Reiki, Human Touch and Other Silly Things That Work.

So, when you’re five, and you get a boo-boo, what happens?  You might get a bandaid if it’s bleeding but otherwise… That’s right!  Mommy kisses it and makes it better. We all know this.  It does make it better.  How many times did I go face first into a door and start shrieking in agony.  I was convinced my brain was coming out of my forehead.  But three minutes of cuddling and a kiss, and I was back in whatever imaginary battle was going on, ready to slay the dragon.

I think it was a nasty 13th century king who provided a bunch of orphans with food and water but divided them up and deprived them of human touch.  They died.  We know that premature babies do better when held.  Every teenage boy knows that the touch of a girl is second only to full body Tasering in terms of response.

But according to the skeptic crowd, once we reach adulthood, human touch is no longer an effective treatment to help people feel better.  Really?  Being touched gently for forty-five minutes by a caring member of the human race does nothing for these guys (and they are all guys- except for one).  Ok, that’s a lot of therapy necessary and maybe some good old-fashioned primal screaming at their parents.  But a little introspection might go a long way for them, and it’s not a strong point.

But of course touching works.  In technical terms we call it “chronic pain suppression”  or “less screaming like a harpooned banshee so the other patients can sleep without resorting to Thorazine or a hammer.”  Bring on the Reiki nurses.

When you start the arguments, the skeptics usually back off and say something like, well, yes, human touch can help with pain (even they remember boo-boo land).  But that Reiki stuff isn’t even touching.  No, it’s an extended period where another human being is caring about you and gives you undivided attention.  Hello?  It’s therapy without having to discuss the loss of your rubber ducky.  It’s psycho-analysis with a more comfy chair and the ability to just fall asleep like you always wanted to.  For goodness sake, it’s nap time.

What happened to nap time?  Let’s bring it back.  I want Google to spearhead this, because it’s right up their alley.  Institute nap times, with Reiki masters and kindergarten teachers patrolling the Googleplex. (is there a difference? When they are good, not really.  My kindergarten teacher could sense misbehavior with her back turned.  She would watch Bruce Lee movies and scoff at “the amateur”). How about in the hospital?  Right now we have inspection police who patrol to make sure people wash their hands.  Just increase the job description.  “Did you wash you hands?  Good.  Did you touch your patient with your washed hands (no non-latex funky purple nitrile glove touching please, that’s just sad)?  Good.  Did you listen to how your patient is feeling for at least twenty seconds?  No?  Go back and do it, stat!”

Let’s bring back touching.  The guys who say it doesn’t help need it the most.




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