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By Kathryn Misetich
NWRA Board President
Would you like to give Reiki to cancer patients while they are receiving their chemotherapy treatments? The Northwest Reiki Association (NWRA), a non-profit organization composed of approximately 150 members, has formed a partnership with Northwest Cancer Specialists where our volunteers are honored to give Reiki in this medical setting. With over 40 physicians and seven medical clinics in the Portland Metro area, NW Cancer Specialists is part of United in Healing with US Oncology, the foremost cancer treatment and research network in the nation.
In 2008, at the Komen Health Expo, a practice manager of Northwest Cancer Specialists received Reiki and immediately became a strong advocate for Reiki, our Association and our volunteer project. She presented our volunteer proposal to the oncologists at the St. Vincent clinic location and, while several board members gave a presentation and samples of Reiki, the physicians voted to initiate a pilot project in their clinic. After all, some of them had experienced the Reiki effect and free is always a great selling point.
During the past three years, we have developed a no-nonsense 3-hour training program which covers dress code, NWRA Code of Ethics and Volunteer Protocol, confidentiality, communication with patients, physicians and staff, physical touch, and scope of service, etc. To participate in this volunteer project, each Reiki practitioner must be an NWRA member ($25 annual fee), be at least Reiki Level II, purchase practitioner’s liability insurance, wear the official NWRA blue polo shirt, provide a copy of their latest Reiki certificate and commit to a minimum of 4 volunteer hours per month. Over 60 members have completed the required training, with 1,426 patients receiving Reiki and 1,085 hours of volunteer Reiki service.
With the continuing support of Northwest Cancer Specialists, NWRA has developed a training manual and is in the process of establishing a free Reiki training program for the cancer patients or their caregivers. Our first major fundraiser in 2010 provided funding to monetarily compensate NWRA members who are Reiki Masters and will be teaching Reiki Level I to the cancer patients.
Besides community service, another primary goal of the NWRA is educating the public about Reiki. Two annual events, the Komen Health Expo and the Portland Women’s Show, are perfect opportunities to educate attendees when our volunteers provide 15 minutes of Reiki for $5 at our NWRA booth. At the recent Komen event in September, our volunteers gave Reiki to 67 people who left relaxed and refreshed, many with decreased pain and stress.
As the NWRA approaches its fifth year, we can look back to the beginning when five Reiki practitioners conceived an idea to establish a professional association which would offer support, credibility, numerous outreach opportunities and standardized trainings and manuals to Reiki practitioners in the Portland, Oregon area. Our trust in the Reiki energy and the hard work of our members and Board of Directors is guiding this organization to achieve our goals and expand our mission beyond our limited imagination.
To learn more about the NWRA, go to http://nwreikiassociation.org.