As Sir Terry Pratchett has pointed out in his books on several occasions: for some strange reason, many people can never find Wisdom close at hand; they always need to travel to distant countries for added mystic kudos. This is most notably parodied in the person of Lu-Tze, who comes from an exotic country chock-full of monks going “Ommmmm” that city dwellers flock to in search of Enlightenment, and who therefore decides he should travel to the city so seek his wisdom there.
So it is with health issues. People who feel conventional medicine isn’t up to snuff or just isn’t working fast enough often turn to esoteric ‘alternative’ or ‘complementary’ practices that are strong on feel-good factor, but frequently weak on actually doing anything, apart from providing a placebo effect at a ridiculously high price. It may be hard to stay healthy in today’s stressed-out society, surrounded by pollution and junk-food outlets, but it’s even more expensive to opt for ‘wellness’. Incidentally, when that word pops up on a website or in somebody’s conversation, it is a foolproof indication that you are being served industrial-strength Stupid.
The particular gooey, squishy, pulsating lump of Stupid currently under advisement goes by the name of Reiki, and this is what reiki.org has to say about it:
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
Anyone wondering if the ki part of reiki has anything to do with the Chinese qi or chi is spot on, by the way. Although Reiki practitioners will insist “While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion”, this is in fact complete bollocks as the whole concept of qi/ki/chi comes from Taoism. It is also found in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the branch of woo that uses fossils and bits of endangered animals in its totally unproven ‘medicines’ and is a belief system in itself. In any case, anyone with half a brain will have spotted the three words “laying on hands” and correctly deduced that what we have here is just another type of faith healing.
Faith healing boils down to Thinking Nice Thoughts, possibly while reciting a mantra, or prayer. But basically: Thinking Nice Thoughts really hard.
Sounds good, huh? Now get a load of this article that’s been splurged around the blogosphere wherever the spectacularly untalented author can get it published, which is why I’ve reproduced it in its entirety without providing a link. ‘Barbara Thomas’, whoever she or he is (and that information is not forthcoming), writes with all the easily-flowing grace and charm of a drunken reality TV starlet snorting coke at a Walmart opening. Now that you have a fair idea of the horrors that lie ahead, let’s get down to facts. In tonight’s show, our selected woobot advocates using reiki for treating bipolar disorder.
Linking Reiki and Bipolar Disorder
Posted by “Barbara Thomas” just about everywhere during September 2011
How can reiki treatment genuinely be regarded as being a beneficial alternative medication for bipolar disorder? Several men and women under this sort of condition or who might know an individual close to be owning such would undoubtedly delve into this upon hearing that reiki is often a really great healing technique. First, let us try to consider bipolar disorder and see how it can genuinely be alleviated by reiki.
Bipolar is essentially a disorder by which a single individual experiences a variation of moods but all inside an incredibly extreme state. Most individuals refer to it as manic depression because a deep depression commonly follows high elation and again, all in an extremely alternating process. Manic episodes after depressive episodes are a popular thing in your bipolar. Oftentimes, family members and other folks around a bipolar struggle on the right actions or treatments and reiki treatment may possibly just do the trick.
Oh God, this contorted prose offends me unto my very soul. Anyway, yes: bipolar, the disorder formerly known as manic depression, is characterised by alternating mood swings over periods of time. That isn’t the only characteristic of the disorder and, like all psychiatric conditions, it cannot be self-diagnosed. It takes a professional to do that. It also takes a professional to find the correct treatment, which may or may not involve medication. Even though Lithium was a great song, it’s a treatment reserved for the most extreme forms of bipolar disorder. Milder drugs are available.
The laying on of hands and Thinking Happy Thoughts in the context of bipolar disorder, or clinical depression, come to that, is the equivalent of giving a pep talk and telling them to snap out of it. One of the acid tests for mood disorders is that you cannot ‘snap out of it’. No matter how much you fucking want to, it just keeps dragging you back.
As bipolar disorder affects[sic] each aspect with the human behavior and from the reiki being a methods of channeling positive universal energy, there just might be a spark that could produce the link in reiki bipolar disorder treatment. In most cases of bipolar disorders, the medications given can be quite uncomfortable hence patients are becoming referred to alternative types of treatment and even therapies. Because bipolar is what you’ll be able to refer to as a manic depressive state, reiki could extremely well work during the relaxation and keeping at peace in the manic stage.
Just a minute, sunshine: are you suggesting that reiki should be used instead of medication, if the sufferer is having trouble with the prescribed drug? Except at high doses, side effects are minimal and/or rare for treatments like Depakote (also used for epilepsy). Even if there are side effects, alternative real treatments are generally available.
Getting someone in the manic phase to relax and “keep at peace”? Good luck with that one.