The article, Hope at Their Fingertips was written by Brett Johnson, staff writer at Ventura County Star. The article was about cancer patients take in healing powers of Reiki and was published on the front page of the Life section in Ventura County Star on April 12, 2002.


Excerpts from April 12, 2002: Alan Putter of Ventura was diagnosed with lung cancer last year. The cancer has spread to his chest and esophagus; radiation and chemotherapy sicken him and wipe him out physically and emotionally. His prognosis is unknown; the success rate for his type of cancer, he said, is only about 25 percent. Putter both fears and anticipates test results after he finishes chemotherapy.


But twice a week, he escapes all that, if only for an hour, at The Cancer Center of Ventura County, he receives a Japanese energy therapy called Reiki. Putter lies on a table covered with mats, and a practitioner strategically and gently places hands on his torso and head. The so-called "laying on of hands" is supposed to stimulate energy flows that nourish cells and organs, and help the body heal itself.


Like many Reiki patients, Putter often falls asleep during the therapy sessions. Call it touchy-feely or what you will, he just knows it brings him comfort.


To me, it's been an oasis, he said. I've gone out of here sometimes almost skipping. It's been a wonderful enhancement to the healing. For my body to experience an hour of relaxation and peace, it communicates to me that I can have some other experience. I'm able to let go of the pain and allow myself to focus on the peacefulness my body is feeling.


More and more people are getting that feeling. The Cancer Center, which is on the grounds of St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, started a Reiki program four years ago and now averages 110 patients per month for cancer patients and their caregivers, Gloria Forgea, Executive Director said.


Patients outnumber available slots, said Janice Gibson, one of about 35 area Reiki practitioners who volunteer their efforts at the center.


They hope to expand Reiki to St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo next month.


Putter said his oncologist recently told him he was responding very well to his cancer -- a sliver of hope that he credits in part to the Reiki.


"He told me I was in the top 2 or 3 percent in terms of reacting to it," he said. "I had tears in my eyes. I've never been in the top 2 or 3 percent in anything."



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Usui Reiki Center

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