Comparison of physical therapy with energy healing for improving range of motion in subjects with restricted shoulder mobility

Ann Linda Baldwin, Kirstin Fullmer, Gary E. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two forms of energy healing, Reconnective Healing (RH) and Reiki, which involve light or no touch, were tested for efficacy against physical therapy (PT) for increasing limited range of motion (ROM) of arm elevation in the scapular plane. Participants were assigned to one of 5 groups: PT, Reiki, RH, Sham Healing, or no treatment. Except for no treatment, participants were blinded as to grouping. Range of Motion, self-reported pain, and heart rate variability (HRV) were assessed before and after a 10-minute session. On average, for PT, Reiki, RH, Sham Healing, and no treatment, respectively, ROM increased by 12°, 20°, 26°, 0.6°, and 3° and pain score decreased by 11.5%, 10.1%, 23.9%, 15.4%, and 0%. Physical therapy, Reiki, and RH were more effective than Sham Healing for increasing ROM (PT: F=8.05, P=0.008; Reiki: F=10.48, P=0.003; RH: F=30.19, P<0.001). It is possible that this improvement was not mediated by myofascial release because the subjects' HRV did not change, suggesting no significant increase in vagal activity. Sham treatment significantly reduced pain compared to no treatment (F=8.4, P=0.007) and was just as effective as PT, Reiki, and RH. It is the authors' opinion that the accompanying pain relief is a placebo effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number329731
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume2013
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 16 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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