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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Fully clothed, fully clothed, fully clothed

A picture can negate a thousand words.

Yet the text and graphics that make up most newspaper and magazine articles are created by independent departments and then combined by one or more other independent departments, sometimes with misleading results. 

Natural Health magazine illustrates that unfortunate truth in its current issue (March 2008), in which an otherwise fairly accurate article about Reiki is illustrated with photos of a nude recipient covered only with a couple of strategically placed folded towels. Sure, the words "fully clothed" show up twice in the text, but that's not what you see when you look at the page.

What a missed opportunity! Natural Health magazine reaches more than 350,000 readers, and now those 350,000+ readers have the wrong idea about Reiki. The Reiki Digest reaches far, far fewer readers, but we'd like to do our part to correct that mistake anyway. For the record, Reiki clients are fully clothed when they receive Reiki -- so fully clothed that they usually even keep their socks on and often are covered with a blanket or sheet. Reiki practitioners are fully clothed, too. There are some exceptions to that: for example, when a massage therapist adds a little Reiki before, after, or during a massage, or at a nude resort. A practitioner doing Reiki self care in the shower would be another exception.

If there were such a thing as an Au Naturel magazine, then maybe those pictures would be appropriate there.

We'd been intending to add a few more proposed points of consensus on Reiki this week to build on those we published last week, so let's start with that one:

Reiki is perfomed on fully clothed recipients by fully clothed practitioners. 

So far, we've heard no disagreement about the five proposed points of consensus on Reiki we published last week:

1. The system of Reiki was founded by Mikao Usui.
2. Usui was not a doctor.
3. Reiki is not massage.
4. Reiki is not a religion.
5. Reiki is not a substitute for medical care.

And now we have:

6. Reiki is performed on fully clothed recipients by fully clothed practitioners.

Here are a few more:

7. Reiki works on mental, physical, emotional and spiritual levels.
8. Reiki can help reduce stress.
9. Reiki is being practiced in a growing number of hospitals and other medical environments.
10. We aren't quite sure how Reiki works.

Reiki practitioners, would you agree with all those points so far? And what points would you suggest?

Casey from KC added a comment on our web site to propose this one:

We are not "healers", but a "facilitator" for healing.

What do you think?

Personally I think everyone is a healer, and the best healing is self-healing, although sometimes we need help, whether from mainstream medicine or alternative medicine. I do agree with the concept, though, Casey -- but we might need to fine-tune the wording.

We're hoping to put together a list of at least 100 points of consensus among Reiki practitioners, things we can all agree on regardless of lineages or styles. If you'd like to add one or more proposed points, just post them as comments on our web site. Next week, we'll add at least 5 more.

Speaking of clothes, Reiki showed up again this week on the television reality show Project Runway, even though Reiki practitioner/designer Elisa Jimenez was eliminated several episodes back. Model Lea Rannells is also a Reiki practitioner, and she offered a little energetic support to the designer she was working with in the penultimate show of the season. And that qualifies her as this week's Celeb-Reiki. We hope there's even more Reiki on the show's next season. (Hey, maybe the designers can come up with some outfits for fully clothed clients to wear while receiving Reiki from fully clothed practitioners....)

This week's Reiki Roundup begins in Melbourne, Australia, a destination recommended for Valentine's Day by the New Zealand Herald. Writer Nicky Shepheard got a facial and more. She writes that her therapist, "... also practised reiki on me, which I've also always been sceptical of, but my whole body was buzzing and tingling afterwards. I felt restored, calm and integrated, having arrived anxious and discombobulated post-red-eye flight." Unfortunately, it's already February 15 in that part of the world, but there's always next year.

On to London, where the British Veterinary Association warns pet owners not to use Reiki and other alternative therapies as a substitute for veterinary care. A spokesman for the association tells the BBC that one alternative practitioner diagnosed an animal over the phone, presumably without actually speaking to the animal. Ethical Reiki practitioners, whether working with humans or other animals, do not diagnose, period.

Next stop: Connecticut, where a local TV station reports on Reiki for cancer patients. From there we move on to Durango, Colorado, where a Reiki practitioner gets an unusual tattoo.

We're still accepting submissions for the second edition of our Carnival of Reiki, so if you have a blog or web site post you'd like us to consider, just click here to submit it.

Next week, we'll have a report on the second annual Reiki Symposium at the New York Open Center. And we'll have at least 5 more points of consensus for your consideration.


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