Alternate Healing or Pseudo Science?

Health National Top Story

The old way of healing is making its comeback in Bengaluru.

By Sharathkumar Nair

Bengaluru, March 14, 2019: As per the 2018 Happiness Report, India ranks 133 out of 156 countries in the world. This ranking is a clear reflection of how stressed and unhappy are the people living in this country.

Indian society has gone through a radical transformation in the past decade. Traditional farming jobs have been replaced by modern office work. As the Indian economy is booming, Indians have access to products that once only existed in the Western world.

India’s young workforce is driving the economy of the nation at such a high pace that many have forgotten the impact it may have on these young minds. The number of people getting diagnosed with stress, depression, anxiety, and various other diseases is seeing an upward trend in recent years.

India has always been home to alternate forms of treatment such as Ayurveda, Unani, and yoga. These alternate forms of treatment have always attracted people from across the world to seek treatment for their ailments not always cured by Western medicine.

One such alternate form of healing that is Reiki, which originated in Japan in the 1800s. In this method, the healer transfers the universal energy from the practitioner’s palms to the patient. It is a form of energy healing. Even though there is a lot of scepticism about Reiki, it is gaining popularity.

Many Reiki centres have sprung across the Bengaluru city. Many people are visiting these Reiki centres to get healed. A usual Reiki session lasts for 90 minutes and the practitioner charges 1,500 rupees for each session.

“I conduct only five sessions a day. The number of patients requesting for the healing sessions have increased,” said Ashwita Goel, a Reiki practitioner in  Bangalore.

Medical science does not approve of Reiki and its healing powers. Even after calling it quackery, many people are still adopting Reiki for treating their ailments.

Reiki channels the universal energy known as ‘qi’ (pronounced ‘chi’) to heal the ailments on the body by tuning the energy surrounding the body of the patients. Science has not been able to measure the energy involved in Reiki healing and has thus termed it as pseudoscience.

“Many of my patients are doctors, engineers and software engineers. They come to me on a regular basis as they had a very positive experience after the healing,” said Ashwita Goel.

“I was being treated for depression in one of the famous hospitals in Bangalore. However, the treatment didn’t show any positive change. I tried Reiki healing and was able to get over my depression,” said one of the patients on condition of anonymity.

Reiki claims to help with ailments such as cancer, anxiety, heart disease, infertility, and chronic pain.

“Medical science does not approve of Reiki, but many people have experienced positive changes in their lives after Reiki sessions. Maybe science hasn’t advanced enough yet to understand fully how Reiki works,” said Dr R Sharma, a general physician in Taverekere, Bengaluru.