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Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Reiki Roundup

Our top stories this week come from the world of mainstream medicine.

A UK study on Reiki and multiple sclerosis has some encouraging findings, but the version posted online is nearly impossible to read. Still, the numbers are impressive:

90.2% Reduction of Lethargy
87% Reduction of depression
78.7% Reduction of Cognitive Problems
75.3% Reduction of Motor Problems
73.5% Reduction of pain
70.2% Reduction of Fatigue
69.1% Reduction of Urine Problems
62.8% Reduction of Bowel Problems
38% Reduction in Walking Time

Apparently it wasn't a double-blind controlled study and these cases are anecdotal, but still it seems worth further study.

RDH, a publication for registered dental hygienists, mentions a 2007 study at the University of California Davis Medical Center which examined the use of tai chi, yoga, meditation, and Reiki by registered nurses for self-care. The study found that "The outcomes of the self-care classes described by the nurses included:

Sensations of warmth, tingling, and pulsation, which were relaxing
An enhanced problem-solving ability
An increased ability to focus on patient needs."

Reiki and Therapeutic Touch are two separate modalities, but Reiki got a mention anyway in a Hartford Courant article about a scientific study on the use of Therapeutic Touch for bone and tendon cells in petri dishes. The cells that were exposed to Therapeutic Touch "grew faster and stronger" than cells that received either a sham treatment, or no treatment.

In Warwick, Rhode Island, USA, a woman plagued by sleep eating discovers Reiki and calls it "heaven" in an article headlined, "The Great Fudgesicle Incident of 2008:"

"Relaxed? I was beyond that. I felt a wave of peace that I had never encountered in my life before. . . The feeling stayed with me throughout the day. I could not get any writing done, I just wanted to sit and enjoy the serenity. Trust me; if you have never experienced Reiki or have had any doubts, it is worth a try!"

In Dudley, UK, a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder now works as a Reiki healer and has written a book about her experiences.

And in South Yorkshire, UK, "Sheffield's oldest powerlifter" has a not-so-secret weapon as he trains for the World Powerlifting Championships: regular visits to a Reiki. practitioner.

The Times Online is offering a spa vacation, complete with Reiki, to "one lucky winner" among readers who can answer a sports-related question to qualify.

This Los Angeles Times story, purportedly about paganism, extends that definition to unrelated subjects such as Reiki, aromatherapy, and fortune telling. It's a "first in a series of occasional articles exploring alternative cultural life," so the reporter, and the readers, are likely to get even more confused as the series progresses.


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