Reiki Goes Mainstream
Apr 10, 2011 11:40PM
It is natural to want a rational understanding of the mechanics of a phenomenon using the logic of "sound " scientific principles. "Manipulation of subatomic matter," "harmonics of polarization," and "quantum indeterminacy of biomacromolecules" sound impressive and are probably the best way of appeasing the need for a technical explanation for something as inexplicable as reiki. Applying physics terminology, however, is simply a construct on which to build a dialogue of understanding when referring tobioenergy healing which defies scientific explanation at this time.
The human energy field has been directly acknowledged, or at least alludedto, from the beginning of recorded history. Ancient qigong masters in China called it qi. The Japanese called it ki (as in reiki, meaning life force). The ancient Jewish Kabbalah called it astral light. The Pythagoreans believed that there is a universal energy pervading all of nature and that its light could effect cures in sick patients. Later, Christian teaching called it ruach. Christ, saints, and the Buddha are depicted with halos emanating radiant light—or energy. Whether it is called prana, dosha, etheric energy, fohat, odic force, mana—it is all the same. It is the edge of western medicine, and in spite of its best efforts, science can’t explain it.
Reiki healing falls into the category of bioenergy medicine, a domain of The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), which is a division of the National Institutes of Health. NCCAM deals with energy fields of two types: veritable energies, which can be measured, and putative energies (also known as biofields—a term coined by Russian scientists in the 1950s who proposed that living organisms emit vibrations at a frequency of 300 to 2,000 nanometers), which have yet to be measured by conventional methods.
Veritable energy fields refer to mechanical vibrations, such as sound, visible light, electromagnetic forces, magnetism, monochromatic radiation i.e. laser beams, and rays from other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. They involve the use of specific, measurable wavelengths and frequencies to treat the patient. There are many well-established uses for the application of veritable energy fields to diagnose or treat diseases. The most commonly used are electromagnetic fields in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), cardiac pacemakers, radiation therapy, EKG, EEG, and ultraviolet light for psoriasis.
Putative energy fields encompass healing modalities that lean heavily on principles of the eastern medicine concept of subtle energy fields i.e. meridians, internal energy vortices, even consciousness or nonlocal/acausal influences and operate on the premise that the human organism is more than a complex molecular physical structure, and is, as quantum physics theory suggests, composed of pulsating fields of energy. Bioenergy healing modalities are among the most controversial of NCCAM practices because neither the external energy fields, nor their etiology, have been proven convincingly by any biophysical means, although a large body of empirical evidence has accrued. Practitioners of energy therapy believe that illness results from disturbances of these biofields and that the subtle energy can be manipulated to effect changes in the physical body and influence health.
Persistent researchers have always held a fascination for detecting and capturing the elusive properties of putative energy fields. Ultra-weak emission of photons from biological matter is an interesting phenomenon being investigated by several research groups. Recent work on germinating seeds indicate that quantitative and qualitative changes of bioluminescence reflect the homeostatic physiological status of the system and could represent the capability of living organisms to transmit and receive information by means of these photons, or by means of the patterns underlying this biooptical activity. In 1982, Dumitrescu was able to observe bioelectrical fields with a system that converts bioelectrical fields’ electrons to photons.
What scientists are actually measuring (biophotons, extremely low frequency radiation or electromagnetic emissions) are at best, epiphenomena of the events that should really account for the so called "energy healing." So far, electromagnetic energy has been demonstrated and postulated to be the energy that is exchanged between bioenergy healers and patients. However, the exact nature of this energy is not clear. Kirlian photography, aura imaging, and gas discharge visualization are techniques that have captured dramatic contrasting images of a healer’s hands before and after a healing session.
Early results from recent studies demonstrated that gamma radiation levels markedly decreased during reiki therapy sessions in 100% of subjects. It has been hypothesized that the body’s primary gamma emitter, potassium-40 (K40) represents a "self-regulation"of energy within the body and the surrounding electromagnetic fields.
Another group of studies of putative energy suggests that energy fields from one person can overlap and interact with energy fields of another person. For example, in one study, when two individuals touch, one person’s electrocardiograph (EKG) signal registered in the other person’s electroencephalogram (EEG). In addition, one individual’s EKG signal registered in another’s EEG recording while sitting quietly opposite each other. This is perhaps the most striking evidence of the alleged merging of electromagnetic energy fields during a reiki session.
In the 1920s and 1930s, a distinguished researcher at Yale University School of Medicine, Harold Sadon Burr, suggested that diseases could be detected in the energy field of the body before physical symptoms appear. Moreover, Burr was convinced that diseases could be prevented by altering the energy fields.
In the 1980’s, Dr. John Zimmerman, University of Colorado, was able to detect small pulsating magnetic fields emanating from the human body by using a device known as a SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device), which is capable of measuring the biomagnetic field of a muscle twitch or a single heartbeat. A SQUID magnetometer has even been able to detect the biomagnetic field of the heart at a distance of three feet from the chest. More specificall, in a study of Therapeutic Touch practitioners, Zimmerman discovered that the frequency of pulsations from the hands of a practitioner during a healing session is not steady, but flows in waves from 0.3 hz to 30 hz, matching the frequency range of brain waves and has the potential to alter the biomagnetic field. Confirmations of Zimmerman’s findings were confirmed by Seto and colleagues in Japan in 1992.
In addition, Jochen Edrich at the University of Colorado found that tissue under stress emits increased levels of microwave radiation. Microwave readings were decreased by light pressure applied to the area of complaint.
What is it?
REIKI (RAY’KEE) IS A MODERN THERAPEUTIC APPLICATION OF THE ANCIENT, TRADITIONAL JAPANESE ART OF DEEP HEALING AND RELAXATION.
According to the National Institutes of Health, reiki is classified as "Biofield Medicine, which involves systems that use subtle energy fields in and around the body for medical purposes."
What are the health benefits of Reiki?
• Reiki energy revitalizes, re-energizes, and boosts the immune system creating a sense of wellbeing.
• It is effective as preventive medicine, as health maintenance, and for
managing chronic and recurrent symptoms.
• Reiki can be used effectively in emergency situations to treat trauma, shock and acute injuries.
• It’s useful for pain relief and management of symptoms of fibromyalgia, arthritis, back injuries, and sciatica.
• Reiki may bring relief for depression, anxiety and stress, and can be effective in lowering blood pressure and easing migraines.
• Reiki accelerates the body’s natural healing process resulting in shorter recovery from injuries and surgery.
• Reiki has been proven useful in alleviating AIDS/HIV symptoms and cancer-related side effects from chemo and radiation.
What can you expect?
A private reiki session usually lasts 30-60 minutes. The recipient remains fully clothed on a padded massage table in a warm, comfortable room. The practitioner typically follows a protocol of prescribed hand positions at various places along the body, facilitating a gentle, relaxing experience. The recipient may feel heat from the practitioner’s hand, relax even to the point of sleep, andexperience subtle, pleasant sensations.