The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I Get Mail About Reiki

Some (or most) of you may know that I am a massage therapist in Canada living just outside Toronto. As such, we have to complete what are called "continuing education units" (CEUs) to keep our certification; we must get 30 every 3 years. If you were to, say, read a book that dealt with some aspect of healthcare, you could claim one CEU per every two hours of reading. Most of the CEUs I get are from reading reviews of new studies; keeping tabs on new research and scientific developments in healthcare so as to educate my clients; and watching videos on anatomy, physiology, and pathology.

As would be expected, you can also take courses to get CEUs. These range from the normal (anatomical review, patho-physiological review, new technique development), to the borderline fraudulent (see here and scroll down to "Meridian Massage=Crazy Insane, Got No Brain"). Today in my email, I got a note about courses I can take to get some CEUs and the topic falls squarely in the "Quackery" column. I will go through the email and give my thoughts along the way.
Reiki Level l and ll for Humans and Animals
Nevermind that humans are animals...great apes, to be specific.
REIKI is an ancient Tibetan healing technique involving the "laying on of hands". It is a very powerful, complimentary therapeutic method that augments all other forms of healing. It assists the body's innate healing ability.
Um, not to be pedantic here, but reiki - as stupid as it is - is from Japan, not Tibet. Don't take my word for it, go here to Reiki.org and see for yourself! If you're going to just start making shit up, at least do it so I can't uncover your lies in four seconds. I love also how it says that reiki is "very powerful" and that it "augments all other forms of healing"...yeah, like actual medicine. It augments that really well....
REIKI literally means "Universal Life Force Energy". When one is "Attuned" to this energy by a Reiki Master they become a conduit and this energy flows through the practitioner's hands. The effects of Reiki are numerous and subjective to each person.
This is a pet peeve of mine; the misuse of the word "energy". What, exactly, does this person mean when they use that word? "Energy" is the ability of something to do work, be it chemical, mechanical, nuclear, heat, etc... When it is said that, "...this energy flows through the practitioner's hands", what the fuck does that mean? Do they heat up? Is there a chemical change in the person's hands? If there is "energy" there, then it can be detected by scientific equipment, but guess what? That never happens because these people are full of crap. If I had a crap holding machine and it was at full capacity, it would not have the same amount of crap in it that these people carry around on a typical day. It's astounding.
Some of the common benefits are:

Pain relief
Stress reduction/relaxation
Promotes rapid healing
Balances body energies & energy fields
Helps cleanse toxins from body
Releases emotional & energetic blockages
Re-establishes spiritual & mental well-being
Ah, here we go, claims. This is the real meat & potatos of what's wrong. When this email says that reiki practitioners can "promote rapid healing", that is a testable claim. They are saying that when they do what they do, people who are ill, sick, or injured will get better faster than if they are not there, doing what they do. I wonder if there are any studies on that.... Oh, there's at least one, and its conclusion is not good for bolstering the reiki community.
Conclusion Distant reiki had no significant effect on pain following an elective C-section.
Moving on. Of course they have to throw "toxins" in there because, why the hell wouldn't you at this point? Once you've gone to "Balances body energies and energy fields", you're well into Woo-Woo Land - hell, you're the mayor of WooVille with a big pin on your lapel that says "I (heart) WOO!". You're pretty far from the physics department is what I'm trying to say.
Reiki is easy to learn and simple to practice. The Attunements that each of you will receive are sacred rituals performed by the Reiki Master, and involve opening your chakras to allow the energy to flow through you.
Does this sound inappropriately sexual to anyone else? Anyone?
We are offering 2 degrees or levels of Reiki in this training:

Level I – You learn the history of Reiki, the basic hand positions, how to use it on yourself, animals and others. You will become attuned/connected with a higher vibration. Reiki awakens your intuitive knowing. This is a good review even if you already have Reiki l. RMT's can count the time spent on this Level for Category B CEUs as per the CMTO.
There it is; vibration. You knew it was coming, right? The magic hand positions to vibrate at a higher...well...vibration, so you can "use it on yourself, animals, and others." Careful wording, there. Did you see how they didn't say you can use it to, "heal yourself, animals and others". It's a small difference, but a critical one. It's also so stupid that it's hardly worth insulting, except that it's endorsed by my college. How embarrassing.
Level II – You will exponentially increase your channeling ability (times 4). You will be attuned to use distance healing and will learn the power and mental/emotional symbols. Reiki will accelerate your intuitive powers and increase your ability to invoke and utilize higher vibrational energies. This is a good review even if you already have Reiki ll.
Oooooo! I will increase my channeling ability by four times! I wonder if I'll be able to contact Ramtha?! I love the newage nonsense that is spilling out from this non-paragraph. It has all the buzzwords, doesn't it?

Next up is what I'll learn if I take this valuable, vibrational class.
What you will learn:

What Reiki is and how it can be used to support your health and wellbeing.
How Reiki can be used to support your animal companion's health and wellbeing.
The 5 elements of Reiki and how they apply to your work with animals.
How to approach your animal companions to gain their trust and acceptance.
Hand positions and approaches for using Reiki on both people and animals.
Ways that deepen your relationship with your animal companions.
Techniques for healing animals and others in person.
Techniques for healing animals and others over distance.
Meditations designed to deepen your process
First, can I harken back to a great George Carlin bit about being on the airlines, and them using language to make things sound more important than they are? Can we talk about "animal companion"? Just fucking say "pet", would you please? Thanks.

The rest of the things I'll learn seem to be a bunch of nonsensical claptrap that would get a failing grade if an eleven year old handed it in to their biology teacher. It's a shameful display of ignorance up with which no one should put.

All this for the low LOW price of $297.00! Call today, kids! Man, those Nigerians who keep emailing me about their rich, dead relative should take lessons in financial rape from these reiki frauds. Oh, and just in case you were wondering where the last point was:
This information is not intended to replace veterinary care; we encourage you to use it only as a compliment to it.
Yeah, you knew it was coming, right? A version of the Quack Miranda Warning. These hippis know that their silliness doesn't work so they make sure to cover their asses and tell everyone to keep seeing those "Western, close-minded, allopathic, in-the-pocket-of-Big-Pharma" doctors. The real doctors. The ones who have to show their work, prove their methods are efficacious, and actually help people and their "animal companions".

It's so ridiculous that our profession is associated with this nonsense. No wonder doctors roll their eyes when they hear "massage therapist"; they have every right to as long as this stupid shit is tolerated in our midst. Shame on the CMTO for endorsing reiki.

3 Barbaric Yawps:

At 10/11/11 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a very powerful, complimentary therapeutic method

Wrong word. 'Complimentary' means free and the word they want is 'complementary' meaning -
supplying mutual needs or offsetting mutual lacks.

I look forward to reading your posts.

 
At 10/11/11 10:59 AM, Blogger Account Closed said...

Mike, how is what you say possible? At the CMTO web site they say "The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (the College), exists to protect the public interest and to regulate the profession of massage therapy in Ontario.

Through the maintenance of high professional standards, the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario ensures ethical, high-quality health care."

They exist to protect me, the public, surely they wouldn't promote a useless practice. After all they ensure ethical health care. They can't be ethical and lie can they?

Well, ..... maybe

Tony

 
At 10/11/11 11:29 AM, Blogger Heathen Mike said...

Anon: Thanks for reading and picking up on complimentary vs complementary. I'm not surprised they screwed that up.

Tony: Yeah, that's odd, isn't it? Weird that they offer CEUs for nonsense like reiki and acupuncture, therapeutic touch and cranio-sacral therapy while still saying that their function is to "protect the public". I find it vexing.

 

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