Reiki & Terminal Restlessness at End of Life

Reiki’s benefits for anxiety and agitation are often noticeable right away, within the first 5-10 minutes. I have been both a level III Reiki Master and nurse for the last decade, and from July 2012 to March 2018 I worked as a hospice nurse seeing people in their homes, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, hospice houses, and anywhere else a patient called home. I have attended more deaths than I ever imagined I would in this lifetime.

Terminal restlessness is a term used for the restlessness, confusion, or agitation almost all people experience at the end of life. It can be as subtle as patients reaching for something in the air that isn’t there or as severe as patients attempting to use their walker to break out of their own house while cursing their family.

Medications are available and usually effective but most patients are slow to respond because terminal restless isn’t so much a physical discomfort as it is a spiritual, emotional, and energetic discomfort. My nurse brain and license have always had me exhaust all the protocols, orders, and doctor phone calls in situations while the patient continued to exhibit anxiety, agitation, and discomfort. As a “last resort,” I have used Reiki and watched with surprise as the patient finally began to relax and fall asleep.

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