By Robert Mobley
The 54-year-old patient had been in a vegetative state for more than
21 years after being hit by a car while riding his bike. Eventually his
condition became terminal and he was admitted to hospice.
His care team decided to try a therapy called Reiki — a technique of healing and symptom management through touch — to offer a calming sense of relaxation and well-being. I was the Reiki volunteer. The care team had advised me he was nonresponsive and immobile.
I put some soft, soothing Reiki music and introduced myself. There was no visible response but I could feel his energy. Soon, the patient began responding to my touch with quiet moaning, so I told him I would next put my hands on his head. And though the care team had told me he never made sounds, he softly moaned again.
The Reiki was obviously bringing well-being and quality of life to someone who seemed to have neither. On subsequent visits I always started by just holding his hand and suggested if he was ready for more energy, to let me know. His breathing would relax and calm into a regular slow rhythm and I could see he was in a tranquil place.
Every time I would ask him, “Do you like the way you’re feeling now?” He would vocalize a soft, “Mmmmmmm.” Maybe it made him feel relaxed. Perhaps it brought some sense of calm.
On my last visit to see him, I instinctively felt it was going to be the final visit; the patient seemed ready to go. There hadn’t been any particular significant decline in his condition, but something told me this was going to be my last visit with him.
I don’t know why it was his time, but perhaps he finally felt the human connection he was looking for through my many visits, playing the gentle Reiki music, the warmth of my hands on his hands, and the flow of the energy through the Reiki.
Robert Mobley became a Reiki Master in 2008 and began helping hospice patients through volunteer work for Compassus in Colorado Springs, Colorado.