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By Patrick Dougherty, D.C., and Charles Lightwalker


As a preview to our book you are being given the opportunity to read a chapter, at no cost. If you like what you read, then the book is available on Amazon.com as both a paperback and as an e-book. The book is available at Amazon.com here: Purchase Quantum Healing: The Synergy of Chiropractic and Reiki

Chapter Three

A Chiropractor’s View of Reiki

Long before I became a chiropractor, over 35 years ago, I began to read as many books as I could find on alternative healing. Another area of interest to me was oriental philosophy. I was searching. I had no real direction in life and was sick far too often. I hoped that by reading I would find a mission and some passion to pursue. I hoped that I would stop being sick six months out of the year.

In my early 20’s I had begun to cycle through colds that turned into sinus infections that turned into chronic bronchitis. I was sick nearly 6 months out of every year for about three years. I went to the medical doctor. I got antibiotics and took them several times a year. In spite of all the antibiotics I took I kept getting sicker. Still, I trusted the system. I grew up being programmed to believe that when a person was sick they should go to the medical doctor’s office and get the appropriate cure. I did what I knew.

Somewhere along the way, though, my belief in the allopathic system of drugs and surgery started to break down. That is when I began to explore the literary alternative medicine world. Books on herbs, homeopathy, oriental medicine, massage, chiropractic, ayurvedic medicine, chakras, rife frequencies, foods, and supplements filled my shelves. My interest in those books led to the study of Zen, the Tao, Buddhism, Hinduism and other areas of metaphysical and philosophical thought. Everything was a bit strange to me initially. One of the strangest of all the books I read was on the subject of Reiki. To my 20 something year old mind Reiki seemed like the furthest out of all the far-out subjects I explored.

In the 1970’s there were not that many people talking about energy medicine, at least not in my circles. I was raised on material medical interventions like drugs, bandages, casts, and surgeries. A healing intervention that did not even require human touch was as alien to my mind as space travel.

The result of that thought process was I read a book on Reiki in the 1970’s, and then cast it aside. I gave little, or no more, thought to Reiki until I had graduated chiropractic school in 1993. It was not long after graduation I bought the book Essential Reiki at a garage sale. Reiki was a less strange concept to me at that time, but I was still not deep enough into the world of energy healing to embrace Reiki. I could not get past the idea of not touching a client.

I went to a chiropractic school that failed to emphasize the work of DD Palmer, the founder of chiropractic; and of BJ Palmer, his son, who was a major developer of chiropractic. Their work centered on the concepts of tone, vibration, Innate Intelligence and Universal Intelligence. Those concepts are cornerstones of the philosophy of chiropractic. The school I chose to attend failed to teach them. Those concepts are thoroughly explored in later chapters of this book. Those concepts open a door into the mysterious world of Reiki.

After I graduated from chiropractic school it did not take me long to begin to seek out the philosophy of chiropractic. It has been a long slow journey to appreciate the non-material energetic aspects of chiropractic. As my understanding of chiropractic philosophy deepened, so did my understanding of all forms of energy healing. Over the past 15 years I picked up Essential Reiki now and then. I read the book. I experimented with the practice of Reiki.

I do not use Reiki in my chiropractic practice, though, I have become much more intuitive over the years. I have steadily become more aware of the ethereal nature of energy and healing. I attribute some of that to what I have learned from books. I attribute some of that awareness to other practitioners, among them Reiki practitioners who have generously shared their skills and thoughts with me. As my awareness of the subtle energies that surround us has grown, I have grown to recognize the power we humans have to move energy, even when we do not touch each other.

Even the allopathic field has begun to acknowledge this power, although presently their understanding is largely relegated to acknowledgment of the placebo effect. As Fred Barge, a chiropractor, put it; “Ahh, the placebo, the only drug to ever withstand the test of time.”

The allopathic world generally asserts that there is no scientific evidence to support Reiki as a healing intervention. This answer is not surprising when you take into consideration the answer the allopathic world gives to the question, “What would you accept as evidence?”

Invariably, their answer is that replicable randomized control clinical trials (RCT’s) are the only acceptable evidence. The integrity of this argument is an absolute failure when applied to the allopathic model as they would have it applied to other fields. There are no RCT’s for heart surgery. Indeed there are no RCT’s for most surgical interventions. Further, if we look at the world of prescription medications we find that drugs are routinely pulled off the market after being approved for use because of the harm they cause. If sufficient RCT’s had been required this scenario would be uncommon. Prescription meds are often prescribed for children, in spite of the fact they have only been approved for older age groups.

While Reiki does not meet the rigid research requirements of the allopathic world, for that matter neither does chiropractic; both Reiki and chiropractic meet the anecdotal level of proof of effectiveness so often accepted in the allopathic world. In fact, even in a small town, like Spokane, where I live Reiki healing has made it into at least two hospitals. Someone is looking beyond the narrow allopathic view of acceptable evidence.

I know that Reiki will improve the perspective and the care in the allopathic world when the two cross paths. I have seen that Reiki crosses the boundaries between the spiritual, metaphysical, and philosophical worlds. It also has a place in the physical reality of the world of healing interventions. As those boundaries are erased the big picture of integrated healing becomes possible, and that is where miracles happen. Think about the meaning of the two Japanese words that make up the word Reiki:

  1. Rei is analogous to "The Higher Power" which is a clear journey into the branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, which addresses the existence of God.
  2. Ki roughly means "life force energy". Once again this is a clear foray into the world of the metaphysical branch of philosophy. Metaphysics means “beyond the physical”.

As stated earlier, Reiki demands no belief system, but there is a sense of being in touch with a higher order. That sense, in itself, demands a person have some belief system. Mikao Usui, the founder of Reiki was an advocate of ethics that promote universal harmony. Any belief system that will support the ethical stance of universal harmony is sufficient to meet the position of Usui. This book will illustrate that chiropractic and Reiki have many philosophical and ethical similarities, and that they have much to teach the allopathic world.

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