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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Reiki Digest for March 14, 2007: Outlaw Reiki? That's just not cricket!

We begin this week's edition in the West Indies, where the Cricket World Cup has just begun and at least one team is using Reiki to get into the best shape possible for the contests ahead. Team India's official masseur, Manesh Rame, is using Reiki along with other techniques to help the players overcome stress, sleep problems, and performance anxiety. Enjoy that Reiki while you can, Team India, because Reiki may soon be outlawed in some parts of your country.

If Maharashtra's so-called Black Magic Act is passed, not only Reiki would be banned -- so would Hindu epics, the Bible, and the Koran. Public rallies are being held this week in numerous Maharashtra cities to protest the bill and call for its rejection by the legislature.

It's just not cricket, as they say.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. state of New Hampshire (state slogan: Live free or die), a bill with a less sinister sounding name, HB 0908, also threatens the practice of Reiki. Although it seems intended to regulate massage therapy, the bill would also apply to Reiki. HB 0908 would replace the professional standards now governing bodywork practices with a new massage regulatory board with sweeping powers. And while a group of massage, bodywork, somatic, movement and energy practitioners has been working with the state for more than a year on the issue of professional standards, those representatives were not included in the development of this bill. At a public hearing in August, 2006, the bill met near-unanimous opposition from all professionals who testified. If the new governing board is set up, it is slated to include only massage therapists, with no other types of bodyworkers represented. So if you're a Reiki practitioner anywhere, and especially if you're in New Hampshire, please give the state your input on this bill.

Whatever types of practices politicians are trying to ban, Reiki is neither religion nor magic nor massage. It's too bad there are so many misconceptions about Reiki.

A reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle perpetuates some of those misconceptions this week in an article headlined, "Things that make you go 'hmm': Reiki, ancient healing art." The writer calls Reiki "a form of hands-on faith healing" (no faith involved, actually, and it can be hands-on or off); she refers to its founder as a doctor (he wasn't) and said he rediscovered it in the 1800s (it wasn't a rediscovery, and it was in 1920); she says Chujiro Hayashi was the only student of Reiki founder Mikao Usui (no, there were others). Just for the record, there is no such thing as a Reiki grandmaster, although you can buy a certificate that says you are one for under $10 on eBay. We won't go into some of the things the reporter quotes Reiki practitioners as saying that have nothing to do with Reiki.

A Reiki practitioner who read that same Chronicle article posted some comments about it on his blog, including this zinger: "Reiki is alternative medicine, not an alternative to medicine."

It's a good thing our regular Celeb-Reiki report isn't an elevator, because this week it would be really crowded. K9s Only, a new wellness center for dogs offering Reiki among other treatments, will roll out the red carpet for its grand opening later this month to welcome actors Kim Basinger (many movies), Wayne Knight, (Seinfeld) Freddy Rodriguez (Six Feet Under), Michelle Stafford (The Young and the Restless), Allison Janey (West Wing) and Galen Gering (Passions). No word on whether Lassie will attend, but presumably there will be some canines there as well.

Another dog resort featuring Reiki, K-9 Tailshakers, also made the news this week in a suburban Chicago paper, but without any mention of celebrities.

For more of those, we travel to Malvern in the UK, where we find a Reiki Master who has treated such stars as Madonna, Cher, Beyonce, and Sylvester Stallone in an article headlined, "Stars were safe in Anna's hands." Stallone made headlines this week for other reasons when he was arrested in Sydney, Australia, and charged with illegally importing human growth hormone.

On to Washington, D.C., where previous Celeb-Reiki Sen. Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota) has issued his first statement since he suffered a brain hemorrhage three months ago. While Sen. Johnson was unable to speak for himself, Reiki was requested for him.

And we end this week's Celeb-Reiki report back in India, where Reiki Master and business coach Olivia Stefanino is also the author of a new book: Be Your Own Guru: Personal and Business Enlightenment in Just Three Days.

Let's move on to the Reiki Roundup.

In Lakeland, Florida, USA, Reiki breathing techniques turn up in an article headlined, "Ways to Rejuvenate During Your Workday."

In East London, South Africa, a man who lost a leg became a Reiki practitioner on his doctor's advice and is now helping other disabled people.

On the island of Mauritius, a doctor recommends Reiki and other natural health practices while advising caution with vitamins and other supplements.

In Brooklyn, New York, the Amsterdam News finds a Reiki practitioner who works with (among others) people with HIV.

We lost an hour here in the USA Sunday morning when we set our clocks ahead to Daylight-Saving Time a couple of weeks early, presumably saving a bit more daylight. The Bloomington-Normal Pantagraph (yes, that's its name) marked the occasion by interviewing people who get up early every day, a Reiki practitioner among them.

This week's podcast of The Reiki Show features a special treat: one co-host interviewing another about the latest product from the International House of Reiki.

Speaking of the International House of Reiki, there is still one space remaining in the Shinpiden workshop with Frans Stiene in New York City April 14-16, 2007, sponsored by The Reiki Digest.

Frans and Bronwen Stiene will also be giving an evening talk at East West Books in New York on April 12, followed by a book signing.

We sign off with an obituary: Linda Tilton, Director of the Wellness Department at the New York Open Center, died March 13. Although her modality was aromatherapy, not Reiki, she was a great friend of Reiki and oversaw the development of one of the most respected professional Reiki programs anywhere. According to the Open Center, she was a senior executive in the fragrance, cosmetic and skincare industry for 15 years before becoming an aromatherapist. We will miss her, but her contribution to the world of Reiki will live on.


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