Updated: Apr 10
Reiki Can’t Possibly Work. So Why Does It? written by Jordan Kisner
Great article researching from the belief that Reiki is just that crap that people try to becoming Reiki attuned. An energy that cannot be explained but has proven results. It started as a just give it a go at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center 10 years ago and soon after the program began, the nurse was getting calls from doctors: “Hey, is the lady here? Someone wants that crap.”
The effects were startling, Veterans who complained that their body had “forgotten how to sleep” came in for Reiki and were asleep on the table within minutes. Others reported that their pain declined from a 4 to a 2, or that they felt more peaceful. One patient, a man with a personality disorder who suffers from cancer and severe pain, tended to stop his normal routine of screaming and yelling at the staff when he came in for his Reiki sessions.
However for some the results are not enough. "We take people seriously when they say they’re in terrible pain, even though we can’t measure that. Why do we have a problem accepting when somebody says, ‘I feel better; that helped’?”
Reiki is the latest entrant into the suite of common additional treatments. Its presence is particularly vexing to naysayers because Reiki delivers demonstrable salutary effects without a proven cause.
Over the past two decades, a number of studies have shown that Reiki treatments help diminish the negative side effects of chemotherapy, improve surgical outcomes, regulate the autonomic nervous system, and dramatically alter people’s experience of physical and emotional pain associated with illness.
Whist some Doctors and scientists still don't believe there is any merit in Reiki energy,
other doctors and researchers have accepted the line of argument that many other Reiki advocates have put forward: The practice has no known negative side effects, and has been shown by various studies that pass evidentiary muster to help patients in a variety of ways when used as a complementary practice.
"Unlike the many FDA-approved medications that barely beat a placebo in studies and carry negative side effects, Reiki is cheap and safe to implement. Does its exact mechanism need to be understood for it to be accepted as a useful therapeutic option? For decades, experts weren’t precisely sure how acetaminophen (Tylenol) eases pain, but Americans still took billions of doses every year. Many medical treatments are adopted for their efficacy long before their mechanisms are known or understood. Why should this be different?"
The ailments that Reiki seems to treat most effectively are those that orthodox medicine struggles to manage: pain, anxiety, chronic disease, and the fear or discomfort of facing not only the suffering of illness but also the suffering of treatment. “What conventional medicine is excellent at is acute care. We can fix broken bones, we can unclog arteries, we can help somebody survive a significant trauma, and there are medicines for all sorts of symptoms,”Yufang Lin, an integrative-medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic, told me. But medicine, she said, is less successful at recognizing the way that emotion, trauma, and subjective experience can drive physical health—and the way that they can affect recovery from acute medical care.
As this writer has experienced when he attended Reiki training and attunement "I’d spent even more time breathing deeply and placing hands on a stranger’s solar plexus, or the crown of her head, or the arch of her foot. In that time, I had sometimes felt nothing other than the comfort of human touch. Other times I had felt odd things: the sensation of magnetic attraction or repulsion between my hand and a rib cage, a burning heat that came and went suddenly. When I gently cupped my hands around a woman’s jaw, the tips of my right fingers buzzed as if from an electrical current, tickling me."
"I had spent two days in and out of the liminal state the UT study described, and I felt more sensitive to the world. I had also spent some meaningful time being touched kindly by strangers and touching them kindly, and thinking about what it might be like to feel well, to stop reporting to the doctor every year the same minor ailments: a tweaked shoulder, a tight jaw, general nervousness, scattered attention, my idiosyncratic imbalances and deficiencies."
Whatever you believe - if anything Reiki is a gentle, safe way of reconnecting with yourself and your own bodies healing abilities.