Why reiki masters can’t lose

Jeannine-Reiki-Hands

Regular readers of my not-so-super-secret other blog, where I write under my own name, know that last month Steve Novella and I published a rather nice (if I do say so myself) opinion piece in a peer-reviewed journal about what we called “clinical trials of magic.” In it, we argued that certain alternative medicine modalities are so incredibly implausible from a purely basic science viewpoint, on physics and chemistry considerations alone, that it is a waste of time and resources, not to mention unethical, to do clinical trials testing them. Two of the main examples we used were homeopathy (of course!) and reiki.

Reiki, as you recall, is a form of “energy healing” that I’ve discussed many times before. Its basic precept is that reiki healers, known as reiki masters, can, through a series of hand gestures that might or might not involve touching the patient and often involve symbols drawn in the air over the patient, tap into what they call the “universal source” and channel energy into the person being treated to heal them. You can probably see why I generally refer to reiki as faith healing that substitutes Eastern mystical beliefs for Christian beliefs. If you can’t see why, then simply substitute the word “God” or “Jesus” for the term “universal source,” and my meaning becomes obvious. Of course, reiki can get even more bizarre, particularly when it’s used in distant healing, which can only be likened (to me, at least) to intercessory prayer or when reiki masters claim to be able to send reiki energy into the past or the future. Yes, it does get even woo-ier than claiming to be able to channel healing energy.

Reiki is, without a doubt, far more a mystical belief system akin to religion than it is anything having to do with medicine. That much is obvious. That’s why I couldn’t resist a bit of amusement when I somehow (don’t ask how!) came across an article by someone named Tammy Hatherill, who runs Tammy’s Tarot and Healing entitled When Your Reiki Client Doesn’t Feel the ‘Energy’.

Wow. So reiki doesn’t always work? Who knew? Well, not exactly. Remember, reiki is a mystical magical belief system. Like a religion, it always works, and if it doesn’t it isn’t because the reiki has failed. You’ll see what I mean in a minute. First, savor the frustration of reiki masters who can’t get their clients to “feel it”:

It doesn’t happen to me very often, but on occasion it does. A client will say, “I don’t feel any different.” Or they may say, “In all honesty I didn’t feel the energy at all”.

What!!! How could the client not feel the wonderful and glorious energy that I felt and sensed whilst giving the treatment? How could they not ‘feel’ any different!!!

Please don’t despair, as the Reiki energy will still be working its magic and will still support the client on all the different levels (emotional/psychological/physical and spiritually.) Just because the client didn’t ‘feel’ anything doesn’t mean the Reiki wasn’t working.

See what I mean? If the patient doesn’t feel any different after the mystical magical glory that is reiki, it doesn’t mean anything at all. The reiki’s still working. How do you know? Well, you don’t. But if you’re a reiki master you do have a patter ready for your client before and after. Before, you basically tell the client that they will feel “something.” That something could range from tingles, colors, heat, cool, floating, heaviness, sleepiness, or peacefulness, to nothing at all. Convenient, isn’t it? I wonder what it would be like to be able to tell my patients that virtually any sensations they feel mean that the treatment worked—even if they feel nothing at all! Talk about a “can’t lose” setup. You really have to tip your hat to whoever thought of this scam.

Then, of course, there’s the after treatment patter for the mark client:

Reiki Practitioner: “So did you experience any of the sensations we discussed at the beginning of the appointment?”

Client: “No I’m sorry I didn’t feel a thing? I don’t think I feel any different”

Reiki Practitioner: “That’s ok, we know that some clients, feel no sensations. That’s perfectly Ok. I can still guarantee that the Reiki will have helped on many different levels, and it most certainly hasn’t caused any harm. I recommend that you keep an eye on your mood and your emotions, and your intake of water. You will probably be very thirsty over the coming days, and may have heightened emotions. If this occurs, please know that this is a natural part of Reiki. “Stuff” will be coming to the surface for you to deal with. Within a few days, you will probably feel the positives that Reiki has done for you. If you have any questions or concerns at all, please know you can ring me or email me and I will talk you through whatever you are experiencing.”

Gee, you don’t think that any of this might be the power of suggestion, would you? Naaah! Perish the thought! Of course, if we listen to Hatherill, the reasons for “failure” could be:

  1. The client may have ‘high’ expectations of what Reiki is (even if you have discussed it prior)
  2. The client may be extremely analytical
  3. Perhaps Reiki is truly not the modality for them
  4. Maybe you are not the right Reiki practitioner for the client
  5. Perhaps you as the practitioner were off balance or not 100 per cent

But don’t worry. Hatherill points out that it’s important that the practitioner understand and accept that “the Reiki is still helping and assisting even if the above factors are present.” This makes me wonder: Who is the reiki for, the client or the practitioner? I mean, I can understand that the poor reiki master’s confidence in the mystical magical energy fields that she claims to be manipulating for therapeutic intent might be shaken by a client taking the best that she can deliver and, despite the priming of the pump with the best pre-reiki patter the reiki master can come up with, basically shrugs her shoulders and says, “Meh.” But, hey, we doctors are not infrequently faced with patients for whom an intervention doesn’t work, failing to relieve the patient’s symptoms. We don’t have the luxury of telling the patient that our treatment worked, even though the patient doesn’t feel any different. We have to have a “Plan B.”

Perhaps the most incredible bit of nonsense comes near the end:

A person does not need to believe in nor feel the Reiki for it to work. So please don’t lose faith in yourself or the modality of Reiki. Some people really don’t feel the benefits during the treatment and yet we know as Practitioners the amazing benefits it will reap for them in the coming days/weeks/months.

No, you don’t need to believe in science-based medicine for it to work. Antibiotics will still cure your pneumonia, whether you “believe” in them or not. An appendectomy will cure your appendicitis, whether you “believe” in appendectomy or not. Lumpectomy or mastectomy can cure a woman’s breast cancer, whether she believes in surgery or not. Reiki is pure placebo, and there is no such thing as reiki energy. it’s never been detected. It’s faith healing. Indeed, even Hatherill says so. Her last wish in her post is that she hopes “it helps you to keep your faith and your belief in Reiki.”

That’s all that really matters, isn’t it? Just like religion. No wonder reiki masters can’t lose.

Comments

  1. #1 Renate
    September 11, 2014

    Reiki always works, at least for the reiki master, who at least drawns an income from the wallet of the victim.

  2. #2 Pris
    The Dark Side of the Force
    September 11, 2014

    My dad’s cousin believes she is a healer. What she does is similar to reiki. She waves her hands about you and projects healing energy. Or so she believes.

    Once when I visited her I was coming down with a cold. She insisted on ‘treating’ me. Those were the longest minutes of my life! I nearly burst all my interior organs with suppressed laughter.

    Afterwards she insisted that she felt something shift and I would feel better tomorrow.

    I didn’t, of course. My cold followed the usual timeline and I was still on the downwards slope. I felt decidedly worse the next day. That I had to climb up and down around sixty metres of ladders that day didn’t help either.

  3. #3 Helianthus
    September 11, 2014

    You will probably be very thirsty

    Just reading it made me reach for my water bottle.

  4. #4 The Grouchybeast
    September 11, 2014

    I’ve always wondered if it would be possible to do ‘ethical reiki’. Instead of all the energy nonsense, explain the placebo effect, and how it can be elicited more or less strongly by attaching different levels of ritual to the placebo intervention. I’d love to give that a try, but not enough to pay to go on a reiki course (as provided by my local college, sigh, along with ear candling and crystal therapy courses.)

  5. #5 Chris Hickie
    in a Faraday cage
    September 11, 2014

    And when their busy day is done, reiki masters still have enough energy to heal homeless cats–http://www.examiner.com/article/usui-reiki-master-teacher-allie-phillips-heals-homeless-cats (and she even does remote Skype sessions at $50/30 minutes).

  6. #6 The Smith of Lie
    September 11, 2014

    @The Grouchybeast

    But you can do that anyways without a course. It is not like there is a difference between real sham and sham sham (read: “real reiki” and “sham reiki”).

    So, go for it, open a practice and start doing ritual mumbo jumbo. If a “rea” sham master (errrm, of course I meant a real and trusted Reiki Master) quesions anything you’re doing say that you gained your knwoledge in meditative, mystical trance and dare them to prove you wrong.

    Of course there’s ethical question of trying to use placebo effect as modality, since it surely can affect how patient feels and maybe even slightly help with some symptoms (especially subjectively measured ones), but it can’t really cure anything.

    So, if you are going to start your ‘ethical reiki’ business, you’d have to carefully choose patients and explain them the small degree to which therapy could help them. Otherwise it’d be just as sham as sham sham. Real Reiki I wanted to say.

  7. #7 The Grouchybeast
    September 11, 2014

    @The Smith of Lie

    But you can do that anyways without a course.

    Unfortunately , professional beauty therapist insurance requires a qualification certificate, even for ‘treatments’ that are entirely made up of hand-waving and woo.

    you’d have to carefully choose patients and explain them the small degree to which therapy could help them

    I’d tell them it has zero evidence of being able to cure anything at all, but it might feel nice. Like getting a massage will not remove toxins, cause weight loss, strengthen the immune system or any of the other bullshit reasons sometimes used to sell massages. It just feels nice.

  8. #8 Krebiozen
    September 11, 2014

    I have the ability to make scientifically literate people salivate, by merely mentioning the magic words “Pavlov”, “dogs” and “bell”. I can’t figure out how to monetize it though, unlike Reiki masters (and mistresses, presumably).

  9. #9 Dangerous Bacon
    September 11, 2014

    Not only is it unnecessary for the patient to believe in reiki in order for it to work, the practitioner doesn’t have to believe in it either. From “The Weekend I Became A Reiki Healer”:

    “One of the lessons Jenny, my Reiki master, taught my class when we first gathered in her small, purple classroom in La Crescenta, California, was this:

    “Belief is irrelevant. You don’t have to believe a single word I say. If you have the Reiki energy and even the vaguest intention to heal, it will work.”…

    “When I told Jenny I didn’t know whether I thought Reiki was real myself, she said, “Oh, perfect! People who believe in Reiki are so boring. Skeptics are so much fun! Skeptics are the easiest to work with, because they want to be fair. Just go through the motions, and let them tell you if it worked. Pretend you know what you’re doing.”

    http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/show/the_weekend_i_became_a_reiki_healer/

    I sense opportunity here. Maybe I can open up a small practice out of my current office to treat patients and staff. None of us need to believe in reiki and I don’t have to know what I’m doing. As long as the energy’s there, that’s all that matters.

  10. #10 Denice Walter
    September 11, 2014

    I just searched the ‘net for ‘reiki with cats’ and found- after a few lolcat images- a wealth of websites and videos about energy healing amongst the kittehs. Since several involve shelter cats, I can’t see where there is monetary return BUT some bill themselves as ‘animal intuitives’ and ‘cat whisperers’ as well as offering instruction in the art.

  11. #11 Krebiozen
    September 11, 2014

    I have probably mentioned here before that some years ago I tried using therapeutic touch (which doesn’t involve touching) on my friends and family. I made no promises, but just asked if I could try something that might help. I found that it is possible to identify painful areas of the body simply by paying attention to the heat you can detect by holding your hand an inch or so above the person’s body. Inflamed and painful areas are hot, and emit increased infra-red.

    Once I had amazed them by telling them where it hurts (which increases suggestibility), I would furrow my brow and move my hand slowly back and forth over the painful area. After a while most people would report a reduction in pain, and sometimes increased mobility. One woman who was incapacitated by a slipped disk was able to walk around without any pain – that only lasted a few hours but repeated “treatment” extended the pain-free period indefinitely. Another young woman had the beginning of a migraine – half her visual field had gone dark – but after 20 minutes of me holding my hand over her hand she reported it had completely gone.

    I later got interested in hypnosis, and found you can duplicate these effects using simple suggestion, with no need for any hand-waving.

    I have mentioned here before a TV show, ‘Miracles For Sale’ (blocked in the UK) in which Derren Brown’ teaches a man many of the tricks of faith healing. The section I am thinking of is where he goes out on the street and ‘heals’ people – you will find it starting at 56:38 – the very first person who is ‘healed’ reports a pain in his leg reduces from a level of 10 down to zero. That’s pure suggestion, but I would be willing to bet that there was no objective improvement in his leg. No Reiki required, just suggestion.

  12. #12 Chris Hickie
    September 11, 2014

    @Denice #10–But everyone knows cats have secret lives and abilities (eg Mr. Mistoffelees in TS Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”) and thus cats spread the news of the reiki master to all local cats who then subliminally influence their owners into seeking reiki. Doing reiki on dogs, however, is a waste, as dogs only want to play fetch.

  13. #13 Eric Lund
    September 11, 2014

    Tammy’s Tarot and Healing

    One of these things is not like the other.

    You will probably be very thirsty

    “You are getting sleepy…” (Yes, Krebiozen@11 got there first.)

  14. #14 Brook
    September 11, 2014

    Back in the dark ages before prenatal testing to learn gender, an ob friend used to tell his patients they were having a girl but write boy in their chart. If he’d guessed correctly the parents were amazed. If he’d guessed incorrectly and the parents reminded him he’d pull out their chart to “prove” he was correct. Reiki masters make me think of him.

  15. #15 Chadwick Jones
    September 11, 2014

    They’ve done studies, ya know. 60% of the time, it works every time.

  16. #16 Helianthus
    September 11, 2014

    @ Denice

    reiki with cats

    Waving hands above a few of my late cats would have been a risky endeavor. Well, on the positive side the healer could get a free acupuncture/cupping session.

  17. #17 Krebiozen
    September 11, 2014

    Brook,

    Back in the dark ages before prenatal testing to learn gender, an ob friend used to tell his patients they were having a girl but write boy in their chart.

    I had the idea of offering prenatal gender prediction. Only $10 and your money back if I get it wrong, but my principles (damn them) got in the way.

  18. #18 sadmar
    Stratford-on-Bunkam
    September 11, 2014

    If a playwright was developing a tragedy about anti-vaxers killing children via exposure to VPDs, a few scenes involving Reiki would make great comic relief (a la the gravediggers in Hamlet).

    A click or two past Chris Hickie’s link on animal Reiki, you can land at the amazing site of SARA, the Shelter Animal Reiki Association:

    ‘A person does not need to believe in the Reiki for it to work.’ Of course not! Reiki works on tropical fish (http://tinyurl.com/n5gohf6).

    But the SARA folks would probably think Tammy Hatherill is shorting Reiki by suggesting the human client can experience Reiki failure because Reiki is not the right modality, the Reiki practitioner is not right for the client, or the practitioner was off balance. No! The testimony of Animal Reiki shows that Reiki unleashes the true universal healing energy every time, no matter who does it or to what living thing, because the critters always respond.

    A single application of Reiki cured a stressed-out bottom-feeding albino corydora who had stopped eating and swimming around and was just lying on the bottom of the tank. (This would seem to be vital info for aquarium enthusiasts. Who wants a depressed and suicidal tropical fish in their living room? The mood disorder might be contagious!)

    The lower beasties don’t just FEEL the Reiki, they WANT the Reiki. Yes, skeptics, they ask for it by name!

    “[A cat client’s person] called me as the Vet had said that there was nothing else they could do for Tiggy other than to put him to sleep. The person did not feel he was ready for this and when she was sitting quietly with him she heard Tiggy say the word Reiki to her, she knew nothing about Reiki at this point but decided to look into it and found me through the internet.”

    Of course, the stage play we’re imagining here is a tragedy, so all the main human characters are dead at the end. Only the miraculously revived Tiggy the Cat survives (Squiggly the bottom-feeding albino corydora having mysteriously disappeared after Tiggy was introduced to the Reiki Space…).

  19. #19 sadmar
    The Off Topic Couch
    September 11, 2014

    Speaking of the tragedy that is anti-vax, did folks watch the Nova episode last night? Any thoughts? Are the anti-vaxers up in arms? Is the program being discussed somewhere in virtual skeptic land?
    ……

    I’d guess most folks here don’t read io9.com, but the site has published a number of pro-science posts on anti-vaxers and climate-change deniers. This one shows which parts of greater L.A. have the lowest vax rates: http://tinyurl.com/pcqbmkm
    This one (‘What Happens When You Don’t Vaccinate’) presents CDC stats on the alarming rise in measles cases. http://tinyurl.com/k48y234

  20. #20 Denice Walter
    September 11, 2014

    @ sadmar:

    Ann Dachel @ AoA is already carping- but then WTF else has she to do?

  21. #21 Shay
    September 11, 2014

    Just reading it made me reach for my water bottle

    I’d have reached for the gin, myself.

  22. #22 Denice Walter
    September 11, 2014

    @ shay:

    Believe it or not, I am presently carrying a small bottle of Irish whiskey in my bag ( I’m sure that sounds wonderful- it should be gin though) because I expect to see someone who is recovering from minor but complicated hand surgery and I reckon he can put it to good use.

  23. #23 jeeeez
    September 11, 2014

    Anyone who believes in god or faith healing has to be completely crazy not to mention stupid and gullible. Modern science has long ago proven beyond the tiniest bit of doubt that any form of religion or mysticism is totally and completely nonsensical and wrong.

    Thank you orac for helping to straighten the world out on this question that should have been resolved hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

    God and faith are illusions, delusions, and are utterly and totally insane.

    Keep going at it friend!

  24. #24 Scote
    September 11, 2014

    ” and it most certainly hasn’t caused any harm.”

    I love how they think they are grabbing onto the fundamental flow of human life the force with their hands (and yanking it around like a dog trying to disarm a nuclear bomb) yet think think all of that blind manipulation can’t possibly do any harm. Anything capable of having an effect is capable of having negative side effects. If there are no possible side then you can be pretty certain there are no effects either.

    I really don’t get how woo medicine practioners think their imaginary modality is so powerful yet can never do harm.

  25. #25 Eric Lund
    September 11, 2014

    I’d have reached for the gin, myself.

    I understand the impulse, but that would only make you more thirsty. Alcohol is a diuretic.

    I really don’t get how woo medicine practioners think their imaginary modality is so powerful yet can never do harm.

    Cognitive dissonance can be a wonderful thing. Take the credit if it works, deflect all blame if it doesn’t. All you have to do is not insist on trivial details like self-consistency.

  26. #26 Karl Lembke
    Los Angeles, CAlifornia, USA
    September 11, 2014

    I sat in on a talk given by a reiki master. She asserted that the energy channeled by a reiki master was intelligent and would go where it was needed in order to heal the client. (In that case, why does it need someone to channel it?)

    What I found decidedly curious was that the same person who was willing to open people up so they could channel this energy, energy that would heal anything and knew where to go and what to do in order to effect this healing, also taught herbalism, crystal healing, acupressure, and a number of other New Age healing techniques. I guess access to a perfect healing energy did not render those other techniques obsolete after all.

  27. #27 Politicalguineapig
    September 11, 2014

    Sadmar: I tried to watch Calling the shots, but my antenna has a longstanding disagreement with PBS (And CBS, ABC, but not NBC.) Any idea where I could find it online?

  28. #28 sadmar
    September 11, 2014

    PGP: I can see it at:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/vaccines-calling-shots.html

    It might be blocked to some locations (??)

  29. #29 Scote
    September 11, 2014

    “I sat in on a talk given by a reiki master. She asserted that the energy channeled by a reiki master was intelligent and would go where it was needed in order to heal the client. (In that case, why does it need someone to channel it?)”

    That is more evidence for Orac’s contention that reiki is faith healing. Yahweh is intelligent and knows how to heal you, so why would Yahweh need Benny Hinn to channel that healing? Laying on of the hands, waving the hands – both involve people claiming to control supernatural power beyond our ken.

  30. #30 Politicalguineapig
    September 11, 2014

    Sadmar: Thanks! I’d checked the site last night, but it wasn’t up. It looks like it should play just fine.

  31. #31 Dangerous Bacon
    September 11, 2014

    “What I found decidedly curious was that the same person who was willing to open people up so they could channel this energy, energy that would heal anything and knew where to go and what to do in order to effect this healing, also taught herbalism, crystal healing, acupressure, and a number of other New Age healing techniques. I guess access to a perfect healing energy did not render those other techniques obsolete after all.”

    The wooist answer to why different alt healing techniques are needed if any one of the them is so effective, generally involves 1) ignoring the question, 2) changing the subject, or 3) asserting something along the lines of “we’re all different, what works for one may not work for another”.

    The same responses (or non-responses) apply when wooists are asked why there are hundreds of alt cancer remedies, with adherents swearing up and down that they’re all fantastically effective.

  32. #32 Spectator
    September 11, 2014

    #11

    For conditions where medicine has no cure, or which it does not diagnose reliably, an elaborate suggestion such as you describe sounds like a good thing. Or at least the attainable thing.

    Feeling better has a bit of medical value; being stressed out for a prolonged period eats away at one’s health, and any means to relieve that which doesn’t itself complicate matters is likely to make one’s health less bad. It may not fix any specific issue, but if medicine can’t identify said issue or can’t treat it, then something other than medicine may be the thing to use.

  33. #33 Debrako
    September 11, 2014

    My back was really bothering me last summer, especially during a painting class. I leaned over and let out a little yelp. Immediately, 4 of the 5 students came over and they ALL offered Reiki. All of them were Reiki masters. I politely declined and then they got nasty, accusing me (yup!) of not believing in it. They stopped speaking to me after that.

    Two other experiences involved cats. One Reiki person is an acquaintance who knew about a stray I was feeding for a couple years. Stray cat injured a leg but was getting around okay. Reiki lady checked in with me after performing some remote Reiki, expecting a glowing report, but the cat disappeared and we never saw him again. My sister, unbeknownst to me, became a Reiki master, announcing the achievement at Thanksgiving dinner. She offered to cure my indoor cat who was feeling under the weather and went to place her hands over him. His ears flattened and he turned into a viper, only stopping his lunge towards her arms at the word “treat”. Sis hasn’t visited us since then. Maybe there IS something to it. 😉

  34. #34 sadmar
    The 1980's
    September 12, 2014

    Oh Reiki, use your mind
    Cures your illness all the time
    Hey Reiki!
    Hey Reiki!

  35. #35 TBruce
    September 12, 2014

    Another advantage of Reiki is the title of the practitioner. Instead of being a (ho-hum) Nurse, Doctor or Therapist, you can be a MASTER! How cool is that?

    Unless, of course, your last name is Bates.

  36. #36 Bob G
    Los Angeles
    September 12, 2014

    I saw the Nova show on vaccinations tonight. There seem to be multiple showings spread over several days.

    I thought it was pretty good. It avoided bringing in the cranks, and used a few more or less normal people as examples of parents who had questions, and a few who used a delayed schedule. The show did a fairly intensive discussion about a boy who suffered a seizure following a shot, and then continued to have seizures. The show explained nicely that this is due to a genetic disease, and made clear that the parents understand and accept this explanation.

    The show did a reasonable explanation of the relative risks of vaccination vs. not doing so, but I don’t think people quite get it when you tell them it’s one in a million. We don’t seem to comprehend how this compares to one in three, or one in a hundred.

    The show did its best to explain herd immunity, but this seems to be a hard one to do. The mathematics and probability concepts were avoided entirely.

    Overall, this was pretty close to a best case scenario for decent reporting on a serious subject which managed to avoid phony “balance.” I can imagine that the cranks will find it very annoying.

    My only irritation with this show, and this is a very minor point, is that it did a lot of flashy editing, including cutaways to irrelevant objects. The attempt is to maintain a visually interesting look. If you watch and listen closely, you will eventually figure out that the program is put together using a running sound track featuring a narrator, and that the video editor pasted in the video scenes to fit the narration. That even happens to a certain extent when experts are interviewed.

    The Nova people understand full well that they are in the business of storytelling, and they lead off with a heartbreaking scene of a baby with whooping cough in a hospital bed, with a worried mother, a nurse running into the room to deal with an emergency, and lots of coughing. The story arc allows the editors to come back to the kid several months later, recovering, and lucky.

  37. #37 Tim
    September 12, 2014

    Of course, reiki can get even more bizarre, particularly when it’s used in distant healing, which can only be likened (to me, at least) to intercessory prayer or when reiki masters claim to be able to send reiki energy into the past or the future.

    I’m in contact with Edgar Cayce and a guy named ‘Frank’ right now as it is more readily facilitated during this ongoing period of heavier than normal radio racket Mother of All Sol’s infusion of energies impinging upon Gia on my open source, digital Frank’s Box and I’m telling him about the horrible lies you tell.

    Now, please pardon us, whilst we say a little prayer against you…

    http://huffingtonpost.com/aaron-sagers/inventor-of-franks-box-gh_b_5689238.html

    http://hauntedearthghostvideos.blogspot.com/2014/04/a-ghost-box-for-home-computer.html

  38. #38 Tim
    September 12, 2014

    My only irritation with this show, and this is a very minor point, is that it did a lot of flashy editing, including cutaways to irrelevant objects..

    Charlie Brooker — How to report the news

  39. #39 Michael Stone
    Orlando, FL
    September 12, 2014

    Everything feels everything. The only variable is awareness.

  40. #40 JerryA
    September 13, 2014

    I like the second reason for reiki “failure”: “The client may be extremely analytical”
    In other words, people who think don’t believe in this crap. Got it. Is that a warning to the practitioner or to the patient? Perhaps both.

  41. #41 Narad
    50 miles west of MCO
    September 13, 2014

    Mother of All Sol’s infusion of energies

    Jeezums, I miss my killfile. First KE5BMP, now this crap.

  42. #42 Krebiozen
    September 13, 2014

    Jeezums, I miss my killfile. First KE5BMP, now this crap.

    The amended Greasemonkey script still works for me.

  43. #43 Tim
    hangin' with some cats a little below the Heaviside layer
    September 13, 2014

    Narad,

    Ahh, Hams. I missed out there, only participating vicariously — I’m not much of a ‘joiner’, more kind of a stoner…

    Naturally, being obsessive, I was put off boning up on nicotinamide riboside to try and work out a callsign from WTMKF. (+another character).

    http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3616313/

    However, I know of a couple of those letter-loaded Q-heads who’d hail *ITM, citizens!* when blasting out a QSX and then quietly, desperately await even a solitary QSL — KJ6LNG & KF5SLN.

    QRT?

  44. […] by Orac via Respectful Insolence […]

  45. #45 kc
    September 20, 2014

    I suppose that’s why so many hospitals, doctors, cancer centers and respected institutions such as Yale, Harvard, MD Anderson (where I was a former patient and where reiki was offered free of charge to patients during my time there), etc have all studied reiki and/or made it available to patients…because it’s ineffectual nonsense. There are lots of woowoo out there space cadets that practice reiki, but there are also lots of respected members of the community (both medical and non-medical alike) as well as more grounded and down to earth people who practice (and receive) it as well.

    I am curious to know if you have ever bothered to try reiki, distance or otherwise, (preferably with someone who is not somewhere orbiting the rings of Jupiter) with a respected practitioner who truly understands the scope and impact of the practice, one who doesn’t make claims of miraculous healings but states clearly that it is a form of ancillary care that is to be used in conjunction with traditional medical care before you have passed judgement?

    Your “article” merely reads as a rant with little practical or accurate information but draws information from one fruit loop fringe practitioner in order to support your position. Just a few things to consider before you completely discount a modality which is used within respected medical circles…or maybe you are more knowledgeable than the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical and MD Anderson, in which case I’ll come to you for all future medical advice.

    http://www3.mdanderson.org/calendar/event/Reiki_7926.html

    http://mayoclinichealthsystem.org/…/center-for…/reiki

    http://www.health.harvard.edu/press…/healing_touch_therapy

    http://medicine.yale.edu/cancer/gifts/volunteer.aspx

    PS – It is also important to note that different people possess different skill levels as with any talent or skill set. Not every reiki practitioner is a Reiki Master (as you stated)…and not all practitioners or masters are created equal…like the piano, some play chopsticks and some play Chopin. If there were no merit to the claims then no prominent institutions would be involved in studying it, let alone offering it to patients…once we couldn’t observe germs because we didn’t have the proper tools, but it didn’t mean they weren’t there.
    *end diatribe*

  46. #46 kc
    September 20, 2014
  47. #47 Narad
    September 20, 2014

    If there were no merit to the claims then no prominent institutions would be involved in studying it, let alone offering it to patients…

    So the point sailed right past your pineal gland over your head, then?

  48. #48 herr doktor bimler
    September 20, 2014

    By the same token, the presence of chaplains at many hospitals establishes the truth of religion.

  49. #49 Dangerous Bacon
    September 21, 2014

    Has there ever been a study in which subjects were randomized to groups treated by a) a reiki master, b) a non-master reiki practitioner, c) someone with no reiki training but who can fake it, and d) a person who stayed in a Motel 6 the previous night?

    It’d be fascinating to see if people in any group fared better on objective health measurements.

    Maybe Deepak Chopra would loan us facilities at his Woo Center for carrying out this needed work.

  50. #50 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    September 21, 2014

    kc-
    Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

    Please provide citations to support your claim that Reiki is not a total crock of $#!+. Some here would demand that you provide PMIDs, but I am not so demanding. I request two links to sites or dead tree media that support your claim, or admit that you are a total vegiterian and that there is no evidence to support Reiki. Only your two best please.

  51. #51 Krebiozen
    September 21, 2014

    Not every reiki practitioner is a Reiki Master (as you stated)…and not all practitioners or masters are created equal…like the piano, some play chopsticks and some play Chopin.

    True, but few pretend to play an imaginary piano to a paying audience.

  52. #52 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    September 21, 2014

    Besides John Cage, anyway.

  53. #53 Lawrence
    September 21, 2014

    Psychics are able to advertise on National TV, does that make them any more legitimate?

  54. #54 Militant Agnostic
    September 21, 2014

    HDB

    By the same token, the presence of chaplains at many hospitals establishes the truth of religion.

    All of them – even when they contradict each other, just like healing touch and reiki.

  55. #55 Shay
    September 21, 2014

    In the words of my sister the VA RN, when I asked her why the VA pays for stuff like reiki and acupuncture and aromatherapy for her patients —

    “They think it makes them feel better.”

  56. #56 Chemmomo
    Land without preview
    September 21, 2014

    kc,

    I suppose that’s why so many hospitals, doctors, cancer centers and respected institutions such as Yale, Harvard, MD Anderson (where I was a former patient and where reiki was offered free of charge to patients during my time there), etc have all studied reiki and/or made it available to patients

    I don’t suppose you read this post last spring: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/04/11/faith-healing-everywhere-in-medical-academia/

  57. #57 TBruce
    September 21, 2014

    …and not all practitioners or masters are created equal…like the piano, some play chopsticks and some play Chopin.

    Considering that the Reiki person doesn’t actually touch the patient, wouldn’t a more appropriate metaphor be a Theramin?

  58. #58 TBruce
    September 21, 2014

    Has there ever been a study in which subjects were randomized to groups treated by a) a reiki master, b) a non-master reiki practitioner, c) someone with no reiki training but who can fake it, and d) a person who stayed in a Motel 6 the previous night?

    You didn’t include a person who stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night – probably he or she could raise the dead.

  59. #59 Alain
    I'm launching a contest
    September 21, 2014

    Hello Team,

    I want to launch a contest with a due date of 31st of January 2015:

    The contest consist of finding an idea, or many, to create the most amount of money which is destined to a trust fund to help autistic peoples in Quebec, then Canada, then more. The idea will have to be creative, sustainable and legal. that is for year 2015 and will be decided by myself along with a comity of peer reviewers in the financial sectors to ensure that I have the best idea possible.

    The same comity will select 10 others ideas for which in January 2016 at the end of the month, I’ll select the 10 winners to receive 1000$ each.

    All the proceed from the investment in these ideas will goes to creating device (such as a monitor for the level of endorphins in autistic peoples, perhaps using the Apple iWatch device or something else, another idea is a service for which autistic peoples press a button on their paid by us cell phone to have a taxi bring them home or elsewhere safely in case of harms or possible harms or any situation for which they need help, for free (paid by us, I’ll cut a deal with an insurance company) or anything which myself or my comity of autistic people find useful or life-saving.

    All I want is that, autistic have a safe and productive life where I am right now and it’s no different than immigrant sending money to their family except that I want to invest and get the maximum amount of money for services, product, and training for just about everyone in a professional situation (police, medical personnel, etc…) to be able to know how to interact with autistic peoples in just about any situation they are (from perfectly normal to overly non-verbal and in a shutdown state). Period.

    Thanks you very much for your help and send your ideas to alain.toussaint at securivm.ca or else, at alain.toussaint at sap.com.

    Alain

  60. #60 Alain
    September 21, 2014

    Btw, Share widely.

    Alain

  61. #61 Alain
    September 21, 2014

    Another detail, I know that a significant lot of money is in the stock exchange and thus, most of the ideas will be about the stock exchange (I think, I could be wrong). In that case, a mathematical algorithm is sufficient. I already made contact with an autistic mathematician to design one or several algorithm to use in stock exchange. That’s an idea too but just about any ideas worth its salt or not, will be considered. I just want the maximum amount of idea possible.

    So, brainstorm 🙂

    Alain

  62. #62 squirrelelite
    September 22, 2014

    And, since Chopin wrote Chopsticks, some do both (and then some)…

  63. #63 JGC
    September 22, 2014

    There are lots of woowoo out there space cadets that practice reiki, but there are also lots of respected members of the community (both medical and non-medical alike) as well as more grounded and down to earth people who practice (and receive) it as well.

    Let’s assume that this is true, kc. The question taht immedieately leaps to mind is “Did you havea point?” the fact that respected memebers of the communiyt etc. practice and receive Reiki isn’t an argument that it’s effective, only popular.

    As for the question of whether or not any of us have tried energy healing, again I fail to see the import–surely you’re not suggesting that one must do so to form an inteligent opinion regarding the evidence (or rather the complete lack of credible evidence) attesting to its efficacy?

    But let’s assume for the sake of argument that I did try it, and that I even believed afterward it had been effective. All this would constitute was another anecdotal account (i.e., something other than evidence).

    If there were no merit to the claims then no prominent institutions would be involved in studying it, let alone offering it to patients

    This isn’t true, I’m afraid: you’re confusing ‘value’ and ‘merit’.

    As long as there’s patient demand for alternative modalities such as reiki there’s value–financial incentive–for hospitals to make them available to patients (if for no other reason than to keep them from moving on to the next hospital over that does provide those services).

    So here’s a direct question, kc: What in your opinion is the single most credible, most compelling piece of scientific evidence demonstrating that Reiki or another energy healing is effective as a treatment for non-self limiting injuries or illnesses?

  64. #64 JMF
    Casper,WY
    October 12, 2014

    I am a Reiki Practitioner, I never charged a penny until I had to start renting an office instead of practicing out of my home. Like any business, you need to be compensated for your time and the money you put into it. The reason I moved out of my home is I had so many people that were helped and enjoyed the Reiki energy that I had to move it out of my home. It is real, and it does help. You can be as skeptical as you want(believe me we are use to it), but unless you have had a treatment then you couldn’t possibly understand. In regards to “not feeling it” some individuals’ energy is so blocked it takes at least 4 sessions to really feel an effect, because it does work even if you don’t feel it right away. I imagine there are some practitioners out there that aren’t credible, but we are not all scam artists or money grubbing fiends. If a client says to me I can’t pay for another session or it’s a money issue- like most Credible Reiki Practitioners we don’t deny anybody that is asking for a Reiki treatment-I won’t charge or if I do I will barter or give a very generous discount depending on the situation. We do this – because we know how the Universe Works- for every Reiki session I give away, not only am I doing a good deed, but I will receive 2-3 additional paying clients. If you want to believe its the power of suggestion, you are truly only limiting yourself. All I know is people come to me feeling stressed and when they leave they leave they feel relaxed and an over all sense of well being. I have had clients that were suffering with depression an now happy with their circumstances. I have had a cancer patient tell me that Reiki made her feel good for at least one day- and to her that was a precious gift. At the end of the year, with the money I put into my Reiki practice with the cost of essential oils, classes, massage tables, sheets & pillow cases, paper & printing, gas to drive, and office rent…I don’t always make a profit. I’m ok with that. I’m doing something I believe in and I am helping people. I have repeat customers that were once skeptics. So go ahead and say what you will, spread your negativity and closed mindedness. I know it works and even if I help just one person, that’s all that matters.

  65. #65 squirrelelite
    October 12, 2014

    @JMF,

    I used to go out on Sunday afternoons and visit people who were suffering from a variety of problems from severe illness to just plain old age.
    And a lot of them told me it made them feel better.
    But I never claimed to be activating some undetectable life force to generate an immeasurable healing by manipulating an undemonstrated energy. And, I didn’t charge them for it.

    But, just granting the bare possibility you might have such power, have you passed the Emily Rosa test before a neutral observer?
    And, when are you planning to demonstrate your power and win the $1 million from the JREF?

  66. #66 JMF
    United States
    October 14, 2014

    There is one promlem that I have with the Emily Rose Test…Credible Reiki Practitioners go through a certain process before channeling Reiki Energy. Before I do a session I prepare a room clearing energy, by praying, and doing reiki on my self as well as a centering and grounding excercise. I read nothing about this young lady taking into the account of allowing the reiki practitioner’s to prepare as they would prepare for a reiki session. Her study was also done on Theraputic touch, though similar to Reiki it is not the same thing. The “Placebo Effect” can’t explain the heat and sensations I feel and have only felt since being attuned to reiki. Nor can it explain how during a Reiki Session I recieve information from somewhere in my head about this person. I was able to feel the pain of one client. A great feeling of regret…with the words “it should of happened in New York” After the session I asked her about it and she explained to me when she was younger, she was suppose to be in a pagent and dance competition in New York. The winner was to win a scholarship for a School of Arts program. She flew to New York and right before the competition she had a bad reaction to a measles vaccination she had gotten before she left. She wasn’t able to be in the competition, went into a depression, gained weight…etc. I could tell her that she was still carrying that pain and she agreed that was a beginning of a downward spiral for her. she has since continued doing reiki and letting go of old pains. This is only one example. I didn’t know anything about this person…there was no way for me to know about her experience-but I was able to pinpoint the source of her supressed regret & pain so she could work on it. Reiki isn’t a “magic” healer… it opens you up and gives you the ability to heal yourself. It’s a great stress reliever. Studies have proven that emotional pain and stress can be linked to physical manifestations of pain and disease. I don’t claim to heal people…but I can help them to heal themselves. I think that this article doesn’t do Reiki the justice it deserves because many people, like the writer has misconceptions, haven’t done the research, and most importantly hasn’t experienced it themselves. I challenge YOU and all other skeptics to go in and have 4 reiki sessions done. 1 a week for 4 weeks and then make your decision. I would gladly offer any skeptic 4 free sessions. I live in Casper, WY.
    You say that you never charged people for visiting them when they are ill, that’s called volunterring. Do you charge them for the services that you provide in the line of work you do? Do you get paid for your job or do you work for free?

  67. #67 Jennifer Francis
    Casper Wy
    October 14, 2014

    @squirrelelite
    Here are reason’s why nobody can ever win the million dollar challenge.

    http://www.dailygrail.com/features/the-myth-of-james-randis-million-dollar-challenge

  68. #68 Woo Fighter
    October 14, 2014

    Studies have proven that emotional pain and stress can be linked to physical manifestations of pain and disease.

    Please provide links to some of these “studies” you claim exist, please. You can’t, because it’s all BS. Like most of your post, you lying charlatan.

    If reiki isn’t glorified “faith healing” why do you have to “pray” to prepare the room? To whom do you “pray”? What if your reiki client isn’t religious, or believes in a different “god” you believe in?

    You also come across as anti-vaccination, as many alt-healers are. Can reiki prevent or cure measles, polio and pertussis too? Does your magic warmth and tingling protect your customers against vaccine preventable deaths?

  69. #69 Shay
    October 14, 2014

    JMF — therapy dogs do the same thing, and they don’t charge.

  70. #70 JMF
    Casper,WY
    October 14, 2014

    @ Shay…They may not(because they are dogs FYI)…but the trainer’s whose JOB it is to train them do.
    Trainer and acquisition fees may range from no cost to thousands of dollars. Each service animal trainer or training program sets their own fees. Some people choose to look for sponsorship for their service animal from local organizations such as businesses, churches, and civic groups. By helping sponsor a service animal, local organizations give back to their community, much like sponsoring a youth sports team. The Assistance Dog United Campaign (ADUC) raises funds in support of the assistance dog community. ADUC accepts voucher applications for new assistance dog partnerships. Vouchers are issued once a year and the decision of to whom to give the vouchers is based on disability and financial needs. Contact ADUC at info@assistancedogunitedcampaign.org.
    Not all dogs graduate our program, yet the cost of our time and resources remain fixed. ASDA is a nonprofit that does not receive government funding: we depend on general public donations, grants, fundraisers and volunteers. The full cost to breed, raise and train an ASDA service dog is over $20,000.

  71. #71 JMF
    October 14, 2014

    @Woo Fighter
    Reiki isn’t religious , but it is spiritual…and there is a difference.
    If you need to a study that stress and emotional pain cause physical symptoms as well(I thought that was commn sense)here is a link http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000417.htm
    From the US National Library of Health

  72. #72 JMF
    October 14, 2014

    It’s ok to be skeptical…it’s a great defense mechanism. I was skeptical of Reiki myself until I became friends with a woman that practiced it. Other than being really relaxing, I didn’t really notice any changes until my 3rd session with her. I began to notice a shift in my thinking. Not just about reiki, but everything. I was calmer, I was more open to spirituality(not religion) I was able to express myself much easier. I noticed I wasn’t getting stressed about the small things in life. It didn’t happen overnight. It was a process…(nobody takes 1 antibioticc and says…”nope doesn’t work) I believed in it so much I began to take classes. After being attuned and practicing Reiki more frequently I noticed that the violent attacks of vertigo I use to have from Meniere’s disease are virtually non existent. I feel better about myself, I am not as narrow minded, I am a more loving and caring individual. You can bad mouth however you want, but for every person that says it’s a scam, there is a person to say that Reiki has changed their lives for the better or helped them in some way. How can you base a decision on something you have never even given a chance in the first place?

  73. #73 squirrelelite
    October 14, 2014

    @JMF,
    The closest I ever came to working on a fee per service basis was a short term contract to install a lot of printers. And, I could demonstrate to the customer that every installed printer worked. No hemming and hawing about it.
    But, at the moment, I am not working because I just completed some training for a different career and am actively seeking employment.

    The point of the Emily Rosa test was that the Reiki practitioners couldn’t even detect the hand they were supposedly channeling healing energy into.

    Your link is not a scientific report and has nothing to do with Reiki.

    And now you claim not just healing but ESP as well!

    You really should contact the JREF.

    There’s a million dollars waiting for you.

  74. #74 JMF
    October 14, 2014

    @Woo Fighter
    Spirituality means something different to everyone. For some it’s there connection with God, some it’s a connection with the universe, the Earth, the energy that is contained in everything around them. For some it’s a connection to their higher power. For me when I pray I to my higher power that I don’t let my ego get into the way during a Reiki Session. Some people pray to “God” or their perception of him, some pray to guides, angels…etc. Religion is an organized set of beliefs and attitudes. Are you denying that there is energy all around us? Are you denying that we are made up of energy? Whatever your religious beliefs, how can you deny that we are all made of energy, and that the Universe doesn’t contain energy? It is really so hard to believe that a person could be be open enough to operate at a higher frequency and able pass along this energy? All I am saying, is the best test is to try it yourself. Give it a legitamate chance before you result to name calling and slander.

  75. #75 JMF
    October 14, 2014

    @Woo Fighter
    Spirituality means something different to everyone. For some it’s there connection with God, some it’s a connection with the universe, the Earth, the energy that is contained in everything around them. For some it’s a connection to their higher power. For me when I pray I to my higher power that I don’t let my ego get into the way during a Reiki Session. Some people pray to “God” or their perception of him, some pray to guides, angels…etc. Religion is an organized set of beliefs and attitudes. Are you denying that there is energy all around us? Are you denying that we are made up of energy? Whatever your religious beliefs, how can you deny that we are all made of energy, and that the Universe doesn’t contain energy? It is really so hard to believe that a person could be be open enough to operate at a higher frequency and able pass along this energy? All I am saying, is the best test is to try it yourself. Give it a legitamate chance before you result to name calling and slander.

  76. #76 JMF
    October 14, 2014

    @Woo Fighter
    Spirituality means something different to everyone. For some it’s there connection with God, some it’s a connection with the universe, the Earth, the energy that is contained in everything around them. For some it’s a connection to their higher power. For me when I pray I to my higher power that I don’t let my ego get into the way during a Reiki Session. Some people pray to “God” or their perception of him, some pray to guides, angels…etc. Religion is an organized set of beliefs and attitudes. Are you denying that there is energy all around us? Are you denying that we are made up of energy? Whatever your religious beliefs, how can you deny that we are all made of energy, and that the Universe doesn’t contain energy? It is really so hard to believe that a person could be be open enough to operate at a higher frequency and able pass along this energy? All I am saying, is the best test is to try it yourself. Give it a legitamate chance before you result to name calling and slander.

  77. #77 JMF
    October 14, 2014

    @squirrelelite
    The link was for the JREF and how & why the million dollars could never be one. Obviously you didn’t read it. Emily Rosa’s experiment wasn’t on Reiki it was on Therapeutic Touch. They are different. A reiki practitioner goes through a series of attunements of energy. My understanding is that Theraputic Touch does not. With that being said, I found this quote from Healing Touch International on Emily Rosa’s “experiment” on Theraputic Touch
    The study design was not representative of a therapeutic touch session. It was set up more as a parlor game. Therapeutic touch studies using people with health problems would most likely demonstrate positive effects.
    I personally will give Therapuetic Touch the benefit of the doubt. I read how the experiment was done, and I truly feel that if the experiment was done in such a way that a person was actually being given treatments, on a regular basis and progress was being documented her study could of gone a different way. She basically held her hand over a person’s hand…that is not a session!

  78. #78 Quark
    October 14, 2014

    “Studies have proven that emotional pain and stress can be linked to physical manifestations of pain and disease.”

    Of course, it’s why placebo effect exist. Rei ki is nothing beyond theatrical placebo, no need to promote “energy healing” bullshit. Start by accepting that (and, by the way, stop raping the physics whith your munbo jumbo) and you will feel better aswell : just accept it as a way of life “be calm and cool”, stop buying nonsensical shit energy.

    By spreading false claims you weaken the proper decision making of people and then they may be abused by woo seller (money makers).

  79. #79 squirrelelite
    October 14, 2014

    @JMF,

    You stated:

    the best test is to try it yourself

    That’s a perfectly reasonable statement for a religion. But, science is about being able to demonstrate independently and repeatably to other people.

    “I did it once and I feel better today” is subject to far too many random factors to have any credibility as a scientific demonstration.

    And when Reiki is tested by those methods, it utterly fails.

    You can pray to whomever or whatever you want. That’s a big part of what religion is about. I would argue that the more important part is answering simple questions like, what should I do to be a good person and what should I do to make up for the bad things that I do.

    There are six recognized forms of energy.
    http://www.energyeducation.tx.gov/energy/section_1/topics/what_is_energy/index.html

    When you can use your Reiki energy to do observable work, I will accept that it exists and scientists all over the world will scramble to study it. They are certainly looking for new phenomena to research since the LHC didn’t turn up a host of weird, previously unobserved particles but only the predicted Higgs boson instead.

    But, I’m not holding my breath. I’ll need it for my morning walk. I’ll be using stored chemical energy to generate electrical energy to cause my muscles to move and accelerate the mass of my body against the force of gravity and increase the speed of my movement.
    I’ll also need some insulating material to keep my body from losing too much of its thermal kinetic energy by radiating it away as infrared electromagnetic radiation. (It’s cold out this morning.)
    And whether I stay at home or whether I go on that walk, a few atoms of the radioactive elements that are naturally part of my body like C14 and K40 will decay and lose some of their nuclear energy.

    It’s not that hard to demonstrate the existence of energy. But, somehow Reiki always fails that test.

  80. #80 squirrelelite
    October 14, 2014

    @JMF,

    which link?

    You gave an email address about therapy dogs and a link to a government info page about how pain can cause stress and depression.

    And, the terms of the JREF challenge are quite flexibile.

    Neither the Foundation nor the claimant can force a testing procedure without the approval of the other party. In fact, applicants are encouraged to formulate their own protocol. However, if the protocol you submitted with your application does not qualify as a sufficient test of the claimed ability, the JREF will develop alternate testing protocol that you may agree to. The testing procedure is a negotiation. If at any time it a deadlock is reached, the application process will be terminated, and neither side will be blamed or considered at fault. On occasion, an applicant may agree to a protocol previously designed by the JREF for testing various paranormal claims. Most of the time, however, new test protocols are developed jointly between the applicant/claimant and the JREF so that each party agrees to the terms of the test.

    http://web.randi.org/the-million-dollar-challenge.html

  81. #81 Lawrence
    October 14, 2014

    Reiki is nothing but belief – if you want to believe it, great. But understand that it has no basis in Science or Fact…..go ahead, wave your hands over people & pray and stuff – people have been doing that for thousands of years (its called Religion).

    Otherwise, don’t claim to be connected to some all-powerful universal intelligence or “power” because it doesn’t exist.

  82. #82 JMF
    October 14, 2014

    @squirrelelite
    I respect your opinion. I can understand why you feel that way. You don’t know me from a hole in the ground, so I can understand how it’s difficult to just accept taking my word for it. All I can say is Reiki has worked for me, and many others. I believe that there are things in this world that are unexplainable. I base my beliefs on my experiences. It has changed my life for the better. If you ever have an extraordinary experience(s) that can’t be explained, It’s an amazing feeling. I wish you the best.

  83. #83 Lawrence
    October 14, 2014

    @JMF – you just described a “religious experience.”

    FYI.

  84. #84 JMF
    October 14, 2014

    @squirrelelite
    That dog one was directed @ Shay
    This was the one I thought I sent you
    http://www.dailygrail.com/features/the-myth-of-james-randis-million-dollar-challenge

  85. #85 JMF
    October 14, 2014

    @squirrelelite
    No a spiritual experience-I don’t associate with any “organized religion” I wish for you that one day you experience one. It’s truly amazing, and will open your mind to areas that science can’t take you

  86. #86 squirrelelite
    October 14, 2014

    @JMF,

    Thanks for the link.
    As my link points out, several people have gotten past the preliminary testing to do the formal challenge.

    Also, they have waived the preliminary test for a special occasion.
    http://archive.randi.org/site/index.php/swift-blog/1388-randi-challenges-top-qpsychicsq-after-nightline-episode.html

    But, as someone who spent a lot of time studying science, I dislike the misuse of a scientific term like energy in a way that has no scientific meaning. It reminds me of a hypnotherapy tape I heard describing a wave of “relaxing energy” washing over your body. That is an oxymoron if ever I heard one.

  87. #87 Lawrence
    October 14, 2014

    @JMF – some people use LSD for that….but again, whatever you believe is whatever you believe…it certainly doesn’t make it real.

  88. #88 JMF
    United States
    October 14, 2014

    @squirrelelite
    I totally understand where you are coming from. I guess we use that word pretty loosley-eh? From a scientific stand point anyway. To me it is an emotional “energy”…you know how you feel inside when you are happy, how it feels compared to when you are sad? When people refer to peppy uplifting people as having a high energy. The reiki “energy” itself is soothing. I’m not a scientist, but it feels like energy to me. I guess as a scientist you can look at it this way, we use the word Reiki “energy” for a lack of a better term. Whatever it is, and wherever it comes from, it’s real to me. I can understand from a scientific point of view how it’s viewed as unreal.

  89. #89 Lawrence
    October 14, 2014

    Mr. JMF is so filled with “energy” that he can’t even understand that more than one person is responding to him….

  90. #90 JMF
    October 14, 2014

    @Lawrence
    I was choosing to ignore you…You seem a little to eager to debate. I’m using my “ESP” to make the assumption that you are a bitter & argumentative person. You should work on that.

  91. #92 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    October 14, 2014

    Mr. JMF is so filled with “energy” that he can’t even understand that more than one person is responding to him….

    Yeah, it’s that special kind of energy that can’t be measured, or even detected, by independent means, but can be transferred or created by special people thinking about it and waveing their hands in the air.

  92. #93 Narad
    October 14, 2014

    I guess we use that word pretty loosley-eh? From a scientific stand point anyway. To me it is an emotional “energy”…you know how you feel inside when you are happy, how it feels compared to when you are sad?

    Yet you previously stated that

    Are you denying that there is energy all around us? Are you denying that we are made up of energy? Whatever your religious beliefs, how can you deny that we are all made of energy, and that the Universe doesn’t contain energy?

    So now “we” are “made up of” feelings such as happy or sad?

  93. #94 squirrelelite
    October 14, 2014

    @JMF,

    That looks like an advertisement for their program. I didn’t see any references to published studies demonstrating a better than placebo result.

    I did see this quote, though:

    As recently as 2009, reviews of randomized studies”of Reiki research conducted by Edzard Ernst, M.D.,
    Ph.D. and his colleagues at the University of Exeter, concluded that most were poorly designed and
    presented insufficient evidence to suggest that Reiki was an effective method for healing any condition.

    And the reference to studies by “The Touchstone Process” didn’t link to any journal articles.

    Also, the pictures of practitioners certainly looked like they were touching the patient.

  94. #95 Lawrence
    October 14, 2014

    @JMF – oh, I am so hurt by your accusations…actually, I feel fine, thank you very much.

    I just get annoyed by people who try to make extraordinary claims when it comes down to nothing but personal beliefs.

  95. #96 JGC
    October 14, 2014

    All I can say is Reiki has worked for me, and many others.

    How exactly have you factually established that the results you’re attributing to reiki actually are a function of receiving reiki treatment, and do not represent a placebo effect, regression to the mean, etc.? It is on some basis other than an post hoc ergo procter hoc logical fallacy, I trust.

    I visited your ‘groundbreaking study” ;ink, but found no actual evidence that reiki is effective offered there–just a number of other links to other pro-reiki websites.

    So let’s make it as simple as possible for you to defend the efficacy of reiki; provide a citation to what, in your opinion, represents the single most compelling, the single best (methodologically sound, reasonable sample size, appropriately controlled and blinded, etc.) scientific study demonstrating reiki is effective at treating a non-self limiting illness or injury.

    I’d love it if cancers, diabetes, etc., could be cured simple by handwaving, but unless there’s actual evidene that this is the case I’d be a fool believe it were so.

  96. #97 JMF
    October 14, 2014

    There was a time that scientists were thought to be “crazy” http://theravenspoke.hubpages.com/hub/Crazy-Scientists-That-Caused-A-Revolution
    Maybe science hasn’t caught up yet. Coming from a scientific background, I’m astonished at how many of you are so quick to discount POSSIBILITY. Isn’t that what science is based on in the first place. For someone to have a BELIEF and explore it? If it wern’t for belief how many discoveries would have gone undiscovered?
    @Narad I was simply stating that to a scientist the word energy has a different definition than it does to a Reiki Practitioner. In the dictionary just a FYI there is more than one definition. To me there is emotional, spiritual, sexual energy. It is all around us, it connects to everything.
    @Lawrence…I don’t know where you get your information, but there is no waiving of the hands. And yes, we do touch the patient, unless they ask us not to. But the process of being attuned to “energy” is different than Theraputic Touch. They are not attuned.

  97. #98 Narad
    October 14, 2014

    But the process of being attuned to “energy” is different than Theraputic Touch. They are not attuned.

    A service you will provide for $750, it appears.

  98. #99 JGC
    October 14, 2014

    Not the Galileo Gambit again…

    Yes: some scientists with revolutionary ideas were thought to be crazy in the past. Those scientists, however, successfully demonstrated that rather than being crazy they were correct by the extraordinary means of actually producing solid evidence demonstrating that fact.

    No one has done the same for Reiki, so rather than include Reiki practicioners in the group containing Galileo, Mendel, Zwicky, etc., they’re appropriately included instead in the group containing Von Daniken, Velikovsky, and Franz Joseph Gall (the inventor of phrenology).

  99. #100 JGC
    October 14, 2014

    “I was simply stating that to a scientist the word energy has a different definition than it does to a Reiki Practitioner.”

    every reiki master I”m aware of uses the word energy to mean just that–a form of energy, from an undefined universal source, that can be channeled and directed to do work (i.e., treat symptoms). perhaps you’re an outliere, but if that’s the case perhaps you can answer three questions about whatever it is you’re using the word energy to denote:

    How exactly can that ‘energy’ be be detected–i.e.,, shown to exist ?

    How can tht energy be measured quantitatively?

    What units of measure are used to expressed the quantity of energy measured?

  100. #101 Chris
    October 14, 2014

    JMF: “I was simply stating that to a scientist the word energy has a different definition than it does to a Reiki Practitioner”

    Really? Tell us how much you understand energy: explain the difference between kinetic energy and potential energy, plus how the two are related.

    And I echo JGC by asking what are the units of measurement for energy.

  101. #102 Narad
    October 14, 2014

    every reiki master I”m aware of uses the word energy to mean just that–a form of energy, from an undefined universal source, that can be channeled and directed to do work (i.e., treat symptoms). perhaps you’re an outlier[]….

    It doesn’t really seem like it. I tend to doubt that Usui had heard of chakras, though.

  102. #103 JMF
    October 14, 2014

    I have already said that I am no scientist. I am a Reiki Practitioner. I don’t work with any of the 5 type of energies that a scientists believe are the only ones in existence. I have also stated that when I’m doing a Reiki session it sure feels like energy to me. Since you are the scientists you tell me…what is the energy that you can feel when you walk into the room of angry people? What is the name of the energy that you feel when you meet someone that you have chemistry with? What is the name of the energy you feel when you are laughing? What is the name of the energy you feel when you walf into a funeral? Can it be measured? No? Does that mean it doesn’t exist? It can be felt. So why are you so quick to presume that Reiki doesn’t exist? When a Reiki Practitioner talks about energy, we aren’t talking about energy that can’t be explained by science. To us it is a spiritual and emotional energy, you can’t begin to comprehend what I am talking about unless you open your mind to the mere possibility that there are unseen and unexplained forces in this universe that you can’t see, but you can feel. Reiki is one of them. When I said that it’s a term used loosley- I said that I can see how from the scientist point of view that is true. Let’s just agree to disagree. You have your mind made up and I have mine made up. I have experienced it and you haven’t. I don’t know much about energy. But isn’t it true that energy can’t be destroyed? The human body is full of energy, when we die where does it go? What kind of energy is it? Does it go to some unseen place?

  103. #104 JMF
    October 14, 2014

    *can be explained

  104. #105 JMF
    October 14, 2014

    I tend to doubt that Usui had heard of chakras, though
    Usui isn’t the only form of Reiki. I know I will catch more flack, but ever hear of Kundalini reiki?

  105. #106 Bill Price
    October 14, 2014

    JMF, #97, October 14, 2014

    Coming from a scientific background, I’m astonished at how many of you are so quick to discount POSSIBILITY. Isn’t that what science is based on in the first place. For someone to have a BELIEF and explore it?

    No, that’s not what science is about: that’s what religion (organized or not) is about.
    For religion, you start with a belief (often a belief with caps lock on), and explore for evidence to support it, disregarding any inconvenient reality that does not support your desired beliefs. You’re describing the religious approach, which is how reiki earns the ‘religion’ tag applied to it.
    For science, you start with a question, and explore for alternative understandings and more detailed questions that can be answered, that can firmly discriminate among the alternative answers. You don’t wind up with a scientific ‘belief’ until enough well-defined, critical, repeatable questions have failed to produce negative results.
    Science recognizes, per Feynman’s observation, that its goal is to not fool people, and that you, the one selling the idea, are the easiest one to fool. That’s why the humility of science gives reality precedence over beliefs. To do otherwise shows the arrogance of faith Naturally, reiki and similar faiths firmly refuse (with innumerable excuses) any valid tests of faith.

  106. #107 herr doktor bimler
    October 14, 2014

    ever hear of Kundalini reiki?

    I have certainly heard of “making up bullsh1t as you go along”.

  107. #108 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 14, 2014

    But isn’t it true that energy can’t be destroyed? The human body is full of energy, when we die where does it go? What kind of energy is it?

    Most of it dissipates as heat. During decomposition, the various chemicals of the body (and the energy stored in chemical bonds) are consumed by various other creatures, the exact nature of which depends on the location and condition of your corpse. Certainly many microbes will feed off the corpse, as will insects, worms, and perhaps the occasional large vertebrate. Eventually, though, all the energy stored in chemical bonds will likely be converted to heat, which will radiate. The energy stored in the nucleus and in mass overall will likely be distributed around over the course of time. Depending, once again, on the location and condition of your corpse this would radiate out from your final resting spot.

    Eventually, of course, the sun will expand and vaporize most of the surface of the earth, so at that time any remaining energy attributable to your body will be scattered through the solar system and pushed by the solar winds. What happens after that becomes somewhat problematic to predict.

    Thanks for asking!

  108. #109 Chris
    October 14, 2014

    JMF: “I have already said that I am no scientist.”

    Then don’t use terms you do not understand. The question I asked about kinetic and potential energy is from basic high school physics. Do you even know what the units of measurement are?

    You are engaging in fantasy instead of reality.

  109. #110 doug
    October 14, 2014

    Kundalini reiki
    I think they serve that at the Friday pasta bar at the local co-op. It’s some kind of “fusion” dish, isn’t it? Or am I confusing it with the organism that causes arctic coconut palm blight?

  110. #111 JMF
    October 14, 2014

    @Chris
    I was actually responding to someone else with that post.
    Yes I know the difference between kenetic energy and potential energy. So, because I think there is more to humans than flesh and blood…because I believe we all have a spirit or a soul…that makes me the one living outside of reality? From my perspective you are the one that isn’t living in reality if you believe that.

  111. #112 JMF
    October 14, 2014

    Most of it dissipates as heat. During decomposition, the various chemicals of the body (and the energy stored in chemical bonds) are consumed by various other creatures, the exact nature of which depends on the location and condition of your corpse….
    Thanks for answering…sounds terrifying.
    Of course science can prove this completely I assume?

  112. #113 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 14, 2014

    Of course science can prove this completely I assume?

    Yes, of course. Thermodynamics is well understood, and there are multiple tests going on even as we speak to document the decomposition of corpses in a variety of environments and settings.

  113. #114 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    October 14, 2014

    JMF, I’m a Christian. I believe we have souls that carry some essence of ourselves into the afterlife.

    What I don’t believe is that this soul can be manipulated to heal our physical bodies on the mortal plane, since frankly all the evidence is against it. Reiki works wonders on subjective and self-limiting conditions; it doesn’t seem effective against trauma, rabies, AIDS, or Ebola, and that’s always a reason to be suspicious of a treatment.

    And hey, even if the energy fields manipulated by reiki are somehow undetectable to our instrumentation, it should still be possible to determine whether or not reiki practitioners can really detect them. And guess what? That test has been done! The reiki practitioners were asked to sense the presence of a test subject’s hand behind a screen. They did no better than chance. So until a reiki practitioner manages that, I’m gonna remain skeptical of the practice.

  114. #115 herr doktor bimler
    October 14, 2014

    Or am I confusing it with the organism that causes arctic coconut palm blight?

    A dollop of kundalini reiki on the side goes really well with a hot tree-octopus curry.

  115. #116 JMF
    October 14, 2014

    @Calli
    I appreciate your comment. If your talking about the Emily Rosa experiment, I had this conversation prviously. That experiment was done with Theraputic Touch Practitioners, not Reiki Practitioners. They are similar but not the same. They aren’t attuned to energy like a Reiki practitioner. I totally understand being skeptical, I was once myself. It’s just something you have to experience to understand it.

  116. #117 Narad
    October 14, 2014

    Usui isn’t the only form of Reiki. I know I will catch more flack, but ever hear of Kundalini reiki?

    So, wait, you’re not even practicing authentic reiki, but you cling to its trapping of selling “attunements”?

    To us it is a spiritual and emotional energy, you can’t begin to comprehend what I am talking about unless you open your mind to the mere possibility that there are unseen and unexplained forces in this universe that you can’t see, but you can feel.

    And with what sensory apparatus is it detected? Is the pineal gland in or out? Once detected, how does the unseeable force establish communications with the mundane world of the central nervous system?

  117. #118 KayMarie
    October 14, 2014

    How can you tell the room you walked into is a freaking funeral? Do you really think only reiki masters are social beings that are attuned to the social cues all humans give off?

    Humans are social creatures, we pick up a lot of cues from other humans all the time. Not from energy, but from how our brains are wired.

    And never had a jot of reiki training and I’ve felt all kinds of things that feel like energy, but I interpret it in the realm of science. Our nervous system and sensory systems pick up all kinds of data that is at least a couple order of magnitude (if I understand it correctly) than our conscious mind is capable of fully comprehending. It does come through some of the times and our poor consciousness does the best it can with the data it gets so sometimes it feels like heat or tingly or all kinds of things. Some of the times there are things that bleed through even when your conscious mind can’t know about it. Like in some blind-sight experiments. But very often whatever psychic or energy or other woo is used only works exactly and precisely when we can consciously know the difference. So you can’t know which screen has a hand behind it when you can’t see it. But when you can see it you can find some data bleed through that convinces you something real just happened.

    That being said, most of the woo does a good job at putting you in a relaxed state and I do believe that has benefits for well-being and maybe sometimes even for objective health measures.So yeah, a lot of people you minister to feel better either from the relaxation or the social support as like I started with, we are social beings attuned to the emotional states of those around us.

  118. #119 Krebiozen
    October 14, 2014

    JMF,

    . I read nothing about this young lady taking into the account of allowing the reiki practitioner’s to prepare as they would prepare for a reiki session. Her study was also done on Theraputic touch, though similar to Reiki it is not the same thing.

    Firstly, the therapeutic touch practitioners agreed the young lady’s study design beforehand, and were all just as confident that they would succeed as you are in your abilities. Are you seriously suggesting that therapeutic touch is bogus but Reiki is real? You do know Reiki was invented in 1922? That the alleged energy involved cannot be detected, not by people or any technology?

    The “Placebo Effect” can’t explain the heat and sensations I feel and have only felt since being attuned to reiki.

    Having experimented extensively with hypnosis some years ago, I beg to differ. I see nothing in your account that cannot be explained by suggestion and confirmation bias. I have been offered and accepted Reiki many, many times over the years (I have had chronic health problems, I know a number of people into spiritual stuff and it seems rude to refuse) and have never felt anything at all. Shamanic healing, psychic healing and a blessing by an Imam in a backstreet Cairo mosque (which involved a weird vigorous head massage) didn’t have any noticeable effects either.

    I also played with therapeutic touch some years ago, experimenting on friends and family, as I related in a comment above. I found it is quite easy to detect painful areas without touching a person, as inflamed areas give off more heat. Also, if you concentrate your attention on your extended hands for a while you will feel them start to tingle and/or feel warm. The same thing happens if you put your attention on a part of your body that someone tells you they are attempting to heal for a few minutes. Whether it’s just the attention making you more aware of these sensations, or if perhaps it increases blood flow I don’t know, but I don’t believe any supernatural energies are involved.

    BTW, I have also had ‘out-of-body’ experiences, experienced states of euphoria and bliss and had various other spiritual experiences. They were very interesting and valuable, but I believe they can be entirely explained by neurology, with no need to invoke anything supernatural.

    As for the Randi million dollar challenge, I do find it amusing that those who claim to have paranormal abilities complain that Randi demands they demonstrate something that is almost certainly not down to chance, a p-value of less than 0.000001 according to the article linked to (I don’t know if that’s true or not). These people regularly make claims that they can do things far, far more unlikely than 1 in a million, like contacting the dead, reading minds, healing the sick and beaming palpable energy about the place, They boast of large effect sizes, they charge people real money for large effects, yet they struggle to produce a barely measurable effect when tested. If you can’t do something that would only happen by chance 1 in a million that’s not very impressive. Conventional medicine can certainly perform to that level, with antibiotics, vaccines, surgery and many other interventions.

    One last thing:

    Therapeutic touch studies using people with health problems would most likely demonstrate positive effects.

    Nope. It isn’t even effective at healing minor wounds.

  119. #120 Narad
    October 14, 2014

    As it turns out, the MLM essential-oils outfit that JMF is associated with received a message from the FDA last month.

    (H/T RW&AS.)

  120. #122 herr doktor bimler
    October 15, 2014

    the 5 type of energies that a scientists believe are the only ones in existence

    Dear me, I must be out of touch with the literature.

  121. #123 JMF
    October 15, 2014

    @Narad
    I don’t have any control over claims made by others on their websites. You don’t know me. I really do have people’s best interest at heart. I never tell an ill person I can cure them. I deal with emotional pain and stress. Stress is a huge factor in illness. I never tell any of my clients to stop their medical treatment. I tell them holistic healing is only a added benefit. Whether it can be proven yet by science or not, I wouldn’t have clients if they didn’t feel they were benefitting from it. To be honest.

  122. #124 JMF
    October 15, 2014

    @kribiozen
    I’m not saying Therapeutic Touch is bogus at all. I just don’t know much about it. I don’t know how they prepare for a session, I don’t know that their process is.

  123. #125 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 15, 2014

    @JMF,

    Clearly you’ve managed to convince yourself you can do something, and you have customers who are similarly convinced. This does not mean that there is any reality behind Reik, but as long as you’re using it to relieve stress there’s likely no great harm in it.

    I am reminded of the words of David Hannum, however.

  124. #126 Lawrence
    October 15, 2014

    The best con artists are the ones that can even convince themselves that what they do is meaningful & works for their “marks / clients.”

    A good psychologist can also help someone get in touch with their emotions and provide a measure of relief from stressful situations – that you need some “intangible & completely invisible energy field” just shows that you’ve bought the hook, the line & the sinker all at one time.

  125. #127 JMF
    October 15, 2014

    @Lawerence
    What does it really matter to you if a person would prefer to see a Reiki practitioner for stress and not a psychologist which charges double, even triple what I do? What does it really matter to you? If people find something that works for them and that they enjoy- how can that be a bad thing? It seems to me that many of you think there should only be 1 type of people in this world- people that think like you. Well it’s not like that. Because we don’t think alike doesn’t mean I’m a con artist. What if I said all scientists are con artists? How do I know that all of this “proven” information is real? Because scientists say so?

  126. #128 Lawrence
    October 15, 2014

    @JMF – if you don’t have the brains that “god gave you” to understand Science, then by all means, keep calling yourself a faith healer – because that’s all you are.

    If you want to converse & help people, great – but if you want to claim to be a Jedi Master, in charge of some invisible force, then you are deluding both yourself and others…..and if you charge for this “service” under false-pretenses, then yes, you are a con artist.

    Worse, if you paid money to “learn to be a Reikimaster” then you are a mark yourself, who was conned by the person who “taught you.”

  127. #129 JMF
    October 15, 2014

    science can only work with the observations it is given. It has no way to know the source or the “truth” of those observations.

  128. #130 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 15, 2014

    science can only work with the observations it is given. It has no way to know the source or the “truth” of those observations.

    Which is why we typically demand repeatable results by independent observers in order to deal with instrument error, confirmation bias, and so on. If results can be repeated to a good degree of precision, then one can be fairly well assured that we have good observations.

  129. #131 JMF
    October 15, 2014

    Master is simply a level of training, just like martial arts…etc.

  130. #132 JMF
    October 15, 2014

    I charge for a service I believe in, with a clientele of like minded people. There are no false pretenses.
    And yes I understand that observations are tested and tested again, but behind those observations what is the source? Science can’t explain the bigger questions of existence..,it can theorize, but when it comes down to it how was energy itself created? When all scientists don’t agree on certain subjects, how do you know which ones to believe? You do what feels right to you.

  131. #133 JMF
    October 15, 2014

    Until science can explain how energy “was created” (which science says it can’t be) or exists in the first place, I will choose to believe their are forms of energy outside of the scientific scope.

  132. #134 Helianthus
    October 15, 2014

    science can only work with the observations it is given. It has no way to know the source or the “truth” of those observations.

    The first part is right.
    The second is wrong, mostly. With enough observations and counter-observations, science can ascertain that there is a something somewhere.

    In other words: science doesn’t care if you are Casper, Professor X or YWMH. If you have an observable effect on the physical world, then science can demonstrate that this effect happens.

    Of course, a whimsical entity could decide to play hide-and-seek with scientists.
    On the other hand, reiki and other energy healing processes are supposedly easy to master and reliable in their action. There shouldn’t be any trouble showing that they work.

  133. #135 Lawrence
    October 15, 2014

    @JMF – as far as to how “matter” or energy came to be, well, we obviously can’t look at what happened before the beginning of SpaceTime, but we have some very good ideas / theories & even observations as to how the Universe came to be in the form that we observe (whether directly or indirectly).

    We also have an excellent idea of what is going to happen over the course of the next several hundreds of trillions of years until all matter as we know it ceases to exist (down all the way to proton decay).

    You can believe whatever you’d like – but I’ll rely on facts, thank you very much.

  134. #136 Tim
    October 15, 2014

    We also have an excellent idea of what is going to happen over the course of the next several hundreds of trillions

    Lawrence, Who is this *we* you keep referring to? Do you have a mouse in your pocket??

  135. #137 Lawrence
    October 15, 2014

    @Tim – how about the entire scientific community?

    Does that work for you?

  136. #138 JGC
    October 15, 2014

    “science can only work with the observations it is given. It has no way to know the source or the “truth” of those observations.”

    “Until science can explain how energy “was created” (which science says it can’t be) or exists in the first place, I will choose to believe their are forms of energy outside of the scientific scope.”

    And we’re right back to the central question,which is what actual evidence argues that what you’ve chosen to believe to be true –the existence of these othr forms of energy and the ability of properly ‘attuned’ individuals to channel that energy to do work (achieve cures)–actually is true?

    In short, where are the observations you’ve been given?

    Reiki, in the original or ‘new and improved’ versions, has been around since 1922–that’s almost a century. Surely in that period of time if it worked as claimed and really had the potential potential to amelioriate or heal non-self-limiting injuries and illnesses there’d be a substantial body of evidence demonstrating that to be true.

    Instead of evidence, however, all that’s ever offered in support of energy healing are handwaving justifications in lieu of evidence (“I believe in it, my clients believe in it, I feel I’m helping them and they feel I’m helping them so what does it matter if it’s all just a fantasy / a lie…etc”).

    It’s a constant repetition of

    “Reiki really works!”
    “Then surely you can show us evidence that it works.”
    “Uhhh…it doesn’t work like that>”

  137. #139 Tim
    October 15, 2014

    @Johnny #92

    Yeah, it’s that special kind of energy that can’t be measured, or even detected, by independent means

    And yet *We* have decided to set just such a construct up to take the dive for down right blowing up the universe real good, right down to the subatomic scale.

  138. #140 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 15, 2014

    Science can’t explain the bigger questions of existence..

    Exactly what are those bigger questions ? If we don’t know what question you think science can’t explain, we can’t tell if it can’t explain it, if it simply hasn’t explained it, or if it has explained it but you just don’t like the answer.

    it can theorize, but when it comes down to it how was energy itself created?

    You should really read Ethan Siegel’s blog at http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/. It will give you much better insight on what science knows about the beginning of space-time.

    When all scientists don’t agree on certain subjects, how do you know which ones to believe?

    That certainly depends on the situation. The real answer is “you believe what the preponderance of evidence says is true, keeping an open mind if ever you receive new evidence.”

    Your basic argument seems to be that science doesn’t know everything. To paraphrase Dara O’Briain, science knows that science doesn’t know everything, or it would stop. But the fact that science doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy stories you like.

  139. #141 JMF
    October 15, 2014

    http://www.reiki.org/reikinews/reikin24.html
    This link gives some information on the positive effects of Reiki
    I know it works because it has helped me, here is some additional proof that it works

  140. #142 Krebiozen
    October 15, 2014

    That ‘Science Measures’ article JMF linked to claims that Reiki energy is simply electromagnetic energy, nothing unknown. It also makes a large number of unjustifiable assumptions.

    The tale of how concepts of “healing energy” have swung from suspicion and ridicule to respectability is one of the most fascinating and clinically significant stories that can be told.

    I don’t know where the concept of “healing energy” is respectable, but it isn’t with any of the scientists I know. This seems to be another case of looking for explanations for a phenomenon that doesn’t exist – a systematic review of Reiki for various conditions found little evidence of benefit, even for subjective conditions like anxiety and depression.

    The main reason for the change in outlook is that sensitive instruments have been developed that can detect the minute energy fields around the human body. Of particular importance is the SQUID magnetometer (1) which is capable of detecting tiny biomagnetic fields associated with physiological activities in the body.

    Since the human body runs on electrochemical reactions, it would be astonishing if it were otherwise.

    This is the same field that sensitive individuals have been describing for thousands of years, but that scientists have ignored because there was no objective way to measure it.

    What possible reason do we have to believe this is the same field? If it is, surely it makes claims of distant healing using Reiki utterly bogus, doesn’t it? Maybe that’s why it doesn’t work (PMID: 12778776).

    Scientists are using SQUID instruments to map the ways diseases alter biomagnetic fields around the body. Others are applying pulsating magnetic fields to stimulate healing.

    That may be true, but it doesn’t seem to bear any resemblance to what Reiki masters do.

  141. #143 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    October 15, 2014

    JMF:

    I appreciate your comment. If your talking about the Emily Rosa experiment, I had this conversation prviously. That experiment was done with Theraputic Touch Practitioners, not Reiki Practitioners. They are similar but not the same. They aren’t attuned to energy like a Reiki practitioner.

    Ah, so they’re just charlatans who pretend to detect the body’s energy fields, as opposed to reiki practitioners, who are actually able to detect the body’s energy? How interesting — and revealing. You are guilty of special pleading, sir, and also of choosing to believe without evidence and then evaluating evidence based on whether or not it conforms to your belief. The only real difference between reiki and TT is the name, but you won’t see that because you are too invested in reiki being valid. Because you have experienced it and have not experienced TT. You believe the one you have invested emotionally in, not the one for which there is evidence, because honestly there is no more evidence for reiki than there is for TT. The people who practice TT also believe it is real; they believe it just as passionately as you do, and for the same reasons.

    I can’t make you recognize the problem there. But there it is.

  142. #144 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    October 15, 2014

    Ah, I really need to learn to read the whole thread before responding. 😉

    JMF:

    I’m not saying Therapeutic Touch is bogus at all. I just don’t know much about it. I don’t know how they prepare for a session, I don’t know that their process is.

    Ah. So you do not think they’re bogus. You just think that their failure to detect energy isn’t relevant to reiki, a therapy which makes the exact same claims (that humans hands can detect and channel healing energies in a person). So consider this: these practitioners believed every bit as much as you that their therapy works, that they could detect these energies, that they could channel them. Yet when tested, they could not. Why are you so confident reiki wouldn’t fail the same test? Why don’t you insist on the test being done, to prove it’s real?

    Until science can explain how energy “was created” (which science says it can’t be) or exists in the first place, I will choose to believe their are forms of energy outside of the scientific scope.

    You really need to get past the 19th Century. Heck, even by 1922 (when reiki was invented) they knew your statement was untrue. The mass-energy equivalence equation was first derived by Albert Einstein in 1905 as E = mc² and I really think you probably have heard of that at some point. Energy can be created from matter, and vice versa; the principle of conservation of energy applies only when you are not considering nuclear physics. Where this all comes from (the general “stuff” of the Universe) is a bigger question, and there are a lot of theories on the subject.

    But none of that matters considering one basic thing: we may not know everything about where energy comes from, but we do know we can detect and measure it. Insisting on believing in a mystical energy field for reiki in the absence of any evidence of its existence is a bit like believing in N-rays. And I strongly suggest you google N-rays to see why.

  143. #145 JMF
    October 15, 2014

    I was just correcting, because you said the study was done on Reiki Practitioners. I don’t practice TT, like I have already said…a difference is that Reiki Practitioners were attuned to energy…and yes I can feel it during a Reiki Session. I never said one was better than the other, I simply stated that I couldn’t possibly know whether TT practitioners could feel energy- because I am not one.

  144. #146 JMF
    October 15, 2014

    @Callie

  145. #147 JGC
    October 15, 2014

    I’m not finding anything at the link you provided that constitutes scientific evidence that reiki is effective at treating non self-limiting injuries or illnesses.

    Elevated hemoglobin, hematocrit and white blood cell counts aren’t indicative of improved health in previously ehalthy patients. In fact, far from being evidence of an ‘enhanced immune system” elevated WBC is diagnostic of disease states like leukemias, viral infections, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, pertussis, etc.

    Anxiety and wound healing are not self-limiting.

    Zimmerman’s SQUID study doesn’t even attempt to evaluate efficacy.

    Rather than go on down the lsit, let us please abandon Gish Gallop attempts at arguing for Reiki’s efficacy and focus the task as far as is possible, by requesting you identify what, in your opinion, represents the single most credible and compelling published study demonstrating reiki is effective at treating non-self limiting illness or injury.

  146. #148 JMF
    October 15, 2014

    Actually Reiki is older than that- the ancient Hindus practiced it. Mikao Usui renamed it and bright it the Western civilization in 1922

  147. #149 JMF
    October 15, 2014

    But a child’s science fair project is good enough for you…dear lord

  148. #150 Lawrence
    October 15, 2014

    @JGC – it is obvious JMF isn’t treating real illnesses, merely trying to make people “feel better.”

    He has no interest in whether or not there is any real evidence regarding what he does.

  149. #151 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 15, 2014

    When a child’s science fair project has the sort of results that this one did, and when nobody has come back and shown either the flaws in the method or an experiment that contradicts it – yeah, it’s enough for now. Frankly it was elegant in its simplicity and fairness.

  150. #152 JMF
    October 15, 2014

    @Lawrence
    Thank You!!!! That’s what I have been telling them!!! I already said this!!! I help people that are feeling stressed!!! If Reiki has effect on the body, those studies proved that it is not a placebo effect!!! What is so wrong with helping people feel less stressed!!! I never claimed to be treating illness!!! Nor did the person that trained me!!!

  151. #153 JGC
    October 15, 2014

    JMF, I haven’t mentioned Emily Rosa’s experiment falsifying the claims of therapeutic touch practicioners re: sensing energy fields. I will note that you’re wrong to characterize it as simply being a ‘science fair project’, unles you belevie that science fair projects are uniformly published in peer-reviewed journals ( L Rosa, E Rosa, L Sarner, S Barrett (April 1, 1998). “A Close Look at Therapeutic Touch”. Journal of the American Medical Association 279 (13): 1005–1010. doi:10.1001/jama.279.13.1005)

    Now, the published study that in your opinion presents the most credible and compellin evidence Reiki actually works would be…?

  152. #154 JGC
    October 15, 2014

    JMF obviously cares enough about evidence to keep insisting it exists somewhere. I think the real problem is an inability to realize what that evidence would look like if it existed.

  153. #155 Tim
    October 15, 2014

    p.s. This brew sounds worthy of risking personal assayability nice:

    This lager combines mostly Munich malt with the addition of gently balanced caramelized malts giving it a rich copper color as well as a bit more malt backbone and overall character than the typical amber lager

    http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/28529/78922/

    Copper, huu? Well, maybe moulten and looking just a little besmirched like the shadow and lipid oxides of Gollum there at the end of all things…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GnN5-AajiM

    *typical amber*. Hmmf. Sounds like this swill was probably brewed by some ‘typical’ engineers. — By ‘typical amber’ they mean the color of the finest, most expensive synthetic oil that’s still cheaper because they’ll also throw in an oil filter to take it off their hands…………..After it’s got 18k on it.

    Hmm…. Smells nice — but so does tricyloban morphate (apple pie)…

    {or whatever it’s called from this Hardware 1990 scene (stupid yourube…the german one is still there, sorry.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=naaZSBKN7Tw#t=229 }

    Mmmm.. tastes very nice… little lacing but that’s probably only the TSP doing it’s thing…

    Mmmm….. “New beer, meet whatever metabolic pathways you happen to find interesting within me these next few sessions…” <— note to PgP: in other words, "I like it very much".

  154. #156 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    October 15, 2014

    JMF:

    I never said one was better than the other, I simply stated that I couldn’t possibly know whether TT practitioners could feel energy- because I am not one.

    So you decline to form an opinion on it even though at least some study has been done, and you expect us to believe your assertions about reiki?

    I’m not saying reiki doesn’t work. I’m saying there’s no reason for me to believe it works. You still have given me nothing to change that viewpoint. The conservative approach is to doubt it. Why should I waste my time trying reiki the next time I’m sick? To satisfy an idle curiosity? I’m sorry, but no. I need an actual reason before I’ll fork over money for something whose practitioners actively avoid properly studying it.

  155. #157 JMF
    October 15, 2014

    If there is one thing we can agree on hopefully it is this. Stress can lead to a lower immune system and effect a person emotionally & physically. Even if i treat someone with a self limiting disease-what doctor would disagree that stress could aggravate their symptoms, or even keep a person’s body from healing? If Reiki is a good reliever of stress if nothing else, and I have provided information on studies noting it is more than a placebo effect- then ultimately how is a credible Reiki Practitioner hurting more than they are helping?

  156. #158 JMF
    October 15, 2014

    .
    @Lawrence
    Thank You!!!! That’s what I have been telling them!!! I already said this!!! I help people that are feeling stressed!!! If Reiki has effect on the body, those studies proved that it is not a placebo effect!!! What is so wrong people feel less stressed!!! I never claimed to be treating illness!!! Nor did the person that trained me!!! If there is one thing that we can all agree on hopefully it is this-Stress can have a negative impact on us emotionally and physically, especially for someone suffering from illness! A credible Reiki Practitioner would never suggest not seeing a doctor or claim to cure illness!!! So if Reiki helps with stress and a client enjoys it, how can those of you say it is a con?

  157. #159 Helianthus
    Close to the LHC loop
    October 15, 2014

    @JMF

    Actually Reiki is older than that

    Good grief, dude, way to state the obvious. The belief in the existence of healing touch is as old as religion.
    Due to their mandate being god-given, French and English monarchs were supposedly able to cure people with open sores (notably scrofula) by laying hands on them.
    Whatever healing power these royal people had, it never manifested to cure them of piles, pneumonia or the occasional poisoning.

    But a child’s science fair project is good enough for you…dear lord

    Way to show how open-minded you really are.
    I had better, more mature conversations with a 12-year old boy than with some theoretically adult people. Speaking of science’s fairs, he build a miniature trebuchet for one of them.

    “Aux ames bien nées, la valeur n’attends pas le nombre des années”
    Or to put it otherwise, if the experiment’s methodology is sound, it doesn”t matter if it”s a child doing it. As long as the experiment’s results are robust and reproducible…

    The mini-trebuchet was doing a good job at launching pebbles.

  158. #160 JGC
    October 15, 2014

    If Reiki has effect on the body, those studies proved that it is not a placebo effect!!!

    What studies proved this, JMF? I again suggest you start by providingwhat is in your opinion the one best study esmonstrating Reiki performs better than placebos at treating non-self limiting illness or injury.

    Or, if your claim now is Reiki is effective at simply helping people feel less stressed, that it performs better than placebos at doing this. I’ll note taht’s a very low bar to pass–lots of things help relieve stress: classical music, warm baths, hobbies..

    That would hardly be a ringing endorsement of Reiki, BTW.

    “Stressed? Depressed? Why not try Reiki? Clinically proven to perform just as well as knitting!”

  159. #161 Dangerous Bacon
    October 15, 2014

    “Thank You!!!! That’s what I have been telling them!!! I already said this!!! I help people that are feeling stressed!!!”

    I think they’d feel more relaxed without all the exclamation points. (!)

  160. #162 Tim
    October 15, 2014

    Is it just me or does this: http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/files/2014/09/53e35ef9f14414792ac9c1fa.jpg

    look like an ad for Diamond Gusset Jeans??

  161. #163 herr doktor bimler
    October 15, 2014

    Actually Reiki is older than that- the ancient Hindus practiced it. Mikao Usui renamed it and bright it the Western civilization in 1922

    If I understand correctly, any hand-waving activities practiced back in Vedic times were Reiki (despite the completely different paradigm and rationale), but Therapeutic Touch is not Reiki despite looking exactly like it, because reasons.
    Also we should trust Reiki as presently promoted because it was the work of a lying plagiarist. OK.

  162. #164 Krebiozen
    October 15, 2014

    It’s easy to think there is no harm in Reiki and the like, but it does lead people to believe things that aren’t true, which I don’t think is very healthy. Taken to extremes this can lead to very unfortunate consequences, even death on occasion.

    This idea that skeptics are sad angry people with no spiritual values p!sses me off somewhat. I find it quite possible to have a science-based model of reality and be spiritually healthy. That’s if spirituality is about our personal relationships with the universe and other living things. I don’t need imaginary energies and connections to feel awed by the universe, I just have to consider how big it is, how unlikely my existence is and then ponder on the fact that every atom in my body was forged in the big bang or in the heart of stars. I find that feels pretty spiritual, but maybe that’s just me.

  163. #165 Calli Arcale
    http://fractalwonder.wordpress.com
    October 15, 2014

    JMF:

    If Reiki is a good reliever of stress if nothing else, and I have provided information on studies noting it is more than a placebo effect- then ultimately how is a credible Reiki Practitioner hurting more than they are helping?

    By deceiving them into thinking it is more than just stress reduction, the “credible” Reiki Practitioner discourages them from seeking proper medical care. This deception is probably harmless if we’re talking about the worried well. (Though how do you know they’re just being a hypochondriac?) If we’re talking about an asthmatic or a diabetic or somebody incubating Ebola, it could be deadly.

  164. #166 Narad
    October 15, 2014

    Master is simply a level of training, just like martial arts…etc.

    No, it is a matter of “attunement” to kozmic mysteries involving (no longer) sekrit symbols, which Hawayo Takata – from whom all of your Globular Blobularism devolves – was only legitimate if accompanied by a pile of cash on the barrelhead.

  165. #167 Narad
    October 15, 2014

    ^ “asserted was only legitimate”

  166. #168 Narad
    October 15, 2014

    Exhibit A:

    Science can’t explain the bigger questions of existence..,it can theorize, but when it comes down to it how was energy itself created?

    Exhibit B:

    Until science can explain how energy “was created” (which science says it can’t be) or exists in the first place, I will choose to believe their are forms of energy outside of the scientific scope.

    You’ve already explicitly stated that what you mean by “energy” has no bearing on physics:

    I totally understand where you are coming from. I guess we use that word pretty loosley-eh? From a scientific stand point anyway. To me it is an emotional “energy”…you know how you feel inside when you are happy, how it feels compared to when you are sad? When people refer to peppy uplifting people as having a high energy.

    Why are you now backtracking?

  167. #169 TIm
    October 15, 2014

    Exibit (C.)

    Splunge. (why is everything non-edit or 505’s??)

  168. #170 Krebiozen
    October 15, 2014

    Splunge. (why is everything non-edit or 505’s??)

    It’s all these negative vibes about Reiki blocking the energy flow.

  169. #171 Tim
    October 15, 2014

    @Krebiozen #164

    <bl …. fuck it…. Everything you said and a bag of potato chips. I *think*.

  170. #172 Narad
    October 15, 2014

    At the risk of a duplicate triplicate quadruplicate comment, given that I’ve been getting repeated 504 “gateway timeout” barfs, I’ll try again with the last one:

    I don’t have any control over claims made by others on their websites.

    This kind of falls apart when one notes that you yourself have an affilate sales page on the dōTERRA Web site.

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