|Reiki Master Jim Tyranus, shown here demonstrating space Reiki|
For more than two decades, the NCCAM has investigated a wide variety of natural healing practices and herbal remedies supported by tax dollars as a component of the National Institutes of Health. So far, despite trying really hard, they have had little if anything to show for their efforts. This failure to produce proof of efficacy hasn't sat well with some of today's modern congressional leaders, like Iowa Senator Tom Harkin.
Harkin has been a vocal supporter of alternative medicine since the early 1890's when he recovered from a viral upper respiratory infection with the aid of an elixir he bought from a travelling salesman in Des Moines. A century later in 1992, he would be instrumental in the formation of what would become the NCCAM. Senator Harkin was also the force behind this unprecedented collaboration.
The first NCCAM trial to be run with the assistance of NASA will take place on the International Space Station and study an energy-based healing therapy known as Reiki. Developed in 1922 by some guy in Japan, Reiki practitioners tap into and manipulate a patient's Ki, the universal life energy that, according to Reiki practitioner Ben Kenobi, "surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together."
Until now, evidence of any benefit from the practice has been lacking, leading some to question the existence of this elusive "force". H. Solo, a member of the Corellian Skeptical Society, has even gone on record denying it entirely:
"...I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny."According to Briggs, space is the perfect environment for studying Reiki because it is far, far away from the many potential sources of interference on Earth, like overhead power lines, Wi-Fi and skepticism. "We are of course primarily interested in its healing ability, but I think we'd all love to see a mind trick or some Reiki Lightning."