The door closes. Shoes come off. Rolled-up towels go under the knees, soft pillows under the head. The clatter and conversations of the hospital fade away against a backdrop of delicate, harplike music and the sound of bubbling water.

The room is otherwise still and quiet as reiki practitioners, one at either end of each table, lightly lay their hands on their clients’ bodies: the neck, the collarbones, the forehead, the solar plexus, the instep.

A half-hour later, the clients of Hands to Heart Reiki Clinic emerge into the bright fluorescence of the MetroHealth Medical Center hallway feeling refreshed, relaxed and, for some, pain-free.

The Plan Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio, March 10