An HMO-based prospective pilot study of energy medicine for chronic headaches
Full Title: An HMO-based prospective pilot study of energy medicine for chronic headaches: whole-person outcomes point to the need for new instrumentation
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to evaluate an energy healing treatment for possible inclusion as a Kaiser Permanente Northwest (KPNW) Pain Clinic provided therapy, and to identify the appropriate number of treatment sessions for a Pain Clinic protocol, should the intervention prove successful. In addition, our intent was to document the full range of outcomes experienced by patients undergoing energy healing, including whole-person and transformative outcomes should they occur. SETTING: The setting for this study was Kaiser Permanente Northwest Pain Clinic. Participants: Thirteen (13) patients with chronic headache who were members of the KPNW Health Plan were recruited through flyers or mailings. METHODS: Thirteen (13) participants received at least three energy healing sessions at approximately weekly intervals. Assessments were based on pre- and post-treatment qualitative interviews. INTERVENTION: The treatment consisted of three Healing Touch sessions provided by a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner. Treatments contained elements common to all sessions, and elements that were tailored to the individual subject. RESULTS: Twelve (12) of 13 participants experienced improvement in frequency, intensity, or duration of pain after three treatments. In addition, 11 of 13 participants experienced profound shifts in their view of themselves, their lives, and their potential for healing and transformation. These changes lasted from 24 hours to more than 6 months at follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Energy healing can be an important addition to pain management services. More in-depth qualitative research is needed to explore the diversity of outcomes facilitated by energy healing treatments. Furthermore, the development of new instrumentation is warranted to capture outcomes that reflect transformative change and changes at the level of the whole person.
J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Aug;15(8):819-26. Sutherland EG, Ritenbaugh C, Kiley SJ, Vuckovic N, Elder C. Helfgott Research Institute, National College of Natural Medicine , Portland, OR 97201, USA. email@example.com
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