Reiki Doesn’t Work For Diabetic Neuropathy


By: Linda von Wartburg

Reiki is an alternative therapy in which practitioners use gestures in the air, purportedly to channel and manipulate energy from the universe.  This energy then theoretically flows through their palms, healing patients by restoring order to their unbalanced vital energy.In a recent study published in Diabetes Care, however, the energy did not seem to be flowing.

207 patients with type 2 diabetes and painful diabetic neuropathy were studied in a twelve-week, semi-double-blind, placebo controlled trial. They were divided into three equal groups:  Reiki; mock-Reiki (in which actors were trained to mimic Reiki movements); and usual care. Although pain in the Reiki and mock-Reiki groups improved initially, by the end of the study there were no differences in pain among the three groups. However, those who received mock-Reiki and Reiki were able to walk twelve percent farther than before. The researchers attributed this to the simple fact that they had received sustained attention from caregivers; just having been the focus of interest had made them feel a little bit better.

Source:  Diabetes Care



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