Reiki supports patients with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia

17th June 2013

Asquith Hall nursing home in Todmorden, Lancashire, specialises in the care and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and related dementia (ADRD).  In a patient-driven move and backed by supportive local doctors Reiki has been introduced, as the Home explore the benefits of complementary treatments to help relieve the symptoms of patients.

Many care homes are turning to complementary therapies to alleviate some of the many discomforts, both physical and emotional, which are characteristic of illnesses involving memory loss.  These types of  holistic treatments are not intended to replace traditional medicines, which are vital in the treatment of dementia sufferers, but can complement existing treatments by helping to reduce depression, stress and anxiety. 

Why Reiki?
“We understand that a lot of people may be cynical towards the more ‘alternative’ therapies, however, now it is being used in hospitals and hospices, and evidence shows that it is proven to relieve stress, so we feel it is in the best interests of our patients to offer this facility and so far it has been a great success,” says Barry Potton, owner of Asquith Hall.

The main aim of Reiki is to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, which are all symptoms associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s. This in turn seems to help patients verbalise areas of physical pain, which can then be addressed and treated.

Asquith Hall currently practices other complementary therapies to assist in the overall well-being of their residents.

Janet Thompson, Manager, explained to the CHO that it was discovered during Life Story therapy that a couple of their patients had been Reiki masters themselves and some of the relatives used complementary therapies, so it was a natural progression to offer various treatments.

A more off-beat type of therapy is singing therapy, which is used with the intention of improving memory and building self-esteem. “People with dementia can struggle to remember things but singing a song seems a lot easier for patients,” said Janet.

Some of the staff are currently beng trained in using Hopi Ear Candles and Indian Head Massage.

Asquith Hall prides themselves on providing holistic and alternative therapies not offered by other care homes. Reiki, life story therapy and singing therapy are just a few of the methods utilised to improve the lives of the residents. For more information regarding the services and care provided by Asquith Hall visit their site at

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