Happy 2012, everyone! I hope it was relaxing, productive, challenging or debaucherous; whatever makes you happy.
I’m back in London and last Friday I found myself at the after show party for a popular interactive performance piece. It was a jolly good time. One of the highlights of the evening was chatting to a very tall, blond Englishman whose name I can’t remember. Let’s call him Jimmy.
Jimmy and I idly made conversation until I asked him what he does for a living. As it turns out Jimmy is a Reiki teacher.
Reiki is not something I know a great deal about though I do not have fond memories of my experiences with it at university; mostly of the small fellow who seemed to be the sole member of the campus Reiki Club who would chase people down in the hallways and shake his hands around them in attempt to manipulate their energy. He was annoying as fuck.
I think Wikipedia sums Reiki up pretty well:
Reiki (霊気?, English pronunciation: /ˈreɪkiː/) is a spiritual practice developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui, which since has been adapted by various teachers of varying traditions. It uses a technique commonly called palm healing or hands on healing as a form of complementary therapy and is sometimes classified as oriental medicine by some professional medical bodies. Through the use of this technique, practitioners believe that they are transferring universal energy (i.e., reiki) in the form of ki through the palms, which allows for self-healing and a state of equilibrium.
The concept of ki underlying Reiki is speculative and there is no scientific evidence that it exists; a 2008 systematic review of randomised clinical trials concluded that “the evidence is insufficient to suggest that reiki is an effective treatment for any condition. Therefore the value of reiki remains unproven.” The American Cancer Society and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine have also found that there is no clinical or scientific evidence supporting claims that Reiki is effective in the treatment of any illness.
Getting back to the party, Jimmy was pretty keen to tell me how amazing Reiki is and how much it can make a difference in your life. I asked him how it worked and he couldn’t give me a proper explanation, which I guess makes sense as the method is certainly one that doesn’t offer much in that whole “tangible” sense of the word. He then hopped right into telling me his tragic backstory. It seems that Jimmy has spent the last 30 years trying to recover from some trauma he experienced at a young age. I should specify; Jimmy has been trying to come to terms with all of the damage he received due to his mother being “stressed” while he was in the womb.
Jimmy has been trying to get his life back since his birth and feels scarred from his in utero exploits. He also told me that one day while he was meditating he was struck with the vision of being back in the womb and seeing the forceps coming right for him. This has also taken a great deal of time, meditation and Reiki healing to overcome.
For fun I decided to do a bit of investigating to see if anyone could really suffer so much mental anguish from being in the womb and found this article from 2007 that links “stressed” mothers to children with lower IQs, attention deficient problems and anxiety issues. This is all very much in the early studies category and requires additional research, though it is pretty interesting. I highly doubt, however, that someone is able to recall such negative feelings in the womb and that, after 30 years, would continue to use such a vague argument as validation for any current or past health and emotional issues they might have had, save for actually being diagnosed with a disorder. What I found most surprising about the conversation is that Jimmy was so open to talking about these issues on the first time he had ever met me. I wonder what he’d tell me on a second conversation…
Oooh, let’s throw in one more video just for fun. You can watch someone practicing Reiki, or as I call it “petting”, on an anally retentive cat. Enjoy!!