Clouds In The Head

Catholic bishops warn of Reiki ‘dangers’
7 April, 2009, 7:26 am
Filed under: All ideas are 1/3 truth, 1/3 lie

March 28, 2009

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has warned Catholics to shun the eastern healing art of Reiki because it lacks scientific credibility and is dangerous to Christian spiritual health.

“Reiki therapy finds no support either in the findings of natural science or in Christian belief,” the USCCB doctrine committee said in a document issued.

In health terms, using a therapeutic technique that has no scientific basis “is not generally prudent”, said the eight bishops on the committee, which in the past has issued guidelines on how to minister to “persons with homosexual inclinations” and frequently asked questions about why only men are ordained.

In spiritual terms, using Reiki carries “important dangers” because the therapy is based on the theory that illness can be healed by rebalancing “universal life energy”, or Reiki, by a laying on of hands by a trained master, and that clashes with Christian belief, the bishops said.

“There is a radical difference between Reiki therapy and the healing by divine power in which Christians believe: for Christians the access to divine healing is by prayer to Christ as Lord and Saviour, while the essence of Reiki is not a prayer but a technique,” the bishops said.

And then there’s the fact that “neither the Scriptures nor the Christian tradition as a whole speak of the natural world as based on ‘universal life energy’ that is subject to manipulation by the natural human power of thought and will,” the bishops said.

To use Reiki is to operate “in the realm of superstition, the no man’s-land that is neither faith nor science,” the bishops warned, urging Catholic healthcare institutions, retreats and chaplains to ditch the therapy, which originated in Japan in the 1800s.

A survey conducted in 2002 by the US National Centre for Health Statistics and the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) found that more than 2.2 million US adults have used Reiki for health purposes.


This is one of my favourite articles for years. I can’t help it. I just read and re-read the thing. Having a wife who’s a yoga teacher helps.

And what of my rare readers? Have you little delights like this? I have such creatures as my special Cheer-Me-Up songs (including “Sit Down” by James, “Jump” by Van Halen – and Aztec Camera), special Guilty TV Shows (you’d think you could only watch so much of “Black Books” first series), special Glimpses (the view across the valley is nearly matched by the view of my library spread across the office wall), special Cheer Me Up People (you know who you are). There are Tastes I’ll Never Get Again – Mum’s chocolate cake – and People Whose Voices I’d Love To Hear One More Time (especially Dad), Perfect Books (Farewell My Lovely – and isn’t it bliss that The Wire’s top-billed character is McNulty?). Smells I Can’t Quite Get (many of them seem to be part-glue, part biscuit). Folks I Ain’t Seen In Years.

And the ultimate: Jobs I Just Can’t Seem To Get Through Or Even Get Started On, Betimes.


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