Tim Brunson DCH

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A randomised controlled single-blind trial of the effects of Reiki and positive imagery...



Full Title: A randomised controlled single-blind trial of the effects of Reiki and positive imagery on well-being and salivary cortisol.

The study investigated whether participants who received Reiki would show greater health and well-being benefits than a group who received no Reiki. A method of blinding participants to Reiki was also tested, where non-contact Reiki or No-Reiki with random assignment was given to 35 healthy psychology undergraduates whose attention was absorbed in one of three tasks involving self-hypnosis/relaxation. Participants experienced ten 20-min intervention sessions over a period of two and a half to 12 weeks. Reiki was directed by the experimenter who sat behind the participants as they were absorbed in the tasks. Self-report measures of illness symptoms, mood and sleep were assessed pre-post-intervention as was salivary cortisol. While the Reiki group had a tendency towards a reduction in illness symptoms, a substantive increase was seen in the No-Reiki. The Reiki group also had a near-significant comparative reduction in stress, although they also had significantly higher baseline illness symptoms and stress scores. The Reiki blinding was successful - the groups did not differ statistically in their beliefs regarding group membership. The results are suggestive that the Reiki buffered the substantive decline in health in the course of the academic year seen in the No-Reiki group.

Brain Res Bull. 2010 Jan 15;81(1):66-72. Bowden D, Goddard L, Gruzelier J. Psychology Department, Goldsmiths, University of London, ITC Building, New Cross, London SE14 6NW, United Kingdom. deborahebowden@hotmail.co.uk

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