Journal Review by Keri Stella

by Keri Stella

Journal Review

by Keri Stella


Today, patients are seeking out treatment by alternative healers in increasing numbers, partly due to the dissatisfaction of the Western Medicine model of not treating the “whole” person.  Energetic healing has recently gained popularity with doctors, nurses and other health care professionals as a way to complement traditional medicine.

With up to 25% of women and 12% of men having experienced depression, standard treatments are considered less than optimal, as depression has been associated with chronic medical conditions, decreased social functioning, and increased pain and physical illness.

Research has shown effectiveness of energetic healing in many different aspects of health, such as for pain relief and depression, and one study (the focus of this summary) was conducted using Reiki, a Japanese healing technique used for relaxation and stress reduction.  According to proponents of Reiki, which is translated as “Universal Life Force Energy”, it can bring balance and harmony to the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of an individual.

Dr. Goldman Shore conducted a placebo-controlled study with 45 adults, ages 19-78, in need of treatment for symptoms of depression and stress.  Participants were randomly assigned to one of 3 groups:  hands-on reiki, distance reiki, and distance reiki placebo, and were given 1 to 1.5 hour treatments by experienced reiki practitioners, once each week for 6 weeks.  Three well-established, validated tools were used to assess symptoms of depression, hopelessness, and stress, respectively: Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Hopeless Scale, and Perceived Stress Scale.  Participants were followed for data collection 1 year later.

Results showed significantly greater differences between the treatment groups (hands-on or distance) and the placebo group on all 3 measures, with the treatment groups having significantly lower scores on all measures of depressive and stress symptoms.  And the results were maintained 1 year later.  These findings suggest that reiki treatments can significantly reduce symptoms of stress and depression and the effects can persist at least 1 year after 6 to 9 hours of treatment.

To see full article please click below

Effects of Energetic Healing on Depression and Stress

Goldman Shore, A., “Long-Term Effects of Energetic Healing on Symptoms of Psychological Depression and Self-Perceived Stress”, Alternative Therapies, 2004, Vol 10, No3, 42-48.