Re: Reiki doesn't work.
Just felt compelled to finally join the forum after years of listening when I heard about the nurses using Reiki. I am a practicing Registered Psychiatric Nurse in Canada and wanted to share my perspective:
A nurse engaging and encouraging a pseudo-scientific "treatment" is truly a scary thought. A patient generally trusts a nurse as having some expertise, and for an self-respecting nurse to abuse that trust really disgusts me!
PS: On the last SGU episode about nurses using reiki, this is how I view it as a skeptic from a mental health perspective. No matter what a person defines as the spirit aspect of themselves (and this does NOT imply anything supernatural on its own), I do see a therapeutic value is them participating in it. I may personally believe it is ridiculous (and in acute psych, I have seen some strange ones). But no matter how irrational it is, if it gives them some comfort, I have NO issues facilitating it. (I will NEVER suggest them though!) I won't pray or conduct any supernatural or pseudo-scientific practice, but if it is not contraindicated for the client (ie, with psychotic individuals, I would not feel right engaging in something that is "magical" or not based in reality), I will help them out! Maybe it's placebo, maybe it is comforting out of habit, maybe it is just having someone spend time and acknowledge that they are who they are and can chose their own destiny. Some of my favorites are things like yoga, meditation, art, music, dance... I am sure I can think of more but I just finished a long day!
So it isn't exactly so simple, I have no ethical issues with facilitating a client in something like Reiki, and while I will likely present them with reality in as respectful and compassionate way as possible, (offer options that have some research based evidence to support them) But if they insist it will "work" I wouldn't stop them unless of course it could cause them harm. I mean, I see it in a similar way as a family coming to pray with a client. There have only been one or two situations I can recall where I felt it was necessary to intervene for the well-being of the client. TRUST ME, being raised Roman Catholic and now finding myself comfortably labeled as "fiercely agnostic", the first time a client asked for assistance getting to a chapel and assisting them so they could attend mass was a challenge to say the least. But seeing that the client did feel some comfort from doing it, which as a psychiatric nurse an important aspect of one's self (Mind, body and spirit), I was able to resolve any lingering ethical issues I had with it.
I am VERY careful to always assess what the potential risk versus gain for the client for any religious of pseudo-scientific practice is, and I WILL stop if I feel it is appropriate (but due to personal freedom, consulting with a psychiatrist to CYA is always wise!).
Goji berry juice? I saw a client who has severe anxiety swore it worked better than a benzodiazepine. I advised he tried both, but he refused. So the drink did help him calm himself! Magical berry juice or the power of the mind.... Either way, a settled client is a safe one! I KNOW a benzo is going to do the trick, but untill they become a risk to themselves and have to be forced to receive medication, I will try just about anything that is less invasive first if it is reasonable to do so!
EDIT: I would be honored to have anyone in the medical profession, even more so psychiatry to critique my position on this. I practice is always changing and I certainly am not concrete in my understanding of mental health from a nursing/therapist perspective. BRING IT ON!!!