Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery

Reiki invades an operating room

I’m a scientist, but I’m also a surgeon, which means I’ve spent quite a bit of time in operating rooms. In the OR, teamwork is critical, and each member of the team should be using science- and evidence-based medicine to inform their judgment regarding what to do. If there’s one kind of practitioner in the OR that relies heavily on SBM, it should be the anesthesiologist. Surgery is a combination of science and technical skill, and sometimes deciding what to do in the operating room is more a matter of judgment based on experience than science. For instance, if I encounter bleeding, what I do next is less a matter of science and more a matter of skill in finding what’s bleeding and fixing it. That’s not to say that science isn’t very important in surgery and during surgery. Science tells us what operation to do, and science helps us as surgeons refine our technique and determine which operation works the best. However, there is still an “art” to actually carrying out the operations. Anesthesia, on the other hand, is pretty much pure pharmacology.

That’s why I was very disturbed to find a blog called Doctors with Reiki, which is written by someone who goes under the pseudonym Reiki Doc. Reiki Doc, you see, is apparently an anesthesiologist and describes himself thusly:

I am a medical doctor who works in a hospital. I do anesthesia. While I do anesthesia, I also give Reiki Healing to my resting patients. They do not know, nor does anybody else in the room. I have quite a following at work. Many request my services. Recovery room RN’s love me. All of my patient report the same thing: they felt no pain. One friend’s spouse actually made her take two of her pain pills at home because he absolutely could not believe she felt no pain after gallbladder surgery!

No wonder this guy blogs under a pseudonym. Reading his profile, I’m torn between thinking that Reiki Doc is about as unethical as can be. He is, after all, doing something to patients for which he does not have informed consent. On the other hand, what he is doing is basically nothing. That’s because reiki is basically faith healing. Let’s just put it this way. The idea behind reiki is to channel “healing energy” from what reiki masters call the “universal source.” Substitute “God” for the “universal source,” and it becomes apparent that there really isn’t any difference between reiki and faith healing other than the belief system undergirding each one: Eastern mysticism versus Christianity. It’s actually an interesting question in medical ethics. Is is ethical to do reiki on a patient without informed consent, given that reiki is nothing more than magical thinking and does nothing? Reiki masters like Reiki Doc do not shoot “healing energy” from their hand into patients, as much as they might like to believe that they can channel energy from the “universal source” and use it to heal. They just don’t. On the other hand, clearly Reiki Doc intends to do something that he thinks is having an effect on patients even without the patient’s informed consent. Does it matter that reiki doesn’t actually do anything if the practitioner thinks it does?

Questions, questions. It’s enough to make one’s brain explode. I wonder if reiki can help that?

But back to Reiki Doc. What first caught my attention from him was a post entitled Lightwork in the O.R.: a Case Study. Yes, it’s a “case study” of Reiki Doc’s use of reiki in the OR. He begins by noting that the patient who would be his first case of the day had passed out when her IV had been inserted. We see this from time to time. Some people have a real aversion to needles and are so keyed up because she’s about to undergo surgery. Sometimes patients have a vasovagal reaction to being stuck. It happens. Amusingly, as Reiki Doc went out to see the patient to make sure he was OK and that the case could proceed, he mentioned putting on his “reiki game face,” which rather amused me. What is a “reiki game face”? Does the universal source help? Inquiring minds want to know! My questions aside, Reiki Doc recounted looking at the patient’s EKG and reassuring him that he had simply had a vasovagal reaction, and then he noticed something:

Anesthesia, technically, was uneventful. It was a short case, and everything went well.

Reiki-wise, this was one of the most unusual cases in my career. I gave Reiki, lots of Reiki, way more than usual. It was like water in a desert. It just kept going in. The solar plexus, or yellow chakra, sucked it in. So I gave it. I felt the spirit of this individual wanting to heal, very much so, and I allowed the energy to ‘connect’ to him in the process. I gave Diksha, balanced chakras, and gave Reiki complete with symbols while pretending to fix the Bair hugger warming blanket and do anesthesia-related activities. (I can do anesthesia and teach, I can do anesthesia and tell jokes with the surgeon; anesthesia is a lot like driving a car, yes?) I actually was guided to attune him to Reiki 1, as I do sometimes, smiling inwardly with my guides at the thought he is going to wake up psychic!

Oh, great. Reiki Doc was directing reiki energy to the surgeon too. Let me just say this right here. If you’re the anesthesiologist doing the anesthesia for one of my cases, keep your damned reiki energy to yourself. I don’t need it. I’m perfectly capable of doing the case without your magical thinking or your fantasies that you are sending me some sort of mystical energy from your fantasy god/universal source.

It turns out that Reiki Doc thought he perceived something in his patient’s girlfriend, who told him that she saw something in his “energy.” Yes, she was a bit of a kindred spirit, it would seem:

I took that as a go. I shared with her my findings on the Intraoperative Reiki. They were spot-on. (She had just graduated from a local Energy Healing program, and had her Tarot Bible with her things!)

Her surprised relief from being able to share her perceptions about her boyfriend gave me joy as a healer–when everything ‘works right’ it is a beautiful thing to watch. I was doing way more than giving anesthesia at this point. I was being a doctor, a specialist in Energy Medicine, at this time.

She asked me for my contact information, exchanged hers, and asked me to find out what his past life trauma was, and fix it.

Ah, the beauty when two woos meet and their energies connect! The patient’s girlfriend was so thrilled to meet Reiki Doc, and Reiki Doc ended up texting her what her past life trauma was and how to fix it, “from an energy healing perspective,” of course! So grateful was she that she texted him back and pointed out how she had asked God to send her a spiritual teacher.

Reiki Doc concluded from this particular anecdote:

Impression: Intraoperative Reiki is a powerful tool. It helps to establish rapport. It helps to address the underlying conditions, both on an energetic level and a deeper soul level, that result in the manifestation of physical disease. It is non-toxic, safe, and does not need to be documented or charted or even discussed with the patient at the time it is given. People come to us for healing, in the hospital. It would be remiss to leave something clearly in need of treatment, untreated, when we have the ability to treat it at the same time that other work is being done. Anesthesiologists and CRNA’s are the perfect providers for this purpose because we are at the head of the bed in surgery, and our anesthesia weakens the aura in the first place. Why not take the opportunity to shore it up and strengthen the aura at the time patients are most vulnerable?

Yes, just what I want in an anesthesiologist: Someone so prone to magical thinking that he thinks that he can “address the underlying conditions, both on an energetic level and a deeper soul level”! Nor do I particularly want an anesthesiologist who thinks he can communicate with Michael Jackson after he died, who believes in reiki, and thinks that reiki can help victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Sadly, magical thinking is alive and well in the medical profession, and Reiki Doc is slam dunk evidence of that.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

663 replies on “Reiki invades an operating room”

As a medically qualified anaesthetist (or anesthesiologist as I would be called in North America), I agree that Reiki Doc sounds completely flaky. I was initially tempted to believe that his blog was a parody but it seems too sustained. If he worked in my department, I would want him watched very closely. People this bonkers may not be safe near patients.

One small niggle with your post though. The practice of anaesthesia is more than just pharmacology and does require a fair degree of skill and judgement.

Now, I am deeply disturbed by this. This guy could be a good anesthesiologist as far as I know, but this is a major violation of the patient’s right, in my book. For me, I wouldn’t care. But say he has a devout Christian or Muslim patient? If such a patient knew, he/she could be horrorified. *shocks head*
Even a firm Atheist might object at being subjected to such “faith healing” without his consent.

My thoughts on reading this was if his focus on Reiki would distract him from what he ought to be doing (or would cause him to do something he ought not to). I’d want my anaesthetist to be focusing on the job at hand.

“…he mentioned putting on his “reiki game face,”… ”

Somehow the face of the emperor in Star Wars VI – The Return of the Jedi came to my mind. That was also a guy who had energy coming out of his hands, given to him by a mysterious universal Force. Someone need to tell Reiki Doc though that this was a movie.

But on a more serious note, in addition to the arrogant and unethical behaviour of forcing his woo onto an unconcious patient, what worries me is his quote: “I was being a doctor…” Obviously he thinks that he can go beyond his job of keeping the patient safely in slumber but instead does the job of healing him/her himself. I think it might just be a smalll step then for him to go over to the “Dark Side” completely and apply reiki instead of SBM if those two would ever clash in his belief. And that might endanger patients.

I can understand why he’s using a pseudonym. If the sh!t hits the fan, and he loses a patient under anesthesia – and it’s due to him being focused on the rainbow chakra of loveliness and purity being chased by the puffy unicorns of hope and charity – he’s going to get his arse sued, and rightfully so.

I wouldn’t want a reiki anyone in charge of my anesthesia if I’m in the hospital – that’s not why I’m paying you to put me under. Pay attention to ME not your faith healing.

I don’t think he is doing anything unethical, since he is effectively doing nothing at all, though distracting himself from his job with this nonsense is unprofessional, just as daydreaming while he should be focused would be. However, I do sometimes wonder, where is the boundary between shared delusions and frank mental illness? On the face of it this doctor is barking mad, but his delusional belief system is shared by a depressingly large number of people, like his patient’s girlfriend.

Well, from his persepctive (that reiki actually works), he is being highly unethical.

It would be remiss to leave something clearly in need of treatment, untreated, when we have the ability to treat it at the same time that other work is being done.

Unless it is something life threatening and neither the patient nor family can be consulted on how to proceed, treating the “something” would be grounds for assault, if I’m remembering my law correctly.

Maybe Orac could weigh in on this. As a surgeon, if you discovery something that needs treatment but is outside the scope of the planned surgery, do you just go ahead and treat it right then and there?

“My guide is telling me that you have a serious Past Life Trauma and that we were meant to meet, so that we can explore it and ascend to the Third Yellow Ray together. How about tonight at my place?”

If only the California Medical Board (or whatever it’s called) had the power to subpoena Blogspot and ID this dangerous fool… Or at least let the relevant hospital know.

I think it is highly unethical for any physician to be treating in this manner, especially without informed consent.

I agree that the Southern California Medical Board should investigate this matter. As a patient, I want my doctors to focus on real, treatable conditions and symptoms, not this past life trauma and energy woo. If I knew that while I was undergoing surgery that my doctor’s thoughts were distracted by this nonsense, I would be outraged. This is just so infuriating on many levels.

This is the person’s other blog. There is a photo of someone on it.

While I do anesthesia, I also give Reiki Healing to my resting patients. They do not know, nor does anybody else in the room. I have quite a following at work. Many request my services. Recovery room RN’s love me. All of my patient report the same thing: they felt no pain.

Hmm, SBM pain killers + reiki = no pain. What a surprise! Now, let’s try it without the reiki and see what happens…

I can do anesthesia and teach, I can do anesthesia and tell jokes with the surgeon; anesthesia is a lot like driving a car, yes

Is it me, or does this guy just sound bored of his job and invented a way to make it interesting again? Also, what Grant said.

It is non-toxic, safe, and does not need to be documented or charted or even discussed with the patient at the time it is given

IANAL or doctor… but wouldn’t that be against some sort of law or medical rule? Would this guy get into trouble with his state board?

Plus, face palm at the idiocy that is “no evidence is fine” thing.


That was almost exactly what I was thinking!

Ethical quirks aside, the fact that this twit has lost his mind ought to be enough reason to fire him. Just don’t tell anyone you heard Me say so.

I know that at my hospital, the nurses are very prone to woo thinking. We have one that reads palms – at the drop of a hat. I haven’t let her touch me yet, but it would be hilarious I’m sure. Many believe in ghosts, Dr Oz and various and sundry supplements to lose weight, etc….So that this dr has nurses lining up to see him doesn’t surprise me at all. My feeling is that many nurses want to feel superior/different than doctors and go to the woo side that doctors don’t embrace. Lilady I am sure will correct me…..

Sounds like Reki doc has been helping himself to his patients’ anaesthetics.

Also, he ought to be careful with all the channelling Michael Jackson – just imagine if MJ takes over in the middle of surgery and has Reki doc moonwalking around the theatre.

I don’t think he is doing anything unethical, since he is effectively doing nothing at all

Look at it from the perspective of someone who believes in a different supernaturalist system. Practicing sorcery on an unconscious victim could be seen to be extremely objectionable and perhaps even to require some sort of purification afterward, only now the misdeed is hidden.

Or suppose that you’re not bound by the Patient Self-Determination Act and you have on your hands a homeless person who, say, has been the victim of a vicious street beating and is now brain-dead and on a respirator. After the fact, this person’s scrambled heap of possessions is found to include a living will instructing against being kept alive on a ventilator. Further suppose that your own religious sensibilities find such a desire to be a danger to the eternal soul of the patient. Is it unethical to ignore the document? After all, you’re doing nothing at all.


Is it unethical to ignore the document? After all, you’re doing nothing at all.

In that case, yes you are; you are ignoring a document, behaving differently on the basis of your beliefs, and the outcome for the patient is quite different as a result. In the case of the reiki anesthetist, he isn’t doing anything physically different that science tells us could affect the patient’s outcome.

That’s unless, of course, imagining that he is pumping energy into a patient’s chakra distracts him from the fact they have turned blue.

I wouldn’t want to outlaw thought-crime, it seems more than a little Orwellian to me.

I keep seeing references to this person as being a “he”. Perhaps I am overlooking something, but it seems to me that his blogger is a female.

For years I was ‘floaty’ and used to try to find big strong men in relationship to help me ‘ground’.

The kids are with their dad.

The blogger refers readers to Margaret. Therefore, it would seem that Margaret McCormick, a Southern California healer knows the blogger.

8. be sure to call or email Margaret. Tell her I sent you! She is the only one that can help long-term.

As referenced in her post below, there is a Glen Ivy Spa at the tip of Southern California in Corona, CA, and Corona Medical Center is nearby.

I blog. I am on Facebook. I am on Twitter. Someone today at the nurses’ lounge shared they added the reiki feature for twenty bucks to their spa treatment at Glen Ivy tomorrow–they know about me. And today, at their request, I gave salt pellets in pretty sheer drawstring bags to the Charge Nurse and the Nurse Educator to Feng Shui their office. (and to suck up negativity!) The night scrub tech who knows I am ‘highly clairvoyant’ is waiting to hear about my experience with the ghosts of Victoria, BC!

A quick Internet search of anesthesiologists that practice at this facility includes two women, one of whom advertises herself as an alternative medicine provider.

I wonder if the Reiki doc’s employer condones the use (and perhaps billing) of OR time for such purposes as this,

I showed her how to use a pendulum by herself right in the middle of the O.R.

Perhaps she is trying to have her employment terminated. According to the S.T.A.R. Clinic, a Quantum-healing Collective, this doctor was intending to quit the world of HMOs and prescription pads in September 2012 and move into multidimensional work.

“It is non-toxic, safe, and does not need to be documented or charted or even discussed with the patient at the time it is given”

How is it that all “energy” manipulation like Reiki can only magically do good? Reiki Doc thinks he’s doing incredibly powerful energy manipulation. Stands to reason that if that were really true, their would be an equal possibility for injury as healing. Not sure why he thinks he doesn’t need patient permission to do what he thinks is incredibly powerful to a patient. Although we all agree that reiki is BS/absolutely nothing but handwaving and aren’t too worried about permission to do nothing at all, he thinks he is doing something, therefore he most certainly is acting unethically based on his own belief that he is doing something profound to the patient.

The idea that reiki can only do good is a shared hallmark of alternative medicine. We know that the side effects of doing nothing are nothing, and that with *real* treatments any treatment that is powerful enough to have positive effects is also powerful enough to have some negative side effects. But in magical fairy land, there are therapies that are super powerful and can never do harm. :-p

In that case, yes you are; you are ignoring a document, behaving differently on the basis of your beliefs, and the outcome for the patient is quite different as a result.

Given that the patient is never going to know anything ever again in either case, I’m not seeing how the outcome is meaningfully different.

I wouldn’t want to outlaw thought-crime, it seems more than a little Orwellian to me.

I understand your point, but I’m trying to find a line involving what the ethical demand is regarding respect of a patient’s beliefs.

@ Dr. Bollocks: Here in the USA, “anesthesiologists” are medical doctors and “anesthetists” are advance practice nurses.

Mr. impression of Dr. Reiki is that “he” is a “she” based on….

Dr. Reiki’s reaching out (pawing) the plastic surgery patient (who fainted) girlfriend’s crystal worn about her neck.

“What next caught my eye, after shaking hands with both the patient and his girlfriend, was the beautiful crystal on her necklace. A greyish brown, with swirls, it was a point about one inch wide and three inches long. I asked if I could touch it? I admired it, and told her it ‘felt good’. She said it was Labradorite, for protection.

I laughed and shared what I had around MY neck. “I wear amethyst, see? And this is my Om (it has diamonds on it)–it is all sparkly, like me!”

Based on the fact that Dr. Reiki is quite “chummy” with the recovery room nurses (the percentage of female nurses still exceeds males who are nurses).

And based on Reiki Doc’s “About Me” comment…

“Your people want to make a statue in your honor. What will it be made out of and what victory will it commemorate?

One the exact spot I disclosed to a classmate my pain over divorce I was going through, there is a fountain of a female pierced with thorns, with tears and water flowing from her face and hands. She stands on a column about ten feet up. That is my statue. I am she. (on the Post-Call Reiki blogpost 8.22.12)”

Those are fighting words Agashem…and not something that I have encountered with the doctors and nurses I have worked with. I suspect you have to give out “vibes” in order to have nurses (and doctors) let you in to their conversations about woo….something I’ve never done.

BTW, I’m very confident in my nursing education and skills and I don’t have a “need” to feel superior…or put another profession down. 🙂

I understand your point, but I’m trying to find a line involving what the ethical demand is regarding respect of a patient’s beliefs.

I get where you’re coming from. I tend to take a pragmatic view that only acknowledges real world consequences, whether people know about them or not. Also, the patient could have a long-lost relative who comes in and sues the hospital for ignoring his views. I’m not concerned about metaphysical things that can’t be detected (except of course by trial by ordeal), so a patient (or putative relatives) has no way of finding out whether or not their wishes have been respected.

Reiki doctor is a female (or a cross-dresser):

“So I had to buy clothes! In my one hour free, I went to the local discount store. I bought two pairs of slacks, three blouses, two dresses (my new favorite dress in the world, and my new second-favorite dress in the world), a cardigan, a nightgown, a Hello Kitty bathrobe, and panties that won’t show through the second-favorite dress in the world all for the price I would have spent on a dress without batting an eye. The total came to $222.”

“Hello Kitty” bathrobe?…a case of arrested development.

Something doesn’t add up, if the anesthesiologist is performing reiki but no one in the room knows it, then how are people requesting his services? Why would patients be reporting back to the anesthesiologist that they feel no pain, days later? Wouldn’t they be reporting that to their surgeon or doctor? The pieces just don’t fit together. Either the staff is aware and possibly the patients too, and you have to assume some confirmation bias/placebo effect, or this person is telling tales.

I also feel like this whole reiki thing is a means for the anesthesiologist to take credit for other people’s hard work. I’m not sure why. Anesthesiology is an important part of surgery and requires great skill and experience. But if you feel your positive energy is the reason the patients and doctors do well then you might need to reconsider your motives.

Personally, it doesn’t impact me if people pray or send their reiki rays at me, any more than it impact them if I think uncharitable thoughts about them, but it calls into question the individual’s understanding of science and medicine and that definitely doesn’t sit well with me.

This guy works with patients?

@ Grant:
I too would wonder if his attention might be focused too much on the whimsy and lead him to ignore WHAT HE IS SUPPOSED TO DO. I imagine that his work involves monitoring various measures that affect patient welfare, like oxygen, bp.

@ Krebiozen:
I can answer your question about delusional beliefs and mental illness on an individual basis-
people have all sorts of odd beliefs but that alone is not a guarantee of being certified as mad; if someone manages to function in society reasonably well and live independently, their oddness will be barely noticed. It’s only when it affects others or their own safety, that we start saying , “Perhaps *something should be done*”.

A case in point: I personally know an older gentleman who believes in spirits, past lives, astrology , aliens et al. A friend of his believes him to be quite ‘over the edge’. I would dispute it because: he has lived independently since age 25; worked for a firm for 40+ years; he has friends, he almost married a few times; he manages to earn money through INVESTMENT. He tried to help his brother who went missing a few years back, as well as friends with health issues. When it comes to practical considerations, he’s more reliable than most people and has never had any problem with the law, debt or taxes. He believes in some woo, but visits a doctor for his CVD and RA , takes his meds etc.

Personally, I DO wonder how in touch with reality people might be if the general trend of their thought allows them to accept impossibilities as the standard of day-to-day life. Again, I have to tread carefully because I know that religious ideas can be considered as unrealistic-( I could argue that the tendency towards faith might have a type of survival value and be thus selected.
I could also make an argument for the utility of vanity).

She asked me for my contact information, exchanged hers, and asked me to find out what his past life trauma was, and fix it.

I also had the same thought as Sophia8

Also, what Narad said about the patient’s own religious beliefs that might consider Reiki sorcery. It is quite possible that patient will find out afterwards from someone who recognizes what the addled anesthesiologist is doing.

This is absolutely unethical. Reiki Doc is doing something that s/he sincerely believes has an effect on the patient, without the patient’s knowledge or consent. The fact that RD thinks it will only help is irrelevant. So is the fact that all of us agree that Reiki is bogus.

To think otherwise is to revert to the mindset that enabled some of the worst medical atrocities of the past. “It’s OK to do this to the patient without telling them. It won’t hurt them so they don’t need to know!”

Reiki Doc’s belief system shows how woo and alt med appear to depend on quasi-relgious notions. If you follow alt media, spirit and soul are discussed more frequently than would be expected from their self professed focus on health issues..

Today @ Natural News, Old Reliable Mikey writes about the afterlife.

Pardon me, I just had a horrifying thought: as some of us know all too well, a nearly-90 day old thread @ RI has attracted Reiki artists -and more than1600 comments –and and and THIS ONE is brand new and NOT about to expire and can be active for a REALLY LONG time.. so when the other one DOES … oh no…oh save us…

@Lilady, not trying to fight. I am neither a doctor or a nurse. I do work closely with both (physical therapist in a hospital setting). Nurses have told me things without me asking, I can tell you. One tried to tell me that cabbage could cure both ulcers and sore shoulders. Another told me green coffee extract – see Dr Oz – was helping her lose weight (not evident to the rest of us). Also the nurse who reads palms apparently does so at the drop of a hat. I have heard nurses argue that vaccines are bad – in a hospital on an internal medicine floor where the average age of a patient is over 80. So, I have worked with some incredible nurses who are so clever and put my knowledge to shame, but there are a lot of nurses out there, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that some are woo inclined. They just seem to ‘come out’ to me maybe?

Reiki doctor is a female (or a cross-dresser)

Um… “And I am very ‘sparkly’ according to my Cousin Susie who is on the Other Side.” Assuming this refers to Cousin Susie being dead, I certainly wouldn’t be comfortable with someone who thinks this situation is merely a minor incovenience like changing apartments.

Reiki Doc is female (she refers to herself as someone’s “niece” in one post).

I perused some of her musings and really wondered how this woman can function in a science-based field. On the one hand, she does acknowledge that reiki is not a substitute for actual medicine, but goes on about how wonderfully fabulous it all is anyway.

And for those who reject reiki? Well, clearly you are just under the influence of mind control. So speaketh Reiki Doc, so it must be so.

THIS ONE is brand new and NOT about to expire and can be active for a REALLY LONG time.. so when the other one DOES … oh no…oh save us…

You just made me decide against posting a long comment about why people believe bollocks that might have encouraged this.

@ Krebiozen:

If you commented in detail I can only imagine that it would serve ultimately to DISCOURAGE whimsy-based actiivities. We have to think long term and bear the contemporaneous nonsense.
Go ahead. I might do the same.

I’m wondering if Reiki Doc really has the great relationship she claims to have, with recovery room nurses. Look how she refers to her colleagues…

“Who was in the room? The obese billing woman who came late. The Studio 54-ready doc who had turned into an Informatics specialist, sitting next to his buddy, The-Simple-Old-Country-Birthing-Babies doc who also had turned into an Informatics specialist, the Saavy Latina who is from the computer company, the I-am-Having-a-Bad-Hair-Day woman who is thinking I-am-Looking-Really-Good with this permed long colored hair that covers her face who is the Computer Expert, the Project-Leader who is an americanized asian looking to get this project off-to-a-good-start. Next to her was, High-Ranking-Nurses who will do anything to get out of charting in the OR. These took up a whole leg of the U-table configuration. Then there were anesthesiologists from all of the hospitals going to be involved…..”

I’m reminded of one of my daughter’s favorite anecdotes about me. I was shopping with her in the children’s clothing department in the mid 1970s…when we came across the “Hello Kitty” brand line of crappy-made little girl clothes. I told her, we are not buying any “Hello Sh!tty” clothes.

Has anyone come across her book “Messages From My Patients” that she references in her Michael Jackson post?

OK, here goes. I know a number of people who have some very bizarre beliefs who function perfectly well. One of my relatives, a highly intelligent person, a retired teacher, actually believed that David Blaine could really levitate after seeing a documentary about him, and a couple of years ago was confidently expecting a UFO to materialize over the USA, though she had forgotten about this when I asked her about it after the event failed to materialize. Despite her extreme gullibility she doesn’t seem unwell in the slightest, quite the opposite if anything. Perhaps some delusions are good for us, and have survival value as you suggested.

Personally, I DO wonder how in touch with reality people might be if the general trend of their thought allows them to accept impossibilities as the standard of day-to-day life.

I have been wondering about this recently, specifically about Marg and Judith on another thread who are absolutely convinced that ‘energy healing’ works, to the extent of discouraging people from having conventional cancer treatment, even palliative treatment. How does someone maintain a belief system that seems to me, and presumably the great majority of people, as not just barking mad, but dangerous? I have a friend who is currently dying of kidney cancer, and he has some unusual beliefs about past lives and such-like, but even he went straight for conventional treatment with no hesitation.

The only explanation that makes sense to me is that they as they are both ‘energy healers’ they interpret everything they experience as supporting their beliefs, and anything that contradicts them is simply discarded as somehow faulty. Anything from Big Pharma can safely be discarded, for instance, and any patient who doesn’t respond to their treatment has a death wish, or is too fearful or sought help too late. Even the patient with pancreatic cancer who suddenly died just ten weeks after diagnosis is hailed by them as a success.

When you can edit out your failures for what appear to be rational reasons, you are left only with your successes. Benjamin Rush, who was in most respects a great man, did just the same thing with bloodletting, and was convinced it was a panacea his whole life, in the face of evidence that it wasn’t. Human diseases and illnesses are messy, noisy things, full of random variation, subjective assessments and vulnerable to suggestion and expectation. Given our natural propensity for seeing patterns where there are none it’s no wonder so many people manage to fool themselves in that area so spectacularly. Even sportsmen and women can become convinced that their performance is improved by a particular pair of socks, a hologram around their wrist or a pretty colored bandaid on their skin.

For the first time in human history (as far as I know) we understand this flaw in human perception and have developed tools, such as statistics, probability theory and the scientific method to alleviate it. The sad thing is that there are still plenty of people who think they are somehow immune, and refuse to accept it affects them and that their intuition is superior to reason.

My comment above was held in moderation for a few minutes, so some people may have overlooked reading it. I believes it identifies the Reiki doc.

I’ve been reading her blog. As a patient, I find her highly disturbing and would absolutely never consent her being involved in my medical care, regardless of her role.

She is posting commentaries about her co-workers and a particular neurosurgeon. Other commentaries about how patient’s bad vibration and energy can block the insertion of needles, and interfere with medical procedures.

I have spent more time than I care to admit in The heart room. It just gets spooky: there are some patients, who out of fear or whatever, do NOT want to be there. Like the patients with the epidurals that won’t go in, these ones have the ability to block interventions ALL OVER their body. The I.v. Won’t go in. The arterial line is a challenge. You try and try and try to get a central line. When it is time to put the breathing tube it’s hard to see the glottis, the opening between the vocal cords where the tube goes in. The saw breaks, the sutures snap, and the vein graft is poor quality. The surgeon struggles. The negativity is pervasive. Other anesthesiologists, who are more financially motivated and on lower vibration, do just fine.

Basically, when she screws up and can’t do her job right, she blames the patient’s bad vibrations, and when the other docs can do the job right, she blames it on their lack of care, bad vibrations, and purely financial motives.

Clearly, I am not a medical professional, but if I had a doctor who struggled to put in an epidural or do sutures, I would expect them to carefully and rationally evaluate the source of the problem. Instead, this physician seems to be blaming patients for having bad energy which blocks the insertion of needles, and in some cases can make a needle “jump” out of place to another insertion point.


Damn, but that was a scary post to read. “My ineptness is your fault, patient!” Definitely would not want her anywhere near me.

I think the first surgeon to use Reiki may have been none other than Dr. Oz. He invited Reiki Master Julie Motz into his OR.

Motz was also a strange “intuitive” who claimed she could enter the body of the patient, and roam around there until she found the source of patients’ anger/fears/anxiety, which was often trauma suffered as a fetus.

Apparently the other people in the OR thought Motz was hilariously off her rocker, but Oz kept using her services. Motz’s book “Hands of Life” indicates how kooky Oz must have been early on, though concerned about his image.

Hey – Doesn’t this PROVE that Reiki WORKS – Even on anesthetized patients? It just can’t be the placebo effect!

The divorced Reiki doc also recommends sending Reiki to your children when they’re at the ex’s for visitation, and also when they return. Exactly why does unconditional love need an assist from Reiki?
Had lilady not found the Glen Ivy spa reference suggesting Reiki doc is from the LA area, the fact that this post is headed by a photo of my favorite mommy panda would lead me to wonder if I should insist that any anesthesiologist who treats me in the future be male to make sure it isn’t Reiki doc. I don’t want anyone this nutty literally holding my life in her hands.

And the arrogance regarding “does not need to be documented or charted or even discussed with the patient at the time it is given” is astounding. Again, I don’t want a person like this involved in my healthcare, especially in such an important capacity.

For some great laughs, go to the link posted by “S” (
and scroll though the brochure at the bottom.

I wish Orac could number or time stamp his comments so we could readily reference some of the many great responses here.

But someone suggested woo might have been selected as a survival mechanism.

My humble opinion. Yep. It sure has. We, as a species have been killing, exiling and shunning ‘non-believers’ for a long time.

We are all generally descendants of believers and/or sycophants.

ALL Reiki practitioners are nuts. No exceptions. Functional maybe, but nuts none-the-less.

Every person on the flyer linked above by “S” is also nuts.

But so entertaining. Good for a chuckle.

She’s also a double divorcee…claims that she was *used* as “beard” by her two ex-husbands. (Guess she wasn’t into “reading minds”, interpreting Chakras and other nonsense, then)

She’s also a specialist in cardiology anesthesia, with a Roman Catholic background and an Italian heritage (She, her mother and her grandmother…who is in a nursing home with Alzheimer disease…all speak Italian).

@ Chemmomo…if you ever need a cardiology procedure, make *certain* that your anesthesiologist is a guy doc.


my own budding scientist wants to meet your daughter (although it hasn’t occurred to mine that yours has grown up by now).

From that Wikipedia link I posted:

“According to the New York Times, Lisa Oz’s mother “believed fervently in New Age approaches like homeopathic remedies and meditation” and Lisa introduced husband Mehmet to the worlds of “alternative medicine and Eastern mysticism” which he integrates into his advice programs.”

I’m getting the rather strong sense that Reiki Doc expects to “ascend” on December 21, having looked at the Facebook associations out of the parallel Galactic Free Press blog. Jeez, first the Wakefield appeal and now this to remember.

I just had to do this one follow-up on my prior post. Below is a quote from the brochure listing the Reiki Doc as a participant. I found it amusing. Am I just an arrogant free thinker or is this stuff funny…? Disturbingly so.

“Ascension codes trigger physical memory for the body to hold, integrate and interpret light to transform your cellular structure into a crystalline configuration; activate your multi-dimensional memory to connect with your higher self /soul essence; release and restore ancient wisdom from other star systems and Gaia herself; bring advanced light technologies and knowledge into conscious awareness on individual and collective levels; and help humanity remember that we are part of a cosmic family, source energy and that we are Divine.”

LindaRosaRN, pass on to Emily that she has inspired the next (OK, it’s probably a half) generation.

Girls do science! And do it well!


Yikes – what a whackaloon. However, I did not see anything that indicated she was an end of the baktun whackaloon. I did see that Orgasm Without Guilt is Proof of God though.

I think the world would be a safer place if she did “ascend”.

It’s actually an interesting question in medical ethics. Is is ethical to do reiki on a patient without informed consent, given that reiki is nothing more than magical thinking and does nothing?

Yes, it is unethical because the reiki doctor is not doing ‘nothing:’ he or she is making up stories in their heads about their patients and their patients’ health. Such storytelling is bound to influence treatment, evaluation, and how you work with different patients.

THIS one has balanced chakras and will do well; this one has too much vital energy and will give problems. I expect someone with a black aura to respond poorly to medication — and they did! Those who are spiritually sympathetic always need less meds, I see it all the time .

Someone who makes medical judgments on the basis of reiki pseudoscience/spirituality is inventing ways to be biased for or against patients based on nothing at all. Asking whether this is unethical is like wondering if it’s unethical for a racist to have their own separate way of evaluating health care based on skin color. At least you can SEE skin color.

And the reiki doctor can see the patients before they “see” the healing energy. She’s probably making snap judgments on level of spirituality and type of personality based on instinct and then translating that into what she discovers and experiences in the “energy” system. It’s an insidious form of bigotry.

Would you want this person on a jury? They can tell if you’re guilty or not by looking at your aura. Spectral evidence doesn’t belong in court, and it sure as hell doesn’t belong in an operating room.

a nearly-90 day old thread @ RI has attracted Reiki artists -and more than1600 comments

Not visiting that thread. It breaks my browser.

Reiki Doc can *sense* who among us are vampires!

“What are some tip offs that someone or something you encounter is not of the light?

1. The eyes. The eyes are dark and without life. This can be in a picture or in life. You just can’t look at it.

2. Your breath. I feel a breathlessness and pressure in my chest. I saw another shopper in the crystal shop was a vampire this way. Oddly enough, my Light bothered him just as much as his dark bothered me. We spoke not a word to each other, only brief eye contact, and auric fields interacted across the store.

3. That vague sense that something terrible happened here. I just read a list of satanic locations, and was surprised at how accurate my ‘creep you out’ detector had been. The Pentagon was the worst. I was only at a metro stop and I wanted to bolt out of there! Incidentally, any establishment with lots of tunnels built under it is where these kind of places are. My first job was at one of them, and recently when I saw a picture of the founder I had my detector go off. Turns out this individual was a Thirty-third level Mason. I won’t say who because you wouldn’t want to know, probably. Here is a link if you want to know. It is in the very back, after the information about Monarch Slaves.”

See other *secret knowledge* about the *Illuminati*, etc.

If we read about unrealistic beliefs ( see Krebiozen’s cancer patient above; the Reiki artists’ beliefs about WHY Reiki works or fails, etc) you’ll find what psychologists already know about how people’s attributions serve as self-protective mechanisms and ways to enhance faltering self-esteem. Unreality makes life more live-able for some people.

For example, fear of rapidly approaching death might be so disturbing and dis-organising to a person , he or she might seek relief in denial ( beyond conscious control) and believe that he or she is NOT very likely to die soon and see healing just on the horizon as being most likely.

I think that advocates of Reiki are in a similar camp: they HAVE to believe that they have some control when they don’t. The hard facts of death approaching and helplessness at this prospect cause them to retreat into more the comforting belief that they HAVE control and can save patients.

Which brings us to self-esteem: if you attribute successes ( of Reiki or anything else) to your own prowess, you’ll feel better and certainly more powerful. If l succeed, it’s more self-enhancing to believe that I did so because of my abilities or effort rather than because of chance or because the task was easy.

It is even MORE self-esteem building to believe that one has special gifts or suchlike- that very few people could succeed at this- to believe that one can cure what’s seemingly INcurable: it must be a big ego- boost indeed.
One trumps the medical establishment worldwide. Woo hoo!

Also if Reiki ( or other forms of woo) fail, usually the so-called healer will attribute the failure ( of the cure or the research- see Bengtson ) on EXTERNAL forces, the patient lacked faith or didn’t behave correctly; someone else interfered. Attributing bad outcomes to external forces ( see vaccines cause autism/ cancer is caused by diet or toxins) preserves belief in an inviolate self with maximal control over future events.

Perhaps beliefs like these allow people time to adapt to the bitter taste of reality. My prof always said that being realistic about the future might lead to depression.

Ok, this is too much to absorb. Is this for real? Just to recap, she claims she sees such evil dark sides in people that she feels the other person may be a “vampire”. She reads about satanic locations, and thinks the Pentagon is among the worst satanic locations.

I fear hearing of how she may proceed in an attempt to rid the world and her patients of the evil powers of satan. There have been other physicians who tried to impose their beliefs of good and evil, god and satan in their patients, and to my knowledge these freakin lunatics never served their patients well. Her twit, I mean her tweet, says “Science and religion are one”.

She is on Twitter and Facebook.

@ lilady:

She writes, ” Light is more powerful than Dark”.
She doesn’t get around much, does she?

In response to her comments that science and religion are one. Science and religion are NOT one and they must be held separate! This nonsensical approach to the practice of medicine must stop. Instilling these bogus beliefs into ill patients can certainly be damaging to their mental health and well-being. This doctor is doing an injustice to her patients.

My heart detects she’s several sandwiches short of a picnin and advises my soul never, ever let her near me in any capacity, personal or professional.

And it must be right–my quiet inner knowing says so.

@ S:

She shares a common belief prevalent amongst alt med advocates: it’s what I run into everyday at woo-ish websites like Natural News, PRN, AoA, TMR…

On the other hand, “I don’t know when the Event is coming. It is sometime between now [July 15] and December 21.”

Change is coming. It is on the way. It is not a choice exactly, but a matching of vibration. Gaia is raising up Her Vibration. Anyone who is compatible with it, and of the Light, will get a chance to stay. Everyone else, who lives in a fear-dominated reality (our society as we know it), will get the chance to excuse themselves and reincarnate (die), or travel to another third dimensional world to progress.

So, it seems as though there’s some sort of deadline on here.

Not visiting that thread. It breaks my browser.

great way to kill a cell phone too…


Regarding experience with reiki, I had one recently. I was visiting an escort at her place (one’s gotta have a sex life from time to time) and the escort was specializing into reiki-sex. I was having the frame of mind that reiki was worth nothing in an health care standpoint but it might have some entertainment value….I was disappointed; it didn’t give me any satisfaction.

When discussing with the woman, she asked me if I believe in spirits (nope), miasma (nope), god (not even) and I told her it was unlikely to believe in these unless there’s some good evidence that they exist.

I take that experience as a lesson not even to try implausible modality.


A quick Internet search of anesthesiologists that practice at this facility includes two women, one of whom advertises herself as an alternative medicine provider.

You know, this press release is quite odd. There are two people by that name licensed in California, and the description matches the one who isn’t the anesthesiologist.

Ways to “raise your vibration” is particularly hilarious.

Don’t forget, December 21 “marks the begining of the official merge between space and time and time and space.” Now, I’m not sure why this phrasing was necessary or who’s officiating, but I can tell you that this has been (apparently unofficially) available for about 10 bucks for a long time.

I wonder if she plants Holy Handgrenades in the OR, just in case. They are, apparently, “very effective for minimizing the deadly orgone fields around nuke plants”. That makes me snicker, even without the Monty Python association.

@ Narad:

I am invited to some festivities on that date: I’m sure that the revelers won’t allow the end of the world interfere with their drinking and other indulgences. I know these people.

@ Alain:

I hope that she didn’t charge extra for the …. er,,, hand-waving.

Today, the anesthesiologist is pretty much a procedural artifact, present for those 1 in a 1000 cases where things don’t go as planned, replaceable by a trained chimpanzee or a machine. As such RD spends day in day out in an operating room, with zero interaction with patients other than “count to 100”, and looking forward to another day where the good part was that no one really needed the anesthesiologist.
In comes the woo, and now she’s actively “helping” the patient. She’s no longer a machine, she’s again a healer contributing to the recovery. That it’s all in her head doesn’t matter.
I can only hope that her mechanical skills stay unaffected by her chakra handling, and that she continues to stay the unknown (to the patient) member of the team.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: