MD, PhD, FMedSci, FSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

Reiki healers believe they are able to channel ‘healing energy’ into patients’ body and thus enable them to get healthy. If Reiki were not such a popular treatment, one could brush such claims aside and think “let the lunatic fringe believe what they want”. But as Reiki so effectively undermines consumers’ sense of reality and rationality, I feel a responsibility to inform the public what Reiki truly amounts to.

This pilot study compared the effects of Reiki therapy with those of companionship on improvements in quality of life, mood, and symptom distress in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Thirty-six breast cancer patients received one of three treatments:

  1. usual care,
  2. Reiki + usual care,
  3. companionship + usual care.

First, data were collected from patients receiving usual care. Second, patients were randomized to either receive Reiki or a companionship during chemotherapy.

Questionnaires assessing quality of life, mood, symptom distress, and Reiki acceptability were completed at baseline and chemotherapy sessions 1, 2, and 4.

The results show that Reiki was rated relaxing with no side effects. Reiki and companionship groups both reported improvements in quality of life and mood that were greater than those seen in the usual care group.

The authors concluded that interventions during chemotherapy, such as Reiki or companionship, are feasible, acceptable, and may reduce side effects.

Yet another example of utterly bizarre conclusions from a fairly straight forward study and quite clear results. What they really demonstrate is the fact that Reiki is nothing more than a placebo; its perceived benefit relies entirely on non-specific effects. This view is also supported by our systematic review (its 1st author is a Reiki healer!): the evidence is insufficient to suggest that reiki is an effective treatment for any condition. Therefore the value of reiki remains unproven.

In other words, we do not need a trained Reiki master, nor the illusion of some mysterious ‘healing energy’. Simple companionship without woo or make-believe has exactly the same effect without undermining rationality. Or, to put it much more bluntly: REIKI IS NONSENSE ON STILTS.

82 Responses to Reiki = nonsense on stilts

  • Reiki is a business empire that survives because it has adapted the core principles of multilevel marketing, pyramid schemes, and the older success of snake oil vendors.

    The inventor of Reiki, Mikao Usui, was obviously deluded, but was astute enough to start a business empire based on his abject nonsense.

    Reiki is far from being benign, it is an example of medical fraud [in some jurisdictions]:
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/reiki-fraudulent-misrepresentation/

    See also:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikao_Usui
    http://skepdic.com/reiki.html
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Reiki
    http://www.ebm-first.com/reiki.html
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?s=Reiki

    Anyone who starts believing in Reiki by paying for ‘treatments’ and/or classes in mastery of Reiki is well on the way to becoming so hopelessly deluded that they will [eventually] develop the belief that remote Reiki is medically efficacious. Reiki is nothing other than a system of indoctrination designed to feed its business empire. Reiki is just one of sCAM’s hideous predators that feeds on the most gullible and most vulnerable members of society.

    • Much the same could be said for acupuncture. The advantage of Reiki is that you are unlikely to become infected.

    • I find Reiki particularly repellant because of its fundamental dishonesty in presenting itself as a form of medicine, when its beleifs spring from a (rather peculiar) relgiious revelation. Its practitioners seem fundamentally dishonest and present it as whatever is more convenient to them at the moment – rather like Scientologists.

  • Sometime, I feel like we are into the dark age again. Hundred years of science and still, people believes in magical/mystical/homeopathical energy.

    • The modern era seems to have seen a considerable upsurge in belief in magic compared to the middle ages (including what is popularly called the dark ages – something most historians now do not beleive existed). Educated medeival people (inlcuding most rulers) genrally did not beleive in magic and tended to discourage belief in it, and the most widespread form of it was a remnant of sympathetic magic in the belief that herbs with similartiies to body parts were good for that part of the body (e.g. if a plant had parts that looked like kidneys they were good for you kidneys). The modern era has produced everything from the mass witchcraft trials of the early modern age to the pseudo-science of homeopathy which is a form of sympathetic magic. On the way it took in things like eugenic theories of race (read up on early twentieth century theories of superoior and inferior races).

  • Didn’t you already discuss this study a couple of months ago?

    http://edzardernst.com/2014/11/reiki-the-gullible-belief-in-the-super-natural/

  • Of the many who claim to hold the vibrations attributed to the system of Reiki, in fact hold those vibrations are few in number. To hold those vibrations, those of the 4 recognised symbols created as a formula, the Crown has to be reversed from receiving in to giving out, that means that the Crown is holding Heat, if there is not heat then the Crown is receiving.

    The system of Reiki works with the emotional body and the client very quickly develops a sence of calm, then the physical body is capable of self healing.

    There is no way to identify a placebo as people may have many undeveloped systems held within that is not identifiable as reiki, actually the word Reiki is the wrong word to describe the system in the same way that many claim that it is connected to Universal Life Force Energy, it is not, the vibrations produced by the formula is Unconditional love and there are 6 formula.

    • @len

      You’re talking utter nonsense again.

      What ‘vibrations’?

      • Every thing is vibrations, even your own name, do you believe in reincarnation.

        • len said:

          Every thing is vibrations, even your own name, do you believe in reincarnation.

          Well, what does that mean? What’s a ‘vibration’? In what sense does my name vibrate?

          • Yes an honest question but;
            The problem with discussing anything that at the back of the mind is the intent to treat it as a hoax. It is the easiest way to avoid any participation and investigation.

          • len said:

            Yes an honest question but;
            The problem with discussing anything that at the back of the mind is the intent to treat it as a hoax. It is the easiest way to avoid any participation and investigation.

            If there was good evidence for it then it wouldn’t be a hoax, would it? So, can you answer my questions?

          • The use is the proof, just hold your hands clasped together, then pull them apart about 2 inches, IMAGINE that one hand is a piece of paper and the other hand has a pencil through the palm and then write you first name, clasping the hands together and just be aware, do not pull the hands apart because if you do you will have to repeat the exercise. There are no scientific devices invented that can measure vibrations within the body, you just have to be aware and that awareness may be reduced by blockages that the person may carry within self. This is only a first step.

          • len said:

            The use is the proof

            Ah. I see your problem.

            just hold your hands clasped together, then pull them apart about 2 inches, IMAGINE that one hand is a piece of paper and the other hand has a pencil through the palm and then write you first name, clasping the hands together and just be aware, do not pull the hands apart because if you do you will have to repeat the exercise.

            Was something miraculous supposed to happen? What do you think that shows?

            There are no scientific devices invented that can measure vibrations within the body, you just have to be aware and that awareness may be reduced by blockages that the person may carry within self. This is only a first step.

            As you’ve already been asked, what are these ‘vibrations’ of which you speak?

          • Len, the ‘vibrations’ that are involved in your “IMAGINE…” example are so well understood by science that they are well known to have a wavelength spectrum that peaks around 9.5 micrometres. It’s nothing magical, it is simply the spectrum of human thermal radiation at circa 310 kelvin that can be easily detected by both scientific measuring instruments and the temperature sensors in our skin. Pulling the hands apart drastically alters the thermodynamics in terms of conduction, convection, and radiation.

            Furthermore, logic plus neuroscience-based psychology can easily explain the wishful thinking and the many other cognitive biases that are used in your example.

            One of my most well received party tricks over the decades has been demonstrating the ‘healing power’ of my therapeutic touch and my superb mastery of Reiki. Of course, after explaining the science and psychology I use, both the audience and the participant(s) roar with laughter. I find this and my other party tricks very effective methods of debunking the abject nonsense of CAM, pop-psychology, and pop-neuroscience.

          • and pop goes the weasel!
            We all have our p[arty tricks.

          • @len

            Party trick or not, you seemed to be putting it forward as some kind of explanation of ‘vibrations’. We are no closer to understanding what you believe they are.

            What is a ‘vibration’?

    • Take away the flowery language and you have a description of a theatrical placebo. The performance changes the patient’s perception of his/her condition then they feel differently – sometimes better. Hard endpoints – not so much.

    • “Wholeness arises and subsides in subjective life. The world is inside the doorway to brightness and information is mirrored in the expansion of experiences.”

      See… I also know how to use a wisdom generator 😉

  • Nurse! He’s out of bed again!

  • i actually rang the hospital to see if anybody was in the room and they told me that the room was empty, ah good I did escape.

  • I particularly enjoyed the comments to this post. Thanks to all, including len.

    The title, though, should have been Reiki=Nonsense on STEROIDS.

    • maybe some time down the track, i will post some of the secrets about the system called reiki, but before that practice working with your own name.

      • len said:

        maybe some time down the track, i will post some of the secrets about the system called reiki, but before that practice working with your own name.

        Are these secrets that are known only to you or are they plastered wide across the Internet?

        Anyway, what’s a ‘vibration’?

        • I’d like to think its the same secret ingredient as Kung Fu Pandas fathers famous noodle soup.
          (for those few who don’t know its love!)

        • They maybe but I would not be surprised if somebody did agree with some of the things that i comment about and may even know more that I.

          But let your higher self educate your chattering parrot
          If you got the point and shut up the parrot whenever it is disturbing, the inner silence will strengthen the higher self connection.
          With enough exercise higher self will start to educate the parrot, wipe out false beliefs and program better ones inside.
          But a reminder, the parrot is only a helper that you _can_ listen to, not be forced to by him.

      • maybe some time down the track, i will post some of the secrets about the system called reiki

        Eh…? I thought Reiki-know-how was a proprietary product and it cost tens of thousands to buy into the business? Wouldn’t you be betraying a business agreement?

  • How can anyone ever hope to get sense or reason from someone prepared to utter something like this?
    “There is no way to identify a placebo as people may have many undeveloped systems held within that is not identifiable as reiki, actually the word Reiki is the wrong word to describe the system in the same way that many claim that it is connected to Universal Life Force Energy, it is not, the vibrations produced by the formula is Unconditional love and there are 6 formula.”
    Does this mean that someone performing Reiki on another must love them “unconditionally”? Was does that mean, particularly if they have just met? Maybe it is a return to hippie free love? 🙂

  • Some think that the system called reiki is a proprietary product but it is not. No matter how or who make the many numerous claims that their reiki is the best, and even on this venue those claims have been made, there is a way to test the results of those claims. No matter who and or what is said if, anybody progresses past the testing of the connection I would accept what they say, however I have no doubt that the majority are not able to prove their connection. The system of Reiki is not a proprietary product, if you pay tens of thousands then you are the sucker. There is no business agreement from my perspective. I would like to see every body on this planet attuned to at least level 1 to the system, no business agreement as it is not, I say again, not a proprietary product. I have even performed attunements at level 1 for no charge, not a reduced version but at the full level. There are claims that the attunement can be applied at distant healing with a money back guarantee, If you believe that then you are in league with the Tooth Fairy.

    • A person attuned to Level 1 (first degree) is qualified to call themselves a Reiki healer/practitioner and can charge clients for one-to-one healing sessions. In order to make the claim of being able to provide “distant healing” Level 2 (second degree) is required.

      The Reiki business model… A person must be attuned by a practitioner who has been trained to Level 3 (third degree; a Reiki Master). One cannot claim to be attuned to any level by any other means, such as by reading books or watching videos. Attuning someone to Level 1 without charging them for this service is a loss leader marketing strategy: the trained person will soon realize that they need to complete Level 2 then Level 3 in order to make money from running courses to train others.

      Len’s wish to have everyone on the planet trained to at least Level 1 is the long-term objective of the Reiki business model. Reiki is indeed a business empire; it has no actual products for sale[1], it is a multi-level business scheme that just sells training courses and training materials[2][3].

      1. Face-to-face Reiki ‘healing’ is technically a product — a theatrical placebo —, but “distant healing” is definitely not a product in any way, shape, or form; it is an empty promise from the vendor that gives only false hope to the customers. Achieving Reiki Level 2 authorises the vendor to charge money for providing absolutely nothing, however, this also opens the minds of the customers wide enough to consider applying for Reiki training courses thereby becoming part of the business empire.

      2. Humans have a natural egotistical tendency to acquire “special wisdom” that is very difficult to disprove. Special wisdom that includes the gift of ‘healing’ not only the health problems of family, friends and paying clients, but also the power to solve global problems, is the huge incitement to become a member of the Reiki business empire. Each level of Reiki training reveals the secrets of particular Reiki symbols and teaches the student how to master their ‘power’. E.g. Level 2 teaches the mastery of the symbol that transcends the physical limits of the space-time continuum thereby enabling the student to send Reiki ‘healing’ not just unbounded by distance (“distant healing”), but also into the past (to heal old wounds) and into the future.

      3. Reiki also claims to ‘heal’ animals (some also claim plants and inanimate objects including our Solar System and the whole universe). Reiki is, I think, by far the best branch of sCAM for those wishing to gain strong delusions of grandeur and/or those wishing to run a small-scale unregulated business that requires little effort other than advertising.

      Footnote: Björn was correct in that it used to cost a huge sum of money to buy into the Reiki business empire. The cost has drastically reduced over time because, as with all multi-level marketing schemes, the business model becomes increasingly unsustainable as it approaches the point of market saturation.

      • Well written, a balanced explanation as to how the system from a physical perspective works but, what about when the model is viewed from the Mental/ Psychic/ Emotional perspective. Unfortunately there are too many ways that the model as perceived by Mikao Usui has been approached.
        Up until maybe 50 years ago the perspective of the Spiritual connection with all of its variants had the doors open/ accepted as being a real element many side stepped any connections, the awareness was ignored, the same theme existed with the system of Reiki, the word Reiki is the wrong word to describe the system but that is all we have.
        The way that Pete describes the system is very deep but there is i think a sceptically approach within his explanation.
        When I was first introduced to the system in 2000 I wondered what it was all about, to put it bluntly I was a sceptic I felt nothing but as was suggested a year or two later I was to find out what it was really and to understand what and how it was supposed to work.
        Usui’s concept was Spiritual it was not until the introduction of the symbols that the system was capable of expansion and that is what happened but it will be a long time before the system reaches any form of market saturation as the are a majority who are not able to produce firm results of proof.
        The proof that the practitioner has the ability to proceed down the right path is within the Crown Chakra, heat indicates that the flow of energy has been reversed/ giving out, whereas no heat indicates that the person is receiving and not holding the applied vibrations. Saturation of the business model is not a problem.
        Again a nice responce Pete.

        • @len

          Has this heat you talk about been measured?

          What is a vibration?

          • To Alan Henness.
            Q Has this heat been measured, Not in the physical sence as I am not aware of any device that is able to perform that function.

            I am only aware that within our body are senses that allow some to be aware of the existence of something that cannot be seen, not to be fooled by being told by another that you MUST feel, see or hear, the understanding that something beyond the accepted range of the persons abilities should just be aware, aware of what, maybe heat, cold, a funny feeling or just a something that you are not able to describe, the words do just not come, then and only then should the person in charge of the demonstration assist with!

            The same goes for vibration.

          • len said:

            Q Has this heat been measured, Not in the physical sence as I am not aware of any device that is able to perform that function.

            …and you said previously:

            heat indicates that the flow of energy has been reversed/ giving out, whereas no heat indicates that the person is receiving and not holding the applied vibrations.

            So, when you use the word ‘heat’, you’re giving it a completely different meaning to the everyone else? What do you mean by heat and energy? What ‘flows’? What is a vibration?

        • Thanks for your reply, Len. You are correct to point out that I was addressing the widespread business model of Reiki and that I did not address the psychological and spiritual aspects of Reiki. I also agree that Reiki is probably the wrong word for the system, but this is the only word we have.

          There is a similar problem with the terms “placebo” and “placebo effect” because placebos have a plethora of physical and psychological effects, as do nocebos[1]. I think the scientifically correct terms are “placebo reactions” and “nocebo reactions”, but these precise terms are rarely used, unfortunately.

          You and other readers may have gained the impression from my comment about my party tricks (debunking the abject nonsense of CAM, pop-psychology, and pop-neuroscience) that I perform them for the purposes of self-promotion and/or mocking those who believe in these things. However, I perform the tricks in an attempt to encourage others to experience the joys that come from learning science and critical thinking skills. My audiences don’t laugh at alt-med practitioners et al., they laugh at themselves upon realising how gullible they are to my apparently simple party tricks. All humans are extraordinarily gullible 🙂

          In your comments you have mentioned: unconditional love; the crown chakra; vibrations; and that many who claim to be properly attuned to Reiki are actually not properly attuned. Now, I could attempt to dismiss your claims and/or attempt to dismiss you as a person (an ad hominem attack) by demanding that you provide solid evidence for your claims and by invoking the logical principle: That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Instead, I shall ask you if you are prepared to meet me halfway. Throughout my career in engineering I performed all of my work primarily with loving kindness and due diligence, my need to earn money was always a secondary consideration. Anyone could analyse my works, even reverse engineer them, and they would find no evidence of loving kindness — the only things they might find is evidence of my obsessions with exactness and attention to detail.

          Just perhaps, the concepts of the crown chakra and vibrations are metaphors, allegories, or ancient working models that attempted to depict loving kindness combined with due diligence — things that are still very difficult to measure and quantify in the 21st Century. I think that cognitive science, especially properly conducted cognitive neuroscience, are providing us with better working models than those provided by our ancestors. The problem with using these old concepts is that they defy modern science. E.g. the heat and vibrations that you talk about can now be easily measured and no Reiki practitioner has been able to demonstrate that they exist. Claiming that they exist in only the metaphysical domain is nowadays as nonsensical as claiming that the family of pink unicorns that prance around in my garden have given me special wisdom and the power to heal diseases 🙂

          Here are my thoughts on “distant healing”. If I leave you with the impression that I’m dismissing your comments and/or you as a person then, in effect, I’m sending you a nocebo[1] across the miles that separate us. That would be tantamount to sending you malice; the opposite of “distant healing”. I’m sending you my best wishes and many thanks for our discussion. To genuinely send someone wishes for their well-being does not require the invocation of Reiki symbols for their sentiments to be effective, sometimes even medically efficacious due to the placebo reactions. E.g. a compliment from a stranger is a welcome uplifting gift, it makes no difference whatsoever if the stranger happens to be a top-rate Reiki practitioner!

          1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nocebo

          • Pete, I am always ready to meet people more than half-way.

            I may have mentioned somewhere that when I first started to recognise this system in 2000 I was not amused with the presentation or the claims that were made, in fact I felt nothing, I didn’t see feel or hear as others claimed to do, some describe it as Clare Sentience and other descriptions and without going through a lengthy rhetoric of the last 14years during which I have been told that I, yes I, on this incarnation was to find a way to be able to demonstrate a way to rectify the problems with the system.

            That may sound egotistic and bombastic but that is the way it is and I will never forget that even as now I am aware, in the past I was not and somebody who addresses or attempts to address this system may not be aware.

            In regards to any abilities that i may be aware of I only feel and as a Healer (Spiritual) I generally become aware of what the emotional and physical problems that a client maybe sooner or later experience, so that is me.

            At this stage of my experiences I accept the concept of a system that is capable of repairing and removing blockages from the Mental/ emotional body, sometimes that may appear to happen before they are evident within the physical and at other times during the dis-ease being exposed as a happening within the physical.

            I do not claim to heal the physical, that is something that the physical does when balance is regained within the mental/ emotional system.

            To be able to produce evidence as to the existence of Vibrations/ Chakras and unseen structures such as Meridians in the early stages of any introduction is best achieved with physical contact/ demonstration and practice. Practice is not a way to confuse anybody but assists in the removal of blockages that tend to hinder progress.

            As sometimes happens I have been made aware of something and have put it aside as not being of value and later, sometimes much later readdressed that subject and observed it from a different perspective and adopted it within the circle of my understanding and presentation.
            Cheers.

          • Hi Pete,

            You said “Anyone could analyse my works, even reverse engineer them, and they would find no evidence of loving kindness — the only things they might find is evidence of my obsessions with exactness and attention to detail.”

            I think you’re wrong there. Diligence, loving kindness, (whatever you want to call it) is quite palpable. I think you’re selling yourself short.

            “Just perhaps, the concepts of the crown chakra and vibrations are metaphors, allegories, or ancient working models that attempted to depict loving kindness combined with due diligence …”

            I’m not sure what len means by vibrations (although I have a pretty good idea), but the whole chakra thing isn’t metaphor, and isn’t about loving kindness combined with due diligence. It’s just anatomy.

          • Nice post, Pete.

            “All humans are extraordinarily gullible.” Sums up the problem that generates this entire website: and we all have problems recognizing when we’ve been gullible.

  • Here’s an explanation of the heat generated by Reiki using the thermal radiation component involved in its practice…
    Skin temperature 33 °C radiates 498 W/m²
    Room temperature 24 °C radiates 442 W/m²
    Net radiated heat loss from skin = 56 W/m².
    When the practitioner places a hand at 30 °C close to the patient, this reduces the net radiated heat loss (in the covered area) to zero for both the patient and the practitioner’s hand. The heat sensors in the skin will easily detect this large change in radiated heat flow; the brain will interpret this as a sensation of warmth.

    One of the tricks used by Reiki practitioners is to warm their hands by rubbing them on their clothes just before placing them near the patient.
    Skin temperature 37 °C radiates 525 W/m².
    This time the patient has a net radiated heat gain of 27 W/m² i.e. a change of 83 W/m² compared to the previous example’s change of 56 W/m². Therefore, the hand rubbing trick considerably increases the sensation of warmth felt by the patient.

    We could easily measure the temperature changes in the practitioner’s hand(s) and the patient’s body using calibrated thermal imaging cameras, but this would not translate particularly well to the experiences of either party for three reasons:
    1. The skin has both hot and cold temperature sensors which combine to form a network of differential temperature sensors.
    2. We are much more sensitive to sudden changes in heat flow than to steady state temperatures.
    3. The brain will create meaning for (a rationalization of) the sensed change in heat flow according to one’s expectations of the situation.

    Point three is very important. Someone who is deeply interested in science and does not believe in Reiki will have their attention focussed on trying to sense the location of the practitioner’s hands using the heat source sensing ability of their skin sensors. Conversely, someone who is not much interested in science and is, instead, deeply fascinated by Reiki will rationalize their sensations as indeed having experienced its mystical energy — the practitioner has their confirmation bias reinforced and the patient becomes a believer in Reiki.

    • Oops: The practitioner’s hand temperature should’ve been 33 °C, not 30 °C as stated.

    • Pete

      An excellent way of looking at it. I was going to grab my radiation slide-rule to verify your numbers (but they look about right to me), but I can’t find them and can’t be bothered working out the Stefan Boltzmann equations by hand!

      It reminded me of the excellent study by 9-year-old Emily Rosa, later repeated more robustly, that showed that therapeutic touch practitioners could not tell when they had their hands over the patient’s hand.

      • Alan, many thanks for your reply.

        My figures can be confirmed by at least:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_radiation#Interchange_of_energy

        I’m very pleased that you have highlighted the astonishing achievements of Emily Rosa — starting from the age of only 9, she has quite rightly received international recognition for her ability to debunk Therapeutic Touch, which includes the heat energy claims made by advocates of Reiki etc.

        Many adult proponents of quackery have become adept at answering their adult critics, but they fail miserably when answering sincere questions from children. When a child says to an adult “How do you know that?” they have the uncanny ability to detect even the slightest elements of doubt and/or lying in the given answer. In much of Western culture, children are allowed to shout perfectly reasonable retorts such as “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” whereas adult proponents of science and the scientific method have their replies heavily constrained by professional etiquette, modern manners, and political correctness.

    • Hi Pete,

      “Someone who is deeply interested in science and does not believe in Reiki will have their attention focussed on trying to sense the location of the practitioner’s hands using the heat source sensing ability of their skin sensors. Conversely, someone who is not much interested in science and is, instead, deeply fascinated by Reiki will rationalize their sensations as indeed having experienced its mystical energy — the practitioner has their confirmation bias reinforced and the patient becomes a believer in Reiki.”

      Trying to sense the locations of the hands is another attempt at creating meaning. Someone interested in science would do something like having the practitioner randomly start and stop the reiki procedure/protocol/whatever the term for it is, without changing hand or body position. It’s quite interesting.

  • I’d like to offer some greyish hue to this rather black and white debate, at the risk of being attacked by some of the more closed minded and/or, regrettably, impolite posters above.

    Firstly, a case study:

    – I am an intelligent, analytical, cynical over-thinker but open to new ideas
    – Three clinical hypnotherapists have declared me completely resistant to hypnosis or suggestion
    – This week I made an appointment with a massage therapist/reiki practitioner for a relaxation massage to relieve stress
    – After speaking to me at length about the causes of my stress the therapist said she believed Reiki would help me more than massage.
    – She refused payment for the first session in case it didn’t help.
    – I agreed due to curiosity and because it was free
    – During the 45 minute session both her hands where on my body at all times through two layers of clothes or thick denim jeans and a fleece blanket (no opportunity to heat hands by other means)
    – My hands were resting on my abdomen under the blanket
    – The heat coming from her the light touch of her hands into my body (through blanket and clothing) was equivalent to a heat pad in some areas and faintly warm in others despite equal degree of light pressure
    -,My hands were not warming my abdomen at all despite being closer to my skin than hers
    – On several places I felt unusual sensations in addition to the heat
    – At the end I felt calm and relaxed and intrigued (without, of course, becoming a “believer”) and slept well for the first time in weeks
    – I’m going to give it another go, and offer to pay this time.
    – Either Reiki works or I’m achieving the results of a relaxation massage for the same price but with no icky oil.

    Secondly, my thoughts on the often vitriolic attacks on this type of therapy:

    1. there are some things in this world that science is yet to explain and which can’t be either conclusively proven or disproven, including the continuing discoveries of the power of the mind
    2. If people gain benefits from practices such as meditation, religion, reflexology or Reiki, whether the benefits are psychological, self-delusional or simply because they have relaxed, become calmer or believed a placebo has helped them, that is worth something to them and shouldn’t be discounted.
    3. Isn’t hypnosis, which is accepted by conventual medicine, just as dependent upon the willingness of the patient to surrender to suggestion?
    4. Does it matter whether this worth is accepted on face value (ie it helps me so that’s all I need to know) or as a result of a sincere but perhaps misguided belief in something which MAY be mainly irrational bumpkin?
    5. If there are some frauds and deluded fools in a field of traditional or complementary healthcare, should all practitioners be dismissed as such?

    • @Ruth

      If people gain benefits from practices such as meditation, religion, reflexology or Reiki, whether the benefits are psychological, self-delusional or simply because they have relaxed, become calmer or believed a placebo has helped them, that is worth something to them and shouldn’t be discounted.

      Agreed, provided the practices are not being used to treat anything more serious than your sense of stress and similarly mild and subjective problems. But (a) the practitioners of all this witchcraft claim they can cure real diseases, even though they can’t provide any robust evidence for the claim, and (b) they may misinterpret mild-seeming symptoms in a patient who really has a serious illness that needs proper medical attention.

      Does it matter whether this worth is accepted on face value (ie it helps me so that’s all I need to know) or as a result of a sincere but perhaps misguided belief in something which MAY be mainly irrational bumpkin?

      Yes, it matters for the same reasons as above.

      If there are some frauds and deluded fools in a field of traditional or complementary healthcare, should all practitioners be dismissed as such?

      Yes. Anyone who claims to cure disease (as opposed to providing a bit of harmless relaxation) by witchcraft, snakeoil or other quackery without any evidence for efficacy is, by definition, either a fraud or a deluded fool.

  • I think that all the people that consider Reiki only negatively can continue to take medicines and contribute to pharmaceutical industries growing. Good luck !!!

    • As we make things quite clear, truth is what it is. We have 3 bodies from fine vibrations to the dense physical.
      The mental/ emotional body is where ALL of our emotions are and dis-ease develops within that body before it appears in the physical and it is only there that the medical profession can detect disease and attempt to remove it.
      Reiki is a practice, ( and there are very few who have the connection that does work ) that allows for the removal of that dis-ease from the mental/ emotional body. There are other Energy Therapies that achieve similar results but none as efficient as those limited numbers of practitioners who have that higher connections as well as a couple of physically applied ones.
      It seems to be a practice for people to disown the existence of systems such as Meridian Repair Therapies, Spiritual Healing, Reiki and Mediation to name but a couple of systems that are capable of healing abilities, you only have to go back through this post to note them.
      What we all fail to realise is that we forgot about Selflove.
      Don’t consistently be a critic about something that you may not know anything about unless you are knowledgeable about the subject.
      Blessing to all.

      • is this a spoof?

        • It’s certainly gobbledegook.

        • len has been around these fora for a while and, as usual, makes no sense.

          len is “special” because he has a “special” power, that of “energy healing”. He is one of the “very few who have the connection that does work” because he is “special” (actually, after a beer, I hit a few wrong keys and the word looked more like “specious”; maybe there was divine influence? lol).

          With all of these “special’ people around, i wonder what the world would be like had Einstein, for example, been “special”? He wouldn’t have to have been concerned with all of the mathematics, he would “just know” what relativity is. As for all of the maths, he could leave it all to others to work out so it could be put to everyday use, as it is now in satellite transmissions.

          Oh, to be “special”?

          • Being Special is important.
            Those who reject somebodies importance has difference of opinion that exists without any knowledge of the importance.
            That has been a problem through out the ages.
            Is there ago God, Then prove it.
            Is the live after death. Again then prove it.
            Does this really happen, Then prove it.
            You have your unproven opinion, I have mine the you think only because you reject, but I can prove and all you have to do is to meet with me, maybe we can together jump of a cliff together.

          • len,
            You are “special”, though not quite in the way you imagine.

            When you learn to write comprehensible prose, please feel free to post. Your current gibberish is a nonsensical mess.

          • @ to all, no matter how much anybody can write about a matter that does not have a physical the skeptics develop comments that have no argument.

            They ignore that holistic systems cannot be seen as with feelings that they may believe in a God.

            Ah well all is well, but is it.

          • When you learn to write comprehensible prose, please feel free to post. Your current gibberish is a nonsensical mess.

      • Thanks len,
        ROFL. Your sublime dissociation from from the real world, coupled with the usual warnings that only a chosen few possess your exquisite knowledge always provide a good hoot.

    • @Francesco,
      The same pharmaceutical companies that produce drugs, such as Keytruda, that stop deadly melanoma and allow for a significant extension of life? Yes please from me.

      On the other hand, good luck if you develop melanoma. Remember, those drugs are BAD for you and go see so nutbag like len (who, it seems, can’t even spell his won name correctly). If this sounds like derision, it is.

      • I think that often the pharmaceutical industry has created serious problems for our own health. It creates the illusion that everything is solved with a pill, without ever bothering to understand what is the real cause of a malaise. Simply it covers the effects but not removes the causes. This is not cure. Naturally a lot of doctors work very close to it.

        • YOU CONVINCED ME!

        • @Francesco
          That will explain why the pharmaceutical industry never spends a penny discovering causes of disease to the level of figuring out precisely which molecules lie at the root of disease. They never come up with pills that work against those molecules. Every pill they sell is designed by a team of orang utangs scribbling chemical formulae.

          • Really funny FrankO, your blind trust for Farmaceutical industry is very incomiable !
            Did you read sometimes the leaflet attached to any medicine? Are you sure that is it good for You?

          • @Francesco
            And did you ever read the list of side-effects recorded for the placebo arms of clinical trials? Patients treated with innocent placebos also experience apparent side-effects. The pharmaceutical industry is obliged by law to list every conceivable side effect, no matter how trivial, subjective or rare. If the same stricture were applied to altmed you might see some surprisingly long leaflets appear for Big Snakeoil, too.

          • Francesco

            You’re not one of those people who thinks the possible side effects listed are mandatory, are you?

        • Francesco,

          Please supply us with a list of the pharmaceutical medicinces that are rendered unnecessary/redundant by Reiki.

        • @Francesco,
          Tina Turner sang about you; the song was “Nutbag City limits”.

          Please, if you are going to make posts about conspiracies, please tell us all of the conspiracies against humanity? Iit will make very interesting, as well as amusing, reading.

          • Actually when Tina Turner was a member of the cast of Thunder Dome I was there and gggggggggR I am still alive/ 3 days and I survived.

  • Don’t have time to read through all the comments, but based on the first few it confirms my opinion that there’s no sense trying to dissuade anyone of their ingrained beliefs. There are actually studies that have shown Reiki treatment to increase oxygen levels in the blood to promote faster healing. I don’t believe Reiki is a be-all end-all treatment option for maladies – nor is acupuncture – but I’ve had success with both where traditional Western medicine was completely ineffective. That people can deny the fact that energy exists all around us and within us cracks me up, but it’s not up to me to convince disbelievers otherwise. Reiki and other Eastern energy healing systems have worked with incredible results for me – that’s all that matters. Of course, scientific minds (and those who strictly observe organized religions) will have their way of thinking, but also keep in mind that Reiki (and acupuncture, for that matter) have nothing to do with religion. Good luck!

    • @ Jerry,
      I can’t help wondering whether there is a robot generating these responses, because they are all fairly much the same. another similarity is the complete disregard for basic writing skills, such as paragraphing.

      Anyway, let’s dissect this on-by-one.

      “Don’t have time to read through all the comments, but based on the first few it confirms my opinion that there’s no sense trying to dissuade anyone of their ingrained beliefs.”

      Tu quoque; look it up. Please try something original?

      “There are actually studies that have shown Reiki treatment to increase oxygen levels in the blood to promote faster healing.”

      No, there aren’t. If you can find a credible study, please post the link? Healing? Healing of what, and by what mechanism?

      “I don’t believe Reiki is a be-all end-all treatment option for maladies – nor is acupuncture – but I’ve had success with both where traditional Western medicine was completely ineffective. ”

      Wow, you’ve had “success” through two treatments that have clearly shown to be placebos? You should try that other wonderful placebo, homeopathy, and you will live forever. (Sorry, that is sarcasm, simply because your statement makes no sense.)

      “That people can deny the fact that energy exists all around us and within us cracks me up, but it’s not up to me to convince disbelievers otherwise.”

      Yep, energy is all around and many people measure it all of the time; scientists, engineers, physicists, doctors, nurses, botanists, home-makers, runners, joggers, cyclists, drivers, mechanics, in fact, anyone who has a temperature gauge can measure the state of energy. It is no secret; the flow of energy is what governs our entire lives; the only problem is that you don’t understand what “energy” is or what it does. It is not some mystical entity; it is qualified and quantified by those who understand and use it.

      “Reiki and other Eastern energy healing systems have worked with incredible results for me – that’s all that matters.”

      Of course it does. Unless, of course, you develop some horrible cancer and you want to know the proposed therapy might work. How do we know what works? Well, bugger me, it then comes down to science; the same science you don’t find “convincing”.

      “Of course, scientific minds (and those who strictly observe organized religions) will have their way of thinking, but also keep in mind that Reiki (and acupuncture, for that matter) have nothing to do with religion.”

      On the contrary, Reiki and acupuncture have everything to do with religion; it is also belief without evidence. The use of Logical Fallacies won’t make it otherwise.

      “Good luck!”

      Let’s not forget; the happy send-off from the obviously morally superior and more observant poster who knows better than all of those scientists, doctors, and researchers who have spent years looking for answers, when you can base all of your knowledge on an anecdote based on a placebo.

      Jerry, most don’t respond to posts like yours simply because they think you are an idiot, a proposition with which I have no dispute.

    • We are up again. From my point of view about the System of Reiki. There is only a handful who have any idea as to what it is let alone being able to make it work. ( there’s no sense trying to dissuade anyone of their ingrained beliefs.) That I fully agree with but is there any possibility that if applied in the correct manner can it work, Yes.

      • how about showing us some evidence for your assumptions?

      • @Len Thomas
         
        You are such a teaser! I’ve asked you before and I’ll ask again. Please set out in clear English exactly what you, and your select handful of people who do reiki properly, know and do. You can benefit the world. I’m afraid your website is really no help. “I am not a Medium or a psychic but I know that the Energy that I give out Heals.” In the real world, what you “know” is meaningless without supportive, objective evidence.
         
        You have been told a million times the word ‘energy’ has a very precise meaning to the those who infest this blog with their ingrained beliefs, so please explain just how you give out energy: or do you mean something else? Maybe it’s N-rays you give out: have you ever considered that possibility?
         
        “The keys to the system of Reiki is [sic] vibration, vibrations that are written as sentences and applied through the physical into the energy Chakras that are unseen within and is [sic] called an attunement.” Even if we ignore the lousy grammar, this is pure gobbledygook. If you understand what it means then, as a master, you have an obligation to put it into words that people can understand. Using words that have existing, fully understood definitions in a way that they mean something quite different is dishonest and obfuscatory.

        • Ask people “What is Reiki”and you get many confusing statements but no explanations as to what it is. The majority of answers put the cart before the horse. Thanks for putting up my website all publicity is welcome and as to what it is well I have my opinion.

    • “Don’t have time to read through all the comments, but…” If you can’t be bothered to read the comments, some of which took a great deal of effort and time to write, then why should anyone bother to read then discuss your comment? All you have illustrated is two things: you can’t be bothered to read; you can’t be bothered to write properly — two of the most common attributes of alt-med apologists. If you can’t be bothered to read and write properly, I very much doubt that you have the ability to properly listen to patients then write [or otherwise describe your] prescriptions for your recommended course of ‘treatment’. Treatment with this level of disrespect/disregard is perhaps the fundamental principle that underpins the whole of the multi-billion dollar alt-med empire.

      I shall translate the start of your comment for the benefit of those who are considering paying a Reiki practitioner:
      “I don’t have time to listen to all your personal problems, but my Reiki treatment is going to work. If this first treatment doesn’t work then you are in dire need of paying me to attune you to Level 1 (first degree)…”

      Jerry, I sincerely thank you for further illustrating some of my previous comments on Edzard’s article.

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