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Sunday, November 01, 2009

'Strong evidence' Reiki & other biofield therapies help reduce pain

Encouraging breaking news from the scientific community: A review of 66 clinical studies by researchers at UCLA found "strong evidence" that Reiki and other biofield therapies help reduce pain, according to an article published last week in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

The review found "moderate evidence" of the effectiveness of biofield therapies in decreasing negative behavior in dementia patients as well as decreasing anxiety for hospitalized patients, and "equivocal evidence" that biofield therapies can help with fatigue and quality of life for cancer patients and decreased anxiety for cardivascular patients.

The authors, researchers Shamini Jain and Paul J. Mills of the University of California at Los Angeles, say there is a need for further high-quality studies.

The studies reviewed were of average quality by scientific standards, the researchers wrote in the article, titled "Biofield Therapies: Helpful or Full of Hype? A Best Evidence Synthesis."

"In order to better inform patients of the potential benefits or non-benefits of these biofield-based interventions, clinicians and scientists within behavioral medicine should familiarize themselves with current theory, practice and research of such techniques," they concluded.

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