Research on the Efficacy of individual CAM therapies
Research on the Efficacy of Energy Therapies
CAM energy therapies – i.e. Therapeutic Touch, reiki, Spiritual Healing, Distant Healing, biofield, and the related Josef Zezulka Biotronics – all assume that the existence of a vital force, bioenergy. Other therapeutic systems, particularly Eastern therapeutic systems, such as traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda etc., also work with this energy. It is known as Chi or Prana and is part of every living organism, including the human body. When an imbalance or an undesirable state occurs, it may cause a pathological process. By working with this energy we can influence the patient’s health positively (see pages 273, 287).
However, this view is not generally accepted despite the fact that these therapies are being used increasingly in hospitals (see page 188). The reasoning of some sceptics is presented below:
“The existence of Chi – a general all-pervasive energy that roughly corresponds to Indian prana and similar terms such as mana, eter, orgone energy, od, Hahnemann dynamis, fluid and others – has not been proven and there is no evidence of its existence. According to the Chinese concept of Chi, it is supposed to be spiritual. However, all manifestations attributed to it, bodily control, the origin of diseases and their treatment, all of these are material processes which occur on a physical, biochemical and molecular level, i.e. they cannot be influenced by the spirit. The term spiritual energy is a contradiction as energy is defined as the capability to produce an effect or a result, and a spiritual force cannot logically influence a substance. The law of energy conservation renders it impossible. It is also not possible for Chi to be material, as the laws of physics only recognise four fundamental forces – the electromagnetic force, the strong and weak nuclear forces and the gravitational force. All physical, chemical and biological phenomena can be explained using these forces. Whether healthy or ill, the functions of the human organism can be explained without the assumed existence of a new force, which is unknown as of yet." (27)
In another words, one could claim that the existence of bioenergy does not correspond to current scientific knowledge. Its existence, however, cannot be excluded. We are not yet sure whether we have discovered all natural laws. Human knowledge continues to advance. Certain previously accepted views have now become obsolete. For example, scientists once claimed that stones could not fall from the sky. But it turned out that they sometimes can (meteorites). It is the other way round – the knowledge of bioenergy laws can help improve and provide a more comprehensive explanation of a range of so far unexplained phenomena, e.g. the fact that some people can hold various objects (such as a spoon) on their chest.
The existence of bioenergy has not yet been proven. One problem is that it cannot be measured by material instruments as it is of a non-material nature – it is not inorganic. It can only be measured indirectly by monitoring changes in the patient’s condition. It can be captured by Kirlian’s photograph (e.g. a visible difference can be observed between the fingertips of an active and inactive psychotronic) to a certain extent. However, the photograph only shows the radiation of bioenergy on the interface between the material and bioenergetic spheres, as bioenergy cannot be measured materially or photographed. However, it can be perceived by people endowed with this ability. (28)
Irrespective of the fact that the existence of bioenergy has not been recognized by science, CAM energetic therapies are sought-after and used worldwide. Based on the report of the NATO Science and Technology Organization – Integrative Medicine Interventions for Military Personnel the availability of Spiritual Healing grew by 500% (29) from 2005 to 2009. The effects are also subject to scientific examination.
In the following chapter, we mention some of the foreign research that has been carried out and published in peer-reviewed magazines and which indicate the positive effect of CAM energy therapies. Some of these studies deal with energy therapies in general, others with the effects of individual energy therapies, i.e. the effectiveness of Healing Touch, spiritual healing, Distance Healing, reiki, biofield healing, etc. The results of the research on the efficacy of Josef Zezulka Biotronics will be dealt with in other parts of this publication.
The conclusions of these studies must be viewed in the context of the development of both medicine, and bioenergy methods. We must be aware of the fact that, unlike scientific medicine, research on these therapeutic methods was still in its infancy up until recently, despite the fact that these methods have been used successfully for many years. It is common for new disciplines to try to understand how to provide adequate therapy within the context of the existing healthcare systems in the early stages of development.
Nevertheless, the number of trustworthy studies has increased significantly over the past 20 years. This indicates a rising interest among experts. The results of these studies show that this field deserves more attention and should be examined systematically.
Some of these studies also disprove some frequently repeated views from sceptics concerning the placebo effect in these cases. For example, in certain studies one of the control groups is exposed to a placebo. Moreover, we also included studies which did not examine the therapeutic effect in a living patient, but the chemical changes in human osteoblasts in vitro exposed to the influence of biofield and positive changes in the growth of plants, or soil fertility exposed to biofield. In these cases, the placebo effect cannot be called upon.
It is notable that positive effects of energy therapies are often observed when treating diseases such as cancer. The Josef Zezulka Biotronics ranks cancer among diseases of bioenergetic origin, as is stated in the texts written by healer Josef Zezulka during the totalitarian regime in the Czech Republic. (30)
In the page Recommended Links you can find references to scientific databases and lists of CAM studies where further CAM research can looked up.
Studies on the Efficacy of Spiritual Healing and Distant Healing
Studies on the Efficacy of Biofield Therapies
Studies on the Efficacy of Therapeutic Touch
Studies on the Efficacy of Reiki
Studies on the Efficacy of Energy Therapies and Spiritual Healing