Sunday, May 4, 2014

Reiki

Email from a medical student:
My questions would be the following:
- how you would describe how you adapt “traditional” Reiki in a conventional medical setting (vs. your own private practice for example)? In your books, you speak about not using stones for example, or not using the same terminology.
- how would you describe how Reiki works in a conventional medical setting (vs. your own private practice)?
- Would you say that you try to link Reiki to scientific evidence?
- would you have any comment on your understanding of how Reiki changes mainstream practice physicians’ opinion (when you work in a conventional setting) on science?

My responses:

I practice Reiki in a conventional (American Medical Association western biomedical) setting: an outpatient cancer center. I don't have a private practice, I don't have time for that. I teach 50+ hours/week, share Reiki at the cancer center, volunteer, manage my life & home, and spend time with family and friends. So, no time for a private Reiki practice. Actually, it's difficult here in Maine to rely on Reiki for a livable income. Our population here is sparse (Maine is 98% trees), and people have neither the cash nor the interest to support Reiki practitioners. 

Anyway. 

I adapt by adhering to the protocols I established when I proposed the Reiki program to health network administrators. I instruct my team members (volunteer Reiki practitioners) to follow standards. We try to be consistent, and we do just Reiki, as we understand it. Though many of us are interested in other integrative modalities, we share plain Reiki, as we understand it. 

We try not to adapt Reiki; we adapt ourselves. 

How does Reiki work? I don't know. Who does? 

I avoid that question and advise my practitioners to avoid it too. Who can explain it? I tell my clients what I'm going to do: where I'll place my hands and that I may not speak. I tell them to keep their clothes on, get comfortable, and to tell me if they wish to change any elements of the situation. 

I do try to link Reiki to scientific evidence. I teach Reiki as a 3-credit college course at my small community college and also at the U. In those courses the students read current Reiki research. I'm fascinated by research. I'm conducting research at my cancer center: clients' perceptions of pain, stress, and happiness before and after Reiki. I've been doing this research for 9 or 10 years. A physician colleague is presenting my research at a medical conference in Miami FL in 2 weeks. 

So I guess my Reiki work might influence this one particular physician. 


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