Reiki invades an operating room

I’m a scientist, but I’m also a surgeon, which means I’ve spent quite a bit of time in operating rooms. In the OR, teamwork is critical, and each member of the team should be using science- and evidence-based medicine to inform their judgment regarding what to do. If there’s one kind of practitioner in the OR that relies heavily on SBM, it should be the anesthesiologist. Surgery is a combination of science and technical skill, and sometimes deciding what to do in the operating room is more a matter of judgment based on experience than science. For instance, if I encounter bleeding, what I do next is less a matter of science and more a matter of skill in finding what’s bleeding and fixing it. That’s not to say that science isn’t very important in surgery and during surgery. Science tells us what operation to do, and science helps us as surgeons refine our technique and determine which operation works the best. However, there is still an “art” to actually carrying out the operations. Anesthesia, on the other hand, is pretty much pure pharmacology.

That’s why I was very disturbed to find a blog called Doctors with Reiki, which is written by someone who goes under the pseudonym Reiki Doc. Reiki Doc, you see, is apparently an anesthesiologist and describes himself thusly:

I am a medical doctor who works in a hospital. I do anesthesia. While I do anesthesia, I also give Reiki Healing to my resting patients. They do not know, nor does anybody else in the room. I have quite a following at work. Many request my services. Recovery room RN’s love me. All of my patient report the same thing: they felt no pain. One friend’s spouse actually made her take two of her pain pills at home because he absolutely could not believe she felt no pain after gallbladder surgery!

No wonder this guy blogs under a pseudonym. Reading his profile, I’m torn between thinking that Reiki Doc is about as unethical as can be. He is, after all, doing something to patients for which he does not have informed consent. On the other hand, what he is doing is basically nothing. That’s because reiki is basically faith healing. Let’s just put it this way. The idea behind reiki is to channel “healing energy” from what reiki masters call the “universal source.” Substitute “God” for the “universal source,” and it becomes apparent that there really isn’t any difference between reiki and faith healing other than the belief system undergirding each one: Eastern mysticism versus Christianity. It’s actually an interesting question in medical ethics. Is is ethical to do reiki on a patient without informed consent, given that reiki is nothing more than magical thinking and does nothing? Reiki masters like Reiki Doc do not shoot “healing energy” from their hand into patients, as much as they might like to believe that they can channel energy from the “universal source” and use it to heal. They just don’t. On the other hand, clearly Reiki Doc intends to do something that he thinks is having an effect on patients even without the patient’s informed consent. Does it matter that reiki doesn’t actually do anything if the practitioner thinks it does?

Questions, questions. It’s enough to make one’s brain explode. I wonder if reiki can help that?

But back to Reiki Doc. What first caught my attention from him was a post entitled Lightwork in the O.R.: a Case Study. Yes, it’s a “case study” of Reiki Doc’s use of reiki in the OR. He begins by noting that the patient who would be his first case of the day had passed out when her IV had been inserted. We see this from time to time. Some people have a real aversion to needles and are so keyed up because she’s about to undergo surgery. Sometimes patients have a vasovagal reaction to being stuck. It happens. Amusingly, as Reiki Doc went out to see the patient to make sure he was OK and that the case could proceed, he mentioned putting on his “reiki game face,” which rather amused me. What is a “reiki game face”? Does the universal source help? Inquiring minds want to know! My questions aside, Reiki Doc recounted looking at the patient’s EKG and reassuring him that he had simply had a vasovagal reaction, and then he noticed something:

Anesthesia, technically, was uneventful. It was a short case, and everything went well.

Reiki-wise, this was one of the most unusual cases in my career. I gave Reiki, lots of Reiki, way more than usual. It was like water in a desert. It just kept going in. The solar plexus, or yellow chakra, sucked it in. So I gave it. I felt the spirit of this individual wanting to heal, very much so, and I allowed the energy to ‘connect’ to him in the process. I gave Diksha, balanced chakras, and gave Reiki complete with symbols while pretending to fix the Bair hugger warming blanket and do anesthesia-related activities. (I can do anesthesia and teach, I can do anesthesia and tell jokes with the surgeon; anesthesia is a lot like driving a car, yes?) I actually was guided to attune him to Reiki 1, as I do sometimes, smiling inwardly with my guides at the thought he is going to wake up psychic!

Oh, great. Reiki Doc was directing reiki energy to the surgeon too. Let me just say this right here. If you’re the anesthesiologist doing the anesthesia for one of my cases, keep your damned reiki energy to yourself. I don’t need it. I’m perfectly capable of doing the case without your magical thinking or your fantasies that you are sending me some sort of mystical energy from your fantasy god/universal source.

It turns out that Reiki Doc thought he perceived something in his patient’s girlfriend, who told him that she saw something in his “energy.” Yes, she was a bit of a kindred spirit, it would seem:

I took that as a go. I shared with her my findings on the Intraoperative Reiki. They were spot-on. (She had just graduated from a local Energy Healing program, and had her Tarot Bible with her things!)

Her surprised relief from being able to share her perceptions about her boyfriend gave me joy as a healer–when everything ‘works right’ it is a beautiful thing to watch. I was doing way more than giving anesthesia at this point. I was being a doctor, a specialist in Energy Medicine, at this time.

She asked me for my contact information, exchanged hers, and asked me to find out what his past life trauma was, and fix it.

Ah, the beauty when two woos meet and their energies connect! The patient’s girlfriend was so thrilled to meet Reiki Doc, and Reiki Doc ended up texting her what her past life trauma was and how to fix it, “from an energy healing perspective,” of course! So grateful was she that she texted him back and pointed out how she had asked God to send her a spiritual teacher.

Reiki Doc concluded from this particular anecdote:

Impression: Intraoperative Reiki is a powerful tool. It helps to establish rapport. It helps to address the underlying conditions, both on an energetic level and a deeper soul level, that result in the manifestation of physical disease. It is non-toxic, safe, and does not need to be documented or charted or even discussed with the patient at the time it is given. People come to us for healing, in the hospital. It would be remiss to leave something clearly in need of treatment, untreated, when we have the ability to treat it at the same time that other work is being done. Anesthesiologists and CRNA’s are the perfect providers for this purpose because we are at the head of the bed in surgery, and our anesthesia weakens the aura in the first place. Why not take the opportunity to shore it up and strengthen the aura at the time patients are most vulnerable?

Yes, just what I want in an anesthesiologist: Someone so prone to magical thinking that he thinks that he can “address the underlying conditions, both on an energetic level and a deeper soul level”! Nor do I particularly want an anesthesiologist who thinks he can communicate with Michael Jackson after he died, who believes in reiki, and thinks that reiki can help victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Sadly, magical thinking is alive and well in the medical profession, and Reiki Doc is slam dunk evidence of that.


  1. #1 Denice Walter
    November 28, 2012

    SOMETHING… at comment # 601…

  2. #2 AdamG
    November 28, 2012

    I’ll repost mine from the other thread…

    Marg was a quack here at R.I.
    on a thread that just wouldn’t die.
    She loves mystical forces
    but won’t cite any sources
    for her claims which no one can falsify.

    ‘Healing’ is her occupation
    But oh no, she won’t ask for compensation
    but if you feel grand
    after she waves her hand
    she’ll be happy to ‘accept your donation!’

  3. #3 Krebiozen
    November 28, 2012

    May as well shoot for 666. I’m still shaking my head over the fact that nearly 300 years ago scientists were aware of “the unreliability of memory as a basis for the evaluation of experience”, yet some people today still don’t get it, at all.

  4. #4 S
    November 28, 2012

    Since we “may as well shoot for 666”, here’s some additions to Bronze Dog’s list:

    5.) Doctor-Healer says to patient, “Of course those herbs are safe! I take them myself, and I even have my wife/husband taking them. I would never give them anything that could possibly hurt them.

    6.) Of course those herbs are safe, I’ve never seen a patient that has had an adverse reaction to them.

    7.) It’s all up to you if you want to get better. We must continue the treatments until you remember (fill in the blank for a repressed memory or past-life trauma) else your health will continue to worsen.

  5. #5 Denice Walter
    November 28, 2012

    Human memory is associative- so you are more likely to remember things that ‘go together’ even if they aren’t.
    If you show subjects combinations of 4 phrases that describe a situation ( that can be imagined visually) so that they only see displays of 1, 2, or 3 phrase combinations, when they are asked later if they had ever seen the stimuli before and how certain they were of that, they tend to MISidentify 4 phrase combinations ( which they never saw) and are most CONFIDENT of those stimuli compared to the ones they ACTUALLY saw.
    It’s hard to dis-embed them from the context. Similarly, you may not ‘see’ things that don’t fit in.

  6. #6 Marg
    November 28, 2012

    Are you people still chattering amongst yourselves? Is life getting monotonous in Orac land or do you just enjoy typing?

  7. #7 S
    November 28, 2012

    If Mikey likes it, it must be good for you.

  8. #8 Denice Walter
    November 28, 2012

    @ S:

    I notice that woo-meisters give such complicated, multifarious instructions that even a devoted follower is bound to do something wrong- giving the prevaricator a way out- ” You didn’t follow directions” .
    Also having a long list of necessary supplements, exercises etc creates a much longer product list to place in your website’s store.
    Those who can’t follow emulate their guru’s sterling example can purchase their way towards relative sanctity as well.

    ” Oh what a tangled web we weave….”

  9. #9 S
    November 28, 2012

    @DW, Sadly I think I now know most of their tricks. I’m working on the ‘de-programming’ part now. It’s called PTSD, post-treatment stress disorder.

  10. #10 Alain
    November 28, 2012

    @ Denice,

    Regarding the memory thing, could you email me at:

    I have a few question to ask you about memory and PTSD.


  11. #11 Denice Walter
    November 28, 2012

    @ Alain:

    Why not here? Ask anyway, I don’t think that Marg’ll mind.

    I am more a student of memory/ cognitive generically alhough I do have a few little niche areas ( not PTSD, unfortunately) with metacognition, verbal learning, abstraction.
    I have recently heard of studies about people subject to PTSD having anomalies in particular neurotransmitters, perhaps it was NE. Not entirely sure. Rather recent, I think.

    But seriously, ask and you shall receive: perhaps I can lead you towards better information, maybe not.

    If the comments amount to 700, Orac get free airline miles!

  12. #12 Alain
    November 28, 2012

    @ Denice,

    I don’t want to go public with the cause of my PTSD, it’s really too horrible and there’s police investigation ongoing.


  13. #13 Alain
    November 28, 2012

    Furthermore, I will likely blog about it in time.


  14. #14 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    November 28, 2012


    Are you people still chattering amongst yourselves? Is life getting monotonous in Orac land or do you just enjoy typing?

    They didn’t say it for you.

  15. #15 Chemmomo
    November 29, 2012

    I just need a cookie.

  16. #16 flip
    November 29, 2012


    Are you people still chattering amongst yourselves? Is life getting monotonous in Orac land or do you just enjoy typing?

    Yet another tour of distractions away from the fact that MARG, the contemptible purse-snatcher of science, HAS NO EVIDENCE THAT ENERGY HEALING WORKS.

    If you’re bored, feel free to leave.

  17. #17 S
    November 29, 2012

    If the comments amount to 700, Orac get free airline miles!


  18. #18 Bronze Dog
    November 29, 2012

    We’re chatting amongst ourselves because we enjoy each other’s company. We share jokes and ideas, expand on them, and refine them. We’re humans. We’re social creatures.

    Marg, did you mean to suggest you didn’t know we do stuff other than poke altie trolls?

  19. #19 Denice Walter
    November 29, 2012

    @ Alain:

    Little by little, we’ll get to it. One step at a time.

    I do know ( personally) several people who witnessed/ endured terrible events- especially two who had to identify the body of a close family member ( a bombing; a death associated with robbery)- the latter lived for more than 75 years with memory of the event. The former is living with it now.

    The constant theme of re-living the tragedy and haunting visual memories are what most concerns me. I always worry about therapies that have people continually re-immerse themselves in the experience because memories are strengthened by continued processing and memory is reconstructive itself- it’s not as though you have a tape that is replayed- in the old days, they believed in catharsis, I’m not so sure about that. ( This goes for other events than witnessing death as well, maybe even more so)

    I might think instead of ways of actively transforming the memory in imagination ( of course, you ALSO need to discuss the issues that surround the event with a counsellor/ therapist and integrate them into your life; meds might help also ).

    For example, those people I mentioned re-imagine the dead person as continuing somehow ( one is religious, the other was not)- visualising the bombing victim as an older man- what would F look like at 60? – or imagining the victim somehow seeing what happened to the witness- see how well they did, how they would get on with family members born after his death ( like me).

    If somehow terrible happened to you, it’s not because of YOU- it is entirely dependent upon the perpetrator- you did nothing wrong. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time and chance can be a b!tch. You should be congratulated for being strong enough to discuss it AT ALL and going on with your life as a student and defender of SBM**. You can help others who have suffered crimes and tragedies.

    **And brewer of fine products.

  20. #20 Denice Walter
    November 29, 2012

    @ S:

    I was joking: they used to say that if we got to 500, Orac would win a pony- but I doubt that a computer would have much use for one and his “friend” is much too tall for one.

    Everyone likes airline miles.

  21. #21 Shay
    November 29, 2012

    If we get to 700, I promise I will knit Orac a pony to go with his bunny rabbit.

  22. #22 Bronze Dog
    November 29, 2012

    If somehow terrible happened to you, it’s not because of YOU- it is entirely dependent upon the perpetrator- you did nothing wrong. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time and chance can be a b!tch.

    I don’t have any experience with PTSD, but that’s one thing I think a lot of people in general need to learn. There are safety measures and such you can take, but even if you do everything right, shit can still happen. We live in an uncertain world, and we can’t control everything. It’s a hard, painful idea for a lot of people to accept, but I think the illusion of control is generally more painful because it adds unnecessary guilt and confusion when tragedy strikes.

  23. #23 S
    November 29, 2012

    @Alain, I’m in a similar position. What happened to me is happening to a lot of people, but not enough people seem to understand the severity of the impact of the ‘happenings’. I want to publish a book, and just put it all out there so everyone can know the sorts of things that are really happening. On the other hand, the memories…

  24. #24 S
    November 29, 2012

    On the other hand, if anyone has been terrorized, traumatized and pillaged by the quacks, perhaps poked by one too many acupuncturists to no avail, here’s what not to do:

  25. #25 S
    November 29, 2012

    On the other hand, if anyone has been terrorized, traumatized and pillaged by the quacks, perhaps poked by one too many acupuncturists to no avail, here’s what not to do:

  26. #26 Alain
    November 29, 2012

    @ S,

    perhaps we could write a collective book of individual stories?

    @ Bronze dog,

    In my case, it involved a gradual loss of control over a year.

    @ Denice,

    Thanks for the comments and wish me reparation. I decided to press charges this week and the process is ongoing 🙂


  27. #27 S
    November 29, 2012

    @Alain, I know you don’t want to go into any details, but is your trauma related to one or more quacks?

  28. #28 Alain
    November 29, 2012

    no. I lived with a roommate who fit the criteria of psychopathic personality disorder (which I verified no later than last week with a prof who did some forensic psychology research work).


  29. #29 Krebiozen
    November 29, 2012

    You have my sympathy. Some years ago I had a traumatic relationship with someone with a personality disorder who was both emotionally and physically abusive, and who managed to convince me that I was somehow to blame. It was horrible. I wish you well with getting justice, though in my experience people like that will never take responsibility for their actions.

  30. #30 Alain
    November 29, 2012

    Thanks you very much Krebiozen. It mean a lot to me.


  31. #31 S
    November 29, 2012

    Alain, you have my sympathy as well. It takes time to work things out, and it may be hard to trust people again. I wish you luck in getting justice, and a speedy recovery.

  32. #32 Denice Walter
    November 29, 2012

    Alain, the details inform me much better, mon ami :
    this issue has been exacerbated by de-institutionalisation across the western world. People who had more serious problems were generally isolated from the general population to a greater degree over the past century until the last 25-30 years or so..

    Since this trend, we haven’t really developed the social solutions that probably were more prevalent in older traditional societies. Also our culture has new and intricate methods that enable people to harass others effectively- telephone, internet, miniature spy devices.

    While I have only briefly worked with SMI students, I have some experience with families who were coping with a family member with SM problems.

    Allthough it might be worse if actual violence was involved or threatened, even verbal and interactions marked by aggressive and unpredictable actions is quite horrible as well. Kreb says something very relevant: you might believe that it was somehow YOUR fault or that you provoked it. As S notes, you are in good company.: this is unfortunately quite common.

    Because you have experienced interaction with a very troubled person who harmed you – physically or otherwise- it takes time to recover and regain confidence in human relations. This can stymie personal development and taking chances relevant to education and career.

    There’s a great deal more I can add but need to attend to something right now.

  33. #33 S
    November 29, 2012

    If the comments amount to 700, Orac get free airline miles!

    On second thought, I wouldn’t want anyone to joke about us being the 700 Club. Quacks and 666 sound like a more appropriate combination.

  34. #34 Denice Walter
    November 29, 2012

    Encultured adults who live in a particular society usually adhere to certain standards of conduct with others: there are barriers and codes, limits and ground rules : you give someone ‘space’, you don’t ask for too much – there are things you don’t do or say to another person. Various species of intimacy or proximity may relax these rules- making it easier to transgress boundaries.

    As a child develops, they acquire more insight into others’ mental processes and modes of functioning in the world. Person perception and understanding the perspective of the other are developed during adolescence. So are self-control and understanding motivation of self and others..

    Sometimes these aspects of social cognition fail to develop – because of learning disability, intellectual deficiency and mental illness- if a person has a personality or other psychological disorder, they often function on a lower level than an average adult does- although they MAY have relatively normal cognition in other areas. In other words, some have enough skills to hold a job but can’t deal well with people.

    If you are dealing with someone you ASSUME is an average adult, you might also assume that they will maintain limits ON THEIR OWN when interacting with you. When you learn- through experience- that not everyone is up to this task, you will also have to find ways to create barriers and limits for them SINCE THEY CAN’T DO IT ON THEIR OWN.

    How do you recognise who is at ‘risk’? Trial and error but occasionally there are warning signs- inability to wait, lack of control of emotions, disregard for others’ needs, over-estimation of their own abilities, intolerance of others’ differences…
    However this might not be very apparent: it’s only when you see the person close-up for longer periods of time: anyone can put up a good front for a short time.

    It’s important to remember that many of these people cannot really control themselves.. however, they can still do a great deal of damage.

  35. #35 Pareidolius
    November 30, 2012

    Krebiozen, Alain,
    My heart goes out to you (and anyone else) who has ever been in an abusive relationship, be it family, work, cult, school, etc.). An ex partner of mine suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder. In the span of 12 years he went from very high functioning when we got together in 1989 to a sudden decompensation in 1999 leading to violence and my breaking free in 2002. The abuse was primarily emotional and verbal though and built up over the years. I have no shame about it now, and though I don’t know the details of either of your experiences, I can say one thing about dealing with people who suffer from personality disorders (and man, do they suffer): it’s not your fault. Denice, you are a marvel and I hope we can meet in the analog world someday.

    As a coda, I’ll also let you know that this person was an altie practitioner (no longer in practice) and none of his very wealthy clients of his would be able to believe that he was capable of such rage and violence. He was the very model of a saint in session and seemed to see inside you. Actually he was just very observant and people believed he was psychic and a healer because of that. I learned that many people think Borderlines are psychic because of their hypervigilance, a survival skill born out of trauma. He had a Borderline mother who visited terror on him as a child and learning to “read” a person instantly saved him and his brother from his mother who could be loving and kind one moment and a raging monster the next. It’s a topic for another thread perhaps, but I believe many “psychics” and alties like Mike Adams, Mercola and others suffer from some kind of trauma that pushes them into that line of “work.” I don’t know if they’re all Boderlines, but Narcissistic? Well, I don’t even play a doctor on T.V., so I’ll leave that to the professionals . . .

  36. #36 Denice Walter
    November 30, 2012

    @ Pareidolius:

    Well, thanks but I’m nothing special, I just study things.

    While I would never attempt diagnosis, someone else has speculated: Kalichman ventures that NPD might be in the cards ( unlike me, he has observed quite a few hiv/aids denialists when he socialised amongst them).

    I would wonder what makes ANYONE become a prevaricator and no-holds-barred con artist: I’ve always been fascinated by crime for this reason. I think that there’s something missing- that they don’t understand how they can make another person suffer and never feel any empathy: I suppose it’s something like being blind or deaf. I imagine that some might be related to life experience but something tells me that it may have deep physiological roots.

    This is one of the reasons I study concepts like formal operational thought, executive function and social cognition and how they develop over a lifespan. These are abilities that vary over a population and have important consequences. Interestingly enough, the person who introduced me to these ideas in developmental psych went on to run an international institute that trains therapists.

    About those alites and psychics: perhaps they have enough understanding of others to ‘read’ them but have no empathy or emotional connection. Gives new meaning to the term “cold reading”.

  37. #37 Denice Walter
    November 30, 2012

    ALTIES and psychics…

  38. #38 Krebiozen
    November 30, 2012

    Denice, Pareidolius et al.,

    At first sight this seems way off topic, but it is still exploring those liminal areas where unusual beliefs and behavior extend into pathology.

    Anyway, you are right on the money as usual. In my case I ignored plenty of warning signs because I was smitten, and because I was a country boy in the big city and did not want to appear gauche. I thought I was dealing with a cool (in both senses) persona shielding a charming vulnerability, which immediately triggered my protective instincts. In retrospect I should have run, not walked, away; instead I jumped in with both feet.

    When you learn- through experience- that not everyone is up to this task, you will also have to find ways to create barriers and limits for them SINCE THEY CAN’T DO IT ON THEIR OWN.

    I’m not convinced that is always possible. I used to think I had a strong personality, but my nemesis ran over me like a steamroller (metaphorically). She had (presumably still has) extreme black and white thinking in some areas, but could function well in most situations and was highly intelligent – I met her at university where she did very well. When I finally stood up for myself and tried to extricate myself from the relationship, explaining that I see life as infinite shades of grey, she pushed me down a flight of stairs and displayed symptoms of psychosis that lasted for weeks (a psychiatrist friend described it as a depressive psychosis), complete with delusions about people talking to her telepathically and putting black magic curses on her. She also claimed she was having an affair with one of my best friends, and that he was about to leave his wife for her, none of which was true, though you can imagine the problems that caused. Sometimes, I think, what appear to be symptoms are coping strategies, and if you challenge them it’s like dropping a mint into a bottle of soda. Since then I try to leave such things to the professionals, whenever possible.

  39. #39 S
    November 30, 2012

    she pushed me down a flight of stairs and displayed symptoms of psychosis that lasted for weeks

    I am so sorry this happened to you, Krebiozen. In a non-professional role, I work with victims of abuse and violence, and the trauma some people have been put through is horrible. Oftentimes, no one around them, not their friends, family or neighbors are aware that these things are happening.

    It is hard for people to walk away from a relationship , but sometimes that is necessary in order to ensure your own safety. Many times people keep returning into the abusive relationship and fail to make a clean break and get away. There are all sorts of guilt trips an abusive person can play on another that keeps the abused partner returning. It’s really amazing how so many victim’s stories share identical qualities, yet the people, their backgrounds, income levels, etc., are so vastly different. Good for you that you were able to distance yourself.

    There’s a lot I could write on this matter, and relate it to quackery. I may write more later.

  40. #40 Denice Walter
    November 30, 2012

    Unfortunately, sometimes relationships like those described by my three fellow commenters include marriage ( or long term partnerships) and children. Then, 15-20 years later, the child has a serious break with reality often involving the authorities and hospitals. SMI has a genetic component- so the children of such a union are more likely to be affected than are those in the general population; when the parents are a mix- one relatively normal and one SMI, care and planning for the affected child are severely impacted. I can’t go into details but let’s just say that a common scenario involves virulent *disagreement* about treatment.

    Long ago, marriages were sanctioned by families and usually involved people from a specific locale- thus problems may have been averted because of a particular family’s history which was apparent. More mobile and anonymous societies may provide a greater freedom for individuals but observations of patterns within families are missed. De-institutionalisation has added to the mix. Because of stigma, people may not discuss familial patterns of SMI. Sometimes these factors all coalesce against a person.

    A person from a family that is relatively free of mental illness may not pick up the warning signs or create barriers because this had never been an issue at home. This is also true for friendships and work/ school relationships: you might meet a person during a ‘quiet’ period or when they are taking their meds faithfully.

    What’s most important to remember is that life goes on and you have already made strides by walking away. We build up skills through experience- some parts of it harder than others- the skills that enable you to understand this NOW are also applicable to other interpersonal tasks that don’t include troubled relationships and aggression but on the contrary, may encompass friendship, understanding, perseverence, mutual respect and teamwork.

  41. #41 Krebiozen
    November 30, 2012

    Painfully true, and closer to my current situation than I would like.

  42. #42 Bill Price
    November 30, 2012

    Nothing to say: just posting to overcome the “Recent Insolence Returned” bug.

  43. #43 Denice Walter
    December 1, 2012

    @ Krebiozen:

    I’m sorry to hear that. One of the tennis cronies, in his twenties, was briefly married to a woman who had very serious problems- their child had a plethora of school difficulties and was diagnosed as having schizophrenia at age 24- it seems that the guy married into a family from overseas ( therefore EFL/ESL) and wasn’t told about how his wife’s father died ( in a mental hospital) and didn’t realise how ill his MIL was; his wifes’ sister married another guy ( third culture, also EFL/ESL) and has a son with schizophrenia, as she has also. So my friend has a 30-something SMI son who is on meds but isn’t involved in any therapeutic day hospital activities- which were recommended after his hospital stay; his lifestyle obviously engenders serious health issues, CV and diabetes amongst them. It just seems an endless battle for the father who maintains contact and provides some monetary support. Actually BOTH fathers: his BIL didn’t divorce his wife.

    On a lighter note:
    I like your fox. It’s apropo.
    A few months ago I visited a gallery where an older man was in charge. “Want to see my baby?’ he asked. I said I did, imagining that it would be.. a baby. So he took out his phone to show a photo.
    It was a little fox, lying down on a door mat outside his door like a cat or dog would. He told me how he beckoned the fox with food over a period of a year: she came closer and closer, often lying on the mat in the morning and not getting bothered if he walked right past her.
    He didn’t see her for about a month then further off in the bushes, she appeared with her babies.
    Foxes living in close proximity to hipsters.

  44. #44 Krebiozen
    December 1, 2012


    Perhaps insisting on seeing a pedigree before marriage should make a comeback. It might save a lot of heartache.

    The gravatar is a photo I took of an urban London fox, one of many that we feed in our back yard. I like to think I’m more of a fox than a hedgehog.

  45. #45 Thomas Preston
    new york
    December 19, 2012

    I suffer stage 4 renal carcinoma and will hopefully be having a kidney taken out if the sutent shrinks it.
    If not my oncologist will try to prolong my life as long as possible in her words to my primary care physician.. On that table if I make it if the or nurse wants to dance around the table with a decapitated chicken I could give a crap if it may help. a little reiki never hurt anyone as long as it doesn’t show up on my hospital bill. By the way the problem with you so called scientists is you don’t think outside the box and your not willing to accept any ideas that you didn’t learn in med school. There are many forms of healing and some are not completely and scientifically proven but many are valid for scientific reasons not yet understood yet.

  46. #46 Thomas Preston
    new york
    December 19, 2012

    By the way Dr Tulios fungus theory doesn’t hold water though fungus may be involved.He may have studled on to something that requires more research, The mechanism for his successes may have to do with oxygen or ph changes that are destroying cancers cells. He may have found a solution but may not understand fully why. But I commend you for researching him as much as you did,every dr i have talked to hasn’t even heard of him. Can you investigate more as to why the glowing testimonials may have taken place and find a scientific explanation for that ? When the DRs throw up the hands and scientifically condemn my excistence,I will be visiting the quack out of desperation.

  47. #47 flip
    December 20, 2012

    @Thomas Preston

    I know there are a lot of comments and all, but you should have bothered to read them. We’ve gone over the “what’s the harm” fallacy, the “not yet proven” fallacy, the “different ways of knowing” fallacy, the tu quoque and the “open mindedness”, the anecdotes and the conspiracy to keep people quiet.

    And most of all, we’ve already been through the proponents of reiki having no evidence to post with their above fallacies.

    Judith, Marg, Thomas, they’re all singing the same boring old tune.

  48. #48 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 20, 2012

    Thomas Preston,

    MR. Simonicini is NOT a doctor. He was stripped of his medical license and has been convicted of manslaughter.

    He has no “successes” nor any mechanisms for such. He is one of the worst forms of criminal quacks on the face of the earth. I wish you luck with your health issues but there’s nothing that’s going to help with you with reiki or Simoncini. Please do not waste your time nor your money.

  49. #49 Krebiozen
    December 20, 2012

    Thomas Preston,
    Please take a look at this website before you make any decision about seeing Simoncini. Not only is cancer not a fungus, but sodium bicarbonate does not kill cancer, and at least some of Simoncini’s testimonials are suspect.

  50. #50 Ryan
    December 27, 2012

    To all scientific minds, I would suggest reading the book Proof of Heaven, by Eben Alexander, M.D. The Author is a neurosurgeon. Great read. To above statement, “It would require extraordinary evidence” – take all science back further and further and further. Back long ago, we would describe the same physical world under a different paradigm, all else was wrong or blasphemy, then we discovered something new and the paradigm shifts and we realize we werent actually seeing the full picture. Major paradigm shifts like flat earth to round earth; geo centric to helio centric to galaxies and beyond; macroscopic to microscopic to atomic to quantum; all of these paradigm shifts changed the face of what we knew to be true.. They absolutely *believed* they knew it was true! Because it was observable, repeatable, so and their model actually described what they observed. Something new is added, the model needs to be changed.

    Study metaphysics for a few years, practice reiki or qi gong for a few months, meditate in nature for part of an afternoon. I know it works and how it works through direct personal experience, study, questioning, and even skepticism.

    Even though some of these forum goers did not give examples, there are literally thousands of books on these topics, if you want to find them out, go google things like “studies, metaphysics, reiki, healing, consciousness, thoughts affecting reality, etc.” Do some real investigating, try it out. There are numerous studies on benefits of meditation, many on Qi Gong, and more being done with Reik. Here are a few:

    (longer than above)

    (same as above, different link)

    People use Reiki, and get personalized subjective and observable benefits. As in, their brain chemistry changes.

  51. #51 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    December 27, 2012


    If you’d care to point out the randomized, double blinded, placebo controlled study that shows a significant physical benefit to Reiki that exceeds placebo, please share.

  52. #52 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 27, 2012


    Did you bother to read any of the 650 comments already posted here, or on any of the other tedious reiki comment page populated by frauds like Judith and Marg?

    We’ve already been through the “paradigm shifts”. It is not our duty to do any investigating; you prove to us that handwaving does anything aside from a limited placebo effect in some self-limiting situations. Marg and Judith were challenged here for months and the best they could give us was anecdotes.

    Do you really think you have anything new to contribute that we haven’t already torn to shreds? You’re going to open up the debate with us? Can reiki cure cancer? Can energy healing be done long-distance?

    Reiki is nonsense; energy healing is nonsense; and if you sell it you’re a fraud.

  53. #53 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 27, 2012

    Good grief, more Pamela Miles webpages. Who’s next, Dr. Quacket Oz?

  54. #54 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    December 27, 2012

    One more–I couldn’t resist.

    Ryan says there are “numerous studies” and then posts links to “a few.”

    What Ryan really did was post two links, but made it look like four. Pamela Miles’ webpage is not a study, it’s an advertisement designed to sell her services. Posting two links to the same article doesn’t make it twice as persuasive.

    (This is so much more fun than Didymus…)

  55. #55 AdamG
    December 27, 2012

    They absolutely *believed* they knew it was true!

    You mean, like you absolutely *believe* you know that reiki is true?

    then we discovered something new

    Something new is added, the model needs to be changed.

    What is this new thing that has been added? Can you show us evidence that ‘something new’ has been discovered?

    I know it works and how it works through direct personal experience, study, questioning, and even skepticism.

    Oh, look, another person who thinks they are greater than human. Your “direct personal experience” is not sufficient to upend the laws of physics.

  56. #56 Krebiozen
    December 27, 2012


    To all scientific minds, I would suggest reading the book Proof of Heaven, by Eben Alexander, M.D. The Author is a neurosurgeon. Great read.

    There was a great review of this book by Paul Raeburn in HuffPo (of all places). I especially appreciated this, about Dr. Alexander’s “near death experience”:

    Alexander has made much of the supposed “fact” that his “entire neocortex — the outer surface of the brain, the part that makes us human — was entirely shut down, inoperative.” Dr. Martin Samuels, chairman of the neurology department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told the Times that “there is no way to know, in fact, that his neocortex was shut down.” Samuels also dismissed the notion that Alexander’s medical background gives him some authoritative edge on near-death experiences. “The fact that he is a neurosurgeon is no more relevant than if he was a plumber.”

    You also wrote:

    Back long ago, we would describe the same physical world under a different paradigm, all else was wrong or blasphemy, then we discovered something new and the paradigm shifts and we realize we werent actually seeing the full picture. Major paradigm shifts like flat earth to round earth; geo centric to helio centric to galaxies and beyond; macroscopic to microscopic to atomic to quantum; all of these paradigm shifts changed the face of what we knew to be true..

    One of those paradigm shifts was away from old concepts like vitalism, which was popular before people understood how respiration and the ciculation of the blood worked. New discoveries in physiology, biochemistry and cell biology made it clear that the full picture did not require a mystical life force. Reiki is a form of vitalism, and it would require a backwards paradigm shift for it to become something accepted in science. We would have to “undiscover” a whole raft of things in physics and biology that are inconsistent with the idea of reiki.

    Even though some of these forum goers did not give examples, there are literally thousands of books on these topics, if you want to find them out, go google things like “studies, metaphysics, reiki, healing, consciousness, thoughts affecting reality, etc.” Do some real investigating, try it out.

    I’ve been there and done that, thanks. Some of those ideas may be useful if you need a way to relax, but that’s about it. Despite years of searching I never found anything at all convincing about “thoughts affecting reality”. I think these topics (and the thousands of books written about them) say much more about human suggestibility and gullibility than they do about mysterious energies that science cannot measure.

  57. #57 herr doktor bimler
    December 27, 2012

    go google things […] Do some real investigating

    Repeated for hilarity.

  58. #58 Shay
    staring out my office window and wondering why I didn't take the whole week off
    December 27, 2012

    Oh, Herr Doktor — on another forum I was informed by a poster that my insistence on source documents* was silly and that Google was the single most useful research tool ever discovered in the whole history of da Universe#

    (military history is big on primary sources, many of which are not online yet).

  59. #59 Denice Walter
    December 27, 2012

    Lord** almighty! Oddly enough a woo-centric acquaintance related tales from the very same book to me a few months back as “proof” fo life after death..

    My response, as it was to Marg, was that stories, feelings and beliefs about the Great Beyond are the stuff of religion, not science..

    I cannot fathom a way that we could scientifially investigate the veracity of tales from the Other Side because no one returns from that Far Country. What people experience when awakening from a coma or when their heart stopped and was re-started is contaminated with folktale, myth and religious stories in their memories prior to the experience.
    Also resurrection would make you quite a celebrity, I’d think: folks might exaggerate to get a piece of that..

    ** non-existent

  60. #60 Bronze Dog
    December 27, 2012

    The thing about tales from the afterlife is that they don’t bring back information we could verify independently. I’m sure mathematicians would love it if someone could come back with detailed proofs of certain theorems or even something as simple as “Is 2^(some big n)-1 a prime number?” The prime number ones would be relatively easy to check since you’d just need a high-end computer to chug at it long enough. It’d probably take several potential primes with very accurate answers to verify it’s not luck, but it’d certainly suggest something weird is going on.

    Instead of concrete stuff like that, which could be approached scientifically to establish fundamental questions, we get the usual boring happy wish fulfillment fluffery or dire warnings to repent.

    Oh, and Ryan, you’re human. So are the people giving the anecdotes. Sincerity is not a measure of accuracy. People can sincerely believe false things because of several known cognitive failings inherent to human beings. The real problem with anecdotalism is that not only does it demand that we throw out the well-established scientific theories, it also means throwing away the humility that comes with accepting our humanity and replacing it with hubris. The fact that we are human is exactly the reason why things aren’t always as they seem. Anecdotalism demands that we assume things are exactly as they seem.

  61. #61 Edith Prickly
    a place where life ends when you die
    December 27, 2012

    What exactly are we supposed to be learning from “the afterlife” anyway? Seems to me it would just be a tremendous waste of energy to continue existing after your physical body has ceased to function. I think the notion of an afterlife is just a product of our egos – we don’t want believe that the world will keep on functioning without us in it.

  62. #62 herr doktor bimler
    December 27, 2012

    we don’t want believe that the world will keep on functioning without us in it.

    That is exactly why I am building this device to BLOW UP THE UNIVERSE when I die.

  63. #63 flip
    I can't believe it's not Marg... or Judith
    December 27, 2012


    Your points and more have been covered in this thread and many others on this site. I won’t bother replying to you in detail, since a reading of said comments would provide ample response to your points. Including and especially the one about your own personal experiences, anecdotes and data. Oh, and how books aren’t good evidence.

    At any rate, I *have* tried qigong, and found it nothing but a waste of time. How does that compare with your ‘experience’?

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