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Thursday, March 19, 2009

A great big Reiki Roundup

It's been a few weeks since our last Reiki Roundup, so this week we're getting caught up with a jumbo-sized roundup, and making it our lead article.

We begin in Washington, D.C., U.S.A., where politicians are looking everywhere they can to cut government programs due to the continuing economic crisis. This week it appears some of them are eyeing the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, urged on by some in the medical and scientific community. The Washington Post has jumped on the story not only on its news and feature pages, but the op-ed page as well. Reiki is mentioned in the news story as well as the op-ed piece.

And here's the op-ed piece: "Even 'Snake Oil' Can Help Patients Heal"

It's a legitimate story to cover, but this package doesn't seem to be up to the Post's usual standards. Anybody who's been a journalist for more than six months knows that studies come along all the time, and they often contradict each other, so citing a single study as evidence of anything is fairly meaningless. To claim that there is little evidence so far on acupuncture is either ethnocentrism, ignorance, or both: acupuncture has been practiced in the largest nation on earth for thousands of years, so evidence is in the eye of the beholder. 

Speaking of op-eds, in Schenectady, New York, an op-ed column in the Daily Gazette repeats the unfortunate misconception that complementary and alternative therapies and conventional western medicine are somehow mutually exclusive. That's why we prefer the term integrative medicine: nobody has to choose one or the other.

In nearby Coshocton, Ohio, an article in the Tribune is so vivid it's almost like a Reiki session in itself, despite the oft-repeated error of calling Reiki founder Mikao Usui "Dr."

In Lansing, Michigan, we find a Reiki practitioner who says, "Your body is like a car: it needs regular maintenance.

At, we find a scholarly article by Reiki practitioner Sarah Hews: Developing a model for complementary therapy for patients with cancer.

That's a lot of reading, and there's more to come in the supersize Celeb-Reiki Report that follows and the rest of this week's edition.


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