Not sure how I missed this by Barbara Ehrenreich, but so many people have sent it on to me I guess it's clear I agree with every word, and certainly that we really need to find the cause of this plague - and there is a cause.
Meanwhile, reiki turns out to have nothing to do with hot stones, and is just a waste of an hour and £30, a la Richard Dawkins here. All I wanted was some kind of massage to ease the pain in my back - brought on, apparently, but the tumour leaning on a nerve - which is now racking up 120 mg of morphine a day, plus two paracetamol every four hours, plus another painkiller I'd never even heard of before called diclofenac. According to the doctors, mixing the painkillers is the key, because the different ones work in different ways, but - like everybody I guess - I'm uneasy about taking all these drugs, particularly as the doses keep getting higher, and so I think there must be something else that will help...Hence my search for a massage.
But Reiki is the kind of witch doctor alternative treatment Dawkins makes fun of, and I'm with him. I had to lie on my bed, while a very short-of-breath woman sat on some kind of tripod next to the bed, handed me a three-dimensional silver magen david on a stick, and said, "it's like a wand, no? do whatever you want with it - it has a crystal, hold it, or wave it or whatever" and then for a never-ending forty five minutes, this woman moved her hands incredibly slowly over my body. Over my body, not on my body - she hovered, like the scariest kind of wasp.
Actually, I did feel something; towards the end I was hot all over, like having a temperature. I don't know what caused that, and I'm sure the reiki practitioner would say it was a "healing effect" or "an effect" anyway, but I also experienced intence annoyance and irritation at the waste of time and money. Although, and maybe I don't say this enough, it's always worth lying very still in bed for an hour in the middle of the day. I just prefer doing it without hoverers.