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.

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  • Recent Comments

    Distinguishing between reiki and therapeutic touch

    Actually, it’s not that easy to do.

    Several years ago, Dr. Pamela Potter was supervising Reiki volunteers at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut as a doctoral candidate in the School of Nursing.

    She’s qualified, if anyone is, to distinguish between these two disciplines.

    According to Dr. Potter, “The differences between Reiki and therapeutic touch (TT) are not found in the outcomes, which include relaxation, decreased anxiety, feelings of well-being, and healing.” In fact, she continues, “The distinctions between TT and Reiki appear to be qualitative” as opposed to quantitative.

    What about the implications for research?

    Planning studies to evaluate the effectiveness of Reiki and TT pose several challenges. For example, “when Reiki is compared to mock treatment in a control group there is the risk that benign touch will exert treatment effects beyond placebo. Another research challenge is to choose healers from those who represent the modality being studied as purely as possible. Yet, many healers are hybrid healers … who use a composite of healing techniques.”

    Dr. Potter is currently on faculty at the University of Portland, in Oregon. The fact that she is addressing these issues is a positive sign for both disciplines. I wish her success.

    7/6/06 19:23 JR

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