When Lynn Ballas was wheeled into Columbia University Medical Center's operating room in late 2012 to undergo double mastectomy surgery and remove the cancerous cells in her breasts, the usual suspects bustled around her: a surgeon, an anesthesiologist, and a team of nurses. But there was an additional key member of her surgical team: a Reiki master.
Ballas hired Reiki practitioner Raven Keyes to be in the room with her that day, channeling loving energy as the surgery team cut Ballas open and sewed her back up. She had received Reiki a few times before and always enjoyed it but had never considered having energy work in a medical setting. It wasn't until she noticed Keyes' book The Healing Power of Reiki sitting in a pile of books and papers in her doctor's office that the topic came up. Her physician, Sheldon Marc Feldman, M.D., offered Reiki as an add-on option to her surgery. "I've never been a high-energy person," Ballas says. "I get drained very easily, and I thought I would need an extra boost."