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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Reiki for veterans

Reiki made the popular blog Daily Kos last Saturday in a post about its use with traumatized war veterans, and that is a very, very big deal: Daily Kos has more than 900,000 visitors daily and is consistently one of the top ten blogs in all cyberspace, according to traffic.

Daily Kos contributor Ilona, who has her own blog about combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder, linked to several recent news items on the topic in a post headlined, "Reiki for Veterans? Military and VA Testing, Already Using Ancient Touch Therapy." Regular readers will notice one error right in the headline: the system of Reiki dates back only to 1922, which isn't exactly "ancient." The article includes some other common errors, referring to founder Mikao Usui as a doctor (he wasn't), and a YouTube video that is basically an ad for a "Grand Master" in India, which also includes some common errors. Many practitioners learned those myths from their teachers, who learned them from their teachers. Those small points aside, the article does capture the essence of Reiki fairly well, and it includes links to quite a few scientific articles and other resources on the subject.

Reiki "seems to be bubbling up to the mainstream surface more and more these days," Ilona wrote. "That the military and VA are incorporating it, is another positive sign that mountains can be moved even in mammoth bureaucracies -- as long as you believe it can be so (and add a little action into the mix to help it along)."

From Daily Kos, the story of using complementary and alternative healing for combat veterans spread to the Hartford Courant, and from there to Stars and Stripes, a daily newspaper for the U.S. military. Who knows where it will spread from there?

We hope the article will help make Reiki and other holistic therapies available to more people, both military and civilian, who have been traumatized by war.

Ilona's Daily Kos post on Reiki is quite extensive, with 59 comments appended so far. To give you a chance to read it, we're keeping this Digest post short and sweet. May Reiki continue "bubbling up to the mainstream surface."

Reiki Roundup

Love Animal Sanctuary, Thailand: Meet Baby Buff, a water buffalo miraculously rescued from the slaughterhouse -- Reiki played a part in her recovery from near-death.

Allerdale, UK: A busy elected official uses Reiki to reduce stress.

St. Clair Shores, Michigan, USA: It's just a tiny news item in the Detroit Free Press, but we're so happy to see this sentence: "Reiki involves using the hands to heal an area of pain without the use of massage."

Kearney, Nebraska, USA: An article on the use of Reiki in medical environments makes an interesting claim: "More than 100 hospitals in the United States have full-time Reiki practitioners, Albrecht said, and statistics from those hospitals indicate Reiki patients use less pain medication and have shorter hospital stays than other patients." We'd sure love to know the source of that.

Beyond English: Our ace reporter, Google, has developed a new skill: now it can find news articles in different languages. Here's one from Portugal: Precisa de energia? Sirva-se das mãos!

Celeb-Reiki updates

Happy Birthday to Rini, the cancer-stricken white tiger in Bhopal, India, who has been receiving regular Reiki treatments along with chemotherapy (she was our Celeb-Reiki on August 7). She celebrated her 18th birthday (that's a ripe old age in tiger years) on August 26 with a cake presented to her by Indian Forest Minister Kunwar Ali Shah, and a "dressed chicken" for dessert. Her veterinarian says “There is slight improvement in her condition now. We are hopeful that she will recover soon.”

New Zealand gave Reiki-practicing Olympic cyclist Hayden Roulston (a multi Celeb-Reiki) and his teammates a rousing welcome home: a thousand people showed up at the airport in Auckland, and the Air New Zealand ground crew performed a haka.

And in a related development, Reiki-practicing Paralympian Lindy Hou of Australia is scheduled to depart for Beijing on September 1. The 2008 Paralympics begin September 6, and Hou will be competing in tandem cycling.

Celebrity mom and Reiki master Ann Dexter-Jones (a Celeb-Reiki more times than we can count) went out to dinner the other night and made headlines in People magazine as well as Canada, India, and the UK.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The weekly waka


The project too vast
To complete in a mere day,
I hated to start,
So I said, “I’ll drive one nail,”
And in no time, it was done.
(By Michael Dagley)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Reiki, Silver, and Bronze

The Reiki Digest hereby presents one of the happiest Reiki stories we've ever heard of. In summary, it goes like this: A boy learns to ride a bicycle, and he loves it, so he practices, practices, and practices until, as a young man, he becomes an up-and-coming pro cyclist. This young man has a couple of run-ins with the law (he has some anger issues), and that doesn't exactly help his career. Then he receives devastating news: he is diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition, and he is forced to retire not only from cycling, but all forms of exercise, at the age of 25.

One day, a friend of this young man happens to be in a cafe, where one of the patrons falls ill. A Reiki practitioner rushes to the person's aid and soon the crisis is over. Observing this incident, the friend asks the Reiki practitioner if she might be able to help his cyclist buddy. She makes no promises but agrees to take on the case, not only treating the ailing cyclist, but teaching him to practice on his own. And he starts feeling better and better, well enough to get back on his bike and slowly, carefully start training again.

Right about the time this young man becomes familiar with the Reiki Precepts (For today only, do not anger, do not worry, be humble, be honest in your work, be compassionate to yourself and others), he gets a new crisis to worry about: his heart condition is improving, but he discovers that he has lost all his savings through bad investments.

He keeps going with the Reiki, and the training, and a group of supporters comes forward to cover his financial needs while he works toward his ultimate goal: an Olympic medal.

He begins winning again, his heart condition under control, and when he heads to Beijing for the Olympics two years after his premature retirement, he brings his Reiki practitioner along with him. He wins the Silver (audio here), and then, with his team, the Bronze. And when he proudly faces the TV cameras after those glorious events, he not only credits Reiki for his accomplishments, he introduces his Reiki practitioner and thanks her in front of the world. (The world, that is, except the United States -- our Olympic coverage is the property of NBC, so we can't see those videos from here).

"Reiki is the the be-all and end-all for me ... it's pretty amazing stuff," he tells reporters.

And he returns in triumph to the pros, all the while training for the 2012 Olympics in London, where he hopes to add a Gold medal to his collection.

To be continued over the next four years. . . .

That's the true-life adventure of the young man we're dubbing the Rei-Kiwi: New Zealand's Hayden Roulston. We covered it all (sort of) as it happened here in The Reiki Digest, so rather than rewriting all that, we'll just let you read it as it happened. But first, we can't resist a brief, hopeful preview of the 2012 Games:

London, 2012 -- Athletes from every nation on earth are converging on this city for the Summer Olympics, bringing with them their hopes, their dreams, their coaches, their trainers, and their Reiki practitioners. Of course, since Kiwi cyclist Hayden Roulston credited Reiki, a natural healing method that originated in early 20th-Century Japan, with his success in recovering from a heart ailment to win two medals in the Beijing Olympics four years ago, many Olympic hopefuls not only receive regular Reiki treatments, they have learned the practice themselves and use it to stay in peak condition mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.

"It's definitely performance-enhancing, but it's completely natural," said one coach. "We want to help our athletes be as competitive as possible while remaining in 100% compliance with the rules. And Reiki works at least as well as those banned substances, without the side effects. As a matter of fact, a lot of us coaches have become Reiki practitioners ourselves, not only to help us deal with the stress, but so that we can provide treatments on the spot if an athlete needs it during the competition."

"Four years ago, a lot of people thought this was just hocus-pocus," said another coach. "But when Roulston said Reiki had led to his success, we figured we owed it to our teams to look into it. And we decided, what could it hurt? And since all the other teams were doing it, we had to add Reiki to stay competitive."

Roulston, who became a Reiki Master himself in 2010, is in his best form ever and hopes to take at least one Gold this time out.

Meanwhile, all over the world, Reiki practitioners and teachers are doing their best to keep up with the surge of interest in this gentle, hands-on healing practice, not only among athletes but people of all walks of life.

Also to be continued. . . .

Because of the breaking sports news, the anniversary of Reiki founder Mikao Usui's birth, and the fact that the Carnival of Healing set up camp here last Saturday, we've been posting frequently on our web site this past week, so for our e-mail subscribers, we'll just let you read it as it was posted. Roulston is, of course, our Celeb-Reiki this week. Our regular features, including the Reiki Roundup and The Weekly Waka, will resume next week.

Congratulations, Mr. Roulston!

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Silver, then Bronze for Reiki-practicing Kiwi cyclist

Update: The New Zealand cycling team, which includes Reiki practitioner Hayden Roulston, has just defeated Australia to win the Bronze medal in the men's team pursuit at the Summer Olympics in Beijing. That makes the second medal for Roulston, 27, who won the Silver on Saturday in the men's 4000 meter individual pursuit.

The victories came almost exactly two years after Roulston was forced to retire from the sport after being diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, a potentially life-threatening heart condition. He discovered Reiki shortly after that, and the rest is now Olympic history.

Roulston says he plans to continue his quest for Gold in the 2012 London Olympics.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Silver Olympic medal for Reiki-practicing cyclist!

This just in: cyclist Hayden Roulston of New Zealand, who has a personal Reiki practice and even brought his own Reiki practitioner with him to the Beijing Olympics, has just won the Silver medal in the men's 4000m individual pursuit. Congratulations to Roulston for his dramatic comeback -- two years ago he had to retire from the sport due to a heart ailment. He credits Reiki with turning his life around.

Carnival of Healing #151

To our regular readers, to those just joining us and those just stopping by, welcome one and all to the 151st edition of the Carnival of Healing, a weekly roundup of blog posts on the topics of holistic health, wellness, spirituality, and self-empowerment.

We usually stick to the topic of Reiki here, because The Reiki Digest is all about that Japanese spiritual healing practice -- in fact, it's the world's only weekly publication about Reiki, available on our web site or by free e-mail subscription. But whenever the carnival comes to our neighborhood, we expand our focus just long enough to make room for our guests. And if they happen to learn a little about Reiki while they're here, so much the better.

Last week's Carnival was hosted by Jenn Givler of, a Reiki Master who went from private practice into coaching for all types of holistic businesses. She's a tough act to follow: I just love her zingy, straight-to-the-point writing style.

Next week the Carnival will move on down the road to Key Business Partners, home of Teresa Morrow. Both Jenn and Teresa are great resources for professional practitioners.

This is my third time hosting the Carnival, and I'm enjoying it more all the time. Why? Because I've found so many good blogs from looking through all the submissions, and I've gone on to get to know some of the people who write them. There's a vibrant community of people interested in and practicing a wide spectrum of natural healing modalities, whether personally or professionally. And since holistic healing, by its very name, is about the whole person, "healing" is a very broad category.

Many thanks to Carnival of Healing founder Phylameana Iila Desy for getting it all started and makiing us a cyber-community!

Daylle Deanna Schwartz, for example, who writes Lessons from a Recovering Doormat. We first bumped into each other last December when she hosted the Carnival the week after I did. She has since become first my student and then my friend. This week, Daylle tells us about her "Concrete use of the Law of Attraction."

At World Healing, Astrid Lee discusses Reiki and MS, and we were pleased to see her research included the same study we mentioned here last month. That information needs to reach a wider audience, and her report goes into much more detail than ours did.

By now you've probably heard about the possibility that autism may be linked to mercury in vaccines. Or not. Tony Graybill at Maximize Health and Wealth says we just don't know, and in any case it might not be so simple.

You may also have seen the recent news reports about the "Exercise Pill." Personal trainer Daryl Laws addresses the possible drawbacks as well as the pill's possible impact on the Olympics.

Life Coach Dawn Abraham tells us to "Say Yes to Life and Let Your World Expand Beyond Belief!" And Anand follows up with "Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude."

Do we choose to be unhappy? Chris Edgar asks us to consider that question in "Too Smart to be Happy: How we Get Attached to Negativity."

Joshua Seth tells us about "Walking to Lose Weight," while Donald Latumahina offers "Being Happy: 17 Timeless Secrets of Happy People." And Heather Johnson tells us how to get and stay motivated in "Take the Road to Fitness, and Stay the Course."

Cravings just might be our biggest motivator as we work to lose weight, says fitnchic. So don't fight them -- use them!

At, Holly is "Blogging for Blood Cancer," Dr. Martin W. Russell tells us how to "Work Through a Problem," and Dean Moyer offers some non-expert advice on a subject I know well: Neck Pain that Radiates.

Sarah Scrafford lists the "Top 100 Mental Health and Psychology Blogs" at Online University Reviews.

Healing can also be found in everyday activities, as Carnival of Healing founder Phylameana Iila Desy explains in "Healing and Mom's Button Jar."

And getting organized can also make you healthier, as Alaia Williams writes in "Get Organized, Get Healthy: Health Issues Causing Disorganization and Clutter."

Hope you enjoy the Carnival as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Good luck to Teresa Morrow with next week's Carnival!

Friday, August 15, 2008

143 years ago today

Mikao Usui, the founder of the system we know today as Reiki, was born on August 15, 1865. Would he recognize the 21st-Century practice, in its myriad styles and branches, as the Usui Reiki Ryoho -- Usui spiritual energy healing method -- that he began? We have so many questions we'd love to ask him, but they'll just have to remain unanswered. Here are a few:

Did Usui know anything about the chakra system (from the Ayurvedic healing tradition of India, grafted onto the system of Reiki in the west after it became disconnected from its Japanese roots)?

Did he consider it a form of massage?

Did he ever want to be called a doctor?

Did he even imagine that one day, his healing method would be practiced in every country in the world?

Can we ever fully express our thanks to him for developing this simple yet profound system of healing on a spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental level?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Relaxation and our genes

Breaking news via Dr. Roger Jahnke of the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi (whom I'm proud to claim as one of my qigong teachers): A study published just last month by pioneering cardiologist Dr. Herbert Benson found that the relaxation response induced by qigong, meditation, and similar modalities actually affects the genes of short-term and long-term practitioners alike.

Jahnke also reviews two other recent studies on the same topic in his article "The Benefits of Mind-Body Practice by Investigating Genetic Expression."

"For hundreds of years Western medicine has looked at mind and body as totally separate entities, to the point where saying something 'is all in your head' implied that it was imaginary," says Benson, director emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and co-senior author of the groundbreaking research report. "Now we've found how changing the activity of the mind can alter the way basic genetic instructions are implemented."

The Washington Post picked up the story in July, but we missed it. Thanks, Dr. Jahnke, for letting us know about it.

Here is a link to the research article itself, published in the journal PLoS ONE.

While Reiki is not specifically mentioned and was not studied by the researchers, it is similar to the practices that were studied.

Dr. Benson first identified the relaxation response 35 years ago.

It's almost Carnival time again!

The Carnival of Healing will return to The Reiki Digest on Saturday, August 16. Deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. EDT tonight (Thursday). We'll be hosting the 151st Edition. Meanwhile, Reiki Master-turned-holistic business coach Jenn Givler is hosting Carnival #150 this week.

If you've got an article or blog post about holistic healing, why not share it with the readers of the Carnival? Just click here to submit your item and join the fun.

If you read us on our web site, be sure to drop by on Saturday when the Carnival is posted. If you're an email subscriber, the Carnival will be included in next week's edition.

Reiki Roundup

We begin this week with a couple of updates on previous Reiki Roundup news items. One is about a plant; the other, an animal.

The oak in healthier days (2006).

UPDATE: Milton Keynes, UK -- There's good news about the ailing oak tree in the Midsummer Place shopping center here, which last month received a mass Reiki healing session from volunteer practitioners over the objections of the center's management. New leaves have sprouted! Midsummer Place manager Martin Hindson, who had previously refused to let the Reiki practitioners near the tree because he feared "we could be perceived as not taking the tree's difficulties seriously," seems to have reconsidered.

"The Reiki may well have worked. Who knows?" said Hindson. "The tree is definitely looking a little better and we are cautiously optimistic about its prospects."

The tree, which was originally featured in our July 10 Reiki Roundup, is also receiving more conventional therapy: a landscaping company will be performing a procedure to bring more air to its roots.

UPDATE: Rina, the white tiger with terminal cancer in Bhopal, India's Van Vihar National Park, continues to receive Reiki from volunteers as her condition deteriorates, according to The Telegraph in Kolkata. She was our Celeb-Reiki in last week's edition. No one expects Reiki to save Rina's life, but it does seem to be making her more comfortable. The latest story says the practitioners are actually reaching their hands into her cage, and park officials "say the treatment appears to be providing some relief" from the pain.

Billingham, UK -- The family of a mother who died of a brain tumor in 2003 has raised more than £2,6oo in her memory, to be divided between neurological research and holistic health care. Christina Hutchinson, who lived to age 39, received Reiki treatments regularly as well as conventional medical treatment during her illness.

Flintshire, UK -- A six-year-old boy with a rare form of cancer who has been receiving regular Reiki treatments in conjunction with chemotherapy will be traveling to Poland for scans to determine whether his tumors are shrinking.

Rochester, New York -- A 97-year-old woman who had written a living will asking to be taken off life support if she had no expectation of recovery is now comatose, on life support and the object of a battle between her daughter and the hospital. The New York Supreme Court will decide whether Dorothy Livadas should be kept on a ventilator. Her daughter, Ianthe, claims her mother is "not done" and will bring a Reiki practitioner into court to support her argument.

Cortland, New York -- Reiki is among the modalities featured in an article on alternative healing titled, "Going for the human touch."

Cooperstown, New York -- Reiki Master Ellen Sokolow will be providing therapy to contestants in the 13th Annual Leatherstocking Sheepdog Trials.

Donegal, Ireland -- A hotel that lost its liquor license is now enjoying success as an alcohol-free establishment, and the proprietor is looking into hosting Reiki classes there.

Sana'a, Yemen -- A Reiki practitioner who's also on the English Department faculty of Sana'a University writes in the Yemen Times about the practice. The article is mostly accurate, although it perpetuates the false claim that founder Mikao Usui was a doctor. The part about the precepts, however, is very accurate: "If followed faithfully, these principles will lead to a more positive outlook towards life because, though they appear to be mere concepts and beliefs, they are totally wholesome and life affirming when integrated with daily practice of Reiki."

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia -- A psychologist and family therapist interviewed in the Arab News argues that Reiki, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, graphology and other "sciences from the west" are not wrong, as some Muslim scholars insist.

Kuwait City, Kuwait -- An Arab Times article states that Reiki is not allowed in Islam because it involves "channelling spirits." That's not true, and the Reiki described in the article is not the practice I know. The article also states that "healing with universal (God created) energy through other hands-on methods, as long as they are not methods for channeling spirits, would be perfectly acceptable," so since Reiki doesn't involve that, can we conclude that it is permissible? Reiki energy is universal energy, not energy from spirits.

Roanoke, Virginia -- Samuel Strauss, the teacher of my first Reiki teacher, is featured in a Roanoake Times article on Reiki, headlined "Touch of Energy." I've never met him, but his name is listed in the lineage on my Level 1 and 2 certificates. We can only hope that this paragraph in the article did not come from Strauss, because it doesn't match what I've learned from my teachers in 3 Reiki Master trainings:

"Reiki started more than 2,500 years ago in Tibet, but was basically lost for ages until being rediscovered by a Japanese Christian monk named Master Mikao Usui in the mid-19th century." (Actually, the system was developed in 1922, it isn't from Tibet, it wasn't rediscovered, and Usui was neither a Christian nor was he -- as is all-too-commonly reported -- a doctor.)

Another common misconception about Reiki shows up in an article on This is London, which features a Reiki practitioner/palm reader who recently read Barack Obama's handprint and predicted "He will take on a new project that will affect his life and the lives of others in a big way." (Reiki is not fortune-telling -- some people practice both, just as some people practice Reiki and banking, Reiki and bricklaying, or Reiki and any other art or profession.)

A Celeb-Reiki roundup

Reiki is not massage, the gazillionth chapter of an ongoing saga

This week starring. . . Mark Knopfler

We have no idea whether six-string sultan of swing Mark Knopfler has ever received or even heard of Reiki. We weren't the ones who brought up the issue: Rolling Stone magazine did. When reporter Scott Spencer visited Knopfler's home studio, he wrote:

"The woman who lets me in has the competent but serene look of a Reiki masseuse."

Frequent contributor Pamir Kiciman of Reiki Help Blog spotted the error first, and wrote a letter to Rolling Stone right away:

Subj: Fact Check RS 1058

In your article on Mark Knopfler (great piece on a great artist), you mention "...serene look of a Reiki masseuse." While Reiki certainly creates serenity, it is definitely not massage.There is no physical manipulation in the practice of Reiki. The hands are static in each position. People who give Reiki are 'practitioners' and wellness is derived from a nonphysical source.The benefit of Reiki is spiritual and energetic. It doesn't arise out of techniques used by massage which manipulates muscles, fascia and tissues.

Thanks, Pamir, for taking the time to hammer away on that point, and for letting us know about it. So far, the letter hasn't shown up on the RS web site. In any case, that makes Mark Knopfler a Celeb-Reiki.

But he's not the only one this week.

It would hardly be a Celeb-Reiki Report these days without a mention of celebrity mom/socialite/Reiki Master Ann Dexter-Jones. She showed up in the New York Post last week in a brazenly catty feature, "A Field Guide to Cougars."

In Ft. Worth, Texas, local punk-rockers The Toadies are back together, this time without bassist Lisa Umbarger, who is now a Reiki practitioner.

The rest of our Celeb-Reikies this week are too numerous to mention individually: they're the recording artists of Gemini Sun Records, a niche label focusing on music for "the spa experience" that got a nice writeup by the Los Angeles Times syndicate.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The weekly waka


To catch the sunrise
You must brave dead black darkness
And wait patiently
Through morning’s civil twilight,
Hoping for clouds and colors.
(by Michael Dagley)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Humble gratitude

Some translations of the Reiki precepts tell us to "be humble." Others tell us to "be grateful" or "be thankful" or "show gratitude." However you phrase it, I love that precept, and I think it's in the perfect sequence right after "Do not anger" and "do not worry" and right before "be honest in your work" and "be compassionate to yourself and others" (or simply "be compassionate").

What does it mean to "be humble"? In the hills of Appalachia where I come from the word "humble" is usually pronounced "umble," and calling someone humble is the highest compliment, as in, "And he was real 'umble, too." An "umble" person in those hills has an impeccable character and laudable accomplishments, not necessarily in the world of business or education but possibly just in the really important things like raising good children or being a good neighbor or a compassionate boss. Whatever those accomplishments, the "umble" person is not vain or otherwise preoccupied with themselves.

Is an "umble" person grateful? For everything.

That may not be what humble means in Japanese society, because being humble is just naturally expected there. It becomes part of the background. Telling a Japanese person in the 1920s to "be humble" and/or "be grateful" is very different from telling a 21st-century American to do so. I believe we have to work harder at it.

And as they say, count your blessings. There's even a song that seems to take care of two of the precepts :

"When I'm worried and I can't sleep,
I count my blessings instead of sheep,
and I fall asleep, counting my blessings..."

Whenever I count my blessings, the list is so long and detailed that I could never get through it all. Still, it's nice to list a few of them now and then. One of my students has set up a way for us to do that, and I hereby resolve to begin listing a blessing a day for the next 21 days there, and urge you to consider doing the same. More about that in a moment, but first, today's blessing: an unsolicited testimonial by that very student, Daylle Deanna Schwartz, who, among a wide variety of accomplishments, has actually been on Oprah! Here's what she wrote on her blog:

A lot of people don’t know it but I’m a certified Reiki (hands on healing) practitioner. I’m currently studying to get to the second level with a wonderful teacher named Janet Dagley Dagley, who writes The Reiki Digest. I just do it for personal use. As I study with Janet, I feel a huge transformation happening since I still have some DoorMat scars. I’ve learned that there are a variety of ways to clear bad energy from your body. Studying Reiki or getting a treatment can help with that. There are many practitioners who can help clear negative energy.

Thank you, Daylle! I am indeed humbled, and grateful.

Now, here's how to keep yourself accountable in counting your blessings -- be grateful, be humble -- every day. Daylle has set up a Yahoo! group called consciousgratitude. You join it, and you post an item or two about what you're grateful for. People read it and it reminds them of what they're grateful for. And it goes from there. So what are you grateful for? Check out the group, send your comments by email to or add them as comments to this post on The Reiki Digest web site.

Team teaching

The Reiki Dojo in New York City will be offering our first Level 1 (Shoden) group class using our new team teaching approach this weekend, August 9 and 10, at Chelsea Studios, 151 W. 26th Street. Instead of a single teacher, the class will be taught by several Reiki teachers, which makes for a great student-teacher ratio. There are still a few spaces available. Click here for more information, or here to register online. Why is this class listed in The Reiki Digest? Because The Reiki Dojo was founded by the editor of The Reiki Digest.

The Reiki Roundup

Last week was the anniversary of the tragic I-35W bridge collapse in Minnesota, and Minnesota Public Radio's Laura Yuen did a report on how Reiki is helping some of the survivors cope. MPR did a wonderful job combining audio, slideshow and text to tell the story.

Ever heard Reiki dismissed as having nothing more than a placebo effect? That's not as dismissive as it might seem. In our opinion it's much more than that, but even so, the placebo effect is quite powerful all by itself, as Salon tells us in an article headlined, "Why 'placebo' is not a dirty word." For example, a study found that people who had "sham" arthroscopic surgery -- general anesthesia with only superficial incisions on the skin -- "reported as much pain relief and improved mobility as patients who underwent the actual procedure."

In Stockton, California, a reporter visits a Reiki gathering and comes away confused, because one practitioner in attendance found it necessary to announce that he was clairvoyant.

But Reiki isn't as "out there" as some people think, a veteran nurse tells a reporter in Ireland, where there are now hundreds of Reiki practitioners despite denouncements from some in the Catholic Church there.

Reiki master Lisa Oz gets a mention in a Forbes article about her husband, Dr. Mehmet Oz, headlined "Oprah loves this doctor." The article says Dr. Oz will soon have his own show, so we now expand our quest to get Reiki on Oprah to add our hopes it will get more than a mention on Dr. Oz's show as well.

Anti-alternative and complementary medicine author Simon Singh and I have something in common: "Don't get him started on reiki massage," is the lead sentence of an article about him in The List. Hey, don't get me started on that subject: Reiki is not massage! Massage is not Reiki! Some people practice both! There's a lot of misinformation out there! Singh, on the other hand, seems to dismiss all complementary and alternative modalities as quackery.

And the University of New Mexico is about to open its Center for Life Integrative Medicine Specialty Clinic (unless Dr. Singh can convince them not to before the August 15 grand opening). The center will offer "integrative medicine consults; acupuncture and Chinese medicine; chronic pain evaluation; myofascial trigger point techniques; massage therapy and aesthetics; psychology and hypnotherapy; stress-reduction evaluations and techniques; Ayurvedic lifestyle counseling, nutrition and Reiki; and opportunities to meet with curanderas and other traditional healers. The center also will offer classes, such as Nia technique; Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction; Mindful Eating and Living; yoga; and Qi Gong," according to New Mexico Business Daily.

Correspondents wanted

The Reiki Digest is expanding and we are seeking correspondents around the globe. Even with the help of Google, we can only see part of the world from our headquarters here in Hoboken, New Jersey, and we want to know more about what's going on with Reiki where you are.

We would like to find at least one correspondent on each continent, but we would welcome more if we can find them. Correspondents must have their own web sites, and ideally they should be Reiki practitioners, preferably with some journalistic training and experience.

If you'd like to become one of our correspondents, email and tell us about yourself. (Please note: these positions are neither full-time employment nor paid freelance gigs. But they're a great way to make yourself more visible.)

To start, we are particularly interested in finding a correspondent in India, so we hope one of our many readers there will want the assignment.


The only good thing about the mistake we made last week is that it gives us another chance to thank frequent contributor Pamir Kiciman for the lovely photos he sent last week of his recent public Reiki event, thus furthering our discussion on outreach. If you follow this link instead of the one we included last week, you'll find not only photos but a nice write-up about the event. We apologize for the error.

Return of The Carnival of Healing

We're happy to announce that The Reiki Digest will once again be hosting the Carnival of Healing, this time on Saturday, August 16. What's that? It's a blog carnival, a collection of blog posts on a specific topic that travels through cyberspace, setting up its virtual tent on a different site each week. This will be the third time we've hosted the Carnival of Healing, which is coordinated by's Holistic Healing guide Phylameana Iila Desy (a Reiki practitioner herself). The Carnival of Healing just celebrated its 3rd anniversary, which means it's almost a year older than The Reiki Digest. This is the official "content call" requesting submissions on the topics of holistic health, wellness, spirituality, and self-empowerment. To submit, DON'T email me, use the Carnival of Healing submit form.

Why should you submit an article? Because you will be repaid in the currency of cyberspace: a link to your blog. A Carnival of Healing link is particularly valuable because it comes via, which is owned by The New York Times company. A link from will bump you up higher on search results, which will make your site easier to find. And if your post provokes a lot of discussion, you'll be repaid in another valuable cyber-currency: comments. Those links and comments will get you more traffic, i.e., attention. The Carnival of Healing is how I discovered holistic business coach Jenn Givler, who was kind enough to let us use one of her articles a couple of weeks ago, as well as author and Recovering Doormat Daylle Deanna Schwartz and many others whose blogs I check frequently. So do some shameless self-promotion, join the Carnival and let yourself be discovered!

Rini, the tiger and Celeb-Reiki

We find this week's Celeb-Reiki in Van Vihar National Park in Bhopal, India. Her name is Rini, and she's a beautiful white tiger who has cancer. She's 18 years old, which is about 80 in tiger years, and three months ago when she was diagnosed, doctors recommended she be euthanized. Instead, the park director got a second opinion and Rini is now receiving not only chemotherapy, but Reiki as well -- not hands-on, of course. Her condition has improved, and one of her Reiki practitioners says "the tigress seems to be accepting Reiki well. She seems relaxed," according to a report in Down to Earth Magazine.

Going for the Gold with Reiki

As the 2008 Olympics get under way, we're doubling our coverage of the games because we've discovered a second Olympic cyclist who uses Reiki. We've already told you about New Zealand's Hayden Roulston, who will have his own Reiki practitioner with him in Beijing.

But there's also Australian Paralympian Lindy Hou, who won the Bronze in Athens in 2004 with her tandem-cycling teammate:

When she's not cycling, Hou is a massage therapist who also uses Reiki. She suffers from a degenerative eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa and has been legally blind since 1996, so she needs a sighted partner -- a pilot -- on the front seat of the tandem bicycle.
The Paralympics always follow the Olympics and the 2008 games will take place next month, September 6-17, in Beijing.

The weekly waka, waka, waka, and waka

We received a wonderful surprise from one of our readers this week: a collection of four summertime waka. They make such a nice group that we're publishing them all at once. We realize it's wintertime for some of our readers, but maybe these glimpses of summer will warm your heart at least. Thank you, Diane Hunt!

And if you'd like to submit a waka, send it to

Summertime waka

Two towering great
white, lighter than air anvils,
like Titans collide
Small household gods on the shelves
silently shake with rapture

Without so much as
a surreptitious soft sneeze
the cottonwood trees
produce in vast abundance
soft and feathery June snow

Sleek and arrow like
the shape shifting cats stretch out
in summertime's heat
trying to take advantage
of the faintest bit of breeze

Evening thrush's song
grace notes of purest beauty
lift the soul to peace
that passes understanding
and fills us all with blessing

(by Diane Hunt)