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Former good article Reiki was one of the Natural sciences good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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March 20, 2011 Good article nominee Listed
March 9, 2012 Good article reassessment Kept
April 1, 2015 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article
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Recent review[edit]

This should be added: vanderVaart S, Gijsen VM, de Wildt SN, Koren G. A systematic review of the therapeutic effects of Reiki J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Nov;15(11):1157-69. --Ronz (talk) 22:22, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Call for a more balanced lead[edit]

Please see the 2008 summary below for current discussions on the scientific findings in the article's LEAD paragraph.

Please do not contribute here if wanting to discuss the science part.

To Ronz and Vectro and Xxglennxx: We agree that NPOV is not accomplished by presenting two "sides" of a controversy in a "balanced" manner. And we agree that there is a lack of quality research in this area. Finally, we seem to agree that at the moment, despite the efforts of many people, there is still no conclusive evidence either way.

But I think some of us disagree on what it means to have no conclusive evidence.

The study sighted in the lead of this article offers no evidence to claims that Reike is effective, yet the article distorts that conclusion in a subtle but important way, saying (A) "..there is insufficient data to judge the effectiveness of Reiki." Whereas the actual conclusion of the study is clearly quoted in the paper itself: (B) "..the evidence is insufficient to suggest that reiki is an effective treatment for any condition. Therefore the value of reiki remains unproven."

To illustrate the important difference between these two sentences, consider the claim that "Doritos cure cancer". Despite millions wanting and believing it to be true, and many anecdotal stories, several tests over several years prove inconclusive. In short, no one is able to show - in clinical, blind, peer review studies - that Doritos directly affects cancer in any significant or meaningful way (beyond the documented benefits of the placebo effects, etc.) What would be the conclusion of these tests? (A) "Dorito Cancer studies to date are inconclusive" and "we're not sure whether or not Doritos does or does not cure cancer". Or would it be (B) "At this time, there is no evidence showing Doritos to be effective in curing cancer."

I suggest it would be B, and so does mainstream science. And that is *precisely* where we stand with Reike (despite me personally wishing otherwise). Therefore, the most clear, accurate and NPOV way to summarize the study is to quote the actual conclusion of the study itself.

When I changed this, it was twice changed back again by Xxglennxx, a self described "Reike master". While I appreciate the sweat equity Xxglennxx has put into this article, and respect the discipline he has chosen to pursue, I am not sure his corrections fit NPOV. I have changed the entry one last time in the hopes that you all discuss the issue, and either keep the quote, or remove the study altogether. Thank you for your consideration. --Axcelis555 (talk) 16:18, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

I prefer your wording. I think NPOV and MEDRS and FRINGE would support it. Let's see what others say. --Ronz (talk) 16:52, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
It'd be nice if you could get the name right, Axcelis555 it's Reiki, not Reike. I have been trained in Reiki Shiki Ryoho. My lineage traces back to Usui. I can provide it, if you like. This has been discussed time and time again here. I supplied a similar text to the one currently used ages ago. I've also suggested including the full of it, which would get rid of this whole debate in total. I'm not a fan of randomised trials, as some show clear evidence of Reiki working, and others don't. Having a mash of all of them isn't the way forward, but I'll go with whatever the majority is. Also, looking at the history, I've undone your contributions once, not twice. -- Xxglennxx talkcontributions 20:44, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
OK, what about this? (I've suggested it before in the past): A systematic review of nine randomised clinical trials was conducted in 2008. Most trials suffered from methodological flaws such as small sample size, inadequate study design and poor reporting. Two of the trials suggested beneficial effects of Reiki compared with sham control on depression, while an other did not report intergroup differences. For pain and anxiety, one RCT showed intergroup differences compared with sham control. For stress and hopelessness, a further trial reported effects of Reiki and distant Reiki compared with distant sham control. For functional recovery after ischaemic stroke, there were no intergroup differences compared with sham. There was also no difference for anxiety between groups of pregnant women undergoing amniocentesis. For diabetic neuropathy there were no effects of Reiki on pain. A further trial failed to show the effects of Reiki for anxiety and depression in women undergoing breast biopsy compared with conventional care. As a result, the evidence was insufficient to suggest that Reiki is an effective treatment for any condition. If not, what's wrong with it? -- Xxglennxx talkcontributions 21:11, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the response Xxglennxx. I don't know what "Usui" means, but it sounds cool and I will check it out. I am Scottish. Very sorry about the spelling. Perhaps it is because my girlfriend's name is Heike :) And you are also right about the changes... it was someone else who changed it the second time. RE: Your suggestion, I like it a lot. It just seems too long for a quick lead, so I'd just stick with your last sentence "...evidence was insufficient to suggest that Reiki is an effective treatment.." (which is already in there), and I'd put the rest in the 'research' section. Anyone else? --Axcelis555 (talk) 09:11, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
No problem, Axcelis555. I'm Welsh, so you know :) Usui, as in Mikao Usui developed Reiki in Japan. I agree with your suggestion of keeping the current as it is, and mention the full in the research section. I think we should wait to Ronz to reply first, as he knows more about this sort of presentation that I do. Welcome to Wikipedia, by the way :) -- Xxglennxx talkcontributions 19:51, 27 July 2010 (UTC)


  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference IntCTher was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b Lee, MS; Pittler, MH; Ernst, E (2008). "Effects of Reiki in clinical practice: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials". International Journal of Clinical Practice 62 (6): 947. doi:10.1111/j.1742-1241.2008.01729.x. PMID 18410352. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  3. ^ a b Henderson, Mark. "Prince of Wales's guide to alternative medicine 'inaccurate'", The Times. April 17, 2008. Accessed 25 February 2010.
  4. ^ USCCB (2009). USCCB - (Office of Media Relations) Reiki Therapy Unscientific, 'Inappropriate for Catholic Institutions,' Say Bishops' Guidelines (online). Available: (accessed 26 February 2010).
  5. ^ Olson K, Hanson J, Michaud M (November 2003). "A phase II trial of Reiki for the management of pain in advanced cancer patients". Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 26 (5): 990–7. PMID 14585550. 
  6. ^ Tsang KL, Carlson LE, Olson K (March 2007). "Pilot crossover trial of Reiki versus rest for treating cancer-related fatigue". Integrative Cancer Therapies 6 (1): 25–35. doi:10.1177/1534735406298986. PMID 17351024. 

Possible content?[edit]

Here is an article published by Jain S & Mills PJ. Reiki, which states that Therapeutic Touch and Healing Touch (that included Reiki) received acknowledgement from the science community that touch therapies do promote healing. This was based on the review of 66 clinical studies measuring the effects of "biofield therapies" all of whom had a range of ailments. Jain and Mills examined the strength of the evidence for the efficacy of these complementary therapies, and showed that overall, published work on biofield therapies is of average quality in scientific terms. There was strong evidence that biofield therapies reduce pain intensity in free-living populations, and moderate evidence that they are effective at lowering pain in hospitalised patients as well as in patients with cancer. This is interesting reading about the Catholic Church and Reiki. Xxglennxx (talk)

The Science Daily article is an adapted press release. The research review is here. --Ronz (talk) 16:08, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
The review I mention here is more relevant. --Ronz (talk) 16:11, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the proper link, Ronz. I'll write a work in for the one mentioned by you above, and will post it here before adding it so others can contribute. Xxglennxx (talk) 04:24, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
It seems this is a primary source. We need good secondary sources, preferably reviews. The scientific and medical claims in this article are subject to the sourcing requirements established at WP:MEDRS, so keep that in mind when choosing sources. -- Brangifer (talk) 06:00, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Are there derivative works on Reiki? Is Longevitology one of them? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sn50 (talkcontribs) 07:05, 21 July 2013 (UTC)


There's some confusion about the review currently cited in the article.

Lee 2008 concludes, "In conclusion, the evidence is insufficient to suggest that reiki is an effective treatment for any condition. Therefore the value of reiki remains unproven."

vanderVaart 2009, mentioned above, should be included and concludes, "The serious methodological and reporting limitations of limited existing Reiki studies preclude a definitive conclusion on its effectiveness. High-quality randomized controlled trials are needed to address the effectiveness of Reiki over placebo."

The article, "Prince of Wales's guide to alternative medicine ‘inaccurate’" merely summarizes the medical consensus at that time, and is consistent with both of the reviews above. While it provides some context, I'm not sure it's necessary. --Ronz (talk) 18:20, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

--Vajko-- I also think that the article about the Prince of Wales' guide should not be included in reference to the scientific findings, mainly because it is not a scholarly article and it really only represents the interpretations of Mr. Ernst.
About the vanderVaart paper, I agree that in the lead we should mention the conclusion that further study is needed to "draw definitive conclusions about the efficacy of Reiki"(vanderVaart 1168). However I do feel it is important to also mention that in 9 of the 12 trials selected for analysis, a significant therapeutic effect was demonstrated by the Reiki treatment. In the actual article ( they discuss how the results of the studies are basically legitimate, however the way the trails were Reported was rated as poor because they didn't follow a very stringent and detailed set of standards for reporting called CONSORT.
Quick example: "One trial (25) provided extensive background on the process and success of therapist blinding (for Reiki Level I practitioners) but only stated ‘patients were blinded’ for the participant description. The CONSORT clearly states that this sentence is not enough to ensure that adequate blinding was achieved."
So preferably in the lead, after the 2008 study, we could put in something to effect of: "A more recent 2009 review found that while many trials demonstrated a 'significant therapeutic effect' of Reiki treatment, poor reporting of the trials renders these results unsuitable for making a definitive conclusion"
I think that something along those lines more accurately reflects the findings of the review. Hope to hear back from you guys soon. Thanks, Vajko (talk) 21:07, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm for the above changes. Go ahead and write them in. As I'm not all that "up" on the scientific studies behind Reiki (and not sure about how to cite them), perhaps Ronz or Vajko can write them in? My main goal with this article was clearing up the English and general "facts" about Reiki - now we just need to build upon this. Xxglennxx (talk) 15:22, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
"However I do feel it is important to also mention that in 9 of the 12 trials selected for analysis, a significant therapeutic effect was demonstrated by the Reiki treatment." Sorry, no, per WP:MEDRS, WP:NPOV, WP:SYN, and WP:FRINGE. Such a statement misrepresents the findings. I've repeated this multiple times now. No one has addressed my concerns. Without any response, I don't know if others are ignoring my concerns, disagree, or simply don't understand.
"mainly because it is not a scholarly article and it really only represents the interpretations of Mr. Ernst" This is the opinion of an expert, based upon the medical consensus of the time. That said, I don't think it's necessary to be included in the article. However, it does provide us here with some context. --Ronz (talk) 16:35, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
I've requested help explaining how to properly use these sources from Wikipedia:Fringe_theories/Noticeboard#Reiki. --Ronz (talk) 16:46, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't understand how to present medical findings in an encyclopaedic style, which is why I've stayed away from even trying to write them in (after thinking about it). Help would be greatly appreciated. Xxglennxx (talk) 22:29, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi Ronz, sorry you felt as if nobody was responding to your concerns. If you read the full article and not just the abstract, I think you will agree that directly quoting the results of the review is not misrepresenting the findings. The author's found very specifically in nine of the trials that the Reiki group had a greater positive change in the measured indicators than the placebo group. Stating the results of a scientific inquiry when referencing it, is absolutely appropriate and does not violate any of the four guidelines you posted. Vajko (talk) 18:46, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

At this point, I'm happy to elaborate on my concerns, which are being ignored. --Ronz (talk) 19:38, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

What are they? Xxglennxx (talk) 22:22, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

NPOV and Fringe Sources[edit]

No where in the guidelines of the WP:MEDRS, WP:NPOV, WP:SYN, and WP:FRINGE does it state that the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine is a fringe source. In fact it happens to be the leading peer reviewed scholarly authority in the field of medical research into CAM. And it should be blindingly clear that directly quoting from the Results section of a scientific paper when discussing the Results of the study is appropriate. Please provide an answer to these arguments before changing the article.Vajko (talk) 17:06, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Directly quoting in a misleading manner is simply inappropriate. If you're not clear why the quotes are misleading, please inquire here. --Ronz (talk) 17:13, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and moved the 2009 review mention, and tried to address some of the problems with its summary. It needs to be integrated better in the section. --Ronz (talk) 17:27, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
I think you have hit on a good idea: We should relegate all mention of the scientific trails to the scientific section.Vajko (talk) 17:43, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Removal of "Provision by national health services"[edit]

Provision by national health services[edit]

The National Health Service of the United Kingdom (NHS) offers complementary therapies such as Reiki throughout a number surgeries, such as Velindre Cancer Centre (Welsh: Canolfan Ganser Felindre) in Wales,[1][2] and also offers information regarding Reiki,[3] as does the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) in the USA.[4]

I think that this section needs to be added back in. Shoemaker's Holiday's reason for removing it was that the government does not offer free Reiki, the citation is offering to let you pay for it. NHS treatments are free. No where in the above text does it say (or imply) that the UK NHS offers free Reiki, but merely points the fact that it is available to patients. Thoughts? Xxglennxx (talk) 22:54, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

The NHS provides all medical treatments at hospitals and doctor's offices for free. That one hospice is allowing what may well be a one-off treatment option, not regularly, and which you have to pay for, says nothing about provision by the NHS - indeed,t hat you have to pay for it indicates it's not part of NHS policy to offer the treatment, since, as I said, all treatment by the NHS is free. The section is at the very least highly misleading, and, since it can't show even that is at all common, not actually notable. Show some NHS policy that encourages the provision of Reiki by hospitals, and then we can talk. Shoemaker's Holiday talk 04:35, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Just bumping the thread. I think that we should include a section to say that complementary therapies are being offered by health services such as Velindre Cancer Centre (reflexology, reiki/healing, aromatherapy, breathing and relaxation techniques), with reference to this page. In reference to this page, other complementary therapies are being offered (Indian head massage, body massage), which I think you have to pay for, including Reiki, but this to me seems to be from someone not working for the Complementary Therapy Department (see first link). Opinions? (Forgot to sign!) -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 23:45, 3 November 2010 (UTC)


The beginning of this article seems biased toward disbelief.[edit]

Would you put the opinion of the Reiki community on Catholicism, at the beginning of an article describing the Catholic religion? Why do you put Catholic beliefs about Reiki at the beginning of an article about Reiki. It seems out of place and disrespectful to Reiki Practitioners. I hope it will be edited soon. This article has completely change my view of Wikipedia as a legitimate source of objective information. As long as this article remains as it is, I will discourage everyone I know from using Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:10, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

I agree that without further sources, it probably doesn't belong in the lede. Here are some worth considering to add: ? --Ronz (talk) 02:34, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't mind it being taken out. I added in when cleaning up as I thought the LEAD was supposed to represent major areas within the whole of the article. Thought the CC section isn't large, I thought it appropriate to include it in the LEAD (though on a personal level I disagree with their stance, being a Reiki level 2 practitioner myself). Ronz, again with referencing, I'm not sure how to go about it. If you want it referenced, add one of your choice (hmm, that sounds a bit mean and harsh, but it's not meant to!) :) Xxglennxx (talk) 03:15, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Regardless of the addition of opinions expressed by the Catholic Church, prompting their opinion in the opening paragraph of the Reiki article is in poor taste and only serves to create a defensive tone for legitimacy in the entire article. Imagine if the views expressed by opinion of Captialism was quoted and stated within the definition of Communism... Not only such an act of poor taste, it inevitably supports a fictitious dichotomy between "the West vs the Rest" discourses and serves to further reflect the hegemony of power between Judeo-Christian influences with "other cultures". To me it's the equivalent "exploring the mystical realm of Orientalism." If the Catholic Churches opinion must be expressed, have it done, as it is, in the appropriate area. But for many people reading about Reiki for the first time (as many people do for articles on wikipedia), it saddens me to see the entire opportunity for legitimacy and respectability labeled and stomped upon by scientific and religious communities within the first paragraphs of someone trying to even figure out what it is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 02:17, 8 April 2010

I think,, you need to get of your high horse. Have you read the article of late? You'll notice that the mention of the CC has been taken out of the LEAD and can only be found in its section. I'm not sure that you're aware of it, but the role of an encyclopaedia is to provide information, both "good" and "bad." The article does not seek to promote the religious views of another, but merely to point them out and say that they're there. Personally I'm against what the CC has said about Reiki, as I am a Level 2 practitioner myself, but I'm not going to put my point of view in because the article would then be biased. What editors can you, and that's you included, it to edit an article and present the "facts" and what has been said, which is what was done when adding the information about the CC to the LEAD. If you've read the above conversations, you'll know that the LEAD contains an overview of the entire article, and includes important points. I, at first, deemed it suitable to have it in the LEAD, as it expresses a religion's specific views of Reiki - something which has not been done publicly before. I think it safe to say that if more religious speak out publicly against the use of Reiki that we'll see a piece added to the LEAD also/again, but for now, it isn't there. Xxglennxx (talk) 04:21, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
I do agree with the point if maybe not the vehemency of's post, and thank you for putting the CC's views in their area in the article xxglenxx. Vajko (talk) 04:31, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

2008 summary[edit]

What I was saying a little earlier about the review study from 2008; is it should also be moved to the scientific evidence section with the 2009 study and we can leave the lead to be a general intro to Reiki. Vajko (talk) 04:31, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

The lead must include a summary of the scientific evidence, per WP:LEDE, WP:NPOV, WP:MEDRS, and WP:FRINGE. --Ronz (talk) 16:21, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
If we do include a summary of the scientific evidence it needs to be an actual summary and not just the 2008 study. Also, about the mention of the 2009 study: it is essential that all the editors who want to represent the study have read the paper, so that we can be on the same page.
I also find it prudent to explain the following:
The point of conducting a scientific inquiry is to obtain data. The data the researches collect is then recorded in the Results/Data section. After the data is communicated in the Results section, then the researchers draw their own informed Opinion of the importance of the results in the Conclusion section. Understanding this, it is clear then that the Results, being the actual hard facts/data of the inquiry, are the most notable part of a study.
Including the opinions of the authors of the study, as stated in the Conclusions section of the paper, may be appropriate. However, it is paramount that the Results of the paper be included when discussing a study.Vajko (talk) 16:55, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
The 2008 study is a summary, and the best we have. --Ronz (talk) 17:08, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
The 2008 study unfortunately is only one review and not a summary of the current scientific findings. Vajko (talk) 17:38, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Vajko, I think the easiest thing to do is for you to write what you'd like to see put in the article concerning scientific findings (2008 or whatever) here on the talk page, and then we can discuss those proposed additions. I personally have been as a loss with all the scientific findings proposed in the article, and am confussed as to what's what and who's who? Out of interest, do you practise Reiki (I'm just curious :D)? (P.S., What "personal opinions" have you seen in the article?) Xxglennxx (talk) 17:44, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

I've reverted [1] for the same reasons discussed above. --Ronz (talk) 04:06, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Basically, the new wording was less clear, if not outright misleading. Similar problems have been discussed throughout this talk page, but especially in Talk:Reiki#NPOV_and_Fringe_Sources. --Ronz (talk) 16:15, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

OK, following the link on the main article to the 2008 review, the following is said: "A systematic review was conducted in 2008 into Reiki in order to summarise and critically evaluate the evidence for its effectiveness. Of a search of 205 studies, nine randomised clinical trials (RCTs) met the criteria. Two of these RCTs suggested beneficial effects of Reiki compared with sham control on depression, while one RCT did not report intergroup differences. For pain and anxiety, one RCT showed intergroup differences compared with sham control. For stress and hopelessness, a further RCT reported effects of Reiki and distant Reiki compared with distant sham control. For functional recovery after ischaemic stroke, there were no intergroup differences compared with sham. There was also no difference for anxiety between groups of pregnant women undergoing amniocentesis. For diabetic neuropathy, there were no effects of Reiki on pain. A further RCT failed to show the effects of Reiki for anxiety and depression in women undergoing breast biopsy compared with conventional care. Most of the trials used suffered from methodological flaws such as small sample size, inadequate study design, and poor reporting, and it was concluded that the evidence is insufficient to suggest that Reiki is an effective treatment for any condition, and therefore the value of Reiki remains unproven." How about including it in the article as it is? After reading it fully, and comparing it to the present expressions on the article, the article does seem biased towards having no findings what-so-ever, which simply isn't the case according to the 2008 study: it concluded the value of Reiki remains unproven, but did find beneficial effects in many of the trials, as reported above. (Also, I wasn't sure what "sham control" was. Is it the same as the placebo?). Xxglennxx (talk) 22:05, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

OK, so what are we going to do about the 2008 findings in the article? As I've proposed, the only thing we can do to avoid people misreading and misunderstanding the findings is to include the whole summary, which is what I wrote in, but Ronz reverted it, stating, "misrepresentation of sources." How is this? Currently, the 2008 article version states, "A 2008 systematic review of randomised clinical trials assessing the evidence basis of Reiki concluded that efficacy had not been demonstrated for any condition." Yes, this could be the conclusion of the findings, but I think it rude not to include the fact that there were demonstrations of benefits of Reiki. As previously stated by other contributors, just presenting this line is very misinterpreting to a reader, as if they follow the link, then they'll see that benefits were seen. Can we just include the full of it, and if not, why? -- Xxglennxx talk 20:45, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

As I pointed out above, this is a misunderstanding of the conclusions of the reviews. They did not conclude that reiki has any proven benefits. --Ronz (talk) 02:47, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Personally I interpreted the line "A systematic review of randomised clinical trials conducted in 2008 did not support the efficacy of Reiki or its recommendation for use in the treatment of any condition." as that the study had shown that Reiki was not an effective means of treatment to any condition. Reading the abstract of the referenced article, this does not seem to be the case. It only states that the effectiveness of Reiki is unproven, not that it is proven not to be effective. I believe something akin to "A systematic review of randomised clinical trials conducted in 2008 shows that the methodology of existing research into the effectiveness of Reiki is lacking and therefore no definite conclusions should be drawn from it. According to the article the value of Reiki remains an open research question." Would be more true to the point of the (abstract of the) article. Lomewilwarin (talk) 10:37, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

This is what I've been saying and trying to point out, Lomewilwarin. I'll ask again: Can we just include the full of it, and if not, why? If we include the full of it (the summaries, that is), then no-one can be two ways about it. -- Xxglennxx talk 14:43, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I missed your earlier comment, I think I read over the talk page too quickly. (I'm a regular reader of articles but have never commented on or edited an article before, this case bothered me particularly however because I was close to using it as an argument in a discussion, until I realized that the actual reference said something different.)
As for your question: If it is rewritten to fit in with the style of wikipedia articles then I think including the full abstract is a good idea, but probably not in the header of the article. Upon further reading I noticed that this has already been attempted under the "Scientific research" header. Perhaps the whole "A systematic review of randomised clinical trials conducted in 2008 did not support the efficacy of Reiki or its recommendation for use in the treatment of any condition." line could just be removed from the header completely, or replaced by a reference to the later paragraph? Lomewilwarin (talk) 14:05, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree with adding the full summary of the review. As I've mentioned many times now already, having the full of it will not allow people to "think up what they like" about - it's there written in plain English. Though Lomewilwarin - we need to include it in the beginning (what's called the LEAD section), as this section has to give a complete ovewview of the article itself. Ronz - Can we just include the full of it, and if not, why? -- Xxglennxx talk 16:47, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Once again, I think this is simply a problem with properly interpreting systematic reviews. Once again, I've asked for help here.
For example, "not that it is proven not to be effective" is an arguing for an Argument from ignorance. --Ronz (talk) 17:36, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

2009 summary[edit]

After reading the A systematic review of the therapeutic effects of Reiki (2009), I think (some of) the following can be added to the article:

"A systematic review was conducted 2009 with the intention of trying to evaluate whether Reiki produces a significant treatment effect. The review was collaborated from studies that were identified using an electronic search of Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar. The quality of reporting was evaluated using a modified CONSORT Criteria for Herbal Interventions, while methodological quality was assessed using the Jadad Quality score. with ad articles being selected based on the following features: placebo or other adequate control, clinical investigation on humans, intervention using a Reiki practitioner, and published in English. Data was independently extracted on study design, inclusion criteria, type of control, sample size, result, and nature of outcome measures. The modified CONSORT Criteria indicated that all 12 trials meeting the inclusion criteria were lacking in at least one of the three key areas of randomisation, blinding, and accountability of all patients, indicating a low quality of reporting. Nine of the 12 trials detected a significant therapeutic effect of the Reiki intervention; however, using the Jadad Quality score, 11 of the 12 studies ranked "poor." It was concluded that the serious methodological and reporting limitations of limited existing Reiki studies preclude a definitive conclusion on its effectiveness, and that high-quality randomised controlled trials are needed to address the effectiveness of Reiki over placebo."

I think the only thing we can do is present the whole review in its entirety, then there can be no room for possible misinterpretation by readers. The previous problems have come up, I believe, do to us not including the full review itself, which I think we'll have to from now on (although I'm sure Ronz will tell me differently ;P). Xxglennxx (talk) 22:29, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Anyone have access to the full paper? There's the additional problem, pointed out by another editor, that this review is inferior to the 2008 review. I agree from reading the abstract, and so have not followed up on my comments to include it. --Ronz (talk) 16:39, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Though it's inferior, I think it would be worth while to include the 2008 and 2009 reviews, as it points out the conflicting use of Reiki though scientific means, and proves (as both reviews have said) that more scientific research is needed into Reiki. If there are no objections, I think we should add the above in soon (in full or in parts, what do you lot think?). Xxglennxx (talk) 17:43, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

OK, so what are we going to do about the 2009 findings in the article? As I've proposed, the only thing we can do to avoid people misreading and misunderstanding the findings is to include the whole summary, which is what I wrote in, but Ronz reverted it, stating, "misrepresentation of sources." How is this? Currently, the 2009 article version merely states, "A 2009 review found that "the serious methodological and reporting limitations of limited existing Reiki studies preclude a definitive conclusion on its effectiveness." Again, this could be the conclusion of the findings, but it's not everything found in the review, and think it rude not to include the fact that there were demonstrations of benefits of Reiki. As previously stated by other contributors, just presenting this line is very misinterpreting to a reader, as if they follow the link, then they'll see that benefits were seen. Can we just include the full of it, and if not, why? -- Xxglennxx talk 20:47, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

See my comments from 20:12, 15 April 2010 (UTC), above, on what I think could be added to the lede that includes the 2009 review conclusions.
Neither review concludes that there were benefits from Reiki. --Ronz (talk) 02:55, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
There are more current Clinical Trials as published by NCAM here where the beneficial effects of reiki have been found. I think the article should reflect these findings rather than a outdated conglomerate of trial findings. Or at least recognize the current trials to have shown benefit from reiki. CooperBass (talk) 15:45, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
At a glance, they all look like individual studies, right? Anything here a review? --Ronz (talk) 16:28, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
Must the article mention only reviews? Can more current information as in the trial findings also be included? If so then the article may seem more balanced and less biased toward an outdated and perhaps biased review. CooperBass (talk) 17:43, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
NCAM reviewed the individual trials before publishing them to their website.CooperBass (talk) 17:55, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
Take a look at WP:MEDRS, and take some time to skim through the discussions here to see how we've addressed similar problems.
We rely on reviews to avoid bias. Individual studies should be treated as primary sources. They can be used to provide important details not covered by the better sources already in use. --Ronz (talk) 18:01, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Komyo Reiki False Information[edit]

I am a Komyo Reiki teacher. I learned directly from Hyakuten Inamoto. I spoke with him about this line that I deleted and was just republished. It says that he only achieved Level 1 & 2 from Mrs. Yamaguchi. According to him, she taught him how to give atunements. She did not teach using a level system. There were no levels. Whoever is continuing to post this mis-information needs to supply a reference. Without a reference, it is unverifiable and unpublishible.

Thank you.

Wormis (talk) 16:04, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

I'm not familiar with the sources, but it sounds like the information is being placed in a misleading context - that there was such training available at the time he was trained. It should be kept out per WP:BLP, unless I'm missing something. I expect Xxglennxx will be able to help sort this out. --Ronz (talk) 16:21, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
We can keep it out for now. Is there any information published about the Komyo system, as I'm not familiar with it myself. It would also be nice to include the above information that you've provided, Wormis, namely that there aren't any levels within the Komyo system, but without reference, nothing can be added. Xxglennxx (talk) 21:49, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Komyo Reiki does have levels. It was created by Hyakuten Inamoto after being initiated into Reiki by Chiyoko Yamaguchi. Some of the literature is proprietary only to students of Komyo Reiki, but Hayakuten Sensei as we call him, does have his own website that does a good job of explaining how the system works to outsiders. Please see:


He is a devout budhist monk who left his family to further his spiritual practice. It is highly unlikely that he would lie about how he learned reiki from Mrs. Yamaguchi. I would really like to know who was writing that about him and where they got their information. Wormis (talk) 22:20, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

OK. So it seems that he introduced levels into this system if Mrs. Yamaguchi didn't have a levelled-teaching system. Though it may be unlikely that he lied, there is a possibility (though that isn't to be taken as a criticism). Many claim Reiki to be thousands of years old, but we know it isn't - Reiki in its current form is only 88 years old, just like many claim Usui to be a Christian, when we know he was a Buddhist. There is possibly no way of knowing who initially wrote it onto the article (well, there is, but it'd be in the form of tediously going though the history files) - I myself have just cleaned up the article and added the pillars and pictures :) By the way of published material, I meant in the form of a publicly available book. If you'd like to add information about the Komyo system of Reiki (with references), that would be greatly appreciated. Xxglennxx (talk) 22:37, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

I am currently in the process of asking Hayakuten Sensei what he would like to see on the page. He is very intelligent, and I expect that he will write it himself, and I will edit the very slight English errors that my or may not be there. Then I will publish it with him as a reference. Wormis (talk) 22:43, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

As a side note: Jikiden which is taught by the son of Mrs. Yamaguchi, also has levels. It is my understanding that traditionally Reiki is taught orally (I would have to check that with Hayakuten Sensei to be sure though). When a teacher decides that he/she wants to try to spread its practice more widely, then levels are created to make it easier to teach and be understood by people. This was not Mrs. Yamaguchi's goal in teaching. Wormis (talk) 22:46, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Good. You realise that he will have to write impartially, as Wikipedia has a no "point of view" policy. Many of the current article editors are up on this, and they will rewrite it for NPOV if need be, so don't worry. Reiki might have been taught orally, but from my understanding, it has always had "degrees," as expressed by Usui in his original handbook. Xxglennxx (talk) 22:53, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

But of course. I think he realizes this. As you said, you have editors to make sure that that standard is kept, so we're okay. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:41, 16 April 2010 (UTC) (talk) 03:42, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

As a Jikiden Reiki Shihan-Kaku, i´ve had first-hand information from the vice-president of the institution than Mr. Inamoto was not a student of Mrs. Yamaguchi, but that he used to help her translating correspondence. From the Jikiden Reiki institute, they even claim that they have recorded on film Mrs Yamaguchi talking about what she felt as a "treason" from Mr. Inamoto, as he uses her name and lineage, but that she never taught him any kind of teaching degree. In fact, they address this specifically on the Jikiden Reiki website: [1]. I don´t know how this should be handled, as both parties (Komyo Reiki and Jikiden Reiki) have different views on this, and Komyo Reiki uses the Yamaguchi lineage. JuanJoseLM (talk) 14:47, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Gendai Reiki Hō, Western Reiki[edit]

I'm toying with the idea of getting rid of this section completely. I've been trying to find good refs for it, but haven't found any as of yet, and I'm starting to think that there's not a lot of published material on it. What are you opinions? -- Xxglennxx talkcontributions 22:43, 5 May 2010 (UTC)


Noticing the debate on whether Reiki is quackery I feel the need to observe that editors are using an article published in a journal that is not considered a high-quality medical journal. As such, one has to wonder why actual main stream journals like NEJM, JAMA, Nature, Lancet, et cetera, are not used. Usually, when a certain practise has an a priori chance of being inprobable science will lack incentive to investigate, hence the lack of RCT's. Case in point, you will not find a study, in serious medical literature, on the efficacy of lemon juice as therapy in carcinoma. We should not interpret that as basis for stating in the respective WP articles that lemon juice has not been disproven to work. In general, the hallmark of quackery, unless widely advocated (i.e. homeopathy), is the lack of rigoruos scientific rebuttal. --Nomen Nescio (talk) 09:59, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Well said, but this still doesn't sort the current problems we have with all of the trials conducted. Some of us have argued to include the full summary - all of it - but has fallen on death ears. Can you propose anything? -- Xxglennxx talkcontributions 23:28, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
    • Could you point out any RCT, i.e. adhering to the scientific method and published in something better than an obscure journal, that addresses Reiki? To my knowledge no reputable article exist. As such I would suggest pointing out the non-scientific nature of this "medical intervention." --Nomen Nescio Gnothi seautoncontributions 12:57, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Nomen, actually there is quite a wealth of scientific evidence which can be used to explain the nature of this "medical intervention". The primary candidate is the natural electromagnetic fields which all biological organisms emit. There is a ton of literature detailing effect of electromagnetic fields on biological systems, including those published by JAMA, a preliminary trial published by Lancet and the follow up article with results published here. There are tons of other articles published by reputable journals on this effect which have been published over the years. It is known that the frequencies of the electromagnetic fields produced by the human body are in the range known to produce these effects and influence biological systems. The main question is whether practitioners have the capacity to produce these fields at will at sufficient strength and in the correct frequency range. It may be that these fields are produced randomly, or are at least not controllable, which may explain why some studies find positive effects of reiki and other biofield therapies and others do not. The fact that these therapies are associated with "new age" thought is irrelevant since at very least there is a growing evidence base suggesting that there are some positive effects to these treatments...including this one. As for why mainstream journals don't publish these articles, well that should be self-evident. Obviously, this type of research is still considered on the fringe even if it did report positive findings, and I'm sure the editors of these major journals want to protect the integrity and image of their journal by not publishing fringe science. I think this could change if more is done to investigate the possible causal mechanism behind biotherapies such as electromagnetic field emission, which as I have stated, is already a proven healing mechanism. I think major journals would be willing to publish articles on biotherapy once the "mystical" component has been taken out of the equation. Asymnation (talk) 02:59, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

This paragraph may be grammatically incorrect. "According to Reiki practitioners and Masters, at First Degree, a Reiki practitioner is able to heal himself and others, at Second Degree is able to heal others distantly (commonly called distant healing) with the use of specialised symbols, and at Master level (specifically Master/Teacher level) is able to teach and attune others to Reiki." It may make more sense if it were changed to this. According to Reiki practitioners and Masters, at First Degree, a Reiki practitioner is able to heal himself and others, at Second Degree the practitioner is able to heal others distantly (commonly called distant healing) with the use of specialised symbols, and at Master level (specifically Master/Teacher level) the practitioner is able to teach and attune others to Reiki. CooperBass (talk) 01:11, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

About Ichita Takahashi[edit]

According Rika Saruhashi (Reiki Master, direct student of Hiroshi Doi and translator of his writings), Masaki Kondo was relieved by Ichita Takahashi early 2010. Therefore (as Rika said in his blog), Ichita Takahashi be the 8th president of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai. Thanks--Sjg (talk) 23:28, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Unless you can provide a reliable source, then we cannot add it in. The source I've provided is in print and is considered a reliable one. -- Xxglennxx talkcontributions 02:03, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Improving the article[edit]

It's been a while since I last edited the article properly. What can we do to improve it, and improve current content? What does it need to be a good article? (Just adding the following for own ref: Wikipedia:Good article criteria, Wikipedia:Compare Criteria Good v. Featured). -- Xxglennxx talkcontributions 17:14, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Actually, I was just looking over the article myself and am very pleased about the NPOV improvements in it. While of course I applaud any continual improvements, it is nevertheless the case that this article has shifted from one of lending validity to Reiki to the more proper reporting on Reiki. I'm really surprised actually. Good job all.Tgm1024 (talk) 03:22, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. Myself and a few other editors have worked on it for quite some time. The most recent discussions involve the scientific findings and how to present them, though I think we have that cleared up :) Feel free to add anything or suggest anything here - once I take my Masters, I'll see if I can add more information. -- Xxglennxx talkcontributions 12:27, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Definition quotes or alterations?[edit]

Hi Xxglennxx, and thank you for your many contributions to this article. I've added some dictionary definitions, but you've changed them twice because of "wordiness and style". Please see MOS:QUOTE, which says "Preserve the original text, spelling, and punctuation. Where there is a good reason to make a change, insert an explanation within square brackets". The OED uses lower case reiki and two Chinese dictionaries use circled numbers. In addition, I believe the Hepburn romanization should be italicized "reiki" instead of capitalized "Reiki", definitely for reiki 霊気 "eerie feeling". Would you please revert these changes of the original quotes and romanizations? Thanks. Keahapana (talk) 20:16, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I don't mind using the lower case "Reiki," but I keep changing it to keep with consistency - most all exampled of Reiki have been spelt with upper-case "r" throughout the article. Again, deleted the circled numbers because of consistency, and though they may be common within Chinese and/or Japanese literature (or even Wikipedia), I don't think they have a place here, which is why I replaced them with the ';'. What do you think? -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 20:24, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Suggested balanced external link?[edit]

Should this external link added after the current existing external link: Stephen Barrett, M.D. (4 August 2009). "Reiki Is Nonsense".  ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gil Dekel (talkcontribs) 23:10, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

I don't understand what you're asking. Stephen Barrett is a notable "source for online consumer information" meeting WP:ELNO #11 criteria. The link could also be used as a reliable reference for a skeptical viewpoint.
If you're suggesting adding the link, then I'd say it shouldn't be added per WP:ELNO #11 (and possibly others from WP:ELNO). --Ronz (talk) 23:27, 17 August 2010 (UTC).
Thank you. I see your point about Stephen Barrett being a "source for online consumer information", and I have no issue with this at all. My question related not to Stephen Barrett himself, but to his specific article and the epistemological issue it seems to raise - as the article argues. The article suggests there are issues in the methods by which Reiki is assessed and presented in Stephen Barrett's article. My questions are:
  1. do you think the article offers important discussion regarding the epistemological issue of assessing Reiki?
  2. If yes, then is there a place to include the article in external links? I will let you decide.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Gil Dekel (talkcontribs) 11:42, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

pseudoscience categorization requires a WP:V citation[edit]

a distinction needs to be made between a claim something is pseudo-scientific, and absence of claim it is scientific, or a claim that it is not scientific. regards (talk) 09:04, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

I've changed the expression "Reiki is a pseudoscience" by "currently considered as a form of pseudoscience". Also added a second reference about that. --Dan editor (talk) 11:22, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

reiki in islam[edit]

Reiki is against basic islamic beliefs. Reiki level 2 and 3 involve reiki symbols which are not japanese alphabet as believed by many. For example reiki emtional symbol is translated as, "budha in me and god become one". And reiki distance symbol translates as, "budha in me connects with budha in you". that is invoking something beyond God alone. That is why many other religions also consider Reiki as idolatary practice. In fact a form of reiki called, " kundalani Reiki" does involve names of hindu dieties in addition to bhudistism. Prophet PBU of Islam forbade his followers against bhudist practices such as shaving head except for pilgrimage and wearing saffron colored clothes as worn by monks. Reiki initially leads to sickness than benefit. That period is described as 21 days period of detoxification and may be for months for some. The healing follows mathetical laws of probability and chance occurance. simply, it means that if you keep throwing rocks at a target one should hit it. It may be one in 20 or 50 or 100 but probability is never zero. So healing does happen as chance occurance. But these healing claims are greatly exaggerated. Probability will also mean that one should heal if nothing is done. Some recent reiki maters advocate that traditional reiki symbols can be mixed with or changed with any nontraditional symbols such as Islamic Arabic letters. But it would be mixing God and Budha or making them partners in healing. And it should be avoided. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zia9242 (talkcontribs) 18:13, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for sharing that. True, Reiki, as it appears here, come from a Buddhist spiritual practice and not an Islamic practice, though many faiths do practice Reiki under other names (cf: the "Kundalini Reiki" you mention here). Many practitioners of these healing traditions have been monotheists, working with the notion that belief and faith in God can help one to heal (cf: the laying on of hands practiced by many Christians). Many of the Prophets of Islam and other Abrahamic religions practiced this as well. That said, is Reiki—or whatever it's called in the many languages of the world—really against Islamic beliefs? Morganfitzp (talk) 19:32, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Hi, The Islamic equivalent to Reiki is something called Zar. You're welcome. (talk) 21:15, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Capital R?[edit]

The article uses both capital and lower-case R's. Which is it—"reiki" or "Reiki"—and why? Morganfitzp (talk) 19:09, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Depends if you're referring to the actual energy being used or the system of Reiki. -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 00:00, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

[sic] in the intro's quotation of 2008 study[edit]

This quotation was concluded with a [sic], which as far as I can tell referred to no actual error (possible vandalism?). Perhaps it was intended to refer to the lack of capitalization on Reiki, in which case it should be placed after the offending word instead of at the end of the quotation. (Though, if that is truly an issue, I think [R]eiki would be a more appropriate correction, although I do not know if that is in line with Wikipedia policy. If someone else thinks that is an actual error which needs to be addressed they can do so with explanation here.) Walkersam (talk) 23:54, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes - I added it to show the lack of capitalisation and the fact that it has come straight from the source word for word. I propose putting it back in to show this. If there's not objection, I'll do it by Sunday. -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 00:03, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Again, if you're going to make note of this error, the proper way is to put the [sic] after the offending word, not at the end of the quote. I have no argument personally with reinstating it in that fashion, although your discussion above of energy vs. practice usages suggests to me that it is possibly dubious to consider this an error. I'll leave that to others if they want to dispute it. Walkersam (talk) 01:31, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Nomination for Good Article[edit]

I'd like to nominate this article as Good one. Before I do this, does anyone have any objections or want to suggest any improvements? -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 02:00, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Nominated today by myself. -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 20:49, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

"Derivation of name" changes[edit]

This statement is inaccurate: "Its earliest recorded usage in English dates to 1975.[7]". I suppose it depends on what is acceptable as "earliest recorded usage": If we are looking for usage in magazine/newspaper articles, then see: "Mrs Takata and the Reiki Power" by Patsy Matsuura [The Honolulu Advertiser February 25, 1974]. (There may be even earlier articles) If any published usage of the word is acceptable, see: an advertisement from the Hawaiian ‘Tribune Herald’ [1941] which reads: "Reiki treatments, massage, cabinet baths. Mrs. H. Takata, 2070 Ki-lauea Ave., Waiakea Homesteads.". If a formal declaration signed and witnessed before a Notary Public is acceptable, see: the notarized "Certificate Of Acknowledgement Of An Individual" - commonly referred to as "Mrs. Takata's Reiki Certificate" [February 21st 1938]. Rlei ki (talk) 12:39, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Hi Xxglenxx, thanks for reverting the mangled OED quotation. I don't think we can accurately say that English reiki is "used to mean "spiritual energy"" because it usually means the therapeutic method. Something like saying English fengshui is used to mean "wind water"? Compare these online dictionary definitions (abridged): Oxford "a healing technique", Macmillan "a medical treatment", Cambridge "a treatment", Encarta "in alternative medicine, a treatment", "a form of therapy", Wiktionary "A Japanese form of complementary or alternative medicine". I've condensed the lengthy lead sentence, but it's open to your improvements. Best wishes, Keahapana (talk) 23:54, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Hmmm, I sense a hint of sarcasm there, so right back at ya: No problem! :) There's a difference between "Reiki" and "reiki;" Reiki is the system that encompasses the healing, the techniques, the teachings etc, reiki refers to the energy alone. I've no problem with how it is as it stands. Thank you. I did a partial revert because I believe it important to explain where the word came from, i.e., Japan and the Japanese language. -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 00:30, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Reiki/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: MacMedtalkstalk 18:11, 20 March 2011 (UTC) I am planning on starting this review now, I will update this page within an hour or two.

Rate Attribute Review Comment
1. Well-written:
1a. the prose is clear and concise, it respects copyright laws, and the spelling and grammar are correct. Well written, assuming good faith in that the Japanese/Mandarin characters are grammatically correct.
1b. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation. Matches MoS in structure of sections/lead.
2. Verifiable with no original research:
2a. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline. Just find a replacement for ref 77.

Yes check.svg Done - For some reason, it was saying with a capital 'r' instead of lower-case 'r', which was bringing up the 404.
2b. all in-line citations are from reliable sources, including those for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines.
2c. it contains no original research.
3. Broad in its coverage:
3a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic. I studied reiki in school, and I don't see anything missed that I learned about. I actually learned some additional items here.
3b. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style). Doesn't delve deep into the minutae of the practice, but supplies plenty of information to the reader on all aspects.
4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias, giving due weight to each. Presents both sides of the argument (reiki does/does not work) and allows the reader to make their own decision.
5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute. Minor debate on certain topics but they stay on the talk page and wait for consensus. No edit warring.
6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
6a. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content. All fair use.
6b. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions. The image of Hayashi should be in the early development section rather than origins, no? Correct me if I'm wrong.

Yes check.svg Done - It was placed in that section because there was previously a picture of Takata above him, and the what was then three pictures followed on from each other (Usui, Takata, then Hayashi), but seeing as Takata is now gone, I've moved Hayashi up.
7. Overall assessment. Waiting for a few minor fixes.

Yes check.svg Done - Minors updated/corrected by Xxglennxx on 20 March 2011.

Additional Points[edit]

  • Reference #77 is a dead link. (404)

Immediate Effects of Reiki on Heart Rate Variability, Cortisol Levels, and Body Temperature in Health Care Professionals With Burnout.[edit]

A user has just put this link on my talk page. I read it and it's interesting, and wondering if we can build it into the article itself. I'm asking here instead of just writing it in because, as other contributors already know(!), my history in the scientific field of Reiki is hit and miss! -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 21:41, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Danger's of Reiki[edit]

Is it possible to use this article as reference to show that reiki is not as pure as it sounds? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:45, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

The link you gave is to a self-published source. You would need a reliable source, i.e., for a claim like this, a peer-reviewed journal. Sunray (talk) 14:58, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
Apart from what Sunray has said, the website it rubbish and full of misinformation; healing with Reiki (universal energy) isn't spiritual healing - there's no faith needed nor does it claim to heal the spirit. And this is only from the "What is reiki healing" section. Bad information, bad English, bad website! -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 19:50, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Reiki/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

This has major neutrality problems (GA criterion 4).

I think most people will agree that the theories and practices of Reiki are, at the least, controversial, but almost the entire article is written solely from that perspective, often implicitly accepting them as true (this may well be unintentional, but is the overall effect). Most criticism is delayed until very late in the article, past the point that most readers will reach.

Some examples will serve:

There are also the occasional non-sequiturs, such as this section, which rather abruptly switches to being solely about the UK, when nothing preceding is about the UK

I get the feeling this article is trying, but it really needs a lot of work - mainly just clarifying the difference between beliefs and objective facts - to truly reach the needed standards.

A secondary issue is the Bibliography: I'm going to presume these are notable books amongst Reiki practitioners, but it's maybe a little unbalanced to only give books for practitioners emphasis. Maybe put them in <small> tags, and drop it to an H3 header? It's a relatively minor issue, though one worth spending a little time on. 86.** IP (talk) 21:19, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

The article builds upon information throughout the article itself; ideas presented earlier on will be explained and elaborated, as is done with all articles. Any criticism about the subject itself is always near the bottom of articles. There are controvicies within the Reiki communtiy about what IS and what ISN'T Reiki, its practises (whether from Japanese or Western POV) etc etc, and this again is discussed in the article.
The first example you give (of tenohira) is stated early in the article. This, and its common effects, are then elaborated by explaing what some recipients feel.
The Reiki Fed of the UK is mentioned as it is a body that volunterily regulates the stanards of Reiki within the UK - something which isn't being done in the US or any other country. It's included out of interest and that the venture is currently unique.
Books included in the Bib. should have been mentioned in the article, and they all are. Anthing that doesn't appear in the article will not appear in the bib. (Bibliography: A list of the books referred to in a scholarly work, ie, books that have already been mentioned). -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 18:56, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
Before I reply, let me just point out this isn't a bad article, it just has a few problems. That said,
  • The point about the tenohira is not that it's not mentioned, but that it's presented as a factual method of healing, instead of the beliefs of [some] practitioners. The article tries to make the distinction, but - and I realise there's a balance to strike here, given that too much attribution will make it unreadable - but it also needs to avoid presenting beliefs of practitioners as fact. Integrating the scientific critique a little more might be one way to do this, I'm sure there's many other ways.
  • Check the mention of the Reiki Federation of the UK in context: an unrelated discussion suddenly transforms into discussion of Reiki in the UK - and it's that sudden transition to the UK alone, without explanation, that feels very abrupt. Perhaps there's a better place to bring it up?
  • Understood they're used in the article, but they seem to be given a little too much prominence compared to the rest of the references, given they're all one-sided. Making the font size match the other references (with maybe a third-level header instead of second) would fix this. 86.** IP (talk) 22:58, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
  1. No where does it say that tenohira is factual, but "practitioners transfer healing energy in the form of qi through the palms." This is a belief found in EVERY system of Reiki. If it's not there, then it's not Reiki. Having said that, tenohira, though the most popular aspect of systems of Reiki within the Western (and probably Japanese) world, it is not the be-all-and-end-all of Reiki.
  2. I agree with the suggestion of a better place in which to place the UK statement. When revamping, I didn't know where to put, and its current placement seemed most logical to me.
  3. The bibliography on all articles, as far as I'm aware, is a level two, as it shows a list of reading material in its short form (i.e., different to the references as the bibliography doesn't contain page numbers etc). -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 18:40, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Think Point 1 is probably the crux of the issue - Point 2 only needs a little work, and Point 3 isn't that important, so let's focus on phrasing. As I read "practitioners transfer healing energy in the form of qi through the palms" - it's a statement of fact - that practitioners really do transfer healing energy through their palms. If it said "practitioners believe they can transfer healing energy", that's a statement of opinion, that doesn't need balanced.

Now, to a certain extent, that something is what practitioners believe can be taken as read, but I think this article doesn't quite hit that balance. Large sections go by without stating these are beliefs, as opposed to facts. 86.** IP (talk) 01:34, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

I can see where you're coming from now. Would "practitioners believe that they are transferring universal energy (reiki) which allows for self-healing and equilibrium" be better? This gets rid of the ambiguity and also includes the implied statement that some Reiki practitioners see the reiki energy as a healing energy itself, where is is actually just rei ki (universal energy). I'm not sure where to place point two... -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 16:51, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
Aye, that'd be fine, the main problem, though, is that there's a lot of lines like that, and I don't want to overdo it, so that we end up with an near-unreadable (but accurate) article with too much repetition of "practitioners believe". So, I suppose the issue is - I think it needs more such clarifications, but we also want to try to avoid too much... Is there any sort of half-way zone where it's not as noticeable that we're attributing beliefs? 86.** IP (talk) 11:06, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
I think it'd be a case by case change... Do you have sentences that you think "stick out"? I can try and reword them... Do we agree to go ahead and put the above sentence to work for the moment? -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 20:39, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Sure, that's fine; I just don't want to overdo it. Will get you a full list ASAP; but it's a big article, so give me a little time. =) 86.** IP (talk) 14:24, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Erg, sorry, been a very busy week. Will do this ASAP. 86.** IP (talk) 12:23, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Any updates on progress with this GAR? AIRcorn (talk) 06:17, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Okay I am going to close this as Keep as it appears to have been abandoned. AIRcorn (talk) 15:44, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Recent changes[edit]

I've reverted to a later, stable version. Here are my reasons:

  1. A user deleted a referenced piece of current research.
  2. It's "Derivation of name" and not "Etymology" as 'Reiki' is the English word, not the Japanese. This section includes how the word 'Reiki' came to be from its Japanese 霊気. A lot of OED refs were also deleted.
  3. The "Early development" is not unbalanced as sources have been provided where needed.
  4. Japanese kanji have been included to give the article depth; one kanji can have many different English words, and the reader can delve deeper into this if wanted.
  5. The info deleted from "Five Principles" is necessary as it provides information on the Japanese, English, and romaji versions of the precepts, including where they originally came from.
  6. The "Teachings" and "Healing" is not unbalanced as sources have been provided where needed.
  7. Wikipedia uses precise refs; combining them all would be saying each piece of referenced material can be found on ALL of those combined pages; they cannot. Therefore, individual refs are needed for each piece of info. If info was taken and used multiple times from the same page, then combining of refs is OK.
  8. Info was deleted from "Breathing" which outlines its importance.

Major changes like this need to be discussed BEFORE happening. This has been said here many times. -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 19:05, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Reverting changes by multiple good faith editors like this smacks of WP:OWN. I removed (again) material from what appears to be an fringe alt med journal. Yobol (talk) 19:24, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree with the removal - I've read all of it and agree. What I don't agree with, is the good faith edits, which weren't good faith edits, but detremental edits to the article's good quality when copious amounts of good, sourced information is deleted and "neutrality" tags placed in sections. As we know, Wikipedia works on verifibility, not personal feelings or thoughts. All the current info has a reliable source and is verifiable. I've explained why most of the recent edits have been detremental to the article in this section and above. I'm not calling this article my own - many have contributed to it to get it where it is at the moment, as can be seen from this page and the history page - I am merely keeping this article up to good Wikipedia standards. If this means reverting numerous edits by contributors who use excuses such as "this is the English Wikipedia" or "the bib. is biased", then this I will have to do. -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 21:53, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Holistic Nursing Practice[edit]

I removed an article cited to Holistic Nursing Practice and this was reverted. Per WP:MEDRS#Use_independent_sources, we should use independent sources, specifically in this case, avoid journals that focus on/promote alternative medicine (which this journal clearly is, "holistic" in the title being a dead giveaway, though previous issues discuss prayer and "biofield" energy amongst other alt med issues). These journals almost universally publish much more sympathetic to CAM modalities than higher quality journals. I should also note that WP:REDFLAG applies here; it is extraordinary to suggest Reiki works without solid evidence, and especially put it in the lead. Peer review is a necessary, but not sufficient, criterion in evaluating sources.

As an aside, I reverted the addition of the study which was added earlier 10/8/2011; per WP:BRD, it is the people wishing to add the study which should take it to the talk page, but I will not edit war over the issue. Yobol (talk) 01:21, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Having just come to this article, I doubt that I qualify as one of the "people wishing to add the study." However, I was surprised to see mention in the lead of "A 2008 systematic review of randomised clinical trials [which] concluded that 'the evidence is insufficient to suggest that reiki is an effective treatment...'" (Lee, et. al. 2008). I don't think that this belongs in the lead because it doesn't tell us anything about Reiki and seems to cast doubt on it as a treatment. Coverage of the study in the "Research, critical evaluation..." section seems fine. But I think that the Holistic Nursing Practice study is also o.k. as a counter to the inconclusive study by Lee et. al. (BTW, the authors of the study admit the inconclusiveness of their study, when they say: "In total, the trial data for any one condition are scarce and independent replications are not available for each condition. Most trials suffered from methodological flaws such as small sample size, inadequate study design and poor reporting."
As a second point, the single sentence paragraph of the "Research..." section does not seem to be consistent with the citation. Can you reproduce the quote that talks about "qi or 'life force' energy"? Sunray (talk) 05:49, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
The purpose of the lead is to provide an overview of the whole article, mainly its important points. I liken it to a blurb personally. Seeing as this is, at current, is the most recent trial (albeit randomised clinical), it was deemed important enough to put in the lead. I've fought for the inclusion of what you've put ("Most trials suffered from methodological flaws such as small sample size, inadequate study design and poor reporting") in the lead, but it was deemed to long(winded) and was left out. I'd be up for putting it in. -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 18:44, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
Looking at the way the study is described in the lead, it is written from a NPOV, so I agree with leaving it there. The note about the methodological flaws should be added to the "Research..." section, though, as should reference to the Holistic Nursing Practice article. We are in the early days of evaluation of CAM and some cancer centres (for example) have accepted Reiki along with therapeutic touch, as complementary therapies because some research does indeed show that it seems to work. Sunray (talk) 19:41, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
"Seems to work" is a matter of opinion since giving placebos such as reiki to cancer patients does more harm than good. Holistic Nursing Practice shouldn't be used as it doesn't meet WP:MEDRS. --McSly (talk) 19:28, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Well, that link you gave is an interesting opinion piece, essentially proving that whether it is in the Guardian or not, a blog is still a blog. I was struck by this comment by the journalist: "The researchers were quite clear about their interpretation of the results. They believe reiki has been shown to work." But, of course, the journalist knows better.
The multifactorial (biopsychosocial) model of illness has been well accepted in medicine since the 1960s as this article from the International Journal of Clinical Practice makes clear. They do not yet know why Reiki works, or what the psycho-social (psychosomatic) components are. Sunray (talk) 20:09, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Getting back to the point, the source Holistic Nursing Practice does not meet MEDRS and should not be used as a source. If it is accepted as working, we surely should have much stronger sources that say so. Yobol (talk) 20:18, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

"Claims for Reiki energy have no known theoretical or biophysical basis"[edit]

The sentence "Claims for Reiki energy have no known theoretical or biophysical basis" has been tagged with neutrality. In which way the tagger meant it, I'm not sure, though I've never been happy with this sentence, though it was decided to keep it in during its revamp by the majority of other contributors. I've read both references, and not one of them says, in plain English, what the above sentence is saying. I see no need to keep the sentence in, so I suggest we remove it. -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 18:33, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

I agree. The main reason I tagged it was the one identified by Xxglennxx: It is a statement not contained in the studies it cites (thus OR. I would add that because of its absolutist stance, the statement is, in essence, unscientific. Sunray (talk) 23:47, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
We'll wait until Sunday for others to have their say. If there's no objection, we'll remove it by then. -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 16:52, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
It has two sources. What's the problem? --Ronz (talk) 21:02, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
The statement does not say what the sources say. Sunray (talk) 16:28, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
Seems a reasonable summary of medical and scientific consensus. We just need a better source to make it clearer then? --Ronz (talk) 20:07, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
Very doubtful, it is OR because it does not summarize the research findings. Sunray (talk) 00:53, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Let's see what WP:FTN has to say. --Ronz (talk) 01:05, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
WP:FTN says: "If your question is whether material constitutes original research or original synthesis, please use the no original research noticeboard.
My concern, as I wrote, is to have proper presentation of scientific and medical consensus. --Ronz (talk) 01:41, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Sure, as determined by the editors of this article. But this thread is about whether that statement is supported by those sources. Sunray (talk) 01:56, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
What's your point? --Ronz (talk) 02:01, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Clearly the sources do not support the statement. Thus the statement is OR. Or put another way, it is unverified. Sunray (talk) 02:04, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't have access to the first reference. Given that we must present the relevant scientific and medical consensus, I've decided to focus on that instead. I hope all editors here will do the same, or at least not obstruct those who do. --Ronz (talk) 02:14, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This was referred to WP:FTN. Ronz put his question. Two people replied (one being me) that the statement did not represent a scientific consensus. There has been no further discussion, so I have now removed the statement from the article. Sunray (talk) 20:00, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

I have restored a previous version supported by the Lee systematic review (see the 2nd full paragraph on the last page of the article). I do not see why this is being removed when it is sourced. Yobol (talk) 20:16, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
And this seems a helpful and relevant reference: [2] --Ronz (talk) 20:20, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Since that sentence is not consistent with the conclusion of the study, would you be able to quote the exact statement that you are paraphrasing, please? Sunray (talk) 00:58, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Haven't you read the study? Yobol (talk) 01:10, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
No I have only seen the abstract and conclusion of the study as I do not have online access right now. So rather than having me go to the library, would you please quote that statement for verification purposes? Sunray (talk) 01:32, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
"The mechanisms that may be involved in reiki are hypothetical. The existence of Ki (or Qi, life energy) has not been proven scientifically." I guess I assumed that a person removing material as "unsourced" would have actually, you know, read the source to see if it was in there. My mistake. Yobol (talk) 01:34, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for providing that. What I said in the edit summary was that the statement in the article was not supported by the reference. I said that because the studies' Discussion and Conclusion sections both said otherwise. Now that you have produced the actual quote, it is evident that I was correct. The study is very clear that "the evidence is insufficient." The researchers state, in the "Discussion" section of their report: "Most trials suffered from methodological flaws such as small sample size, inadequate study design and poor reporting." To conclude that "claims for Reiki have no known theoretical or biophysical basis" is a thus a synthesis, i.e., original research. Sunray (talk) 04:49, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Now that you have better knowledge of what is actually in the source, please take it to WP:ORN. --Ronz (talk) 04:51, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
My comment was addressed to Yobol. You have shown that you are unwilling, or unable, to respond to the concern I am raising. Policy on consensus states: "Decision by consensus takes account of all the legitimate concerns raised. All editors are expected to make a good-faith effort to reach a consensus that is aligned with Wikipedia's principles." I have raised a legitimate concern. I trust that Yobal and other editors will abide by the policy whether or not you do. Sunray (talk) 05:07, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't understand the point of continuing this discussion. I changed the text to more closely follow what is actually in the source, and added another source that also supports it. The underlying theory of qi is not substantiated by science, which is now sourced to two reliable sources. The matter seems closed. Yobol (talk) 05:11, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I appreciate your efforts to fix that statement, Yobol. As you well know, hypothetical means "based on, or serving as a hypothesis," and is the second step in the scientific method. The way the statement is worded now removes my concern. I will tweak it by removing the word "purely" (we have no idea what current research will reveal). Thanks. Sunray (talk) 05:31, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I object to the removal of the word "purely". Wikipedia is not a crystal ball and we do not base what we write now on what we think might be in the future. Should future research show any indication that the underlying theory of Reiki has any plausibility, we can revisit the issue. Yobol (talk) 05:33, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps I wasn't very clear. Purely means "completely, absolutely, wholly..." etc. There are no absolutes in science. A hypothesis is, necessarily, and by definition, testable. Sunray (talk) 05:42, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I am using the alternate definition of "hypothetical" in this case - as in "not supported by evidence" or "conjectural", in which case "purely" does apply. The theory of "qi" or life force energy does not have any real or plausible analog in modern evidence based medicine. I think that should be reflected in the article. Yobol (talk) 05:47, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Alas. Then I continue to have a problem with the statement. The NIC source states: "The existence of such fields has not yet been scientifically proven." Since you seem to intend a different meaning, my concern is that the reader will do the same and therefore conclude that Reiki doesn't work. That is unproven. Would you be willing to give this some more thought? Sunray (talk) 06:04, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Are you arguing that the concept of ki has some real plausible analog in medicine? If not, what are we talking about? The concept of ki goes against what we know about living organisms in science. We do our readers a disservice if we do not make this fact clear. Yobol (talk) 06:09, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't pretend to understand ki. We know that the body is subject to, and responds to, various kinds of energy. The laws of thermodynamics state that energy persists. There is no doubt that there is thermal energy involved in Reiki. Heat is used in physical medicine... Sunray (talk) 06:33, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The use of hands to affect the "life energy" is not anywhere close to anything that is accepted by biology. That it might work by some as-of-yet unknown means is not only speculation on your part, but it also doesn't make its current theories any more plausible. We have to reflect reality here, and reality is that the underlying theory of ki is pure speculation unsupported by science. Yobol (talk) 16:06, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

The concept of ki (chi) has a long history in Eastern medicine. Obviously it has no referent in western medicine, but it's not exactly refutable. Let's not get tangled in the mire of trying to assert or refute it's ontological existence, and just treat it as a central concept Reiki which has no evidentiary basis in western science and no practical use in modern medicine. --Ludwigs2 00:36, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Agreed, which is why I was trying to show the speculative nature of it in the science section. Yobol (talk) 00:40, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Face-smile.svgFace-wink.svg --Ludwigs2 00:51, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Ludwigs2 recently added the following statement to the article: "There is no clinical or scientific evidence that Reiki is an effective treatment for any condition." This seems to be the most accurate summary, yet produced, of the source (Lee, et. al.). However, I am not sure that it belongs in the lead. Sunray (talk) 03:52, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
The lead needs to have some real-world contextualization. I'm not all that fond of this particular form of contextualization, mind you, but it is important not to present Rieki as though it is a common and accepted medical practice (because - honestly - it isn't). This is a matter of neutrality. My general rubric on these matters is to try to represent the topic faithfully both in its own right and from the perspective of the greater world, so reality-checks of this sort are useful tools. Remember, we are writing for someone who may know nothing about Reiki, and so we do need to cue them in to the fact that Reiki is a small, esoteric, non-standard, off-the-beaten-path kind of thing. The phrasing effectively identifies Reiki as non-mainstream; if you can think of a better way of doing it, we're all ears, but it does need to be done. --Ludwigs2 04:19, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Point taken. Perhaps it can be tweaked slightly. I am concerned with the best way to present the scientific consensus. I will have a look at that. You said "we're all ears." How many ears are you listening with? :) Sunray (talk) 04:29, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Only the one that matters, grasshopper. Face-tongue.svg --Ludwigs2 04:37, 19 October 2011 (UTC)


  1. ^
  2. ^ Stenger, Victor J. (1999). "The Physics of 'Alternative Medicine' Bioenergetic Fields". Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine 3 (1): 1501–6. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 

Summary of scientific consensus in lead[edit]

I notice that the sources we have used all add a qualification in their attempts to summarize the scientific consensus. For example:

"... the evidence is insufficient to suggest that reiki is an effective treatment for any condition. Therefore the value of reiki remains unproven." (Lee, et. al.)

"Available scientific evidence at this time does not support claims that Reiki can help treat cancer or any other illness. More study may help determine to what extent, if at all, it can improve a patient's sense of well-being." (ACS)

"...The existence of [energy] fields has not yet been scientifically proven." (OCCAM)

I think that our statement in the lead should reflect this. The simplest way would be to use direct quotes:

A comprehensive review of the research (Lee, et. al. 2008) concluded: “evidence is insufficient to suggest that reiki is an effective treatment for any condition.”4 The American Cancer Society has reached a similar conclusion, stating: "Available scientific evidence at this time does not support claims that Reiki can help treat cancer or any other illness. More study may help determine to what extent, if at all, it can improve a patient's sense of well-being.”5

Comments? Sunray (talk) 05:37, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Right, well since there have been no concerns raised, I will add this to the lead. Sunray (talk) 07:57, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I restored a previous version; your version leaves out the position of NCCAM and the long quote seemed too long for the lead (I moved it lower in article). I actually quite liked Ludwigs2's version, but I think this version is better as it has more information without the bloated quote. Yobol (talk) 23:15, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I put this proposal up following discussion in the previous section. No one commented further for over a week, so I made the change. Given the extensive discussion that has occurred, I don't understand why you have reverted to an earlier version. As to the restoration of the term "purely hypothetical" in the lead, we have also had extensive discussion about that here. No source uses the words "purely hypothetical" I have proposed that if we cannot get agreement on wording here, it is best to stay very close to the actual wording of the sources. Would you please continue discussion here until there is consensus on different wording? Sunray (talk) 06:47, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
With respect to the NCCAM quote: We cannot use it. It no longer appears on the NCCAM site and was only available via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. It seems to me to be very important to stick to the latest findings in an evolving field (CAM). Sunray (talk) 07:20, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
I hadn't noticed that I used purely, I have restored the previous version without "purely". Per WP:LINKROT, we do not remove information just because it goes to a dead link. There is no reason to think that NCCAM has changed its mind (there is no contradictory information on the NCCAM website to say so), so we should not delete that information just because it is a dead link now. Yobol (talk) 14:44, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. We need to avoid WP:OR to rationalize changes, "It seems to me to be very important to stick to the latest findings in an evolving field." --Ronz (talk) 15:34, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Your comment about OR is unclear to me. I am talking about the use of reliable sources. My main point was that we must stick to what the sources actually say, especially when there is disagreement between editors. Sunray (talk) 15:57, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Yobol: WP:LINKROT is not policy. The problem is not merely that the link has gone dead, it is that the site is still there. They have chosen to omit that statement from their site. We cannot link to a former version of a site unless it is for historical purposes. If you have any doubts about this I would suggest you refer a question to WP:RSN. Sunray (talk) 15:57, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
WP:DEADREF links to the appropriate guideline, "Do not delete a citation merely because the URL is not working today." The consensus here seems to be that it is appropriate, per Ronz agreement above, with your lone dissenting opinion. I will therefore revert to the guideline compliant version, and you could take it to RSN if you continue to object. You don't know the reason why that particular page isn't there (there is no page about energy medicine at all, meaning it could have been lost for any number of technical reasons besides them choosing to omit that page as you are assuming here (without any basis). As the opinion expressed by NCCAM is in line with the scientific consensus, and they do not have any indication that they have changed their mind on their website, I do not believe it is reasonable to remove this link, per our guidelines. Yobol (talk) 16:25, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Regarding OR: The argument that it is an "evolving field" appear to be special pleading. The marketing of the techniques is certainly evolving, but we're writing an encyclopedia where scientific and medical perspectives are prominent, and marketing needs to be carefully labeled as such, if mentioned at all. --Ronz (talk) 16:31, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
That would be your opinion Ronz. Would you be able to stick to policy? Sunray (talk) 20:51, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Please WP:FOC
The argument is special pleading, based upon personal opinion. If that's as good as the argument gets, then consensus won't change, nor should it. --Ronz (talk) 02:42, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
@Yobol: You quote WP:DEADREF as stating: "Do not delete a citation merely because the URL is not working today." The URL is working fine. They have replaced that comment with other text. The comment now longer exists on their website. The other sources that I used are current and state the current status of the research. I don't need to refer this to the noticeboard because it is abundantly clear. Sunray (talk) 20:58, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
The ref link was to the "Energy Medicine" page on NCCAM at this URL which does not exist anymore (except, apparently, as a redirect to another page). I'm not sure what you think exists at that URL, but the Energy Medicine page not exist on the NCCAM website anymore and is therefore a dead reference (see this archived link to the actual reference. Yobol (talk) 21:02, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────No one else has commented. I will try to get this to WP:RSN in the next few days so we can get the article unlocked. Sunray (talk) 20:34, 9 November 2011 (UTC)


this is a bit redundant, isn't it? if we say there's no clinical or scientific evidence as a bald statement, why do we need to say that this group or that group also says that there is no evidence? there refs are still there (and now they are there twice), so it's not like we're gaining anything with the redundancy.

"The sky is blue. Plus, NASA and the Weather Channel claim that the sky is blue. and the theory that the sky is blue has been suggested by several other less credible sources." Is that kind of thing really necessary? --Ludwigs2 00:25, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Agree with Ludwigs2 here; if we use the statement there is no scientific evidence, we don't need to attribute that same position again in the next sentence to two other bodies which should fall under the first sentence already... It's probably better left in the text of the article, if we use the one sentence summary. Yobol (talk) 00:30, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Also agree with Ludwigs2 on this. The statement is redundant. Sunray (talk) 03:44, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Removal of sourced info[edit]

These edits removed the text,

"The proposed mechanism for Reiki energy is purely hypothetical as the existence of the ki or "life force" energy used in this method has not been proven scientifically."

initially for the reason that it "wasn't needed" by the first edit summary, then saying "it is not what the references say" in the second summary. As I have already noted above, the references say from Lee, et al.:

"The mechanisms that may be involved in reiki are hypothetical. The existence of Ki (or Qi, life energy) has not been proven scientifically."

and from OCCAM:

"The existence of such fields has not yet been scientifically proven."

I will need a very good answer to why Sunray is removing sourced info from this article, as clearly "it is what the references say." Yobol (talk) 14:14, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

There has been extensive discussion of this on this page. In the discussion Yobol pointed out that there are two main definitions of the word "hypothetical." The way it is used in the paper (since the paper is a review of the science) is obviously the first use: "of, based on, or serving as a hypothesis." In the discussion, above, Yobol pointed out that he used the term "purely hypothetical" because he meant the second use of hypothetical: "supposed but not necessarily real or true." That is clearly not what the sources are saying. Please refer to the section above, "Summary of scientific consensus in lead" for further discussion of the scientific consensus. As editors, if we have difficulty agreeing, it is advisable to stay very close to the wording of the sources.
Also, I don't see the need for this sentence in the "Research" Section of the article any longer. The next paragraph summarizes this source (Lee in more detail. Given that there is now a statement summarizing Lee in the lead, the article adequately covers this topic. Sunray (talk) 14:33, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Except that it is speculative in science precisely because there is no evidence that it exists. You are reading into the meaning of the word that is clearly not there. I am returning the well sourced text. This article adequately covers the topic only when all significant aspects are covered, including the fact that the mechanism of Reiki has no basis in modern science. Yobol (talk) 14:50, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Please do not start edit warring. I am saying that we have to stick to what the sources actually say. Any deviation is OR. We need the a consensus of editors before adding that statement. I have expressed my concerns as clearly as I know how and would like to hear others views. Would other editors be willing to comment? Sunray (talk) 16:31, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
I am sticking to what the sources say. They say Reiki's mechanisms are hypothetical. You are simply choosing to use the wrong definition. If there is no evidence of the mechanism's existence, it is by definition speculative. Yobol (talk) 16:36, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
The quotation from the source says: "The mechanisms that may be involved in reiki are hypothetical. The existence of Ki (or Qi, life energy) has not been proven scientifically." We can say that, but no more. The addition of the word "purely" is no more than one editor's POV. Sunray (talk) 17:47, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
From where I stand, the source is saying it's purely hypothetical. You are choosing to ignore the obvious definition of the word "hypothetical," for whatever reason. Yobol (talk) 18:20, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
Since we do not agree, it will be necessary to quote the exact wording of authors and they do not use the word "purely." Sunray (talk) 20:42, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
I have already taken out the word "purely." Yobol (talk) 20:44, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. Sunray (talk) 20:45, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Recent study[edit]

I don't think it's worth mention. --Ronz (talk) 16:11, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Why not? It seems to show that the act of paying attention to a patient has positive effects (compared to nothing, reiki and sham (aka active placebo) produced identical positive effects in comforting chemotherapy patients), and further demonstrates another finding that helps to explain why any positive effects seeming to come from this practice, can be explained in rational terms? What is your interest in keeping this shrouded in mystery? Zaphraud (talk) 06:55, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Playing the WP:CONSPIRACY card again?!! Please stop.
"The findings indicate that the presence of an RN providing one-on-one support during chemotherapy was influential in raising comfort and well-being levels, with or without an attempted healing energy field."
Finally, it's a single study. See WP:MEDRS. --Ronz (talk) 07:32, 7 March 2012 (UTC)


This article has been fully protected due to a long-running edit war. See the AN3 report. Please follow the steps of WP:Dispute resolution. Ask for unprotection if consensus is reached. In the mean time, use {{editprotected}} to ask for individual changes that appear to have consensus. EdJohnston (talk) 22:05, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Japanese article terms[edit]

The Japanese article provides slightly different kana and kanji:


Will this be some small help?

G. Robert Shiplett 14:29, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

The kana is a already mentioned in Reiki#Derivation_of_name. The version of kanji used in the LEAD is 霊気 and this is shinjitai style. 靈氣 has been used in reference to its Chinese origins. 霊氣 has been used in the kanji version of the Precepts. So all of those are already mentioned :) -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 20:39, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Concerns of bias[edit]

There exists a strong bias in the topmost portion of the article against this technique, and organizations with deep financial ties to totally unrelated western medical establishments are cited as sources. To balance this viewpoint, I added a brief section indicating that the FDA has approved the technique of warming tissue for pain relief. It should be obvious that, at the least, Reiki provides pain relief via the same mechanism as a heating pad.

This was promptly censored by a revert, which I have undone, but I do not expect to last given how quickly the revert occurred. Personally, I have no interest at all in Reiki, and in fact I feel that my assertion that it should be good for pain relief in the same manner as a heating pad actually adds credibility to claims made by western medical establishments against fraudsters who would charge large amounts of money for such a thing, that the technique is exploited when used to treat serious conditions, as anything that alleviates pain will make a person feel better, and this often can be the basis to provide false hope. Basically, I merely want to point out that any claim that Reiki is totally useless is simply wrong, and likely in violation of Wikipedia's NPOV policy as well. Zaphraud (talk) 18:49, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

"with deep financial ties to totally unrelated western medical establishments" Best not add information to articles or comments on article talk pages that contain such conspiracy theories. See WP:CONSPIRACY. --Ronz (talk) 20:56, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like you are the one with the conspiracy theory, actually. I was merely pointing out that the sources cited for the overly bold claims are inherently not capable of being unbiased, that's all. Nice try, but I refuse to be painted into the same light as the people who actually believe that anything is capable of being a cure-all, especially by close-minded unscientific hard-liners who are unwilling to admit that warmth alleviates pain even in the face of an FDA approval of a device that functions by exactly that mechanism! Zaphraud (talk) 06:43, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Stop wasting our time here or you put yourself at risk of being blocked. Paranoia and conspiracy theories are not a substitute for evidence. --Ronz (talk) 07:34, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
To what exactly are you referring? Are you merely resorting to threats and insults at this point, or can you clarify what you mean by "paranoia and conspiracy theories"? Zaphraud (talk) 07:54, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Bottom line, your addition is original research, is not sourced to a reliable source for medical information and introduces a biased viewpoint about a conspiracy about "western medicine" and such. There is nothing to discuss until you first find a MEDRS compliant source that discusses your point. We do not add what you or I think, but what the reliable sources say, to the article. Yobol (talk) 15:44, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
I reverted this because it seemed unrelated to the actual article, since Reiki practitioners don't claim to be glorified heating pads. In fact, some Reiki practitioners don't touch their patient's body at all. Beyond that, heating pads are not the same thing as hands (very different temperature, shape, etc.). Maybe they provide the same benefits, but Wikipedia requires sources, not speculation.Korin43 (talk) 00:04, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

The notion that only non-westerners can provide a non-biased assessment of Reiki is quite simply one of the most pernicious and ridiculous things I have ever read on this site. How are "western medical establishment[s]" inherently biased? It would seem that an above commenter is confusing "bias" with skepticism, as this allows him to summarily dismiss the scientific evidence clearly demonstrating Reiki's lack of medical efficacy and the fact that Reiki's proposed mechanism of action is inherently unscientific. You can't simply dismiss peer-reviewed studies that are inconvenient to your conclusions and then slap on a justification after the fact. (talk) 19:57, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Distant Healing?[edit]

Ive heard of Reiki practictioners doing distance healing. Is this really part of traditional reiki? Can someone shed some light on it and if feasible incorporate it into the article.

Henry123ifa (talk) 01:18, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

There's mention of distant healing in the article. -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 23:09, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Incoming paid spam[edit]

See [2]. MER-C 12:17, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Someone have an elance account to determine the url in question? Situations like this usually occur after editors have previously failed to add the url in question. If that's the case here, then it might be appropriate to give the url to XLinkBot, or even blacklist it. --Ronz (talk) 16:16, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure how to do that. -- Xxglennxx (talkcont.) 21:02, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Someone with an elance account can click the link above, then click within that page to get the full details of the proposed work, which includes the url they want added. --Ronz (talk) 22:54, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
The Elance username is kltaylor. This self-revert [3] [4] looks suspicious. MER-C 12:51, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Shinto, Shugendo, and Tendai[edit]

The laying-on-of-hands of balancing ch'i in one's body has prior references within Issai Chozanshi's The Demon's Sermon On The Martial Arts. Dr. Usui was not just a Buddhist, but a Tendai Buddhist, whom believe that enlightenment comes from communing and energy transference between the neophyte and the Kami. Please correct this because it is a fact. (talk) 21:18, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

the Reikiki[edit]

The Ritual World of Buddhist "Shinto" The Reikiki and Initiations on Kami-Related Matters in Late Medieval and Early-Modern Japan . Someone with more knowledge of Japanese esotericism should follow this lead on the Reikiki and how this could possibly demystify the origins of reiki. Thank you (talk) 21:22, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Lübeck, Petter, and Rand[edit]

Considering the number of citations to this 2001 item, it seems like it might be helpful to actually include it in the bibliography. (talk) 18:26, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

NPOV Dispute: Research, Critical Evaluation and Controversy[edit]

The subsection "Basis and Effectiveness" currently presents an inaccurate portrayal of the scientific conclusions it is citing, and the user who twice reverted my editing attempts to address this has also made additional, broader, changes to the "Research, critical evaluation and controversy" section which impose a one-sided view of reiki rather than presenting a NPOV.

User Alexbrn asserts that the statement "The proposed mechanism for reiki – qi or "life force" energy – does not exist. Reiki is not helpful for treating any condition," is a neutral point of view, but the user's view is not supported in the citations. Examples of what the cited articles actually state include: "In conclusion, the evidence is insufficient to suggest that reiki is an effective treatment for any condition. Therefore the value of reiki remains unproven," and "Biofield therapies are intended to affect energy fields that purportedly surround and penetrate the human body. The existence of such fields has not yet been scientifically proven."

In addition to Alexbrn's misattributed statement, the user's deletion of the "Scientific Research" section (last included on April 12) removed a more critical evaluation of reiki research, and created a false impression of more widespread consensus on reiki as a pseudo-science. This goes against Wikipedia's NPOV policy:

"The vast majority of neutrality disputes are due to a simple confusion: one party believes "X" to be a fact, and—this party is mistaken (see second example below)—that if a claim is factual, the article is therefore neutral. The other party either denies that "X" is a fact, or that everyone would agree that it is a fact. In such a dispute, the first party needs to re-read the Neutral Point of View policy. Even if something is a fact, or allegedly a fact, that does not mean that the bold statement of that fact establishes neutrality.

Neutrality here at Wikipedia is all about presenting competing versions of what the facts are. It doesn't matter at all how convinced we are that our facts are the facts. If a significant number of other interested parties really do disagree with us, no matter how wrong we think they are, the neutrality policy dictates that the discussion be recast as a fair presentation of the dispute between the parties." (see Wikipedia:NPOV dispute#How can one disagree about NPOV?).

To address this, I suggest including a direct concluding statement from the cited articles and additionally restoring the "Scientific Research" section from April 12. (talk) 00:07, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

You are aware that WP:FRINGE applies here, and WP:MEDRS to any health-related claims? --Ronz (talk) 01:19, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Reiki is useless bollocks. That's what RS says in essence & it's perfectly obvious & uncontested by any serious authority. If Wikipedia implied anything else it would not be neutral. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 04:51, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Ronz, could you provide the source you're using to characterize reiki as a fringe science? I've searched for evidence to support this, but was only able to find such claims in blog posts and on wikipedia. The fringe theory page you directed me to says that "fringe theories in science depart significantly from mainstream science and have little or no scientific support," yet even in the past year peer-reviewed journals have been publishing articles citing health benefits attributed to reiki (those being largely mental health benefits since, I'm assuming, the effect is probably a self-induced calm as in yoga).

Even allowing for reiki to be a fringe theory, the wikipedia guidelines still seem to support my argument that Alexbrn's edits are not neutral and have no place in this reiki article:

"Pseudoscience: Proposals which, while purporting to be scientific, are obviously bogus may be so labeled and categorized as such without more justification. For example, since the universal scientific view is that perpetual motion is impossible, any purported perpetual motion mechanism (such as Stanley Meyer's water fuel cell) may be treated as pseudoscience. Proposals which are generally considered pseudoscience by the scientific community, such as astrology, may properly contain that information and may be categorized as pseudoscience.

Questionable science: Hypotheses which have a substantial following but which critics describe as pseudoscience, may contain information to that effect; however it should not be described as unambiguously pseudoscientific while a reasonable amount of academic debate still exists on this point."

Here, reiki does not fall under the pseudoscience category because it is not universally accepted as impossible. The cited example of perpetual motion violates the laws of thermodynamics; reiki does not violate scientific principles, it is merely debated. And, unlike astrology, debate on the merits of reiki exists in the scientific community. Reiki could however fall under the category of questionable science-- there is a reasonable amount of academic debate, and so reiki cannot be unambiguously characterized as pseudoscientific. To address Alexbrn's concerns, he could create a new section documenting sources that characterize reiki as pseudoscience.

The main concern in the provided link from Ronz on reliable sources for medicine seems to be that only reputable sources are used. Below is a small sampling of recent research from peer-reviewed journals concluding that the mental health benefits of reiki are significant (and therefore also indicating that, although others may not want to believe it, there is in fact academic debate on reiki):;jsessionid=aandhJL62HbEh9rRlu3P.20

Even with a continued debate on the effectiveness of reiki, I don't think there can be any debate that a suitably significant and scientific debate exists. Therefore, wikipedia's guidelines call for such a debate to be acknowledged. Alexbrn's edits attempt to eliminate evidence of this debate and impose his own biases on the article.

Furthermore, and most importantly, I think it's a terrible precedent to allow users to misrepresent the conclusions of their citations. As I've said, the cited sources do not say that qi does not exist or that reiki is not a helpful treatment; they say that no substantial evidence exists to prove reiki is effective. As I've implied, I doubt reiki is anymore effective than yoga. While I have no real interest in reiki either way, I stumbled on this article and the curt tone of Alexbrn's section "Basis and Effectiveness" easily stood out. It is not a well-written section; it's only one sentence and could be combined with other sections, as it was on April 12. Additionally, the potential for bias in the statement "The proposed mechanism for reiki – qi or "life force" energy – does not exist. Reiki is not helpful for treating any condition" caught my attention. Upon checking the citations, I realized that Alexbrn was misrepresenting his sources and was irked enough to try to edit the section. (talk) 20:49, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

No serious person/source debates this point - your tagging is tendentious. Our sources are well represented. Neither reiki's effects nor its basis have any scientific proof: we represent this neutrally by saying they don't exist. It's obvious. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 21:08, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I disagree with the point that there are neither serious persons nor sources debating this point, and do not think that you took the time to look at the links I provided, so I will break it down for you: Published in The American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, a peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes papers in the field of health care. Researcher affiliations: Department of Anesthesiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA |Department of Integrated Medicine, West Penn Allegheny Health System, Pittsburgh, PA, USA | Volunteer Services, West Penn Allegheny Health System, Pittsburgh, PA, USA Published in Integrative Cancer Therapies, a peer-reviewed quarterly journal focused on the scientific understanding of alternative medicine and traditional medicine therapies. Researcher affiliations: all 6, University of Pennsylvania;jsessionid=aandhJL62HbEh9rRlu3P.20 Published in the Official Journal of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing, a peer-reviewed journal offering a unique focus on the realm of pain management as it applies to nursing. Researcher affiliations: University of Pittsburgh Published in Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing, a peer reviewed journal on the four major dimensions of critical care nursing - clinical, leadership, research, and education - to advance the clinical practice of health care providers in critical care settings. Researcher affiliations: don't feel like looking it up, I feel my point is made.

You do a great disservice to the peer-review process, these academic journals, and institutions such as the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh, and countless medical institutions by suggesting that these are not serious, credible sources. My dispute stands, and I will be reinstating the NPOV dispute. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:48, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Weak sources and/or fringe publications - nothing here that's remotely RS to challenge the scientific and medical consensus. And now you're edit warring your tag back in. Please read WP:FRINGE. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 21:55, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm surprised to hear those studies are not research science. If that's the case, don't you think you ought to go to the wikipedia pages for those journals and make the appropriate edits to let others know that such journals are not true academic sources? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:07, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

(Edit conflict)
Reiki is fringe. If there's some confusion with that, take some time to review alternative medicine and qi.
Thrane (2014) is interesting. The proper noticeboard for evaluating a source for MEDRS reliability is WP:RSN. --Ronz (talk) 23:23, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Regardless of whether or not reiki is fringe, this article is biased and does not represent its sources. Two arguments support this based on 1) what science does and does not do and 2) the problem area in this article is flat-out wrong about what its sources report, and therefore needs further citation

Argument 1: What science does and does not do // how to properly report on a fringe theory

Here is an example, from the astrology article, of a well-written rejection of a fringe science: "Astrology has been rejected by the scientific community as having no explanatory power for describing the universe and is considered a pseudoscience. Scientific testing of astrology has been conducted, and no evidence has been found to support any of the premises or purported effects outlined in astrological traditions.There is no proposed mechanism of action by which the positions and motions of stars and planets could affect people and events on Earth that does not contradict well understood, basic aspects of biology and physics. Those who continue to have faith in astrology have been characterized as doing so "in spite of the fact that there is no verified scientific basis for their beliefs, and indeed that there is strong evidence to the contrary". "

This is in accordance with the guidelines of wikipedia because it accurately reports what science has found (ie. no evidence to support that astrology exists) rather than misstating what science has found (ie. if they had instead said "Astrology has no explanatory power and the proposed mechanism for astrology does not exist.") The misstatement of the second example here is inaccurate because it does not reflect how science works. Science does not prove anything, it provides evidence to support a conclusion. Simply because an editor has strong feelings on reiki does not give them liberty to misrepresent the scientific process by claiming to have captured "the essence" of the studies.

Even in articles on alternative medicine techniques I've never even heard of, the reporting is more tactful and accurate. Consider magnet therapy, where the article reads: "Practitioners claim that subjecting certain parts of the body to magnetostatic fields produced by permanent magnets has beneficial health effects. These physical and biological claims are unproven and no effects on health or healing have been established." Again, note that while it remains clear that this practice is unlikely to have real benefits, the writers still state what science actually says (unproven; no established effects) and not what they personally believe.

Argument 2: Inaccurate citations

I have already pointed out that none of the citations actually say that qi does not exist or that reiki is not helpful for treating any condition. Again, this is not because such claims are untrue, but because that's beyond the realm of what science can prove, and to say otherwise is to impose personal bias on the scientific process-- which is fine for your personal life, but not fine for wikipedia.

The citation of is particularly inappropriate. After summarizing studies that reiki did lower stress/promoted relaxation, and other studies showing that reiki was ineffective, the section concludes "We need to do large randomised clinical trials before we really know how much Reiki can help people with cancer." I can't comprehend how anyone could look at these cited pages and believe that they have not been misrepresented in this wikipedia article. None of the cited articles say reiki is ineffective. They don't even say the subject isn't worth studying. What (most) of them say is that there is no evidence to support those claims, which still gets across the point that reiki has not been effective, but does so in a way that is scientifically accurate. In the case of the page, it doesn't even say there's no evidence to support those claims; it literally has examples of evidence on the page, and debates the merits of the studies. This page especially has been grossly misrepresented. (talk) 17:07, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

As I pointed out, it may well be worth taking Thrane (2014) to WP:RSN.
As for the rest, you might want to summarize your concerns at WP:FTN to get others' viewpoints.
As for the WP:ASSERT concerns, WP:FTN or WP:NPOVN would be appropriate. --Ronz (talk) 17:29, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the advice Ronz, you've been really helpful with learning more about how to edit the articles here (plus it's been interesting to see how wikipedia works and all the political/religious/etc. disputes folks had on the resolution boards!). Since I'm getting pressed for time with other things I figured I ought to say that I'm not going to respond again. I put "not in citation given" tags on the sentences I was disputing and, from my experience writing government reports and as a journalist, I know it would never fly with my editors to state something that my source didn't actually say-- researchers are very particular with their word choice by intention, and I think it's important to respect that. Plus, after looking at how other alternative med pages are written on wikipedia, this article stands alone among those I read in asserting opinion over fact while interpreting scientific studies. But I'm sure the tags will be removed anyway.

I don't really know much about reiki-- I looked it up after reading this unusual article [1] on National Geographic. The picture of the horse energy field demo is amusing, but it seems unlikely that the horse thought much of it. I don't care though- my gripe is that those two sentences I tagged easily stand out as biased because, having written research reports as well as having interviewed other researchers on various topics, I know that a study universally concluding that reiki is ineffective would not exist. There's a commitment to saying what is known, based on evidence, and allowing the results to speak for themselves. Science aims to be neutral, but humans-- and this article-- do not. (talk) 22:19, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

From my experience, Wikipedia doesn't work well when it comes to topics like this, even with the additional guidance of WP:FRINGE and WP:MEDRS.
From a cursory look, I think you bring up good points with the citation needed tags. If nothing else, maybe we can get more eyes on this article.
Can we focus on Reiki#Basis_and_effectiveness? Do the sources support the information or not? --Ronz (talk) 22:29, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
Of interest here is a recent thread at WT:MED (see here). If strong sources state that there is no evidence for the effectiveness of some therapy (not contradicted by serious countering sources), then the only neutral presentation of that is to assert that the therapy does not work. I would add this should be particularly so for implausible fringe things like Reiki, as we need to avoid giving the unwarranted impression that it is only a shortcoming of research that has not (yet) found its effect. The context of evidence-based-medicine is that something is considered not to work unless shown otherwise: that context needs to be "translated" into lay English for effective writing for our (lay) audience. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 04:35, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. (I hope the ip will continue in this discusion.) Does the article have enough context to show why this applies? --Ronz (talk) 16:06, 25 April 2014 (UTC)


Reference content question[edit]

Hello. What is the content of reference [3]: "Reiki flows through hands: (McKenzie (1998). Page 18); (Ellyard (2004). Page 27); (Boräng (1997). Page 9); (Veltheim and Veltheim (1995). Page 33)"?

I couldn't find if it is a book or something else. All google search results point to references to this content, not information about the content.

Could someone clarify this? Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2607:FCD0:100:C21:0:0:4E05:A9B7 (talk) 20:47, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

The individual texts are listed in the Bibliography section. - SummerPhD (talk) 02:12, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

A healing value of reiki is implied throughout the article[edit]

I must draw attention to the examples peppered throughout the article where people with illnesses have been "treated" with reiki. Each of the examples mention nothing about whether the patient had been cured or even helped by the reike treatment. In my opinion it implies that reiki is a legitimate treatment for the illnesses mentioned when the article clearly states in the first section that "Used as a medical treatment, reiki confers no benefit".

One example:

"Usui used specific hand positions to treat specific ailments and dis-eases (discomfort),[102] which included disorders of the nervous system (such as hysteria),[103] respiratory disorders (such as inflammation of the trachea),[104] digestive disorders (such as gastric ulcers),[105] circulatory disorders (such as chronic high blood pressure),[106] metabolism and blood disorders (such as anaemia),[107] urogenital tract disorders (such as nephritis),[108] skin disorders (such as inflammation of the lymph nodes),[109] childhood disorders (such as measles),[110] women’s health disorders (such as morning sickness),[111] and contagious disorders (such as typhoid fever).[112]"

I strongly object to the use of the word "treat" here. Was the reiki treatment of typhoid fever successful or have any effect at all? This is just one example of many in the article, I would appreciate the thoughts of others on the matter JimmyFiveShoes (talk) 00:19, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

An ineffective, irrational treatment is still a treatment: "the manner in which someone behaves toward or deals with someone or something." - SummerPhD (talk) 14:00, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Qi does not exist[edit]

I was enlightened to discover in this article that qi, a completely metaphysical concept, has been proven not to exist! Perhaps whoever added this revolutionary discovery to the article also knows of a reliable source which has discerned that the Abrahamic God doesn't exist, by the same method of disproving the validity of metaphysical concepts! If so would he please add that "fact" to the articles of Christianity, Islam, etc. and help end a lot of senseless wars!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:09, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

The viewpoint that it doesn't exist gets priority here, and an overwhelming priority given that medical claims are involved. Do review WP:FRINGE, WP:MEDRS, and WP:NPOV if you're interested in working on this article on such topics. --Ronz (talk) 20:51, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Article contradicts its own sources...?[edit]

Wikipedia: "Used as a medical treatment, reiki confers no benefit". Well that sounds like a bold claim. Especially since, according to the source referenced by that very same sentence, "the evidence is insufficient to suggest that reiki is an effective treatment for any condition. Therefore the value of reiki remains unproven."

Could it be that there is some confusion regarding whether "remains unproven" equals "has been proven false/nonexistent"? The mind, it boggles. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

No, the wikipedia statement is a summary of the reference. Scientific language can be confusing; by saying there is no evidence that something works, in lay terms, they are saying that it doesn't work. Reading about the philosophical concept of burden of proof will give you an idea of why scientists like to use this precise kind of language. 03:34, 31 October 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
Agreed. "Reiki confers no benefit" is fine as a summary. It's inappropriate to let the science be misrepresented.
WP:FRINGE most definitely applies. --Ronz (talk) 21:20, 2 November 2014 (UTC)
No, "Reiki confers no benefit" distorts the meaning of the cited source, a meta-analysis of studies which compared Reiki treatment to sham control or to conventional care. The conclusion was that based on the particular studies analysed, that "evidence is insufficient" to show that it is more effective than sham and that the treatment "remains unproven", which means something very different from "Reiki confers no benefit". Language matters. Those words change the meaning of the conclusion. Absence of supportive evidence is not tantamount to disproof. Furthermore, if it is the case that Reiki is not more effective than placebo or sham control, it does not mean that it is not effective at all. It should not be said that it is not effective outright when what is meant is that particular studies have concluded that it is not more effective than a placebo treatment. Thus I have changed "Reiki confers no benefit" to "Reiki has not been proven to be more effective than placebo". And similarly, I have changed "Reiki is not helpful for treating any medical condition" to "Reiki has not been proven to be more effective than placebo for treating any medical condition." This language more accurately reflects the source material, and more closely conforms to a neutral point of view.
Also, you and SummerPHD reverted 11 of my edits with only vague reasoning. Having been a contributor here for nearly a decade, I am familiar with WP:FRINGE; you should be more specific with your objections. Please do not wholesale revert my edits. It is not constructive. My aim here is to keep NPOV and to accurately reflect the cited source material. Dforest (talk) 02:58, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
I reverted you one time, asking that you discuss a major change to the tone of the article. So far, that's you being bold, me reverting. (Given the number of drive-by edits changing various pieces they don't like, this is necessary. Editing to change a stable consensus will require discussion.) At this point, discussion would have been a good next step. You merely restored your edits. Another editor -- part of the consensus -- reverted you and commented on the talk page. At this point, discussion would have been a good next step. You came back today, restored your edit and now you are discussing it. In a bit under "nearly a decade", I've run across WP:BRD frequently. I have never seen WP:BRRRRRRD. I'm inclined to undo your edit again until the discussion progresses, but I don't suspect that would really accomplish anything. Let's see where the discussion goes over the next few days. - SummerPhD (talk) 04:22, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and reverted. Glad we're discussing the matter now.
I don't think the differences are very great at this point. The pseudoscience bit in the first sentence doesn't belong there, but could fit with the last sentence of that first paragraph instead, perhaps with a bit more context.
I think the main issue with the rest is where we summarize vs where we go into more detail. --Ronz (talk) 17:31, 11 November 2014 (UTC)


Hello! Greetings to everyone:) Ok, just a few thoughts, please take them as good natured. I just want to present my opinion. This article is nicely written and informative, its really well done, but honestly to me it seems to not be completely neutral in POV...for instance in the first paragraph it makes the comment "reiki has not been demonstrated to be an effective treatment for any recognized medical condition". Now I completely understand people not believing in Reiki or dismissing it as pseudoscience. I totally get it and I realize that there is just not enough scientific evidence. But some of the comments just seem disparaging and the overall tone is one of treating reiki like its absolute quackery. Which has also not been proven. The article fails to mention or list all the hospitals that now use Reiki as treatments for during and post surgery healing, and also in cancer patients, etc. Why would they do this if there was no medical evidence of Reiki doing anything at all? It makes no sense that hospitals would be training the nurses in Reiki. I want to quote a nurse practitioner, who says

"Every cell of the human body produces electricity, and, as such, is complemented by a magnetic field which is small but measurable. The hands of reiki practitioners produce more powerful EM fields than those without attunement, and the fields may actually be measured by simple 80k turn electromagnets. The frequency of the fields is measured to be in a range that many medical devices (ultrasounds, TENS, etc.) use to treat a variety of conditions. No carefully controlled studies have been performed to test the actual reiki process, but several studies of average composition have shown it to be beneficial in the treatment of conditions. So does it exist? Maybe. The evidence is starting to show promise, but that could all turn around in a year's time.

Remember that man knows just about nothing about anything on the universal scale. "

Every Reiki practitioner I know has at least one 'miracle' story where someone experiences an incredible healing of a medical condition. I admit that I am biased in the other direction, and Im not saying the article should be like that, I just feel it could be more neutral and not so disparaging in the first paragraph. Its obvious that the writer doesnt believe Reiki works or even exists. Thats ok, the writer is entitled to the opinion. But what about the millions of people that believe that it does? This opinion needs to be represented toO. The only time the article mentions reiki in a positive light is when referring to other sources and saying things like 'reiki is believed to help'. This is different from the general tone of the article which is very biased towards disbelief in something which yes, some people see as pseudoscience, but some people have had tremendous experiences and benefits from which should not be disregarded. And as far as scientific evidence that it exists, '' is something at least, Anyway, I dont want to argue at all, I just think this article should be a tiny tiny bit more balanced. Thanks so much, hope everyone is having a great week :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shivalibrooks (talkcontribs) 21:34, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Welcome to Wikipedia. Yes it is very sad indeed that institutions that otherwise practice evidence based medicine drop their principles completely when it comes to the easy money made from meeting marketing "alternatives". --Ronz (talk) 22:32, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm pretty confident "Reiki for All Creatures" is unreliable, but otherwise I share Shivalibrooks's neutrality concerns. The reliable sources I've seen indicate that the efficacy of reiki is unproven. That is a far cry from stating without qualification that reiki conveys no medical benefits or that reiki is pseudoscience. This is not just a neutrality issue; it's a verification issue as well. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 19:44, 18 March 2015 (UTC)


The article clearly describes reiki as a religious practice. Shall we put the label "pseudoscience" on all religion-related articles? Shii (tock) 10:56, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

When independent reliable sources describe something as a "spiritual practice", we call it a "spiritual practice". When independent reliable sources call it a "pseudoscience", we call it a "pseudoscience". We do not remove either one based on the other as neither label preempts the other. - SummerPhD (talk) 13:15, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
"" is not an RS for something that is neither science nor medicine. Shii (tock) 13:19, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
Reiki makes fringe biomedical claims. The relevant academic community is the medical community. We should expand on this.
Trends in Molecular Medicine says reiki is "pseudoscientific" and "faith healing". Research on reiki and similar "merely lend them legitimacy and take money away from more deserving projects" because in clinical trials reiki has "already been proved to have no benefits whatsoever".[5]
The National Council Against Health Fraud says, "There is no evidence that clinical Reiki's effects are due to anything other than suggestion, or that they are superior to massage or any other healing ritual. Reiki's metaphysical beliefs may be in conflict with an individual patient's religious beliefs. Full disclosure of the belief system should precede its use in any setting. An investigation of proponent literature casts serious doubt as to whether Reiki practitioners can be trusted with such full disclosure. Reiki literature presents misinformation as fact, and instructs practitioners on how to skirt the law in order to protect themselves from regulation and accountability."[6]
Edzard Ernst says reiki "defies scientific measurement and is biologically implausible. These circumstances render Reiki one of the least plausible therapies in the tool kit of alternative medicine."[7]
David Gorski says reiki is "highly implausible...pseudoscience", "dubious" and "quackery". Reiki is "as close to impossible from basic science considerations alone as you can imagine."[8]
There is plenty more. If you'd like, we can get into the claims that reiki works through "subatomics", "the spacetime energy field", "EMF balancing", "tachyon energy" and, of course, "quantum" something or other. - SummerPhD (talk) 16:17, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

I have posted this to Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#Neuromuscular_scientist.27s_blog_as_an_RS_on_religious_practices and see support there. Shii (tock) 15:36, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Titling this section "'pseudoscience' used merely to denigrate" says it all. I've changed the section heading per WP:TALK. --Ronz (talk) 17:10, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

The discussion at RSN made it clear that the citation should be changed. I suggest the following neutral language from NCAHF: "There is no evidence that clinical Reiki's effects are due to anything other than suggestion, or that they are superior to massage or any other healing ritual. " Shii (tock) 14:52, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

I took away something quite different from the discussion: The only reason that the citation should be changed is because we have better ones, not because there are any problems with the old ones in light of WP:FRINGE. --Ronz (talk) 17:44, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
The proposed rewording violates WP:FRINGE. --Ronz (talk) 17:44, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
The RSN discussion was aimed at the source for calling it pseudoscience. As that discussion found reliable sourcing for the term, removing it based on that discussion is an odd choice. The source continues well past that point to make additional unflattering claims which are omitted here. (Additionally, the offered text is lifted directly from the source.) I notice that this is the only source discussed so far that limits one of the accusations to "clinical" reiki, which is a bad reason to select a source. - SummerPhD (talk) 03:10, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
"(Additionally, the offered text is lifted directly from the source.)" You just removed a rewording that I added because you "didn't see it in the source", and now my direct quotation from the source invalidates my proposal. Your style of editing is both contemptuous and disingenuous. No wonder these articles are such crap when the WP:FRINGE patrol takes such an attitude towards attempts to put dubious medical claims in context. Goodbye. Shii (tock) 06:12, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Please discuss content, not editors.
You had complained that a source wasn't good enough to call it "pseudoscience". You replaced it with a source that does not call it pseudoscience while leaving that claim in and added apologetics for reiki that are not supported by the source in any way. The new suggestion is a copyright violation. Yes, it is supported by the source, but it is a clear copyright violation. You may NOT directly copy text, you must rewrite it.
Next is the selection of sources. The one you have chosen is the only one to make a distinction between the alternative (to) medicine and the "balancing" (or whatever). At the same time, we lose that source's additional points that run against the "balancing". This would be a WP:WEIGHT issue. As sourced, whatever the original intent of reiki was, in current common use "reiki" refers to the attempt to use thistransfer of theoretical energy for healing.
We should be reporting what independent reliable sources say about reiki: good, bad and indifferent. This reporting should be in proportion to the coverage it gets in such sources. At the moment, this article is littered with unreliable and obscure sources. We need to fix that. In the meantime, we need to avoid making it worse. - SummerPhD (talk) 12:55, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

The RSN discussion is ongoing and has not reached anything that can reasonably be called consensus. In light of this the pseudoscience language in the first sentence should be removed per WP:NOCONSENSUS. If editors who which to include this material are bothered by this, my suggestion is to remain patient. There's no rush, and if you're right then further discussion will yield consensus in your favor. If the discussion stalls out without consensus then the appropriate next step would be RFC. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 19:59, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

In the event of dispute let the stable version (i.e. since last year) remain. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 20:06, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
What version in particular? I was under the impression that the last stable version didn't include this content, but I could have been mistaken. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 20:11, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Check the history. It's been there for a few months; there is a (POV-)push to remove it. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 20:17, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm going to have to call bullshit on that one. The content was first introduced on October 12. Since then it has been edit warred over constantly to this day: [9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25]. The last stable version (pre October 12) did not include the proposed content. And to suggest that the POV pushing has only been in one direction is pretty galling. Frankly I am dispirited by all of the infantile behavior exhibited on this page. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 20:44, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
October is a few months back. Yes, you're right there have been some fly-by attempts at removal since then -- but the same pattern holds for pretty much any fringe medical article here; this is as stable as it gets for WP:Lunatic charlatans-related topics. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 20:58, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Wrong, it was quite stable pre-October 12, 2014. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 21:18, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

It is disappointing to see the age-old "'pseudoscience' used merely to denigrate" stance. Pseudoscience is an informative category and the reader deserves to know that a subject has been characterized as such. Proponents of pseudoscience (I'm not suggesting anyone here is one) would surely like us to believe that the reason their views are rejected by mainstream science is due to just meanness, as if the demarcation problem concerns personal opinion alone.

There is no contradiction between something being a religious practice and being pseudoscience. For a long time Reiki has been offered to Westerners who share little or no affiliation with Eastern religious traditions. Reiki is sold as alternative medicine, even if it involves what could be called spiritual practices. Manul ~ talk 01:01, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I just took a shot at better... limiting the pseudoscience content in the body (always, the body first). See this dif. Does that work for folks? (to explain, science doesn't care about religion per se - just about the health claims and the pseudoscience label is limited to them) Jytdog (talk) 00:20, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Better, but it's written in an awfully confusing way. The subsection should be called "Medical efficacy" or "Medical effectiveness". --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 00:28, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
The revision looks good. There place in the lede might be more difficult. Maybe something like "Reiki is a spiritual practice, developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usuri, which has since been widely used and publicized particularly in the West because of pseudoscientific claims of health benefits." That phrasing would, of course, depend on how long and how widely it has been promoted as having pseudoscientific benefits, I haven't checked, but it does seem to flow better with the later sentences in the lede describing it as an "alternative medicine." There might, maybe, be grounds for changing either the first or second sentence to remove the mild redundancy between the use of the word "pseudoscience" and "alternative medicine," which is itself so far as I can tell generally counted as pseudoscientific. John Carter (talk) 21:11, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
P.S. Although a minor point, maybe moving the 3rd paragraph of the lede to 2nd place, and the current 2nd paragraph to 3rd, might make the flow a bit better too, at least to my eyes, by presenting its origins or history before describing the current status of the practice. John Carter (talk) 21:27, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Our western culture has taken some time to recognize the validity of non-traditional medical practices. Acupuncture is gaining acceptance within the U.S. medical community, but slower than I realized. A century from now, will we in the West wonder why it took us so long? RaqiwasSushi (talk) 04:18, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Unclear cites[edit]

Numerous cites in this article are needlessly vague. For example, cite 1: Lübeck, Petter, and Rand (2001). Chapter 14, pages 108 to 110; Ellyard (2004). Page 79; McKenzie (1998). Pages 19, 42, and 52; Lübeck (1996). Page 22; Boräng (1997). Page 57; Veltheim and Veltheim (1995)Page 72: The "Bibliography" section does not include a cite for Lübeck, Petter, and Rand (2001), Lübeck (1996) or Boräng (1997). McKenzie (1998) might refer to McKenzie, Eleanor; et al. (1998). Additionally, the citation style is rather confusing.

Each author date combination must refer to a work listed in the "Bibliography" section. Best practice would be for the reference to link to the work in the bibliography. For clarity, each work should be cited separately.

While working on this, I will not be making any changes to content. I will mark any refs I cannot clarify. - SummerPhD (talk) 13:48, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

I've made the first clarification. I await any comments before continuing. - SummerPhD (talk) 14:14, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
I've updated the first use of the "Lübeck, Petter, and Rand (2001)" source to a more detailed cite. I don't know that it's a usable source, but that is a separate issue. - SummerPhD (talk) 20:00, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Reliable sources[edit]

As a fringe medical theory, Wikipedia:Fringe_theories#Reliable_sources applies here. Some of the most heavily used sources here seem to be self-published or from very small publishers. At the moment, I'm merely cleaning up the vague references ("Jones {1999), page 52" doesn't tell us much). If anyone has any reliable sources for the history of this practice, we can certainly use them. If anyone feels like weeding out some of the garbage, have at it. - SummerPhD (talk) 22:59, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

First up, the Trevor Gollagher book, published by the "Australian School of Traditional Reiki". I cannot find an ISBN for this book. I find no sign that the "school" still exists. However, Gollagher is the co-founder of the school.[26] I see no indication that this is a reliable source for anything here. I'll leave this note here for a few days to see if anyone disagrees. Then I'll yank it. - SummerPhD (talk) 23:52, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
I have removed the Gollagher book as an unreliable source. - SummerPhD (talk) 13:01, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Next up: Lotus Press. Per WP:FRINGE, "Reliable sources on Wikipedia include peer-reviewed journals; books published by university presses; university-level textbooks; magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses; and mainstream newspapers." Of these, Lotus Press might be a "respected publishing house" -- it is clearly none of the others. At first brush, I cannot see using sources from Lotus that are in any way contentious. Beyond that, I'm not sure. Best case,I would think, would be to find neutral descriptions in clearly reliable sources. Thoughts? - SummerPhD (talk) 13:24, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

I have no doubt that some of the "science" supporting reiki is fringe. But labeling reiki as a whole as a fringe medical theory seems fairly bold (given its widespread use) and requires not only reliable sources labeling it as such (see above discussion, "pseudoscience") but also a showing of scientific or academic consensus per WP:FRINGE/PS. I do not see that consensus. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 21:06, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Magick energy flows through your hands and heals? ... Reiki is bollocks as obvious as bollocks gets, as Ernst, Quackwatch, Novella, a 11-year-old girl, or any source considering the question tells us. Wikipedia is a reality-based project and the obvious can simply be asserted, with even a lightweight source. However, I've added a ref to a OUP textbook just in case there's any doubt. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 21:17, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
A single textbook source isn't nearly enough for a fringe finding. I'm also don't even think that source satisfies MEDRS. Are you saying it's so obvious to you that you can't or won't even explain why or cite anything in WP:FRINGE that supports your view? Come on, convince me, don't insult my intelligence. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 21:41, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
It's plenty (and the question of whether or not something is "fringe" or pseudoscience is not biomedical, but more in the realm of philosophy of science, outwith the scope of MEDRS). But oh wow, you're arguing that WP:FRINGE doesn't apply here? Really? I suggest if in doubt seeking guidance at WP:FT/N. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 21:46, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
You haven't explained why FRINGE applies except for a big DUH IT'S OBVIOUS. I have no desire to press the issue, so I won't be going to any noticeboards over it. I just wanted to make clear that Summer's comments were not uncontested. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 21:58, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
WP:FRINGE applies here because RS discussing pseudoscience, categorizes Reiki as such (it's also obvious). Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 22:05, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Pulling back a bit, is Lotus Press a reliable source? I cannot find anything to suggest that it is. - SummerPhD (talk) 00:16, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

I've removed two more self published sources. More to come, I'm sure. - SummerPhD (talk) 00:37, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Another self-published source removed. - SummerPhD (talk) 12:36, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

I'm still waiting for any opinions on Lotus Press. Failing that, I'll have to see what the RS noticeboard has to say. We have been losing a lot of sources here. Far too much of this article seems to be based on random reiki practitioners who have self published books. I've weeded out a bit of it. I'm sure there's a lot more. Comments? - SummerPhD (talk) 22:30, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

If it disagrees with sources of similar quality, then definitely leave it out. As for providing some general in-world perspective, it probably is worth keeping where we don't have better sources. Using it for historical information seems a bit of a stretch. Does that cover most of its use? --Ronz (talk) 22:44, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
It's all "in-world" perspective, but the perspective is limited to the world of the particular practitioner. There is no way of knowing if any given view is that of the individual or held by most practitioners. For instance, there is a claim in the article that the "connection" between practitioner and recipient is not limited by time or space. The magic can be sent forward or backward through time. I have no way of knowing if this particular idea is from the mainstream fringe or the fringe of the fringe. Basically, I don't think we really have any way of knowing. We need to figure out what is and what is not a reliable source for claims of what reiki believers believe. Sources of poor quality result in a poor foundation. - SummerPhD (talk) 23:06, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

I'm also unsure what to do with Ulysses Press. I see no indication they are reliable. All I can really find on them is that they publish a mixed bag of books on far flung topics: comedy, trivia, diet books, etc. They bill themselves as "one of the leading indie publishers" (whatever that might mean). Any insights? - SummerPhD (talk) 23:11, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Next up: Shuffey. I find three separate publishers for this: Headway, Hodder & Stoughton and Trafalgar Square. I have not, however, been able to find any indication that any of these are reliable sources. Anyone? - SummerPhD (talk) 03:31, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Lotus Press[edit]

I'm making this a separate subheading because it is a huge part of the article.

While digging through and removing self-published and other unreliable sources, it has become clear that most of the "in-universe" material here comes from a handful of sources published by Lotus Press. I am unable to find anything substantial about them. Their website states only that:

Lotus Press is a specialty publisher of books in the fields of:

  • Alternative Health
  • Native American
  • (sic)Philosophy and Spirituality
  • Inner Worlds Music label

Discussion at the RS/N hasn't turned up anything either. It seems that Lotus Press is not a WP:RS.

Additionally, a lot of material cites The Original Reiki Handbook of Dr. Mikao Usui. As the creator of reiki, Usui is a primary source, to be used for limited, simple factual statements. The source, however, is used with considerable range in this article. - SummerPhD (talk) 03:52, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

I am adding consideration of New Leaf Distributing Company as their article indicates they have been acquired by the founder (or maybe parent company) of Lotus Press. - SummerPhD (talk) 13:47, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I am still waiting for any comments on Lotus Press/New Leaf Distributing Company. I can find nothing to indicate they are reliable sources. I'll wait a few days more before removing them. - SummerPhD (talk) 02:53, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Agree, the Lotus Press homepage also lists their "specific specialties" [sic] as Aromatherapy, Ayurveda, Reiki, Herbalism, Vedic Astrology—woo woo. Not a RS publisher. Deleting all these references will winnow the chaff out of this article. Thanks for your useful improvements. Keahapana (talk) 00:23, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Last call before I yank the Lotus Press sources... - SummerPhD (talk) 16:42, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Yank away. --NeilN talk to me 17:23, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

I've removed all of the Lotus Press/New Leaf sources, other than the Usui (primary) source, which is next. After that, I'll let it sit for a bit before losing all of the unsourced material. After that is the grueling work of weeding through all of the other sources. - SummerPhD (talk) 02:50, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

The Original Reiki Handbook of Dr. Mikao Usui[edit]

This is a primary source and should not be used as the basis for large portions of the article. At the moment, it is cited over 30 times. At best, it should be mentioned in the history section. If independent reliable sources do not discuss an issue of reiki, this article should not discuss that issue. Taking info from primary sources that is not found in independent sources gives weight to that material which is not supported by secondary sources. Comments before I start paring this down? - SummerPhD (talk) 14:35, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Principles of Reiki[edit]

Any indication this is a WP:RS? Is "Thorsons"? - SummerPhD (talk) 11:40, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

No responses. I haven't been able to find anything. - SummerPhD (talk) 00:17, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Unknown source[edit]

"Miles, P. & True, G., 2003, p. 63" is currently cited. If anyone can find this source, provide a usable cite and argue that it is a reliable source, I'm all ears. - SummerPhD (talk) 00:45, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Assorted publishers[edit]

Any indication Piatkus, Crossing Press and Adams Media Corporation are reliable sources? - SummerPhD (talk) 01:22, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Various "federations"[edit]

UK Reiki Federation, International Reiki Federation and The Riki Council all need independent reliable sources to establish them as authoritative. Anyone? - SummerPhD (talk) 01:22, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

One-off sources[edit]

"Reiki News Magazine", and are all cited once each. Any indication any of these are reliable sources? - SummerPhD (talk) 01:22, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Inconsistent capitalization[edit]

The article uses a mix of "reiki" and "Reiki". I was about to fix this seemingly trivial matter, but then noticed that Merriam-Webster has "Reiki" while OED has "reiki". Manul ~ talk 01:20, 19 March 2015 (UTC)


Can someone please explain, to this editor with relatively little experience with WP:FRINGE, how the claim that reiki may confer some medical benefit is a fringe theory per our standards as opposed to merely a questionable theory, see WP:FRINGE/PS? I respectfully request a thoughtful and reasoned answer rather than a "duh it's obvious" type of answer. Yes, we have a couple of non-peer reviewed sources by noted skeptics saying it's pseudoscience. These would be considered reliable if WP:PARITY applies, but to get there the theory would already have to pass the test as fringe, would it not? And for that, there would have to be a broad scientific consensus that reiki did not confer any medical benefit. I'm not seeing that in the literature. Reliable sources such as this one do not say reiki confers no medical benefit; they say the evidence to date is insufficient to suggest that reiki confers a medical benefit, which is something quite different. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 06:52, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

It's obviously fringe, and so may be so labelled (magic energy jumps from your hands to the patient, curing disease?). It's also described as such by our sources (not just the ones you mentioned, we're using a mainstream textbook in the article). Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 07:02, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
What sources? The best I see is a single textbook that puts reiki on a list of pseudosciences. That doesn't seem like scientific consensus to me. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 07:40, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Does to me. Or are you saying there are good sources which consider the question of whether reiki is pseudoscience or not, and come down differently? If so which? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 07:44, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
No sources in direct conflict, though here's one saying reiki does have a detectable physiological effect. More importantly, is one textbook enough to establish scientific consensus? What is the basis for that? Scientific consensus says it's a collective judgment, not an solitary judgment. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 07:57, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
"No sources in direct conflict" ← end of disussion then. A consensus is charatercteized by the absence of significant opposition. (A "consensus" is a red herring here anyway. Reiki is obviously pseudoscience to any rational person AND we follow the sources). Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 08:04, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Also, the source you linked does little to prove it has any effect in comparison to placebo. There's a long long history of pseudosciences creating some sort of physiological effect, but just as much as placebo, because it's all about the belief that there's an effect. See Acupuncture#Effectiveness.--Shibbolethink ( ) 19:18, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm pretty confident that's not what consensus means in the scientific context. Suppose a scientist comes out with some groundbreaking research and draws a new conclusion from it. You're saying that's the new scientific consensus? Seems a little far fetched to me, and totally inconsistent with our article on the subject. And this "it's obvious" mantra isn't helpful. I'm hoping for reasoned discussion, not something akin to can't-you-see-the-truth aka blind faith. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 08:13, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
For something which is novel the consensus can't be known. On "obvious" allow me to quote WP:FRINGE: "Proposals which, while purporting to be scientific, are obviously bogus may be so labeled and categorized as such without more justification". Reiki is obviously bogus, or are there sane people who believe in channelling magic power through their hands, do you think? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 08:28, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

DrFleischman, when a reliable source states that something is pseudoscience, it is effectively telling us that sufficient conditions are met with regard to the demarcation problem. Are you seeking some kind of collective statement from scientists around the world that Reiki is pseudoscience? Scientific consensus is indicated by the lack of consideration; WP:FRINGELEVEL covers this a little. Thinking of a maximally obvious example like time cube may help. Manul ~ talk 08:50, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks Manul, I appreciate this discussion. Time Cube does seem like a useful comparator. Assuming our article to be accurate, the Time Cube theory was held by a single individual rather than widespread. Reiki, in contrast, is a common practice adopted by more than 60 hospitals and tried by more than 1.2 million people in the U.S.[27]. A scientifically plausible mechanism has been identified and reiki has been proven to have a physiological effect (though no medical benefit has been proven).[28] This mechanism has been accepted by the scientific community in non-alt med contexts.[29] The NIH has addressed the effectiveness of reiki and has declined to call it ineffective, instead saying, "Several groups of experts have evaluated the evidence on Reiki, and all of them have concluded that it’s uncertain whether Reiki is helpful."[30] In spite of these huge differences compared Time Cube, our Time Cube article doesn't outright reject the theory, let alone in the first sentence as the reiki article does. Instead, it describes how specific scientists have rejected the theory, with attribution. If we did what is done in the Time Cube article then this article would be much more balanced. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DrFleischman (talkcontribs) 17:13, 19 March 2015‎
" held by a single individual rather than widespread" Fallacious and irrelevant at best. --Ronz (talk) 17:56, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Please back that up. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:04, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Argumentum ad populum. --Ronz (talk) 18:23, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Not helpful. Explain. Collaborate. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:46, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Maybe you could explain what it is you don't understand. I'm saying that the main point of the argument presented is simply an ad pupulum fallacy. --Ronz (talk) 19:44, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
You've misunderstood my argument. I'm not saying reiki is effective because many people believe it to be. I'm saying in order to declare a view held by millions of people as fringe we should have more evidence than for a view held by one person. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 20:09, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. It appears I understood perfectly. Fallacious and irrelevant at best. --Ronz (talk) 20:48, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Try explaining why you feel that way, beyond invoking a straw man maxim. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 21:45, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, but you're the one here trying to change consensus. Make a case that's not based upon fallacies and misunderstandings. --Ronz (talk) 22:09, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
DrFleischman, the reason I mentioned Time Cube was to illustrate that it would be unreasonable to expect some kind of "broad scientific consensus" from scientists about Time Cube except implicitly via its absence in the scientific literature. Manul ~ talk 18:05, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Understood. The problems with this argument are multiple. First, it's not at all clear that Time Cube was treated as fringe. Second, even if it was treated as fringe, the coverage of fringe level was much more more extensive and balanced in Time Cube than here. I added the citations to show that compared Time Cube, reiki is much less obviously a fringe theory and much more extraordinarily labeled as such, given that it has reached a much greater level of acceptance as compared to Time Cube. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:42, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

While I'm going to continue to assume good faith of DrFleischman's recent comments and edits, they stray well into territory that might call for a warning for Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Arbitration cases violations.

That said, shouldn't this talk page have a notice about it falling under ArbCom findings and enforcement? --Ronz (talk) 16:21, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Ronz, I consider this outright harassment. These arbitration cases say disruptive behavior is subject to discretionary sanctions. Unless you can point me to conduct that you consider disruptive then this is a purely empty threat. There is nothing disruptive about our discussions. If anything is disruptive, it is the constant edit warring that has occurred on this on this article since at least last fall, mostly by the skeptics with with the lamest of edit summaries, yourself included. Then as soon as someone comes to the talk page and makes a coherent argument you start talking about sanctions? Get real. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 16:47, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Sorry you feel that way. I'm happy to reword, but the facts are what they are. Multiple Arbcom decisions apply here and now you know. Note that there were decisions on behavior as well as identification of policies. I think your behavior is over the line, even in your reply above. You repeatedly dispute the application of identified policies, following in the footsteps of those previously warned, banned, and blocked. --Ronz (talk) 17:00, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
"Disputing the application of identified policies" is disruption? You have to be kidding me. These kinds of vacuous threats are intended to squelch reasoned discussion and are therefore disruptive themselves. If you report me on this basis I will definitely request a boomerang. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:03, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
I suggest you read the arbcom decisions. --Ronz (talk) 19:46, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
I have. Now I suggest you back off before I seek sanctions myself. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 21:47, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Weren't you complaining about threats earlier? --Ronz (talk) 22:06, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

I am confused as to why there is a confusion. Per WP:FRINGE: "We use the term fringe theory in a very broad sense to describe ideas that depart significantly from the prevailing or mainstream view in its particular field. For example, fringe theories in science depart significantly from mainstream science and have little or no scientific support." There is no scientific support for its medical use, it is therefore by definition WP:FRINGE. WP:FRINGE treatments can be popular, but nevertheless not supported scientifically. Yobol (talk) 19:48, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

The question is what the prevailing view is in this field. I don't think there is a prevailing view on this topic. We have a very small number of sources saying reiki is ineffective, and we have a very small number of sources saying the studies have been inconclusive. Due to the lack of useful studies and the relative lack of scientific opinions on the matter I do not think we can say the scientific community has spoken on the matter. Therefore FRINGE can't apply. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 20:16, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Actually the scientific community has spoken, it has said there is no evidence it works to treat anything. Since we have a number of WP:MEDRS compliant sources that says it does not work or there is no evidence it works, and no high quality sources that says it does work or there is good evidence it does work, it has "little or no scientific support" and therefore qualifies as WP:FRINGE. Yobol (talk) 20:41, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
You sure? A cursory Web of Science search yields the following: [1], [2], [3], [4]. These papers were published in SCI journals in 2014-2015, significantly more recent than the 2008 paper currently cited in the article. Can you provide the source(s) by which you claim that there is a consensus? Banedon (talk) 02:33, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
Quite sure. Let's look at the sources you provide in detail:
  1. 1: A primary study, published in a journal that is not even indexed in Pubmed, not to mention MEDLINE. Not usable per WP:MEDRS.
  2. 2, #3, #4: No definitive conclusions could be reached due to the poor quality of underlying data, and each are published in relatively lower quality journals. #3 and #4 also included non-Reiki related modalities, making any conclusions you can draw about Reiki specifically dubious.
The sources used in the article (NCCIH, American Cancer Society, Cancer Research UK) are high quality tertiary sources that document that there is no good evidence it works. None of the sources you provide come close to disputing that. Yobol (talk) 03:48, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm not claiming it works. I'm claiming there's no consensus. By what sources do you claim that there is a consensus? None of the sources you mention even use the word 'consensus'. Banedon (talk) 04:01, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
Also just so that we don't end up talking past one another and arguing about things that aren't really relevant, I'll just say that based on articles such as the four I gave above, I oppose any mention that Reiki does not work, and prefer the weaker statement 'there is no evidence that Reiki works'. Banedon (talk) 04:11, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
(e/c) I'm not getting into a semantic discussion here. The point of this discussion is that there has not been presented any good sources saying that there is good evidence it does work, and in fact, several sources saying there isn't any good evidence that it works. Therefore, there is "little or no scientific support" for it, and therefore, it falls under WP:FRINGE. Yobol (talk) 04:13, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
I can agree with that. Banedon (talk) 04:22, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

As a lot of content is disappearing (unreliable/primary sources), just a quick note for the record before some of the whoppers are gone. Yes, this is a WP:FRINGE theory. This has NOTHING whatsoever to do with how many people "use" it in one way or another. Reiki practitioners make claims that are directly at odds with basic, established science: Reiki energy is infinite/unlimited. Reiki treatments can be made across any distance. Reiki treatments can be made across time (i.e., into the past or future). Reiki energy "knows" where it is needed. Reiki practitioners sometimes use other discredited theories/practices (e.g., psychic surgery). Whether or not Reiki is "mainstream" or anything else, it fits the criteria under WP:FRINGE. - SummerPhD (talk) 00:29, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Lee literature review[edit]

This literature review by Lee et al. does not say that reiki conveys no medical benefit, as stated in our lead section. Instead it says the existing evidence is insufficient to suggest that reiki conveys any medical benefit. That is quite a different thing. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 06:59, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

"The evidence is insufficient to suggest that reiki is an effective treatment for any condition" is STM-speak for "it doesn't work", which we state in lay language to be neutral. I shall request further input from WP:FT/N. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 07:03, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure what "STM" stands for, but this analysis seems to be original research. You're taking what the source actually says and reinterpreting it to say when you think they actually meant. That's would definitely violate WP:V. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 07:10, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
STM = Science, Technology, Medicine. We need to paraphrase in lay language. On reflection this could be done better by putting it is "ineffective" (since a benefit maybe conferred by the placebo effect), so I've done that. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 07:15, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Not a proper paraphrase. That has a very different meaning. A better lay paraphrase would be something like "studies to date have not shown any medical benefit." Or better, more directly quoted and easily understandable: "the medical value of reiki remains unproven." I've posted a discussion at WP:NORN as I think that's a better place to get input on the relevant policies (WP:V and WP:OR). --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 07:20, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
You'd be better off asking at WT:MED as the question revolves on what medical content means in lay terms. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 07:23, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
No it doesn't. The summary of the article is quite clear and easily understandable by non-experts. WP:JARGON is no basis for reinterpreting a source to mean something different, and any editor here (not just those at WP:MED) is qualified to opine on whether given language is too technical. In fact a technical wikiproject would be the last place I'd go for that. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 07:32, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Actually it is well known and understood that "existing evidence is insufficient to suggest that ... conveys any medical benefit" is scientific journal jargon fairly interpreted into lay terms as "inneffective". Scientific writing bears in mind the logic that a negative cannot be "proven" lay writing summarizes "insufficient to suggest...conveys any medical benefit" into clear lay terms as "not effective". Of particular note is that the evidence does not even "suggest" any benefit. Editors at WP:MED actually have substantial experience and understanding of the difference between the way scientific journal articles and lay articles differ and the delineation between accurate paraphrasing and summarization and OR and thus would be a logical and reasonable place to seek input. - - MrBill3 (talk) 04:52, 24 March 2015 (UTC)


Is this a reliable source?

--Dr. Fleischman (talk) 19:24, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

WP:FRIND problems. Better to use mainstream sources independent of the fringe altmed world. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 19:43, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
So, reliable or unreliable? --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 19:51, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
This source is already used in the article (NCCIH went under a the name National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine previously); we should update the reference. NCCIH is an acceptable source as a governmental medical source, though I would in text attribute any conclusions they come to (as is already done in this article). Yobol (talk) 19:46, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Why in-text attribute? --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 19:52, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
NCCIH/NCCAM has been criticized; as such, I would avoid using it as a sole source for a conclusion in Wikipedia's voice. Yobol (talk) 19:57, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
I see. Agree. That was premature. I'll have to think about it. Every federal agency has been criticized by someone. Maybe it depends on the nature and source of the criticism. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 20:22, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
The criticism of this "National Center" (it is not a federal agency) comes from a research mandate which precludes studies that would likely cast doubt on efficacy of alternative medicine. Any statement which was included which tended to comment on the efficacy of an alternative medicine treatment sourced to this center's promotion or research funding should therefore be properly contextualized. This is unlike, for example, NIH which funds studies on the basis of scientific merit (not in NCCIH's remit). jps (talk) 20:23, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
You must be confusing NCCIH with a different organization. NCCIH is a division of NIH (like the CDC) and both our article and its own website describe it as a federal agency. Its mission is to "to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and integrative health interventions and their roles in improving health and health care." How this translates into a "mandate which precludes studies that would likely cast doubt on efficacy of alternative medicine" is beyond me. Provide sources if you're going to make an extraordinary claim like that. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 05:57, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────"Federal agency" is actually a poorly defined subject, but to the extent that NCCIH has zero regulatory power, I find it to be lacking in most definitional senses. It's not even close to being equivalent to the CDC, for example, in terms of executive authority. The problem with the NCCIH's mandate is that NCCIH cannot fund properly controlled studies because of its primary focus on "alternative" medicine. For example, if you designed a study that would look into the health benefits of relaxation independent of alternative health modalities (say, you wanted to measure the effect of those who engage in a hobby), NCCIH would not fund the study even if it included relaxation techniques that were a part of alternative medicine like, say, meditation. This is by design: the concern by the quack-supporters in Congress who set up this travesty was to provide a place where the real medicine and scientific investigation wouldn't overrun the parochial investigations that shunned true inquiry. There was an entire exposé of this nonsense here: [31]. jps (talk) 12:33, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

You lose all credibility when you insist that NCCIH isn't a federal agency. Black is white, white is black. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 07:36, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Actually I thought jps's response was quite thoughtful and nuanced. I think he hit the nail on the head. It's a federal agency in the same way that the Selective Service System is. It has no power anymore, but it sounds fancy. ALSO, the CDC actually ISN'T a part of the NIH. It's a separate federal agency under DHHS. Also, if NCCIH doesn't conduct RCTs, then its studies don't meet MEDRS, right?--Shibbolethink ( ) 08:17, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Not to say that Wikipedia is at all credible, but it seems to suffer from the same lack of black-and-white-i-tude that you complain about. List of federal agencies in the United States. jps (talk) 13:16, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Pseudo-Japanese Isyu Guo[edit]

Having flogged the dead horse about whether Reiki is pseudoscience, another question arises. The present article, like many sources, repeats the story about Mikiao Usui "performing Isyu Guo [sic], a twenty-one day Buddhist training course held on Mount Kurama". While "isyu" is old Nihon-shiki romanization or Kunrei-shiki romanization for WP-style Hepburn romanization isshu (e.g., 一種 "a kind; a species") or perhaps isshū (e.g., 一宗 "a sect; a denomination"); "guo" is not a Japanese word—but is a common Chinese Pinyin romanization (see guo and Guo). Neither the jp nor the zh interwiki mentions this alleged Buddhistic name. They respectively say "に鞍馬山にこもり21日間の絶食を行い", meaning "while performing a 21-day fast on Mount Kurama", and "在日本的聖山─鞍馬山,並斷食靜坐21天", "while performing a 21-day fast and jìngzuò [Japanese seiza] "quiet sitting" meditation on Japan's sacred mountain Mount Kurayama". Searching the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism does not find isyu but does find many Chinese guo words and one Chinese gòuwū, Korean guo, or Japanese kuo term 垢汚 "stain; defilement". What are the origins of this Japanesey *isyu guo error? Keahapana (talk) 04:03, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

This is well outside of my wheelhouse, so I'll only touch on it. In similar disputes, we tend to go with what reliable sources discussing the article's topic have to say. If they discuss it, we discuss it. If they don't, we don't. Many of the sources in this article seem to be of rather low quality. Do any of the sources cover any portion of this? Are those sources reliable? - SummerPhD (talk) 11:58, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
Seconded. When dealing with any sort of discipline that revolves around magical thinking, I find it becomes impossible to really bring any sort of Original research-based logic, or any other sort of mainstream academic discipline (lingustics, for instance) logic into it. It's much better and easier to deal with what WP:RSes say about it.--Shibbolethink ( ) 19:30, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Attempts to Bridge the Gap[edit]

Hi All, I am a latecomer to this conversation, but I am a researcher/teach research. I can see that there has been a lot of debate - my sense is that wording and phrasing has set people off. In most cases, if we can speak to the point (e.g. what do reviews actually say?) rather than interpret or put our spin on them, I think fewer people will be offended (in both directions). I am willing to make an effort to bridge the gap between the two camps (as well as I can) while also making an effort to address this in an unbiased way. This is done with best intentions - I hope in earnest this is helpful and settles things down. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Winspiff (talkcontribs) 22:03, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

*thumbs up* --Shibbolethink ( ) 23:41, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Although, just to be clear, I think SummerPhD and I are both biomed researchers, from what I've gathered. I think there exist some who would call the word "research" as you use it here, a biased concept. I don't agree, but that viewpoint does exist.--Shibbolethink ( ) 23:46, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Pseudoscientific aspects of Eastern religions in general[edit]

For whatever it might be worth, the argument regarding whether this is or is not pseudosceince seems to at least my eyes be a question regarding how to describe Chinese "religion" and Traditional Chinese medicine in particular by current Western terminology. It is worth noting that Chinese culture does not generally have the "soul" that we tend to take for granted in Western religions, which raises questions regarding whether anything in it can really be called "spiritual," as there is not necessarily any sort of separate "spirit" involved. There is also, of course, the equally relevant question whether the word "religion," which is itself kind of a Western concept and term, is really appropriate either.

If we had a specific article or section, and I tend to think that we do, somewhere, although I don't know exactly where, which specifically discusses the Oriental mind/spirit/soul relationship, it would probably at least to my eyes to link to it as a descriptor in the first sentence of the lede, perhaps with language like "Chinese religious" practice or something like that. Pretty much by definition, all the physical or "medical" claims of such Chinese or Oriental belief systems are, I think, considered pseudoscientific, so the issue of possible redundancy in the use of the word "pseudoscience" together with a more specific descriptor early in the lede might, unfortunately, remain.

I know of one editor who has given a great deal of time to the study of qigong related topics around here, and have contacted him for his input on how to address this matter. John Carter (talk) 16:28, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

Shibbolethink just removed[32] some text that said reiki "might help promote a feeling of general wellbeing" with the comment it's not supported by the ref. But this wording was my attempt to paraphrase the ref's words: "many healthcare professionals accept Reiki as a useful complementary therapy that may help to lower stress, promote relaxation and possibly help reduce some types of pain". I think we need to represent sources fairly and have something of this kind. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 16:33, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

That seems like a reasonable paraphrase of those words. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 17:11, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
I disagree. That source also says that "Practitioners of Reiki believe that it promotes a sense of wellbeing." So the best way to include that phrase is that practitioners believe it. In my opinion, the way you phrased it made it sound as though research hasn't shown that Reiki cures anything, but that research HAS shown that Reiki promotes a sense of wellbeing. There's no /studies/ to support that, just the concept that some healthcare professionals believe it. --Shibbolethink ( ) 18:31, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Good points. So: "some physicians think it might help promote general wellbeing"? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 18:40, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Works for me! Though probably, "though some physicians have said it could promote general wellbeing" for style or whatever.--Shibbolethink ( ) 20:22, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Describing Reiki as "pseudoscience" in the lead[edit]

Straightforward discussion is required here: "Reiki is a form of pseudoscience." That's a ridiculously biased way of conveying that some people classify reiki as "pseudoscience," clearly intended pejoratively, far from neutral. Furthermore, the sole source is a practically passing mention of reiki, in a parenthetical list of practices, in Chaper 1: Psychomythology, of the Oxford Handbook of Psychiatry - very weak. Furthermore, the lead should summarize the article, not provide headline news: here, "pseudoscience" is not properly developed beyond the lead.

If there is a wish to include that reiki is considered a "pseudoscience" by some, considering its generally negative connotation, fully developed article content should be created, and that content summarized appropriately in the lead. In particular, our own well-cited definition states: "Pseudoscience is a claim, belief or practice which is incorrectly presented as scientific." The article gives not indication that reiki is generally presented as being "scientific" - if that is the case, it should be documented in the article.

I have edited out the first instance of "pseudoscience" in the lead, and will allow this discussion to develop or not for a while before editing the remaining entry. --Tsavage (talk) 19:00, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

No, it's not a pejorative. Nor is it "far from neutral".
Given WP:FRINGE, a high level of prominence shouldn't be a surprise.
The lede both summarizes and introduces the article.
It appears to have been (re-)added to the first sentence here.
In the short lede that we have now, the duplication of the term seems too much. --Ronz (talk) 22:26, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
@Ronz: It's good that we have found some common ground in considering the use of the word "pseudoscience" twice in the brief lead to be excessive. Thanks for reverting your reversion!
  • it's not a pejorative. Nor is it "far from neutral". - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy puts it well: 'It would be as strange for someone to proudly describe her own activities as pseudoscience as to boast that they are bad science. Since the derogatory connotation is an essential characteristic of the word "pseudoscience”, an attempt to extricate a value-free definition of the term would not be meaningful.' Science and Pseudo-Science: 2. The “science” of pseudoscience. No need to dance around the point: you want to label reiki as essentially "bad," in no uncertain terms, and right up front in the lead: "Reiki is a form of pseudoscience" is essentially "Reiki is unscientific crap." I won't argue that, as long as it's well-sourced, and not written in a way that shouts at readers, "Wikipedia is making a point to label this crap," which is not neutral as in WP:NPOV/WP:IMPARTIAL.
  • I mentioned above: the sole source is a practically passing mention of reiki, in a parenthetical list of practices, in Chaper 1: Psychomythology, of the Oxford Handbook of Psychiatry The mention is in a single sentence, in a single-paragraph section titled "Pseudoscience," followed by a paragraph titled "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." The exact mention is "...confuse metaphysical with empirical claims (e.g. acupuncture, cellular memory, reiki, therapeutic touch, Ayurvedic medicine)" 1. Please explain why how that is adequate sourcing? For one, pseudoscience is essentially an opinion, so the authority of the source of that opinion seem quite important.
I have no problem with any sort of criticism of reiki (and I have no connection to reiki), but it should be done with adequately verifiable sourcing, and neutral wording. A lead paragraph beginning with something like, "Reiki is controversial..." and summarizing whatever there is seems more balanced. WDYT? --Tsavage (talk) 00:42, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
Bunk should be flagged up as bunk. That's core WP:PSCI policy. We shouldn't "teach the controversy" where (in RS) there is none. Alexbrn (talk) 05:58, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. This is an encyclopedia where evidence-based medicine and basic science have special prominence. --Ronz (talk) 14:26, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
@Alexbrn: "Bunk should be flagged up as bunk. That's core WP:PSCI policy." Is that a comment or a reply to one or both of my questions, about the particular use of "pseudoscience" and/or the quality of the source? My point is, this sort of writing quality makes Wikipedia look foolish, it's quite clear that somebody is having a go at reiki, and that that is being condoned, because it is there, published. It's embarrassing, and far from an impartial or neutral way for an encyclopedia to present a topic. Our society punishes transgressions, but we try not to condone tar and feathering.
@Ronz: All I'm really looking for is a comment on my questioning of the quality of the source, and the particular use of the pejorative "psuedoscience." If you are active in editing an article, you should show courtesy to other editors who are trying to discuss, instead of ignoring their questions. Since you mentioned it, where can I find more on your statement, "This is an encyclopedia where evidence-based medicine and basic science have special prominence" - interesting, and not my understanding of Wikipedia (although I'm not sure what "special prominence" exactly means). Thanks! --Tsavage (talk) 00:01, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
You've been pointed to WP:FRINGE and WP:PSCI. --Ronz (talk) 01:47, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
And you've been pointed to WP:NPOV/WP:IMPARTIAL. They are complementary. WP:PSCI discusses making clear with proper balance what is and is not founded in empirical evidence, it does not say, "Stamp with a warning label."
All of this still doesn't answer how you determine the cited source fro determining reiki to be "pseudoscience" adequate. At the very least, the source should be mentioned in the article: all it says is five words: "confuse metaphysical with empirical claims" in a single paragaph that has nothing directly to do with reiki. (Also, the wording in WP:PSCI is ambiguous on a lot of levels - e.g. "Proposals which ... are obviously bogus", "obviously bogus" is our measure? - but I will take that up there.) --Tsavage (talk) 08:21, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm afraid that you personal opinions on the matter, as expressed in the comments above ("clearly intended pejoratively, far from neutral"; "considering its generally negative connotation"; ' No need to dance around the point: you want to label reiki as essentially "bad," in no uncertain terms, and right up front in the lead'; '"Wikipedia is making a point to label this crap,"'; "Our society punishes transgressions, but we try not to condone tar and feathering."), are making editors settle with the current consensus rather than engage in the policy-based arguments you've made. --Ronz (talk) 16:29, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
That's a neat argument, as if this and previous pages of discussions like this, made futile by failing to address concrete issues, didn't exist, saying, "I don't like the words you used, so we will forgo engaging in the policy-based arguments you've made." You can't address those arguments and get the outcome you want, more likely. --Tsavage (talk) 23:48, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

Note – There's no shortage of reliable references. Searching Google Books for reiki pseudoscience finds 974 ghits. Keahapana (talk) 22:07, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

Great. So it should be no problem to use a decent source! --Tsavage (talk) 23:48, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
The source given defines and explains pseudoscience and gives the basis of categorization as pseudoscience for certain practices and lists reiki as a specific example. That is clear and unambiguous. If a source says A means this, a reason things are categorized A is because of this and lists a set of examples it clearly identifies all of the items listed as examples as A and provides a rationale. A source does not have to provide a detailed explanation of how exactly a practice meets the basis of categorization the source clearly makes the assertion by including a practice in a list of examples that the practice meets the categorization. There is no lack of clarity that the source includes reiki as a pseudoscience on a specific basis. A list of items that are exemplary is clear and unambiguous. To argue otherwise lacks rationality and is tendentious. There has been no policy based challenge to the reliability of the source nor that the source explicitly identifies reiki as pseudoscience. - - MrBill3 (talk) 23:57, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
There is a matter of verifiability and balance. When choosing to highlight a pejorative term in the lead (there are many other ways to convey the same information), the source should provide the general reader with a reasonable explanation for that weight, not simply a list check as the current source does, with a five-word explanation: "confuse metaphysical with empirical claims." We have a duty to verifiability and impartiality in order to create a neutral POV. In this case, the effect is not neutral. You and certain other editors may be of the opinion that it is neutral; I and other editors don't share that opinoin (see this page and Talk archives). This has nothing to do with promoting anything, and everything to do with proper collaborative editing and respecting WP:PAG in full, which includes discussion and good faith attempts to reach consensus. --Tsavage (talk) 00:37, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps this list of sources which categorize reiki as pseudoscience will assist with verifiability, due weight and the broad consensus in the scientific and academic community that reiki is pseudoscience. See False balance, WP:DUE and WP:GEVAL. While not all of these sources are of the highest quality, many are, note the major academic publishers and established experts included.
  1. Scott O. Lilienfeld; Steven Jay Lynn; Jeffrey M. Lohr (11 March 2014). Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology. Guilford Press. pp. 202–. ISBN 978-1-4625-1789-3. 
  2. Jonathan C. Smith (26 September 2011). Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal: A Critical Thinker's Toolkit. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 251–. ISBN 978-1-4443-5894-0. 
  3. Rhonda McClenton (February 2007). Spirits of the Lesser Gods: A Critical Examination of Reiki and Christ-Centered Healing. Universal-Publishers. pp. 187–. ISBN 978-1-58112-344-9. 
  4. Shermer, Michael (ed.). The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience. ABC-CLIO. pp. 252–. ISBN 978-1-57607-653-8. 
  5. Pigliucci, Massimo; Boudry, Maarten (16 August 2013). Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem. University of Chicago Press. pp. 178–. ISBN 978-0-226-05182-6. 
  6. Laynton, Robert (2013). Behind the Masks of God. pp. 70–. ISBN 978-1-291-32850-9. 
  7. Ernst, Edzard (2013). Healing, Hype or Harm?: A Critical Analysis of Complementary or Alternative Medicine. Andrews UK Limited. pp. 116–. ISBN 978-1-84540-711-7. 
  8. Winchester, Simon (2012). Skulls: An Exploration of Alan Dudley's Curious Collection. Black Dog & Leventhal. pp. 97–. ISBN 978-1-57912-912-5. 
  9. Bowman, Sharon (2014). Nlp 190 Success Secrets - 190 Most Asked Questions On Nlp - What You Need To Know. Emereo Publishing. pp. 117–. ISBN 978-1-4888-0057-3. 
  10. Ross, Jonathan (20 November 2008). Why Do I Say These Things?. Transworld. pp. 313–. ISBN 978-1-4070-4021-9. 
  11. Carey, Phyllis (16 March 2014). Cold Fusion 143 Success Secrets - 143 Most Asked Questions On Cold Fusion - What You Need To Know. Emereo Publishing. pp. 35–. ISBN 978-1-4885-3839-1. 
  12. Reiboldt, Wendy (26 November 2013). Consumer Survival: An Encyclopedia of Consumer Rights, Safety, and Protection. ABC-CLIO. pp. 765–. ISBN 978-1-59884-937-0. 
  13. Donlan, Joseph E. (2009). Ordaining Reality in Brief: The Shortcut to Your Future. Universal-Publishers. pp. 63–. ISBN 978-1-59942-892-5. 
  14. Palmer, Susan (23 September 2011). The New Heretics of France: Minority Religions, la Republique, and the Government-Sponsored War on Sects. Oxford University Press. pp. 129–. ISBN 978-0-19-987599-3. 
  15. Bausell, R. Barker (2007). Snake Oil Science: The Truth about Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Oxford University Press. pp. 16–7. ISBN 978-0-19-975859-3. 
- - MrBill3 (talk) 00:50, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

@MrBill3: Not very helpful, simply because I'm not arguing that reiki hasn't been described as pseudoscience, nor that it shouldn't be. If you perhaps re-read my initial post in this thread, I'm referring to the derogatory use in the lead. This isn't Quackwatch or the Skeptic's Encyclopedia, we don't unload scorn on topics that we may find negative: wars, crimes, bad art, things we classify as pseudoscience. We should present the evidence in a neutral way. "Pseudoscience" is a pejorative label representing an opinion, there is no one standard for determining what is pseudoscience, there is an ongoing philosophical debate, it's a convenient term, and a catchy buzzword for skeptic/debunk authors. We should be covering what it refers to, not using the word as a cheap shot. That's my point.

See Oscillococcinum, a commercial homeopathic preparation for which the lead points out "there is no evidence that supports this mechanism or efficacy beyond placebo," for more balanced encyclopedic coverage of "pseudoscience." The term appears in the article once, in reference to all of homeopathy, and not in the lead. Interestingly, Jimmy Wales attacked Oscillococcinum, while prominently linking to the Wikipedia article, in his Quora blog in early 2013, with comments like, "Oscillococcinum is a complete hoax product" and "What I want to know is this: why is this legal?," and quotes the WP article to support his point. What if that well-developed article were instead written to the reiki standard, calling Oscillococcinum the product of pseudoscience twice just in the lead. Wales could express a fairly extreme view AND point to WP without risk that it be seen as an extension of his forceful indictment, because the WP article was decently developed, without the appearance of a quackwatch. Currently, Oscillococcinum has better overall article coverage than reiki. --Tsavage (talk) 02:02, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

On WP we follow what the sources say. I have provided numerous sources which state reiki is pseudoscience. This is appropriately stated in the lead as is due. This plain fact statement represents the mainstream academic consensus on reiki and should be clearly and predominantly presented as is clearly WP:DUE in accordance with WP:PSCI (a part of WP:NPOV a core policy). Policy is well established and explicitly explained in many PAGs. If the mainstream scientific and academic consensus is that a subject is pseudoscience that should be presented prominently and clearly without obfuscation. That is what the current content, "Reiki is a form of pseudoscience." does. If you as an editor consider the mainstream scientific and academic view presented in multiple high quality RS's as derogatory that is not an editorial interpretation in keeping with PAG. We state what is present in the sources, we don't water it down, minimize or hide it. The overwhelming number of sources that list reiki as an example of pseudoscience in unambiguous. You have not presented any policy based rationale that suggests the plain language used in the sources should not be prominently presented. - - MrBill3 (talk) 02:26, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
"my initial post":"ridiculously biased way of conveying that some people classify reiki as 'pseudoscience,'" The bias you suggest comes from the sources not WP editors per WP:NPOV "balancing the bias in sources based on the weight of the opinion in reliable sources" again see WP:DUE. "reiki is considered a "pseudoscience" by some" by some??? no by a clear consensus of the scientific academic community, so much so it is used as an illustrative example of pseudoscience in multiple sources. "All I'm really looking for is a comment on my questioning of the quality of the source, and the particular use of the pejorative "psuedoscience.'" You have been provided with a clear explanation that listing reiki as an example of pseudoscience when defining and discussion pseudoscience in a high quality RS is adequate sourcing for the statement, "Reiki is a form of pseudoscience." You have also been provided with other high quality sources that state unambiguously reiki is pseudoscience, many times using it to provide an example of what pseudoscience is. "There is a matter of verifiability and balance" It has been verified, read the cited source and several others given, for balance note the prominence and widespread use see WP:DUE, WP:PSCI and while your at it WP:FRINGE. "there is no one standard for determining what is pseudoscience" there are however multiple reliable sources which give reiki as an example, there are also guidelines on WP which provide guidance and reiki clearly meets those guidelines. Regardless of your opinion of what the term pseudoscience means the sources use the term to describe and characterize reiki, on WP we go with the reliable sources as due. In defining a standard for pseudoscience multiple sources cite reiki as an example. This is prominent in multiple high quality sources and should be presented on WP that way. Other stuff on WP is the weakest argument possible, we should strive to reflect PAG and represent what is published in reliable sources with due prominence, proportionality and weight.

Here are a few more sources, the last of which provides a thorough discussion of pseudoscience in relation to the subject:

  • Cortinas-Rovira, S.; Alonso-Marcos, F.; Pont-Sorribes, C.; Escriba-Sales, E. (2014). "Science journalists' perceptions and attitudes to pseudoscience in Spain". Public Understanding of Science 24 (4): 450–465. doi:10.1177/0963662514558991. ISSN 0963-6625. 
  • Rislove, Daniel C. (2006). "Case study of inoperable inventions: Why is the USPTO patenting pseudoscience". Wis. L. Rev.: 1275–. 
  • Thyer, Bruce A.; Pignotti, Monica (2010). "Science and Pseudoscience in Developmental Disabilities: Guidelines for Social Workers". Journal of Social Work in Disability & Rehabilitation 9 (2-3): 110–129. doi:10.1080/1536710X.2010.493480. ISSN 1536-710X. 
  • Lobato, Emilio; Mendoza, Jorge; Sims, Valerie; Chin, Matthew (2014). "Examining the Relationship Between Conspiracy Theories, Paranormal Beliefs, and Pseudoscience Acceptance Among a University Population". Applied Cognitive Psychology 28 (5): 617–625. doi:10.1002/acp.3042. ISSN 0888-4080. 
  • Gorski, David H.; Novella, Steven P. (2014). "Clinical trials of integrative medicine: testing whether magic works?". Trends in Molecular Medicine 20 (9): 473–476. doi:10.1016/j.molmed.2014.06.007. ISSN 1471-4914. 
  • Ferraresi, Martina; Clari, Roberta; Moro, Irene; Banino, Elena et al. (2013). "Reiki and related therapies in the dialysis ward: an evidence-based and ethical discussion to debate if these complementary and alternative medicines are welcomed or banned". BMC Nephrology 14 (1): 129. doi:10.1186/1471-2369-14-129. ISSN 1471-2369. 
  • Bril, V.; England, J.; Franklin, G. M.; Backonja, M. et al. (2011). "Evidence-based guideline: Treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy: Report of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation". Neurology 76 (20): 1758–1765. doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182166ebe. ISSN 0028-3878. 
  • Sokal, Alan D. (2006). "Pseudoscience and Postmodernism: Antagonists or Fellow-Travelers?". In Fagan, Garrett G. Archaeological Fantasies: How Pseudoarchaeology Misrepresents the Past and Misleads the Public. Psychology Press. pp. 349–. ISBN 978-0-415-30592-1. 
If you think the article should contain a full section on how reiki is used an an example of pseudoscience, why it is considered pseudoscience and a more thorough, "explanation of how scientists have received pseudoscientific theories should be prominently included" (WP:NPOV} including why and how reiki is considered pseudoscience in the scientific and academic communities, I'm sure the sources I have given will provide adequate material for at least a couple of paragraphs in the body. - - MrBill3 (talk) 03:04, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps the following content should be added to the body of the article to flesh out the details of how reiki is regarded by the scientific and academic community. Some additional paraphrasing might be appropriate but I chose to include attributed quotes. Content based on the references cited in the lead could also be added to fully present the mainstream scientific, academic and medical positions regarding reiki.

Possible content to add[edit]

Reiki is used as an illustrative example of pseudoscience in scholarly texts and academic journal articles.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] Rhonda McClenton states, "The reality is that Reiki, under the auspices of pseudo-science, has begun the process of becoming institutionalized in settings where people are already very vulnerable."[4] In criticizing the State University of New York for offering a continuing education course on reiki, Lilienfeld et al. (in Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology) state, "Reiki postulates the existence of a universal energy unknown to science and thus far undetectable surrounding the human body, which practitioners can learn to manipulate using thier hands."[12] Ferraresi et al. state, "In spite of its [reiki] diffusion, the baseline mechanism of action has not been demonstrated..."[13] Wendy Reiboldt states about reiki, "Neither the forces involved not the alleged therapeutic benefits have been demonstrated by scientific testing."[14] Several authors have pointed to the vitalistic energy reiki claims to treat.[15][16][17] Larry Sarner states (in The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience), "Ironically, the only thing that distinguishes Reiki from Therapeutic Touch is that it involves actual touch."[17] Massimo Pigliucci and Maarten Boudry state (in Philosophy of Pseudoscience) that the International Center for Reiki Training "mimic[s] the institutional aspects of science" seeking legitimacy but holds no more promise than an alchemy society.[18] An evidence based guideline published by the American Academy of Neurology, the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation states, "Reiki therapy should probably not be considered for the treatment of PDN [painful diabetic neuropathy]."[19] Susan Palmer lists reiki as among the pseudoscientific healing methods used by cults in France to attract members.[20] David Gorski and Steven Novella have commented on the absurdity of clinical testing of implausible treatments.[11]


  1. ^ Sokal, Alan D. (2006). "Pseudoscience and Postmodernism: Antagonists or Fellow-Travelers?". In Fagan, Garrett G. Archaeological Fantasies: How Pseudoarchaeology Misrepresents the Past and Misleads the Public. Psychology Press. pp. 349–. ISBN 9780415305921. 
  2. ^ Semple, D.; Smyth, R. (2013). "Ch. 1: Psychomythology". Oxford Handbook of Psychiatry (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 20. ISBN 9780199693887. 
  3. ^ Bausell, R. Barker (2007). Snake Oil Science: The Truth about Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Oxford University Press. pp. 16–7. ISBN 9780199758593. 
  4. ^ a b McClenton, Rhonda (2007). Spirits of the Lesser Gods: A Critical Examination of Reiki and Christ-Centered Healing. Universal Publishers. pp. 187–. ISBN 9781581123449. 
  5. ^ Winchester, Simon (2012). Skulls: An Exploration of Alan Dudley's Curious Collection. Black Dog & Leventhal. pp. 97–. ISBN 9781579129125. 
  6. ^ Donlan, Joseph E. (2009). Ordaining Reality in Brief: The Shortcut to Your Future. [[Universal Publisher (United States}|Universal Publishers]]. pp. 63–. ISBN 9781599428925. 
  7. ^ Cortinas-Rovira, S; Alonso-Marcos, F; Pont-Sorribes, C; Escriba-Sales, E (2014). "Science journalists' perceptions and attitudes to pseudoscience in Spain". Public Understanding of Science 24 (4): 450–65. doi:10.1177/0963662514558991. 
  8. ^ Rislove, DC (2006). "Case study of inoperable inventions: Why is the USPTO patenting pseudoscience". Wisconsin Law Review: 1275–. 
  9. ^ Thyer, BA; Pignotti, M (2010). "Science and pseudoscience in developmental disabilities: Guidelines for social workers". Journal of Social Work in Disability & Rehabilitation 9 (2-3): 110–29. doi:10.1080/1536710X.2010.493480. 
  10. ^ Lobato, E; Mendoza, J; Sims, V; Chin, M (2014). "Examining the relationship between conspiracy theories, paranormal beliefs, and pseudoscience acceptance among a university population". Applied Cognitive Psychology 28 (5): 617–25. doi:10.1002/acp.3042. 
  11. ^ a b Gorski, DH; Novella, SP (2014). "Clinical trials of integrative medicine: Testing whether magic works?". Trends in Molecular Medicine 20 (9): 473–6. doi:10.1016/j.molmed.2014.06.007. 
  12. ^ Lilienfeld, Scott O.; Lynn, Steven Jay; Lohr, Jeffrey M. (2014). Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology. Guilford Press. pp. 202–. ISBN 9781462517893. 
  13. ^ Ferraresi, M; Clari, R; Moro, I; Banino, E et al. (2013). "Reiki and related therapies in the dialysis ward: An evidence-based and ethical discussion to debate if these complementary and alternative medicines are welcomed or banned". BMC Nephrology 14 (1): 129–. doi:10.1186/1471-2369-14-129. 
  14. ^ Reiboldt, Wendy (2013). Consumer Survival: An Encyclopedia of Consumer Rights, Safety, and Protection. ABC-CLIO. p. 765. ISBN 9781598849370. 
  15. ^ Canter, Peter H. (2013). "Vitalism and Other Pseudoscience in Alternative Medicine: The Retreat from Science". In Ernst, Edzard. Healing, Hype or Harm?: A Critical Analysis of Complementary or Alternative Medicine. Andrews UK Limited. pp. 116–. ISBN 9781845407117. 
  16. ^ Smith, Jonathan C. (2011). Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal: A Critical Thinker's Toolkit. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 251–. ISBN 9781444358940. 
  17. ^ a b Sarner, Larry. "Therapeutic Touch". In Shermer, Michael. The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience. ABC-CLIO. pp. 252–. ISBN 9781576076538. 
  18. ^ Pigliucci, Massimo; Boudry, Maarten (2013). Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem. University of Chicago Press. pp. 178–. ISBN 9780226051826. 
  19. ^ Bril, V; England, J; Franklin, GM; Backonja, M et al. (2011). "Evidence-based guideline: Treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy: Report of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation". Neurology 76 (20): 1758–65. doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182166ebe. 
  20. ^ Palmer, Susan (2011). The New Heretics of France: Minority Religions, la Republique, and the Government-Sponsored "War on Sects". Oxford University Press. pp. 129–. ISBN 9780199875993. 

- - MrBill3 (talk) 06:19, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

@MrBill3: Once again, thanks for the effort, but you're burying my comments in citations and words, without fully addressing them. What have you said here that hadn't already been discussed? I'm talking about impartiality and balance in writing, I really don't need more pseudoscience citations.
"Possible content to add" at a glance certainly seems well-cited and informative, why not add it and let other editors go over it as is normal practice? It's interesting that it ends on Novella and Gorski, self-appointed champions of their own personal medical standard (speaking about what he describes as a well-designed study of reiki, Novella says, I notice the authors did not conclude “Reiki doesn’t work.” This is odd, given that both the treatment and placebo groups had the same effect on subjective outcomes,' and goes on to helpfully criticize and recast the study's conclusions - justified or not, this sort of analysis is not transparent to general readers, is every doctor or PhD scientist's opinion blog automatically a reliable source, do we include, say, Dr. Mercola?).
As a reminder, here is where this thread began, with the reiki lead in its entirety:
Reiki (霊気?, /ˈreɪkiː/) is a form of pseudoscientific alternative medicine.[1][2] It was developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui. Since its beginning in Japan, Reiki has been adapted across varying cultural traditions. It uses a technique commonly called palm healing or hands-on-healing as a form of alternative medicine. Through the use of this technique, practitioners believe that they are transferring "universal energy" through the palms of the practitioner, which they believe encourages healing.
Reiki is a form of pseudoscience.[1] It is based on qi, which practitioners say is a universal life force, though there is no evidence that such a life force exists.[3] There is no good evidence that reiki is effective as a medical treatment.[3] The American Cancer Society,[4] Cancer Research UK,[5] and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health[6] state that reiki should not be a replacement for conventional treatment of diseases like cancer, but that it may be used as a supplement to standard medical treatment.
Perhaps some editors are too lost in debunking to forget to read the text from a general reader's perspective. For example, in recent weeks, attempts were made by THREE editors to address this pounding in of the term pseudoscience, used TWICE in the lead, and they were reverted (it would be interesting to visualize the overall recent editing pattern):
  • 23 April 2015 removed first instance - "Removed pseudoscientific because the term 'alternative medicine' sufficiently describes the practice. Including the term" - reverted by SummerPhD
  • 4 May 2015 removed both instances - "Removed 'psuedoscientific'. 'Alternative medicine' is an apt description." reverted by Yobol, reverted by editor a few minutes later, re-reverted by McSly
  • 8 May 2015 removed first instance - "'pseudoscientific alternative medicine' is at best redundant, alternative medicine is sufficient," reverted by Ronz
There appears to be a concerted attempt to retain obviously over-the-top language here, and that is the tip of this quackwatch approach to "science-based" editing (which also includes wholesale gutting of articles of content and references, rather than attempting to fix them). The Economist covers Edzard Ernst's career, noting in part that, "around 95% of the treatments he and his colleagues examined—in fields as diverse as acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy and reflexology—are statistically indistinguishable from placebo treatments," all without using the term, pseudoscience.
Once again, I'm not suggesting we don't use the term, or water anything down, it is a matter of IMPARTIAL PRESENTATION, not presenting an article that will appear to readers as a witchhunt. Wikipedia is not a debunker's platform, any more than it is a forum for snake oil salesmen. Balanced coverage in an impartial tone will get the message, whatever it is, across better, and it is what WP:PAGs suggest. I'm pretty sure I've made myself clear, with multiple examples, yet two-way discussion seems to be a challenge here. --Tsavage (talk) 11:41, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
NPOV means aligning with the POVs of the good sources. These say reiki is PS so we follow. Doing otherwise would not be neutral. I like Mr Bill's proposal too. Alexbrn (talk) 11:49, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Neutral and impartial. "Pseudoscience" is an optional, descriptive term, classifying reiki as "pseudoscience" is an aspect of the subject, it is not solely definitive of the subject. A quick PUBMED search for discussion context: "reiki" 2199 results; "pseudoscience" 139 results; "reiki AND pseudoscience" 2 results.
Agreed that a section such as MrBill3 proposed could be covered in the lead by something like, "Reiki has been characterized as a pseudoscience and used as an illustrative example of such in scholarly texts and academic journals." Provided, of course, that everything in that section holds up to scrutiny (is "used as an illustrative example of pseudoscience" possibly synthesis, deriving a conclusion from multiple primary examples - I am not being argumentative here, this is an article under dispute and close examination, so EVERYTHING should meet a reasonably high standard per WP:PAGs. in great part to encourage collaboration, respect all editors, and avoid battling).
Once again, I am not arguing against the use of the term, I am commenting on and seeking improvement in the way the article is currently written, and how it has been recently edited by a group of editors: content gutted rather than improved, blatantlay and redundantly stamped with a pejorative description, left to be an embarrassment, and that is not balanced, impartial writing. --Tsavage (talk) 12:24, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
You have yet to convince anyone. Disparaging some of the editors here is certainly not the way to further your arguments. Are you aware that such behavior can be the grounds for ArbCom sanctions? --Ronz (talk) 14:51, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
@Ronz: Are you accusing me of not discussing in good faith? If so, please do so directly. Are you opening an ArbCom case, is that a warning, or a threat? What disparaging remarks are you referring to?
Please review the history of this thread: I have asked straightforward questions and received few direct replies. For one, no-one has addressed the issue of impartiality of tone (WP:IMPARTIAL), which I have brought up multiple times. I also stated from the start that I have no problem with reiki being "pseudoscience," it is a matter of balanced presentation. This also has not been addressed, I've only been given mountains of citations showing how various authors have described reiki as pseudoscience. Discussion and consensus requires good faith participation from all parties.
I think the "Possible content to add" section should be added, and the lead modified to summarize that. There is a positive step. Why resort to warnings easily taken as threats? --Tsavage (talk) 17:38, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
To encourage two-way discussion, it would be helpful if editors being mentioned are pinged and comments included. To wit:
I should have noted that not all "alternative medicine" purports to be scientific. The inclusion had been extensively discussed. The opinion of one editor is not sufficient to overturn that consensus. has made few other edits and is likely unfamiliar with our procedures (e.g., WP:V).
BenjaminJames13 has made no other edits and is likely unfamiliar with our procedures (e.g., WP:V and WP:BRD). They seem to feel that "widespread" usage means it cannot be pseudoscience.
  • 8 May 2014 Tsavage removed first instance - "'pseudoscientific alternative medicine' is at best redundant, alternative medicine is sufficient (note: I see recent reversions of similar edits, this is a completely independent edit so please do not revert prior to Talk discussion)". Reverted by Ronz "per FRINGE - you'll have to find some consensus".
Yes, independent reliable sources describe it as a "pseudoscience" and "alternative medicine". Currently, alternative medicine states that it is "usually based on religion, tradition, superstition, belief in supernatural energies, pseudoscience, errors in reasoning, propaganda, or fraud" and "Some alternative medicine practices may be based on pseudoscience..." If you feel that reliable sources state that all alternatives to medicine are pseudoscientific, that article needs some work.
Yes, there have been similar reverts. However, your bold removal does not overturn the consensus. Instead, the revert of your bold edit is a call for discussion.
At present, this article can use some more reliable sources. As we seem to have quite a few presented above, I'd guess there is room for growth here.
For the record, I will accept that I was partially involved in "gutting" the article, so long as it is recognized that the offal removed was found to be refuse after considerable discussion. I invite scrutiny on that basis. I did not "improve" the material as there is no way to polish a turd. - SummerPhD (talk) 17:15, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
@SummerPhD: I'm really not here for some battle royale with a group of editors, I'm simply saying the article needs balance. It reads like an attack article, when we are supposed to be a neutral, balanced source of encyclopedic information. Perhaps certain editors cannot see that, however, many others can, as my comments, and the Talk pages here, attest to: not everyone commenting on the imbalance is out to promote reiki. How can the "other" point of view be conveyed to you? I gave the example of Oscillococcinum, but absolutely no response to that. I suggested including the content proposed above: only a tiny bit of support for that. You are arguing through my list of reversions, but my point was not to indict anyone, simply to illustrate what I see as a pattern. You say there that not all alternative medicines are pseudoscientific, yet the lead sentence of alternative medicine says, "Alternative medicine is any practice that is put forward as having the healing effects of medicine, but is not founded on evidence gathered using the scientific method." I feel like I'm in opposite world.
I'm sure there are numerous sources about reiki that can be used to describe techniques and whatnot, without seeming to endorse them. These sources only have to be reliable about the subject. We are not censors; on any fairly broad topic, and particularly controversial ones, people should be given balanced, comprehensive information and arrive at their own conclusions. This one-sided discussion is obviously frustrating. --Tsavage (talk) 17:58, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I am not looking for a "battle royale" either. I am looking for a balanced discussion. You cited one half of an argument (you and to SPA editors) as if their comments had been steamrolled. I am saying that was not the case in any way. The reverts maintained the status quo established by a loooooooong discussion. If the substantial scientific consensus is that reiki is not only a pseudoscience, but a prime example of a pseudoscience, "The pseudoscientific view should be clearly described as such." The only "balance" available here is to say that the Moon is basically rock, despite claims it is made of cheese. There are facts and there is nonsense. When explaining the nonsense, "how scientists have received pseudoscientific theories should be prominently included". As examples, WP:PSCI points to two conspiracy theories, both of which say in their ledes that they are conspiracy theories.
Yes, you gave an example and have argued that Jimbo citing it must mean something. I submit that it means he was talking about a sham product and linked to the article. Whether or not the article calls a sham product a pseudoscience or not is hardly material here. (The article on the pseudoscience is question is quite clear in its lede: " a form of alternative medicine created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann based on his doctrine of like cures like (similia similibus curentur), whereby a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick people. Homeopathy is pseudoscience. It is not effective for any condition, and no homeopathic remedy has been proven to be more effective than placebo)
We do not currently have much describing the "techniques" as we haven't found independent reliable sources describing them. Instead,we had lots of self-published material saying, "The original form of reiki is properly defined by Super-Ultra-High Master Reiki Guy John Smith, fonder of the only true form of reiki, which included psychic surgery, unlimited power and time travel.<ref>Smith, John. John Smith's Guide to Reiki Truth and Wisdom. John Smith Publications.</ref>"
What we need in order to describe reiki is probably in that source dump above. Something along the line of "Proponents say reiki uses an unlimited energy to cure any illness, across any distance in time or space.[1][2][3][4][5] No form of energy is unlimited.[1] The claimed energy does not exist.[2] Many illnesses have no known cure.[3] Time travel is thought to be impossible.[4] Reiki is one of many pseudosciences that claims to be able to treat/cure all illnesses.[5]" If we have reliable sources (as it seems we do), we should use them and exclude the self-published bunk. - SummerPhD (talk) 19:53, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. Believe me, browsing through reiki material on reiki web sites, I can easily understand how some people can become literally enraged by what they see. I would suggest that anyone approaching such an extreme state should probably refrain from trying to edit a general encyclopedia article about the subject. In any case:
  • As examples, WP:PSCI points to two conspiracy theories, both of which say in their ledes that they are conspiracy theories. - I'm not sure of your point here, both those articles are conspiracy theories that say so in the article titles, Moon landing conspiracy theories and Pope John Paul I conspiracy theories, are you suggesting we retitle this artick "Reiki pseudoscience"? And please point me to the record of the "status quo established by a loooooooong discussion" - was that a Talk page discussion where consensus was reached, or an RfC? Again, I am not arguing about whether reiki should be classified as pseudoscience, or as a prime example of pseudoscience, simply about balanced editorial presentation and proper sourcing. You are bringing up these examples, so I am asking about them.
  • "There are facts and there is nonsense." Agreed. In addition to the fact that reiki is pseudoscience, there are the facts of what it purports to be, the techniques and practices, history, and so forth. The article should be able to satisfy the reader, while making it clear as an azure sky that there is no scientific backing for any of it, why a site search for "reiki" of the New York Times yields 323 results, the Economist 57 results, and The Guardian 2,640 results - and what I am referring to with those is both tons of potential high quality secondary source material, and a degree of general public awareness.
  • "you gave an example and have argued that Jimbo citing it must mean something" - that's not what I said. I pointed to Oscillococcinum as an example of more balanced encyclopedic coverage of "pseudoscience." My reference to the Wales quote was to illustrate how bad it would have looked if his indictment had linked to a poor quality, attack-y article, like reiki is now, instead of the more balanced, even-toned article that Oscillococcinum was at the time and still is. And I don't see how WP:WAX applies here (especially since it is about WP:NOTABILITY issues), I am using Oscillococcinum simply as an example of different editorial approach to roughly equivalent content, an article about a "pseudoscientific remedy" where that aspect is fully covered in the content, and debated on the Talk page. It's simply a writing style example, not an argument that because X exists, so should Y.
  • If we have reliable sources (as it seems we do), we should use them and exclude the self-published bunk." Agreed.
Anyhow, I see where this is going, it's all round and round. Thanks again for your reply, no need to continue unless you feel compelled to! --Tsavage (talk) 21:25, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
The conspiracy theories, in addition to saying "conspiracy theory" in their titles, have explanations in their ledes (and elsewhere) that clearly explain they are conspiracy theories. Reiki is a pseudoscience. Saying it is "alternative medicine" does not cover this basic fact. Saying it is "pseudoscience" covers it.
The consensus was established (actually, re-re-re-established) starting at Talk:Reiki#.22pseudoscience.22 and following, with side trips to the reliable sources and fringe noticeboards.
If you have substantial coverage in independent reliable sources for what reiki purports to do/how it supposedly works, we need the coverage.
I should write an essay re my use of WP:WAX in these situations. I've removed outright defamation from BLP articles, citing WP:BLP and had other editors respond with "What about Jane Doe's article? It says she's a murderer with no source at all!" Yes, other articles exist. Some of them probably shouldn't. Some of them violate our core policies and should be corrected. That those articles and their egregious errors exist do not in any way mean that any other article should exist or make the same mistakes. To prove that the other article is a shining example for us to emulate here, you need to discuss the content of that article and how it conforms to our policies and guidelines and demonstrate that the situation here is identical to the situation there. In the present case, we have no indication that the article on the sugar pill with no rotten duck guts in it is a fantastic article to emulate. Further, Oscillococcinum is not a pseudoscience in the same way that aspirin is not a science. It is the product of a pseudoscience. The article, which gets far less attention than this one, states in the lead that it claimed to be made from a bacterium that doesn't exist, "there is no evidence that supports this mechanism or efficacy beyond placebo" and goes on to give a likely explanation for the mistakes that lead to the creation of this particular sugar pill.
I invite editors to incorporate some of the reliable sources we have tentatively identified. Otherwise, I'll add it to my backlog and get to it at some point. - SummerPhD (talk) 13:18, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks again for the additional replies. Overall, I've come to the conclusion that the problems I'm trying to express here about the current state of this article are more guideline issues, and it is kind of futile to try to address them at article level. Given the results so far, I can't see how trying for further discussion is likely to lead anywhere I'd see as positive, so there is no point for me to continue here at this time. I'll keep the article on my watchlist, and check it out from time to time.
As for Oscillococcinum and WP:WAX, I pointed to it as an example of an alternative approach to coverage in terms of writing style. If you or any other editor couldn't see the difference, or disagreed that it was a useful example, the expectation was that that would be mentioned in reply. That would be my idea of a discussion. I wasn't trying to "make a convincing argument based solely on whether other articles do, or do not, exist," just offering an existing example, an illustration of what I meant. Also, in terms of discussing editorial approach, I don't see the big difference between a "pseudoscientific therapy" and a "pseudoscientific remedy." Cheers. --Tsavage (talk) 20:22, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────As a point of fact, the sources do not say "reiki has been characterized as pseudoscience" they state reiki is pseudoscience. Watering this down with editorial comment is not appropriate as we don't have a source that describes this as a characterization but we do have sources that state it as a fact. Also it is not synth to cite sources that use reiki as an example of pseudoscience it is accurate representation of the sources. More than a few describe what pseudoscience is and list reiki as an example. The assertion that the term pseudoscience is "optional" does not reflect policy if sources say something is pseudoscience we don't water that down we state what the sources say. When sources define or describe pseudoscience and list reiki as an example it is appropriate to use the term. PAG (NPOV, PSCI, FRINGE etc.) are clear and paraphrasing does not mean failing to use the key term defined and used specifically for a subject. - - MrBill3 (talk) 14:57, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

@MrBill3: I'll reply as this conversation was already underway, but please note that, as indicated just above, I have withdrawn from this discussion for now, as I don't believe it serves any practical purpose at this time. I've stated clearly and repeatedly that I am not defending reiki or seeking to remove the word "pseudoscience," rather, I am looking for balanced and impartial coverage: in my opinion as a Wikipedia editor with no ties to or particular interest in reiki, and no historical editorial involvement here, this article is non-neutral in tone and content, and skewed toward the "skeptic" style of presentation. By that, I'm referring to a skeptic/debunker stylistic emphasis, which is reflected in word choice and organization of material, and of sources. We could argue THAT point endlessly - "there is no TONE, it's all just facts" etc - but this being an encyclopedia written by anonymous editors, at some point we have to rely on a baseline of the generally obvious, or nothing can be resolved through direct editor discussions. That said, two specific replies to you:
  • "pseudoscience" is not a "thing" that something can "be" - any more than something can BE "bad" - it is shorthand for an evaluation, a finding or opinion that something that is represented as being based on physical principles and evidence, is not in fact supported by scientific evidence. It's not a hard concept to grasp. "Snake oil" is another well-known term describing the same thing, as in our own article definition, "an expression that originally referred to fraudulent health products or unproven medicine but has come to refer to any product with questionable or unverifiable quality or benefit." Oxford University Press publishes Snake Oil Science: The Truth About Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which mentions reiki; should we include in the article: "Reiki is a form of snake oil science"? My point is, CHOOSING to use the term "pseudoscience" in Wikipedia, which is a derogatory term, and by no means necessary to describing what it represents (my meaning with "optional," previously), comes with an editorial responsibility to illustrate context and provide a reliable source (a five-word definition to me doesn't seem like an easily verifiable source, which is what I pointed out). As another example of style alternatives, the Economist article headlined "Why homeopathy is nonsense"[33] provides a competent history and skewers homeopathy as without evidence of efficacy, without using the word "pseudoscience" (the word does appear in the Economist, but not often and seldom in articles covering alternative medicine, which they decidedly "don't like"). And my original comment wasn't just about that word, it was about the overall tone, which began with the word "pseudoscience" being used twice in a brief, two-paragraph lead - choosing to highlight derogatory terms that need clarification, when the same information may be conveyed in plain English, is an editorial choice that in my opinion requires unambiguous in-article support.
  • "The newly added "Scholarly evaluation" section is in principle an excellent, interesting section, however, some of the content seems to further the skeptic/debunk approach. I randomly did a quick check at sources. The very first, picked where my eye first fell, was Larry Sarner (who is quoted from his contribution to The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience), who seems to have questionable qualifications as a medical expert commentator: a daily newspaper article covering his Congressional bid in 2014, noted his "lengthy and varied career. ... He also spent 14 years as a self-described "volunteer lobbyist" fighting to keep Colorado's medical care "based on scientific excellence and opposing erection of dangerous pseudo-medical cartels."[34]; his academic credentials appear to be BAs in political science and mathematics. When reliable sources are being so bitterly contested as on this page, I'm at a loss to see how Sarner is relevant here in the context of quotes illustrating the scholarly evaluation of reiki (unless I'm referring to the wrong Larry Sarner).
I don't think I can be any clearer, but I think the problem lies at the WP:PAG level: at some point, WP:FRINGE and related should be examined for its specific wording, and the intended and unintended consequences of its language. Thanks for your time. --Tsavage (talk) 14:02, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
I'll keep this brief as you clearly have a lot to say (especially for someone who has withdrawn from the discussion). Yes, there is evaluation involved in deciding whether or not something is a pseudoscience. If we remove that, where is the objective evidence it is an "alternative medicine". We can certainly find sources that say it is the very core of medicine, so "alternative" is out. "Medicine"? Geeze, we can't call it anything...unless, perhaps, we call it what independent reliable sources call it.
If you feel one or more of the sources cited is not a reliable source, we can discuss that.
Frankly the whole section seems to be hedged against saying anything at all about reiki. "John Smith, writing for the New York Times, says that "Paris is...the capital of France." The New Columbia Dictionary of Political Thought calls Paris "the most-populous city of France." - SummerPhD (talk) 16:10, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
@SummerPhD: "I'll keep this brief as you clearly have a lot to say (especially for someone who has withdrawn from the discussion)." Your discussion seems to be on point while hinting at the sarcastically personal, which is unhelpful to me, especially on an ArbCom-sanctioned page. A civil reply is a civil reply, my choice, I didn't realize we had a suggested comment length limitation as well, if that's what you're suggesting, please make it plain so I can know?
"pseudoscience. If we remove that, where is the objective evidence it is an "alternative medicine" - A) For maybe the fifth time, I'm not advocating the removal of the term; B) The term "pseudoscience" is not "objective evidence," it's a word, a label, the point of which is to point out that something is not supported by scientific evidence. That's conveyed by saying "not supported by scientific evidence," which any reader can understand (unlike "pseudoscience," which is a term that is not likely to be immediately clear to every reader), along with whatever details of that lack of support editors choose to include, hundreds, thousands of words detailing that lack of evidence if that seems appropriate, along with the other details of the subject, like history, practices, and so forth. Reference to labels like "pseudoscience" or any other descriptive term can also be presented, a good example of a balanced approach, especially for a negative term, is the "Scholarly evaluation" section here - the contents of a Scholarly evaluation, including description as pseudoscience, can be summarized in the lead. It's easy to find articles that clearly convey the lack of evidence and discuss in detail various negative findings concerning reiki, without ever using the term "pseudoscience" - just do a search. But again, I'm not suggesting exclusion of the term, simply, impartial tone and proper balance in overall subject coverage. --Tsavage (talk) 17:13, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
Pseudoscience is not merely something which is not supported by scientific evidence. (If it were, the term would cover various religions, your favorite flavor of ice cream and whether the dress was black and gold or blue and white.) Pseudoscience involves presenting something as science that clearly is not (IMO, discuss a pseudoscience with a believer enough and they will eventually invoke supposed early beliefs in a flat Earth and/or use the word "quantum" in an idiosyncratic way.). Yes, we could spell out one of the definitions of pseudoscience instead of using the term (and then get into a protracted battle over acceptable terminology to be used in that definition. This is a very useful approach to avoiding terms like "distal phalanges". When two people say "distal phalanges", they both mean the same thing, unless one of them is wrong. When two people say "pseudoscience" they may well have slightly different meanings in mind -- as is the case between you and me here. Using the term the sources use -- with a link to the article -- avoids mischaracterizing the source.
In any case, I get that you are not trying to remove the word. I am not getting specifically what you are trying to do. Pehaps if you spelled it out, similar to MrBill3's 06:19, 11 May 2015 edit. - SummerPhD (talk) 17:47, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
"Pseudoscience is not merely something which is not supported by scientific evidence. ... Pseudoscience involves presenting something as science that clearly is not" You mention favorite flavors and dress colors, things which no-one expects to be "supported by scientific evidence" (religion seems a separate case). Pseudoscience only even makes sense when referring to something where there is a preexisting expectation of or belief in an underlying systematic explanation and tangible evidence, why call something "pseudoscience" if it hasn't already been called "science"? PS doesn't bring anything new as far as I can see, except a certain lack of clarity, and a negative tone.
"Yes, we could spell out one of the definitions of pseudoscience instead of using the term" - Why even consider that? As I've said, why in the first place base a general encyclopedia article on a term that has multiple definitions that may need spelling out, when what that term MEANS can be more simply and directly conveyed in plain English: "may seem to be, but is in fact not based on scientific evidence"? The term is not necessary and does not deliver any additional information, it holds interest as a label that some sources choose to apply to the subject. All this by way of saying, editorially, it needs to be handled not as a universal given, but as a special label.
Interestingly, the abstract for debunkers Novella and Gorski's PS paper, "Clinical trials of integrative medicine: testing whether magic works?," doesn't even use the term pseudoscience, favoring "dubious science" instead, "Over the past two decades complementary and alternative medicine treatments relying on dubious science have been embraced by medical academia." (Not sure whether "pseudoscience" is used in the full text.)
As for sourcing in "Scholarly evaluation," that's up to you, I do usually fix what I find, but time constraints and the editing environment here are more than I can handle at the moment. You worked hard to clean up the article, removing tons of unreliable sources and related content, if you want to stop now, that's up to you. :) I've spelled out my concerns as best I can. --Tsavage (talk) 19:49, 15 May 2015 (UTC)
This is now going clearly into the area of tendentioius editing. There are eleven sources which state reiki is pseudoscience and in fact hold it up as an example of pseudoscience. When there is that kind of representation in published sources due weight demands proportional promininent representation, not whitewashing because an editor doesn't like the tone. The statement of fact is concisely representative of multiple reliable sources. If ten reliable sources say "Paris is a stinky city" on WP that is what we say unless a substantial number of other reliable sources say otherwise. We don't fail to use the word stinky because someone doesn't like the tone or implication, we follow the sources. We don't bury the statement. If the term stinky is defined and explained in the sources it is not a matter of opinion it is the application of a term for a subject that meets the definition. Many of the sources provide a definition for pseudoscience, WP even has clear explanations. It is not an opinion but a term with well spelled out, explained and analyzed meaning. Actually read the sources. Don't state you have withdrawn from a discussion and continue tendentious arguement that ignores PAG. The behavior exhibited in this thread seems to clearly fall under what is sanctionable. - - MrBill3 (talk) 08:31, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
"This is now going clearly into the area of tendentioius editing. ... The behavior exhibited in this thread seems to clearly fall under what is sanctionable." Please clarify your accusation: what undue point am I pushing? What I was arguing for is impartiality of tone, and this I've made abundantly clear. Open, civil discussion is the point of a Talk page.
"Actually read the sources." That is part of the problem, a number of sources I spotchecked don't seem to verify the content. For a couple of examples of what I see as a non-neutral POV supported by less than adequate sources:
  • The document supporting the section, "Catholic Church concerns," is about the spiritual or religious aspects of reiki coming into conflict with the Church and divine healing. This context should be included, not only an excerpt that highlights the Church's disapproval, without reason, and says, "not compatible with ... scientific evidence."
"The Church recognizes two kinds of healing: healing by divine grace and healing that utilizes the powers of nature. ... The two kinds of healing are not mutually exclusive. Because it is possible to be healed by divine power does not mean that we should not use natural means at our disposal. It is not our decision whether or not God will heal someone by supernatural means. ... Although Reiki proponents seem to agree that Reiki does not represent a religion of its own, but a technique that may be utilized by people from many religious traditions, it does have several aspects of a religion. ... the fact remains that for Christians the access to divine healing is by prayer to Christ as Lord and Savior, while the essence of Reiki is not a prayer but a technique that is passed down from the 'Reiki Master' to the pupil, a technique that once mastered will reliably produce the anticipated results."
  • The lead sentence of the "Safety" section is, "Concerns about safety in Reiki are similar to those of other unproven alternative medicines," which is OR unless supported, meanwhile, the single source does not mention reiki."Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice". I only read part, skimmed the rest, and page searched for "reiki" with no hits. The lead reads, "Over the past several decades, the fields of clinical psychology, psychiatry, and social work have borne witness to a widening and deeply troubling gap between science and practice (see Lilienfeld, 1998, for a discussion)," which, combined with the title, seems to indicate a different area of concern than reiki in this document.
  • In the "Scholarly evaluation" section, one of the multiple citations in support of the lead sentence, "Reiki is used as an illustrative example of pseudoscience in scholarly texts and academic journal articles," is a law review article titled, "Case study of inoperable inventions: Why is the USPTO patenting pseudoscience?" It mentions reiki once, and (as far as I can tell) as an example of what the article is not covering:
"Objections to the theory of operation are necessarily more complex in the biological sciences than in the physical sciences, where theories are reducible to mathematical laws. ... Reiki (another 'energy field' therapy)—can be tested for efficacy with relative certainty using carefully constructed statistical tests. In order to avoid undue complexity in the analysis, this Comment will focus inventions in the field of physics, where operability can often be determined as an objective fact using fundamental and universally accepted scientific principles."
  • Also in "Scholarly evaluation," I previously mentioned in some detail (see above) the author of a quote, Larry Sarner, who appears wholly unqualified to comment as a scholarly expert, who "spent 14 years as a self-described 'volunteer lobbyist' fighting to keep Colorado's medical care 'based on scientific excellence and opposing erection of dangerous pseudo-medical cartels.'"[35]; his academic credentials appear to be BAs in political science and mathematics.
Apologies in advance if I have misconstrued any or all of these (and that is not an exhaustive list, just a spotcheck). If on the other hand, my concerns prove valid, it is surprising that just after the article has been apparently meticulously vetted for unreliable sourcing, and a significant amount of text and references deleted, problems like these remain, and are being added. That's what I meant by maintaining an impartial tone, it's fine to "debunk" while maintaining NPOV, but it can be problematic to go too far in pointing out the demerits of a subject. --Tsavage (talk) 05:37, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
In the recent clean out, I am the one who removed most of those sources. I did not meticulously check the entirety of the article. I strictly removed sources that were not -- IMO -- in any way reliable.
Joe Blow publishes a book through vanity press? That isn't a reliable source for anything (other than minor details about Joe Blow). In some cases, the problem was glaring and I removed the source outright. In other cases, I was unable to find anything one way or the other, posted it here and/or at the RS noticeboard, waited a week or so, then removed it. In most cases, I left the information in place with a cite needed tag for a while, to give others a further chance to find reliable sources for the information before cleaning it out.
Your list above is a similar approach, but rather a lot to tackle in one go. I'd suggest handling this piece-by-piece. - SummerPhD (talk) 14:46, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
@SummerPhD: I understand what you did, and don't find fault with it, per se. My point throughout this thread - which hasn't been acknowledged, although I keep getting replies - is about impartiality and neutrality, and agreeing that "debunking" is a thing, it is a cause or a movement or whatever you want to call it, with all the trappings of such, and when checking an article that is clearly a "debunker/skeptic" target, I believe it is necessary to examine ALL claims equally, because there is a likelihood of POV pushing, albeit in different and more or less subtle ways, from all sides. My intention is not to label or insult any particular editor, simply to speak plainly based on common sense observation: when two sides disagree strongly on content, the whole content requires scrutiny. --Tsavage (talk) 15:51, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Scrutiny is fine. On a fringe topic, though, we do not present "all sides" equally. - SummerPhD (talk) 16:09, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I am aware of that. I'm curious, is your impression that I have suggested so far that I am looking for some sort of "equal balance"? I have repeatedly explained with examples that WP:IMPARTIAL and WP:NPOV in general - impartial, neutral tone and content - are all that I am seeking. In my last couple of replies, I am specifically addressing problems with verifiability, including sources that do not seem to even address the subject. This are basic editorial concerns. --Tsavage (talk) 16:39, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Is this article under "ArbCom enforcement" and if so, what does that mean?[edit]

I was just informed on my Talk page: "The article is under ArbCom enforcement, so no new cases should be necessary at all. Instead, editors are informed that such enforcement applies, are given a formal notice if the problems continue, and are considered for sanctions if the problems continue still."

Where is this indicated? And what does it mean? --Tsavage (talk) 00:00, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Ahhh, I see Jytdog has added the ArbCom notice to this page, as well as helpfully answering my question by putting an alert on my Talk page. I now understand what ArbCom enforcement and Discretionary sanctions are about! --Tsavage (talk) 02:51, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Sarcasm is soooo helpful. I don't know which case(s) them were referring to, but I see several that apply under Wikipedia:Fringe_theories/Arbitration_cases. - SummerPhD (talk) 12:03, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Any sarcasm you may detect is directed at Jytdog, who rather than answering here my question about "ArbCom enforcement" posted here, put a "Notice of discretionary sanctions" template on my Talk page, followed by a note saying, "in answer to this question, which i happened to notice," linking to this thread. I've now read some of the discretionary sanctions background, and find it disturbing that an editor would even mention invoking that in regard to any part of my discussion above. Anyhow, the article is now clearly tagged for Discretionary sanctions, so future unaware editors will be able to inform themselves. --Tsavage (talk) 19:19, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Piece-by-piece: Catholic Church[edit]

Above, Tsavage states, "The document supporting the section, 'Catholic Church concerns,' is about the spiritual or religious aspects of reiki coming into conflict with the Church and divine healing. This context should be included, not only an excerpt that highlights the Church's disapproval, without reason, and says, 'not compatible with ... scientific evidence.'"

The Committee on Doctrine United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is clearly a reliable source for the Catholic Church's opinion.

The question seems to be how that is presented. It would certainly be inappropriate to state "Reiki is not scientific.<ref>Committee on Doctrine United States Conference of Catholic Bishops</ref>" We are not doing that. Instead, we state that the decree exist and directly quote the source. We do not say reiki is not scientific or "compatible with Christian teaching" and cite the Committee, as they are not reliable sources for either statement (they would certainly be reliable for "compatible with Catholic teaching").

IMO, the "since Reiki therapy is not compatible with either Christian teaching or scientific evidence" is an explanation of the source of their opinion. I suppose we could say the Committee says it is not compatible with teaching or science,but I'm not sure how we would word it or how it would be an improvement. A movie reviewer says a movie sucks because the script sucks, we explain that, even though the sucky nature of the script is an opinion (exception: Battlefield Earth).

Comments? - SummerPhD (talk) 15:08, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

My point here is with neutral representation of the source. In context, the impression given by the section as it stands now is that "(even) the Catholic Church finds reiki to be an unscientific crock," which in fact it does, but at the same time, and integral to the reasoning it presents for this statement, it also cites divine healing by supernatural agency, available through prayer, as one of two types of healing it recognizes (per "Christian teaching"). By extension, if it found reiki to be a form of divine healing, then the Church would not evaluate it by scientific standards and not have a problem with it. Overall, I agree it is a tricky editorial matter to find balance with this content. Regardless, I think not including a better representation of the context misrepresents the ultimate finding. --Tsavage (talk) 16:00, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Currently, we explain who issued the document, summarize what it is and directly quote its reasoning. How would you suggest we better represent the content? - SummerPhD (talk) 16:11, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I will think about that. And in terms of "summarizing what it is," that is where I have the problem with detail; for example, we could accurately summarize the Bible as "a book of stories" yet that would in many contexts be misleadingly incomplete. In any case, mentioning divine healing would seem to create new and different possibly undue impressions, and this article is about reiki, not the Catholic Church, or the Church vs reiki. I would start with determining what we want to convey. A very blunt starting point would be (and this is in Talk page language only, for discussion): "As the Church does not find reiki consistent with divine healing, it evaluates it as a natural healing method, and as such finds it unscientific." That is one way to summarize the essence of the full context, because it seems that there is an avenue for the Church to recognize reiki in spite of its scientific failing, and that is by recognizing it as some form of divine healing. --Tsavage (talk) 16:30, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
By "summarizing what it is", I meant it is a decree ending reiki in Catholic centers. We cannot say that they evaluates it in such-and-such a way because of whatever because we do not have a source saying that. The source says what it says. We quoted it accurately. If we're going to summarize rather than quote, we have to summarize what it says without speculation about why they are saying what they are saying. - SummerPhD (talk) 00:55, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, which is why it seems we need a secondary source on this. --Tsavage (talk) 01:51, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I took a quick look at the first couple of reliable sources, a Guardian article and a PBS round table discussion. Seems like a can of worms.
  • The Guardian article is pretty neutral, only a hint of the divine healing via "Christian teaching," but does manage to note in the second paragraph: "...warn healthcare workers and chaplains that the therapy 'lacks scientific credibility' and could expose people to 'malevolent forces'."
The PBS interview includes Rev. Tom Weinandy (US Conference of Catholic Bishops) who says interesting things like:
  • "If you try to plug Reiki into Christianity, what you’re saying is Jesus is not good enough on his own. He’s got to be supplemented by something else, in this case, the divine forces, so you’re either downgrading Jesus and Christianity or you’re taking the heart out of Reiki."
  • "God is God, and human beings are human beings, and we can petition God, but we can’t manipulate him, and we felt that this was what was happening in the context of Reiki, that the person learned how to be in touch with the divine cosmic forces such that they could now manipulate it through a laying on of hands or a massage or something that the person could be healed."
  • "I want to stick with Jesus. I don’t want to open myself up to other forces that may be, you know, supernatural in some sense but not of God. I think it’s a risky business to be playing around with this sort of thing."
Another person in the interview says:
  • "The bishops’ document is not a mandate, and local dioceses may implement it as they choose. But Reiki supporters say it’s already had a chilling effect. Many Catholic institutions, including hospitals and retreat centers, are no longer offering Reiki, and most nuns are reluctant to speak publicly about their use of Reiki."
So for one, it seems the decree is not an outright ban, which makes using the primary source and a quote in this case not a great choice. Anyhow, I'm sure there's a lot more, but I think this already supports that the pronouncement is more than the Catholic Church simply finding reiki unscientific as a consumer protection servvice for its members. --Tsavage (talk) 02:12, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh, and "halting the practice of Reiki" from the article seems to be incorrect, OR, and unsupported by the primary source document, which says only that it is "inappropriate." --Tsavage (talk) 04:08, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, this:
  • "In their "Guidelines for Evaluating Reiki as an Alternative Therapy," the bishops said it lacks scientific credibility and falls outside the two types of healing recognized by the church: through divine grace and through the powers of nature, including medicine."[
  • "Wisconsin bishops, so far, are not rushing to ban reiki."
  • "The bishops zeroed in on reiki because they were asked by other bishops, said Father Thomas Weinandy, executive director for the USCCB's Secretariat for Doctrine. At issue, he said, is the notion that one can "manipulate divine energy to bring about healing." "We pray for healing, but we can't manipulate God," Weinandy said."
  • "Doctors who've studied or recommended reiki for patients say the findings suggest a lack of understanding about the practice on the part of the bishops. Reiki practitioners aren't controlling forces, but "supporting people to help them draw from their own innate ability to heal," said Adam Rindfleisch of the Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health."
To entirely avoid any context, and essentially cherrypick the unscientific part, would seem to be giving that aspect undue weight, as this article is about reiki, not the lack of scientific evidence supporting reiki. --Tsavage (talk) 04:31, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
@SummerPhD: Have you stepped away from this process? I realize it's not solely up to you, but you did start this piece-by-piece approach. Cheers. --Tsavage (talk) 13:53, 27 May 2015 (UTC)


TrishApps left the following comments in the article itself about the etymology:

Regarding "commonly written as": "'commonly written' is vague, who are the 'common writers'"
Regarding shinjitai: "What is the pertinence of including the "shinjitai" form? Have been unable to find shinjitai form used on practitioner websites, forums or books. This is a space filler. If Shinjitai form is irrelevant then the following paragraph is also. Reference to individual symbols (which as previously stated, are thus far, not cited)taken in isolation and from a high school dictionary (Kenkyuusha) seems fuzzy and as though we are letting the reader make up their mind about its meaning by throwing out a bunch of words and asking the audience to "get a feeling" about its meaning. Why not use definitions from books and recognised member sites rather than from what seems like some books this editor had lying around and websites they happened to find that passed the grade. How is the following relevant? Why does Etymology take up almost a third of this page?"
Regarding Halpern's character dictionary: "Can we get a better reference here than a high school dictionary?"

Such editorial comments shouldn't be placed in the article itself, but I agree with the gist of those comments. Particularly using character dictionaries to explore alternative meaning looks like original synthesis to me. Do those dictionaries really connect reiki (the subject of this article) to demon possession? Or is that a completely unrelated reading of the same characters? Huon (talk) 11:17, 18 July 2015 (UTC)