The Truth When Advertising Reiki or other Cam Therapies
On the 29th of June, 2011 the Advertising Standards Authority handed down it’s ruling on Reiki Master Christina Moore’s website.
Moore/TF_ADJ_50896.aspx) Link is broken ☹️
Unfortunately for Christina – but thankfully for the rest of us – she is the canary in the Reiki or Complementary Health coal mine. What do I mean by that you may be thinking? We the practitioners of Complementary health are being taken to task when advertising our wares. Gone are the days when we could make health claims however veiled as anecdotal or as testimonials.
The person who filed the complaint against this practitioner took issue with “The aim of crystal healing is to restore wholeness, balance and health on all levels – emotional, mental, spiritual as well as physical” was misleading and could not be substantiated.
The ASA felt that similar claims were being made when discussing Reiki. They also felt that when the website stated it could help more serious health conditions like strokes or high blood pressure it might lead a consumer to think that Reiki could be used to the exclusion of standard medical care.
When Christina mentioned the research studies which show how Reiki has helped people in certain situations the ASA dismissed these thoughts by saying the research had not been published in a peer-reviewed medical journals and therefore such statements were unacceptable.
In light of what the ASA discovered her ad was found to be in violation of CAP code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) 12.1 and 12.6 (Medicine, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).
In closing, the action that the ASA took against Christina Moore was “to have her remove the references to serious medical conditions and other illnesses and to ensure that they held robust, clinical evidence before making efficacy claims for their therapies in the future.”
I don’t know about you but I’m going to revisit all my business promotional material. The last thing I need is to have a review like this. Some of my friends have said I should not buy into the fear as I will attract that kind of thing. Well, if I follow the Buddhist belief of Right speech and Right action, then I feel more confident that I won’t run afoul of the law.
While it may seem that society is warming up to the idea that Complementary Therapies can help in their lives, we have to be mindful when putting it out there.
Canadian Code of Advertising Standards (Code), the principal instrument of advertising self-regulation in Canada. The Code’s fourteen clauses set the standards for advertising that is truthful, fair and accurate, and are used by Ad Standards to evaluate consumer complaints about advertising appearing in Canadian media.
Cheers and good luck! Originally published July 2011 - updated 2023