was a descriptive study collecting both quantitative and qualitative data.

METHODS: IRB approval was obtained and staff members and physicians were educated related to how to access the practitioners, what patients would receive the most benefit of the therapy and what therapies were being offered. Patients were informed of the study and verbal consent was documented. The team met weekly to review concerns and share experiences.

GUIDELINES FOR DATA COLLECTION: Data was collected at two points in time, before and after the therapy sessions, by the practitioners.

Initial Intake Questions asked of the patients:

1. How do you feel?

2. What are you hoping to achieve with accessing this type of treatment?

Post Therapy Questions:

1. How do you feel?

2. Did we meet your treatment goals?

3. Would you like to continue to receive complementary therapy services while you are hospitalized?

Practitioners were asked to document the treatment plan in the electronic medical record and record message for follow up on the complementary therapy internal voice messaging system. A log book was also maintained on the nursing station in a locked location for communication between practitioners.

Additional data collected included: the length of the therapy session, objective and subjective experiences within the clinical note, and blood pressure, pain score, pulse, and medication usage pre and post therapy sessions. Unit measurements were also reviewed on a monthly basis including Press Ganey and HCAPHS scores related to pain, likelihood to recommend and staff included you in decision making.

Finally, discharge phone calls were made to collect the following data:

1. Did patient seek complimentary services post discharge?

2. Did we do a very good job of managing your pain?

3. Would you recommend complimentary therapy to other hospitalized patients?


35 patients were enrolled in the study. A total of 66 treatments were recorded.

Out of the treatments given in which patients stated experiencing pain pre therapy, 77.8% reported decrease in pain level post therapy; 5.6% were unable to determine as patient fell asleep post therapy; 2.8% reported increase in pain and 13.8% reported no effect.

94.4% of patients indicated requesting future sessions during hospitalization.

Patients who received multiple therapy sessions did not report any greater satisfaction as compared to patients receiving single sessions.

8 patients were contacted post discharge. 100% recommended therapy for hospitalized patients. 2 patients reported having sought out services for complementary therapy post discharge. The low ‘n’ is related to several patients having passed away post discharge, while several others were discharged to facilities and were unable to be reached to complete post discharge evaluation questions.

Most common experiences during therapy included reports of feeling less anxious, more relaxed, wonderful and/or peaceful. This was noted 70.8% of the time.


With Value Based Purchasing actively impacting compensation to hospitals, how the patient perceives and experiences care is becoming a primary focus for all hospitals. Based on the data collected, recommendations can be made for the t’s pain and positive perceptions of care. 


Would recommend collecting survey evaluation data before patients are discharged due to the low number of responses collected using discharge phone call process. There was some confusion related to the log book. Would recommend using log book for practitioner communication clearly indicating what treatments have been completed and which treatments are left to be completed.

Principal Investigator(s): LouAnn Balá RN, MSN; Theresa Jewett RN, BSN A6

Co Investigators: Karen Johnson RN, ESON Instructor; Marilyn Stapleton Ph.D., RN, Director, Ellis School of Nursing; Susan Vazal, Master Teacher, Reiki Room; Karen Reach RN, ESON Instructor; Gina Prout RN, Bellevue Woman’s Care Case Manager; Juanita Aikens-Enlgish RN; June Barr RN; Amber Ferretti RN.

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