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Waveny LifeCare's Therapeutic Recreation Team Takes Reiki Training

 Waveny’s Therapeutic Recreation team with Reiki instructor Ellie Kirk. (L-R) Dudley Schippe; Lauren Elker, Sherrye Dobrin; Ellie Kirk, Reiki instructor; Anne Pelisson, Elise Cecil, Mary Garvey and Brenda Jacobsen.
Waveny’s Therapeutic Recreation team with Reiki instructor Ellie Kirk. (L-R) Dudley Schippe; Lauren Elker, Sherrye Dobrin; Ellie Kirk, Reiki instructor; Anne Pelisson, Elise Cecil, Mary Garvey and Brenda Jacobsen. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- The therapeutic recreation team at Waveny LifeCare Network’ in New Canaan recently completed a hands-on-healing training program to receive first-level certification in Reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation.

Administered by laying on hands, practitioners say Reiki helps to re-balance our “life force” energy field to facilitate mental well-being and emotional stability, as well as promote the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Unlike massage, Reiki does not involve physical manipulation.

Whereas seniors with dementia can become frightened and restless, angry or agitated, Reiki helps to soothe and deeply relax them. “Seniors who are agitated or stressed often find Reiki calming,” said Lauren Elker, Waveny’s Director of Therapeutic Recreation who oversees Waveny’s therapeutic programming and activities, and works closely with many of Waveny’s residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of memory loss.

“Reiki is a tool that provides touch as a nutrient to seniors,” said volunteer, Elli Kirk, who led Waveny’s staff training. “Older adults are often touch-deprived, and it helps them to re-connect to their world.”

This initiative complements Waveny’s holistic Healing Touch program, which has been offered across the Waveny’s continuum of care for several years. Healing Touch’s soothing techniques have been adopted around the world and are endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Association.

Research shows that in addition to inducing deep relaxation, Healing Touch can help reduce pain, decrease anxiety, tension and stress, accelerate wound healing, promote sleep, and improve a general sense of well-being.

Celebrating 40 years of serving the community, Waveny LifeCare Network provides a comprehensive continuum of healthcare to serve the growing needs of older adults from all areas.

Waveny is a not-for-profit organization that offers independent living at The Inn, assisted living for people with Alzheimer’s and memory loss at The Village, and skilled nursing at Waveny Care Center. It also includes Waveny Home Healthcare, Waveny at Home, the Brown Geriatric Evaluation Clinic, Geriatric Care Management, an Adult Day Program available on weekdays with flexible hours, inpatient and outpatient Rehabilitation Services, and respite programs at The Village and Care Center.

For information call 1-855-WAVENY-1 or visit www.waveny.org.

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