When we look around at the society with awareness, we realize that our education teaches us what we should be thinking, not how we should be thinking. We are taught to not really question anything. In spiritual parlance, this is a part of what we call conditioning. Now, a part of this conditioning also is that science is always right, and that what can be measured is greater than what cannot.
As a result, people look up at scientific research and complex medical procedures, while looking down upon what they consider as faith-healing. Funnily enough, all the propaganda has created so much faith in modern medicine that placebo medicines are not only increasingly being prescribed, but also that faith is coming in the way of new drug-trials, as traditionally new drugs are tested against the placebo effect. Sham surgeries are also often shown to be as effective as real ones.
What is Placebo Anyway?
The placebo effect is when someone has so much faith in a mode of treatment that even when treated with a completely fake drug/ procedure, they heal as if they were given a real medicine. Normally to release a new drug into the market, companies have to test it against placebo, i.e. they give one group of people a placebo and another the real drug, and the group taking the real drug has to fare better for the drug to be approved.
The Magic of Placebo
The body has a tremendous power to heal itself. There is plenty of placebo at play when people visit a doctor, and that is always underplayed. For instance, many people feel better simply after a visit to a doctor. Also, trials have shown that the results that placebo healing brings are in no way inferior to that brought out through authentic treatments.
But that’s Not the Point Here
Yes, it’s not. The point here is that Reiki is not placebo. Almost all alternative therapies that still need years of research to be validated or are simply beyond the scope of science at the moment are passed off as placebo. There’s a fundamental flaw in this thinking.
Consider a recent example. I was traveling in a train, sitting opposite a young woman who was clearly a bit ill, constantly sniffing. Not only was it a bit annoying, but also it was obvious she was in discomfort. We hadn’t spoken at all so I was a bit hesitant. Eventually I lost my patience and simply asked her if I could do something to help. She blinked curiously and asked, ‘like what?’ I asked her to close her eyes for a few seconds as I sent her a little healing from where I was sitting (so I didn’t touch or go near her). When I asked her to open her eyes, she said “thank you. … oh I actually do feel better, what did you do?” She did not sniff for the rest of the journey.
This is just one of many, many such examples. But this isn’t all.
Why Reiki Cannot be Placebo
There are two aspects to placebo healing. Either it is faith that is bringing about the healing, or the body naturally heals itself.
Now, most people have faith in doctors and in Western medicine. And if not the process, that faith will bring about a healing when a person visits a clinic. If the person is still ill at the end of the treatment that in itself is testimony that faith isn’t working in his favor. Now, how can anyone with reasonable intelligence suggest that after experiencing a failed medical treatment, after taking drugs or surgery, a person goes to a healer who waves her arms in the air, and he heals due to faith?
Placebo is definitely possible for people who have been practicing Reiki or have been exposed to meditation for many years, but when someone is being exposed to Reiki for the first time, especially if they have no idea what is going on, it would be ridiculous to label it placebo.
Of course, Reiki healers are already aware of the miraculous healing that happens even when the client isn’t aware that healing is being sent, for example in a comatose patient or in problematic relationships. Plants and animals also show great improvements through Reiki, and it is hardly possible that they had faith in Reiki!
Being on the spiritual pathway is about doing away with conditioning and becoming less prone to trickery. I have observed among my students and other peers on the spiritual path that those who regularly practice find over the long term that their body stops responding to many pills, even when they have no bias against medical science. In effect, faith healing seems to disappear instead of getting reinforced. Given that people are generally healthier after regular Reiki practice, this could be because when such a person falls sick, the root cause might be complex too. The advantage of being uninfluenced by ‘faith’ is that one also remains protected from the nocebo effect, which is the opposite of placebo, where a person gets sick because of a faith that it is a genetic problem, or remains sick as a result of a belief that the disease is permanent, for example diabetes or arthritis.
Article by Ashwita Goel, Reiki Master
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Having learned Meditation as a child, Ashwita incorporated Reiki into her life during her early teens. After a decade of witnessing the magic Reiki, she felt compelled to take up Reiki professionally, and ended her corporate career in 2007, taking up Reiki full-time. She eventually incorporated EFT, hypnotherapy and past life therapy into her work. Apart from her healing work, she teaches Reiki and meditation, and her book ‘Healing Through Reiki’ is available on Amazon. You can connect with her through Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Reiki.Bangalore,
her website http://www.reiki-bangalore.com/ or visit her blog http://www.ashwita.com/zen/