Reiki research along with other biofield (including therapeutic touch and healing touch) studies were systematically reviewed for evidence of effectiveness in a recent study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Sciences.
They found what many who receive these therapies have known for a very long time: energy healing works.
Reiki, therapeutic touch, and other biofield therapies use subtle energy to stimulate the body’s own natural healing.
The term “biofield” is used by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to collectively describe energy healing therapies.
Research on these therapies is challenging for a number of reasons:
- Their spiritual nature recognizes that the source of healing lies within the person receiving the therapy and a greater healing source such as universal energy or God’s love.Sometimes, healing may not happen at the time of therapy as there is a greater purpose to the concern that is yet to be realized.
- The subtleness of the energy makes it hard to measure or to even prove that it exists.
- Reiki research and other energy healing research simply does not enjoy the funding that drugs or high-end technology methods do.More funding allows for greater numbers of participants and more resources to conduct studies which contribute to the studies’ validity.
Why Reiki Research and Energy Healing Studies are Important
Scientific research helps determine if therapies work. Its method helps remove personal bias and determine if a therapy works consistently over a large number of people.
Some think that energy healing therapies like Reiki, therapeutic touch, and healing touch, lack scientific evidence.
Not so, say researchers Shamini Jain and Paul J. Mills in their study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Sciences.
They reviewed 66 studies examining the evidence for the effectiveness of biofield therapies. They found that overall the studies were of average scientific quality and showed evidence for these benefits:
- Strong evidence that they reduce pain intensity in people suffering with pain.
- Moderate evidence that they reduce pain intensity in hospitalized patients and patents with cancer.
- Moderate evidence that they ease agitated behaviors in those with dementia.
- Moderate evidence that they decrease anxiety for hospitalized patients.
- Inconclusive evidence for their effectiveness on symptoms of fatigue and quality of life for cancer patients, overall pain reduction, and anxiety management in cardiovascular patients.
Although personal experience is most important, Reiki research and other energy healing research is important too.
Research helps document the effectiveness of therapies for a wide-range of people. In doing so it helps you and your doctor know when these types of therapies should be considered in your care.
Although more high quality Reiki research and other energy healing studies are needed, its good to know that scientific research supports their use.
Sources and Resources
Barnes PM, et.al, “Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults: United States,” CDC Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Advance Data From Vital and Health Statistics, 2002 (2004;343:1–19).
Shamini Jain and Paul J. Mills, “Biofield Therapies: Helpful or Full of Hype? A Best Evidence Synthesis,” International Journal of Behavioral Medicine(October, 2009). Available online at http://www.springerlink.com/content/n772q20j61180nj0