Johrei (pronounced Jo-ray) is a non-touch healing method similar to reiki. It involves channeling of “universal healing energy” to influence the health of another person. Three studies in the past 15 months have attempted to correlate subjective changes with other objective outcomes.

Here’s a quick review.

33 college students did mental math calculations preceded by 10 minutes of Johrei or resting. Results:

  • Mood scores were significantly better with Johrei
  • Anxiety scores were significantly lower with Johrei
  • No significant changes in IgA levels, cortisol levels, DHEA, and a negative correlation between cortisol and DHEA levels

Among 21 people in residential substance-abuse treatment 12 received three, 20-minute Johrei sessions for 5 weeks in addition to their regular treatment. Results:

  • Participants showed significant decreases in stress/depression and physical pain
  • Increases in positive emotional/spiritual state, energy, and overall well-being after an individual Johrei healing session
  • No difference in substance use between the groups

236 people rated 21 items pertaining to feelings plus an overall well-being measure before and after a Johrei session. Results:

  • Receivers experienced a significantly greater decrease in negative emotional state than givers
  • Givers and receivers experienced a comparable increase in positive emotional state and overall well-being

It appears that this “un-touchy, un-feely” intervention results in subjective changes in the absence of objective metabolic changes. OK, maybe that’s as much as can be expected.

But what, other than the presence of the treatment giver, might account for the subjective changes seen? More importantly, besides “feeling better,” what significant outcomes are changed? Or, is “feeling better” sufficient?

Illustration: Associazione d’italia

9/15/06 20:24 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.