OK – I really feel this has to be said. Personally, I welcome (with open arms) attention and experimentation, scrutiny, double-blind studies, hypotheses, collection of data, comparison…the WHOLE enchilada of scientific study of any and all of what I do, regarding energy work and any other complimentary or alternative medicinal arts (CAM) in general. In my opinion, broadening – and adding legitimacy to – the field with certifiable, documented research is necessary. I support it 110%.
Of course, the study of Reiki and other forms of energy work is still in its infancy. Much of the feedback I get about how my clients fare after the sessions and what they feel during the sessions helps to fuel my belief in the benefits of and experiences during energy therapies. Having said this, I understand why people would be a little hesitant to pursue CAM treatments, even though the anecdotal evidence about their success and benefits is so profound and widespread. Without peer reviewed studies with measurable and quantifiable results that have been repeated and thoroughly evaluated, the evidence remains disputed.
I still love working with energy, though, and I would recommend it for a variety of different reasons. Most people have no negative effects from energy work, but some might have a headache or stomach ache from the detoxification process Reiki can stimulate – I try to warn my clients about that and ask that they take it easy and drink plenty of water to help their systems flush toxins. Prior to working with anyone, I do get a little bit of medical history from them and let them know that the energy can decrease the time that their medications work. I avoid doing Reiki during a surgery so as not to interfere with the surgeon’s job. I am cautious and make sure that my clients are well informed.
I have said before and will say again – if there is a scientific study of Reiki or any other energetic healing practice, I am totally willing to volunteer to participate. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the details.
Now, having said that, I would like to move onto a topic that has been scratching at my nerves for a little while: claims that certain products or methods are above scrutiny.
There is an online forum/group that I was active in that was devoted to advice about using a particular brand of essential oils. One member of the group asked about potential drug interaction with the oils. I responded with a link to a site that described some of the more popular oils and the chemicals that were in them that could potentially interact with other medications (first in my list below). The moderator of the group DELETED my post and then proceeded to post references to research that was conducted by the head of this oil company. The COMPANY sponsored and supported research poo-poo’d any potential for interaction and said that it just isn’t possible. Members of the community voiced their support that interaction just wasn’t possible with the high quality essential oils, ignoring all other evidence to the contrary.
HOLY FREAKIN’ MOLY! Censorship! Throwing out of contradicting evidence! Lack of morals! Naivete at best; irresponsibility at worst!
Because there can be issues when the chemicals in essential oils combine with other chemicals in prescription drugs, it is a good idea for anyone selling or recommending oils to get a list of the medications a person is using (and/or diseases or medical issues that person deals with) to check for any danger of harmful interaction PRIOR to recommending a treatment plan. Essential oils can trigger things like seizures in certain patients and it is IMPORTANT to understand what you are recommending to whom.
If a person is putting ANYTHING on or in his or her body, that person should be aware of any KNOWN risks for issues that might result from the product(s) in question.
There are oils that pregnant women should avoid. There are oils that those with epileptic/seizure disorders should avoid. There are oils that can burn/irritate the skin if not combined with a carrier oil. There are oils that can make a person’s skin more sensitive to the sun. There are oils that should be avoided during chemotherapy. There are oils that thin the blood, and oils that help it to thicken. People who are sharing information about and prescribing oils should know these things and advise accordingly!
I don’t dispute the quality of the oils that come from this unnamed brand. I don’t dispute the fact that essential oils can be a very powerful complimentary treatment for a host of different illnesses and issues.
I use oils for a variety of things, myself and recommend them to friends and family alike.
What I do take issue with is the blind ignorance of evidence that has been collected through the ages that warns of potential risks. I’d prefer to be cautious when trying to HELP someone.
If you are working with any complimentary or alternative medicinal practice, please make sure to read ALL of the material available describing potential benefits and side-effects. Don’t ignore warnings because ONE company has said THEIR products fall outside of the norm as far as interactive qualities are concerned. Please be an informed consumer. This is YOUR HEALTH!
Articles outlining potential for interaction/reaction or limited usage: