Well, Jacksonians. I’m back.
I was back a couple of weeks ago, actually – but I took a blagging break.
I’d meant to open the New Year (happy 2010, break out the rocket boots) and new decade with a rundown of our last meeting of the decade, but… something too delicious to pass up has come by.
I made a polite reminder style comment in the online edition in the hopes that anyone who read it might realize that reiki is not for medical conditions (not evident from the article). However, it appears to be in moderation hell, which is hilarious given the sort of ignorant statements that get made on the site.
So for your reading pleasure: the JFP reiki article.
And my response (for the public consumption, not the dick-joke vulgarity that passes for blagging):
I do not doubt that Jankovitz did in fact feel “more awake and …calm” after her visit to a reiki practitioner. Of course there are many ways that can happen, most of them cheaper than sixty dollars an hour and without the dubious “healing energy” involved. One can go for a walk, relax and eat a bit of fruit, do some situps, have a good beer or a cup of tea – all of these things will provide quite the benefit – especially if you load them up with your own personal meanings and significance.
What is healing energy? It cannot be measured, nor detected. Bear in mind that even neutrinos, whose defining characteristic is their near-total lack of mass and reactivity, can be detected. Even if such an energy could be detected, what does it do? There is no phenomenon for “charging” the human body, no discernible method for storing any sort of energy – other than the food that you eat and the fat that you keep. We are not machines. We do not have batteries.
Reiki has time and time again been shown to be exactly as effective as a placebo and anyone with a real medical condition should not seek it out. Healing at a distance has never been shown to work – and repeatedly been shown not to work. If it did in fact work, the world we live in, full of sickness and death, would not reflect well on the motivations and actions of distant healers.
This “body-soul” piece comes in the same issue where the editor urges people to take responsibility for their own city and well-being – and not accept fantastic claims from other people who seek to save us. If you are seeking a more relaxed, fulfilled life, you can do that without shamans and gurus – you could make honest changes to your life, instead. You’ll save some money and you might learn something real about yourself along the way.
Jackson Skeptical Society
Were it on the blog, I’m sure you can imagine how it might sound a little different.
Your daily ORAC reading: Anti-Vaxxers vs. Free Speech.
Amusing bit for the day: Philosophy Hand Signals. These will be in play at the next meeting.
And tying into the reiki bit: are placebo treatments ethical?
Catholics vs. Reiki. The JSS agrees with the Catholic church! (which agrees for all the wrong reasons).
Ah well. I’ll talk about the meeting to everyone who wasn’t there, soon enough.