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29.07.2015

Rockinghorse funds Reiki programme for young patients

Rockinghorse Children’s charity has provided funding for specialist Reiki therapists who are offering treatment to young patients at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton.

Reiki, a form of ‘light touch’ therapy is being provided on an individual basis and is particularly beneficial to young patients on the High Dependency Unit (HDU) who can be treated at their bedsides. A highly valued treatment by parents and staff at the Alex, studies show that this type of complementary therapy can relieve symptoms of chronic and acute illness, manage stress levels and aid relaxation and sleep.

Rockinghorse has provided funding to therapists from Active LightWorks for an initial three years, who have already been treating patients at the Alex as volunteers since 2012. The funding will allow the Reiki therapists to double the amount of time they are able to offer treatments, from five hours per week to ten. Working closely with clinical teams, the therapists can also provide massage and Reiki treatment for parents with children and babies on HDU, which can help provide a sense of calm during what can be a very stressful time.

Eight month old Blake Mlotshwa is one young patient on HDU currently receiving Reiki therapy following a serious infection he developed when he was 18 days old which led to him having two thirds of his bowel removed. Unable to absorb the food and nutrients he needed to grow, Blake’s condition remains critical and the Reiki therapists are working with the doctors and nurses to help keep him as comfortable as possible.

Ali Walters, Massage and Reiki Therapist at Active LightWorks, adds: “It is wonderful to be able to give both the children and parents an opportunity to relax and unwind. So often parents tell me they are delighted that during treatment their child drops off to sleep or they see their child become more calm and comfortable. I am delighted that Rockinghorse is now funding our work so we can provide more therapists and treatments to support the critical care that is provided in HDU.”

Dr Kamal Patel, Paediatric Consultant at the Alex, adds: “The Reiki treatment has improved sleep, fear, anxiety, distress and pain for children on our Paediatric Critical Care Unit over and above what we can achieve through modern medicine. To have such a fantastic team of people offering Reiki really helps our patients get better quicker. “

Rockinghorse is the official fundraising arm of the Alex and raises money for life-saving and cutting-edge medical equipment and ensuring that children are treated in an environment better suited to their needs. For more information visit www.rockinghorse.org.uk.

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