Would you stay with a doctor whose practice started offering Reiki?

In case you’re unaware, Reiki is an alternative medicine where you can supposedly heal someone by transferring energy from your hands to them. No actual contact between the practitioner and patient. IMHO, bullshit of the first degree.

Anyway, my wife was treated last year for vericose veins in one leg. The doctor she went to was highly recommended. She’s a partner in a practice that has been branching out into more cosmetic medicine - they’ve recently added a plastic surgeon and botox doctor to the practice. But yesterday, my wife got a letter that they’ve started offering Reiki at that office as well.

Now to me, that’s a huge red flag, and I’d instantly question the sanity and/or integrity of any physician who would stay associated with a practice that offers such nonsense - either they’ve given up on the scientific method & clinical trials, or they’re trying to fleece their patients. I’d immediately find another doctor. But my wife really liked the doctor, and will probably have the other leg treated sometime next year, and wants to stick with her. My wife is an RN BTW, and is fully aware of the bullshit aspect of Reiki. At the very least, I’d like her to ask the doctor why they’re offering this and her personal opinion of it. Thoughts?

If your wife is comfortable with the doctor, and he doesn’t try to offer Reiki to her, then I see no harm. You’re right that she should ask why they’re offering it, though; it might change her mind about how comfortable she is with the doctor.

If the doctor stage-whispered to me “we do it because it seems to work well for some categories of gullible people”, I’d be OK with it.

I would ditch the doctor.

I would not be able to trust the judgement or any recommendation from a doctor who also endorsed 'alternative medicine".

Presumably your wife was happy with the work the doctor did on her one leg so she’s better off going to the same doctor for her other leg rather than take the chance of finding someone new who may not be as good. It’s not like her doctor said she could cure her leg with Reiki. She is the same person no matter what this clinic decides to do to make money.

The clinic is in the business to make money selling things to people who want them no matter if they need them or not. If they think there’s an interest in Reiki and they can make some money then why not try it. I don’t think Reiki gives a clinic any worse of a reputation for integrity than botox does.

I would go to the same doctor and I wouldn’t ask her what she thought of the Reiki. It doesn’t matter. If she is going to do my procedure with the same methods and care as the previous one it doesn’t matter what she thinks of some other procedure I’m not getting. Plus even if she does think the Reiki is a great idea and a is big believer in it it wouldn’t matter to me as long as it has nothing to do with the procedure I am planning on getting.

Is it the actual doctor your wife has seen that’s going to be practicing it or just another doctor within the practice? I suppose since she likes her a distinction between the two could be made but if it’s the doctor herself then no, I’d sure find a practitioner more adherent to modern scientific methods.

I was going to say I would leave no matter what, but if the doctor said something like this, I would consider staying.

If it’s just a matter of different practitioners sharing office space, I’d say it’s no big deal. If her doctor actually begins performing or promoting the woo bullshit, then that’s another story.

I utterly disagree with this statement. Botox may be vain and shallow and chasing after a lost youth, but at least it kind of works. Reiki is nothing. It’s garbage. It’s crap. It’s on the level of leaving crystals outside to absorb moon power then sleeping with them under your pillow.

Different practitioner, who they were careful to make clear wasn’t a doctor - you certainly don’t need an MD to practice Reiki.

My point is that the doctor my wife used before is a partner in the practice, and presumably has some say in what they do there, or at the very least can leave the practice if she disagrees with the other partners. So IMHO either she believes Reiki can work, and has turned her back on all her training and all of Western (i.e. useful) medicine, or she’s happy cheating the gullible out of their money as long as she gets a cut.

The hospital where I work offers it, but they mention that it involves actual touch. They’ve also experimented with other alternative and radical treatments, such as organ transplantation.

I’d stick with the doctor.

Or doesn’t like it, but got voted down, and isn’t ready to split over this yet.

If your wife doesn’t like it, but likes her doctor, I think she owes it to herself to discuss it with her doctor the next time she goes in, before switching.

ETA: I agree it’s a red flag. But if the doctor’s response is “I don’t like it, and haven’t decided what to do yet.”, I’d feel a lot better, personally.

How do you mean? Organ transplantation is a scientifically proven and respected form of treatment - radical only in the sense that it’s a major surgery used to fix a major problem. You’re not equating a kidney transplant with magic hand energy, are you?

I took a pain management class during nursing school which was very informative, until we got to the last month of lectures, which was a dumping ground for guest speakers on chiropractors, acupuncture, and the like. The last was a woman who instructed us to all place hands on a partner’s legs and feel our energy flow into them, like you’re describing. I stuck around and participated, because I think it’s rude to up and leave a lecture in the middle without good reason, but when the guest asked if anyone thought that her practices were unfounded, I was the only one who raised my hand. Hey, she asked.

The kicker - I attended school at the UT Health SCIENCE Center. I was fully INSULTED that an institute of science would use my tuition to pay for such bullshit, and then try to shovel it at me and call it valid.

I’m saying that we’re at the cutting edge of a lot of medical technologies, and I would not refuse treatment here because one practice might sound a little dodgy. And back in the 50s, organ transplantation was neither scientifically proven nor respected. Now it is, largely thanks to this place.

And if reiki is being used here, I’m not going to be so quick to dismiss it before learning something more about it.

Reiki is so ridiculous that a child can disprove it. Seriously. I can’t find the link now, but a schoolgirl several years ago ran an experiment for a science project. If the reiki practitioner and the patient couldn’t see each other there was absolutely zero difference in outcome between the people who had the magic hands waved over them and those who did not. And the practitioners had no better result than random luck in being able to tell who had something wrong with them and who didn’t.

I myself would have no further trust in any medical person who endorsed this nonsense.

If my favorite restaurant began serving dogshit flambé, I think I’d stop going there regardless of how delicious the rest of their menu was.

Same here.

I’m sorry to hear that.

Today a guy got a bilateral hand transplant here, and apparently the nature of it made it the first surgery of its kind.

Where do you propose he should have gone instead?


“You know what they call alternative medicine that’s been proven to work? MEDICINE.” - Tim Minchin

But a transplant is different in every conceivable way. Yes, it was once new, and maybe there were even aspects of it we didn’t fully understand at the time, but at it’s core, it was a heavily researched and tested practice, even in its infancy.

The only possible basis in medical science that Reiki can claim is that of the placebo effect. Which does have its use, but don’t for a second think it’s on the same plain as transplant surgery, and don’t try to convince me that my hands can deliver energy via magic beams, like I’m Emperor Palpatine.

I’d get a new doctor, stat.