Talk:Reiki/Archive 4

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NPOV[edit]

I'm back from a long break, and am now looking over the pages I used to edit. It appears that this article has gone considerably downhill: much of the critical material has either been removed or weakened considerably, and there is a considerable amount of unsourced or unacceptably sourced sympathetic material. That there is "some controversy regarding the legitimacy of reiki" is a severe understatement. Sources which assert that Reiki is based on "superstition" have had their claims weakened to "There is no scientific evidence that ...". --Philosophus T 09:14, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Reiki Tummo[edit]

I recieved a message from the self confessed energy healing skeptic: Philosophus about the removal of the Reiki Tummo in the additional reiki types section via user talk where he mentioned to be able to put back the article it needed to discussed why its not being included: not verifiable,not notable, a violation of spam policies.

The Reiki Tummo article was written/edited by the previous main article editor: Firestar after researching it independantly himself. Reiki Tummo has over 20k members and a total of 41 public clininc in Indonesia and 5 worldwide - 46 in total which is significant number as can be seen from: http://www.reikitummo.com/Clinic/Clinic.html, http://www.padmajaya.com/keg_kl.html and http://www.padmajaya.com/keg_f.html for pictures. Clinics are normally group healing with 5 healers on one patient as can be seen in those pictures mentioned. Comparing it to the UK's largest energy healing organisation (NFSH - National Federation of Spritual Healers) which has been going for 50 years, has 5k members and 50 public clinics as can be seen mentioned on their home page: http://www.nfsh.org.uk/ Both organisations are large charitys and so clinic patients make a donation and are not charged for recieving healing. I wouldnt be surprised if Reiki Tummo is one of the largest Formally organised Reiki organisations worldwide - though i cant prove that because i dont see anything similar to compare it to. Previously Reiki Tummo had its own wiki page but was moved into the main Reiki article. So, should it have its own page or should it be mentioned here ? Tummo88

For a general topic which has over 21 million hits on google, I find it rather strange that the "largest formally organised Reiki organisations worldwide" would only receive less than 700 (excluding Wikipedia). --Philosophus T 17:38, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

I dont think that google hits is such a great way to compare things as Reiki Tummo is from Indonesia which is a poor country that doesnt have much internet access and they speak indonesian so not too many people can read it, hence the limited number of links. Its growth of Reiki Tummo has been by word of mouth from Asia into the west. For other examples of google hits sicnce you like that: the Reiki Alliance which as 800 members worldwide and is really a member organization has 25k google hits, the IARP (international Reiki Professionals) says it has thousands of members world wide has 13k hits. But again it is just a members organisation where anyone can join if they do any kind of reiki and its not a managed organisation where quality and standards for training for instructors are managed, and Reiki Tummo is not just about Reiki as it is an extended Reiki into Yoga meditation practices which is why its in the section about additional reiki types. Its not really a correct comparison of Reiki Tummo to other kinds of Reiki though they do teach all beginners Reiki to understand about working with energy. However, perhaps this whole discussion also points out that there should be a section in the article mentioning who the other large reiki organisations are. Your thoughts? Tummo88 14:34, 7 January 2007 (UTC)Tummo88

The question is whether or not this information can be verified. Jefffire 15:07, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

The information can be verified by following the source links. I think that if no one objects i will add Reiki Tummo, Reiki Alliance and IARP to section 6# Reiki Community in the article. Other large organised reiki organisations/groups can add themselves to that part of the page. Tummo88 12:30, 11 January 2007 (UTC)Tummo88

It may not be apparent, but we are objecting. There aren't enough independent, verifiable sources about Reiki Tummo to allow it to be included. In fact, I am not aware of any acceptable sources. You should read the verifiability policy for more information. --Philosophus T 21:31, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Said by adherents[edit]

Hi All. The following wording:

  • Reiki is said by adherents to be a form of spiritual healing.

Is patently biased against Reiki. It is akin to saying:

  • Christianity is said by adherents to be a religion.

You see? Reiki actually IS a form of spiritual healing regardless of whether it works or not. Both believers and non-believers alike ALL classify Reiki as a form of spiritual healing. Who says Reiki isn't a form of spiritual healing? What else can it possibly be classified as? Regardless of someones views on Reiki the basic fact remains...

  • Reiki is a form of spiritual healing

This is how we should word the opening. Spiritual healing by any definition is scientifically unfounded... It's spiritual! There is absolutely no reason to labour the point in our opening sentence. To have the weasel words in our opening comes across as absurdist bias. If you want to convey the same thing without absurdist bias you need a sentence that says something like:


    • I think you're missing the point of the wording of the statement that "Reiki is said by adherents to be a form of spiritual healing." Skeptics don't define it as a form of spiritual healing, only its adherents do. So the phrasing here is actually remarkably accurate. But that's not why this statement is worded the way it is. The caveat is thrown in there not because of how adherents choose to categorize Reiki, the problem is that the term "spiritual healing" is pure jabberwocky. There are no parameters set out to define what "spiritual healing" is. You can go ahead and define it for me, but at the end of the day, there is no evidence that the word spirituallity is anything more than a romantisized fancy of wishful thinking. You can define the word "spiritual", but there is no reason to believe it has any bearing over real mechanisms of healing. In fact, there is no evidence to suggerst that the idea of "spirituallity" has any bearing over the physical world on any level. Now, people will always invoke "spirituallity" as a cause for their various actions and revelations, but at the end of the day, just because you claim that you have been touched by "spiritual" intervention, doesn't mean it's so. I'm sure that Osama bin Laden would invoke his own spirituallity as the reason for flying planes into the World Trade Center, but most reasonable people would probably call it "self-righteous insanity" instead. There is no reason to believe that Reiki renders any actual effect or that it has anything at all to do with the vague, touchy-feely idea of spiritualism. You come up with a concrete definition of spirituallity and some good evidence to show how it has any relation whatsoever to any aspect of healing, other than the mere notion of "spirituallity" acting as a placebo, and I'm sure the skeptics will gladly remove the caveat from the statement in question.
    • Your comparison here is a bit off. "Religion" is well defined as a system of beliefs, faith, and worship. The word itself makes no claims as to the substance, validity, or definition of the beliefs which make up the religion in question. There is no contention that Christianity is a religion. I think a more accurate comparison to this statement about "Reiki being a form of spiritual healing" would be to say that "Christianity is a method by which one can be blessed and favored by God". Only adherents would claim such a thing. Any reasonable person would ask for evidence of this claim and likewise ask for any evidence that God even exists (or at least for a definition of "God"). Just like with Reike, it all comes down to a matter of poorly defined faith, not objective reality; which brings us back to the fact that "spiritual healing" is no more than a textbook example of weasle words.209.59.94.129 22:29, 23 June 2007 (UTC)P.Cogan
  • As a form of spiritual healing, Reiki is scientifically unfounded.

However, that's hardly opening sentence material either.

Fire Star, no one is citing wikipedia as a source. It is merely a fact that Reiki is a form of spiritual healing. What is your problem with this statement? It's not like there's person X saying it's spiritual healing and person Y saying it's cooking classes... it IS a form of spiritual healing for chrissakes!

If anyone has a reliable citable source for someone saying it's anything other than spiritual healing I am happy to work on a better opening. Best wishes. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 01:22, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

However, when it comes to the content, I agree with you, Metta Bubble. It is POV is insert "said by adherent to be" unnecessarily. A Ramachandran 01:55, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Calling something a form of healing implies that it causes healing. The issue is not akin to calling Christianity a religion - it is similar to calling Christianity "a method of salvation", an assertion which would require the same disclaimer that we have here. --Philosophus T 03:16, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks folks. I understand the problem better.

Philosophus, I disagree with your argument on the basis that Spiritual healing isn't a term we just randomly threw together for the sake of this article (whereas the phrase "method of salvation" is something you randomly threw together for the sake of argument). The terms Spiritual healing and Faith healing are extraordinarily well known as categories. Having said that, I do prefer your suggested comprimise to what we had before, but it is majorly lacking in that it omits the phrase "spiritual healing" which is clearly the most commonly used category to put Reiki into.

Note these consensual precedents in other articles:

  • [1] "Joel Sol Goldsmith (1892-1964) was an author, teacher, spiritual healer, and founder of the Infinite Way movement."
  • [2] "Therapeutic touch (TT) is a mostly secular variant of faith healing..."
  • [3] "Benny Hinn ... is a televangelist, best known for his regular ... revival meeting/faith healing summits that are usually held in large stadiums in major cities."
  • [4] "Sky Kingdom also emphasizes spiritual healing as well as dream interpretation."
  • [5] "Such organizations offer--often on a smaller scale--some parallels to the Church of World Messianity in terms of spiritual healing practices using a form of divine light"
  • [6] "Boardman also came to be a leader in the ministry of spiritual healing, and established Bethshan Healing Home in London."
  • [7] "The targets of his criticism have included many prominent UFO enthusiasts as well as the much-publicized faith healers Robert Tilton and Peter Popoff."
  • [8] "He is the author of the book, "Blinded by Benny", which is critical of the charismatic faith healer Benny Hinn."
  • [9] "Like other New Thought churches, Divine Science considers spiritual healing very important, and emulates the work of Jesus, who is portrayed in the New Testament curing many people."

These are examples from both sides of debate where everyone equally use the phrases "Faith healing" or "Spiritual healing" without special qualifiers. Simply put, people know what these phrases mean. To qualify it further, implies bias on our part and goes against wikipedia precedents.

(note: Please be absolutely clear here. I am not citing wikipedia as a source. I am using it as consensual precedent for style. Which is completely different.)

I'm open to other creative suggestions for opening sentence phrasing. I think we should get the phrase "spiritual healing" in there clearly as it is obviously the most used category for Reiki. Best wishes. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 04:19, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

With that sort of evidence, I'm inclined to agree with your viewpoint on this. I might prefer that the term "faith healing" be used instead, though, for rather arbitrary reasons. What is probably more important is that the Faith healing article be improved from its rather dire state. --Philosophus T 08:48, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I'd also be cautious about causing Reiki 'spiritual healing': it does seem to imply (for those who aren't familiar with other articles on 'spiritual healing') that healing is involved - rather than, say , the placebo effect or regression to the mean. But yeah, it does seem that other articles use 'spiritual healing' without qualification. I'd be happy with the wording as it stands now (the reference to spiritual practice). Or maybe one compromise would be to edit the second paragraph - this could say something like "Some studies have shown that the effect of Reiki - in common with other forms of spiritual healing - is similar to that of a placebo, and the majority of the scientific community considers it classifiable as pseudoscience". This would make explicit that that reference to 'spiritual healing' doesn't imply efficacy. Of course, I'd also be open to creative suggesions Jon m 11:42, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Metta Bubble, in an edit summary you stated: the Spiritual_healing healing article clearly states "Faith healing has not scientifically been proven effective." so weasel words here are unecessary. Reiki IS spiritual healing!!! which seems like you were citing one of our articles to justify your changing the wording. As well as asserting (with a verb in caps and three exclamation points) that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong. To say my preferred edit is "weasel words" while complaining that my statement about "gaming the system" is a personal attack seems, at best, inconsistent. In a later edit summary you say I expect better of you which would very likely qualify as a violation of WP personal attack policy if I were to report it. There isn't a qualifier about my edits in the sentence; you seem to be commenting on the personal quality of not being "better" that I am supposedly displaying. At least there is nothing specific to disabuse me of that notion in your summary. I would warn someone about WP:NPA and WP:AGF if I saw a statement like that to someone else in an edit summary.
At any rate, I'm in agreement with Jon m and Philosophus above, that we have to make explicit that the reference to 'spiritual healing' doesn't imply efficacy. --Fire Star 火星 23:00, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Accusations of this sort just escalate hostility. It is far better to let the comments stand out by themselves than to similarly lower oneself in acrimonious rebuke. --Philosophus T 08:51, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm glad we have a few editors contributing to this discussion. I'm in agreement also, and I think that means everyone is in agreement that efficacy is the issue: taking care not to imply Reiki works, and also -- just as importantly -- taking care not to imply it doesn't work. Since faith healing seems to be non-contentious how about...

Yet, I'm still interested in creative solutions for this problem. Any ideas? Some new wording? Anyone? ॐ Metta Bubble puff 01:25, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Metta Bubble. I'm not so comfortable with 'faith healing' though - to me at least, it still implies that healing happens, and I'm not sure that it matters whether the claimed efficacy is through spirituality or faith. Sorry to be negative about this. If I'm missing the rationale for using 'faith healing', please let me know - but this does still seem to be a claim of efficacy. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jon m (talkcontribs) 18:29, 18 January 2007 (UTC).

Thanks Jon. Faith healing isn't a claim of efficacy any more than calling someone a Witch doctor is a claim of efficacy. Faith healing is defined as unfounded by science and is absolutely non-medical; and to my knowledge this is not only the popular definition of faith healing, it is the only definition of faith healing. Faith healing is what Reiki is -- irrefutably so. I understand the concern that readers might not understand the difference, so I'll summarise all arguments editors have presented on this issue:

Arguments for calling Reiki a form of faith healing
  • Reiki fits the definition of faith healing, in all aspects of history, theory and practice.
  • We have had a supporting citation in our article for over six months that calls Reiki spiritual healing.
  • We have all agreed that reiki is indeed a form of faith healing / spiritual healing. Have we not? (with the note that Reiki is not actually medical healing) (see above).
  • There are dozens of precedents on Wikipedia for calling a person or a topic faith healing without qualifiers (see above).
Arguments against calling Reiki a form of faith healing
  • Readers might mistakenly think Reiki provides medical healing, so we shold avoid the word healing. Where we do use the phrase faith healing we should qualify it so that people understand it is merely the claim of advocates.

This latter argument is based on an understandable yet ultimately unfounded misrepresentation of the term faith healing. It is clearly stated as being based on a political motive, prioritising potential (and unproven) reader confusion ahead of accurately portraying Reiki.

Here are some google matches about Reiki:

I believe spiritual healing is far and away the most appropriate classification for Reiki and it is also the cited definition for the reference we use in the opening. Nonetheless, I offered the term faith healing as a compromise. Is there any argument against other than some readers don't know what faith healing is? ॐ Metta Bubble puff 01:01, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Google search result counts aren't a good source for descriptions, especially in contentious topics where most websites will have highly polarized views - excluding those who just aren't interested or don't know, there isn't much middle ground between those who think Reiki is nonsense and those who think it works. Faith healing does seem like a reasonable compromise, though I should point out that right now the article does describe Reiki as a "spiritual practice proposed for the treatment of ...", which seems to me to encompass the healing aspects in a more precise way without the need for any argument over possible confusion. Another idea might be to use "practice proposed for the spiritual treatment of ...", which would link to faith healing while not using the word healing. But this whole argument seems rather trivial. --Philosophus T 08:51, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks - will be happy to go with the consensus on this, either sticking with the current wording or referring to faith healing, so long as the article makes clear that 'healing' doesn't imply proven efficacy. As has been said, probably isn't such a big deal ;) Jon m 16:37, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I disagree about faith healing. USUI (the founder) was a buddhist and didn't believe in GOD or if you will a supreme being. Therefore how can this be FAITH healing?
I would recommend you come up with something different and not lump this into western mold of religion. Such as Reiki is the energetic treatment to the human energy field to help heal and treat energetic disharmonies which can lead to but not always physical healing, emotional healing, and mental healing. Or something like that.
And if people gripe about the human energy field saying it is not really then please refer to Infinte Mind by valerie Hunt she studied it for 20 odd years and barbara brennan who literally has opened up a school teaching people how to do these types of energetic healings (not reiki as you would call it just energy healings)

Chakras[edit]

Are the energy centres described by Reiki practisioners really called by their sanskrit names (eg Sahasrara?) in this case, the connection between Reiki and the Upanishads in Hinduism needs to be explored and noted in the article. Sfacets 11:17, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I wouldn't think they are, since reiki is Japanese. It seems to be another example of a New Age syncretism. At any rate, we should remove the "chakra" names until a source is provided showing that a notable reiki branch uses them routinely. --Fire Star 火星 16:10, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

RE: the chakra system and reiki

I agree that the chakra system should not be included because although Usui would have been aware of them they were not a part of traditional Japanese understandings and teachings on the body's energy system. As a traditional practitioner and teacher of reiki I do not acknowledge the use of the chakra system in reiki and I certainly do not agree with the chakra system being incorporated into Usui's teachings on reiki because it is historically and factually incorrect and only serves to create confusion as to what was taught in reiki (many claim that the chakra system was part of reiki despite Japanese systems focusing on the tanden). It may be worthwhile to point out the similarities between the two concepts, however, I would make it clear that they are not a part of traditional reiki teachings and practices as this would just perpetuate the myth.

I have written two paragraphs which I believe should be incorporated somewhere in the entry for the sake of clarity. I shall propose some more edits that will follow. Thoughts are welcome on this.

Traditionally the system of reiki uses the concept of the tanden system instead of the mistaken belief that it is based upon the Indian chakra system. The Japanese tanden system as used in various disciplines of martial arts and spiritual practices commonly consists of one hara (literally translated as the lower abdomen) in which the tanden, literally translated as meaning around the naval, is housed. The Chinese equivalent of the tanden is tan t'ien.

The tanden may be in the position associated with svadisthana (the second chakra), which is where some of the confusion between the use of the chakra system in Usui's reiki methods may have arisen from, but they are definitely not to be confused because the corresponding chakra has a distinct meaning or interpretation which is distinctly different from the interpretation given to the tanden, even though both are usually associated with being the area in which the body's personal energy, ki or prana respectively, is housed. Dharma Provider 21:47, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

See Also[edit]

Shall we add more to the 'see also' section? It currently only contains JohreiMerkinsmum 11:39, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

From Pub Med[edit]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17109583&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17351024&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17099413&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum --200.152.34.40 21:47, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for posting. I'll expand.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17109583&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

CONCLUSION: The results indicate that Reiki treatments show promise for improving certain behavior and memory problems in patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild Alzheimer's disease. Caregivers can administer Reiki at little or no cost, resulting in significant societal value by potentially reducing the needs for medication and hospitalization.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17351024&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

Fatigue on the FACT-F decreased within the Reiki condition (P=.05) over the course of all 7 treatments. In addition, participants in the Reiki condition experienced significant improvements in quality of life (FACT-G) compared to those in the resting condition (P <.05). On daily assessments (ESAS) in the Reiki condition, presession 1 versus postsession 5 scores indicated significant decreases in tiredness (P <.001), pain (P <.005), and anxiety (P<.01), which were not seen in the resting condition. Future research should further investigate the impact of Reiki using more highly controlled designs that include a sham Reiki condition and larger sample sizes.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17099413&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

The results indicated that the experimental group reported less pain and requested fewer analgesics than the control group. Also, the experimental group reported less state anxiety than the control group on discharge at 72 hours postoperation. The authors recommend replication of this study with a similar population, such as women who require nonemergency cesarian section deliveries.

Can anyone who is a regular on this article incorporate this information without bias? 202.67.117.177 02:22, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure it should be. How do we determine WP:WEIGHT for such a study? --Ronz 18:26, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
thanks for posting the studies, but I'm not sure they're notable enough to be included: very small studies (the largest had 22 patients involved), and no placebo control Jon m
[10] Holist Nurs Pract. 2006 Nov-Dec;20(6):263-72; quiz 273-4. - doesn't exclude placebo, and the journal is of questionable notability.
[11]Integr Cancer Ther. 2007 Mar;6(1):25-35 - doesn't exclude placebo
[12]J Altern Complement Med. 2006 Nov;12(9):911-3 - doesn't exclude placebo
A study where one group gets Reiki, one gets sham-Reiki, one gets rest, and where the environment is maintained consistant would be nice; sound, visuals, etc. -- Xinit 13:48, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Citation[edit]

Reiki energy usually awakens within someone after a Reiki Master performs an "attunement."[citation needed]

I'm not sure why it's needed here exactly, or what would be an appropriate source. Given that Reiki isn't a "proven" form of healing, it's hard to source something like that. But these may be appropriate... I'll let someone else decide (I'm not sure how to properly add a citation to the article, so..)

http://www.reiki.org/FAQ/LearningReiki.html#attune http://www.reiki-for-holistic-health.com/reiki-attunements.html http://www.reiki.nu/reiki/initiations/initiations.html

But I also think that the wording is a bit off: the energy doesn't "awaken" in us (as Reiki is a Universal energy). "The process of being "attuned" to Reiki energy allows one to connect with and utilize the energy" or something to that effect might be better. It unblocks and clears the Chakras, in theory, and is considered a vital before attempting to use Reiki.

Just some thoughts. --74.14.59.139 03:40, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

They say[edit]

There are 'attribution needed' tags here 'Practitioners use a technique similar to the laying on of hands as well as gestures in the air, which they say[attribution needed] will channel healing energy (ki) . They say[attribution needed] the energy then flows through their palms to bring about healing'. The 'they' in this context is obviously in reference to the aforementioned practitioners, so I don't see why they are being treated as weasel words. Using the word 'they' just stops the paragraph from getting repetative.--88.109.223.105 18:43, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree. The who tag is not to be used merely when someone replaces a proper noun with "They" on subsequent uses. The "Who" tag has been so clearly overused I have reverted all who's in the article. Some of the sentences "who"'ed already clearly described who was being refered to -- as you rightly mention. Even a cursory reading of the many references shows who is being referred to and what they believe is well sourced. 202.67.117.177 02:11, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Not true. Read WP:WEASEL. When "who" refers to "(some) practitioners" or "(some) adherents" it is not at all a valid reference. According to WP:WEASEL, at least one specific person or group must be identified. Thus, one could say, such-and-such Reiki sect believe such-and-such with a citation to where they or a third party state this. But beware of generalizing from a single practitioner's website. Such self-published material is not considered reliable by Wikipedia standards and is ultimately meaningless in the context of the article. IPSOS (talk) 15:35, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Skinning Weasels[edit]

I'm working on removing Weasel Words and poorly cited references... if I'm stepping on toes, I'm open to discussion. -- Xinit 13:26, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

A newcomer's view of weasels[edit]

Having just had a look through the article on reiki and this discussion page, it seems to me that there is a general question of style that must surely apply to all Wikipedia articles on topics which are not accepted by, or lie outwith the scope of, mainstream science. All religion and all complementary therapies come into this category. One approach is to prefix every statement in the description of the topic with weasel-ish words such as "Its adherents claim that..." This makes the description largely unreadable in my opinion. Another approach would be just to state up front, once, that the method in question has not been proven by repeatable scientific experiment, clinical trials nor reported in peer review journals (or whatever caveat is appropriate). After such a disclaimer, surely the text can be written in a more factual sounding style? For example, "...which will channel healing energy" rather than "...which they say will channel healing energy." The problem with the latter is not so much the "they" but rather the "say" which implies some doubt as to the truth of the mechanism. Reiki is all about energy flowing through the practitioner. If the whole thing is to be questioned, let's just do it once and not with every single statement made in the description. On the other hand, if Wikipedia is only concerned with mainstream stuff that everybody agrees about, then let's not even have articles on reiki (or religion or ...) at all.Andy Beer 22:15, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

You say they are weasel words, others say they are qualifiers. Can the prose be improved? Yes, definitely, the style is clunky. But Wikipedia can't say that reiki actually works the way its proponents claim, anymore than Wikipedia can say that what the Pope says about Jesus is categorically true. We say that it is the Pope's opinion that the Catholic church adheres to, and we can say (if we have sources) that in reiki pracitioners opinion X happens when they do Y. It is the same with any other faith based pursuit in an encyclopaedia article. We report in the passive academic voice just what is notable about the practise in the public domain. We don't advertise for them. Readers may then decide for themselves based on a neutral presentation. --Fire Star 火星 01:53, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Fair enough. Thanks for the clarification. Andy Beer 09:16, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Sources for oral traditions[edit]

Having accepted the desirability of qualifiers, I am now pondering the question of references (touched on under "Citation", above). It seems to me that reiki (along with similar topics) poses a difficulty on several grounds: 1. It originated in Japan but is now most widely practised in Western cultures; 2. It is quite new in these adoptive countries (present since the 1980s); 3. It was probably an oral tradition till recently, without much being written down; 4. There has been a divergence of teaching, without a well defined mainstream, even amongst teachings presented as "traditional"; 5. The primary "evidence" for reiki is direct personal experience.

I don't really have answers to these difficulties. I just felt that much of the debate derived from this lack of an agreed, written, authoritative source. And that makes it difficult (but not impossible) to present the subject in the encyclopaedic style. Over the last ten or fifteen years, there have been many books written about reiki. But no single author or book has dominated. Perhaps it would be appropriate to use the works of a selection of the better selling authors, such as Petter (whom I've never read), as sources? Andy Beer 09:16, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Use of reference 9 in introduction is misleading[edit]

It is probably true that The majority of the scientific community considers Reiki to be pseudoscience but reference number 9 says nothing of the sort and should be removed as a reference here. I would prefer to see the whole sentence replaced with something like "Reiki remains scientifically unproven." This is a simple assertion and if anyone feels it to be untrue then they can produce the scientific proof for reiki, e.g. properly conducted and reported clinical trials. Andy Beer 09:31, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

My remarks above also apply to the opening sentence of the section on "Science." Here, reference 16 is a repeat of reference 9 (sloppy to have a duplicate). Andy Beer 13:36, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I've made these changes. Andy Beer 14:16, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

I've reverted most of this, and placed a fact-tag in. Yes, we should have this better referenced. Perhaps we're overstating the perspective. Let's try to find more sources. -- Ronz  20:24, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree it's overstated and prefer AB's version so I've reverted back, no offense. The reference was woeful (as a support for what was said), I agree there too. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 23:58, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for commenting here. As far as I can tell, per WP:WEIGHT and what sources we currently have, there is no justification for the sentence, "The effectiveness of reiki is open to dispute due to the lack of scientific, reproducible results showing effectiveness beyond that found in a placebo." Also, it makes no sense logically, but perhaps that is just poor wording. -- Ronz  00:34, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Moved from article - Yutaka Shaun Wada[edit]

I moved this from the article for discussion. As well as being unsourced, it seems off-topic, promotional: [13]

In Vancouver, British Columbia, a fellow named Yutaka Shaun Wada and his student Maysoon Marium Ramadan would attune over 40,000 people together. They believed that attuning people on the street by offering free initiations is the way to expediate the rising of the vibration of the planet. Yutaka was known to have attuned over 23,000 people whereas his protege attuned 21,660 people to all the 4 traditional reiki symbols.

-- Ronz  14:46, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

"Pseudoscience" back in[edit]

In the Science section, I notice that "The majority of the scientific community considers Reiki to be pseudoscience, and dispute its effectiveness..." is back. I really don't like this. Nobody has actually undertaken a poll of the scientific community, so it is just a wild guess, presumably made by someone who personally considers reiki to be pseudoscience but doesn't want to feel lonely in his or her beliefs. Furthermore, for something to be pseudoscience, it has to be presented as a science in the first place. I don't think that we have established that reiki is commonly taught as a science. I for one, when teaching reiki, always stress that there is no scientific proof. My line is always to encourage a personal empirical approach: "Try this and see what it does for you." This is not the scientific method because it is blatantly subjective, not objective. Therefore reiki, as taught by me at least (and I consider myself to be a traditional reiki master), cannot be considered a pseudoscience because it lies outwith the scope of science. I don't want to start a reversion war if I can avoid it because it will just waste our energy. Please respond to my comments so that we can find an agreeable way to present the perfectly reasonable view that there is no scientific evidence for reiki. Andy Beer 19:11, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

We have WP:NPOV, WP:FRINGE, and the many scientific souces to guide us. I think there are two issues to address: what is the scientific perspective of Reiki, and how do we present it. I'm unhappy with the presentation, but I think it's clear what science says about Reiki. You appear to be unhappy with both the presentation and the scientific perspective, correct? -- Ronz  19:33, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
The sentence could be reworded to not include the "consensus" implication. Pseudosciences follow a set of very definite characteristics, and it's not someone's opinion about whether something is pseudoscience or not. Namely, if the primary source of evidence for something is a single study or anecdote, that is a red flag for pseudoscience. Also, when there are no proposed mechanisms, or the mechanisms proposed have been shown to be false and ergo the proposed mechanisms changes, that's another red flag. (For instance, this article makes it sound like magnetic fields have some influence on the human body because they haven't been well studied. Well, considering the tons of people who undergo MRI's each day, I'd say we are pretty well certain what affect magnetic fields have: namely almost zero, at least at reasonable powers.) Shawn M. O'Hare 18:14, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

If the scientific perspective is "Reiki is unproven" or "Reiki lies outwith the scope of science," then I am personally in agreement with it. And I agree on the basis of WP:NPOV that such a perspective should be put across. Note that either of those perspectives can claim to be of a scientific nature. The thing about just claiming that something is "pseudoscience," is that the claim is, in itself, unscientific. If the thing has been disproved scientifically, then we should say so. If it has been proved scientifically, then we should say so. If neither of these is the case, as for reiki, then we should say that. I'll go away and do my best to read all the "scientific sources" which are quoted but I will be amazed if they offer any proof one way or another. And I would be quite surprised if any reputable source refers to reiki as "pseudoscience." I had a read through WP:FRINGE and would like to draw attention to the following quote: "However, a lack of consideration or acceptance does not necessarily imply rejection either; ideas should not be portrayed as rejected or labeled with pejoratives such as pseudoscience unless such claims can be documented in reliable sources." Andy Beer 20:07, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

"Reiki is unproven" or "Reiki lies outwith the scope of science," These are your own opinions, and not from sources that we can use, correct? If so, they don't belong.
"Reiki is ineffective" or "Reiki is no different than placebo" are statements that I think summarize the scientific perspective. -- Ronz  20:40, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Incidentally, the University College London Hospital (one of the foremost teaching and research hospitals in the UK) has employed a reiki practitioner part-time over a number of years. Here is a reference to a BBC report on the matter: [14] Any objection to me working this in somewhere? Andy Beer 20:25, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

I'd object to it being in the science section. -- Ronz  20:43, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

I'll see if I can track down a direct UCLH source. In the meantime, I had a look at one of the other references (Source: Institute of Neurological Sciences, South Glasgow University Hospital NHS Trust, Glasgow, United Kingdom. Authors: Nicola Mackay; Stig Hansen, Ph.D.; and Oona McFarlane. Originally published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2004, vol. 10, no. 6, pp. 1077–1081) and found that the result of this scientific clinincal trial, including a placebo group on a blind basis as well as a "rest-only" control group was, and I quote, "Results: Heart rate and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly in the Reiki group compared to both placebo and control groups." This is in direct contradiction to what is said in the Wikipedia article and I intend to change the offending paragraph. Who put in such a blatantly incorrect reference? Andy Beer 21:30, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

That's just one study, and may not be reproducible. Results are often skewed by who paid for the study, sizes of groups, etc. --Fire Star 火星 21:35, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
The title of the paper is "Autonomic Nervous System Changes During Reiki Treatment: A Preliminary Study". I wonder how the real study did? -- Ronz  22:04, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
It gets better:

Conclusions: The study indicates that Reiki has some effect on the autonomic nervous system. However, this was a pilot study with relatively few subjects and the changes were relatively small. The results justify further, larger studies to look at the biological effects of Reiki treatment.

-- Ronz  22:07, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

An NHS hospital study should be a pretty reliable source. My point, though, is that the main reference given for the "Reiki is no better than a placebo" point of view turns out to have concluded exactly the opposite. Either we find a different reference or we completely change the point of view expressed here. Andy Beer 21:40, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Are we reporting what we find or looking for sources to supported our biases? I think we should report it as we have read it. Seems pretty obvious. So, I've reverted to the science intro by Andy Beer. Thanks. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 23:42, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Doh - I just reverted because you hadn't contributed to talk. Andy Beer's statement is still unsourced and makes no logical sense. -- Ronz  23:47, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
I've undone my revert. -- Ronz  23:53, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Appreciated. The sentence reads fine to me. I think it's the sources that are ambiguous. So, blame the scientists for not coming to a clearer conclusion. Haha. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 00:19, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Science section: What next?[edit]

(Semi-arbitrary section-break, given that "Pseudoscience" is out and it appears that we're now looking for how to start the science section) -- Ronz  03:02, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Re: new opening No! This is clearly making speculation and argument. What have you got against stating the openess of the situation clearly? ॐ Metta Bubble puff 00:39, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't see any "openness of the situation" that you might be referring to. -- Ronz  01:44, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Hi Ronz. Can you please post links to the citations that support the statement "Studies suggesting otherwise tend to be preliminary or poorly designed"? ॐ Metta Bubble puff 02:22, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
No, but I'm happy to find one that we can easily source. I already noticed and commented that the previous version wasn't so we're not going back to that without the sources. -- Ronz  03:04, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Maybe we can use something like this. But I would be hard pressed to accept a one-sided summary. Also, we should note the item doesn't refer to Reiki specifically. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 05:02, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Found another source. So here's two:
Ta. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 05:05, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Here is another source which reports in reiki's favour at p<0.01, in what seems to be a well designed experiment on rats, with "sham reiki" (i.e. placebo) and no-treatment control groups, and with some repeatability thrown in for good measure: "Personal Interaction with a Reiki Practitioner Decreases Noise-Induced Microvascular Damage in an Animal Model" The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Jan 2006, Vol. 12, No. 1 : 15 -22. Andy Beer 09:05, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
n=12, divided into 3 groups. No offense, but this is exactly what we've already discussed, an extremely poor study due to an extremely small number of subjects.

Design: One group of four rats simultaneously received daily noise and Reiki, while two other groups received "sham" Reiki or noise alone. A fourth group did not receive noise or additional treatment. The experiment was performed three times to test for reproducibility.

-- Ronz  15:49, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
My understanding of hypothesis testing is rather rusty but I'm fairly sure that the probability of the results being due to random variation, in this case p<0.01, takes into account the sample size. So, I don't think your argument holds here. (The results of the other study didn't quote a confidence level, so the criticism is valid there.) Andy Beer 20:10, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
n=12 divided into 3 groups is ridiculous. The authors and the editors of the journal should be ashamed to publish such trash. -- Ronz  23:28, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
And one of the authors is none other than Gary Schwartz. -- Ronz  15:54, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree that this author is controversial - I hadn't spotted it. Andy Beer 20:10, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

My feeling is that the Science section, particularly the opening, should convey a strictly neutral viewpoint of "This hasn't been conclusively decided one way or the other." Then perhaps a few paragraphs for and against, with some of the references we are unearthing. Andy Beer 09:05, 12 June 2007 (UTC) The first reference used in the section is still grossly misrepresented, so as a short-term measure I feel obliged to redo that bit. Andy Beer 09:05, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I've made some interim changes to bring the text more in line with the old sources. More work is still needed here, especially to bring in the new sources. Andy Beer 09:43, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Andy, I think we disagree on how WP:NPOV applies in this case. I'm not sure if it's because you feel there's better scientific evidence for Reiki, your interpretation of WP:NPOV itself, or something else altogether. I've been clear that I think the evidence, articles we can use as sources here, clearly show that Reiki is no better than placebo. You've repeatedly called for something different. How do you think you can support your position? Given I'm not sure where we disagree, I don't know what more to ask at this point. -- Ronz  15:31, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Ronz, the area we disagree on mainly is your assertion that the two studies currently cited "clearly show that Reiki is no better than placebo." Neither of the studies concluded that and one of them clearly concluded the opposite, i.e. that reiki is better than a placebo. So, I think that the onus is on you to support your assertion with a (new) reference which explicitly shows that reiki is no better than a placebo. Andy Beer 20:10, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. I'm not saying that the two studies show that at all. Those studies are cherry-picked from the many that have been done as the most supportive of Reiki, and yet they're fatally flawed. There plenty of sources to back that Reiki is no better than placebo. I'll be happy to find some.
Also, I suspect that we do have a conceptual difference about what a scientific viewpoint is. To me, a scientific viewpoint on the effectiveness of reiki (or anything else) can only really fall into one of four categories: 1. strictly disproven; 2. strictly proven; 3. not yet decided; or 4. outwith the scope of science. To put forward either of the first two viewpoints requires some reasonably solid reference one way or the other, which we don't currently have. So, I feel that we have to be putting forward either viewpoint 3 or 4 as the main theme in the Science section. Either of these should be put in a neutral way, without implying that reiki is ineffective because of the lack of evidence (nor implying that it is necessarily effective). Andy Beer 20:10, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for this as well. I disagree, but I don't think it matters. We need to find sources. Scientific reviews or something similar. Individual studies are pretty much worthless except as supporting sources. -- Ronz  23:28, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Here is another reference. More of the same as far as I can tell from the abstract: Yes, reiki has a significant effect, at a high level of confidence, but no placebo control group. "Biological correlates of Reiki Touchsm healing" Diane Wind Wardell PhD RNC, Joan Engebretson DrPH RNC (2001); Journal of Advanced Nursing 33 (4), 439–445 Andy Beer 21:05, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Just another example of a bad study. -- Ronz  23:28, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. But moreover, our opinions are irrelevant. Our job is to behave like editors, not scientists. The fact is, it's a noteworthy peer-reviewed journal. There is no policy that says we must omit any source that doesn't rigidly adhere to the scientific method. We are up to about four of these medical journals now that say their Reiki results are inconsistent with placebo. Regardless, I agree with Andy on putting forward his category 3 or 4. I suggest the following sentence:
  • Current research findings recommend further research into Reiki to account for previous study results inconsistent with placebo and the need for stricter scientific rigor." * [15] [16] [17]
Please report anything specifically inaccurate about the sentence above. Thanks. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 02:08, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. Repeating what I said above, we need scientific reviews or something similar. Individual studies are pretty much worthless except as supporting sources. Otherwise, we violate NPOV by selecting research, then NPOV and OR by making conclusions from our selection of research. We need to find sources, scientific reviews, that have already selected research and made the conclusions. -- Ronz  02:47, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Please answer my question. Is there anything inaccurate about this cited sentence:
  • Current research findings recommend further research into Reiki to account for previous study results inconsistent with placebo and the need for stricter scientific rigor. [18] [19] [20]
You are the only person who has suggested we conclude anything. Some of the so-called individual studies are actually meta-studies so they are far from worthless. I'll repeat also, (as per WP:RS there is no basis to exclude peer-reviewed medical journals based on the opinion of wikipedia editors. If you want to say the study is flawed I'm all for it, but find a source that says so! ॐ Metta Bubble puff 03:09, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Then you're quoting someone? Please tell me where, "Current research findings recommend further research into Reiki to account for previous study results inconsistent with placebo and the need for stricter scientific rigor" comes from. -- Ronz  03:24, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
It's a summary of the three articles. I'm asking you whether you think it's an inaccurate summary of the articles. Have you read them? (The quote is a typo while I was bolding). ॐ Metta Bubble puff 04:16, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't see how these three sources are appropriate for our use here, nor how a summary such as you indicated could be drawn from them. -- Ronz  04:28, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
These are medical science journals indexed by Medline. Have you got a better summary? ॐ Metta Bubble puff 05:09, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Please indicate how these sources are appropriate for our use. If they're not appropriate, then we're wasting our time summarizing them. -- Ronz  16:10, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
These are medical science journals indexed by Medline. I'd appreciate it if you'd make a positive suggestion about a summary sentence for the science section. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 16:19, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
I'd appreciate it if you'd respond to my concerns. I feel like I'm pulling teeth just trying to support your own suggestion. So, on to a different approach... -- Ronz  16:30, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Scientific reviews[edit]

The only way I see that we can write a Science section is by finding and drawing primarily from scientific reviews of Reiki. Otherwise, we violate NPOV by selecting research, then NPOV and OR by making conclusions from our selection of research. -- Ronz  03:25, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Meta-studies would be helpful too, though they are not nearly as good as reviews since meta-studies have selection biases based upon what information can be compared across studies. -- Ronz  04:08, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Nonsense! Our job is to include all relevent scientific viewpoints. Clearly, medical journals and meta studies fall into this area. Here's some quotes from the actual sources above (and some others):

  • "Healing is at present still largely viewed with scepticism by medical science, inspite of evidence which points strongly towards the need for an objective investigation and assessment of the phenomenon." [21]
  • "Little testing has been done on Reiki healing but one test has shown significant changes in some blood parameters" (in reference to WetzelWS.Reikihealing:aphysiologicperspective.JHolisticNurs1989;7(l):47-54) [22]
  • "A recent review by Benor has concentrated specifically on healing research. In assessing work performed since 1952, Benor concluded that, of 136 controlled experiments, 56 significantly demonstrated a positive effect of healing." [23]
  • "The salivary IgA findings warrant further study to explore the effects of human TT and humeral immune function."
  • "The methodologic limitations of several studies make it difficult to draw definitive conclusions about the efficacy of distant healing. However, given that approximately 57% of trials showed a positive treatment effect, the evidence thus far merits further study." [24]
  • "This open study provides strong circumstantial evidence that healing by gentle touch is safe and effective in improving psychological well-being in participants with self-reported psychological problems, and also that it safely complements standard medical treatment. Controlled trials are warranted." [25]
  • "these findings are highly generalizable and justify evaluation of healing by prospective, randomized controlled trials and study of long-term effects." [26]
  • Current US trials: [27]
  • "120 newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients will be randomized to one of 3 groups: Reiki, another touch therapy, or guided imagery. Subjects in the Reiki and touch therapy groups have 8 sessions in the 4 weeks prior to their medical intervention. Those in the imagery group have one session prior to their medical intervention." [28]
  • "Research on touch therapies is still in the early stages of development. Studies of Therapeutic Touch, Healing Touch, and Reiki are quite promising; however, at this point, they can only suggest that these healing modalities have efficacy in reducing anxiety; improving muscle relaxation; aiding in stress reduction, relaxation, and sense of well-being; promoting wound healing; and reducing pain." [29]
  • "In addition, participants in the Reiki condition experienced significant improvements in quality of life (FACT-G) compared to those in the resting condition (P <.05). On daily assessments (ESAS) in the Reiki condition, presession 1 versus postsession 5 scores indicated significant decreases in tiredness (P <.001), pain (P <.005), and anxiety (P<.01), which were not seen in the resting condition. Future research should further investigate the impact of Reiki using more highly controlled designs that include a sham Reiki condition and larger sample sizes." [30]
  • "The results indicate that Reiki treatments show promise for improving certain behavior and memory problems in patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild Alzheimer's disease." [31]
  • "The results indicated that the experimental group reported less pain and requested fewer analgesics than the control group." [32]
  • "The methodologic limitations of several studies make it difficult to draw definitive conclusions about the efficacy of distant healing. However, given that approximately 57% of trials showed a positive treatment effect, the evidence thus far merits further study." [33]
  • "The IP group subsequently had a significantly lower severity score based on the hospital course after entry (P less than .01). Multivariant analysis separated the groups on the basis of the outcome variables (P less than .0001). The control patients required ventilatory assistance, antibiotics, and diuretics more frequently than patients in the IP group." [34]

Again, I see our job is to cite the opinions from medical science sources. It is not our job to manufacture consensus amongst our sources, and it is not our job to scrutinize the scientific veracity of these scientific sources. To do so clearly violates WP:OR. Please share some of your article research too so we can get busy writing an encyclopedia. I assume you have some article research to post because you seem to have very strong opinions? ॐ Metta Bubble puff 05:01, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for this extensive research, Metta Bubble. I feel that it is perfectly legitimate to quote specific studies, as long as the full range of conclusions is represented by the set of studies cited. My own trawl threw up very similar results to MB's. What surprises me is that I have so far failed to find a single study that has been designed to test the "negative" hypothesis: that reiki is no better than a placebo. Note that this is a different test to just failing to positively show that reiki is better than a placebo: there is a grey area between the extremes of confidence, which is precisely the category number 3 of "not yet decided." I still feel that this is where the current scientific understanding is. Andy Beer 10:02, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

It appears we aren't going to agree on a basic approach to writing the science section. Time to request outside help? Do either of you understand my NPOV and OR concerns? If you don't, please ask questions and I'll try to explain better. -- Ronz  16:08, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Ronz, here is what I think your concerns are, please correct me if I'm wrong: Reiki is not mainstream science, therefore the weight of the Science section should be somehow against reiki; Unfortunately, all the direct studies of reiki that we have so far found seem to be slightly favouring reiki; Therefore, the studies represent a minority viewpoint and should not be cited at all. Am I on the right track? If so, my concerns with the stance are twofold: 1. We are really just guessing that the majority of scientists would think that reiki is nonsense; and 2. If they do think it's nonsense, unless research has demonstrated that it's nonsense, that understanding by said scientists is just personal bias and not a scientific viewpoint, so it has no place in the Science section. We need some studies which conclude that reiki doesn't work. The two references currently cited "against" reiki, in the Science section, are woeful as scientific sources: the Skeptic Magazine (I haven't read the article but it is a review of a book which only touches upon reiki, so the article itself will not be reiki-specific) and the National Council Against Heath Fraud, which I notice from its website is a private agency, though it omits to declare who it is funded by. I don't mind these references being in there, to convey that point of view, but it seems a bit extreme to then suggest that we can't quote peer-review journals! Andy Beer 21:45, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
No. What I'm saying is we need to source what we write, and avoid OR and NPOV problems.
I think that most of what you're saying here are simply red herrings. I'm not suggesting any such thing and I have no idea where you're coming up with it. For example:
"Reiki is not mainstream science, therefore the weight of the Science section should be somehow against reiki" If find this sentence to be nonsensical. It's certainly not something I think, or anything I think we can source.
"Therefore, the studies represent a minority viewpoint and should not be cited at all." No, I just think we have to cite them properly, and avoid NPOV and OR problems.
"We are really just guessing that the majority of scientists would think that reiki is nonsense" We don't care what the majority of scientists think, because the majority of scientists specialize in other areas. -- Ronz  16:40, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Here is another Reiki reference: Olson, K & Hanson, J (1997) “Using Reiki to Manage pain: a preliminary report” Cancer Prevention and Control 1:2 (June) pp 108 - 113 The results were that when Reiki was administered to cancer patients who also received conventional pain medication there was a “highly significant reduction in pain following the Reiki treatment”. MaxPont 19:42, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Theory and Experimentation[edit]

I suspect that part of the discord that we are exploring has to do with the difference between experiment and scientific theory. Traditionally, science prefers to have both of these, often with the theory coming first. (E.g. Higgs Field theory, with the Large Hadron Collider designed to look for the Higgs boson experimentally.) Hypothesis testing can, however, be used to show a causal connection in the absence of a theory explaining the mechanism of the connection. From what I've seen so far, the reiki experiments have not yet proved that reiki is better than a placebo, but they seem to be leaning slightly in that direction. When it comes to theory, everything I've read so far is in the category of poetic description. Perhaps the "against" viewpoint could make more of this lack of a rigorous theory (and lack of direct detection of the reiki energy). At present this is touched on by the last paragraph of the Science section. Andy Beer 10:25, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

I disagree. Let's focus on sources. What sources should we be using? What can we draw from them? I've given my position that we need reviews, though meta-studies would be useful as well. We need these types of sources because they select, analyze, and summarize other research. If we try to select, analyze, and summarize ourselves, we're in violation of NPOV and OR. -- Ronz  16:14, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, we need to represent all citable viewpoints, as per WP:NPOV and as Andy says. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 16:22, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
No. Please read WP:WEIGHT, which is part of NPOV. -- Ronz  16:27, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Your concern as I understand it is that saying Reiki might work is a non-scientific hypothesis and not part of the current majority scientific viewpoint. However, I've just posted 12+ peer-reviewed journal MEDLINE links that are clearly sympathetic to wanting more scientific research into Reiki. Could you please post some links to the majority scientific viewpoint you are refering too? Or simply state what the viewpoint is? I simply can't find another viewpoint with the kind of WP:WEIGHT you appear to be refering to. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 06:32, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
" Your concern as I understand it is that saying Reiki might work is a non-scientific hypothesis and not part of the current majority scientific viewpoint." No. This is another red herring. Where are you coming up with this stuff?
WP:WEIGHT says we treat sources with appropriate weight. Majority viewpoints get the majority treatment in the article. Minitory viewpoints get less, perhaps none depending on what sources we can find to support them and help us determine their weight. -- Ronz  16:44, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
What majority viewpoint? ॐ Metta Bubble puff 23:34, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
We've already firmly established with a dozen sources that the majority viewpoint is :
  • Current research findings recommend further research into Reiki to account for previous study results inconsistent with placebo and the need for stricter scientific rigor.
So, again, what do you mean when you say majority viewpoint? ॐ Metta Bubble puff 23:36, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Sources for "Current research findings..."?[edit]

  • 2004. Letter by Edzard Ernst critical of a single study, Weze et al. This letter makes no mention of Reiki. Weze et al makes no mention of Reiki. "THE NEED FOR SCIENTIFIC RIGOR IN STUDIES OF COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE" [35]
  • 1995. Brief review by R D Hodges and A M Scofield. Makes a brief mention of a single reiki study. "Is spiritual healing a valid and effective therapy?" [36]
  • 2001. Report of study by Wardell and Engebretson. "Biological correlates of Reiki Touch(sm) healing" [37]

So, we have a letter not directly related to reiki at all, a brief review that mentions reiki in passing, and a reiki study. Am I summarizing these incorrectly? -- Ronz  16:54, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree that we should try to use references which are specific to reiki, rather than ones covering a whole range of complementary therapies. (The general stuff might be relevant to other articles such as Alternative medicine.) It we can find a comprehensive and up-to-date review, published in a respectable journal, of scientific studies into the efficacy of reiki, then of course that would be good to cite. But in the absence of such a review, what do we do? Surely we have to cite from a selection of the respectable studies that have been published. Of course we have to do this in a way which is neutral. But all the studies that I've looked at have concluded that there is at least some hint of efficacy and more research needs to be done. So I think that MB's suggested summary in an earlier section is a neutral representation. Andy Beer 21:07, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree we should focus on references specific to reiki. -- Ronz  21:33, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Ronz, on a related matter, I think that we have a different understanding of WP:OR. My understanding is that Wikipedia is not, itself, to be used as a medium for publishing OR; but OR that has been published, preferably in a peer-review journal, certainly can be cited. If I understand your comments correctly, you interpret WP:OR to mean that such sources should not be cited. Have I understood your position correctly? Andy Beer 21:07, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for asking. Let's see if I can clarify:
I'm saying that we should not be selecting, analyzing and summarizing individual research reports. Certainly, we can use such reports for other reasons (eg discussion of individual reports or findings deemed important by other sources we're using). It's OR to do our own scientific literature review.
"This means that we present verifiable accounts of views and arguments of reliable scholars, and not interpretations of primary source material by Wikipedians." -- Ronz  21:43, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I feel that I understand your OR concern now, especially having had a quick look at the equivalent section of the Acupuncture article by way of comparison. What do we do if we can't find a reputable review though? If there were one out there, I would have expected to have found it by now. It might be that Reiki is too new to the West for enough research to have been done to fuel a decent review. Perhaps we should just say something like that... and keep looking? Andy Beer 22:10, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Hi Andy, Ronz. Since you mentioned it, I'm still offering up this summary for where the situation currently stands based on our sources:
Current research findings recommend further research into Reiki to account for previous study results inconsistent with placebo and the need for stricter scientific rigor.
Ronz. Can you please address this sentence specifically? If there's a problem, please explain specifically what it is. Ideally I'd appreciate if you offer an alternative wording. Following on from your argument about OR above, perhaps you would prefer:
There is currently no adequately performed scientific research into Reiki.
I'd be happy with something like that statement also, but we'd still need to cite it using our Medline sources. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 06:22, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
I am happy with either of the statements proposed by MB. Andy Beer 12:25, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not even going to consider statements for inclusion without knowing the sources from which there are drawn. That's my point here. We find sources. We determine how to use them appropriately. If we can't agree to this, we're not going to make much headway on anything. -- Ronz  20:38, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Ronz, I'm back to trying to understand your position and how you propose that we proceed. You've said that we must have sources for everything that we write. Okay, I don't mind that. You also say that we can't quote specific experiments without being selective, which is liable to violate NPOV, and in any case constitutes a review which you claim makes it OR, which is not allowed. Which leaves us only being allowed to write with reference to published reviews and meta-studies. But none of us have found any reviews or meta-studies that are specific to reiki. Which means that there is no citable source, which means that we can't write anything. I think this position is admirably summed up with There is currently no adequately performed scientific research into Reiki. as proposed by MB. If you don't like that, please make a positive proposal of your own. In other words, what would you write for the Science section if you were the sole editor? Andy Beer 22:09, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate your patience and questions.
"You've said that we must have sources for everything that we write." No, but we certainly need to be careful. I don't see other ways of solving our current differences without providing sources and referring to policies and guidelines.
"Which leaves us only being allowed to write with reference to published reviews and meta-studies." I'm saying that we need to rely mostly on reviews and meta-studies.
Yes, without better sources we cant do much. I just want to be on the same page. I've seen editors try to do the scientific literature reviews themselves, and it's just a massive waste of time. -- Ronz  23:41, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
So, we've asked the same question coming up on about a dozen times now -- what sentence do you propose? ॐ Metta Bubble puff 06:48, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Black hat[edit]

This was removed from the article, but I think it's worth placing here for discussion, especially if someone would like to try to find a source for it or something similar.

Others maintain that a black hat practitioner could channel hostile energies to create harmful instead of healing effects.

-- Ronz  00:22, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

I followed the link and found it was about computer hacking. Failing to see what relevance computer hacking has to Reiki I deleted the edit as vandalism. If you find any sources for it I'll eat my bubbles. :) ॐ Metta Bubble puff 06:45, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
I haven't heard of anything like this actually happening. I wouldn't say it's impossible though. However, the energy involved would not be reiki (according to my understanding) as reiki is believed to enhance the organism's natural healing and growth processes. In practice, a malevolent energy practitioner would not get many customers because it's almost all done on word-of-mouth recommendation. So, I think the subject would be more appropriate in a non-science section of the article on alternative medicine, perhaps in a discussion of whether complementary medicine should be regulated or not? In any case, I don't think that "Black Hat" would be an appropraite term to use. Andy Beer 14:14, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, "black hat" is certainly not being used in the same way as in black hat. -- Ronz  16:14, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
See energy vampire. At any rate, while in my understanding of the new age business it is relatively common, we'd need a secondary source for something like that to stay in the article IMO. --Fire Star 火星 17:32, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Wow. This is all a bit weird for me. Can't this kind of thing be said of any field? I think you'd need to not only establish that it's possible but that it is actually happening with some frequency for it to be notable. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 11:12, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
You're right that it's not notable but it is kind of fun to discuss! The original black hat term seemed to imply a malevolent person feeding bad energy into someone else. The energy vampire term refers to a person sucking good energy out of someone else, so a different scenario. I've certainly come across the energy vampire terminology and its variants in New Age circles (for example it crops up in James Redfield's popular but atrociously written novel The Celestine Prophecy). However, in common New Age parlance, it is almost invariably used merely as a term of abuse against someone who has left one feeling drained. Andy Beer 11:41, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Reviews, meta-studies, and the like[edit]

I'm going try to find scientific reviews, meta-studies, and similar scientific or medical analyses of Reiki that we might consider using in the article and list them here. Please add others and comment on their possible use:

Thanks for tracking these down, Ronz. I've added my thoughts after each. Andy Beer 09:53, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Reiki (NSMC Health Library) - a small medical review for the NSMC Health Library. Looks more like External link material rather than a source. -- Ronz  18:57, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
At a quick glance, this doesn't look comprehensive enough to be of much use. It makes a good point that reiki (like most non-drug interventions) cannot be tested by a double-blind trial, only single-blind. Andy Beer 10:00, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Reiki (InteliHealth) A large medical review. "Natural Standard reviewed more than 135 articles to prepare the professional monograph from which this version was created." Looks like a good source, though the monograph itself would be better. -- Ronz  19:01, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
It looks like the monograph is subscriber-only: [38] -- Ronz  19:05, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
As you say, the monograph would be better. The main difficulty in using the InteliHealth article is that it's purpose is to give medical advice. So, for example, the first sentence of the Summary would be a useful citation but the rest of it would feel a bit out-of-place in our Science section. I also lked the Theory section; maybe we could quote parts of that somewhere in the WP article. Andy Beer 10:08, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Searching the literature (May 3, 2005) A blog entry by Steve Simon about his search for reviews. Probably not useful for our use, but it might be worthwhile to follow up on his note that he was later made aware of an evidence-based review. -- Ronz  19:16, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't think we can quote this blog but I very much liked the feel of it. It seemed honest and unbiased to me. But really all it says is "I haven't found a good source yet." except for that tantalizing note about an evidence-based review which you spotted too. Andy Beer 09:53, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
I feel that the author of this paper, who works for a large pharmaceutical company, may be prejudiced against reiki. I'd be very unhappy to quote his conclusions unless his article has been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Andy Beer 09:53, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Andy for looking through them and commenting. I'm going to continue to look for more potential sources. It looks like we agree that we have at least one so far that we can use at least portions. -- Ronz  00:42, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

No ground to exclude the studies we already have[edit]

I disagree with the interpretation of WP:OR made by Ronz. Wikipedia articles are not composed of a strict addition of quotable WP:RS statements. In good articles there is a narrative flow constructed by the editors (supported by RS). Not every little word has to be supported by a reference. Editors can “fill in the blanks” if they are obvious and straightforward. It is perfectly legitimate to summarize and rephrase as long as the text is supported by RS. There is no WP that states that only meta-studies can support scientific claims. There is also no WP that states that only double-blind randomized trials indexed in Medline can be used as RS. Ronz is right that minority opinions should be given less weight. However, this article is ABOUT Reiki and the article should present the scientific evidence about Reiki, with a disclaimer about mainstream scientific consensus. This is an article ABOUT a minority phenomena. Here are some text modules that I consider perfectly legitimate and supported by RS that can be combined into article text.

Reiki has not been extensively studied by mainstream medicine

I think that this statement is true and I would be happy for it to go in the Science section without any particular reference to back it up. Andy Beer 11:24, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Any possible therapeutic effect by Reiki would be attributed to the placebo effect by mainstream medicine

This one I'm not so happy with because it's guessing that mainstream medicine goes about its business in a prejudiced way. Surely responsible mainstream medicine would have the opinion We don't yet know for sure whether reiki has any therapeutic effect beyond that of a placebo. Andy Beer 11:24, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Well it does go about in a prejudiced way.MaxPont 13:12, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Haha. But surely there's some room for nagging skepticism of systemic prejudice. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 23:15, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

There are a small number of scientific studies that indicate that Reiki may have an effect. However, these studies are not rigorous enough to allow for any conclusions.

I feel this one is being a bit harsh on the few studies that have been done. Some of them may have lacked rigor. Many just admitted to being small scale or preliminary in nature. The main problem is the small number of studies, i.e. the ...not been extensively studied... mentioned above. So, how about: ... However, taken together these studies do not yet provide sufficient evidence for definitive conclusions to be reached.? Andy Beer 11:24, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
The initial statement is probably fine. Pilot studies are almost never used for evidence of anything within the scientific field other than possible research avenues. The results of these studies are by and large taken out of context by the public and media (i.e., the media represents these as being actual studies that show some sort of evidence). I would actually go so far as to say it is intellectually dishonest to say that a pilot study shows evidence for Reiki's effectiveness. They just are not designed with the same rigor as later clinical studies. Shawn M. O'Hare 18:23, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Elaborate: study A shows xyz, study B shows xyz, study C shows xyz, ...

If anyone has a problem the tag “citation needed” can be added. MaxPont 13:43, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

The trouble is that on the whole the medline sources we have don't actually support those statements. Quite the opposite in some cases. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 13:52, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
As I've said before and Andy has supported the following is a more accurate summary:
  • Current research findings recommend further research into Reiki to account for previous study results inconsistent with placebo and the need for stricter scientific rigor.
Reasonable? ॐ Metta Bubble puff 13:54, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I'm still happy with this because the ...recommend further research... is a recurring theme in the conclusions of the studies that have been carried out. Andy Beer 11:24, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I am fine with this sentence, though I think it is to long and complicated. (My point was that the scientific support for Reiki should be presented + a short added disclaimer about the opinion of the medicial establishment.) MaxPont 13:10, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I'm open to splitting the phrasing over a couple of sentences. What's a new wording you might suggest? ॐ Metta Bubble puff 23:15, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

At the risk of upsetting everyone, I've redone the Science section, reflecting some of the comments and references of this discussion. Andy Beer 17:12, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

The statement should link to the recommendation. We can't say the studies recommend anything, we have to specifically link to or quote where the study or studies actually recommend further research. --Fire Star 火星 14:42, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes. This is getting extremely tiresome, having to point out basic wikipedia policies that have been used here to prevent other content from being included. --Ronz 16:30, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Andy. Well done. Please don't feel unappreciated. I'm quite pleased with your edit and think it's better than many other sections of the article. I have a few positive suggestions forthcoming about some of the wording and might make a quick edit or two. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 05:32, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Feel free, I won't be offended! Andy Beer 09:59, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Science[edit]

See my edit that I reverted. If we want a science section here, it should be about science. --Ronz 15:00, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

I've added the NPOV tag to the entire article. My efforts to introduce very basic discussions on how to handle NPOV problems are being totally ignored, so the tag is warrented. --Ronz 15:02, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

The way I see it is that there is a lifecycle at play:

  1. Totally unsubstatiated claims by a few individuals;
  2. Anecdotal evidence;
  3. Preliminary studies (pilot trials);
  4. Rigorous clinical trials;
  5. Reviews;
  6. Citations of reviews in encyclopedias;
  7. Citations of encyclopedias everywhere...

I'd say that Reiki is at number 3 and we want to be at number 6. I still don't see how we bridge the gap. Until the study of Reiki has matured to phase 6, which will take many years (and of course, its effectiveness might be disproved somewhere along the way), the best we can do is convey the sense of where it's at, in as neutral a way as we can manage. Andy Beer 09:41, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Ronz, I've looked at your (reverted) edit, which strips out most of the material from the Science section. Personally, I still feel that you are being too strict in requiring citations from reviews. In the absence of such reviews, I feel it is reasonable to represent the early-stage science which has been done, in as neutral a way as we can. Andy Beer 13:34, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Regarding the mechanism by which Reiki might effect healing, as discussed in the first paragraph, the work of Oschman is good science, just at an early stage. The other quote ...as yet undetected... is of course pure speculation. I only put it in to cover that point of view (i.e. that there might be some other form of energy that hasn't been directly detected yet). Andy Beer 13:34, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

(I've just reverted an edit by Tonganoxie Jim, which was based on a significantly earlier version of the article, presumably in error. Andy Beer 13:15, 26 June 2007 (UTC))

You're making one massive assumption, that Reiki actually does something. If it is no different than placebo then we should expect exactly what we have:
  1. Marketing of unsubstantiated claims by individuals and groups with (mostly monetary) conflicts of interest
  2. Preliminary studies and pilot trials
  3. Very few rigorous clinical trials because researchers were unable to get funding due to the poor results of the preliminary studies
  4. Very few reviews because there is little worth reviewing
Yes, I think the Science section should be stripped rather than kept as is, if those are the only two options. --Ronz 16:19, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
I disagree entirely with your analysis of the situation. If reiki is no different to a placebo, I would have expected to see most of the preliminary trials concluding that, rather than the opposite. The lack of larger clinical trials and reviews is due to a combination of the stage of development of the therapy in the West (i.e. it is relatively new) and the fact that nobody stands to make much money from it (unlike drug interventions where funding for trials comes from large corporations). Andy Beer 18:26, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
It is your opinion that the lack of larger trials and reviews is due in some way to money. To base what is put in the article on an opinion like that is covered by No original research. That reiki masters charge what they do for "attunements" and "treatments" shows somebody is making some money from it, after all... --Fire Star 火星 21:08, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the reason which I gave here for the lack of larger clinical trials is an opinion. My main point was to refute Ronz's opinion that "If it is no different than placebo then we should expect exactly what we have." I am not proposing that either of these opinions is included in the article. Andy Beer 21:39, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Unless we can confirm a controversial fact with a cite to an independent mainstream publication, we must leave it out of the article. This means: no studies done by reiki masters or for reiki masters to promote what they do, reiki service provider websites (advertising), attack blogs against reiki and no personal webpages. Applicable policies are: No original research and WP:Conflict of interest. Wikipedia is not an advertising service for anyone. Reiki practitioners believe it works, others find it wishful thinking, yet others a disingenuous con game or even more extreme, sorcery. Any of these POVs are wrong for an encyclopaedia article. For primary sources we should report on the contents of reiki publications, but not endorse them. For secondary sources we should report what is available in mainstream publications, not "alternative" sources with an agenda of promoting New Age medicine. --Fire Star 火星 17:14, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
The sources currently cited in the Science section are reputable, not "alternative" or "new age" sources, and the studies were not "done by" reiki masters (except in the sense that the universities and hospitals probably used the services of reiki masters in the trials). Andy Beer 18:26, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not saying there is anything wrong, I haven't had time to go over the article closely for a while now. The above was a collection of general points editors can use in the discussions this type of article engenders. --Fire Star 火星 20:32, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. Andy Beer 21:39, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

(I keep forgetting to fill in the edit summary - sorry.) I've removed the final sentence of the 1st paragraph of the Science section, which was the quote of a speculative hypothesis about a form of energy "at present undetected...", on the basis that it wasn't scientific enough (even though it was from a reasonably scientific paper in a peer-review journal and yes, it was I who put it in in the first place). Regarding a scientific mechanism whereby reiki could be effective, the article now covers Oschman's view that biomagnetic (i.e. electromagnetic) fields are at play, plus the opposing Skeptic Magazine review of his book. (I haven't read the Skeptic article; I'm assuming it trashes Oschman's view.) I can envisage two other points of view regarding the mechanism: either "some energy not yet detected scientifically," like the quote which I've just removed; or "fundamentally not detectable scientifically." I'm happy for these two PsOV to be absent from the Science section on the basis that they don't constitute science. Essentially one is saying that the science (regarding mechanism) hasn't yet been done and the other that it has got nothing to do with science. Is everyone happy for these 2 points of view not to be represented in the Science section? Andy Beer 08:37, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Oschman's view is not science, and doesn't belong in the science section. --Ronz 17:30, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. The cited book by Oschman is a thorough review of work by dozens of scientists, themselves published in peer review journals. I have a copy in front of me as I type. Have you read it too? I can recommend it. Andy Beer 17:43, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
I've mentioned cherry picking already, correct? Oschman's work is not a scientific review suitable for our use. --Ronz 17:49, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with your assessment. The book is a citable secondary source. If you wish to find some other sources for other points of view regarding mechanism, that would be great. Andy Beer 18:09, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

"If you wish to find some other sources for other points of view regarding mechanism, that would be great." No it wouldn't. That's my point. This is a science section we're working on. If you don't understand NPOV in this context, we're not going to make much progress here. --Ronz 18:23, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

I believe that we have very different understandings of NPOV. Where do we go from here? Andy Beer 18:45, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
There are a number of projects that specialize in these sort of issues, though I'm not sure which are active: WP:WIKIPROJECT. Wikipedia:WikiProject_Alternative_medicine appears inactive. I'm guessing you'd object to Wikipedia:WikiProject_Pseudoscience. Wikipedia:WikiProject_Medicine looks like they help editors in many ways, but you might consider them too far off topic. See any active ones that you think could help us? Or we can try other options listed in WP:DR --Ronz 19:06, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for this. The projects which I feel are most relevant to reiki are Wikipedia:WikiProject_Alternative_medicine (as you say, inactive) and Wikipedia:WikiProject_Spirituality (not relevant to the Science section). I had a look at the others you mentioned. As you suspected, I don't regard the pseudoscience project as relevant to reiki. The medical project looks great for mainstream medicine, which is not really up against the same NPOV issues as CAM. I feel that our Science difficulties are a manifestation of a more general question: How to present whatever science has been done for a flavour of CAM? By definition, CAM has not been accepted as mainstream, so whatever science has been done is bound to be preliminary, unless something has been strictly disproven, which I genuinely see no evidence of in the case of reiki. Do you feel that reiki has been scientifically disproven? Andy Beer 20:05, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
I think it's unproven.
I think it's unproven too (in the objective scientific sense). I've strengthened the opening sentence of the Science section to reflect this. Andy Beer 10:25, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
"How to present whatever science has been done for a flavour of CAM?" Agreed. I know this question has been addressed multiple times, the trick is finding help for us here.
One thing we can do is have a look at other CAM articles. I had earlier tried Acupuncture but that was a bad choice because it is much more established, researched and reviewed then reiki. I've just had a look at Reflexology#Analysis (don't miss the "pseudoscience" bit at the end - you'll love it), which is probably closer to reiki in terms of level of acceptance and research. Andy Beer 10:25, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, looking for similar articles is always a good solution. --Ronz 14:59, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
As an aside, Wikipedia:WikiProject_Spirituality/Assessment looks useful to this article in general. --Ronz 20:13, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Theories and Practices[edit]

I propose that we split this section into two ("Theories" and "Practices", or "Theory" and "Practice" even though there will be variations). I'd like to expand both these themes, quoting some books (I'd better read some first:-). Any comments before I plunge in? Andy Beer 10:10, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm good with that. I'm a little concerned about representing different styles of Reiki across sections though. Sometimes it makes sense to say "X believes Y and practices Z, while A believes B and practices C". But if you think it can be written well without becoming like a collection of disjointed facts it's worth the effort. I haven't given it much thought. Please go for it. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 02:16, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Good point, thanks. I need to do some more reading to get a feel for the degree of divergence. Andy Beer 09:34, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
On a technical point, is there any WP action to take before changing a section heading? (I'm thinking of possible cross references – unlikely in this case.) Andy Beer 09:34, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

I've put a whole new Theory section in place (pulling out two or three points from what was there before). I hope that I haven't upset anyone by binning most of the old text. As you can see, I have referenced quite a few books, point by point, trying to convey the essential characteristics of Reiki as reported in these books. These notes are compatible with the mainstream Western Traditional school, with one or two aspects coming from the Japanese Traditional school as reported by Petter. Reiki based cocktails such as Crystal Reiki are not represented. If anyone wants those put in, I suggest they go in a separate section (I heard that there were over 400 different flavours listed in one website!). Andy Beer 19:47, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm happy to work up the Practice section if nobody has any objections. Andy Beer 20:33, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

See new Practice topic below for follow-up. Andy Beer 19:06, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Assessment?[edit]

Are we ready for Wikipedia:WikiProject_Spirituality/Assessment? --Ronz 02:30, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

The assessment thing looks good and definitely something which should be applied to the Reiki article. Here are my personal feelings: If we go for it now, I think the article will not do too well on quality (at a quick glance, I would give it a "Start" or a "B" if I were feeling generous). The importance rating seems to be defined in terms of how important the article is, in order to understand spirituality. My feeling is that Reiki would be "Low" because it is just one spiritual discipline amongst hundreds. But an understanding of Spirituality is important in order to understand Reiki, at least to have a feel of it all from an intellectual perspective. There is definitely a link. How about: Give me a week or so to work on the Theory and Practice section(s) and then we submit for assessment? Andy Beer 09:48, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

That sounds like a good plan. --Ronz 15:00, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
I feel that the article is in a good enough state to submit for assessment now. How do we go about it? Andy Beer 11:17, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
It's not clear, but I gave it a try: Wikipedia:WikiProject_Spirituality/Assessment#Requesting_an_assessment --Ronz 22:15, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Original Reiki Page Was a Rant[edit]

I did a lot of the edits earlier this year because this Reiki entry was a rant slamming Reiki 99.9%. As a Reiki (Master) practitioner I knew that most of the authoring that went into this article was done by a skeptic with no direct experience of Reiki. It seems to me that most Wiki articles, even on controversial subjects, have much more evenness that what was done here. Feel free to ping me if you have any questions from someone who knows this pretty well. One thing to keep in mind is that Reiki exists in the area bridging spirituality and healing. It does not claim to be the same as medical science and it is not a science. Most of what science deals with cannot reach adequately into the metaphysics that underly Reiki and most of life. Inayat Bluejaguar 20:40, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

But you see, that is your opinion. Other opinions differ. Wikipedia has policies to keep those sorts of things from working their way into the article. I have experience with reiki, and my opinion is completely different from yours, for example. Our policies help people who disagree find common ground to report (not promote or attack) a practise like this. --Fire Star 火星 22:40, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Actually, Bluejaguar's opinion is quite similar to my own. I think the article has improved since the earlier one "slamming" Reiki. So I'm satisfied with progress on the article. I think it's good advice to remind ourselves Reiki does not claim to be medical science. ॐ Metta Bubble puff 17:47, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Interview with Usui[edit]

This was mentioned in passing in one of the Reiki books I'm looking at. The implication seemed to be that the interview is dealt with in detail in Frank Petter's book Reiki – the Legacy of Dr. Usui, which I don't have a copy of. I'll try to get my hands on a copy. Andy Beer 16:11, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

I'd guess that it is public domain, but if we link to it we should find a copy that has the actual date and source to avoid linking to something that might be a copyright infringement. --Ronz 16:23, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

See Also: Johrei[edit]

Could someone have a look at the Johrei article, please (currently linked to from Reiki#See Also). The Johrei article looks rather like an advertisement to me: no citations or references, two of the external links look quite commercial at a glance, one seems to be broken and the fourth is in Japanese. Andy Beer 20:30, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

It's a stub. Needs some indication of notability though. --Ronz 14:40, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Ronz. I retract any critism that I had - it looks bona fide enough to me now. Andy Beer 17:58, 1 July 2007 (UTC)