The Efficacy of Distant Healing

  title={The Efficacy of Distant Healing},
  author={John A. Astin and Elaine F Harkness and Edzard Ernst},
  journal={Annals of Internal Medicine},
The widespread use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), commonly defined as therapies that are neither taught widely in U.S. medical schools nor generally available in U.S. hospitals (1), is now well documented. Results of several national surveys in the United States and elsewhere suggest that up to 40% of the adult population has in the preceding year used some form of CAM to treat health-related problems (1-5). In part because of the increasing use of CAM by the public, there has… 

The need for scientific rigor in studies of complementary and alternative medicine.

  • E. Ernst
  • Medicine
    American journal of public health
  • 2004
Clinical trials, particularly those in controversial areas such as healing, should be conducted according to accepted standards of scientific rigor, and uncontrolled studies using questionnaires or other soft endpoints are prone to create more confusion than knowledge.

Complementary and Alternative Therapies

In this study population, visits to CAM practitioners exceeded total visits to primary care physicians, and more than 50% of the patients had a musculoskeletal disease (arthritis, back, or neck pain).

[Procedures of complementary medicine. Spiritual healing and healing through prayer: a discussion paper].

  • H. Walach
  • Philosophy
    Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz
  • 2006
Spiritual healing and healing through prayer have been among the methods for healing diseases of mankind since time immemorial. Even today they are quite popular in many parts of the Western world,

Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion: Regulating Potential Abuse of Authority by Spiritual Healers

Use of caring or healing touch is increasingly described as potentially useful in various health care settings, from acute care, to surgery, to obstetrical nursing practice; and Reiki, a Japanese form of energy healing, has even been used in efforts to help survivors recover from torture.

Spiritual role in healing. An alternative way of thinking.

An Overview of Four Nonpharmacologic Complementary and Alternative Medicine Modalities

Embracing a holistic approach to care may enable pharmacists to optimize the pharmaceutical care they provide to all their patients and lead to more robust, valid, reliable, and uniform methodologic approaches.

The Efficacy of Spiritual Healing

  • K. Atwood
  • Medicine
    Annals of Internal Medicine
  • 2001
There is no good evidence for a therapeutic effect of intercessory prayer or other forms of distant healing, and any apparent effect of therapeutic touch, although slight, is entirely explicable by ordinary means, such as the placebo effect.

Healing, a Concept Analysis

An OHE is comprised of people in relationships, their health-creating and healing behaviors, and the surrounding physical environment that supports and stimulates patient healing by addressing the social, psychological, physical, spiritual, and behavioral aspects of health.

Complementary and alternative medicine.

Prayer and Cardiovascular Disease

Prayer has been an important part of human existence for thousands of years. People turn to a prayer in times of reflection, gratitude, and crisis, including physical illness. Surveys have shown that



A randomized double-blind study of the effect of distant healing in a population with advanced AIDS. Report of a small scale study.

Data support the possibility of a DH effect in AIDS and suggest the value of further research.

Use of non-orthodox and conventional health care in Great Britain.

Patients of non-orthodox health care, as provided by this group of practitioners, had not turned their backs on conventional health care and used most frequently as a supplement to orthodox medicine.

Evaluating distant healing: a research review.

  • E. Targ
  • Psychology
    Alternative therapies in health and medicine
  • 1997
Some of the most compelling evidence for a genuine distant healing effect are discussed and correctable methodological issues that frequently confound research in this area are identified.

The effects of therapeutic touch on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.

A randomized trial of distant healing for skin warts.


Religious commitment and health status: a review of the research and implications for family medicine.

Empirical data suggest that practitioners who make several small changes in how patients' religious commitments are broached in clinical practice may enhance health care outcomes.