Spiritual healing on the NHS?

Chinese complementary medicine can go mainstream, why not spiritual healing?

If you see Angie Buxton-King at work on the cancer wards at University College Hospital in Central London, she looks like any other medic: alert, down to earth, overworked. But her talents are different - she is a spiritual healer, one of a handful on the NHS payroll. But she hopes that, with new research and regulation of healing, there may soon be more like her.

Cancer patients at UCH are offered a range of complementary treatments as well as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. These are provided by a four-strong team led by Buxton-King: two healers (Angie and her husband Graham), a counsellor and a massage therapist. Their services are in great demand, which is hardly surprising: statistics suggest that about 90 per cent of cancer patients avail themselves of some form of complementary medicine.

In a small room behind the team's office, a CD of relaxing music is playing. The patient lies on a couch while Buxton-King runs her hands over him or her to “channel the healing energy”. Many patients report feeling heat emanating from the hands, and a feeling of profound relaxation and peace. Each session lasts for 15 minutes.

So how did this all start? In the late 1990s Buxton-King's son, Sam, was fighting leukaemia. “He wasn't expected to live longer than three months,” she says, “so we looked at alternative ways of helping him, and during the three more years that he lived, it became obvious that his quality of life was improved by healing.”

Buxton-King wanted to help other NHS cancer patients, and first offered her services to Great Ormond Street hospital. They were sceptical, so she went to UCH, where she asked Dr Stephen Rowley, the clinical director of haematology, for a chance to prove the need for her services and was taken on for a trial month, one day a week.

“At the end of that time they were very interested,” says Buxton-King. “The whole ward benefited - staff as well as patients.”

Source - Guardian