I think I’ll draw up a couple of DON’T TOUCH stickers to put on the two inexplicably intense points on my body that people should steer clear of, because even when I warn a New Ager not to go anywhere near them for risk of a knee to the nose, they do. I’ve been told they’re the result of a jealous lover’s arrows in a previous life.
Seems like nobody’s quite sure what reiki is. Try a little experiment now – open a window and ask somebody.
Here, in a woody ‘burb in the city, I’m given crystals to hold and there’s some touching and waving going on. The practitioner has very warm fingers and it feels kind of nice. Then she sends me shooting 10ft in the air by craftily going for one of the verboten points while I’m lulled into a false, floppy sense of security by the Native Indian chanting and wafty smell of jasmine. It’s like Luke Skywalker being electrocuted by The Emperor. It takes me ages to relax again.
“How’d you go?” I ask her after, when I’ve climbed back off the table and regained my composure. “Can you feel anything when you’re working on someone?”
“You can feel blockages of energy,” she replies… And there’s a bit of a pause.
“Did I have a blockage, then?”
“You actually had a guardian child standing at your Sacral Centre,” she chuckles. “She had her arms folded and she was saying, ‘Nup,’ so I couldn’t get to it. I thought I’d just sneak around the side, but she wouldn’t let me. That’s when you jumped.”
I respond with, “Mm, that makes sense,” which is my default thing to say in these situations.
“It wasn’t like she was sitting in the corner crying,” the practitioner says. “She was quite feisty. In the end I persuaded her to take down your natural shield, and together we put up a pink shield with gold sparkles in it. You’ll find that it protects you, but it will get a bit ragged if you have too much emotional stress – and that’s when you’ll find you need another session.”
I leave feeling thoroughly manipulated. And not by cleansing violet light.
I am a new age type.
What do you think of people who actually like this stuff? Are they just fools? Will they come round to your view eventually? Or, is it only placebo? If so, what is wrong with giving placebo?
I’m not at all set in my ways when it comes to new age activities – quite the opposite; I want to explore and learn more. In general I’ve felt quite cynical after trying things, but there have certainly been instances – energy healing among them – when I’ve had to reassess my view. Which then makes me want to ask even more questions. It’s my curiosity that has set me upon a journey of being a human guinea pig, and I’d love to have my horizons broadened along the way.
In other instances, though, I’ve felt that some practitioners are little more than grifters. Perhaps you’ve met some who have also aroused that suspicion. I feel more are grifters, or are deluded in thinking they have special gifts, than not.
As for the placebo effect, there’s nothing wrong with it if it improves your health or state of mind – I’d agree with that. But if it’s a placebo, why does a session of whatever it is have to cost so much? And is all the pseudo-scientific crap people put on their brochures really necessary or ethical?
Thanks for writing
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