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      The Online Publication of the Reiki University

The Future of Reiki Healing Is In Our Hands
by Ellen Louise Kahne

    Recent attempts to regulate and legislate Reiki healing and teaching in New York, Michigan, California, Texas, Florida, Minnesota and other states have raised the level of public awareness of lobbying attempts to control, regulate and dominate all spiritual healing through legal (legislative/regulatory) and proposed organizational dominance or “certification.”  The history of attempts to control, dominate and monopolize Reiki healing and all other forms of spiritual healing through punitive governmental regulations form an insidious pervasive pattern which threatens to override basic spiritual freedoms guaranteed to all citizens under the first amendment of the United States Constitution.  This pattern may be discerned through a search of internet and published articles, as found in detail on the following websites: (see “Reiki Magazine” and “The Peace Project” “A Closer Look at New York’s ‘Bad’ Bills,” “Reiki and Regulation”) and (see legislative pages).   

    Reiki healing, which is spiritually guided laying on of hands healing deriving from a 19th century Japanese Buddhist perspective, has been practiced safely, effectively in Japan since the early 1900s and in the western world and the U.S. by over one million people of all faiths, cultures and backgrounds since 1937 without any demonstrable incidence of harm, without prosecution of any individual U.S. Reiki healer or teacher for the practice or teaching of Reiki healing, without any need for regulation or legislative control or domination by any specific Reiki organization, teacher or teaching methodology.  That this is so is a testament to the purity, cleanliness and empowerment stemming from the source of Reiki healing, which abides in G-d’s healing energy, the wisdom of Universal life force energy, prayer, meditation and healing intention.

    Reiki works in concert with all other forms of healing.  Reiki healers do not “diagnose” or “treat” illness (unless medically licensed and qualified), nor do they seek to replace qualified medical supervision or care.   So,why is there a “push” at this time to dominate, regulate and control Reiki healing from both within and without the Reiki healing community?     
    This push for legislation and “standardization” of Reiki spiritual laying on of hands healing and of healing through prayer has been linked to broader attempts by national and state lobbying organizations for homeopathy and homeopathic schools to include a catchall of unlicensed healing modalities in proposed so-called “health freedom” legislation in the following states:  New York, Michigan, California, and through a national organization with the purpose and direction of spreading this type of legislation to every state in the United States without either the consent or knowledge of the majority of practitioners and teachers who would be affected by these bills.  Legislation has already passed in Minnesota and there is legitimate concern (alarm) by members of the Reiki and spiritual healing community regarding potential enforcement (and abuse) of punitive provisions contained in this type of legislation (see articles on regulation 

    The concerted effort by unlicensed homeopaths to pass legislation regarding all unlicensed healing stems from the fact that this group wants the legal right to “evaluate” (or diagnose) and “treat” illnesses without being either medically licensed or qualified to do so.  This type of practice is in violation of current state laws which protect the public against the practice of medicine without licensing.  Attempts to supersede state legislated protections, to propose “diagnosis” or “evaluation” and “treatment” by healers who are not medically qualified or under medical supervision constitute a serious potential danger to the public. 
    Reiki healers do not “diagnose” or “treat,” as Reiki is spiritual healing and all spiritual healing stems from Universal Intelligence, (known to most cultures as
G-d, the Creator, or the enlightenment which comes to the Buddha within).  Despite any claims to the contrary, there is not one known instance of a Reiki healer ever having being arrested, prosecuted or disciplined for practicing Reiki in the U.S. for the practice of medicine without a license.  This information was obtained through extensive research, and through repeated requests by email and/or phone for any citation whatsoever of prosecution of any Reiki healers for the “practice of medicine without a license” in any state to the following individuals:  Caroline Rider (attorney, member of the “steering committee” of the NYNHP), Diane Miller (attorney from Minnesota who heads national efforts by homeopaths to pass state legislation), and William Rand (Reiki Master), all of whom openly support regulation of Reiki through proposed so called "health freedom" legislation and/or national “certification” (to control the practice and teaching of Reiki spiritual healing)--measures which have been proposed in New York, Michigan and California and other states regarding all unlicensed healing modalities including Reiki.  This positioning is evident in “statements of purpose,” on websites and/or in current articles, emails and “ezines” authored and disseminated by these individuals and their associated groups.

    All need to control, regulate, or dominate Reiki and other forms of spiritual healing are generated by groundless fears and/or motivated by individual and collective greed and (attempts at) monopoly.  These fears are not grounded in fact or substantiated by any evidence that Reiki healing is harmful.  Reiki healers have never violated medical practice laws, nor have Reiki Masters or practitioners been prosecuted for practicing Reiki.

    These groundless fears, and attempts to dominate, control, program or “standardize” Reiki teaching and healing are based on unhealed areas of dysfunction expressed by a small percentage of healers and through fear and greed in the unlicensed healing community and (unfortunately) within a small proportion of the Reiki community itself.

    Sadly, disturbing attempts have been made to control and limit Reiki healing by various Reiki organizations and by a few prominent Reiki healers.  Technically, these attempts may not be “illegal,” but isolated incidents of abuse of power  have plagued the Reiki community, such as proposed legislation of Reiki in Texas which would have delegitimatized all independent Reiki teachers and healers in that state (excepting two groups which require $10,000 for training Reiki Masters).  This same fear based controlling mindset applies to currently proposed legislation in New York, Michigan and elsewhere, which is punitive of healers and which would override and obliterate constitutional protections and inalienable rights which Reiki spiritual healers and all Americans currently enjoy.
    Spiritual abuses of power and power “grabs” in the Reiki community, while not “illegal,” are hardly unknown.  These abuses have included the following:

1.   Attempts by individuals and/or corporations to trademark or copyright “Reiki,” “Usui Shiki Ryoho” (“the Usui System of Natural Healing”), or specific forms of modern Reiki healing.

2.  Attempts to coerce independent Reiki Masters to provide “licensing” fees to private Reiki organizations (which are not arms of the government) and/or to force independent Reiki Masters to turn over student mailing lists, or email lists to a dominant/controlling organization for purposes including commercial solicitation.

3.  Attempts to require all Reiki certificates and certification of independent Reiki Masters (in specific Reiki lineages) to be processed for “required” fees through a central organization which is neither democratically derived nor controlled by teachers of that organization or independent Reiki Masters descended from these lineages.

4.  Requirements (as a condition of receiving Master level) by specific Reiki organizations for all Reiki Masters of a particular lineage to sign contracts which require a “kick back” percentage of all future tuition earnings which come through that teacher or all of that teacher’s prospective students.

5.  Attempts to superimpose on the entire Reiki community so-called “standards” by vetting or certifying “boards” (with the power to “blackball” or exclude teaching Reiki Masters who oppose board policies) in order to mandate use of specific texts, techniques, and curricula, or fees (in order to control Reiki teaching and healing).

6.  Attempts to delegitimize the teaching and practice of Reiki Masters and practitioners, or other spiritual healers who have not paid $10,000, or other high fees, as a requirement for Reiki Master level or who do not belong to a specific teaching lineage, methodology, religion, group or have not achieved teaching “certification” status through that lineage or are not in agreement with the methodologies of a specific controlling group or Reiki Master.

7.  Attempts to disempower and/or control or dominate Reiki Master/teachers or practitioners by organizations and/or individual Reiki Masters by requiring students or colleagues to “turn over” their power and/or Reiki empowerment and skills without question to a controlling Master or organization.      
    Such abuses of others are not acceptable in the Reiki (or healing) community and are not in keeping with the spirit of Reiki healing energy or of Reiki healing principles.  It is the responsibility of wise leaders in our community to recognize that this collection of controlling behaviors is a violation of both the Reiki empowerments which we have received and the lineages through which we teach. 
    As a spiritual healing community, we need not and must not turn over our Divinely guided power (and empowerment) to fear based controlling energies.  We all need to recognize and acknowledge that the spiritual healing energies and principles which enliven us, which flow through us to help others are not ours to control, dominate or abuse at any time.
    We need to “trust” and to honor the energy of spiritual healing, G-d’s energy, as it flows through our students, through those of other Reiki and spiritual healing lineages and teaching traditions who heal in faith.

“Unhealed” State Legislation Proposals

    Typical of proposed so-called “health freedom” legislation, New York’s proposed bills (A8704 and S4857) are dominated by eleven pages of punitive provisions which seek to override constitutional protections for all unlicensed healers against unreasonable search and seizure, first amendment rights, rights to due process, and fifth amendment rights against self incrimination.  Such proposed legislation makes it easy for anonymous “consumer” complaints to be filed by anyone with a “grudge” against any unlicensed healer.  The burden of proof (of innocence) and the burden and cost of defense would fall squarely on the healer.  And, unlicensed healers would have to increase costs for services due to increased legal liability.  Dedicated and gifted Reiki healers and spiritual teachers could be shut down by one false, malicious claim to the NY State Health Commissioner.

    Note:  the office of New York State Health Commissioner has a history of disciplining (and referring for prosecution) licensed medical practitioners who choose to offer alternative and complementary medicine to their patients in lieu of allopathic treatment, in spite of the fact that such treatment is accepted practice under New York State law.

    To say that proposed legislation is merely restrictive of Reiki and  all spiritual healing would be a gross understatement.  These proposed bills (and possible future amendments) open a Pandora’s box of future invasive regulatory intrusions into the spiritual beliefs and practices and rights of all American citizens and seek to supersede articles of the U.S. Constitution specifically designed to protect us.   First amendment rights have allowed people of diverse cultures, religions, ethnicities and faiths to coexist in the U.S., since the founding of this republic.  The first amendment of our Constitution validates the right to do spiritual laying on of hands healing in faith, to heal through prayer, to empower through G-d, these are inalienable rights which have been available and safely utilized for thousands of years.

    Supporters of these bills have attempted to confuse the issue of our basic freedoms and rights--the right to practice and teach spiritual healing--with possible incidents which “might” occur of sexual abuse, fraud, civil and criminal violations by individual spiritual healers.  Sufficient provisions exist under the law to protect us and the public from violations and criminal abuses of individuals.  Violation by an individual concerns specific criminal, unethical, or illegal behavior of that individual.  Such behavior is not a function of Reiki healing or teaching. 
    No Reiki teaching curriculum encourages, permits or allows sexual, criminal or any type abuse of others.   Reiki healers are taught, enjoined and encouraged to live by basic Reiki principles to:  “honor every living being,” and to “work with integrity.”

    Reiki healers and other spiritual healers and teachers do not need to be singled out as a profession for special legislative treatment:  for prosecution, curtailment of constitutional rights to worship, practice, pray or teach or lay on hands in faith or to have their Constitutional rights curtailed (sic) rights to due process, protection of privacy (unreasonable search and seizure), rights and guarantees against self incrimination which we presently enjoy.

Members of the New York State healing community have overwhelmingly opposed proposed punitive legislation, A8704 and S4857, despite professional lobbying efforts for these bills.  Legislators have been flooded with mail, email, phone calls and visits from constituents opposed to this legislation which is currently in the Higher Education Committee of the NY Assembly.   

Members of the healing community and the general public in New York, Michigan, and California are strongly urged to contact your state legislators and governor immediately to voice your strong and concerted opposition to attempted regulation of Reiki and/or spiritual healing and to remain awake and aware of all attempts to pass punitive regulations or so called "health freedom" legislation which could affect your right to receive spiritual healing and/or your constitutional rights to heal in faith.