Advertising Standards Info from the Horses Mouth!
According to CAP & the ASA, to date, neither CAP nor the ASA has seen evidence to support claims that Reiki can have a physical healing effect on the body. If marketers claim that it does, they should hold robust evidence (Rule 12.1). This is to say, that ASA have seen no results from randomized controlled trials.
Marketers should not discourage essential medical treatment for conditions which should be supervised under a suitably qualified healthcare professional (Rule 12.2).
In 2011, the ASA upheld a complaint on a marketer’s website that Reiki could be effective for a range of conditions such as ADHD, back pain, depression and cancer. It also investigated whether the claims on the website discouraged essential treatment. (The Allan Sweeney International Reiki Healing & Training Centre – 20th July 2011). Because it was not aware of convincing evidence and the advertiser did not provide any, the ASA concluded that Reiki had not been shown to be effective at treating the conditions listed. The ASA also ruled that it could discourage essential treatment. The ASA told the advertiser to change its website.
Marketers should remember that testimonials do not constitute a credible basis for the efficacy of the therapy. In 2011, an advertiser acknowledged there was little or no published or peer-reviewed evidence but argued that anecdotal evidence, such as testimonials, could support efficacy claims. The ASA rejected that argument and concluded that Reiki had not been shown to treat the listed conditions (Christina Moore – 29th June 2011).
So What Can Reiki Healers do to Promote Their Business?
Practitioners of Reiki may make claims for the:
- emotional and spiritual effects of the therapy
- their professionalism and therapy surroundings
- highlight the relaxing nature of Reiki
- Reiki’s meditative qualities,
- Reiki’s ability to improve in a feeling of overall wellbeing
- Reiki’s ability to provide improved sense of self.
Other descriptive aspects about the therapy in practice can be included in advertising as could the foundations of Reiki, for example, that is was developed in Japan by Buddhist Mikao Usui and teachers direct ‘lineage’ to him.
You can read the CAP Code of Conduct here: ASA CAP Code for Complimentary Therapy