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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Reiki Digest for March 7, 2007: Coming soon -- Dispatches from Japan

The Reiki Digest now reaches 46 countries and counting, but in a few weeks we'll be going international in a whole new way. We'll soon have reports from our special correspondent, Reiki Master Teacher Michelle Shinagawa, as she returns to her native Japan in search of Reiki, its origins, and contemporary Japanese Reiki practices. For a preview of her Reiki-packed itinerary, check out the new blog she's launched to chronicle her adventures. She'll be visiting Mt. Kurama, the legendary birthplace of Reiki, and later studying with some of Japan's most famous Reiki teachers. Michelle is also offering a special service at Mt. Kurama to the first 200 people who request it -- details available on her blog.

During Michelle's Reiki journey, The Reiki Digest will be posting updates here between our weekly editions to alert our readers to new posts from Japan. The e-mail edition will still be published only once a week, so you'll have to visit here to read the latest, or sign up to receive dispatches directly from Michelle herself.

While we're thinking globally, here's another item of international interest: the first new subscriber we get from our 47th country will receive a special gift. So if you're in, say, Bulgaria, or Zambia, or Cambodia, or Jamaica, or anyplace we don't already have subscribers, you're eligible.

If you're in the United States, within commuting distance of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, and you happen to have prostate cancer, you could be eligible for some Reiki along with medical treatment as part of a study now recruiting patients, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the National Institutes of Health.

Speaking of studies, a recently completed study found that more than half of Americans over the age of 50 use some kind of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), but most don't tell their doctors. One in 10 of those surveyed who use CAM therapies said they use Reiki. The survey was co-sponsored by NCCAM and the American Association of Retired People (AARP).

A medical doctor who is also a Reiki Master has a very interesting column in a Florida newspaper on the question of just how much evidence is needed to prove a healing method is safe and effective.

Some readers have noticed that our weekly Reiki Roundup has been a bit brief in recent weeks, partly because we've had lengthy feature articles, and partly because, frankly, much of what we've found out there hasn't been worth linking to.

To demonstrate one of the biggest (and most frequently mentioned) misconceptions about Reiki that we've seen repeated ad nauseum of late, I shall now transmit this edition of The Reiki Digest to you psychically, because so many reporters have recently equated Reiki with psychic powers. Since nearly all of you are Reiki practitioners, why should I bother typing? You already know what I'm going to say. For the gazillionth time, Reiki isn't about psychic powers!

Reiki also isn't about religion, but that fact hasn't quelled the ongoing disagreement within the Catholic faith over Reiki. Even though many Catholics, even nuns, practice and teach Reiki, and Reiki is practiced in many Catholic hospitals, every week there's another article in some publication of that denomination denouncing Reiki. This week's installment, at Catholic Online, calls Reiki a "new alternative religion" and insists it is incompatible with Christianity.

For the record (and also for the gazillionth time), Reiki is not a religion; it requires no belief on the part of either practitioner or recipient, and it happens to be practiced by people of every faith, or no faith, all over the world.

On the other side of that argument are the numerous Christians of all denominations who practice Reiki. For example, here's a Reiki Master nun in an article headlined "Healing Hands Transcend Faith." And here's another Reiki-practicing nun in Pittsburgh. Then there's CatholicReiki.com, which has now given birth to a new blog, Reiki Ramblings.

There are some very nice items about Reiki in the news this week, including a special Mother's Day pampering package at Tesco that includes complimentary Reiki.

Mostly kudos to the Milton, Pennsylvania, Standard-Journal for a mostly accurate article about Reiki headlined, "Need to Recharge your Batteries? Try a Reiki Session." Mostly, but not completely accurate because it says Reiki includes a full-body massage. (Nope -- that's a different modality entirely.)

More kudos to Knoxville, Tennessee's MetroPulse, for an article on the power of touch that doesn't link Reiki to massage.

And at the University of Indiana, we find a mention of Reiki in an article headlined, "Natural or Supernatural? Traditional barrier between medical and spiritual healing coming down."

Maybe we should start a new feature: Reiki: Believe it or Not, because you aren't going to believe this next item. In St. Paul, Minnesota, Reiki gets a mention in an item about Minnesota laws prohibiting bodyworkers from having sex with former clients within two years after any professional contact. That article refers to a case in which a massage practitioner admitted having sex with a former client -- he's the man she married 17 months after he stopped being her client -- and then had to spend three years and more than $30,000, even undergo psychological testing at her own expense, to avoid losing her license.

On that bizarre note, let's move on to this week's Celeb-Reiki feature. First, we meet freelance writer and Reiki aficionado Colette Dickinson of Oxfordshire, England, whose short story (inspired in part, she said, by her Reiki sessions) was chosen from more than 10,000 for inclusion in The Sun Book of Stories.

Our second Celeb-Reiki this week is Monica Tata, a television executive in India, who told a reporter that "Reiki is a very close part of my existence."

And our third Celeb-Reiki this week is Australian artist Siobhan McLeod, this week's guest on The Reiki Show podcast, discussing Reiki and Creativity with hosts Bronwen and Frans Stiene of the International House of Reiki in Sydney, Australia.

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

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