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hospital reiki programs- to volunteer or not to volunteer?

February 24, 2014

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I’m presenting you with a study about volunteer reiki programs in hospitals. It’s free and you can read it here:  http://journals.lww.com/dccnjournal/Fulltext/2014/01000/Development_of_a_Hospital_Reiki_Training_Program_.5.aspx

I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand it’s great that reiki is being appreciated by the health community. However- it’s non-compensated in an area where all other persons directly contributing to the health and well being of patients are paid. Shouldn’t reiki practioners also be paid? I think so. I think we contribute something of value and we do ourselves a huge disservice in just giving it away for free. Volunteering is a nice concept for the already well-paid corporate community- but the rest of us need to be directly compensated for our contributions. While I do give reiki freely in many circumstances and capacities, I don’t do it for free in a compensated environment. That just seems unfair. I’m not sure that it’s worth being recognized for something which is considered so worthless that it needn’t be compensated. I think we are worth more than that.

The other misgiving that I have is the hospital training program itself. I understand that the hospital needs to have this kind of structure to protect itself, but I worry that it could become part of an overall credentializing machinery, beyond hospital volunteering, which could potentially push out good practitioners. Reiki is an art not a factory.  And there are lots of ways that a very good practitioner may not flourish in a standardized environment.

Think of Mao Asada, who arguably skated the best, most beautiful, artistically integrated and emotional free skate program of the sochi olympics, but because she fell in the short program, placed a mere 6th. Putting yourself out there fully involves great risk, and the possibility of mistakes or even failure. The 3 winners are all wonderful skaters, with beautiful programs, who didn’t screw up! But the very best one wasn’t on the podium. Aren’t we all worse off in a way, when stunning talent and beauty goes unrecognized? But Mao Asada could not be officially recognized with in the structure of the olympic grading system. It’s a big deal for some that Yuna Kim “got robbed.” She only got the silver when she just as easily could have had the gold. It’s just so arbitrary.

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