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Reasons to run, not walk, from a Reiki practitioner

i-e7a12c3d2598161273c9ed31d61fe694-ClassicInsolence.jpgGrant time again! Since today–yes, today!–is the deadline for a rather big grant I’m writing (not quite R01 level, but a respectable three year project if I can get it), I was up until the wee hours of the morning trying to put this sucker to bed. Being the ever-benevolent blogger, though, far be it from me to deny you some Insolence. It’ll just have to be recycled Insolence. Not just recycled Insolence, either. Old recycled Insolence, four years old, to be precise! Unbelievable! In fact, it’s so old that the links don’t even work anymore; so you’ll have to take my word for it that I quoted it accurately. On the other hand, given how old this is, if you’ve been reading less than four years, it’s new to you! In any case, I’ll be back tomorrow; that is, assuming I’ve recovered. If not, it’s more recycled Insolence.

Regular readers will know my opinion of Reiki or “energy healing.” No need to rehash it here, at least not at the moment. But if you’re a believer and looking for a Reiki practitioner, Reiki Blogger has some suggestions for you of things that “are NOT OK” in a first Reiki session:

I recently read what I can only say was a very disturbing account of a persons first ever reiki session. The person went along to a “friends” husband who was, as well as a reiki person, a medical doctor.

Now, you would expect to be reasonably confident to follow this persons instructions. Well, think again. He asked this poor lady to undress, completely, and then proceeded to give her hands on reiki, everywhere.

Yeah, I’m guessing that would be a red flag that something’s wrong. Reiki Blogger elaborates:

Nudity: Reiki does not require you to remove your clothing. Even during a massage your body is covered except for the area being worked on. If someone asks you to undress, leave. Immediately.

Inappropriate contact: Reiki can be given 1-2cm above the body. There is no need to make contact with areas of sensitivity. Genitals for one.

I’ve always had a question about Reiki. Why wouldn’t clothing interfere with the “energy” field that the Reiki master is supposedly manipulating? But that’s just me. I guess my aura needs some manipulation to cleanse me of those skeptical thoughts.

Of course, Reiki Blogger warns you to stay away as well if you hear your new Reiki master saying things like (among several others):

  • You have the aura of Jesus (do not laugh, someone has said this to me)
  • They are Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu (whoever) re-incarnated, or a close disciple of them re-incarnated
  • Anything about Aliens. That they help them give you reiki. They are coming to save them. They can save you.

Good warning signs, all. Of course, the most truthful and applicable warning I’ve ever heard about Reiki is to leave if you hear a Reiki practitioner say:

Reiki is going to fix you, make you all better again. (especially if you have a serious illness)

Indeed. If you hear a Reiki master say this, he or she is full of…well, you know.

ADDENDUM: You know. I kind of miss Reiki Blogger. He/she/it laid down some hilarious stuff about reiki. I wonder what happened.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

23 replies on “Reasons to run, not walk, from a Reiki practitioner”

You know. I kind of miss Reiki Blogger. He/she/it laid down some hilarious stuff about reiki. I wonder what happened.

Probably one of two things (rhetorically speaking). First, the unfortunate combination of trying to use reiki to cure a serious illness. Second, facing the fact that reiki didn’t cure a serious illness and realizing he/she was claiming it did;-)

Falling from belief can be pretty life altering.

So, last evening hubby goes down to the basement to do a small load of dirty laundry. He opens the shut-off valves to fill the washer and hears a high pitched sound…hot water is spurting out of the adjacent oil-fired hot water tank. He shuts off the valve that feeds the water into the tank and calls the oil burner/hot water service provider. Serviceman comes out and “diagnoses” the problem and sets up a service call for this morning.

I, on the other hand look for “alternatives” on the internet because I have been reading Orac’s blogs about Reiki therapies. (Hell, Reiki Masters say they can cure people medical problems and pet medical problems through actual face-to-face sleight-of-hands and “remote” reiki treatments).

I scored a “hit” at “Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki-Chapter 8-Reiki Guidelines” with this gem, “Even inanimate objects contain life energies. Many have been successful in using Reiki to fix car problems, appliances problems and computer problems”.

Rather than hauling out the 300 lb. tank on my back to schlep it to the local reiki master or paying for a “remote” reiki treatment for the leaky tank, I opted for the “traditional” treatment. I am now the proud owner of a new replacement hot water tank.

**This is a true story

I realize they claim disparate origins, but isn’t Reiki pretty much the same thing as “therapeutic touch?”

The universe of woo is a relatively small one.

“but isn’t Reiki pretty much the same thing as “therapeutic touch?” ”

But without the touch…

But without the touch…

Actually therapeutic touch doesn’t involve actual contact either. The only thing that gets touched is the patient’s “energy field”. The main difference is Reiki has more ritual (symbols) and you need to be “attuned” by a Reiki master in order to do Reiki.

Not every culture has the issue with nudity that americans seem to have.

Apparently, the question of undressing for reiki treatment has come up. Many of the reiki websites address that issue, high up on their FAQs page; the answer…of course…is “no you don’t need to undress”. They do recommend that you wear loose fitting clothes made of natural fabrics such as linen or 100 % cotton…maybe the energy can’t penetrate cotton blends. Many of the sites state that the reiki sleight of hands treatments “can even penetrate plaster casts”.

You can also bring the energy home with you as the reiki master can provide you with a candle or a crystal suffused with reiki energy.

lilady, that’s kind of what i do when something oil burner goes wrong at my house. i call my dad, and he fixes it over the phone! i’ve told him he should be a remote burner healer and set up a 900 number, but does he ever listen to me? noooooo.

lol. it’s true though, once he even talked me through jumping a thermostat to get my heat back on.

* You have the aura of Jesus (do not laugh, someone has said this to me)
* They are Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu (whoever) re-incarnated, or a close disciple of them re-incarnated
* Anything about Aliens. That they help them give you reiki. They are coming to save them. They can save you.

These causes of reiki seem just as legitimate as “traditional” reiki life force. I guess the traditionalists are just too close minded to see the truth. /snark

@ Vince Whirlwind

Not every culture has the issue with nudity that americans seem to have

True. But most cultures have an issue with medical practitioners abusing their practice by doing unrequited manhandling (or womanhandling).

Of course you can’t wear cotton/poly blends for Reiki, it is an abomination, it says so in the Bible. They find ‘TRUTH’ in many places.

@ Narad: Shatnez???….that’s another factoid I can add to my store of trivia and minutiae! Thanks!

My checking account is depleted by $ 2000, because I opted for “traditional” treatment rather than reiki, for the leaky hot water tank.

We had a physical therapist in my town who used to do sensation testing on women’s nipples.
Be advised that this is never appropriate unless there are a lot of reasons, forms signed and another woman present.
He was also dry humping some of his patients, I wonder what he called that treatment?????

I have been practising REIKI since 2001. Taking first degree and second degree I do practise regularly. From October 2009 to January 2010, I felt this energy acutely. I was feeling such as someone presenting in my head was giving all instructions to do everything. There was a coversation continuously between he and me for two months. In this period I mended an audio cassette which was having some disturbance, by giving reiki. After this experience, I took third degree . Now, whenever I put my hand on different parts of my body I feel a connection between my head and hand.Feeling is like an injection is pushed into pituitary gland.

@ Lawrence: See my posting at #2 above for “traditional” treatment of a leaky hot water tank versus “reiki” appliance repair.

Did you know that some Reiki Certification Classes provide education in the “treatment” of appliances? I found this gem this morning for reiki classes in Tampa Florida:

“You can learn to give Reiki treatments to yourself, family and friends, animals, plants, etc. and some use Reiki on appliances. The Reiki energy treats and energizes you even while you are treating others. The use of Reiki as a relaxation and stress reducing technique is becoming accepted and widespread and enhances other bodywork and healing practices.”


They are obviously cribbing from Gary Larson’s The Far Side and his cartoon about the appliance faith healer:

“I command the demons possessing this vacuum cleaner to COME OUT!!”

Sadly, I have yet to find a link. Will share once I do.

SOMNATH MANNA’s statements reminded me of when a Charismatic Christian visited our mainstream church. He spoke at length about his “encounter with the Holy Spirit”, most of us wondered if it was an early sign of a stroke.

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