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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Reiki Roundup

Our first stop on this week's Reiki Roundup isn't a stop at all: it's a journey -- made by a group of Pakistani women along the Pakistan-India border as part of a month-long cross-border signature campaign to press for a resumption of dialogue between the two nuclear powers, and to call for peace. The women, one of whom is a Reiki master, have made headlines as far away as Italy for their efforts.

On to the United Kingdom, where the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council has begun registering practitioners. Massage therapists and nutritional therapists are now allowed to register, and Reiki practitioners will be invited to sign up later this year. In its coverage of the new registry, The Economist jumps to an erroneous conclusion in claiming that the UK had not only begun registering alternative practitioners but outlawing them:

"...Consumer-protection laws new in 2008 specifically forbid false claims that a product can cure a disease. This could make life difficult for purveyors of alternative medicine....," the article states. Actually, ethical natural health practitioners do not diagnose, prescribe, or make any claims of cures. 

Some UK Reiki practitioners are not only working within the law, they are the law. A growing number of law enforcement officers in the UK are moonlighting, some of them as Reiki practitioners.

Next stop: suburban Chicago, where a newspaper feature describes Reiki as "touchless massage." While Reiki is sometimes done with near-touch, most practitioners use a light touch most of the time. The article also quotes a Reiki practitioner as saying that clients who believe in Reiki are more likely to be helped, which is not consistent with the words of Reiki founder Mikao Usui, who said that "it matters little whether you may doubt." Overall, the article is an interesting twist: instead of receiving a Reiki session, the reporter becomes a practitioner for a day (or part of one).


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