Today I am talking with Betty Barnes, an 11-year breast cancer survivor, American Heart Association BLS CPR Instructor, Registered Karuna Reiki Master/Teacher and full-time RVer. She shares life on the road with her husband Dave and their dog Maggie. Betty is currently writing “her story,” which she describes as an inspirational memoir of her journey through darkness and into the light of Life.
DW: What made you want to teach CPR?
BB: Like Reiki, CPR is easy to learn and perform, and a skill I believe everyone should have. Combining this philosophy with my passion for teaching, pursuing certification as an instructor seemed a natural progression.
DW: Have you ever had to administer CPR in real life?
BB: No, but I came within seconds of having to do so shortly after my initial certification in the 1980s. When I arrived on the scene, paramedics were already in place.
DW: Did you have experience with death prior to making that decision?
BB: Death has visited family, friends and pets throughout my life. Death becomes a companion the moment you are told, “You have cancer.” Because of my personal experiences, hospice training and Reiki work, family and friends turn to me when presented with the passing of someone in their lives. If I can help, I am honored and humbled.
DW: You said that you went through hospice training. Can you tell me a little bit about your experience with that?
BB: I feel hospice training should be required for everyone. Some people cannot even say the word “death” or “dying.” Hospice training addressed ministering to the physical body of the dying as well as their spirit. Classes were interlaced with compassion, respect, love and laughter. I was allowed to give a presentation on Reiki as it relates in situations of death and dying.
DW: What is Reiki and how does it relate to hospice?
BB: Reiki (pronounced “ray-kee”) can be described as a method of stress reduction and relaxation which promotes overall well-being utilizing the universal energy which is in every living thing and surrounds us all. It is a noninvasive alternative therapy widely utilized in hospitals, pain clinics, cancer centers, hospices, etc. Reiki is performed hands-on or in the person's energy field. Clients lie on a massage/Reiki table, fully clothed, reporting sensations of warmth from the practitioner's hands, relaxation and peacefulness. Reiki on oneself is empowering for those with chronic illnesses and during cancer treatment.
Reiki it is not a religion.
Legitimate Reiki practitioners are professionals adhering to a strict code of ethics.
Reiki is not a substitute for conventional medical therapy.
When others may shy away from touching a dying person, the Reiki practitioner can minister to the dying with the simple act of holding their hand. One of Reiki's beauties is being independent of touch should the patient's condition preclude this due to pain or wounds. The intent is to help ease the suffering of the dying and all those involved. A Reiki person's presence lends an atmosphere of peace and calm. Reiki relaxes, and relaxation tends toopen heart, mind, soul . . . and mouth. Imminent death often prompts the need to unburden, perhaps sharing things not meant for the ears of loved ones; enter the Reiki practitioner as listener.
Thanks Betty for sharing what you do with my readers. If you click on the links, folks, you can check out Betty's writing, reiki practice and her CPR classes!
Has anyone done hospice training? I did it in Colorado and it was wonderful. I'd like to get back into it here in TX.