Why people think natural healing is more powerful than medicine
Around 150 cancer patients and survivors in the UAE have turned to Reiki as a natural way of healing
Patients suffering from various illnesses and diseases are now - more than ever - turning to natural healing, instead of relying solely on medication and painkillers, state UAE health experts.
Kasey Conrad, managing director of Change Works Abu Dhabi, told Khaleej Times that Reaching Out With Reiki (ROWR), has helped over 400 patients and cancer survivors since 2014.
"The holistic care we use at ROWR addresses a person as a whole, from the mind, body and emotion. Reiki addresses people's issues and addresses them as a whole, it does not just address the disease," added Conrad.
She pointed out that 150 cancer patients and survivors in the UAE have turned to ROWR as a natural way of healing. "We use a hands-on method that produces relaxation and stress reduction in the body and I have countless testimonials from women who have benefited from Reiki."
Conrad, who is a cancer survivor herself, noted that it is vital to raise awareness about the various approaches to healing that are available in the UAE, as patients are now turning to natural remedies to get back on their feet.
A hospital in the UAE Capital is even opening a palliative care unit shortly, which will use holistic approaches and methods to care for patients, particularly when it comes to their psychology and emotional wellbeing.
"I am really excited about this, and happy to see that awareness is rising in the UAE, because one of our goals is to move to mainstream so more patients can have access to this type of care."
Conrad highlighted that another programme Change Works has created is the peer support groups for cancer survivors, which takes place once a month.
"This is all part of the holistic care to address the emotional, social and mental approach, to help the patients. Medical care may help treat the body, but Reiki is much more than just a body."
She added that Reiki has been scientifically proven to reduce stress in the body, which ultimately brings the body in a better place of balance and thus allowing patients to simply heal.
"It allows people to rest and come to a state of balance. When the body is in a state of balance (homeostases), it repairs itself."
However, Conrad noted that it is important for people to understand that holistic care is complimentary, and not alternative, although she does notice patients reduce their medication once turning to natural care.
"I have seen that happen with people in cases, but this is something that must be discussed with their doctor."
She added that whether it is mild or severe illnesses, mental or physical, it is vital for patients to know that they can turn to help, the natural way.
Varsha Parmar, a cancer survivor, pointed out that she is hoping more UAE patients will turn to holistic care as a natural way of healing.
"People are not ready to come out of the shell, I have tried to have people join with me. Growing up as a little girl in India, we always turned to home remedies to cure our illnesses and turned away from chemicals. Nature can heal everything and it just works better."
"I noticed that natural medicine is now popular on social media, but this has been used in India throughout history."
Parmar still relies on home remedies that have been passed on from generation to generation, as a way to simply heal and feel better from a cold, flu or when she feels the side affects of chemo. "I use turmeric, ginger, basil leaves and honey."
Dr Mohanad Diab, consultant medical oncologist, head of department NMC, said he has sent over 50 patients to Reiki.
"My experience goes back to my time when I lived in Sweden. It was part of the pain control and stress relief given to patients who felt stress or pain, during or after the chemotherapy."
"Sometimes chemo causes muscle pain, and these holistic care methods therefore help relief pain and stress."
Dr Diab pointed out that the feedback he has received from his patients have been overwhelmingly positive.
"All the feedback from patients have been incredible and this is why we are subscribing Reiki to patients."
Most importantly, patients stopped turning to medication and focused on natural healing.
"I noticed that painkillers due to chemotherapy have decreased up to 80 per cent after Reiki, so it is really working."
Cancer patients relying on natural healing
In the UAE, cancer patients are in particular relying on natural healing, due to the side effects from heavy chemo and radio therapy that their bodies endured.
Kasey Conrad, managing director of Change Works Abu Dhabi, told Khaleej Times: "When you are going through cancer, chemotherapy or radiation, there are a lot of things that go on in your mind, your life changes in that moment and how you get through it depends on what goes on inside of you emotionally and mentally."
A cancer survivor speaks
Varsha Parmar is a cancer survivor who believes her quality of life has been drastically improved when she turned to holistic methods.
In 2015, Parmar's life suddenly changed in a blink of an eye, when she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer.
The 45 year old house wife, who is originally from India, said that going through chemotherapy caused gushing pain and side effects on her body.
"My doctor sent me to the support group to help with my side effects, and this helped me greatly."
"I was able to overcome psychological trauma that I was going through. Reiki helped me come out of the pain."
"Cancer is not only a pain in the body, the chemo keeps on bringing the pain and trauma back, and causes different illnesses and side effects, including head aches and nausea, so to avoid these, I go for natural medicine."
Today, Parmar is cancer free, yet she still relies on the holistic care to continue her daily life.
"I have overcome the side effects of medicine, which forced early menopause and killed my hormones. The therapy truly helped me psychologically, emotionally and mentally."
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