The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    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.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Is there a role for reiki in medicine?

    Professor Ernst finds that “The value of reiki remains unproven.”

    First, the details.

    • 9 studies were of sufficient quality to review.

    And, the results.


    • 2 studies suggested beneficial effects of reiki vs sham control on depression.
    • 1 failed to find benefit.

    Pain and anxiety

    • 1 study reported benefit vs sham control.

    Stress and hopelessness

    • 1 study reported effects of reiki and distant reiki vs distant sham control.


    • No differences with reiki or functional recovery after ischemic stroke vs sham reiki.

    Pregnant women

    • No difference in anxiety in pregnant women undergoing amniocentesis.

    Diabetic neuropathy

    • No effects of reiki on pain.

    Breast biopsy

    • No effects on anxiety and depression in women undergoing breast biopsy vs conventional care.

    The bottom line?
    “Trial data for any one condition are scarce and independent replications are not available for each condition. Most trials suffered from methodological flaws such as small sample size, inadequate study design and poor reporting,” concluded the authors.

    I found almost 500 published articles on reiki since 1994. Yet, the authors found only 9 studies worth reviewing.

    One article stated, “Reiki is presently practiced by 200,000 practitioners throughout the world.” At least by allopathic criteria as followed by Prof. Ernst, “The value of reiki remains unproven.”

    5/21/08 22:20 JR

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