Reiki Digest is an online magazine “dedicated exclusively to publishing news and articles about Reiki to promote its practice and educate both the Reiki community and the world at large.” Janet Dagley Dagley was its founder and, yes, it appears that there are two Dagleys in her name. Beth Lowell is the Managing Editor. The magazine collects information about all things Reiki, and features articles about its history, different ways of implementation, attempts to correct “misinformation”, interesting applications (including some “about the music of special correspondent, Cymber Lily Conn, a harpist who composed music to help heal the Gulf of Mexico after the disastrous oil spill there”), and plenty and plenty of anecdotes and stories. There is a conspicuous lack of discussion of evidence for the efficacy of the techniques (unless you count vague anecdotes, which isn’t), which is not particularly surprising. You can find the sordid mess of woo here.
Reiki is, as some readers may know, a pseudoscientific energy therapy invented by a Japanese crackpot mystic in 1922. The basic tenets are that
- There is a universal, inexhaustible spiritual energy that can be used for healing purposes.
- Any person can gain access to this energy through an attunement process carried out by a Reiki Master.
- The energy will flow through the Reiki Master’s hands when he/she places his/her hands near the patient.
- As this energy has human-like intelligence, there is no need for any diagnosis; the energy will automatically judge the disease and heal the patient.
Yes, read it again if you didn’t see it. Reiki is faith healing, pure and simple. But Eastern faith healing, which makes it seem a bit more appealing to certain groups with a slightly racist orientalist orientation.
Other contributors to the magazine include (among many others):
- Marianne Streich, who has written a book about “practice in the first two levels of Reiki.”
- Eileen Dey, who has a book about her personal journey and how she uses Reiki to help war veterans (what presumably passes as a “study” among these people. Or religious tracts.)
- Claire Schwartz, who “calls for clarity and honesty in communication about Reiki.” From the critics, that is, not from the practitioners.
- Lilia Marquez, a Critical Care RN, Holistic Nurse and Holistic Health Coach.
- Jeffrey Hotchkiss, who has a remarkable ability to spend many words to say nothing but vague fluff; his website is here.
Diagnosis: This is really pure, religious fundamentalism. Yes, it is clothed in fluff and pillows rather than anger and brimstone, but if they seriously think they can help anyone with anything actually health-related they may still pose a threat to human life, well-being and flourishing.