Monday 7 November 2016
Exercise 5 DIFFICULTY: UPPER INTERMEDIATE TEST: IELTS
Reading Passage 3 has seven paragraphs A-G.
Which paragraph contains the following information?
31. A scientific explanation of why Reiki may have positive effects. Paragraph _________
32. An overview of the practicalities of how Reiki is performed. Paragraph _________
33. The pre-requisite required to experience Reiki benefits. Paragraph _________
34. When patients faith and expectations cause concern. Paragraph _________
35. The immediate effects that can be experienced by recipients. Paragraph _________
36. The safety of conducting therapy for practitioners. Paragraph _________
A. The spiritual practice of Reiki was first introduced in early 20th century Japan and continues to be used by its followers today with the intention of treating physical, emotional and mental imbalances and consequent ill-health. The principles of Reiki involve techniques employed by practitioners they say will channel healing energy through the subject’s body, and advocates hold that these techniques can also be used for self-healing. The name of the practice itself stems from two Japanese characters, pronounced ‘rei’ which translates to ‘unseen’ or ‘spiritual’ and ‘ki’ meaning ‘life force’ or energy’.
B. According to Reiki philosophy, only by undergoing an attunement process performed by a Reiki Master is an individual able to access, then channel this positive energy within, this ability once established is considered to be enduring. Once attuned, it is said that an individual has the ability to allow energy to flow to weak or diseased areas of the body, so activating a natural healing process. Reiki energy is considered to be ‘intelligent energy’ in that it automatically flows to such areas; for this reason, practitioners believe that diagnosis of a specific problem is unnecessary beforehand and that the practice can be used as preventative medicine and encourage healing prior to the onset of tangible symptoms. Since healing initiated by Reiki treatment is entirely natural, many practitioners are confident that it can be used alongside any other type of treatment without adverse affect; however, others recommend that since the patient may undergo significant internal improvement for certain ailments – diabetes, for example - careful monitoring is required since such improvements may establish a need for an alteration in medication requirements.
C. A ‘whole body’ Reiki treatment session typically lasts between 45 to 90 minutes. The subject is required to lie down – often on a treatment table – clothed in comfortable and loose fitting attire. Treatment may involve the practitioner placing their hands on the recipient in a variety of positions; however, some therapists take a non-touching approach, holding their hands a few centimeters away from the body. Hands are usually held in one position for up to 5 minutes before moving on to the next part of the body; between 12 and 20 hand positions are generally used. Those who have undergone a Reiki treatment session often state that they experienced a pleasant warmness in the area of focus and a feeling of contentment and relaxation throughout the session.
D. The healing energy is said to originate in the universe itself and is not the passing of personal energy from practitioner to patient; it is therefore thought to be inexhaustible and the personal well-being of the practitioner uncompromised. While some masters and teachers hold that subjects must be receptive to the concept in order for energy to flow, others believe that the attitude of the patient is of no consequence and that benefits will follow regardless; for this reason, those following the latter school of thought say that since Reiki requires no conscious belief it can also benefit the well-being of animals and plant life.
E. Controversy surrounds the practice of Reiki, some in opposition as they say that Reiki may offer only a perceived improvement in health and therefore only a ‘placebo’ effect. Whilst the practice of Reiki itself is not necessarily considered potentially harmful, some medical practitioners are concerned that its benefits may be over-estimated by patients and that, as a result, they may ignore or abandon conventional treatments. Others argue against the reliability of Reiki due to the lack of regulation of practitioners, holding that patients may be left vulnerable to illegitimate therapists who lack knowledge and skill. While Reiki is not connected to any particular religious doctrine, some religious leaders oppose the practice for spiritual reasons; however, others hold that the meditative principles involved in treatment have enhanced their own ability to explore and embrace their own particular religion.
F. Limited scientific studies in the authenticity of Reiki have been conducted. During research conducted by the Institute of Neurological Studies at South Glasgow University Hospital it was observed that there was a significant decrease in heart rate and blood pressure amongst subjects receiving 30 minutes of Reiki treatment as opposed to a group receiving placebo treatment of 30 minutes rest. Since the test group consisted of a small number of subjects – just 45 – the research recommendations concluded a requirement for further studies. A similarly small preliminary study into the potential effects of Reiki on patients suffering mild dementia, conducted in the USA, tentatively suggested that treatment had a positive effect on the subjects’ memory abilities; however, research limitations included insufficient analysis of potential placebo affects.
G. Other studies have also attempted to determine correlation between Reiki treatment and improvement in cancer and stroke patients. Whilst investigations into the first condition indicated a seemingly positive effect on degrees of fatigue, pain and stress experienced by sufferers, the second project failed to reveal a link between treatment and improvement in the subjects’ condition and rehabilitation. Theories have been put forward that the benefits of energy treatments such as Reiki may be scientifically attributed to the effect of electromagnetic fields; however, the majority researchers agree that more extensive investigation is required.