Jane Lowther from Levens contacted CancerCare Kendal after the sudden death of her husband Maurice in July this year.
Maurice passed away at the age 70, only five weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer leaving Jane feeling devastated and in desperate need of some support.
Jane said: “It was a huge shock Maurice dying so soon after diagnosis and I was left with feelings of grief and anger that felt like they were eating away at me. A friend suggested I get in touch with CancerCare so I came for a referral meeting to find out about all the different types of therapy on offer.
“I had once been recommended Reiki and the holistic and healing nature of it really appealed to me. I thought it might help with the way I was feeling. My emotions were all over the place and I was feeling sad, agitated and in shock all at the same time.”
Following the initial referral appointment at the charity’s Lakes Centre in Kendal, Jane was introduced to Reiki practitioner Sandra Dacre and she embarked on a 12-week block of sessions.
Reiki is a Japanese form of hands-on therapy which can help to aid relaxation and help relieve a range of symptoms including pain, tension, stress, anxiety and insomnia.
The recipient usually lies on a treatment couch while the therapist uses their hands, placed either on or just above them , to channel and balance energy fields in and around their body.
Jane added: “The sessions make you feel incredibly calm and relaxed, not just during but afterwards too and the effect sometimes lasts all week. After a session it helps me deal with things with a much clearer mind.
“It has also improved my confidence. I had started to avoid going out as I didn’t want to interact with people and it has helped with that too. It is hard to explain but my friends say they have seen the difference in me since I began the sessions as they saw how bad I was at the beginning.
“I would encourage anyone who thinks they might benefit from it to give it a try it with an open mind. I can’t thank Sandra enough as she helped me through an unimaginably difficult time.”
A large number of clients come to CancerCare for support as they need help coming to terms with the death of a loved one.
Of the 1,135 people referred to CancerCare over the last 12 months, nearly a quarter were seeking help for the stress, anxiety and depression caused by a bereavement.
Sandra said: “Jane made such wonderful progress after each Reiki session. As the weeks went by the tearfulness lessened and it was obvious she was gaining confidence and coping better with her grief and anger through the Reiki energy.
“It was rewarding to see the improvement and to know the gentle and supportive Reiki treatments were so successful”