I recently published a guest post by Alexis Bonari on Reiki Healing for Chronic Illness: Pain and Fatigue Management. A few days later author, Reiki Master, and Medical Reiki expert Pamela Miles contacted me with some concerns she had over some claims Alexis makes in this article.
"Alexis, while I share your enthusiasm for Reiki treatment and its integration into conventional health care, a word of caution is in order. Saying Reiki treatment has won "the spotlight of the medical world" is a gross overstatement of the health care industry's utilization of Reiki treatment.
NIH research into the benefits of Reiki treatment have so far been inconclusive at best."
In fact, much of the medical world does not know about or utilize Reiki as any form of treatment.
"Contrary to your assertion, the specific origins of Reiki practice are not unclear; there is documentation that the practice was founded by Mikao Usui in the early 20th century. If you have found historians who can document otherwise, please share the source of your information."
While some Reiki Masters such as Diane Stein have claimed that they received channeled information that Reiki dates back to Atlantis, we do know that Usui REiki as we practice it started with Mikao Usui at a specific time and place.
"Furthermore, although there is documentation of the existence of biomagnetic fields (which the NIH refers to as veritable fields), there is no scientific evidence to support the existence of biofields (which is why the NIH refers to them as putative)."
So what does this have to do with Reiki credibility? Why is it a concern if someone plays fast and loose with what we do know to be true about Reiki?
"The moment we make undocumented claims such as "Historians agree," there's no credibility. What historians? Where do they say that? Critical thinkers read this and their suspicions about Reiki are confirmed. Non-critical thinking Reiki enthusiasts read this and it further inflames them and perpetuates the misinformation."
For those of us who are trying to keep Reiki practice traditional (and Usui Reiki is NOT a "new age" practice), claims that are non-specific at best and patently false at worst simply make the medical scientific community move further away. Having something that works where the mechanism is unknown is not always a bad thing. In fact, if you read the PDR section about aspirin it says "mode of activity unknown" and look how often and for how long we have considered aspirin to be effective.
For more information on how to approach Reiki in the Medical World check out Pamela's Introduction to Medical Reiki webinar for Reiki practitioners.