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Thread: Reiki. Your thoughts?

  1. #1 Reiki. Your thoughts? 
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    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1029111913.htm

    I read this article and wanted to know what everyone thought. I tried Reiki once for my knee. It felt much warmer and more relaxed afterwards even though the practicioner placed her hands on my knew while I was wearing pants, and her hands were placed on other parts of my body for the about the same amount of time. I was also a tad skeptical beforehand, so I really don't think that the placebo effect was at work. Anyway, my knee got better, but a doctor told me later that I probably had tendinitis and therefore it would have eventually healed itself.


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    Its complete BS. Therapeutic Touch was debunked by a 10-year old in the 90s. That 10-year old actually published her results in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    I think what happens is there are those that like nonsense, magical "treatments" like this -they're easy, unquantifiable, and vague and benefit from placebo effects and delusion. The proponents of such nonsense probably mean well and genuinely believe what they're doing, but there are no data that can be used to conclude its worth any effort. These proponents are good, however, at drumming up interest and playing to the human propensity for superstition.


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    yes, they are so good at drumming up interest that some alternative therapies are available on the NHS in the UK. I don't understand why an industry worth billions a year isn't subject to the same sort of regulation as pharmaceuticals or similar.
    i suppose you Americans have all this to come; maybe in a few years your doctors will be referring people to pastor john-freefone 08000-godbotherer with your money.
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    Here is a good article on reiki.

    http://www.quackwatch.org/01Quackery...ics/reiki.html

    It is, of course, total superstitious nonsense. Hopefully, anyone with the rationality required to contribute in a meaningful way to the science forum will understand that.
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    I do not think it is possible for energy to "heal" but I can make my body tingle/feel warm(please dont make fun of those words haha it is the only way I can describe it). I have another post asking people's opinions on Harold Saxton Burr. I began reading about him and was curious to find an experiment to determine what my body is doing when I feel "charged". So im curious, obviously something is going on when I'm doing this and I just want to know what. I'm just wondering about some type of instrument to measure EMF or something. Would that be helpful to determine what i'm doing when i feel "charged"? Please dont flame!!!! haha Just help me experiment. Thanks for your time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Its complete BS. Therapeutic Touch was debunked by a 10-year old in the 90s. That 10-year old actually published her results in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    I think what happens is there are those that like nonsense, magical "treatments" like this -they're easy, unquantifiable, and vague and benefit from placebo effects and delusion. The proponents of such nonsense probably mean well and genuinely believe what they're doing, but there are no data that can be used to conclude its worth any effort. These proponents are good, however, at drumming up interest and playing to the human propensity for superstition.
    The summary of the girl's study as provided by the quackwatch link stated that she tested practicioners' ability to detect her energy field, and said nothing about the healing abilities of the practicioners.

    You described reiki as magic and unquantifiable. Wouldn't this mean that any studies conducted by, say, 10-year-old girls are in fact pseudoscientific and debunk nothing? How can one scientifically study the magical and unquantifiable?
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    Quote Originally Posted by collred
    I do not think it is possible for energy to "heal"
    So you don't accept the effectiveness of radiation therapy for cancer? Or light or music therapy for depression? Did you know that energy exists in the entire body and if the body lacked energy it would be dead?
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    Quote Originally Posted by gattaca
    The summary of the girl's study as provided by the quackwatch link stated that she tested practicioners' ability to detect her energy field, and said nothing about the healing abilities of the practicioners.
    She tested but one single, but central claim, of therapeutic touch practitioners. Their claim included that, because they could detect the patient's "energy field," they were able to manipulate it.

    You described reiki as magic and unquantifiable. Wouldn't this mean that any studies conducted by, say, 10-year-old girls are in fact pseudoscientific and debunk nothing? How can one scientifically study the magical and unquantifiable?
    Not if the claim includes an effect that involves reality and the real universe. She was testing the result or outcome, not the methods of the practitioners. If you claim to be able to bend spoons with a magic incantation without touching the spoon and from any distance, it should be a simple matter to put the spoon and you in the same room and observe both during an incantation to test the claim. I'm not testing the incantation but, rather, verifying its result (the bending of the spoon). A lack of result indicates a lack of cause and that's what the girl, very scientifically, demonstrated.

    So you don't accept the effectiveness of radiation therapy for cancer? Or light or music therapy for depression? Did you know that energy exists in the entire body and if the body lacked energy it would be dead?
    This is a non-sequitur. It doesn't follow that the presence of energy (which is the capacity to do work) relates to the first part of your quote above on "radiation therapy." The radiation involved in such a therapy is very specific in the electromagnetic spectrum and very identifiable and it is in no way present during "healing touch" or "therapeutic touch" or "Reiki" sessions. Indeed, the very mention of "energy" in the body itself is misleading and nonsensical since this is just indicative of the capacity to do work. Without specifying the type and either the wavelength or frequency of that energy, or some other useful measure, your comment is just new-age gobbledy-gook.

    What sort of energy are you referring to? Electromagnetic? Strong Nuclear? Weak Nuclear? Gravity? Please specify such that we might actually have a conversation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMR80606
    yes, they are so good at drumming up interest that some alternative therapies are available on the NHS in the UK. I don't understand why an industry worth billions a year isn't subject to the same sort of regulation as pharmaceuticals or similar.
    i suppose you Americans have all this to come; maybe in a few years your doctors will be referring people to pastor john-freefone 08000-godbotherer with your money.
    We already have a lot of insurance companies covering acupuncture, which is the same sort of thing. I don't really understand why they would do that.
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    gattaca, the holy grail in terms of showing efficacy of a treatment is a randomised controlled trial. Such trials have been conducted numerous times using reiki. A meta analysis of 9 of these trials was published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice: Effects of reiki in clinical practice: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials. The conclusion was that there was no evidence at all of efficacy. For every indication tested, real Reiki did no better than fake Reiki conducted by an imposter with no training. What this means is that Reiki works by placebo effect at best.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by CMR80606
    yes, they are so good at drumming up interest that some alternative therapies are available on the NHS in the UK. I don't understand why an industry worth billions a year isn't subject to the same sort of regulation as pharmaceuticals or similar.
    i suppose you Americans have all this to come; maybe in a few years your doctors will be referring people to pastor john-freefone 08000-godbotherer with your money.
    We already have a lot of insurance companies covering acupuncture, which is the same sort of thing. I don't really understand why they would do that.
    I would guess its simply because its quite fashionable at the moment, so they just throw it in. Sort of like getting a free magic wand or something with your cornflakes.
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    Insurance and acupuncture?
    It is simply a matter of companies responding to market demand. If the customers want it, the insurance companies supply it, and then charge plenty for the privilege. If their customers wanted African witch doctors, they would supply that too, for a large enough fee.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    What sort of energy are you referring to? Electromagnetic? Strong Nuclear? Weak Nuclear? Gravity? Please specify such that we might actually have a conversation.
    Electromagnetic and thermal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    gattaca, the holy grail in terms of showing efficacy of a treatment is a randomised controlled trial. Such trials have been conducted numerous times using reiki. A meta analysis of 9 of these trials was published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice: Effects of reiki in clinical practice: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials. The conclusion was that there was no evidence at all of efficacy. For every indication tested, real Reiki did no better than fake Reiki conducted by an imposter with no training. What this means is that Reiki works by placebo effect at best.
    But the conclusion the article draws is based on poorly designed studies. How can we know if reiki operates via the placebo effect if most of the studies on reiki are poorly designed? Even the link to the article I cited says that we need better studies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    gattaca, the holy grail in terms of showing efficacy of a treatment is a randomised controlled trial. Such trials have been conducted numerous times using reiki. A meta analysis of 9 of these trials was published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice: Effects of reiki in clinical practice: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials. The conclusion was that there was no evidence at all of efficacy. For every indication tested, real Reiki did no better than fake Reiki conducted by an imposter with no training. What this means is that Reiki works by placebo effect at best.
    I tried the link, but the cookie monster wouldn't let me read it.

    I am wondering how one does fake Reiki. Could you explain that please.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gattaca
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    gattaca, the holy grail in terms of showing efficacy of a treatment is a randomised controlled trial. Such trials have been conducted numerous times using reiki. A meta analysis of 9 of these trials was published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice: Effects of reiki in clinical practice: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials. The conclusion was that there was no evidence at all of efficacy. For every indication tested, real Reiki did no better than fake Reiki conducted by an imposter with no training. What this means is that Reiki works by placebo effect at best.
    But the conclusion the article draws is based on poorly designed studies. How can we know if reiki operates via the placebo effect if most of the studies on reiki are poorly designed? Even the link to the article I cited says that we need better studies.
    Indeed, although in general poorly-designed trials tend to favour a positive outcome for the therapy being tested. That even a meta analysis of weak trials fails to establish efficacy is not promising. The more important question is why we would assume the thing works in the absence of good evidence? Why would we accept or pay for a service when the evidence base is this poor? The onus is on reiki practitioners to provide stronger evidence of safety and efficacy. Why aren't they doing so?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    gattaca, the holy grail in terms of showing efficacy of a treatment is a randomised controlled trial. Such trials have been conducted numerous times using reiki. A meta analysis of 9 of these trials was published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice: Effects of reiki in clinical practice: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials. The conclusion was that there was no evidence at all of efficacy. For every indication tested, real Reiki did no better than fake Reiki conducted by an imposter with no training. What this means is that Reiki works by placebo effect at best.
    I tried the link, but the cookie monster wouldn't let me read it.

    I am wondering how one does fake Reiki. Could you explain that please.
    That is a challenge.In general a sham therapy is conducted by removing certain essential elements (as defined by the practitioners) that would not be obvious to the patient (if the patient spots the difference, the the trial is unblinded and the placebo effect is compromised). For reiki, the most obvious things would be to fake the meditative state at the beginning and then to ignore the intuitive guidance during the lay on of hands.

    It stands to reason that if an untrained person could in some manner "accidentally" invoke the healing power that reiki practitioners do, then the "three degrees" training system is essentially worthless, doesn't it? Also, an untrained practitioner is not "attuned" my a master. So if an untrained practitioner gets the same results as a trained one, then attunement is ineffective.

    You can get around the cookie problem by looking here. Unfortunately it's only the abstract.
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    I read the link, not much there.

    I have had Reiki training and practiced it successfully for a while. But I don't consider my success to come from the training rather it was from knowledge gathered during my near death experience. The success or failure of all spiritual healing or spiritual events lies in the emotional realm. Don't understand how this could be measured using scientific methods.

    After my NDE I studied all forms of spiritual and non-spiritual disciplaines that were legal and not harmful to others. It has been a fun journey.

    Spiritual people have trouble trying to understand science, and vice-versa, I don't believe that will change in the near future. Science is based on testing, methods, and logic while spirtual pursuits are based on feelings, emotions, and intuition. Actually the ideal would be the use of both testing and feelings integrated to form a more accurate assessment of any situation.
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    No, Lekatt!!!

    Feelings and emotions play no part whatever in an enlightened, modern testing program. Science as a whole was held back until the 17th century, when Galileo and those who followed him dumped the old idea of the internal mental and emotional world having validity in finding out about the universe. Only when objective, empirical testing became the norm, did scientific and technological prgress take off. If you do not believe that, just read a little history.

    Feelings and emotion as a basis for designing medica therapies, or anything else, is pure superstition. Even the study of human psychology failed to make progress until that idea was dumped. The old 'introspectionists' were wasting their time and everyone else's, until they moved to empirical testing.
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    There is absolutely no evidence that reiki works. It's a practice based on the human imagination. People pretend to have an "ability" that doesn't exist in reality; people pretend to feel an effect from this "ability."

    The pretense extends far enough that, in many if not most cases, both the "practitioner" and the "patient" are convinced that the effect is real, but their delusion notwithstanding, the only thing going on is a social interaction between two people.

    While there is a lot to be said about the human body's potential to heal itself and this process is probably aided by outside social interactions, there's nothing going on that couldn't have already occurred if a family member merely spent time with the patient and held their hand.

    And there isn't enough occurring to warrant the creation of a "practice" called Reiki or any other pseudoscientific term.

    At the end of the day, Reiki practitioners are either frauds or deluded. There's simply no scientific data to support their very wild claims of efficacy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    I read the link, not much there.
    Yes, it's just the abstract sadly. The full article requires a subscription to the journal or institutional access which is how I got into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    I have had Reiki training and practiced it successfully for a while. But I don't consider my success to come from the training rather it was from knowledge gathered during my near death experience. The success or failure of all spiritual healing or spiritual events lies in the emotional realm. Don't understand how this could be measured using scientific methods.
    Simple- either the thing works or it does not. We simply need to control for various things to ensure that our testing is fair. Spiritual or not, at the end of the day the efficacy of these things should be testable. The emotional realm is testable and has been for a very long time. The very fact that we are aware of the power of phenomena such as the placebo effect and control for it in all medical testing shows just how seriously scientists take the power of the mind and the emotions over the body. The research into the placebo effect itself is fascinating, and suggests it might even be useful in itself, particularly for the control of pain.

    After my NDE I studied all forms of spiritual and non-spiritual disciplaines that were legal and not harmful to others. It has been a fun journey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Spiritual people have trouble trying to understand science, and vice-versa, I don't believe that will change in the near future.
    On the contrary the vast body of scientific investigation into spiritualism and alternative medicine means that scientists understand spiritualism far better than you would like to think. That spiritualists do not understand science is fully to be expected as the vast majority of people who get to grips with science tend to abandon spiritualism. You may read into that what you like.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Science is based on testing, methods, and logic while spirtual pursuits are based on feelings, emotions, and intuition.
    Science is based on observation, be it by our senses or by our senses augmented with technology. Observation and model building. Observe, build a model to predict and explain more observations, test by further observation. If you can see, hear, smell, touch, taste, feel or sense a thing in any way be it physical or emotional, it can be recorded, modelled and tested by science.

    Spiritualism offers no means to verify itself or to verify science. Science can do both.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Actually the ideal would be the use of both testing and feelings integrated to form a more accurate assessment of any situation.
    Actually what has been found time and again is that when feelings and intuition are introduced into even simple testing methods, the results become exceptionally unreliable. Have a little read about cognitive biases for more on this. This is the very reason why randomised controlled trials are held in such high regard. It's hard to eliminate bias from testing, but these tests are about the best we've got so far.
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    I got the replies that were expected. As I said there is little understanding between the two. Scientists believe only in testing. That is ok if you are a scientist and haven't really studied the emotional part of life.

    Most scientists believe in the placebo effect, which is basically the power of thought. Thought is propelled by emotion, the stronger the emotion the more powerful the thought. So thoughts and emotions do matter a lot in life. But believe what you will, I care not about "converting" anyone. The placebo effect at times can be enough to cure, even the most terrible ailments.

    So controlling and using emotions is central to spiritual growth.
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    I have a hard time believing that there is a sound scientific basis for Reiki, which seems like some sort of a safe guess.

    My dad is heavily into Reiki, so I have a fair share of experience with it. In my experience people do Reiki in search of some kind of purpose. In that sense I think it's perfectly fine. it doesn't really matter whether it works or not. People give some kind of purpose to their lives and communicate with each other in a very physical sense, i think there's a lot of good that can come from that. No matter all the circular reasoning and the waterfall of fallacious thinking. Also, Reiki forces people to focus on themselves and what's going on in their bodies. No problem with that imo.

    SOmething else that i regularly see is that people abuse Reiki to achieve higher status. This is not specific to Reiki. People are always abusing all sorts of new age or paranormal stuff to make more of themselves than what they actually are.

    And in that they tend to get dogmatic or at least extremely annoying a lot of the time. Which is don't really like.

    To summarize, i think Reiki in itself is probably nothing. but I think you might benefit from it in some respects, if you don't lose yourself in some common pitfalls.

    cheers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    I got the replies that were expected. As I said there is little understanding between the two. Scientists believe only in testing. That is ok if you are a scientist and haven't really studied the emotional part of life.
    What are we, robots? Give me a break. Scientists are emotional human beings, just like anyone else. We are simply people who have dedicated our working lives to figuring out how the world works via a very simple and methodical approach. It is an approach that has given us tangible rewards, the evidence that the method works. We are as much interested in human emotions and spiritualism as we are about technology, medicine, history, star formation and the big bang.

    Your issue is not that we do not investigate these things, your problem is that our findings do not match your wishes or pre-conceptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Most scientists believe in the placebo effect, which is basically the power of thought. Thought is propelled by emotion, the stronger the emotion the more powerful the thought. So thoughts and emotions do matter a lot in life.
    Yes, I believe that's exactly what I claimed above. And I indicated that the phenomenon itself is being heavily researched which means that contrary to your apparently immovable pre-supposition, scientists are very much interested in emotion, mind and how they impact on health.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    But believe what you will, I care not about "converting" anyone. The placebo effect at times can be enough to cure, even the most terrible ailments.
    Actually it has never been shown to cure anything purely physical at all. It has some power to alleviate chronic pain and to reduce the effects of emotional and stress related problems. This is very important and deserves research, rather than the glib assumption that it justifies spiritual healing. If such methods can be employed to help people then great, but let us show to what extent and how this is achieved. Misplaced faith in such treatments is very dangerous indeed. So many times I have seen alternative treatments touted for very serious illnesses. It would be inhumanely irresponsible to make such claims without rigorous testing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    So controlling and using emotions is central to spiritual growth.
    How do you know this to be true? What is your evidence?
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    "The onus is on reiki practitioners to provide stronger evidence of safety and efficacy. Why aren't they doing so? "

    Brand identity, target markets... blah blah blah

    evidence is overrated when absolutes threaten your client's ego




    "Spiritual people have trouble trying to understand science, and vice-versa"

    Depending on what you mean by "understand science" many an athiest probably has trouble as well.
    Dick, be Frank.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy
    I have a hard time believing that there is a sound scientific basis for Reiki, which seems like some sort of a safe guess.

    My dad is heavily into Reiki, so I have a fair share of experience with it. In my experience people do Reiki in search of some kind of purpose. In that sense I think it's perfectly fine. it doesn't really matter whether it works or not. People give some kind of purpose to their lives and communicate with each other in a very physical sense, i think there's a lot of good that can come from that. No matter all the circular reasoning and the waterfall of fallacious thinking. Also, Reiki forces people to focus on themselves and what's going on in their bodies. No problem with that imo.

    SOmething else that i regularly see is that people abuse Reiki to achieve higher status. This is not specific to Reiki. People are always abusing all sorts of new age or paranormal stuff to make more of themselves than what they actually are.

    And in that they tend to get dogmatic or at least extremely annoying a lot of the time. Which is don't really like.

    To summarize, i think Reiki in itself is probably nothing. but I think you might benefit from it in some respects, if you don't lose yourself in some common pitfalls.

    cheers.

    I have to agree with you at least in part. People do abuse Reiki and all other kinds of spiritual pursuits in order to make themselves more important in the eyes of others. We generally call them hypocrites. But hypocrites are not uncommon to all disciplines, science included. There are doctors that should not be allowed to practice also.
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    There is no spirituality. There is no sincerity. There is no therapy.

    Reiki is the moral equivalent of an African witch doctor shaking the bones over a sick person, and screaming at the demons to leave. Sometimes there is a placebo effect that may make the patient feel better. Mostly, it is out and out fraud, with a charlaton taking money for a process that does no good whatsoever.

    Anyone who patronises a reiki therapist is giving money to a scam artist. Even if the reiki practitioner believes in it himself, it is still fraud, since the guilty party has not sought to check the validity of the therapy scientifically. Reiki is a false claim of magic. And we all know that magic does not exist.

    With reiki, there is no mitigating factor. If it were up to me, I would simply make it illegal and stick the practitioners in jail as fraudsters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    With reiki, there is no mitigating factor. If it were up to me, I would simply make it illegal and stick the practitioners in jail as fraudsters.
    Unfortunately, there's not much by way of an evidence basis in most policy making... as long as practitioners make only vague and suggestive claims of efficacy, they're safe from demands for evidence in most jurisdictions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    I got the replies that were expected. As I said there is little understanding between the two. Scientists believe only in testing. That is ok if you are a scientist and haven't really studied the emotional part of life.
    What are we, robots? Give me a break. Scientists are emotional human beings, just like anyone else. We are simply people who have dedicated our working lives to figuring out how the world works via a very simple and methodical approach. It is an approach that has given us tangible rewards, the evidence that the method works. We are as much interested in human emotions and spiritualism as we are about technology, medicine, history, star formation and the big bang.

    Your issue is not that we do not investigate these things, your problem is that our findings do not match your wishes or pre-conceptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Most scientists believe in the placebo effect, which is basically the power of thought. Thought is propelled by emotion, the stronger the emotion the more powerful the thought. So thoughts and emotions do matter a lot in life.
    Yes, I believe that's exactly what I claimed above. And I indicated that the phenomenon itself is being heavily researched which means that contrary to your apparently immovable pre-supposition, scientists are very much interested in emotion, mind and how they impact on health.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    But believe what you will, I care not about "converting" anyone. The placebo effect at times can be enough to cure, even the most terrible ailments.
    Actually it has never been shown to cure anything purely physical at all. It has some power to alleviate chronic pain and to reduce the effects of emotional and stress related problems. This is very important and deserves research, rather than the glib assumption that it justifies spiritual healing. If such methods can be employed to help people then great, but let us show to what extent and how this is achieved. Misplaced faith in such treatments is very dangerous indeed. So many times I have seen alternative treatments touted for very serious illnesses. It would be inhumanely irresponsible to make such claims without rigorous testing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    So controlling and using emotions is central to spiritual growth.
    How do you know this to be true? What is your evidence?

    True, scientists are not robots, but they do think like robots at times. Your methods of study are simple and methodic applied to a very complex organism each unique in its own right. There are some ailments that can only be cured by spiritual means and knowledge.

    Now if I explain to you that spontaneous remission of ailments are thought driven you will just say no it isn't. Your mind is closed to the spiritual issue and will not probably be opened short of a cataclysmic experience of some kind.

    So I doubt we can have any kind of a discussion sans emotional outbreaks and denials.

    But I will say that if scientists or unbelivers are trying to test spiritual issues then it is true nothing will be found.

    The spiritual truths run contrary to scientific thinking. It is not good to put all your eggs in one basket.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    There is no spirituality. There is no sincerity. There is no therapy.

    Reiki is the moral equivalent of an African witch doctor shaking the bones over a sick person, and screaming at the demons to leave. Sometimes there is a placebo effect that may make the patient feel better. Mostly, it is out and out fraud, with a charlaton taking money for a process that does no good whatsoever.

    Anyone who patronises a reiki therapist is giving money to a scam artist. Even if the reiki practitioner believes in it himself, it is still fraud, since the guilty party has not sought to check the validity of the therapy scientifically. Reiki is a false claim of magic. And we all know that magic does not exist.

    With reiki, there is no mitigating factor. If it were up to me, I would simply make it illegal and stick the practitioners in jail as fraudsters.
    It is fortunate for you to live in a free society, I think you would quickly turn it into a dictatorship and burn at the stake everyone that is not in agreement with you. This is exactly what I mean about no knowledge of emotions and feelings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    I have to agree with you at least in part. People do abuse Reiki and all other kinds of spiritual pursuits in order to make themselves more important in the eyes of others. We generally call them hypocrites. But hypocrites are not uncommon to all disciplines, science included. There are doctors that should not be allowed to practice also.
    yeah, like I said. this is not specific to Reiki. ALternative medicine is more convenient than other disciplines to place yourself above others, since there are less sharp criteria to judge someone's quality by. You can almost claim whatever you want, without ever having to live up to the standards you set for yourself. In disciplines such as medicine this kind of stuff is much better regulated.

    The thing about Reiki is that it assumes the existence of a universal energy and of 'chakra's', which are rather unlikely given what we know about the universe. Also it assumes ways of implicit contact that are just extremely implausible and the possibility to excert control over things that are generally perceived to be uncontrollable. Most of this is impossible to test or prove, and almost impossible to accomodate in the picture of the universe we have now.

    The means by which this knowledge is obtained is usually through revelation or enlightenment, which is not necessarily false, just very hard to rely upon. I could go on and on, but it seems unnecessary, just this makes Reiki too unlikely to accept.

    However. If in practice it is meaningful to you and something from which you can benefit, imo you should put your heart into it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    I got the replies that were expected. As I said there is little understanding between the two. Scientists believe only in testing. That is ok if you are a scientist and haven't really studied the emotional part of life.
    What are we, robots? Give me a break. Scientists are emotional human beings, just like anyone else. We are simply people who have dedicated our working lives to figuring out how the world works via a very simple and methodical approach. It is an approach that has given us tangible rewards, the evidence that the method works. We are as much interested in human emotions and spiritualism as we are about technology, medicine, history, star formation and the big bang.

    Your issue is not that we do not investigate these things, your problem is that our findings do not match your wishes or pre-conceptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Most scientists believe in the placebo effect, which is basically the power of thought. Thought is propelled by emotion, the stronger the emotion the more powerful the thought. So thoughts and emotions do matter a lot in life.
    Yes, I believe that's exactly what I claimed above. And I indicated that the phenomenon itself is being heavily researched which means that contrary to your apparently immovable pre-supposition, scientists are very much interested in emotion, mind and how they impact on health.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    But believe what you will, I care not about "converting" anyone. The placebo effect at times can be enough to cure, even the most terrible ailments.
    Actually it has never been shown to cure anything purely physical at all. It has some power to alleviate chronic pain and to reduce the effects of emotional and stress related problems. This is very important and deserves research, rather than the glib assumption that it justifies spiritual healing. If such methods can be employed to help people then great, but let us show to what extent and how this is achieved. Misplaced faith in such treatments is very dangerous indeed. So many times I have seen alternative treatments touted for very serious illnesses. It would be inhumanely irresponsible to make such claims without rigorous testing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    So controlling and using emotions is central to spiritual growth.
    How do you know this to be true? What is your evidence?
    True, scientists are not robots, but they do think like robots at times. Your methods of study are simple and methodic applied to a very complex organism each unique in its own right.
    So how come the methods work? There are broadly applicable rules, commonalities. If there were not we would never have made smallpox extinct, pushed polio to the brink of elimination, turned TB from a death sentence into an inconvenience. They could be better, sure. Individualised medicine is an area of intense research these days, so your grand and lofty proclamation holds very little water. It smacks of closed mindedness, I am sad to say. Which is ironic as I am sure you will say the same of empiricists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    There are some ailments that can only be cured by spiritual means and knowledge.
    There is no evidence that any ailment, in all of recorded history, has been cured by anything other than material means. I can cite any number of examples of diseases treated or cured successfully by scientific means. Thousands of vast studies, carefully controlled and monitored, with thousands upon thousands of patients. What evidence do you have? How, to put it simply, do you know?

    And what is "spiritual knowledge"? What is knowledge if it is not obtained by observation? When one piece of spiritual knowledge contradicts another, how doe you determine which is correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Now if I explain to you that spontaneous remission of ailments are thought driven you will just say no it isn't.
    On the contrary, I will agree that this is both plausible and possibly happening in some cases, but that there is no evidence that it is broadly applicable. You are free to provide evidence to the contrary if you can. It should rigorously demonstrate efficacy as well as a clear causal mechanism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Your mind is closed to the spiritual issue and will not probably be opened short of a cataclysmic experience of some kind.
    You have no idea whatsoever what my position on spirituality is. Allow me to give you an outline. I was raised as a Christian and exposed from a young age to numerous forms of alternative therapy including reflexology, aromatherapy, herbal medicine and reiki by a family member who considered them quite valid. Some of these methods were used in an attempt to treat a chronic illness I possess. Over time I came to doubt my faith, seeing no difference between the outcomes of events when I prayed and did not and finding the basis of the faith to be illogical. I found the alternative remedies to be ineffective, but found mainstream medicine to be highly effective. I took science courses in school. I lost my faith and dabbled in eastern philosophy and spiritualism for a time. I rejected this as being without foundation or logic also. In the end it made the most sense to me that knowledge may only be acquired by empirical means. I became an atheist and rational empiricist. Then I became a scientist.

    Don't accuse me of having a closed mind. My mind was open to two religions, a plethora of alternative therapies and science. I gave all of these things a fair hearing. I chose science because it is the only means of acquiring knowledge that has ever demonstrably been shown to produce results.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    So I doubt we can have any kind of a discussion sans emotional outbreaks and denials.
    For my part, I can show evidence. You won't, so I'm guess the outbreaks and denials would be your main tactic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    But I will say that if scientists or unbelivers are trying to test spiritual issues then it is true nothing will be found.
    How do you know unless you look?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    The spiritual truths run contrary to scientific thinking. It is not good to put all your eggs in one basket.
    This is nothing more than something you have accepted as true because someone told you it was so. That isn't knowledge. There are no answers without questions and you have categorically rejected the power of science, the philosophy of asking questions, to ask questions of your beliefs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy
    However. If in practice it is meaningful to you and something from which you can benefit, imo you should put your heart into it.
    But should he sell it with the promise of helping others? He suggests it can treat serious illnesses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    With reiki, there is no mitigating factor. If it were up to me, I would simply make it illegal and stick the practitioners in jail as fraudsters.
    It is fortunate for you to live in a free society, I think you would quickly turn it into a dictatorship and burn at the stake everyone that is not in agreement with you. This is exactly what I mean about no knowledge of emotions and feelings.
    So people should be free to defraud others? I've seen many adverts for chiropractors and other 'alternative' medicine practitioners that indicate they charge money for Reiki "treatments." I agree with skeptic that this should be illegal as a protection to the unsuspecting and gullible public.

    The only way it could be legal is if the person claiming the ability to 'heal' or provide 'treatment' were to demonstrate, with empirical evidence, that their claims are real.

    What are the data that support the efficacy of your claim that "Reiki" is a genuine treatment.

    Let's discuss that and get it out of the way before going further in this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    With reiki, there is no mitigating factor. If it were up to me, I would simply make it illegal and stick the practitioners in jail as fraudsters.
    It is fortunate for you to live in a free society, I think you would quickly turn it into a dictatorship and burn at the stake everyone that is not in agreement with you. This is exactly what I mean about no knowledge of emotions and feelings.
    So people should be free to defraud others? I've seen many adverts for chiropractors and other 'alternative' medicine practitioners that indicate they charge money for Reiki "treatments." I agree with skeptic that this should be illegal as a protection to the unsuspecting and gullible public.

    The only way it could be legal is if the person claiming the ability to 'heal' or provide 'treatment' were to demonstrate, with empirical evidence, that their claims are real.

    What are the data that support the efficacy of your claim that "Reiki" is a genuine treatment.

    Let's discuss that and get it out of the way before going further in this thread.
    He's actually denying the capacity of science to determine efficacy.

    Which begs the question. If we cannot make reiki work when a scientist is recording the results, then why should it work if he is not?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy
    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    I have to agree with you at least in part. People do abuse Reiki and all other kinds of spiritual pursuits in order to make themselves more important in the eyes of others. We generally call them hypocrites. But hypocrites are not uncommon to all disciplines, science included. There are doctors that should not be allowed to practice also.
    yeah, like I said. this is not specific to Reiki. ALternative medicine is more convenient than other disciplines to place yourself above others, since there are less sharp criteria to judge someone's quality by. You can almost claim whatever you want, without ever having to live up to the standards you set for yourself. In disciplines such as medicine this kind of stuff is much better regulated.

    The thing about Reiki is that it assumes the existence of a universal energy and of 'chakra's', which are rather unlikely given what we know about the universe. Also it assumes ways of implicit contact that are just extremely implausible and the possibility to excert control over things that are generally perceived to be uncontrollable. Most of this is impossible to test or prove, and almost impossible to accomodate in the picture of the universe we have now.

    The means by which this knowledge is obtained is usually through revelation or enlightenment, which is not necessarily false, just very hard to rely upon. I could go on and on, but it seems unnecessary, just this makes Reiki too unlikely to accept.

    However. If in practice it is meaningful to you and something from which you can benefit, imo you should put your heart into it.
    Spiritual people are aware of the possibilities of fraud in spiritual practices and tend to investigate before going to unknown practitioners. While the assumption that one with a doctor's degree will be a doctor of good quality is taken for granted all too often. Spiritual events are not invasive, and if not helpful are not harmful either, unlike medical doctors.

    The presence of a life force is easy to determine on an individual basis, and as for chakras, they are not that important to healing practices. The picture of the universe differs from person to person, discipline to discipline. I don't understand why one would think there was no life force. To me there would be no life without it. I don't practice healing on a regular basis, that is Reiki type healing. My blog takes much of my time and serves thousands of people. It has been a great help to many people over the years.

    Thank you very much for your posts, they are much appreciated.
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. -- George Carlin
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  37. #36  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Spiritual people are aware of the possibilities of fraud in spiritual practices and tend to investigate before going to unknown practitioners. While the assumption that one with a doctor's degree will be a doctor of good quality is taken for granted all too often.
    What evidence do you have that spiritualists are more skeptical than the general public? Or that people place more trust in doctors?

    More interestingly, how does one go about "investigating" a spiritual fraud? What method do you use to tell the difference between a real reiki practitioner and really convincing fraud, for example? I'm curious because you've already claimed that empiricism can't be used. So comparing outcomes and looking for qualifications is out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Spiritual events are not invasive, and if not helpful are not harmful either, unlike medical doctors.
    Sorry but that is totally illogical if you think about it even a little bit. Invasiveness is not relevant to the potential for benefit or harm. Take a topical cream. This could be highly beneficial without being invasive, but if it has the potential to be beneficial then surely it also has the potential to be harmful to a similar extent. So we test carefully.

    Invasive or otherwise, if spiritual therapies have the potential for benefit, they must also have the potential to do harm of a similar magnitude. So we must test carefully for safety as well as efficacy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    The presence of a life force is easy to determine on an individual basis,
    But people have said the very same thing of all sorts of forces- and it's the same justification used as evidence of gods. But these forces all contradict each other. Ch'i is quite different in concept to Ki and both differ significantly to western concepts of life force such as quickening and paganistic concepts like Gaia. Gods all differ and contradict each other too. The greek Gods clearly contradict the Christian god and that god contradicts the Hindu gods and all of those contradict the Wiccan godess. The proponents of all of these ideas all say the same thing. "I know it but you can't test it". So how can we possibly determine who, if any of them, are actually right? You offer us nothing better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    and as for chakras, they are not that important to healing practices. The picture of the universe differs from person to person, discipline to discipline. I don't understand why one would think there was no life force. To me there would be no life without it. I don't practice healing on a regular basis, that is Reiki type healing. My blog takes much of my time and serves thousands of people. It has been a great help to many people over the years.
    I'm sure you've given some people peace of mind, but I'd also guess you've given them false hope and directed them down blind alleys that have not helped their health. You may not be selling this garbage, but you're certainly part of the problem. And you'll probably never come around to our way of thinking because to do so you'd be admitting you have probably done considerable harm to a great many people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Thank you very much for your posts, they are much appreciated.
    You don't seem to appreciate them. You seem to hold them in very low regard indeed. I'm rather insulted that you would now pretend otherwise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy
    However. If in practice it is meaningful to you and something from which you can benefit, imo you should put your heart into it.
    But should he sell it with the promise of helping others? He suggests it can treat serious illnesses.
    That's another story and in my opinion a very complicated one. The way I understood the opening post was that it was about whether or not Reiki was 'real' (for lack of a better term). Whether or not it is ethical for people to charge a fee for Reiki classes and treatments, that is something I can't easily give my opinion on and i think that would deserve its own topic.

    Grtz,

    Leroy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy
    However. If in practice it is meaningful to you and something from which you can benefit, imo you should put your heart into it.
    But should he sell it with the promise of helping others? He suggests it can treat serious illnesses.
    That's another story and in my opinion a very complicated one. The way I understood the opening post was that it was about whether or not Reiki was 'real' (for lack of a better term). Whether or not it is ethical for people to charge a fee for Reiki classes and treatments, that is something I can't easily give my opinion on and i think that would deserve its own topic.

    Grtz,

    Leroy
    People have been "laying on hands" for the purpose of healing for thousands of years. No doubt this as been called by many names over the centuries. Reiki is just one of those names. The classes can be very expensive or you can simple read a book on the technique. It is not the technique that heals, and people taking Reiki classes may or may not be able to heal anyone of anything. It is the energy or life force that heals. There are practices to increase your life force. As for me I have not charged anyone for my time or services, and never will.

    Those who don't feel the energy, don't believe in it should not belittle those that do. I have experienced some powerful healing first hand, can feel the energy, and use it to help others.

    Reiki has been use in hospitals and clinics. I remember reading a story of a Boston Hospital that used Reiki to enhance the healing process of surgery. A nurse working there said she was skeptical at first, but learned the technique and applied it seriously. She said it was about three months before she started to feel the energy under her hands. From that point on she enjoyed the process and the way it helped the patients.

    Three months is about how long it took me to make spiritual tools work. There is a learning curve and it differs for different people.
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    And, yet, there's absolutely no empirical evidence that it works.

    What are the data that demonstrate the efficacy of Reiki?

    You have a claim: that Reiki works.

    Either demonstrate your claim or admit it is bunk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Those who don't feel the energy, don't believe in it should not belittle those that do.
    Even aside from the lack of evidence of efficacy of reiki and other alternative therapies, i find the whole new age movement aesthetically displeasing; you assign a higher value to personal intuition than anything else, which is basically self-worship. This seems immensely conceited and ugly to me.

    I suppose if you want to follow a pseudo-religion that's up to you; if you want to couch it in pseudo-scientific terminology, nobody is going to stop you. But i think the line is drawn when you start demanding respect for your beliefs based on the pseudo-relativistic society that exists only in your head. All truth is not equal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Those who don't feel the energy, don't believe in it should not belittle those that do.
    This is an interesting viewpoint.

    You talk of a 'life force' yet offer no evidence for this 'life force'. The topic was debated fully and effectively a century and more ago. The conclusion was solid: no such force exists.

    Oh, we can invoke 'life force' as a metaphor to describe the inherent, natural tendency of living things to strive to live long and prosper. It is a fine poetic image, but it is not scientific reality. It is not a measurable, detectable phenomenon.

    You say you can feel the life force. Guess what....So can I. At times, in the right frame of mind I can can feel great energy, a sense of elation, of well being that permeates my whole being. 'Life force' is a nice phrase to describe that feeling. (I use nice in both senses of the word.) But it is a metaphor. It is not reality.

    You insist on claiming to be factual something that has not been demonstrated to be factual. You set your personal experience against the findings of tens of thousands of researchers, in hundreds of thousands of experiments, none of whom have ever detected this 'life force'. That seems arrogant. That seems willfully ignorant. That seems illogical. That seems foolish.

    Why do you believe that the illogical, willfully ignorant, foolish and arrogant should not be belittled? If anyone is to be belittled they would seem like ideal candidates.

    May the Force be with you.
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    From your replies it is hard for me to believe they come from a human source. Since they lack any sensitivity or empathy with the human condition. They are cold and uncaring, I would not want to go to any of you as a patient to be treated as an object of such little worth.

    I doubt any link I offer would be satisfactory, but you can look at this one if you wish. I am so glad I am not a scientist.

    http://home.deds.nl/~reiki/engindex.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    I would not want to go to any of you as a patient to be treated as an object of such little worth.
    I have wondered previously who actually benefits from these sorts of treatments, the 'patient' or the practitioner. It must feel pretty good to have vulnerable people depend so much on you, no? Gives you a real sense of purpose and worth, so why should you worry what the consequences may be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    From your replies it is hard for me to believe they come from a human source. Since they lack any sensitivity or empathy with the human condition. They are cold and uncaring, I would not want to go to any of you as a patient to be treated as an object of such little worth.l
    What is cold and uncaring is your arrogance in maintaining you have a power you can use to the benefit of your patients. This is self serving bullshit. Better to be cold and clinical than a warm blooded parasite.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    I am so glad I am not a scientist.
    We are also glad you are not a scientist. You would give science a bad name.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    From your replies it is hard for me to believe they come from a human source. Since they lack any sensitivity or empathy with the human condition. They are cold and uncaring, I would not want to go to any of you as a patient to be treated as an object of such little worth.
    I can relate to this sentiment. I've also found modern medicine informed purely by science leaves an awful hole at times. Specifically, a strictly empirical attitude that treats only the meat may unwittingly chill or terrorize patients, while appearing formally correct on paper.

    I think what reiki offers is a guarantee that you will not be treated like meat, so the focus is on empathy. While empathy is often lacking in modern health care (and sometimes so absent that a patient truly suffers if not measurably worsens) empathy alone is toothless.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    From your replies it is hard for me to believe they come from a human source. Since they lack any sensitivity or empathy with the human condition. They are cold and uncaring, I would not want to go to any of you as a patient to be treated as an object of such little worth.

    I doubt any link I offer would be satisfactory, but you can look at this one if you wish. I am so glad I am not a scientist.

    http://home.deds.nl/~reiki/engindex.html
    What are the data that demonstrate the efficacy of Reiki?

    You have a claim: that Reiki works.

    What, in the assortment of spurious claims on the link above, would you consider the most convincing.

    Either demonstrate your claim or admit it is bunk.
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  48. #47  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    From your replies it is hard for me to believe they come from a human source. Since they lack any sensitivity or empathy with the human condition. They are cold and uncaring, I would not want to go to any of you as a patient to be treated as an object of such little worth.
    I can relate to this sentiment. I've also found modern medicine informed purely by science leaves an awful hole at times. Specifically, a strictly empirical attitude that treats only the meat may unwittingly chill or terrorize patients, while appearing formally correct on paper.

    I think what reiki offers is a guarantee that you will not be treated like meat, so the focus is on empathy. While empathy is often lacking in modern health care (and sometimes so absent that a patient truly suffers if not measurably worsens) empathy alone is toothless.
    Agree 100%. There is a strong movement within medicine today which seeks to understand what it is about reiki and other CAM therapies is of value (which is mostly down to good attention to the patient and the resulting placebo effect) so that it can be applied in mainstream clinics. Since CAM proponents seem so very reluctant to test their own claims, we will do it. And we will take what we works and discard the rest.

    The big challenge is this- CAM therapies often cost the patient considerably more both in an absolute measure and in terms of cost per hour of practitioner training. Can we integrate the same quality of patient care into western medicine? It's clear that we need to know the extent of efficacy- and thus the monetary value- of this sort of care.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    From your replies it is hard for me to believe they come from a human source. Since they lack any sensitivity or empathy with the human condition. They are cold and uncaring, I would not want to go to any of you as a patient to be treated as an object of such little worth.

    I doubt any link I offer would be satisfactory, but you can look at this one if you wish. I am so glad I am not a scientist.

    http://home.deds.nl/~reiki/engindex.html
    What are the data that demonstrate the efficacy of Reiki?

    You have a claim: that Reiki works.

    What, in the assortment of spurious claims on the link above, would you consider the most convincing.

    Either demonstrate your claim or admit it is bunk.
    The link contains scientific research published in scientific Journals, if you can not read it perhaps one of your friends could help.
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  50. #49  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    The link contains scientific research published in scientific Journals, if you can not read it perhaps one of your friends could help.
    We are not here to do research on your behalf. You make a point and support it with specific sources. The burden of evidence is always on the guy with the challenging position. Don't point us to a list. Might as well tell us to Google it.
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    There is no monetary value to TLC (tender loving care), it is considered a given in the human world. Those that lack the knowledge of this can not be trained to use it. It is a personal trait, a mind set, or spiritual growth. It is the element lacking in science that makes medicine effective.

    As for the link I offered, just click on the left hand link at the top of the page and the first research will be seen.
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  52. #51  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    From your replies it is hard for me to believe they come from a human source. Since they lack any sensitivity or empathy with the human condition. They are cold and uncaring, I would not want to go to any of you as a patient to be treated as an object of such little worth.
    You are a hypocrite. The "human condition" is an unobjectifiable network of different viewpoints, not one ideal viewpoint that you have managed to define as "human." by denouncing someone as inhuman for having a different viewpoint than your own, you are the one that is being cold and uncaring about the many and varied characteristics that make us human.
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  53. #52  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    From your replies it is hard for me to believe they come from a human source. Since they lack any sensitivity or empathy with the human condition. They are cold and uncaring, I would not want to go to any of you as a patient to be treated as an object of such little worth.

    I doubt any link I offer would be satisfactory, but you can look at this one if you wish. I am so glad I am not a scientist.

    http://home.deds.nl/~reiki/engindex.html
    What are the data that demonstrate the efficacy of Reiki?

    You have a claim: that Reiki works.

    What, in the assortment of spurious claims on the link above, would you consider the most convincing.

    Either demonstrate your claim or admit it is bunk.
    The link contains scientific research published in scientific Journals, if you can not read it perhaps one of your friends could help.
    Let me see if I can rephrase:

    What are the data that demonstrate the efficacy of Reiki?

    You have a claim: that Reiki works.

    What, in the assortment of spurious claims on the link above, would you consider the most convincing.

    Either demonstrate your claim or admit it is bunk.
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  54. #53  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    There is no monetary value to TLC (tender loving care), it is considered a given in the human world. Those that lack the knowledge of this can not be trained to use it. It is a personal trait, a mind set, or spiritual growth. It is the element lacking in science that makes medicine effective.
    Guess you've never met those hard-working, self-sacrificing and truly dedicated guys and gals we call "nurses". The good ones have TLC by the bucket load. They give their time to provide it, so you can bet your closed little mind that it has a well deserved monetary value. And guess what, it can be mixed with scientific evidence to give treatments that work both by psychology and good old materialist biochemistry.

    You guys have, at best, one half of that tag team for an outrageous price coupled with some very dangerous claims indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    As for the link I offered, just click on the left hand link at the top of the page and the first research will be seen.
    Not what we asked for. We're not going to do the work for you. Which papers support you? What pieces of data in those papers are specifically relevant? Link us to them and explain how they support your position.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    There is a strong movement within medicine today which seeks to understand what it is about reiki and other CAM therapies is of value (which is mostly down to good attention to the patient and the resulting placebo effect) so that it can be applied in mainstream clinics.
    I would guess that it is actual human contact rather than just good attention, isn't it? It seems plausible to me that the reason some people are so convinced that reiki works is due to the strength of the urge for human contact, such that mere near proximity appears to have an effect. Perhaps giving rise to all the 'energy' hokum.
    I don't know how that would be incorporated into mainstream healthcare though; i suppose asking nurses to give foot-rubs and massages could easily be the straw that breaks the camels back.

    If palliative care really is set to play a greater role in mainstream healthcare, wouldn't better access for the patients families be a simple and effective step? Visiting rules are pretty draconian from what i remember.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMR80606
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    There is a strong movement within medicine today which seeks to understand what it is about reiki and other CAM therapies is of value (which is mostly down to good attention to the patient and the resulting placebo effect) so that it can be applied in mainstream clinics.
    I would guess that it is actual human contact rather than just good attention, isn't it? It seems plausible to me that the reason some people are so convinced that reiki works is due to the strength of the urge for human contact, such that mere near proximity appears to have an effect. Perhaps giving rise to all the 'energy' hokum.
    It might well be both. Mere attention actually seems to have an influence, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to read research stressing the benefits of physical contact. For example, sham acupuncture has the same beneficial effects as acupuncture and that's obviously all about contact. Whether anyone has yet tried to separate out the various elements of such an experience to quantify their individual contributions I do not know. It would be an extremely interesting study.

    Quote Originally Posted by CMR80606
    I don't know how that would be incorporated into mainstream healthcare though; i suppose asking nurses to give foot-rubs and massages could easily be the straw that breaks the camels back.

    If palliative care really is set to play a greater role in mainstream healthcare, wouldn't better access for the patients families be a simple and effective step? Visiting rules are pretty draconian from what i remember.
    No doubt, but there is some special benefit to attention and interaction with "the expert" too. Interestingly, I have read some studies which suggest that the patient's culture has an influence on how well that works, and indeed how well various forms of placebo work too. For example, people from cultures which are well-used to therapeutics in pill and drip form respond better to placebos in those forms. Similarly, the man in the white coat with the neatly trimmed beard we westerners associate with wisdom will work better for us than a man dressed as a witch doctor. However the witch doctor will play better in Nigeria where some cultures will be unfamiliar with the cliché of the sage western doctor.

    As far as I'm concerned this stuff is far more exciting and far more useful than arrogant yet uninformative pronouncements about life-force and energy.
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    Well, it seems we are done here. I really didn't expect any more. I won't call you names or insult your intelligence, that is not necessary. If you wish to believe there is nothing to this world save materialism then you are free to do so.

    Perhaps another day?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    I won't call you names or insult your intelligence............If you wish to believe there is nothing to this world save materialism then you are free to do so.
    I will insult your intelligence and I will call you names, for you richly deserve both.

    Poster after poster when challenging your position has spoken of the value of human contact. In your smugness you choose to ignore this.

    Poster after poster has asked for evidence to support your claim that Reiki works. In your arrogance you choose to ignore this.

    One poster has pointed out that there is a cost of providing any service, whether this cost be measured in dollars or in heartache. In your self righteousness you choose to ignore this.

    You promote a system which makes claims that cannot be validated, that offers hope when none can be given, that -in some instances - preys upon the gullible and the vulnerable, and then you have the temerity to accuse us of lacking humanity. Hold up a mirror Lekatt and look into it with honesty.

    I suspect you are an honest person and well intentioned, but their is deceit here and it is your self deceit that lies at the heart of it, and so you too lie at the heart of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Well, it seems we are done here. I really didn't expect any more. I won't call you names or insult your intelligence, that is not necessary. If you wish to believe there is nothing to this world save materialism then you are free to do so.

    Perhaps another day?
    Before you go....

    You have a claim: that Reiki works.

    What, in the assortment of spurious claims on the link above, would you consider the most convincing.

    Either demonstrate your claim or admit it is bunk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Well, it seems we are done here. I really didn't expect any more. I won't call you names or insult your intelligence, that is not necessary. If you wish to believe there is nothing to this world save materialism then you are free to do so.

    Perhaps another day?
    Only if you have something of value to contribute. We have made so many points in argument against yours and you have not bothered to address even one of them. All you have is the vague platitude that there is something more to the universe than what we stuffy old scientists can observe. No recognition of the actual findings we've made about these things, no comment on our true attitudes on the importance of human interaction and emotions, nothing to say of our rational rejection of spirituality.

    You decided what is true, what we are and and what we believe in before you made your first post here. You have not budged one inch from that, have not refuted any of our arguments and in fact you have not engaged with us at all. And you dare to call us closed minded. The irony.

    If this is all you have to offer then there will not be another day. I will lock any and all threads you start which display this disengaged style.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Well, it seems we are done here. I really didn't expect any more. I won't call you names or insult your intelligence, that is not necessary. If you wish to believe there is nothing to this world save materialism then you are free to do so.

    Perhaps another day?
    You already did insult people's intelligence by presenting a claim without proper evidence to support it. Just as a defendant would be insulting a judge in court by telling a story(true or false) without evidence to support it, while a claim properly supported doesn't need to be made, the evidence should show us that what you claim is true, even if you do not claim it; while any claim, no matter how well made, without evidence, shows us nothing except your opinion on the subject.

    Even if someone says 10x10=100 this is a fact, but not everyone is as skilled in arithmetic as everyone else, and there are those who would benefit from being shown a grid 10 by 10, and seeing that 100 is the total area of said grid. In seeing this, they could determine that 10x10=100, due to the evidence, rather than assuming you must be right when you say it.

    You also called someone inhuman for having a different point of view. This I adressed, and you didn't respond. So far you have insulted all of our intelligence, at least one person's humanity, and as for me, I am not offended, but by ignoring my comment to you: you either think it unworthy of a response, or you just conveniently skimmed over it, which shows how much you value what people have to say on the subject(almost like your just looking for agreement and nothing more?)
    Dick, be Frank.

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    I have followed your discussion for a while and became quite interested as I can see both sides of where this argument is going. I cannot come with direct evidence that Reiki works as it is claimed to do, for I am not aware such evidence exists. I do have a theory though on how it might work. Please note this is just a theory and not a scientific statement.

    We are all made up of energy and energy flows around our bodies resulting in tiny electrical currents on a cellular level. These run the body and all its functions and these electrical activities in the body produces bioelectricity.

    When the energy flow is blocked or disturbed we may become more vulnerable for physical or psychological disturbances such as disease. What a Reiki therapist does (I think) is 'synchronize' the patients bioelectrical flow with his own and thus taking away the energetic block. This would not take away the decease but could make the body less vulnerable.

    This would also explain why Reiki therapists are first 'initiated'. The masters synchronize their students to clear them of all possible energetic disturbances. As a way of 'cleaning'. The reason why the test with 'fake' Reiki practitioners wouldn't work is because everybody can synchronize with someone else's bioelectrical flow. Being initiated has nothing to do with being capable of using Reiki. It just means you're 'clean'.

    Of course this theory has some holes. For example, why would the patient synchronize with the therapist in stead of the other way round?

    I came to this theory because I started to google some things I wanted to find out and came on a website which stated that people synchronize more often then you think. For example it seems that the women's monthly cycles are being influenced by that of other women.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    I have followed your discussion for a while and became quite interested as I can see both sides of where this argument is going. I cannot come with direct evidence that Reiki works as it is claimed to do, for I am not aware such evidence exists. I do have a theory though on how it might work. Please note this is just a theory and not a scientific statement.
    Fair enough, but I hope you will not feel offended by some basic scrutiny. You make a lot of claims that are rather broad and, in my opinion, do not stand up to much thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    We are all made up of energy and energy flows around our bodies resulting in tiny electrical currents on a cellular level.
    Actually we're made up of both matter and energy and the electrical currents generated in our bodies are based on the very much material control of the distribution of matter within our cells. We understand quite well that "energy" flows through our bodies in many forms and we understand quite well were it comes from and how it is manipulated.

    This includes bioelectromagnetism which is studied by the field of electrophysiology.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    When the energy flow is blocked or disturbed we may become more vulnerable for physical or psychological disturbances such as disease.
    How do you propose that the various forms of energy we produce could be blocked? Certainly, cells which cannot access energy in the form of molecules like ATP may die resulting in pathology. Similarly, cells deprived of oxygen, which also aids in energy release, may undergo necrosis. But these are forms of energy released from matter and so matter can block the energy flow. What sort of phenomenon would block bio electric energy and how would we measure it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    What a Reiki therapist does (I think) is 'synchronize' the patients bioelectrical flow with his own and thus taking away the energetic block.
    There's a few issues there. How does a reiki therapist control their own biolectromagnetism and how can we detect that? How does a reiki therapist detect biolectromagnetism in another human and how can we verify that they do? Finally, how would a synchronisation of these "flows" result in the removal of a blockage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    This would also explain why Reiki therapists are first 'initiated'. The masters synchronize their students to clear them of all possible energetic disturbances. As a way of 'cleaning'. The reason why the test with 'fake' Reiki practitioners wouldn't work is because everybody can synchronize with someone else's bioelectrical flow. Being initiated has nothing to do with being capable of using Reiki. It just means you're 'clean'.
    But if it works just as well when the practitioner is not initiated, then why do they need to bother with the "cleaning". What does it do? And if the fake and real reiki procedures work equally well, what is the point of any of the training? Surely training and cleaning ought to make the reiki practitioner better than the fake, but they appear to be the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    I came to this theory because I started to google some things I wanted to find out and came on a website which stated that people synchronize more often then you think. For example it seems that the women's monthly cycles are being influenced by that of other women.
    Actually, it is not clear that this happens at all. Given that menstrual cycles vary in length by themselves even in isolation, we would fully expect for two women's cycles to "synchronise" transiently if they live together for long enough, or indeed if they live apart. This should happen by pure chance and is little more meaningful than rolling two sixes with a pair of dice. Most studies supporting synchronisation are retrospective, which leaves them open to recall bias and confirmation bias. And besides all of that, nobody has ever suggested that the cause is to do with biolelectromagnetism, but rather to do with airborne soluble factors, probably phermones. These are entirely material in nature.
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    As you might have guessed I not an expert on this particular field. I am merely interested in Reiki, because my mother practices it and I would like to know how it works. Neither do I have the knowledge to answer all of your questions, but I would like to give it a try.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    How do you propose that the various forms of energy we produce could be blocked? What sort of phenomenon would block bio electric energy and how would we measure it?How does a reiki therapist control their own biolectromagnetism and how can we detect that? How does a reiki therapist detect biolectromagnetism in another human and how can we verify that they do? Finally, how would a synchronisation of these "flows" result in the removal of a blockage?
    How exactly all these forms of energy could be blocked I wouldn't know. I can imagine though that certain forms of energy are being transformed into other forms, such as thermal energy. In places where this happens a lack of certain energetic forms might occur which causes the “disturbance in the flow” or “Block”. A difference or fluctuation in thermal energy might be detectable for the therapist and letting him know something is wrong at that particular place. If this is the case this “leaking” of thermal energy should be detectable to confirm or disprove.

    So the restoration of ones 'energetic flow' would be the exact opposite, the transformation of thermal energy back to the original form. I can't exactly think of any way how this would work or how the energy would be controlled by the therapist (if controlled at all), but again the decrease of thermal energy around that particular spot should be detectable.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    ut if it works just as well when the practitioner is not initiated, then why do they need to bother with the "cleaning". What does it do? And if the fake and real reiki procedures work equally well, what is the point of any of the training? Surely training and cleaning ought to make the reiki practitioner better than the fake, but they appear to be the same.
    If there is no difference in the usage of Reiki by trained or untrained practitioners, then the goal of the training would be solely awareness. Its the difference between 'knowing what Reiki can do' and just trying something on good luck. Maybe as a patient you won't really benefit from the training of your therapist, but at least the therapist “understands” what he or she is doing. That in a certain way would make better even though the results of a treatment may not be different at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    I have followed your discussion for a while and became quite interested as I can see both sides of where this argument is going. I cannot come with direct evidence that Reiki works as it is claimed to do, for I am not aware such evidence exists. I do have a theory though on how it might work. Please note this is just a theory and not a scientific statement.

    We are all made up of energy and energy flows around our bodies resulting in tiny electrical currents on a cellular level. These run the body and all its functions and these electrical activities in the body produces bioelectricity.

    When the energy flow is blocked or disturbed we may become more vulnerable for physical or psychological disturbances such as disease. What a Reiki therapist does (I think) is 'synchronize' the patients bioelectrical flow with his own and thus taking away the energetic block. This would not take away the decease but could make the body less vulnerable.

    This would also explain why Reiki therapists are first 'initiated'. The masters synchronize their students to clear them of all possible energetic disturbances. As a way of 'cleaning'. The reason why the test with 'fake' Reiki practitioners wouldn't work is because everybody can synchronize with someone else's bioelectrical flow. Being initiated has nothing to do with being capable of using Reiki. It just means you're 'clean'.

    Of course this theory has some holes. For example, why would the patient synchronize with the therapist in stead of the other way round?

    I came to this theory because I started to google some things I wanted to find out and came on a website which stated that people synchronize more often then you think. For example it seems that the women's monthly cycles are being influenced by that of other women.
    Pretty accurate outline.
    Everything is energy. Einstein's formula. The basic thing that happens is one who has an excess of energy shares it with one who doesn't have enough energy. The well shares with the ill. This process does move energy and remove blocked energy. You can build energy by being compassionate and caring.

    This will really make some posters mad, but remember when Jesus asked "who touched me." Then He said "I felt the vitality leave me." It turned out to be a woman with menstral problems that came up behind Jesus and touched Him causing the flow of energy.

    The energy feels like a vibration running through your body.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    As you might have guessed I not an expert on this particular field. I am merely interested in Reiki, because my mother practices it and I would like to know how it works. Neither do I have the knowledge to answer all of your questions, but I would like to give it a try.
    I can appreciate that you may lack knowledge, this is not a problem in my view, so long as you are open to learning. Similarly, I'm not all the familiar with the practice of reiki, so if I make an error you may of course feel free to correct me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    How do you propose that the various forms of energy we produce could be blocked? What sort of phenomenon would block bio electric energy and how would we measure it?How does a reiki therapist control their own biolectromagnetism and how can we detect that? How does a reiki therapist detect biolectromagnetism in another human and how can we verify that they do? Finally, how would a synchronisation of these "flows" result in the removal of a blockage?
    How exactly all these forms of energy could be blocked I wouldn't know. I can imagine though that certain forms of energy are being transformed into other forms, such as thermal energy. In places where this happens a lack of certain energetic forms might occur which causes the “disturbance in the flow” or “Block”.
    Yes, but if we're talking specifically about bioelectromagnetism, you'd need to have a fairly comprehensive model of how it flows and where, of how it can be blocked or unblocked and finally how blockade of bioelectromagnetism would result in pathology. It is certainly hard to imagine how it could have any impact on things like the adaptive immune system, for example. Without that sort of detail in your ideas, you can't actually set about verifying any of it. You just end up chasing all sorts of energy and all kinds of phenomena that might constitute a "blockage", even though energy conversion is a common and non-pathogenic process. Hypotheses need to be specific in order to testable and therefore useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    A difference or fluctuation in thermal energy might be detectable for the therapist and letting him know something is wrong at that particular place. If this is the case this “leaking” of thermal energy should be detectable to confirm or disprove.
    We certainly "leak" thermal energy all the time. Our metabolic processes generate heat, this heat moves through us by conduction and convection. Eventually it reaches our skin and is lost to the ground and to the atmosphere. And it has long been known that illness results in systematic and localised temperature changes. The second cardinal sign of inflammation is "calor", that is, a change of temperature. This has been an element of mainstream medicine for nearly 2000 years. However this is not associated with an energy blockage, but is rather a deliberate attempt by the body to have a denaturing effect on a pathogen.

    This would be detectable via thermal imaging, so it would be easy to test. I would add though that humans are notoriously bad at detecting the minor temperature variations that would be associated with most illnesses. Partially this is because our sense of temperature is crude and is altered by our own body heat, which varies temporally as well as varying across our bodies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    So the restoration of ones 'energetic flow' would be the exact opposite, the transformation of thermal energy back to the original form. I can't exactly think of any way how this would work or how the energy would be controlled by the therapist (if controlled at all), but again the decrease of thermal energy around that particular spot should be detectable.
    It would, though we would still be left with the question of how this contributes to physical healing, if at all. I would fully expect that if a partitioner puts their hands on another person, we will detect a temperature shift. If the practitioner's hands are colder than the patients body, they will be warmed and this will reduce the local temperature on the patient. And vice verse if the practitioners hands are warmer than the patient's body. There's nothing mystical about that, it's just conduction. There's certainly no evidence that it has a healing effect that would not be bettered by, for example, an ice pack.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    But if it works just as well when the practitioner is not initiated, then why do they need to bother with the "cleaning". What does it do? And if the fake and real reiki procedures work equally well, what is the point of any of the training? Surely training and cleaning ought to make the reiki practitioner better than the fake, but they appear to be the same.
    If there is no difference in the usage of Reiki by trained or untrained practitioners, then the goal of the training would be solely awareness. Its the difference between 'knowing what Reiki can do' and just trying something on good luck. Maybe as a patient you won't really benefit from the training of your therapist, but at least the therapist “understands” what he or she is doing. That in a certain way would make better even though the results of a treatment may not be different at all.
    But how is it "better" if there's no detectable difference between the outcomes? To use an analogy, let us imagine that you have a "system" for winning at the roulette table. If, when you look back at your winnings and losses over say five years, you find that you have done no better than a friend who does not understand the game and has no system, how is your method better?

    A difference that makes no difference is no difference. And if two differing methods produce identical results, it is rational to use the method that expends less time and energy. It is certainly better to use the method which makes no claims beyond what it can demonstrate. Does this not sound logical to you?
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    I've looked around on the net trying to find some significant research done at the matter of Reiki. Alas there is a lot of research done, but only on the outcome of Reiki treatments (possibility of placebo?) and not on how it might work. One piece of writing might be interesting but i can't actually find it (unless i pay more money then this article could be worth to me)

    Nicola Mackay, Stig Hansen, Oona McFarlane.
    Autonomic Nervous System Changes During Reiki Treatment: A Preliminary Study.
    The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2004)

    Unfortunately it doesn't seem like science is really interested in this matter, even tough Reiki has a considerable amount of practitioners
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Everything is energy. Einstein's formula.
    Oh my that is funny. E = MC^2 means that energy is equivalent to mass (that is a measure of the amount of material) times some constant raised to the power of 2. It is a function which says indeed that all that is material is equal to some proportional quantity of energy, but conversely it also says that all energy is equivalent to some mass of matter. So you could make the same argument to claim that everything is material. Neither assertion is true. Clearly some things are material, some energy and one may change into the other subject to the laws of physics. You just seem to have it in your head that "energy" is in some manner beyond scientific investigation. That suits you because scientific investigation keeps telling you things you don't want to be true. But energy is not beyond empiricism, it is not immaterial or abstract, that position is disproven by your own citing of the mass energy equivalence formula.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    The basic thing that happens is one who has an excess of energy shares it with one who doesn't have enough energy. The well shares with the ill. This process does move energy and remove blocked energy. You can build energy by being compassionate and caring.
    What evidence do you have that excess energy can be given to another person via simple physical contact? What sort of energy is it? Thermal, kinetic or some other kind?
    What evidence do you have that such energy exchange can result in the treatment of illnesses? Which ones?
    What evidence do you have that one can increase one's store of energy by being compassionate and caring?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    This will really make some posters mad, but remember when Jesus asked "who touched me." Then He said "I felt the vitality leave me." It turned out to be a woman with menstral problems that came up behind Jesus and touched Him causing the flow of energy.
    That doesn't make me mad. It makes you a hypocrite. Christians, paricularly the Catholic church deny the capacity of Reiki to heal. Besides which, "Jesus said" is not any kind of evidence. Anecdotes are weak enough evidence when the person hasn't been dead for 2000 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    The energy feels like a vibration running through your body.
    Funnily enough, that's what your heartbeat and circulatory system feels like too. How have you gone about testing which sensations are which?
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  69. #68  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    I've looked around on the net trying to find some significant research done at the matter of Reiki. Alas there is a lot of research done, but only on the outcome of Reiki treatments (possibility of placebo?) and not on how it might work.
    Try this one:
    Effects of reiki in clinical practice: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials.

    This is a review of the 9 or so best quality trials of reiki at the time of publishing. You can only read the summary at that link but if you're interested in more details, you can PM me and I'll send them on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    One piece of writing might be interesting but i can't actually find it (unless i pay more money then this article could be worth to me)

    Nicola Mackay, Stig Hansen, Oona McFarlane.
    Autonomic Nervous System Changes During Reiki Treatment: A Preliminary Study.
    The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2004)

    Unfortunately it doesn't seem like science is really interested in this matter, even tough Reiki has a considerable amount of practitioners
    In most fields, the practitioners actively themselves engage in research, you don't just get bands of random scientists who think "oh I know, I'll run a clinical trial on allergy pills". Reiki practitioners generally say that science cannot test their therapy and rarely engage in research. That's a bit of a warning sign.

    Some tips on critical reading of clinical and preclinical studies:

    1. The bigger the study in terms of patients, the more likely it is that the results are not chance accident. Below 100 people is very weak, above 1000 is preferable.
    2. Look for controls- the treatment should always be compared to a fair negative group. For example if the treatment is a pill, the untreated group should be given a fake pill called a "placebo". A placebo physical therapy is usually called a "sham".
    3. Look for randomisation- this means that patients who enrol are randomly assigned to the treatment group or the placebo/sham group.
    4. Look for blinding. If the people running the trial know which pill/treatment is real and which is not, they'll act differently when administering it possibly breaking the placebo effect. The patients should also not know which is which for the same reason.
    5. Look for follow ups- the longer the trial and the more readings are taken, the better the trial.
    6. Check if the journal publishing the trial is reputable and peer-reviewed. Some journals will have a bias and will publish weaker studies or fail to rigorously look for falsification.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    I've looked around on the net trying to find some significant research done at the matter of Reiki. Alas there is a lot of research done, but only on the outcome of Reiki treatments (possibility of placebo?) and not on how it might work. One piece of writing might be interesting but i can't actually find it (unless i pay more money then this article could be worth to me)

    Nicola Mackay, Stig Hansen, Oona McFarlane.
    Autonomic Nervous System Changes During Reiki Treatment: A Preliminary Study.
    The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2004)

    Unfortunately it doesn't seem like science is really interested in this matter, even tough Reiki has a considerable amount of practitioners
    No I don't think scientists are interested in spiritual events of any kind except near death experiences. Here these experiences kept happening before their eyes in surgery. That prompted many to start researching them. There are now over a dozen universities and hundreds of scientists engaged in NDE research.
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. -- George Carlin
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    I can appreciate that you may lack knowledge, this is not a problem in my view, so long as you are open to learning. Similarly, I'm not all the familiar with the practice of reiki, so if I make an error you may of course feel free to correct me.
    I am open to learning. It is the main reason why I'm on this forum. To learn from others and look into things I wouldn't have known of otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Yes, but if we're talking specifically about bioelectromagnetism, you'd need to have a fairly comprehensive model of how it flows and where, of how it can be blocked or unblocked and finally how blockade of bioelectromagnetism would result in pathology. It is certainly hard to imagine how it could have any impact on things like the adaptive immune system, for example. Without that sort of detail in your ideas, you can't actually set about verifying any of it. You just end up chasing all sorts of energy and all kinds of phenomena that might constitute a "blockage", even though energy conversion is a common and non-pathogenic process. Hypotheses need to be specific in order to testable and therefore useful.
    For what I have understood Reiki is not exactly a 'healing' method, but a way to help the body/mind regenerate itself. It is said to be especially helpful against stress and other psychological problems more then against physical problems. If that's the case wouldn't Reiki influence your homeostasis (is that the correct word? I mean the regulation of hormone release etc.) in stead of your immune system?
    I might be mistaken, but I thought that bioelectromagnetism also is the current that makes your nerve system work. Is it not possible that some kind of block in this energetic system could effect your nerve system and thus cause pain or unease of some sort?

    What I mean is something like this: by some sort of block in your system your brains stops/starts producing a certain hormone witch influences your psychological well being. If a Reiki therapist is able to 'restart' the flow of bioelectricity the production of the needed hormone might start again, making you feel better.

    Muscle cramps are being caused by a certain type of acids which are being produced by the muscle cells, correct? Could the breaking down of this acid be stimulated 'artificially' and easing the pain?
    Also if bioelectricity works on our nerve system, isn't it possible for someone else's bioelectromagnetism to have affect ob our own nerve system and thus make it possible for us/Reiki therapists to “feel energy”


    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    But how is it "better" if there's no detectable difference between the outcomes? To use an analogy, let us imagine that you have a "system" for winning at the roulette table. If, when you look back at your winnings and losses over say five years, you find that you have done no better than a friend who does not understand the game and has no system, how is your method better?

    A difference that makes no difference is no difference. And if two differing methods produce identical results, it is rational to use the method that expends less time and energy. It is certainly better to use the method which makes no claims beyond what it can demonstrate. Does this not sound logical to you?
    It does make sense, I'm just throwing around with some ideas and most of them are being smashed against walls already. However although taking the method that takes the least amount of energy is the most logical thing to do, logic is not the only thing that moves people. Sometimes thoughts of man surpass logic. It might be education for the sake of education. I'm not planning on taking a Reiki course myself so I wouldn't know.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis

    I've looked around on the net trying to find some significant research done at the matter of Reiki. Alas there is a lot of research done, but only on the outcome of Reiki treatments (possibility of placebo?) and not on how it might work.

    Try this one:
    Effects of reiki in clinical practice: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials.

    This is a review of the 9 or so best quality trials of reiki at the time of publishing. You can only read the summary at that link but if you're interested in more details, you can PM me and I'll send them on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    One piece of writing might be interesting but i can't actually find it (unless i pay more money then this article could be worth to me)

    Nicola Mackay, Stig Hansen, Oona McFarlane.
    Autonomic Nervous System Changes During Reiki Treatment: A Preliminary Study.
    The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2004)

    Unfortunately it doesn't seem like science is really interested in this matter, even tough Reiki has a considerable amount of practitioners

    In most fields, the practitioners actively themselves engage in research, you don't just get bands of random scientists who think "oh I know, I'll run a clinical trial on allergy pills". Reiki practitioners generally say that science cannot test their therapy and rarely engage in research. That's a bit of a warning sign.

    Some tips on critical reading of clinical and preclinical studies:

    1. The bigger the study in terms of patients, the more likely it is that the results are not chance accident. Below 100 people is very weak, above 1000 is preferable.
    2. Look for controls- the treatment should always be compared to a fair negative group. For example if the treatment is a pill, the untreated group should be given a fake pill called a "placebo". A placebo physical therapy is usually called a "sham".
    3. Look for randomisation- this means that patients who enrol are randomly assigned to the treatment group or the placebo/sham group.
    4. Look for blinding. If the people running the trial know which pill/treatment is real and which is not, they'll act differently when administering it possibly breaking the placebo effect. The patients should also not know which is which for the same reason.
    5. Look for follow ups- the longer the trial and the more readings are taken, the better the trial.
    6. Check if the journal publishing the trial is reputable and peer-reviewed. Some journals will have a bias and will publish weaker studies or fail to rigorously look for falsification.
    I have looked into your link and what it basically says is that there has been insufficient correct research to either prove or disprove the working of Reiki. I am interested in the report though so I'll PM you.

    BTW, thanks a lot for the tips on critical reading.
    Student Neurobiology
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  72. #71  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    I've looked around on the net trying to find some significant research done at the matter of Reiki. Alas there is a lot of research done, but only on the outcome of Reiki treatments (possibility of placebo?) and not on how it might work. One piece of writing might be interesting but i can't actually find it (unless i pay more money then this article could be worth to me)

    Nicola Mackay, Stig Hansen, Oona McFarlane.
    Autonomic Nervous System Changes During Reiki Treatment: A Preliminary Study.
    The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2004)

    Unfortunately it doesn't seem like science is really interested in this matter, even tough Reiki has a considerable amount of practitioners
    No I don't think scientists are interested in spiritual events of any kind except near death experiences.
    What about the papers I showed you? 9 randomised controlled trials on reiki, plus dozens not included for various reasons. Not interested? Don't be silly. You're just not happy with the results, so it's easier to pretend that either science can't test it or won't test it. As I said before, the onus is actually on reiki practitioners to engage with the scientific community. They're not doing so because they're worried what the result will be. That's no good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Here these experiences kept happening before their eyes in surgery. That prompted many to start researching them. There are now over a dozen universities and hundreds of scientists engaged in NDE research.
    This thread is not about NDEs and if you derail it to that topic I will start removing posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    I can appreciate that you may lack knowledge, this is not a problem in my view, so long as you are open to learning. Similarly, I'm not all the familiar with the practice of reiki, so if I make an error you may of course feel free to correct me.
    I am open to learning. It is the main reason why I'm on this forum. To learn from others and look into things I wouldn't have known of otherwise.
    That puts you head and shoulders above Lekatt!

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Yes, but if we're talking specifically about bioelectromagnetism, you'd need to have a fairly comprehensive model of how it flows and where, of how it can be blocked or unblocked and finally how blockade of bioelectromagnetism would result in pathology. It is certainly hard to imagine how it could have any impact on things like the adaptive immune system, for example. Without that sort of detail in your ideas, you can't actually set about verifying any of it. You just end up chasing all sorts of energy and all kinds of phenomena that might constitute a "blockage", even though energy conversion is a common and non-pathogenic process. Hypotheses need to be specific in order to testable and therefore useful.
    For what I have understood Reiki is not exactly a 'healing' method, but a way to help the body/mind regenerate itself. It is said to be especially helpful against stress and other psychological problems more then against physical problems. If that's the case wouldn't Reiki influence your homeostasis (is that the correct word? I mean the regulation of hormone release etc.) in stead of your immune system?
    Perhaps, but again there's no evidence to show that this is the case. It would be testable. Most importantly though, this is not a claim that reiki practitioners are specifically making. Indeed they seem to shy away from making claims as specific as your hypotheses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    I've looked around on the net trying to find some significant research done at the matter of Reiki. Alas there is a lot of research done, but only on the outcome of Reiki treatments (possibility of placebo?) and not on how it might work. One piece of writing might be interesting but i can't actually find it (unless i pay more money then this article could be worth to me)

    Nicola Mackay, Stig Hansen, Oona McFarlane.
    Autonomic Nervous System Changes During Reiki Treatment: A Preliminary Study.
    The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2004)

    Unfortunately it doesn't seem like science is really interested in this matter, even tough Reiki has a considerable amount of practitioners
    No I don't think scientists are interested in spiritual events of any kind except near death experiences.
    What about the papers I showed you? 9 randomised controlled trials on reiki, plus dozens not included for various reasons. Not interested? Don't be silly. You're just not happy with the results, so it's easier to pretend that either science can't test it or won't test it. As I said before, the onus is actually on reiki practitioners to engage with the scientific community. They're not doing so because they're worried what the result will be. That's no good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Here these experiences kept happening before their eyes in surgery. That prompted many to start researching them. There are now over a dozen universities and hundreds of scientists engaged in NDE research.
    This thread is not about NDEs and if you derail it to that topic I will start removing posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    I can appreciate that you may lack knowledge, this is not a problem in my view, so long as you are open to learning. Similarly, I'm not all the familiar with the practice of reiki, so if I make an error you may of course feel free to correct me.
    I am open to learning. It is the main reason why I'm on this forum. To learn from others and look into things I wouldn't have known of otherwise.
    That puts you head and shoulders above Lekatt!

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    I might be mistaken, but I thought that bioelectromagnetism also is the current that makes your nerve system work. Is it not possible that some kind of block in this energetic system could effect your nerve system and thus cause pain or unease of some sort?
    Yes and worse. Paralysis and death. But the only way to block this sort of "energy flow" if we can call it that is physical interference with the nerve cells. Either destruction of the nerves or some sort of chemical or electrical interference. If there's an energy based way to restore such a problem, it would be a Nobel prize winner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    What I mean is something like this: by some sort of block in your system your brains stops/starts producing a certain hormone witch influences your psychological well being. If a Reiki therapist is able to 'restart' the flow of bioelectricity the production of the needed hormone might start again, making you feel better.
    Again, on the body side of the equation this is quite plausible. But you still have the issue of the mechanism by which a reiki practitioner triggers such a response. Your body is not generally in the business of changing hormone secretion patterns in response to touch, and if it did how would the extra bells and whistles of reiki come into it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    Muscle cramps are being caused by a certain type of acids which are being produced by the muscle cells, correct? Could the breaking down of this acid be stimulated 'artificially' and easing the pain?
    Same problem as above. Sure, but how does reiki trigger that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    Also if bioelectricity works on our nerve system, isn't it possible for someone else's bioelectromagnetism to have affect ob our own nerve system and thus make it possible for us/Reiki therapists to “feel energy”
    We can do it with a machine, but it doesn't appear we can do it ourselves, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    But how is it "better" if there's no detectable difference between the outcomes? To use an analogy, let us imagine that you have a "system" for winning at the roulette table. If, when you look back at your winnings and losses over say five years, you find that you have done no better than a friend who does not understand the game and has no system, how is your method better?

    A difference that makes no difference is no difference. And if two differing methods produce identical results, it is rational to use the method that expends less time and energy. It is certainly better to use the method which makes no claims beyond what it can demonstrate. Does this not sound logical to you?
    It does make sense, I'm just throwing around with some ideas and most of them are being smashed against walls already. However although taking the method that takes the least amount of energy is the most logical thing to do, logic is not the only thing that moves people.
    From the patient's point of view, that's not really relevant. If they're just as well off either way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    Sometimes thoughts of man surpass logic. It might be education for the sake of education. I'm not planning on taking a Reiki course myself so I wouldn't know.
    But if the education results in no measurable benefit in the outcome, why should anyone be expected to accept the so-educated practitioners? So they spent a few years learning stuff that appears, from the outcome, to be irrelevant. And are now charging more because they're "real" reiki practitioners.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    I have looked into your link and what it basically says is that there has been insufficient correct research to either prove or disprove the working of Reiki.
    Essentially this is the conclusion, though typically when a treatment works well, you'd expect to see at least some positive outcome when you do a meta-analysis. Also, when trials are small scale and poorly designed, there tends to be a false bias in favour of a positive outcome. That there's no such outcome in this case suggests that either reiki does not work at all or has so weak an effect as to be not discernible based on the available data. Either way, it's not promising.

    If it were a commercial drug, reiki would have been abandoned on that basis. To show efficacy, the reiki practitioners or the associations who represent them need to run some large scale randomised, double blinded, sham controlled trials. Otherwise all the hypotheses and claims in the world are basically meaningless.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Perhaps, but again there's no evidence to show that this is the case. It would be testable. Most importantly though, this is not a claim that reiki practitioners are specifically making. Indeed they seem to shy away from making claims as specific as your hypotheses.
    Which is a shame, but also quite logical since most practitioners probably do not fully understand or have no interest for science. Most people seem to walk either the spiritual path or the scientific. It seems hard to try and combine these two since they seem so opposite. I do think though that the two will meet one day. But that could be still far off.

    What I do not understand is way Reiki practitioners seem to be reluctant to undergo any scientific research. Surely it would be in their benefit to prove the working of Reiki. Them not doing so means they either don't trust science or they are not quite so sure about there own right.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    What I mean is something like this: by some sort of block in your system your brains stops/starts producing a certain hormone witch influences your psychological well being. If a Reiki therapist is able to 'restart' the flow of bioelectricity the production of the needed hormone might start again, making you feel better.
    Again, on the body side of the equation this is quite plausible. But you still have the issue of the mechanism by which a reiki practitioner triggers such a response. Your body is not generally in the business of changing hormone secretion patterns in response to touch, and if it did how would the extra bells and whistles of reiki come into it?
    Your body is not generally in the business of changing hormone secretion patterns in response to touch, however Reiki claims to be more than mere 'touching'. There is a transfer of some sort of energy involved which they like to cal “life force”. If by transfer of this energy (perhaps bioelectricity) an impulse would be started, then the impulse might affect the secretion of hormones. Again the problem of it being untestable remains, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    Muscle cramps are being caused by a certain type of acids which are being produced by the muscle cells, correct? Could the breaking down of this acid be stimulated 'artificially' and easing the pain?
    Same problem as above. Sure, but how does reiki trigger that?
    Is this process (of acid being broken down) also controlled by the nerve system? If so see my previous 'explanation'. If not... I wouldn't know.
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  74. #73  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Perhaps, but again there's no evidence to show that this is the case. It would be testable. Most importantly though, this is not a claim that reiki practitioners are specifically making. Indeed they seem to shy away from making claims as specific as your hypotheses.
    Which is a shame, but also quite logical since most practitioners probably do not fully understand or have no interest for science. Most people seem to walk either the spiritual path or the scientific. It seems hard to try and combine these two since they seem so opposite. I do think though that the two will meet one day. But that could be still far off.

    What I do not understand is way Reiki practitioners seem to be reluctant to undergo any scientific research. Surely it would be in their benefit to prove the working of Reiki. Them not doing so means they either don't trust science or they are not quite so sure about there own right.
    Probably a bit of both. Many people confuse scepticism for dismissal and view questioning as an affront to their expertise. But this is the way we do things. I've presented my own work at scientific conferences and sent it to journals for publication and I have faced the same treatment. To resist it is to stifle progress. Perhaps that is the goal in this case, or part of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    What I mean is something like this: by some sort of block in your system your brains stops/starts producing a certain hormone witch influences your psychological well being. If a Reiki therapist is able to 'restart' the flow of bioelectricity the production of the needed hormone might start again, making you feel better.
    Again, on the body side of the equation this is quite plausible. But you still have the issue of the mechanism by which a reiki practitioner triggers such a response. Your body is not generally in the business of changing hormone secretion patterns in response to touch, and if it did how would the extra bells and whistles of reiki come into it?
    Your body is not generally in the business of changing hormone secretion patterns in response to touch, however Reiki claims to be more than mere 'touching'. There is a transfer of some sort of energy involved which they like to cal “life force”.
    But once again, we'd need to verify energy transfer and work out a mechanism by which that energy could perform a specific action in the body.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    If by transfer of this energy (perhaps bioelectricity) an impulse would be started, then the impulse might affect the secretion of hormones. Again the problem of it being untestable remains, I guess.
    Well it is testable, but not tested. Some hormones are under the control of the central nervous system, so if one could manipulate the central nervous system one might certainly be able to control some of the hormones, such as adrenaline. But that doesn't have much of a therapeutic function... regenerative and repairative functions are generally not mediated by hormones though. You'd need to be manipulating growth factors and stem cells for that. Those are not controlled by the nervous system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    Muscle cramps are being caused by a certain type of acids which are being produced by the muscle cells, correct? Could the breaking down of this acid be stimulated 'artificially' and easing the pain?
    Same problem as above. Sure, but how does reiki trigger that?
    Is this process (of acid being broken down) also controlled by the nerve system? If so see my previous 'explanation'. If not... I wouldn't know.
    Actually the idea that muscle pain is caused by acid build up is something of a misconception. Lactic acid does build up on muscles during exercise but it tends to be removed quite promptly, usually inside an hour. That process is not controlled by the nervous system.
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  75. #74  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    From your replies it is hard for me to believe they come from a human source. Since they lack any sensitivity or empathy with the human condition. They are cold and uncaring, I would not want to go to any of you as a patient to be treated as an object of such little worth.
    I can relate to this sentiment. I've also found modern medicine informed purely by science leaves an awful hole at times. Specifically, a strictly empirical attitude that treats only the meat may unwittingly chill or terrorize patients, while appearing formally correct on paper.

    I think what reiki offers is a guarantee that you will not be treated like meat, so the focus is on empathy. While empathy is often lacking in modern health care (and sometimes so absent that a patient truly suffers if not measurably worsens) empathy alone is toothless.
    Agree 100%. There is a strong movement within medicine today which seeks to understand what it is about reiki and other CAM therapies is of value (which is mostly down to good attention to the patient and the resulting placebo effect) so that it can be applied in mainstream clinics. Since CAM proponents seem so very reluctant to test their own claims, we will do it. And we will take what we works and discard the rest.

    The big challenge is this- CAM therapies often cost the patient considerably more both in an absolute measure and in terms of cost per hour of practitioner training. Can we integrate the same quality of patient care into western medicine? It's clear that we need to know the extent of efficacy- and thus the monetary value- of this sort of care.
    I'd speculate that their ...um, wisdom... could tip the balance between life and death.

    For one highly publicized case study: Robert Dziekanski died officially of unknown cause: But view the facts through reiki lens, the cause of death becomes glaringly obvious. Mr. Dziekanski was a shy, introverted man, moderate drinker and smoker who had recently quit these habits cold turkey before his flight and immigration to Canada, which terrified him, at his mother's insistence. In transit he had gone over 48 hours without sleep and apparently no meal on the plane. So he was suffering fatigue, stress, hunger, withdrawal. He then wandered (without cigarettes, sleep, or nourishment) an additional 8 hours the secure airport customs area, unable to find anybody who spoke Polish, waiting for a no-show mother he suspected had tricked and abandoned him at the airport. Robert Dziekanski, visibly sweating and shaking, began to barricade himself adjacent to the international arrivals lounge. Police arrived to apprehend the man, which they accomplished by first tasering him to the ground, then choke-holding, cuffing, and stabbing a baton variously into his abdomen, while applying further taser jolts until the body ceased screaming and convulsing... went limp. The body was pronounced dead some minutes later.

    A reiki person would state Mr. Dziekanski died of extreme stress - he died of "negative energy". Meanwhile the Chief Coroner cannot entertain such non-empirical views. The cause of death must be reduced to a specific failed mechanism of the meat.

    That example is not really extraordinary. I sense that in hospitals many patients suffer qualities and even quantities of stress similar to that which killed Robert Dziekanski. I imagine reiki practitioners could spot these cases instantly, offering staff constructive advice and criticism. Reiki articulates what I guess most of us understand informally and communicate though sighs and smirks. We may take reiki advice with a grain of salt, sure. My guess is that medicine explicitly informed by this perspective would yield tangible improvement in outcomes.

    Might have to fire some employees who persist in subjecting patients to "negative energy" though. Are we brave enough to write such terms on paper?
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  76. #75  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    That example is not really extraordinary. I sense that in hospitals many patients suffer qualities and even quantities of stress similar to that which killed Robert Dziekanski. I imagine reiki practitioners could spot these cases instantly, offering staff constructive advice and criticism. Reiki articulates what I guess most of us understand informally and communicate though sighs and smirks. We may take reiki advice with a grain of salt, sure. My guess is that medicine explicitly informed by this perspective would yield tangible improvement in outcomes.
    The big question is whether you need any of the window dressing of reiki and other CAM therapies to get the same result? The evidence from acupuncture and reiki so far suggests no. Untrained sham gives the same benefits as employing a third level super grandmaster blackbelt reki-ist. So why don't we just take what works and bin the rest for the crap it is?
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    Pong

    I do not understand your point wth the Polish story. They guy was stressed and then tasered 3 to 4 times and died. Not, as far as I can see, anything to do with reiki.

    As I said before, reiki is pure quackery. In lots of ways, it is not even a fit topic for the science forum, except as an example of really lousy science. There are no energy fields, or chi, or whatever you call them. You cannot effect cures by 'almost' touching someone.

    Sure, a sympathetic approach to a sick person can help them feel a bit better, but it will not cure illness. Even the placebo effect has seriously defined limits. It works very well for about 30% of the population according to Scientific American, but very poorly for the rest. It can reduce certain symptoms, such as pain. (Which is why acupuncture sometimes 'works'.) However, the placebo effect cannot cure, or even slow the progress of cancer, or infectious illnesses, or a myriad other diseases.

    The same applies to reiki. It will work on psychosomatic ills, but not on anything that has a genuine organic cause. Therefore it is pure quackery.

    I believe that all such 'remedies' should be illegal. They can help only psychosomatic illnesses, and genuine medical treatments can help those sufferers also, because genuine medicines also have a placebo effect. However, going to a quack, when the patient has a genuine illness, is dangerous in the extreme. People die through lack of proper care.

    For this reason, every quack therapist should be seen as a potential murderer. We need a crime, related to delivering unproven 'remedies'. The penalty should be a major fine, and for repeat offenders should be time in prison.

    This, in my mind, is no different to a person who drives drunk, and hence risks killing an innocent person. We treat those offenders as criminals. And we should treat quack doctors the same way.
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  78. #77  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    That example is not really extraordinary. I sense that in hospitals many patients suffer qualities and even quantities of stress similar to that which killed Robert Dziekanski. I imagine reiki practitioners could spot these cases instantly, offering staff constructive advice and criticism. Reiki articulates what I guess most of us understand informally and communicate though sighs and smirks. We may take reiki advice with a grain of salt, sure. My guess is that medicine explicitly informed by this perspective would yield tangible improvement in outcomes.
    The big question is whether you need any of the window dressing of reiki and other CAM therapies to get the same result? The evidence from acupuncture and reiki so far suggests no. Untrained sham gives the same benefits as employing a third level super grandmaster blackbelt reki-ist. So why don't we just take what works and bin the rest for the crap it is?
    I wouldn't suggest hands-on reiki. I'm suggesting that trained, successful reiki practitioners could readily provide real professionals insight regarding intangibles like patient stress. Because surely if they have any useful talent it is an abnormally keen sensitivity to these things. You could literally walk them through hospitals jotting down their comments about "good and bad energy fields". Kind of like drug sniffer dogs.

    I predict their instincts would prove good in most cases. For example you walk a reiki "sniffer" into neonatal ICU and he says, "Oh, I sense this baby's life force is cooling because it lacks rejuvenation through a channeller's energy points." Then pushing mumbo-jumbo aside, you can answer "Yeah, there was a study last year correlating low-birth-weight babies' growth with maternal contact... Hmm..."

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  79. #78  
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    Pong

    A few years ago there was a major experiment conducted to measure the accuracy of the intuition of experienced customs agents, in deciding which person passing through customs was a smuggler and which was not. Turns out that even the very most experienced customs people had an accuracy roughly equal to pure chance.

    What the hell makes you think that a bunch of quacks like reiki peddlers could be any better?
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  80. #79  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Pong

    I do not understand your point wth the Polish story. They guy was stressed and then tasered 3 to 4 times and died. Not, as far as I can see, anything to do with reiki.

    As I said before, reiki is pure quackery. In lots of ways, it is not even a fit topic for the science forum, except as an example of really lousy science. There are no energy fields, or chi, or whatever you call them. You cannot effect cures by 'almost' touching someone.

    Sure, a sympathetic approach to a sick person can help them feel a bit better, but it will not cure illness. Even the placebo effect has seriously defined limits. It works very well for about 30% of the population according to Scientific American, but very poorly for the rest. It can reduce certain symptoms, such as pain. (Which is why acupuncture sometimes 'works'.) However, the placebo effect cannot cure, or even slow the progress of cancer, or infectious illnesses, or a myriad other diseases.

    The same applies to reiki. It will work on psychosomatic ills, but not on anything that has a genuine organic cause. Therefore it is pure quackery.

    I believe that all such 'remedies' should be illegal. They can help only psychosomatic illnesses, and genuine medical treatments can help those sufferers also, because genuine medicines also have a placebo effect. However, going to a quack, when the patient has a genuine illness, is dangerous in the extreme. People die through lack of proper care.

    For this reason, every quack therapist should be seen as a potential murderer. We need a crime, related to delivering unproven 'remedies'. The penalty should be a major fine, and for repeat offenders should be time in prison.

    This, in my mind, is no different to a person who drives drunk, and hence risks killing an innocent person. We treat those offenders as criminals. And we should treat quack doctors the same way.
    You write some really scary posts. I would not want another dark ages to descend upon the world, this time it would be science inquisitions instead of religious ones.

    Our government is set up to protect people from those who would control or monopolize our minds, and I am very thankful for that.

    Science, religion or any other institution does not have all the answers to all the questions of life. People must remain free to choose whether they will go to a MD or some alternative treatment. The things that you damn have been in practice for thousands of years and served the public well.

    You can't just advocate jailing millions of people because they don't believe as you do. That would not be a wise thing to do. What you do with posts like this is alienate those who believe in freedom of thought.

    Your focus on science does not allow you to properly examine and evaluate other therapies without bias.

    I suggest you study Reiki being done in a Hospital environment, and learn for yourself whether it is of value to the patient.

    If science is moving toward total control then the general public needs to vote in politicians that will protect the rights of all people to choose their therapists as they see fit.

    Science is not the know-all, cure-all solution to life. Science is not God.
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    Your focus on science does not allow you to properly examine and evaluate other therapies without bias.
    What is the most convincing evidence that supports your contention that Reiki is actually effective.

    This has been asked time and again and you posted a link but didn't indicate what on that link you found convincing or supportive.

    Please. Simply site the evidence of a double-blind study that has shown the efficacy of Reiki. Your inability to do this leaves us all with the conclusion that it is either a delusion or a fraudulent lie. I suspect both depending on who is claiming it works.
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  82. #81  
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    Lekatt

    If a person stabs another to death, we arrest, try and almost certainly jail him. If someone drives drunk once, he gets fined. If he does it repeatedly, he gets jailed.
    If a person practises a version of 'medicine' that kills people, that person deserves to be punished.

    Here in New Zealand in the last few years, we have lost three people, who died as a result of receiving improper treatment by those who practise so-called 'alternative' medicine. I believe the death toll in the USA from this cause is many fold worse.

    I am not some little Hitler trying to remove your liberties. I am someone who recognises a practise that can, and often does, lead to people dying unnecessarily, in order to financially enrich some callous or stupid people. And I would like to stop it.
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    Just a thought I thought I'd throw out cuz it seems relevant although it doesn't really pertain to the direction the discussion is now taking.

    When it comes to Reiki, but this also holds for other forms of alternative medicine, religious healing or prayer, it is almost without exception the case that people try to excert an influence over what they can't control. However foolish this may seem, there is reason to believe that this is probably an extremely effective way to cope with stress.

    Also, with Reiki, like with Christianity, it's the case that people look for comfort, love and a sense of fulfillment outside of what they get from others. Despite the fact that they still don't seem to look for these things inside themselves, they actually become more selfreliant. Another thing about this is that, at least with Reiki and Christianity, people are generally motivated to take more care in how they treat others.

    Just thought I'd throw out something positive, for a change. Since it is easy to overlook the positive aspects of something you don't believe in. I have no cristallized opinion on the moral and ethical aspects of Reiki and things like it, and it's a shame that this discussion has turned into a debate on how Reiki practitioners should be inquisited. There are intrinsically more interesting things on this topic that could be discussed, imo.

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  84. #83  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Pong

    I do not understand your point wth the Polish story. They guy was stressed and then tasered 3 to 4 times and died. Not, as far as I can see, anything to do with reiki.
    I thought I made it plain:
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    An autopsy for the British Columbia Coroner’s Service did not determine the cause of death, citing no trauma or disease, nor pre-existing medical conditions.

    A reiki person would state Mr. Dziekanski died of extreme stress
    I think reikis are candidates to provide human perspective that is sometimes farcically absent in modern medicine. Their profession requires them to be sympathetic above all else. That is pretty much what they're selling. No one's suggesting to take reiki incantations seriously. Neither do we demand drug sniffer dogs explain the workings of their olfactory nerves. If reikis cultivate a useful ability then we may use them.

    I think that if the mainstream (tentatively) engages reiki it will adjust to our expectations, finding a useful role in the scheme of things. Same happened to chiropractors in my province: once the service became basically free under medicare, GPs began referring patients for specific treatments. Now construction workers routinely go in to get their lumbars stretched, assembly-line fashion.

    I do agree a line is crossed when alternative medicine dissuades people from seeking proven treatments that are available & affordable. Governments have a responsibility to protect citizen health. No-brainer in the case of Falun Gong, since that cult teaches followers modern medicine is actually poisonous to their unique spiritual metabolism, and impedes their progress to heaven. Ban it in all countries.

    I haven't seen reiki advocates detracting from mainstream medicine. Rather I've seen cautions that reiki is no substitute for professional attention. So it's not even claiming to be an "alternative" strictly speaking; it's claiming to compliment. Can you show us, skeptic, where reiki crosses the line?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I do agree a line is crossed when alternative medicine dissuades people from seeking proven treatments that are available & affordable.
    Difficult subject, imo. The government has the responsibility to protect its citizens, but if its citizens reject medicine, for whatever reason, can the government really force them to?

    There are all sorts of difficult cases to consider, such as:
    1. person rejects medical treatment because he believes nature should do its work or because of religious motives.
    2. this same person now rejects medical treatment for his/her child, who will surely die of its illness but can easily be treated with very straightforward non invasive methods.
    3. this same child's illness can be treated but the chance of succes is 20%, the same parents reject medical treatment and chose to make the most of the time the child has left.

    To me it is far from clear how to pass judgment on the decisions of the parent in these three cases. Furthermore, this could be the same parent in all cases, and I would be passing 3 different judgments on his decision to reject contemporary medical treatment depending on the case.

    It is too general to just say: dissuading people from medical treatment should be punished. I understand the sentiment and probably share it, but it's just not that easy. Each case deserves to be scrutinized individually; from practice to practice, but also from practitioner to practitioner and from situation to situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I haven't seen reiki advocates detracting from mainstream medicine
    There are likely reiki practitioners that do so, or who claim that their own treatments are better than contemporary medicine in some cases. In such cases that practitioner should be dealt with, much in the same way that a doctor is dealt with when he or she makes false claims which lead to damage to an individual. Still, that is not a reason to reject Reiki as a whole, unless one of it's central tenents can objectively be shown to force people to making harmfull choices (which i believe is not the case with Reiki).

    In this topic (and in this i don't mean you, pong) it seems that the malpractice of one or many is generalized to all practitioners. And that is obv not fair, when there is much to benefit when judged across the entire field.

    I have no idea whether Reiki is that beneficial or whether Reiki is worth what practitioners demand as fees in return. It's interesting though. In many cases Reiki might be too expensive but if people drastically improve their quality of life, maybe it's worth it...
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  86. #85  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I think reikis are candidates to provide human perspective that is sometimes farcically absent in modern medicine.
    Why reiki practitioners and not chiropractors, faith healers, acupuncturists, homoeopaths, masseurs, physiotherapists? Some stuff works and some does not. What we are finding is that the training and philosophy of reiki is irrelevant to patient outcome- it is not measurably different to someone faking it. So what is their value over anyone else who interacts closely with the patient and provides the human element? Why not just have a class of very well trained nurses? Why not employ some professional alternative therapy fakers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I haven't seen reiki advocates detracting from mainstream medicine. Rather I've seen cautions that reiki is no substitute for professional attention.
    I haven't. CAM associations frequently disparage the value of "allopathic" medicine. Technically the term suggests medicine with a focus on extrinsic sources of pathology such as viruses. They say it's the soil and not the seed that matters. Actually modern medicine looks at both- I work in the field of "the soil", immunology. They're trying to create a shortcoming in order to create a market, I suppose. But I digress. CAM practitioners and associations, including those representing the reiki community, frequently make comments detracting from mainstream medicine. Take this example from a reiki handbook published in 2007.

    From Light on the Origins of Reiki:A Handbook for Practicing the Original Reiki, First Edition, p 162:
    We are attempting to reassure these people that it's possible to maintain good health without relying on any medication or vaccination.
    This is really not a responsible attitude. Ask most reiki practitioners about their views on vaccination and the responses will tend to vary between it being ineffective and being dangerous. Some will merely offhandedly allude to the harm they assume is done by vaccines. Whatever your own views on that issue (and we don't want to get into that discussion here), we certainly couldn't say such views are in line with the medical consensus. They're not the worst offenders- homoeopaths and chiropractors tend to be both more publicly visible and more vocal on the matter- but they are certainly not helping. I don't think this is an attitude innate to reiki itself, but rather something that has been inherited from the rest of the CAM movement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Your focus on science does not allow you to properly examine and evaluate other therapies without bias.
    What is the most convincing evidence that supports your contention that Reiki is actually effective.

    This has been asked time and again and you posted a link but didn't indicate what on that link you found convincing or supportive.

    Please. Simply site the evidence of a double-blind study that has shown the efficacy of Reiki. Your inability to do this leaves us all with the conclusion that it is either a delusion or a fraudulent lie. I suspect both depending on who is claiming it works.
    I already know what conclusion it will be, and I really don't care. I posted a link several pages back of studies on Reiki that were published in science journals. That was my answer to your question, I knew you wouldn't like the studies because they show Reiki to have some value. I don't think we need to go through the same thing over and over.
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. -- George Carlin
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  88. #87  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Lekatt

    If a person stabs another to death, we arrest, try and almost certainly jail him. If someone drives drunk once, he gets fined. If he does it repeatedly, he gets jailed.
    If a person practises a version of 'medicine' that kills people, that person deserves to be punished.

    Here in New Zealand in the last few years, we have lost three people, who died as a result of receiving improper treatment by those who practise so-called 'alternative' medicine. I believe the death toll in the USA from this cause is many fold worse.

    I am not some little Hitler trying to remove your liberties. I am someone who recognises a practise that can, and often does, lead to people dying unnecessarily, in order to financially enrich some callous or stupid people. And I would like to stop it.

    It you don't mean what you say, then don't say it.

    Now I have never heard of anyone dying from Reiki ever.

    In the US every year over 100,000 peopled died in hospitals due to doctor or nurse errors. Wrong medicine, wrong operation, etc. How about science cleaning up their act before criticizing others.

    We live in a free choice society because we want a choice. Dictatorships have been tried and always fail or are toppled.

    and before you call others names better look to your own self to make sure you are perfect.
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. -- George Carlin
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  89. #88  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Your focus on science does not allow you to properly examine and evaluate other therapies without bias.
    What is the most convincing evidence that supports your contention that Reiki is actually effective.

    This has been asked time and again and you posted a link but didn't indicate what on that link you found convincing or supportive.

    Please. Simply site the evidence of a double-blind study that has shown the efficacy of Reiki. Your inability to do this leaves us all with the conclusion that it is either a delusion or a fraudulent lie. I suspect both depending on who is claiming it works.
    I already know what conclusion it will be, and I really don't care. I posted a link several pages back of studies on Reiki that were published in science journals. That was my answer to your question, I knew you wouldn't like the studies because they show Reiki to have some value. I don't think we need to go through the same thing over and over.
    Once again, we're not interested in lists of links or bibliographies. We're interested in what you specifically think. When I gave evidence before, I made a claim and then linked to a specific paper supporting that claim. If you wish to make a claim of your own then you need to do similarly, otherwise what you're asking us to do is trawl through numerous sources, try to divine your point from those and try to find support for your argument from them ourselves.

    I would not expect you to go looking for sources that support my position or any position you oppose. You cannot expect us to so either. Unless you decide to start posting specific pieces of evidence, I think your contribution to this thread is done.
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  90. #89  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Your focus on science does not allow you to properly examine and evaluate other therapies without bias.
    What is the most convincing evidence that supports your contention that Reiki is actually effective.

    This has been asked time and again and you posted a link but didn't indicate what on that link you found convincing or supportive.

    Please. Simply site the evidence of a double-blind study that has shown the efficacy of Reiki. Your inability to do this leaves us all with the conclusion that it is either a delusion or a fraudulent lie. I suspect both depending on who is claiming it works.
    I already know what conclusion it will be, and I really don't care. I posted a link several pages back of studies on Reiki that were published in science journals. That was my answer to your question, I knew you wouldn't like the studies because they show Reiki to have some value. I don't think we need to go through the same thing over and over.
    Once again, we're not interested in lists of links or bibliographies. We're interested in what you specifically think. When I gave evidence before, I made a claim and then linked to a specific paper supporting that claim. If you wish to make a claim of your own then you need to do similarly, otherwise what you're asking us to do is trawl through numerous sources, try to divine your point from those and try to find support for your argument from them ourselves.

    I would not expect you to go looking for sources that support my position or any position you oppose. You cannot expect us to so either. Unless you decide to start posting specific pieces of evidence, I think your contribution to this thread is done.
    If you think I am done, then I am done Oh Master of the thread, I bow to your every wish.
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  91. #90  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Now I have never heard of anyone dying from Reiki ever.
    Nobody is suggesting that is possible. Quite the opposite, we're suggesting reiki does nothing at all. The problem is that it is promoted as an alternative to practices which have been shown by evidence to work. If a person refuses chemo in favour of reiki on the advice of a reiki practitioner and then dies of cancer, you get to say reiki doesn't kill, cancer does. But what's the difference really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    In the US every year over 100,000 peopled died in hospitals due to doctor or nurse errors.
    Ironically, this is a number that you know only because of science. Numbers, evidence, collected and compiled, analysed and put in context and then published. Shown to the world, be it ugly or beautiful so that we can make decisions based on the evidence.

    Where are the numbers on those who died due to refusing care in favour of reiki or homoeopathy? Where are the numbers on how many injuries are caused by CAM therapies? There are none, because you and others like you reject the power of simple observation and recording. That's pretty much all that science is after all; watch and record. You say it can't tell us anything, but when there's evidence of a problem with mainstream medicine suddenly you're an empiricist? Suddenly evidence can tell us something important? That is both hypocritical and a perfect example of confirmation bias.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Wrong medicine, wrong operation, etc. How about science cleaning up their act before criticizing others.
    The medical community and "science" are not synonyms. Medics and scientists aren't even one and the same, though there is often crossover. Medics are empirical diagnosticians who try to fit their evidence to the models provided by scientists. They are not model builders or experimentalists in general. Medical errors are human errors, and whilst bad models can kill, your data is about human errors and not scientific errors. That is nothing to do with "science", though science can provide solutions.

    Even if "science" were somehow responsible, we're not talking about a single entity here. We're talking about a community, made of up individuals competing against one another which follows some very basic rules. Those rules are the ones which gave you your evidence and are the same rules that will cause us to respond to such evidence. They are the same rules which cause us to scrutinize and attack your field. There is no reason why we cannot do both.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    We live in a free choice society because we want a choice. Dictatorships have been tried and always fail or are toppled.
    Get off the soap box. Nobody is calling for a dictatorship. Democratic societies routinely act to prohibit misleading claims and harmful actions. You're only protesting because that might include something you hold to be true. If it is, then you should be able to show it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    and before you call others names better look to your own self to make sure you are perfect.
    A person who rejects empiricism until it suits him cries "hypocrite". What do you call a hypocrite who cries "hypocrite"? I don't know, but certainly we can't say whether they're right or wrong about things on that basis. You seem to be having trouble with that concept though.
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  92. #91  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lekatt
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    I would not expect you to go looking for sources that support my position or any position you oppose. You cannot expect us to so either. Unless you decide to start posting specific pieces of evidence, I think your contribution to this thread is done.
    If you think I am done, then I am done Oh Master of the thread, I bow to your every wish.
    Cut the sarcasm. In that statement I was speaking as moderator of this forum. If this thread does not stop going in circles then either I will lock it or remove your contributions from it.

    At this point you're just repeating yourself. So you can start talking evidence or you can exit the discussion.
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    Lekatt,
    I have vigorously condemned your arguments in this thread. I have sent you a deliberately insulting pm. I also retain an open mind.

    I am quite ready to be convinced that there may be something in Reiki. Despite the eloquent arguments of Biologista and others against its value, I am quite prepared to believe they are wrong. (I rather like the idea that mainstream science and conventional medicine might be mistaken on this.)

    But to make the switch in my thinking I certainly need something more than a bunch of hand waving and mumbo-jumbo. You say there is a life force - great tell me how we observe it. Don't give me nonsense about how it is something you 'feel'. I've been down the hippy path - its amusing, but ultimately self deluding.

    Let's have some facts, not fancies. If you offer them, you might start getting some attention, interest and respect. (I might even apolgise for the rude pm.)

    Or you can castigate us all for being inhuman, devoid of spirituality and thorough going materialists. That's an established method for avoiding answering a tough question. Are you man or mouse?
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    The problem with alternative therapies in general is not that they do harm in themselves. The problem is that people who have genuinely serious illnesses go to the alternative practitioner rather than to an orthodox medico who can actually help them.

    If a cancer patient goes to a reiki practitioner due to the lovely warm fuzzies he/she got last time, and fails to get to a proper cancer specialist in time, that patient will die, and die unnecessarily.

    Sympathy is fine and dandy. But if you are sick, you need a doctor. Not someone who 'strokes your aura' and tickles your need for love.

    And yes. I will continue to say that quackery should be a crime, with sufficient penalties to get those guys out from under, so that people who are sick will go to where they can get genuine help. This is the science forum, and we should all be pushing for evidence based medicine. Good science.
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    And yes. I will continue to say that quackery should be a crime, with sufficient penalties to get those guys out from under, so that people who are sick will go to where they can get genuine help. This is the science forum, and we should all be pushing for evidence based medicine. Good science.
    Very well said.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    The problem with alternative therapies in general is not that they do harm in themselves. The problem is that people who have genuinely serious illnesses go to the alternative practitioner rather than to an orthodox medico who can actually help them.

    If a cancer patient goes to a reiki practitioner due to the lovely warm fuzzies he/she got last time, and fails to get to a proper cancer specialist in time, that patient will die, and die unnecessarily.
    I kind of disagree here. There are only a few people who always go to CAM specialists in stead of going to a doctor first. For most people however CAM treatments are what they see as a last result. They tried conventional medicine and the doctors told them there was nothing or less they could do for them. Then as a logical result they seek others who claim they can offer a little help. Reiki won't cure cancer, but might give hope or comfort. If people are willing to pay for that it's fine by me. I think people should be clever enough to decide for themselves whether it 'helps' or not.
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    Artemis

    You may be correct for most people. However, there are many cases on record of patients going first to an alternative practitioner, and not getting to genuine medical help till it is too late. When those people die, it is, in my opinion, at the best, manslaughter. Quacks who apply their dubious remedies instead of telling a patient to get to a doctor are risking their patients lives.

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    Thank you for your comment. It is always heartening to see that there are people out there who are able to think rationally and scientifically.
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  98. #97  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    There are no energy fields, or chi, or whatever you call them.
    I disagree. All forms of matter have atoms as basic building units. The essential composition of an atom is: a positively charged nucleus, containing protons and neutrons, and negatively charged electrons, orbiting the nucleus. The orbital movement of negatively charged electrons around a positively charged nucleus is fundamental to the generation of atomic magnetism. The relative movement of dissimilar charges constitutes a flow of electrical currents, which, in turn, produces a magnetic field. So in a certain way there are energy fields around both organisms and non-living objects.

    Altough energy fields are often thought of as 'religious nonsense'. It is actually a scientific process. Einstein already taught us that matter and energy are essentially interchangeable and their transformations are eternally continuous. In a way all matter is energy. It is all made up of oscillating, vibrating, swirling bits of energy of different sizes and speeds.

    The question remains how CAM treatments would effect these energy fields and then again how that would effect your well-being. Earlier in this thread I have tried to come up with hypotheses, which might explain how Reiki could work, unsuccessfully. I said that the energy which was probably being manipulated by Reiki practitioners was bioelctricity. I have now actually run across a few CAM sites which indeed state that what they call “Chi” or “Life-force” is actually bioelectromagnetism. They also state that when the energy flow is blocked or disturbed we may become more vulnerable for physical or psychological disturbances such as disease.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    If we're talking specifically about bioelectromagnetism, you'd need to have a fairly comprehensive model of how it flows and where, of how it can be blocked or unblocked and finally how blockade of bioelectromagnetism would result in pathology. It is certainly hard to imagine how it could have any impact on things like the adaptive immune system, for example. Without that sort of detail in your ideas, you can't actually set about verifying any of it. You just end up chasing all sorts of energy and all kinds of phenomena that might constitute a "blockage", even though energy conversion is a common and non-pathogenic process. Hypotheses need to be specific in order to testable and therefore useful.
    What I forgot to include in my previous hypotheses, which TheBiologista very neatly pointed out, was actually the very basis of it: “How can a change in bioelectromagnetism effect our physical well-being?”

    Now I am not very certain if this is correct, but somehow I seem to remember that the blood's leukocyte count is particularly amenable to magnetic influence, their numbers quickly rising or dropping, depending on the prevailing magnetic conditions. This would mean that a block of bioelectromagnetism could actually lower the amount of leukocytes in your blood and thus your resistance to pathogens.

    Also, a change in charge can also have effect on the PH of the environment and a change in PH also can make you more vulnerable to pathogens.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    How do you propose that the various forms of energy we produce could be blocked? Certainly, cells which cannot access energy in the form of molecules like ATP may die resulting in pathology. Similarly, cells deprived of oxygen, which also aids in energy release, may undergo necrosis. But these are forms of energy released from matter and so matter can block the energy flow. What sort of phenomenon would block bio electric energy and how would we measure it?
    External magnetic fields stronger then our own bioelectromagnetism might effect it thus changing the flow of our bioelectricity. It might not exactly be a 'block', but it can certainly cause a change in our bioelectromagnetic field.

    However, how a Reiki therapist would solve those problems is unclear to me. Again it would have to be the reversal of the above, so it would be effecting the patients bioelectromagnetic field back to its original state. I cant imagine however that the therapists own bioelectromagnetism could be strong enough to effect his patient's.
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    A lot of research work has been done on the human body's response to both electric and magnetic fields. One finding that is absolutely undeniable is that any change in the human body can happen only when those fields are enormously powerful.

    For example : medicos use MRI scanners with enormously powerful magnetic fields.

    Biologically induced electric and magnetic fields are normally very, very weak. The exception is a few species evolved to produce more powerful fields, but humans are definitely not one of them. Any electric or magnetic field produced by the human body is so weak that it is almost impossible even to detect it, even using the most sensitive of modern instruments.

    In short, there is no way that these fields, generated by the human body, can influence another human body. They are at least 100,000 times too weak.

    The only way reiki can work is via the placebo effect. And it may surprise you to know that orthodox medicine has just as great a placebo effect as quackery. If a person is ill, that person should see a genuine doctor, who can determine what is wrong, and prescribe a treatment that actually works. That treatment will have a double whammy effect, in that it will have the placebo effect on top of a genuine therapeutic effect.

    What reiki practitioners are peddling is magic. To suggest that waving your hands over a sick person, without even touching them, can cure them is purest magic. And, except for people who never grew up and still believe in fairies, we all know that magic does not exist. Just fraud.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    In short, there is no way that these fields, generated by the human body, can influence another human body.
    That's what i said

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    I cant imagine however that the therapists own bioelectromagnetism could be strong enough to effect his patient's

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    What reiki practitioners are peddling is magic. To suggest that waving your hands over a sick person, without even touching them, can cure them is purest magic. And, except for people who never grew up and still believe in fairies, we all know that magic does not exist. Just fraud.
    I never claimed that Reiki does work, I am merely interested in how (if at all) it might be possible. It seems indeed that it is not. It is strange though that the idea of healing by the means of energy is already seen centuries ago al over the world (though especially in Asia). I wonder how these people came to believe in the possibility of using “life-energy” to heal. Especially since it seems to be in such a wide range and variety of people. Sometimes “ancient mysteries” hold partial truths. Take Alchemy for example. Most of it might be rubbish though great deals of the theories are also found in modern chemistry.
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  101. #100  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I think reikis are candidates to provide human perspective that is sometimes farcically absent in modern medicine.
    Why reiki practitioners and not chiropractors, faith healers, acupuncturists, homoeopaths, masseurs, physiotherapists?
    Sure, sure. If they do no harm and have something to add. We're not debating this or that. Good medicine requires many perspectives, many treatments; complimentary we hope.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    what is their value over anyone else who interacts closely with the patient and provides the human element?
    That is the question.

    Like you said the window dressing is irrelevant to us. I rather overlook it. Moreover, I suspect that if reikis cultivate a genuinely useful skill - i.e. they're expert makers of warm fuzzies - then criticizing their idiosyncratic system and generally taking wind out of reiki's sails would undermine their useful skill. Thus undermining their use to us! For analogy consider if we'd prevented the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta from comforting lepers, because we balked at the spiritual beliefs driving her? Suppose we insisted she substantiate or renounce her ridiculous delusions about souls and angels. Is scientific unanimity really worth squashing useful crazy personal energy?

    I believe I've shown that modern medicine can badly want for human wisdom and empathy. The fact that BC Coroner's Office was frankly stumped by Mr. Dziekanski's thoroughly investigated death proves this true at the highest formal level. That's just plain failure. I think this a systemic problem, because on the other hand we informally recognize and appreciate the many individuals who think also with their hearts. Informally we understand Mr. Dziekanski died - pardon the unscientific term - died from extreme buildup of "cold pricklies". This wisdom has no scientific basis, sure, but since most individuals do use it more or less in practically every action directed at our fellow humans I think we should try to articulate it, recognize it formally, and consciously apply it where seems appropriate.

    I've argued in many threads before that science has a blind spot over goodness. Unfortunately tender loving care insofar as goodness justifies it, must be irrational and of no empirical value in the eyes of science. This I think touches the pith of medicine's formal inability to acknowledge "warm fuzzies". Here I'm not complaining or calling for change, because I see science should remain detached from the human condition. But science alone can't provide good care, and a health care system enthralled to science (as it must be) is unlikely to foster TLC; presently that's up to individual employees, if they care to make the effort, with any slack their formal duties afford.

    I don't know that reiki practitioners are the best answer to our formal lack of empathy. I just guess that on its own formal level reiki must be explicitly concerned with those warm human qualities we're wanting. The only reiki-guy I know well radiates palpable warm vibes and (empirically) demonstrates remarkable empathy. I've actually suggested two possible mainstream uses for reiki. One is as additional lens. The example of touring reikis through hospital wards like sniffer dogs for "negative energy". Or the BC Chief Coroner considering "extreme stress" as possible cause of death, after soliciting non-scientific but otherwise relevant views. Another possible use is referring patients to reiki practitioners when appropriate. That may be rarely. A GP might send a hypochondriac to a reiki. They might make the rounds in senior's homes or something... that's a step up from puppies and children as we do now. Because if reikis are engaged by the system they'll have clearly defined duties and also help to spot problems. Reiki in this role would lose any hint of "alternative" and willingly I think seek to compliment and cooperate with mainstream medicine.



    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I haven't seen reiki advocates detracting from mainstream medicine. Rather I've seen cautions that reiki is no substitute for professional attention.
    I haven't. CAM associations frequently disparage the value of "allopathic" medicine.
    Then we should give them incentive to cooperate.


    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    If a cancer patient goes to a reiki practitioner due to the lovely warm fuzzies he/she got last time, and fails to get to a proper cancer specialist in time, that patient will die, and die unnecessarily.
    It's true. Likewise if you go to get your teeth whitened, and you have a tumour at the back of your throat, lucky for you the dentist isn't like some reject of the medical community without clear professional responsibilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis
    our bioelectromagnetic field
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Biologically induced electric and magnetic fields are normally very, very weak.
    Well, skeptic, that could suggest we're very, very sensitive.

    I'm giving it a thumb's down though based on personal experience with live wiring. I do a fair amount of electrical work and find (by mishap or occasional expedience) that "just" conducting 120 volts throughout the body does not feel like anything - it's just a stripped wire you could safely chew on if you wanted - unless of course one becomes a circuit e.g. path to earth. I do sometimes note a faint hummy tingle in the air with live breaker panel open. For safety, electricians are constantly aware of earth paths especially what their bodies might contact. Sometimes it seems i can sense my body's groundedness, as when grabbing a copper water pipe or touching an appliance housing, but that is probably just from years of caution becoming instinctive.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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