As a practitioner and teacher of Reiki, and having given numerous talks on the subject, the most common rebuttal I’m faced with is the “It’s all in your mind” objection – specifically referring to the often-dreaded ‘placebo effect.’
For many years I never knew the best way to counter such skepticism, only advising nay-sayers to have go for themselves and see how they felt afterwards. However, I always wished I could come up with a better answer.
Ultimately it is not my job to convince anybody about anything. The old saying “the man convinced against his will is of the same option still” holds true here. My job is to tell my story and to share it with whoever is interested. So I decided I should do just that whenever this particular objection is raised: I tell my story.
You see, after many years of unsuccessful medical treatment for an undiagnosed gynaecological condition the placebo effect didn’t show up once. Not even with antibiotics, which were a staple during my childhood which had cured many of my early ailments. Not even surgery – which had rid me of my childhood ENT problems. Every illness I had had previous to that undiagnosed condition had been healed using Western medicine.
Here’s what is really interesting: I BELIEVED traditional Western medicine would heal me. With each new medication and procedure, I believed that this would be the one that would end my suffering. Yet the placebo effect didn’t show up once.
Here’s what is even more interesting: After I was turned away by doctors as a hopeless case, Reiki was not the first ‘alternative’ therapy I tried, and I tried several. Yet the placebo effect didn’t show up for any of those non-traditional therapies either.
That is not to say that the ‘placebo effect’ isn’t real or valid. The power of the mind to heal the body is as valid as any prescription, procedure or therapy. It is my job to tell my story – and the story of ‘Louise got sick and was turned away by doctors’ has a happy ending, and that is because of Reiki.
UPDATE: After posting this to Facebook, John made a really good comment which I want to include here:
“It is also worth noting that most prescription drugs on the market barely outperform the placebo effect. In addition, some alternative healing approaches have outperformed the placebo effect by a mile!”