ROCKFORD, Ill. — Her training as a registered dietitian and master’s level health-care administrator left Cathy Keith with little regard for complementary medicines and therapies such as Reiki.
“I was definitely thinking this was all out on the fringe and kind of woo-woo, foo-foo,” Keith said.
Now, she makes Reiki — a therapy using a light touch or hands placed near a patient’s body to assist the idea that energy as a universal life force can be channeled for healing — and a half-dozen other mind-body services available to patients as manager of SwedishAmerican Hospital’s Holistic Health Services.
Keith changed her mind about complementary therapies when she heard what patients said after they had received the treatments.
“I decided to be more open-minded about the possibilities,” she said, “and I set out to engage in more educational and experiential activities so I could make a decision for myself. I became less dogmatic about yes or no, or black or white.
“Suddenly, there was a lot more gray and I had to say maybe there’s more to this than I understand.”