A rigourous test of the claims of Reiki

A forum for the discussion of heuristic questions relating to Druidry using verifiable methods. Fo-fúair!
Life is short, the art long, opportunity fleeting, experiment treacherous, judgment difficult. — Hippocrates

Sturgeon's Law: Ninety percent of everything is crap.

This is a public forum, viewable by guests as well as members, and is cataloged by most search engines.
Forum rules
If you find a topic of interest and want to continue the discussion then start a new topic under The Hearthfire with a similar name and add a link back to the topic you want to continue.
Bartholomew

Re: A rigourous test of the claims of Reiki

Post by Bartholomew » 08 Apr 2011, 22:09

Good balanced debate chaps. Crap and more crap, not you personally just things in general. I have another perspective on the objective,sos to speak. From Buddhist and Christian leanings. A Buddhist may say that by being a reiki practioner you are endeavouring to take that accumulated karma away from the soul/spirit, which results in sickness and ill health on this plane. So unless you are a bodhisvatta, leave well alone. A Christian would say that Christ came to save us from our sins, distress and sickness. So healers, where do we fit? I wonder, do we look for a role? Comforter, saviour, buddha, I wonder about this and that.
Maybe we just reach out to another in sickness and distress, and call it what you will, we try to help.

User avatar
DJ Droood
OBOD Druid
Posts: 5558
Joined: 02 Feb 2003, 18:52
Gender: Male
Location: North Eastern North America
Contact:

Re: A rigourous test of the claims of Reiki

Post by DJ Droood » 08 Apr 2011, 22:21

Bartholomew wrote:Maybe we just reach out to another in sickness and distress, and call it what you will, we try to help.
And fail, apparently, if those kooky scientists are to be trusted. I think prayer and Reiki and pondering karma and lighting candles are, like so many other things, all about ourselves, and how it makes *us* "feel"...perhaps less helpless or useless in the face of chaos....and not so much about the *subject* of our prayers and spells.
Image
2010 LI
2011 LI
2013 BS
Image
12/10-Ancestors
"If organized religion is the opium of the masses, then disorganized religion is the marijuana of the lunatic fringe."
Kerry Thornley

Bartholomew

Re: A rigourous test of the claims of Reiki

Post by Bartholomew » 08 Apr 2011, 22:37

DJ we are all useless In the face of extreme suffering. I do not have the answers, you do not have the answers. We are limited in a limited world. Death comes to us all, a virus, a tsunami, a murder, an illness. We are not in control of this world. We do our best and sometimes that is not enough. But when we find ourselves standing next to that person in distress we offer what we can and if that is a prayer, a candle, a waving about of arms, money, a blanket, hot soup, clean clothes, a hug. A fight against abuse. We have done something.

User avatar
Lily
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 3372
Joined: 13 Aug 2003, 10:36
Gender: Female
Location: Switzerland
Contact:

Re: A rigourous test of the claims of Reiki

Post by Lily » 08 Apr 2011, 22:40

very true bartholomew, and I would say the hug and the blanket are - skeptically speaking - more likely to help than a candle and a prayer.
bright blessed days, dark sacred nights

Lily


"You cannot reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into"
-Ben Goldacre

User avatar
Bart
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 267
Joined: 06 Mar 2011, 19:01
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: A rigourous test of the claims of Reiki

Post by Bart » 21 Apr 2011, 20:19

cursuswalker wrote:
Ghostrider wrote:
cursuswalker wrote:If Reiki can still claim to be a treatment on this basis then doctors who give out unnecessary prescriptions can do the same :D
And you mean to say they DON'T? :-)
Perhaps I should have said LEGITIMATELY at the end :)
The placebo effect works better if you actually believe in what you do. This has been proven among the scientifically educated dr's. If they received a well marketed product, which showed clear benefit over placebo: It must be better than the old stuff. And indeed the old stuff became less effective. Sub/UN consciously the physician was not selling his product any more.

You would expect more effect if the whole experience is believed by both sides. It therefor that i would like to reinstate placebos as a actual treatment.
I did spend some money on studying Reiki and I received the following words of wisdom: the energy has to be accepted by the person you are treating. Your subject needs to be in on the sharade, for it to work. And that is fine, you may end up with a new wife. Hunting down people who want to make a show of their treatment should be forbidden. Waving your hands over someone, connecting to the universal love and channeling energy should be in the medical courses of any physician. On the other hand, not diverting real patients to actual physicians should equal the middle age penalty of shame: put them on a scaffold and trough tomatoes at them.

User avatar
Merlyn
OBOD Druid
Posts: 8785
Joined: 02 Feb 2003, 23:56
Gender: Male
Location: By candle light, penning the dragon's dream.
Contact:

Re: A rigourous test of the claims of Reiki

Post by Merlyn » 22 Apr 2011, 13:42

The study in question;
Throwing tomatoes really does relieve stress.. and so does a mutual human touch. :whistle: is aimed at the questions: do you have to be a trained reiki master to have a positive affect? Or, can just the basic practice (ritual) be effective?

I compare this to the evangelist church healer-priest, who knows how to channel the collective energy of the congregation into a convincing method of healing (staged possibly) and collect a great deal of cash on a age old method of healing. Does he have to be Christ to do so?

Ritual, as a framework for method may well be the 90%, and being a gifted healer may well be less the issue as this study implies. I would have to see a few more studies before putting all my eggs in this one basket.

Yes, it may not be proven scientifically, but then so are many things. Allowing your wife to feel she is helping you heal, will indeed lower the stress in your life and environment/ improve your chances of getting the rest you need :grin: (yes I married one too) :wink:

Just putting the mind to rest can allow natural functions to resume in the body by removing stress: thus the need for belief by both healer and patient.
This all of course does not address the question of: Does Reiki work? Just: does a fake reiki healer have success?

Not many studies on the latter, but I would say most likely if the ritual is followed correctly, yes. :thinking:
Image :emerit:
Dyro, Dduw, dy nawdd;
ac yn nawdd, nerth;
ac yn nerth, ddeall;
ac yn neall, gwybod;
ac o wybod, gwybod yn gyfiawn;
ac o wybod yn gyfiawn ei garu;
ac o garu, caru Duw.
Duw a phob daioni.

User avatar
Bart
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 267
Joined: 06 Mar 2011, 19:01
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: A rigourous test of the claims of Reiki

Post by Bart » 22 Apr 2011, 22:02

Just for the fun, I went on Pubmed. Quite a number of articles pro and con.

I allways learned that cochrane made decent reviews, here is one from 2008 (for those in the biomedical sciences, Yes I know that is ancient. )
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Oct 8;(4):CD006535.
Touch therapies for pain relief in adults.
So PS, Jiang Y, Qin Y.
Source

Surgery, Prince of Wales Hospital, Ward 3D, Prince of Wales Hospital, Ngan Shing Street Shatin, Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China, HKSAR. Sophiaso@gmail.com
Abstract
BACKGROUND:

Pain is a global public health problem affecting the lives of large numbers of patients and their families. Touch therapies (Healing Touch (HT), Therapeutic Touch (TT) and Reiki) have been found to relieve pain, but some reviews have suggested there is insufficient evidence to support their use.
OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the effectiveness of touch therapies (including HT, TT, and Reiki) on relieving both acute and chronic pain; to determine any adverse effect of touch therapies.
SEARCH STRATEGY:

Various electronic databases, including The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED and others from their inception to June 2008 were searched. Reference lists and bibliographies of relevant articles and organizations were checked. Experts in touch therapies were contacted.
SELECTION CRITERIA:

Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) or Controlled Clinical Trials (CCTs) evaluating the effect of touch on any type of pain were included. Similarly, only studies using a sham placebo or a 'no treatment' control was included.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

Data was extracted and quality assessment was conducted by two independent review authors. The mean pain intensity for completing all treatment sessions was extracted. Pain intensity from different pain measurement scales were standardized into a single scale. Comparisons between the effects of treatment groups and that of control groups were made.
MAIN RESULTS:

Twenty four studies involving 1153 participants met the inclusion criteria. There were five, sixteen and three studies on HT, TT and Reiki respectively. Participants exposed to touch had on average of 0.83 units (on a 0 to ten scale) lower pain intensity than unexposed participants (95% Confidence Interval: -1.16 to -0.50). Results of trials conducted by more experienced practitioners appeared to yield greater effects in pain reduction. It is also apparent that these trials yielding greater effects were from the Reiki studies. Whether more experienced practitioners or certain types of touch therapy brought better pain reduction should be further investigated. Two of the five studies evaluating analgesic usage supported the claim that touch therapies minimized analgesic usage. The placebo effect was also explored. No statistically significant (P = 0.29) placebo effect was identified.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS:

Touch therapies may have a modest effect in pain relief. More studies on HT and Reiki in relieving pain are needed. More studies including children are also required to evaluate the effect of touch on children.

User avatar
Merlyn
OBOD Druid
Posts: 8785
Joined: 02 Feb 2003, 23:56
Gender: Male
Location: By candle light, penning the dragon's dream.
Contact:

Re: A rigourous test of the claims of Reiki

Post by Merlyn » 23 Apr 2011, 01:09

For comparison:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflexology (had to do a wiki :tiphat: )
Or, http://www.viking-z.org/foot.htm (this is kind of "fluffy" :roll: )

As compared to: (mundane views)
http://www.ehow.com/how_2266626_massage ... erves.html
Or, http://www.altmedicinezone.com/massage- ... achy-feet/

I would consider that a true reflexology healer would have a better result, as I feel the result will reflect the time of study, complete understanding, and simply provide a better quality.

Reiki relies on a much different method; however the kinds of touch healing are many. I am not sure I would be able to categorize Reiki as "touch therapy" and be accurate. (Possibly why Reiki stood out in the study as something to study further)
Reflexology IMO would be a closer fit.

In Light,
Merlyn
Image :emerit:
Dyro, Dduw, dy nawdd;
ac yn nawdd, nerth;
ac yn nerth, ddeall;
ac yn neall, gwybod;
ac o wybod, gwybod yn gyfiawn;
ac o wybod yn gyfiawn ei garu;
ac o garu, caru Duw.
Duw a phob daioni.

User avatar
cursuswalker
OBOD Bard
Posts: 1076
Joined: 26 May 2004, 20:29
Gender: Male
Location: Airstrip One.
Contact:

Re: A rigourous test of the claims of Reiki

Post by cursuswalker » 23 Apr 2011, 21:31

Bart wrote:The placebo effect works better if you actually believe in what you do. This has been proven among the scientifically educated dr's. If they received a well marketed product, which showed clear benefit over placebo: It must be better than the old stuff. And indeed the old stuff became less effective. Sub/UN consciously the physician was not selling his product any more.

You would expect more effect if the whole experience is believed by both sides. It therefor that i would like to reinstate placebos as a actual treatment.
I did spend some money on studying Reiki and I received the following words of wisdom: the energy has to be accepted by the person you are treating. Your subject needs to be in on the sharade, for it to work. And that is fine, you may end up with a new wife. Hunting down people who want to make a show of their treatment should be forbidden. Waving your hands over someone, connecting to the universal love and channeling energy should be in the medical courses of any physician. On the other hand, not diverting real patients to actual physicians should equal the middle age penalty of shame: put them on a scaffold and trough tomatoes at them.
The thing with Reiki is that you don't even get touched!

I actually find alternative therapy very relaxing and am more than happy to partake in the full light of my skepticism, as being touched/manipulated etc. (no.....don't go there!) is very relaxing.

But Reiki can go to hell. You want to treat me with woo, you've got to actually DO something to me.
ImageTHE DRUIDIC ORDER OF NATURALISTS
http://www.caerabred.org/

User avatar
Bart
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 267
Joined: 06 Mar 2011, 19:01
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: A rigourous test of the claims of Reiki

Post by Bart » 23 Apr 2011, 21:43

cursuswalker wrote:
Bart wrote: But Reiki can go to hell. You want to treat me with woo, you've got to actually DO something to me.
I think those treatment are called Thay massages. :duck:

Being trained as a sceptic scientist, but also trained sports massage and reiki, I can appreciate the difference.

If you do not believe something works, even chemicals (medicines) work less.

with reiki you can be touched. Hovering over a body is less effective, but also less threatining (specifically around the first chakra) It is however more subtle. Everybody experiences it different, but mostly you feel warmth flowing. My wife Ph.D. in sceptical sciences, relaxes under my hands. Collegues feel pain subside when I treat them.

Massage is a complete different experience. If your muscles spasm, Reiki would do nothing massage will. the feeling afterwards is different.

aesir22
OBOD Bard
Posts: 9
Joined: 15 Jun 2011, 21:00
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: A rigourous test of the claims of Reiki

Post by aesir22 » 16 Jun 2011, 22:20

A very interesting topic!

Being a reiki master, I suppose I may be a bit one sided but I can definitely see both sides to the argument. As a practitioner, I know what I feel and I see the results. Does it cure cancer? No, probably not. Can it help alleviate physical pain, stress, emotional distress etc etc...well, I have seen it happen so I would say it can. There are no clear cut rules for what it can and cannot do.

But on the same note...laying peacefully on a comfortable massage table with soothing music in a supporting environment will do wonders for a lot of peoples stress levels and help them relax...the settings themselves will see to that! And unfortunately its not the easiest thing to set up in studies and experiments so for the meantime I guess it will remain a grey area!

I have read studies for and against reiki and whether it works and both sides are compelling. I seek a lot of ways to help people. Healing seems right to me and for that reason I work in pharmacy, and offer all sorts of services to help make people better that are more conventional and widely acceptable (smoking cessation, medication use reviews, weight management clinics etc).

To those who believe, great, its a wonderful thing. But don't feel insulted if you read people discussing why they DO NOT think it is real. This section of the forum is kinda geared toward discussing this kind of thing and to be honest there is no harm in people expressing their opinions.

Locked

Return to “The Skeptical Druid”