Across the U.S. Reiki practitioners everywhere rejoiced—we were overjoyed that Reiki would finally get the attention and respect it deserved as an alternative healing modality used by millions worldwide. However, events did not quite go as planned.
On January 9, 2010 I issued a press release announcing the good news along with six tips to help people choose the right teacher for them.
When writing the press release I had been focused on helping the general public understand Reiki’s potential for health support, while offering them a few simple steps they could take to find a qualified teacher. As a Reiki Master teaching classes since 1996, I had witnessed firsthand the positive benefits for students; whether used for personal health support, or offered to friends, family, and animal companions, Reiki can yield a lifetime of benefits.
I didn’t expect the press release to attract any attention at all from doctors or scientists. Boy, was I naïve, and completely unprepared for the flurry of name-calling and mud-slinging from certain quarters of the medical community.
The first negative post was titled “Dr. Mehmet Oz: Gone completely over to the Dark Side.” The author, a doctor/scientist, based a good portion of his article on faulty information (the “history” of Reiki that he quotes is NOT the true story of the origins of Reiki). Rather than using any science at all to support his claims, the author confined his rant to personal attacks on Dr. Oz (and, to a lesser extent, myself), calling Reiki “quakery” and “faith healing.” (No belief is required for Reiki to be effective, and I can back that up with observed results for my animal clients, for whom there is no placebo effect.)
That one post generated a firestorm of comments, most derogatory, and that one blog was not the only negative perspective on what we in the Reiki community viewed as a positive step forward.
Why are these so-called scientists getting their lab coats into such a twist? Perhaps they are afraid that the world might not be as scientifically quantifiable as they thought it was. Change can be scary, and the history of science and medicine is filled with stories of those persecuted for advancing new ideas, such as Galileo who maintained that the earth orbited the sun, or Louis Pasteur who gave us the first vaccines.
Pasteur also laid the foundation for the methodologies of modern scientific research. And an emotional attack on Dr. Oz, myself or Reiki does not appear to fulfill the requirement that a scientist possess the following qualities, “…the ability to survey all the known data and link the data for all possible hypotheses, the patience and drive to conduct experiments under strictly controlled conditions, and the brilliance to uncover the road to the solution from the results.”
I fail to understand how rejecting the practice of Reiki without sufficiently investigating it in any way offers benefit to mankind, something else science supposedly supports. Dr. Edmund Storms, PhD, cold fusion expert asked, “…which is the greater threat to science and mankind, accepting a claim that can have no possible benefit, or rejecting a claim that can have great benefit?”
And more and more hospitals agree, offering complementary alternative medicine options such as Reiki to their patients, which in my humble opinion is the future of healthcare worldwide. And veterinary practices are doing the same.
“I like what Dr. Oz is doing and I agree with it,” stated Dr. Ernie Bodai, a leading breast cancer surgeon.
“If a patient wants these kinds of complementary treatments, I think a doctor is right to utilize them – as long as they are used as an addition to standard medical treatments rather than a replacement.”
So here’s to a future free from fear—one where practitioners of modern medicine and complementary alternative medicine work side by side for the benefit of their patients and clients.
And to all the naysayers, a word to the wise—it is a future the public desires. Last year Americans spent 34 billion dollars on alternative medicine, more than one tenth of all out of pocket healthcare dollars. Be careful doctors, a mind closed to new ideas does not prosper; not so long ago the medical profession considered the practice of hand washing before surgery worthy of ridicule, and the use of leeches for the treatment of illness was widely respected.
So, kudos to you, Dr. Oz, for risking the firestorm of negative opinion by publicly naming Reiki your #1 Alternative Medicine Secret for 2010, and in so doing putting the care of your patients and viewers before a willingness to play it safe. Perhaps history will prove you, like Louis Pasteur, to be one of the prophets of the new age in healthcare.
Think Outside the Cage
A pioneer in Reiki and shamanic healing for people and animals, Rose De Dan has seen firsthand the profound healing impact of this work on the lives of others. A Reiki Master Teacher, mesa carrier in the Peruvian Q’ero tradition, and animal communicator, she teaches classes, workshops and teleclasses for those interested in learning more about energy medicine.
Rose is also author of the acclaimed book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism, and creator of Animal and Reiki Art. As an animal shaman, she views her role as a healer as one of building bridges between people and animals, and of empowering them to reconnect with Pachamama, Mother Earth.
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