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How do you feel about spotlighting Reiki in front of your community–or even a small piece of it?

If you’re just starting your Reiki journey, this might mean sharing your experience with friends.

If you are a Reiki professional, or see yourself moving in that direction, it’s time to think beyond your circle. Are you willing to help educate the public about Reiki, and give them a sample (I call them Reiki treats)?
If the thought of even a local spotlight makes you uncomfortable, please reconsider this opportunity to serve — because that’s exactly what we do when we mindfully step forward, and sometimes those who are best equipped are also most reticent.
Why not make a list of what’s in your way? Some things on the list may be between you and your therapist, life coach, spiritual advisor…but there may be others that I can help with.
After all, I’ve been giving public Reiki events for 20 years. No matter how experienced you are, starting small makes a lot of sense.
And why not choose an appreciative audience? My suggestion — approach your local senior center. Sadly, seniors don’t get much attention in our fast-paced society, and senior centers are often eager for events to offer their clients. Another plus: the discomforts that seniors frequently experience — pain, anxiety, insomnia, indigestion — usually respond quickly to Reiki treatment. Reading the section on Reiki and seniors in my book will help you understand just how much Reiki offers this age group.

Still feeling shy? Consider how emboldened you’d be by solid preparation. And the confidence that comes with being prepared will make you a more gracious host, one who is poised to address the surprises that come with any live event.

You don’t need to be perfect to give it a try, and you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. There are basic elements that support the success of any Reiki event, and I’m ready to share them with you in a webinar this Saturday, March 6, from noon to 1:30 PM NYC Eastern US time. Regrettably, there is no time that works everywhere in the world, so I looked at where most of you live and timed this conference call to be accessible to those areas (but of course everyone is welcome).
A recently published study suggests that Reiki may be useful for people undergoing colonoscopies. Anxiety, pain, and various physiological measures were taken before, during and after the procedure. Participants who were randomly assigned to the Reiki group received a modified 15-minute treatment before colonoscopy.The participants who received Reiki treatment showed significant reductions in heart rate, respiration, and anxiety after their Reiki treatment. Although the study was small, the data are encouraging. The study also shows that it is feasible to offer Reiki treatment in this setting.You can read the abstract at PubMed. Once inside, type endoscopic Reiki into the search box. Here is the full citation:

Endoscopic procedure with a modified Reiki intervention: a pilot study.
Hulse RS, Stuart-Shor EM, Russo J.
Gastroenterol Nurs. 2010 Jan-Feb;33(1):20-6.
PMID: 20145447


Reiki’s credibility challenge will be increasingly highlighted as the mainstream public becomes more aware of the practice. Other than noticing the obvious signs of a fringe practitioner, most people don’t know how to tell who is credible. Let’s help. Take a look at the guidelines I posted in Recipe for Reiki Credibility. Share your thoughts in the comment section. Then if you deem it helpful, please (please please) use the Facebook, email, and Twitter icons to share it with your friends.

Last month I started a new category on the blog, Reiki Myths, to address the glut of misinformation that is presented to the Reiki community–and the public. One of the biggest problems to mainstreaming Reiki is the mistaken belief that there are times when it is unwise to use Reiki treatment. Please read Reiki is Safe, leave a thoughtful on-topic comment, email it to your circle, and post on Facebook and Twitter.


As I continue to receive feedback from the survey, it is interesting that the percentages stay fairly constant. Of the practitioners who have responded so far (are you one of them?):
  • 67% said they wanted to deepen their Reiki practice (can’t tell you how much I love that!)
  • 51% want to strengthen their Reiki skills (a freebie here: daily self-practice is the first step)
  • 61% want to feel more confident communicating Reiki to the public (read the Communicating Reiki posts on the blog)
  • 62% want to learn skills needed to collaborate in health care (I hear you and I’m working on it).
If you haven’t filled out the survey yet, please click here now. It’s only 3 questions, with space for anything else you want me to know. Filling out the survey puts you on the inside track for the training opportunities I’m creating to help Reikipractitioners develop as professionals, and gain the skills needed to work in health care.REIKI WEBSITE REDUX Credible, thoughtful Reiki needs a larger internet presence. I’ve enjoyed mentoring Reiki practitioners on their websites and am happy to extend my Reiki website offer from last month to the next 5 people who contact me for a $50 website phone review. Whether you are just beginning, or you realize your site needs tweaking, your site could be serving you–and Reiki–more effectively by communicating your perspective in a way that appeals to a wider audience.

February 2, 2010

Ah, February, the month of love.

The Reiki community is still very much loving Dr. Oz

Now how can we bring more love to ourselves, to those around us, to the world? How can we trust ourselves to consistently choose love?

It seems to me the secret is happiness. Not rip-roaring hyper-enthused mania, but rather, a steady benevolent state. Isn’t that what we are really seeking when we look for love outside us?

And isn’t that sense of well-being what drew us to Reiki initially, and what keeps us practicing?

How can we carry that state from our practice into our lives? Usui gave us a clue when he referred to his Precepts as “the secret of inviting happiness.”

Cut to a bus in New York City. The sight of a mother and child on the sidewalk sparks an epiphany for Gretchen Rubin. Rubin realizes that scene could be her daughters and herself. Viewing her life from the outside brings an awareness that she is in danger of wasting her truly good life. It occurs to her that there is more, a deeper level of something, maybe appreciation, or…happiness.

And so the Happiness Project began.

Rubin was already an accomplished writer, so she started a blog (always smart to know your strengths and build your foundation there). That blog became a book, The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun, and that book is worth reading.

A former attorney, Rubin was systematic in her approach to growing her happiness. She maps out a plan with goals and actionable steps to support each month’s focus (vitality, mindfulness, money, friends, etc.), and generously shares the details of her year spent strengthening her happiness muscle.

Rubin weaves an engaging braid of memoir, wisdom, and science with wit and candor. The Happiness Project entertains, informs and inspires. My kind of book.

Why is this particularly relevant for Reiki practitioners?

Rubin admits that part of her motivation for practicing happiness was to prepare for adversity. It’s pretty wonderful that, as Reiki practitioners, we can literally touch our inner core of happiness and well-being. But it’s not enough. The greatest happiness comes with embodying Reiki, becoming a strong Reiki bell, so that even when adversity hits (and it will, especially if you are sticking your Reiki neck out), you ring clear, true, and happy.

Good for you, and good for everyone.

This advanced Reiki state doesn’t come automatically. Even if you practice self-treatment every day (you do, don’t you?), there are no guarantees that you will stay steady in the face of adversity. It takes effort, and a plan.

And if I may be so bold, this is where the Reiki rubber hits the Road of Real Life. Remember “with gratitude, work diligently?”

Your happiness project can be what you want it to be–that’s precisely the point. We don’t achieve happiness by going against our natures, but rather through making the moment-to-moment choices that express our deepest selves.

It just doesn’t make sense to have a bunch of Reiki grumps, does it? Creating your happiness is an aspect of your Reiki practice. And if you are a Reiki professional, it’s your job. With Rubin’s help, it can be easier than you think. So please, click here, read, and apply liberally.


Why, chocolate every day of the year, of course!

It’s now been nearly a year since I fell head-over-heels in love with Xocai chocolates, and I am still so thrilled with them that I’ve become indifferent to all other chocolate. Truly, I’m like a happily married woman who no longer has the interest to flirt.

You can have what I have in time for Valentine’s if you act fast. You can read about the chocolates on my website here. Then if you want to know more, email me with your phone number and I’ll tell you how easily you can have heart-healthy luscious chocolates as your thrice a day treat.


Maintaining a website that represents Reiki credibly while speaking to people’s needs is a challenge. Websites are like children–just when parents think we know what works, their needs change. Also, our understanding of Reiki continues to develop as we practice, and it’s worthwhile to make sure your website reflects your current understanding.

I want there to be more credible Reiki websites, places where the public can get valid information on Reiki, and that communicate credibility straight away. If you want that too, and you have a website that you would consider tweaking, let me know. For the first five people who email me, I’ll review your websites live on the phone for $50 and offer suggestions how you can make your Reiki site even clearer and more inviting, not to the usual suspects, but to the mainstream public.


I noticed some survey responders asked specific questions but did not give their names/email addresses. Hmm, was that a test?

Many asked what props and products I use in my Reiki practice and to support clients. It’s helpful to have someone experienced vet the glut of options out there, so I put this information on my website: click here for “Reiki products,” and click here for what I call “Reiki lifestyle,” which are the products I use myself and most often suggest to clients.

Another common question was about music. My favorite music to play during Reiki is by my dear friend, bansuri flute master Steve Gorn, with whom I recorded the Meditate CD.

One person asked for a powerpoint or DVD to explain Reiki. I made a video that does just that, and you can link to it on your website and use it in your presentations. The video is easily accessible on my homepage, my video page, and YouTube. And if that one is too formal or too long at 4 minutes, try the 2-minute video, Can Reiki Help You?


Didn’t fill out the survey yet? It’s 3 questions short and it’s not too late; just click here now. Filling out the survey puts you on the inside track for the training opportunities I’m creating to help Reiki practitioners develop as professionals, and gain the skills needed to work in health care.


Concerned as you know I am with the glut of misinformation

about Reiki, I’ve started a new category on the blog: Reiki Myths.

Here’s the first post: Reiki Is Not Ancient.

January 7, 2010

Reiki concluded the alternative medicine segment on The Dr. Oz Show that aired January 6.

After demonstrating therapies such as alternate nostril breathing and cupping, Mehmet turns to Reiki. He says, “The next [alternative remedy] I’m going to talk about is one of my favorites. We’ve been using it in the Oz family for years…” And it gets better from there.

Having Reiki make even a brief appearance on a mainstream health show is a significant step forward. Yes, Dr. Oz is a populist, but he is first of all a renowned cardiac surgeon at one of the top teaching hospitals in the world, and he would not give his attention to anything risky or without merit.

We are fortunate indeed to have such a credible, sensible, well informed, and popular advocate (need I mention totally charming and adorable?).


Now let’s help Dr. Oz help us. This is our chance to let the producers know the public wants more information like this.

How can we do this?

Simple–watch the show, and invite your community to watch it. If you are part of an internet Reiki meetup group, post a notice there. Email your Reiki circle, your clients, your students. Email Uncle Harry. Post it on Facebook, on your page and share with any relevant groups you belong to.

The producers track the viewership for each program, and content that draws viewers is more likely to get featured again. If no one watches, they assume the public isn’t interested.


This is also an opportunity for Reiki professionals to step forward in your own community.

Communications expert Jonna Rae Bartges from Asheville, North Carolina suggests contacting “your local station that airs the Dr. Oz show, and pitching a local angle of the Reiki story by demonstrating how Reiki works. Dr. Oz gives Reiki great credibility, and you can give it the local practical application. The stations will also appreciate getting a 2-day head start on the story.”

Some hospitals that offer Reiki are recording the segment to publicize their programs. What a good idea to share with anyone you know who practices in health care!

Many of you have been trying to start Reiki programs in various institutions. Let your contacts there know about The Dr. Oz Show.

Remember that public health care institutions are conservative. They don’t want to be the first to do anything. Seeing Reiki on a mainstream health program gives them confidence that there is public awareness and interest.


Thank you to all who completed the survey telling me about your Reiki goals and how I can help you achieve them. I am studying your suggestions and feedback, and putting together training materials and an online class (this is what you asked for). Those who complete the survey will be informed first as these developments take shape. The survey is 3 questions short and it’s not too late to fill it out; just click here now.


Today I received an email from a Reiki master in England who was inspired by Reiki, Medicine and Self Care to start a Facebook page on which to interact with her students. I was so happy to read that. Students need mentoring and we all learn so much from one another. What’s stopping you?


If you have a story of how your Reiki practice has brought peace to you, or enabled you to carry peacefulness into a tense situation, please share it with us under Peace Work. Healing MS tells how one smart, brave woman added Reiki and yoga to her conventional medical treatment with great results. And Toward a More Plausible Reiki Model continues to draw comments (53 at last count).

With Reiki getting so much mainstream attention, it’s more important than ever that you practice your communication skills. You have something valuable to share. Stop by the blog or join the conversation on Facebook, but please, please, let your voice be heard…for everyone’s sake.

December 17, 2009

Increasing public and health care interest in Reiki is a great gift to all of us, and I’m thrilled to announce that public interest is about to receive a big booster shot.

Yesterday we taped a Reiki segment for The Dr. Oz Show that will air in January 2010.

You’ll see Mehmet mention that his wife is a Reiki master, how he and I worked together in the O.R., and his vision of Reiki as the next frontier of medicine. Reiki–and the public– couldn’t have a more impressive, more sincere advocate.

Check my website for the air date, or look on And for anyone who isn’t yet a fan, Mehmet Oz is a renowned cardiac surgeon who supported the use of complementary therapies long before it was fashionable, appearing on the cover of the July 30, 1995 NY Time’s Sunday Magazine. He catapaulted to fame when he became a regular guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and continues to empower viewers to take better care of themselves through his own show.


Good developments from the health care side as well. The current research initiative of National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is pain management. NCCAM is well aware of Reiki, having already funded five studies.

A focus on pain is good for Reiki, because reduction in pain and anxiety are among the first benefits of Reiki treatment, and the most documented by research. The evaluations from my three-year Reiki program at an off-site hospital affiliate cancer treatment center were very positive for the management of pain and the anxiety that often accompanies it. 97% of the people who had pain and/or anxiety before their Reiki treatment reported improvement after their treatment. And the staff noticed.

Mrs. Takata said she wanted Reiki to be as common as aspirin. I truly see this happening. Do you see yourself playing a part in that change?

The need for credible Reiki professionals, especially those who can collaborate in health care, already outstrips the supply. I am regularly asked by individuals and institutions to refer a Reiki professional, and too often I have no one to suggest.

I cannot address the growing need for credible Reiki professionals by traveling and teaching the Reiki in Medicine class, so I am creating ways to get this information out to all of you, wherever you are, at whatever level of involvement suits you.

If you are:

  • considering becoming a Reiki professional in the future,
  • already a Reiki professional who wants to enhance your professional skills, or
  • specifically interested in health care collaboration (anything from getting referrals from physicians to working in hospitals),

then keep reading…


Would you like to become part of my informal advisory board?

No commitment, just click here to fill out this brief survey telling me what your goals are, the particular support that would help you, and the form you’d like it to come in. If you do this, you will receive advance notice/reduced fees for the  book or class that comes out of this dialogue.


I am doing my best to be available wherever you hang out. I resisted Facebook for a long time, just couldn’t imagine how much fun I’m now having. Facebook gives us an informal way to stay connected frequently and have an open, easy conversation.

Since I often get emails asking questions that many of you  have, I created three new Facebook pages, each hosting a different discussion. Please join all that are of interest:

REIKI: A Comprehensive Guide is for the book. If you have found my book supportive, please join, leave a comment, and tell your friends. If you have a question from your reading, ask me there so others can join in.

Meditate with Pamela Miles and Steve Gorn is for our Meditate CD. The CD has moved many people’s meditation practice from frustration (or nonexistence) to joy. Let others know the difference it’s made for you, and ask any question about your practice.

Reiki, Medicine and Self Care: this is where I post links to breaking news and where you can ask questions and let us know if your local hospital offers Reiki.

If you are not on Facebook yet, know that the sign up is painless (especially if you have access to a teenager!).


I continue to hit a few nerves with my weekly blog. I hope you can appreciate that’s exactly what I want to do. I constantly challenge myself to go deeper, to understand more, to communicate better, and sometimes I share that process on my blog, hoping to challenge you and stimulate your development as a Reiki practitioner.

The way we conceptualize Reiki is the cornerstone of our capacity to communicate Reiki, and the approach commonly used just doesn’t play well mainstream. Yet many practitioners get reactive at the mere suggestion that there are other ways to look at Reiki (with full awareness that all concepts are ultimately inadequate).

Are you willing to question your Reiki model, the conceptual framework in which you hold and communicate Reiki? If so, give Toward a More Plausible Reiki Model a look.

The Science of Biofields gives a peek into the politics of the scientific community and how that can inform the way you speak about Reiki.

We also have our sweet moments blogside. With Gratitude, Work Diligently is my attempt at an ode to practice, and an opportunity to tip my hat to an esteemed colleague, Reiki master Hyakuten Inamoto.


We are waist-high into the holiday flood, and we all know what that can mean. Please BE the gift you want to give by perservering in your daily self-treatment even, and especially, on the days that you feel the festivities closing in on you. You’ll enjoy the holidays–and your family–more if you are feeling well. Whether it was last week or years ago, the Reiki class you took is truly the gift that keeps on giving, but only if you use it.

YOU are my Christmas present, and my holiday cheer. Thank you for your practice and for sharing community.

November 23, 2009


Integrative medicine offers patients both conventional interventions (pharmaceuticals, surgery, etc.) and traditional approaches (herbs, acupuncture, Reiki, etc.), according to the individual’s needs and the best available data on safety and efficacy. Prominent physicians Andrew Weil, Larry Dossey, Christiane Northrup, Dean Ornish, Lewis Mehl-Madrona, and others have been integrative medicine pioneers for many years. This month’s Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) conference showed what broad-based support an integrative approach to health care has garnered. The title alone was encouraging: “Revitalizing Cancer Care: Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Programs and Whole Systems Research.”

I decided to attend as soon as I saw the agenda included panels on Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and homeopathy–three medical systems I frankly never expected to see showcased in an academic medical conference. I went out of curiousity to see how this subject matter would be represented in an evidence-based conference; I left thrilled by the nuanced understanding expressed by the presenters, and by the panel on whole systems research.

Reiki was mentioned just once, but this no cause for concern. Reiki already has a presence in health care, as does acupuncture. The inclusion of Ayurveda and homeopathy in an academic medical conference shows how profoundly and rapidly the medical climate is changing, and the presence of Reiki in health care will grow accordingly.


I say this with confidence despite the just published “Systematic Review of the Therapeutic Effects of Reiki” in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. The authors found that the Reiki research so far reported is not good enough to be able to evaluate whether or not Reiki is beneficial. This is a completely reasonable assessment. There simply is not yet a solid body of research supporting Reiki practice.

Still, it is somewhat disappointing that the authors are looking at Reiki as a fix for some condition, rather than as a practice that supports overall balance. While the paper shows no signs of major bias against Reiki, the authors lack the research savvy seen at the SIO conference. Their knowledge and understanding of Reiki is also limited. We’ve come a long way, and we have a long road ahead of us.


At SIO, I was privileged and delighted to meet David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, author of Anticancer, and to hear his presentation. I ordered his book immediately, and started devouring it. Can you imagine a book on cancer prevention so engaging that I read several chapters before coming up for air? This one is. The author shares his story of being diagnosed with brain cancer accidentally, in his own neuroscience lab, and the ensuing transformation in himself, his understanding, and his approach to medicine over the past 15 years. Not only is Anticancer useful for your own health, it also describes a collaborative approach to health and well-being that will inform your work as a Reiki practitioner.

Remember the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public that I wrote about last February? This event brought together over 600 participants across many disciplines to examine integrative medicine practice in terms of its scientific basis and its ability to improve the health of the American public. IOM just released an online summary of the summit (a paperback edition is available for sale). The individual presentations are also available online. To pick these experts’ brains, click here, then choose “Presentations” under “Other Meeting Resources” on the right. The archived webcast is available on the same page. which you can access without charge . The individual presentations are also available online.



ReikiUpdate (the newsletter you’re reading) goes out each month to keep you aware of resources, events, and developments regarding Reiki and health care.

I also blog weekly. If you are interested in spirited Reiki dialogue, stop by Reiki Central, and please leave a comment. Each of us sees through unique eyes, and we want to read your perspective.

You can signup to receive blogposts in your inbox or by RSS; note that the blog signup is completely separate from the signup for this newsletter.

Reiki in the Name of Jesus seems particularly timely as we approach year-end. Although I was deliberately being a little provocative in order to get people thinking, the controversy sparked by Reiki Is Not a Word surprised me. What I wanted to underline is that there is much nuance related to Reiki that does not easily translate from Japanese culture to American understanding, and that it is worth making the effort to recognize some fundamental differences between the two cultures are. I’m not so sure that’s the point that came across, but I’m always happy when people of diverse perspectives engage in respectful debate.

This year, as we head into the holidays, think of being the gift you want to give to others (with a nod to Gandhiji). Perservere in your daily self-treatment, especially on the days that you feel the festivities closing in. You’ll enjoy the holidays, your family, and friends so much more if you are feeling well–and they will enjoy you more too! Whether it was last week or years ago, the Reiki class you took is truly the gift that keeps on giving, but only if you use it.

Many Reiki blessings, and deep gratitude,


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