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Physiological changes in energy healers during self-practice.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The physiological status of energy healers during self-practice (activating the healing state without the presence of a recipient) has rarely been examined. This study assessed self practice-related changes in autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity in Reiki Masters and advanced Reconnective Healers.

DESIGN

Measurements of heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV) and cutaneous blood perfusion of the fingers, of 31 Reiki masters and 50 experienced Reconnective Healers were made before, during and after self-practice. Corresponding measurements were made on 32 control subjects, who gazed at a calming picture in place of self-practice.

SETTING

Experiments were conducted in a laboratory setting.

RESULTS

During self-practice by Reconnective Healers, the average HR did not change significantly compared to control subjects but the average HRV and the root mean square of successive differences in inter-beat interval (RMSSD) decreased by 11ms (95% CI 0.6, 4.6, p=0.009) and 13ms (95% CI 0.2, 4.1, p=0.031) more than in control subjects, respectively, indicating reduced parasympathetic nervous activity. Reiki Masters showed no significant change in HR, HRV or RMSSD compared to control subjects. Cutaneous blood perfusion increased during self-practice relative to control subjects in both Reconnective Healers (6.5%; p=0.012) and Reiki Masters (13.7%; p<0.001).

CONCLUSION

Contrary to expectations, neither Reconnective Healers nor Reiki practitioners appear to enter a more physiologically relaxed state during self-practice although there is a local peripheral vasodilatation that is probably mediated by humoral agents.

Links

  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Laboratory for the Advances in Consciousness and Health, Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0068, USA. abaldwin@u.arizona.edu

    Source

    Complementary therapies in medicine 20:5 2012 Oct pg 299-305

    MeSH

    Adult
    Aged
    Female
    Fingers
    Health Personnel
    Heart Rate
    Humans
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Parasympathetic Nervous System
    Relaxation
    Self Care
    Skin
    Therapeutic Touch
    Vasodilation

    Pub Type(s)

    Controlled Clinical Trial
    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    22863644

    Citation

    TY - JOUR T1 - Physiological changes in energy healers during self-practice. AU - Baldwin,Ann Linda, AU - Schwartz,Gary E, Y1 - 2012/06/20/ PY - 2011/5/26/received PY - 2012/5/14/revised PY - 2012/5/24/accepted PY - 2012/6/20/aheadofprint PY - 2012/8/7/entrez PY - 2012/8/7/pubmed PY - 2012/12/18/medline SP - 299 EP - 305 JF - Complementary therapies in medicine JO - Complement Ther Med VL - 20 IS - 5 N2 - OBJECTIVE: The physiological status of energy healers during self-practice (activating the healing state without the presence of a recipient) has rarely been examined. This study assessed self practice-related changes in autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity in Reiki Masters and advanced Reconnective Healers. DESIGN: Measurements of heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV) and cutaneous blood perfusion of the fingers, of 31 Reiki masters and 50 experienced Reconnective Healers were made before, during and after self-practice. Corresponding measurements were made on 32 control subjects, who gazed at a calming picture in place of self-practice. SETTING: Experiments were conducted in a laboratory setting. RESULTS: During self-practice by Reconnective Healers, the average HR did not change significantly compared to control subjects but the average HRV and the root mean square of successive differences in inter-beat interval (RMSSD) decreased by 11ms (95% CI 0.6, 4.6, p=0.009) and 13ms (95% CI 0.2, 4.1, p=0.031) more than in control subjects, respectively, indicating reduced parasympathetic nervous activity. Reiki Masters showed no significant change in HR, HRV or RMSSD compared to control subjects. Cutaneous blood perfusion increased during self-practice relative to control subjects in both Reconnective Healers (6.5%; p=0.012) and Reiki Masters (13.7%; p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Contrary to expectations, neither Reconnective Healers nor Reiki practitioners appear to enter a more physiologically relaxed state during self-practice although there is a local peripheral vasodilatation that is probably mediated by humoral agents. SN - 1873-6963 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22863644/full_citation/Physiological_changes_in_energy_healers_during_self_practice L2 - http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0965-2299(12)00083-0 ER -