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A serious question around 'healing' ie reiki, spiritual, anything like that

(74 Posts)
IndigoBarbie Wed 03-Apr-13 20:44:35

Now, believe me when I say I know how controversial the whole energy healing/spiritual healing/reiki etc is - But I seriously would like to know if those who have tried it, found it beneficial?
OK, I know there will be lots who either don't believe in it, or wish to call people scammers, or those who perhaps didn't feel that reiki or equivalent helped them - but I have a genuine and very serious interest in this.
I am not writing a paper, or anything like that - I am just keenly interested as I would be interested in knowing what might attract you to going to receive a session, and what might put you off. I'm personally not into the whole marketing side where people make very big claims of cures, but I do know of some folks who have been helped whilst receiving energy work treatments.
Just thought I'd ask on here.
Also - for you lovely scientist folks - what do you know about getting tested for energy levels whilst activating the vibes?
Much love my fellow mumsnetters xx

IndigoBarbie Fri 05-Apr-13 09:56:22

I see, so sugar pills wouldn't have been expected to have a particular effect, yet some did report differing points of experience. But, sugar does have an affect on our bodies??

Smudging Fri 05-Apr-13 09:58:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

technodad Fri 05-Apr-13 10:02:57


The electrical impulse from your heart beat will generate an electromagnetic field, yes. Real scientists invented the ECG to measure and observe this to great effect in real medicine.

I am not sure what this real medicine has to do with the subject in hand though. How do you "feel" this energy field?

You have to be wary of pseudo science that uses very loose and generic terms like "energy field". When I shout I create a field of noise energy. When I rub my hands together I generate a heat energy field. I can "feel" both of these energies.

How exactly do you feel this "energy field" you talk of?

seeker Fri 05-Apr-13 10:09:31

So are you saying that the sugar pills they took actually had the physiological effect of either making them have that best night's sleep they ever had OR gave them loads of energy?


IndigoBarbie Fri 05-Apr-13 10:15:29

technodad ok, great questions and certainly ones which I have asked myself before, and continue to do so.

I can feel energies with my hands, and with my mind. Also with my body. Or, at least this is my perceptions of what's going on. I am also aware of changes of temperature, pressure and either feelings of intense high vibrational frequency (which feels like tiny tiny sparkle fluctuations in the air and around me) or some which feel heavier, lower and larger particles. I am not sure that any of this makes great scientific reading. I am, and I do perceive energies around me, and those of others. I don't always have a name for this, but at one time in my life I could feel magnetic energy between my hands, and I could also feel this when carrying out 'energy' work on someone else. It's a journey, and it's an interesting one. As time has gone on more things have become apparent to me, and I am on a huge and steep learning curve, at all times.

tasmaniandevilchaser Fri 05-Apr-13 10:52:36

I think there are a lot of charlatans out there, some well meaning, some probably not.

In my personal experience there are some people who are not charlatans. I met a healer/shaman once, when I was in a terrible, terrible emotional state. I just burst into tears and was sobbing hysterically, when I realised that, for want of a better description, all the hysteria was just being sucked out of me - literally in 2 seconds flat I felt reasonably normal. I realised that he had his hand over my back, not touching and it felt incredibly warm. It was a very big surprise, not something I'd associate with any placebo effect. I went back a couple of times over the next 2 days and very quickly went from very poor mental health to feeling completely normal. In fact I could see the difference in my body - I had an infection in my skin, it was swollen and nothing had made a difference. I'd had it for about 6 months. In a couple of days it healed up completely. He didn't touch me at all or ask for any money.

If I hadn't had that experience I'd be a LOT more sceptical, but as it is I'm a lot more open minded. But I think that kind of person is incredibly rare.

I go for acupuncture, but I see it in the same light as going for a massage, something that relaxes me, sorts me out, gives me more energy. Something that is complementary to medical science, not in place of it.

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Fri 05-Apr-13 12:32:19

indigo when you say you felt magnetic energy between your hands, did your hands stick together?

The thing for me about healing energy is that if someone is doing something that will havea positive mental benefit, this will translate into having positive physiological benefits.
Meditation has been proven to have calming effects on brainwaves and for me, I believe that is what healing is, it helps to induce calming concentration and focus, in a way that is hard to find in the modern world.
I go to a spiritual healing group every couple of weeks. It is donation based, I'm currently low income so I donate four pounds.
I don't go to be 'healed', I go for the opportunity to be still and calm for a couple of hours and for the sense of well being I take away with me.
Saying that though, there have been a couple of occasions, when I have felt something very strongly.
If it's all in my head, why don't I get that feeling every time I go?

seeker Fri 05-Apr-13 14:27:12

"If it's all in my head, why don't I get that feeling every time I go?"

Because it is all in your head, and depends on what else is going on in there.

A more useful question is "if it's real energy of some sort, why don't you get the feeling every time you go?"

Well, for me, it could indeed be about what is going on in the background mentally, or the way someone smells or the interaction of my body temperature with theirs etc.
But for it not happening every time, the people giving the healing vary but I can link two of the powerful occasions to one particular guy. Maybe the way he smells triggers something in me.
I am able and keen to look for other explanations but I still think it would be a worthwhile thing to do to investigate what is the 'real/actual' reason for that experience and whether that could be used for the benefit of people.

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Fri 05-Apr-13 15:18:18

When I go to bed, sometimes I drop off straight away, sometimes I lie there for ages whilst thoughts go through my head (usually quite annoying!). If I considered going to bed to be a 'treatment' of sorts (it's relaxing and physically beneficial to me), I could easily say "sometimes I get a lovely warm feeling all over and drop off to sleep, this must mean that the 'treatment' is spiritually effective". But that's not exactly what's going on. The brain is a fascinating organ which interprets your senses' reactions to the world, it's also fallible and can trick you into 'experiencing' things which aren't there. This could be because of a poor interpretation of a sense, an odd combination of senses or simply a misfiring neuron. Either way, there are much more explainable (and provable in some circumstances) reasons why you might experience something either visually, audibly or physically which relate to the brain rather than by filling in your lack of understanding with a spiritual world.

seeker Fri 05-Apr-13 15:21:10

" I still think it would be a worthwhile thing to do to investigate what is the 'real/actual' reason for that experience and whether that could be used for the benefit of people."

It has been. Endlessly. Placebo.

weegiemum Fri 05-Apr-13 15:26:34

15 months ago, I developed a severe neurological disability which affected my ability to walk, use my hands etc.

At that point we were going to a fairly charismatic church, and loads of people told me they were praying for my healing, that God had told them I'd be healed etc.

One person helped us move house (we needed to, the old house was impossible for me), a few others brought food.

Guess which we found most useful?

Funnily enough, we go elsewhere now for church. A bit more community based, a lot more in the real world!

Selba Fri 05-Apr-13 15:39:58

snake oil

goodjambadjar Sun 07-Apr-13 11:24:40

"You have your way, I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, that does not exist."

SolidGoldBrass Sun 07-Apr-13 12:01:12

Actually, the human body and mind are quite good at healing themselves in quite a lot of cases. If you get a cold, or the shits, or a bit of a tummy ache, or a minor injury, you will generally get better whether or not you employ any woo. TBH, with minor illnesses and injuries, you will generally get better whether or not you employ any actual, proper, proven medical treatment, though it might take a bit longer and might involve a bit more temporary discomfort.
One way in which woo therapies benefit the stupid people who are not very well informed about health is that a decent con artist peddling this stuff will have some rudimentary health knowledge and will also advise the whining, not-really-seriously-ill patient to eat better food, take exercise, relax, get fresh air, and will be able to project an air of kindness, sympathy and calm along with the sugar water and hand-waving. Advice delivered in soothing tones along with a side-helping of mystical bollocks is often better recieved than a pressed-for-time GP saying 'Try eating less rubbish and take a vitamin pill... Next!'

Basically, practitioners of this crap fall into three categories - crook, psychopath or well-meaning idiot. You're best off with the crook who wants your money, as it is in his/her best interests to keep you happy and as well as possible. The well-meaning idiot might be the cheapest option, but may not be good at convincing you you are getting something 'real'. The psycho will be the dangerous one who tries to make you refuse genuine necessary treatment such as chemo or surgery on the grounds that the power of prayer will be more effective.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Sun 07-Apr-13 13:48:15

Excellent post Solid

PedroPonyLikesCrisps Sun 07-Apr-13 17:09:16

I go for regular massage therapy for my shoulders, this works great because there's a real befit to massage itself. What annoys me though is when after the treatment they tell me to drink lots of water as it will help remove the toxins from my body. Crock of poo! Of course it's good to drink plenty of water and it probably perks me up a bit after feeling a bit sleepy from the relaxation of the massage, you don't need to make stuff up to encourage me to drink!

As it happens, they don't always say it and other than that they are quite normal.... I think what's actually happening here is that the masseuse has been told something about 'toxins' and just gives it as friendly 'advice' occasionally rather than it being a proper recommendation post treatment.

IndigoBarbie Mon 08-Apr-13 16:04:27

Lots to catch up on. Interesting to read everyone's posts. I will try to get some time tonight to respond properly.
Pedro, the toxins thing - doesn't it relate to the movement through the lymph glands? or something like that? The magnetic hands - not stick together, but be drawn together and then repel each other; would probably be a more accurate description, or the best I can offer by ways of my perception.

ICBINEG Thu 11-Apr-13 10:48:53

SGB sorry but that was an awesome post....also the reiki as a pyramid scheme is very apt.

In answer to the OP...lots of people have tried reiki and found it beneficial, all of those people would have gotten even more benefit from a treatment that actually worked.

Spend your money on things that work.

IndigoBarbie Tue 16-Apr-13 21:43:50

Thank you to everyone who took the time to contribute to the thread. Makes for very interesting reading, and I do appreciate it

mylittlepuds Sat 20-Apr-13 22:14:02

I haven't read up thread but I had reiki for anxiety. I was in a desperate place. It didn't work at all. However the woman doing it seemed a bit of a jack of all trades. Not a nasty woman - just not committed to it. She did a whole barrage of stuff.

specialsubject Sat 20-Apr-13 22:39:12

This discussion has been worth it for the use of 'woobollocks' alone.

which is if course what all these snake oil things are. And the 'crook, psycho or idiot' categories are well worth remembering. Happens with diets too - the only way to control weight long-term is the obvious 'eat properly, move more' which makes no-one any money.

I used to take a homeopathic remedy for a minor ailment, and felt that it helped somewhat. Then I read up on homeopathy - and the remedy stopped working. I think I have proved the placebo effect!

specialsubject Sat 20-Apr-13 22:40:23

ps re toxins - your body deals with those all by itself, how clever. You have organs including bladder, kidneys, liver and rectum. Unfortunately some use the last for speech...

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