Get well, stay well


Is Reiki a Placebo? – Part 2

April 22nd, 2015

I said in Part 1 if the Reiki (healing) energy has an impact, it must exist, and it can’t be a placebo because its having an impact.  So now I want to share some of the scientific evidence which demonstrates the impact of healing, hence it must exists.  I am going to start by looking at experiments which do not feature humans to demonstrate the impact of healing without the placebo effect being present.

Glenn Rein (Rein, 1986), using Matthew Manning as the healer, treated preparations of a human enzyme, blood platelet monoamine oxidase (MAO). Enzyme levels in platelet samples were measured before and after healing treatment (for 5 minutes) and were compared with untreated controls. In nine trials enzyme activity in the treated samples increased, in seven it decreased and in two it remained unchanged.

Braud, Davis & Wood (1979) attempted to control the breakdown of stressed human blood cells (erythrocytes) using the healer Matthew Manning. Erythrocytes are sensitive to the osmotic pressure of the solution in which they are suspended; when this pressure is reduced significantly below that of blood plasma they swell and rupture. In the experiments the intention was for the healer to attempt to reduce the rate of cell breakdown when suspended in a hypotonic salt solution.  The experiments consisted of 3 series of 10 runs, each consisting of 10 samples. Five samples in each run were controls and the healer sought to positively influence the other five against cell breakdown. Nine of the runs were done with the healer in close proximity to the samples and in one he sought to influence the samples from a distant room. Overall the results were highly significantly positive

Haraldsson & Thorsteinsson (1973) used yeast cultures as an experimental model. They worked with seven subjects, three healers and four non-healers, asking them to attempt to increase the growth of yeast cultures in tubes from close by – but not making direct contact. In each experimental session, individual subjects worked with 10 tubes and there were the same number of controls. In 12 sessions a total of 240 tubes were run, both experimental and control. The results showed a highly significant positive result for the healers (p = 0.00014) and a non-significant result for the non-healers.

Grad (1965b) produced identical wounds on the backs of 96 anaesthetised mice and measured the rate of wound healing on a daily basis. The healer Oscar Estebany treated half the mice daily for 15 minutes by holding the cages. By fourteen days the wounds of the treated group had healed significantly more rapidly than those of the control group.

I am sure you appreciate that conducting the last experiment on humans would be highly illegal & immoral.


Full References

Braud, W., Davis, G. & Wood, R. (1979). Experiments with Matthew Manning. J. Soc. Psychical Res., 50, 199-223.

Grad, B. (1965b). Some biological effects of the “laying on of hands”: A review of experiments with animals and plants. J. Am. Soc. Psychical Res., 59, 95-129.

Haraldsson, E. & Thorsteinsson, T. (1973). Psychokinetic effects on yeast: An exploratory experiment. In Research in Parapsychology 1972 (W. C. Roll, R. L. Morris & J. D. Morris, eds.). pp. 20-21. Scarecrow Press; Metuchen, NJ.

Rein, G. (1986). A psychokinetic effect of neurotransmitter metabolism: Alterations in the degradative enzyme monoamine oxidase. In Research in Parapsychology, 1985 (Debra H. Weiner & D. Radin. eds.). pp. 77-80. Scarecrow; Metuchen, NJ.


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