Apr 132010

Apologies to everyone for my vacation from blogging. In addition to having to attend to several family issues, I’ve been working on a new set of books on Reiki. I’m hoping to have the level one Reiki book ready within the next few weeks, and I intend to offer it, along with an audio-file attunement, for free.  This will give anyone who wishes it the basic spiritual tools needed for healing themselves and others.

If you would be interested in receiving this free book, you may want to consider signing up for our feed either by email or through RSS. Otherwise, check back over the next few weeks and I’ll keep you updated on progress.

Feb 052010

reiki I don’t do a lot of debating on alternative therapies. I got tired of the “my study is better than your study” sort of discussion. But when I recently discussed my problem with homeopathy, one of the responses challenged me to apply the same logic to Reiki. I’m an Usui Reiki master, although I’m not professionally active. I do treatments and attunements for free when asked.

I believe Reiki to be a valuable and effective method of “energy healing”. It’s certainly finding widespread acceptance in hospitals and clinics around the country and around the world for that matter.  A number of studies suggest that Reiki is helpful and effective with a number of conditions, for self-healing, one-on-one treatment, and distance healing. Certainly there are flaws in some of the studies. But there have been effects significant enough to merit larger and better studies.

More important, I believe, is the subjective experience of the patients and healers. People find Reiki healing to be a positive and helpful experience. As a healer who has tried several different methods of energy healing, I can say that Reiki is my favorite. In Reiki healing, the healer is instructed to simply let energy flow naturally to the patient. The Reiki energy directs itself to wherever it is needed. The energy knows best, and the healer simply lets it gently flow through. This is in contrast to some other methods I have used, where I am consciously directing, almost “forcing” energy to go where I want it to. With such methods, I can end a healing session feeling drained. With Reiki, I always feel as rejuvenated as the patient.

But isn’t my subjective experience lacking in any scientifically recognized mechanism? Isn’t the “energy” I am channeling undetectable, and for all intents and purposes, non-existent?

No, I’m not willing to concede that ground. In addition to promising studies on Reiki, there are other studies on prayer, spiritual healing and the effect of intention that are quite interesting. In particular Dean Radin’s research on the effects of intention on physical systems seems to be excellent science – and I do have a reasonably good scientific education. I suspect that in the future, the power of intention will become better understood, and virtually undeniable.

But let’s suppose I’m wrong about all that. Let’s suppose that there is no direct physical effect of intention. No subtle energy. No physical mechanism that corresponds remotely to what Reiki healers THINK they are doing. Let’s look at Reiki purely from a non-metaphysical viewpoint.

What is it like to receive Reiki treatment? What is the subjective experience like?  Ideally, you are made very comfortable in a relaxed setting. There may be calm music or pleasant aromas. You are made to relax and direct your quiet meditation to your own healing and well being. While this is going on, you are aware of the presence of someone who is intending to help you and heal you. You are aware of kind support and encouragement. You are reassured that things will be better. You experience a calm, positive mood regarding your health and well being.

How can this fail to have a beneficial effect? If nothing else, it is an ideal situation for maximizing the placebo effect. All the things that researchers try to studiously avoid doing to minimize the placebo effect – detaching themselves from the outcome and avoiding giving the patients “cues” – all these are the things the Reiki healer deliberately DOES. Psychological elements such as relaxation, optimism, and the emotional support of others have all been shown to assist healing in a multitude of ways. You’d be hard pressed to design a better method of providing ideal emotional support to someone in need of healing.

But continuing down the path of skepticism – assume that both Reiki and Homeopathy have no intrinsic, non-metaphysical basis to them. Is Reiki really any better than homeopathy? Isn’t one placebo the same as another? I was going to suggest, yesterday, that I would still prefer Reiki. But after a few discussions I find I needed to edit this post a bit.

There are apparently quite a few homeopaths who focus a lot on the metaphysical energies involved, the “vibrations”, energy signatures or whatever term you prefer, of various preparations and medicines. My impression (perhaps mistaken) was that  many MORE seem to believe that it is the intrinsic physical properties of the medicine that matters. These physical properties based on concentrations so dilute that often not a single molecule of the original substance actually remains. Such people believe they are taking a medicine very much like a traditional pharmaceutical preparation in mechanism and effect, when in fact the ONLY source of homeopathic effectiveness  comes from metaphysical or para-natural mechanisms, or from psychological sources.

I simply think it’s more satisfactory either with Reiki or Homeopathy,  to be right up front and say “this is SPIRITUAL healing”. With Reiki, of course, there’s little danger of confusion. With Homeopathy, I think that if you are making the energetic essence the basis of the healing, there’s an additional educational task if you want people to understand that.

P.S. For convenience I’ve referred to Reiki practitioners as “healers”, those on whom they practice as “patients”, and Reiki itself as “treatment” and “healing”. Otherwise the language gets awkward. Since the one possibly negative effect Reiki might have would be to make a person hesitate to receive some critically needed medical treatment thinking they are already “cured” let me remind readers of my disclaimers. I believe Reiki is best as a complementary therapy, used as support. I’m not a doctor, and when I do Reiki I am not giving medical treatment for a disease as understood by the medical community. However, while you’d be foolish not to at least consult a health professional for a health problem, the ultimate responsibility for your health rests with you.

Dec 112009

health1What to get for the health-conscious or holistically-minded person on your gift list? Below are a few of my personal suggestions. Some are on the Amazon best-seller’s list. Some I simply LIKE.

If you’re a health-conscious person yourself, put them on your own list. Or play it safe and buy YOURSELF a present!

Learn the simple rules to healthy, happy eating for life! I recently read Michael Pollan’s book, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. While I hope to do a full review later, let me just say that this book lives up to the promise of Pollan’s masterpiece, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Pollan is a careful researcher with a captivating style. In this book, he presents the simple rules of eating well. The book starts out with the meta-rule: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”.  Sounds simple, but it’s more involved than you might think. For example, high fructose corn syrup isn’t really “food” by Pollan’s definition. If your grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food, says Pollan, or if it has more than about five ingredients – it’s not REALLY food. The book is a collection of excellent research, wonderful guidelines, and a stinging indictment against the “food” industry.

Reverse your diseases and lose weight effortlessly! I’ve reviewed Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live elsewhere on my site. It is, quite simply, the BEST book on diet and nutrition I’ve ever read. Dr. Fuhrman is the one that other doctors send their patients to when they HAVE to lose weight or die.  Fuhrman’s approach concentrates on foods with a high nutrition-to-calorie ratio, which includes a lot of cooked and raw vegetables and fruit, while keeping fat low. And the results are spectacular.

Fix your mind by fixing your body! That’s the promise of this new book, The Ultramind Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman. I recently reviewed a book on natural mental health called Herbs for the Mind. This book seems to take a different approach by taking you through a multi-week program to totally rejuvenate the body and the mind, undoing years of damage and balancing out everything in the process. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s certainly  on my list, thanks to endorsements by notables such as Drs Ornish and Oz. It has excellent reviews and intriguing comments.

I’ve known people in sever chronic pain, and relief from pain is one of the most wonderful gifts I can imagine. This book, Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain by Pete Egoscue has hundreds of enthusiastic reviews by people for whom Pete’s method was the key to ending their chronic pain. Pete Egoscue developed this method after experimenting on relieving his own chronic pain. He is now has a thriving pain relief practice frequented by celebrity athletes among others.  If you know someone struggling with pain, this would make a wonderful gift.


Finally, if you’ve wanted to pursue a path as a healer, let me recommend Reiki – a well-respected system of energy healing. I am a Reiki Master myself and I give it my wholehearted endorsement as a healing system. The Reiki Store has a wonderful self-study program that gives you everything you need to study and receive attunements up to the master level. Their program includes certificates, information on running a business, and everything else you need to know. It would also make a great gift. You can find it at this link, or by clicking on the picture.

Nov 022009

reiki2I’m happy to report that my article below was approved as my first expert article on Ezine…


Reiki Courses – How to Choose

By Keith

What is Reiki and Why Study It?

Reiki is a form of “energy healing” that originated in Japan, but has
become increasingly popular in the rest of the world. The origins of
Reiki and its founder, Dr. Mikao Usui, are shrouded in some degree of
mystery, and many legends and stories abound to fill in the
historical gaps. Whatever the truth may be, Dr. Usui set up a clinic
in Japan in the early 1920s and began teaching students and treating
patients with his Reiki healing system. As Reiki spread to the rest
of the world, it has become recognized as an effective system of
energy healing.

Characteristics of Reiki

Hand positions: Reiki energy healing is done primarily with the hands. In
the standard treatment, the practitioner’s hands are placed on the
body of the patient, either lightly touching or close to the body.
The locations of the traditional hand placements correspond in
general to the “chakra” system known in yoga and the New
Age movement in general. A complete Reiki treatment usually involves
time spent allowing energy to flow into each of these

Attunements: Reiki has several “levels”,traditionally Beginners, Advanced, and Master (or First, Second and Third degree.) Each of these levels requires an “attunement” in which the keys for using Reiki are passed on from master to student. In the original mode of Reiki instruction, these attunements were done in person, and usually after lengthy study. Some
traditionalists still believe this is the only proper way to pass on
the Reiki tradition. However, many western masters offer
distance-study materials and courses, and often offer “distance
attunements”. In these attunements, master and student, even
though they are in different locations, set aside a time of
meditation in which the attunement is given. There are some masters
who offer CDs or DVDs that will pass on an attunement by listening or
watching them.  Finally there are several books and courses
available which instruct the student in “self-attunement”,
so that they initiate the attunement process entirely on their

Reiki Symbols: Very early in the history of Reiki, special symbols with special names were used in the process of healing and attunement. These appear to be derived from various Asian characters, and have special meanings in the Reiki system. They may be drawn in the air, used on physical objects, drawn on or over the patient, or simply imagined in the mind. The symbols focus or direct various kinds of healing energy.

Reiki Variations

As Reiki moved into the West, several variations, types or schools or
Reiki have developed. “Usui Reiki” generally refers to the
original version. Other teachers mix various elements of Tibetan
spiritual practice with Reiki. Other popular variations include
Karuna Reiki, Lightarian Reiki, Seichim Reiki, Angelic Reiki, and
dozens more. Some of these variations claim to have been “channeled”
through various spiritual beings, such as angels. Many of them add
various “New Age” elements to Reiki healing, including
sounds, crystals, additional symbols, aromatherapy, etc.

How to Choose

Some of the following questions may be helpful.

Do I  have access to local Reiki traning? If not, then the various self-study programs are a good option.

How  much time and money do I wish to commit? If your resources are limited, then you can find very reasonable  self-study programs available.

Do I  wish to make a career out of Reiki? You may not know the answer to this question immediately, but if you are considering it, make sure that
the  Reiki course you choose explains the mechanics and practicalities of  seeing patients professionally.

Am I attracted to a more traditional approach, or do I like incorporating
other  elements into my training? If you opt for traditional, be aware that you  may need to seek local training to get it.

How do  I feel about the options I’ve looked at? Am I comfortable
with the master  and his or her teachings? Is the approach too
dogmatic or fanatical? Is  there a feeling of love or of

Ultimately, the advice of the Yaqui medicine man
Don Juan  applies when considering learning Reiki – “Does
this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t,
it is of no use.” (The Teachings of Don Juan – Carlos

– Keith Campbell is a Reiki master and independent
priest involved in healing and holistic health. Article Source:

Nov 022009

reiki_master_ebooksSomeone wishing to learn Reiki has a wide variety of course options to choose from. Traditionally, Reiki courses were done in a personal setting, by attending classes or workshops given by a live instructor. This is still an option may people prefer, and if you check around, there is likely to be a Reiki course or workshop somewhere in your area. One of the criticisms some have with in-person Reiki courses, however, is the expense. Workshops and classes can be expensive and getting to them inconvenient. Some unscrupulous practitioners can draw out the number of courses required to maximize the expense. 

In the age of the internet, it is only natural that people would seek out books, at-home study, or on-line Reiki courses to learn the healing art. At-home options range from excellent to totally inadequate.

There are several items that need to be addressed with the at-home options. One of the critical aspects of Reiki are “attunements”. In an attunement, a Reiki master passes on the ability to use Reiki energy directly to the student. Some Reiki masters insist that this can only be done in-person, and that “distance attunements”, where the master passes on Reiki abilities to a student at a distance, are invalid. While many of these masters may be sincere, I believe it is simply a convenient fiction, designed to lure more students into expensive personal classes. After all, one of the skills taught in a Reiki course is “distance healing”. If Reiki energy can operate at a distance to heal, I find no rational basis for claiming that Reiki energy can NOT operate at a distance to attune! Some masters even teach a “self attunement” and claim it can be even more powerful that attunement from a master.

A second issue regards “Reiki symbols”. Reiki symbols are signs – often based on or resembling Japanese characters (especially in the case of Usai Reiki) that are drawn in the air to focus particular kinds of Reiki energy for healing, attunement, etc. Some masters regard the “Reiki symbols” as being secret. They do not approve of them being distributed in books or websites. Again, this seems a bit convenient in forcing people to personal workshops. Since Reiki symbols are readily available on the internet today, maintaining the façade of “secrecy” seems unnecessary.

So what are your options for Reiki courses? If you have a convenient location to take a Reiki course in person, by all means consider it. For most of us, there are a number of books and courses available online. Some of these include “distance attunements” where you and a master will schedule a time when the master will attune you. These naturally tend to be more expensive, as they require a master’s giving you personal time. Other masters have dvd’s available which will attune you by watching them and following the instructions. Then there are Reiki courses that will teach you self-attunement. All of these options should give you a good grounding in Reiki symbols, attunements, and practice. Choose the options you are comfortable with.


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