Why Dr. Oz has Embraced the Healing Powers of Reiki
Recognized across the US for his approachable bedside manner and extraordinary breadth of medical knowledge, Dr. Mehmet Oz connects people to important health issues on his syndicated television program, “The Dr. Oz Show,” one of the highest-rated daily television programs in the nation. Drawing an average of 4 million viewers a day, Oz’s voice is a strong one in the American health community, and he has spoken loudly and firmly: in addition to traditional medical treatment, Oz has continually touted the benefits of a holistic healthcare approach. One of the pillars of this integrative style is the inclusion of Reiki therapy.
“I know firsthand the amazing miracles we can achieve with modern Western medicine,” Oz said on an episode of his program, “but I also know that for centuries, people around the world have developed alternative therapies to treat the body, mind, and the soul.”
Reiki energy healing, in particular, makes Oz’s list of effective medical alternatives that boost overall health and wellbeing. Why? Put simply, its ability to re-balance bodily and cognitive systems serves as not only an instant potential pain reliever but also a long-term preventive therapy. Offering a non-invasive complement to Western therapies, Reiki may help ease conditions like headaches, arthritis, and high blood pressure. In the hands of Reiki Professionals, a patient can experience an increase in the flow of his or her qi life force by harnessing the power of universal energy.
Although the immediate reaction to a Reiki session differs from patient to patient, Oz points out the healing properties of physical touch.
“I actually feel the heat,”
he says, tying this warming sensation to a feeling of reduced tension and body-mind harmony.
Oz’s wife, Lisa Oz, knows firsthand the benefits of Reiki and its great potential as a catalyst for medical breakthroughs. As a Reiki master, she wholly embraces energy healing, pointing out in a recent interview that
“the next wave of medical advances
will be when we come to recognize the body
as an energetic system.”
Reiki is Life Force Energy
Indeed, Reiki’s capacity for attunement represents a powerful possibility for this ancient practice. Although the National Institutes of Health has completed little clinical research, already certain studies from researchers like Thrane and Cohen and DiNucci have noted significant outcomes of energy healing used for wound healing, anxiety, and palliative treatment for those suffering from mesothelioma or advanced AIDS. With near zero risk for negative outcomes, Reiki becomes a viable treatment for a multitude of other ailments, too.
“We are embarking on this whole new vista of opportunities,” Oz says of energy medicine. “It broadens dramatically the spectrum of where we might be able to go in our bodies.”
Even while acknowledging the limitations of clinical research, many doctors grant that Reiki has vast potential. In an interview with O, The Oprah Magazine,
Dr. Erin Olivo, the former director of the Integrative Medicine Program at Columbia University, notes that Reiki may be helpful for heart conditions, stress-related symptoms, and more.
Dr. Oz knows about balance. In addition to his illustrious career, Oz – a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania medical school – has authored hundreds of research papers, makes innumerable appearances on television programs (in addition to his own), serves as a teaching professor at Columbia University, operates in his original role as cardiothoracic surgeon every Thursday at Columbia and New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, and still finds time for his wife and four children. For Oz, stress-reducing, health-fortifying techniques are absolutely essential.
Alongside very traditional, crucial health issues such as nutrition and sleep, Oz considers Reiki as a vehicle for well-being in his own life and for the population at large: an opportunity to reset, refocus, and de-stress. In a recent interview in The New Yorker magazine, Oz contends that a positive state of mind in a patient can link to a successful surgical outcome. When asked about lacking research and data in regards to Reiki in particular, Oz was emphatic.
“This is one of the fundamental disconnects between Western medicine and what people often refer to as complementary medicine,” Oz says in the interview. “Not everything adds up. It’s about making people more comfortable.”
Oz and Beyond
Though this trusted doctor may be at the forefront of Reiki’s influence in everyday health and culture, Oz is not alone. Athletes and celebrities have come to understand the positive effects of Reiki practice, imbuing these famous folks with a sense of calm in a chaotic world.
From Christina Aguilera’s use of Reiki for weight loss, to golfer Phil Mickelson’s Reiki-inclusive treatment plan for psoriatic arthritis, Reiki has been used to treat a number of celebrity ailments, and has even been said to prove a holistic therapy for Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Ellen DeGeneres, among other top celebrities. The practice’s ability to strengthen determination is key for maintaining focus and powering through stressful situations. In the case of Aguilera, whose Reiki methods have been outlined in Women’s Health and elsewhere, Reiki untangled the complicated spiral of weight gain: people eat when they feel stressed; for Aguilera, regaining discipline through Reiki stopped the thoughtless food intake, and unwanted weight shed naturally.
While weight loss is not a concern for Oz, a former football and water polo player who exercises daily, he believes that Reiki offers a multitude of benefits worth sharing. Occasionally, Oz even invites Reiki masters into his operating room, allowing them to tend to patients undergoing precarious surgeries like heart transplants. Drawing on viable unseen energies, Reiki masters like Pamela Miles and Julie Motz have melded their expertise with Oz’s mastery as a heart surgeon.
Ultimately, even with the advent of awe-inducing improvements in medical technology and the treatment of disease, Oz yearns for a simpler time. “I would take us all back a thousand years,” he says in The New Yorker interview, “when our ancestors lived in small villages and there was always a healer in that village.” Through Reiki, Oz has tapped into that ancient past – and, without doubt, he is a healer.
**This article appeared in The Reiki Times, the official magazine of the International Association of Reiki Professionals.