While the in-person conference had to be cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health will host an e-viewing of all the speakers presentations. IONS Director of Research, Helané Wahbeh, was scheduled to give a presentation titled “Energy Medicine for Hand and Wrist Pain: A Large Pilot Study.” Below is the abstract text about her presentation:
The objectives of this within-subject pilot study were to: 1) evaluate feasibility and acceptability; 2) assess appropriate measures for definitive trial; and 3) collect preliminary data on the effects of energy medicine for participants with hand and wrist pain.
Energy practitioners were vetted to purportedly eliminate or reduce hand or wrist pain using energy medicine techniques. Participants completed baseline assessments and then received one 30-minute energy medicine session. Measures were repeated immediately after the session and again three weeks later. Measures included subjective pain (Pain Numeric Rating Scale), sleep quality (Sleep Quality Scale), overall well-being (Arizona Integrative Outcomes Scale), compassion (Dispositional Positive Emotions Scale- Compassion subscale), interconnectedness (Cloninger Self-Transcendence Scale, Inclusion of Nature in Self, Inclusion of the Other in Self), and nerve conduction velocity, heart rate, heart rate variability and electrocardiography coherence between the practitioner and participants.
Seventeen practitioners completed sessions on 193 participants from April to September, 2019. Subjective current pain significantly improved over all three session (repeated measures analysis of variance p<0.000005; Pre – 3.7 ± 2.3, Post-1.6 ± 1.9; 3-week- 2.5 ± 2.4; scale is 0-10, 0 being no pain). Sleep quality (p = 0.01), compassion (p = 0.001), and self-transcendence (p < 0.00005), interconnectedness with nature (p = 0.0021), interconnectedness with others (p = 0.0045) improved. There was a decrease in heart rate (p<0.00005) and an increase in high frequency heart rate variability (p=0.009). There was an increase in overall coherence (p = 0.05) and a trend in overall phase coherence (p = 0.07) in the electrocardiography signal between the healer and the participant. The other measures showed no significant changes.
Feasibility and acceptability were confirmed and measure collection did not disrupt the healing environment. While this pilot study was not powered to definitively test hypotheses, the results warrant further studies.