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Clear and authoritative, this unique book explores the results and clinical implications of research in spiritual healing, energy medicine, and the effects of intentionality. Rigorously evaluating the science of healing intention, it also makes recommendations for future research and investigations on the impact of spiritual healing practices in the clinical setting.
• Provides the most authoritative discussion of the science of healing intention and energy medicine.
• Offers a clear analysis and assessment of research results and their relative quality.
• Explores the clinical implications for research results and demonstrates how they may be applied in practice.
• Provides guidelines for further research and study on the subject.
With 21 expert contributors.
Critical summaries of current research on spiritual healing
The health impact of religious and spiritual practices
Intercessory prayer and healing prayer
Direct mental interactions with living systems (DMILS)
Research on mind-matter interactions (MMI)
Research on mind-matter interactions (MMI) involving FieldReg
Non-sensory access to information: remote viewing
Non-sensory access to information: The Ganzfeild Studies
"Energy" healing research
Qigong: basic science studies
Qigong clinical studies
The therapeutic effects of music
Laboratory research on bioenergy and healing
The impact of healing in a clinical setting
Methodological challenges for research on spiritual healing
The phenomenology of prayer and healing practices
A qualitative research perspective on healing
Measurement descriptors and outcome measures
Outcomes research: costs and quality of life
Randomized clinical trials summary
Methods and issues of laboratory research
Challenges for healing and intentionality research: causation and information
Challenges for healing and intentionality research: social dynamics involved in entering the mainstream
Annotated bibliography of clinical research on spiritual healing
A comprehensive bibliography of spiritual healing, "energy" medicine and mental intention research
Posted April 2, 2007
This book reviews the research on distant and spiritual healing, mind-matter interaction, intentionality and energy medicine. Jonas and Crawford, both of the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Maryland, evaluate more than 2,200 studies, in ten areas. Using the accepted criteria of scientific evidence, they graded each of the ten A to F, from A the highest, with at least three independent, high-quality studies, to F the lowest. The results were: religious practices - D, prayer - B, `energy¿ healing - B, Qigong (laboratory research) - C, Qigong (clinical research) - F, laboratory research on bio-energy - B, direct mental interaction with living systems: electrodermal activity - B, direct mental interaction with living systems: remote staring - B, research on mind-matter interactions: individuals ¿ A, research on mind-matter interactions: groups ¿ E. The only area which meets Jonas and Crawford¿s standard is not a study of any kind of healing or energy medicine, but research on mind-matter interactions. As they write, ¿Of all the research described in the book, the REG [random event generator] data set is the only one in which there are experiments that meet all of the standard quality criteria and as such are considered fully adequate as evidence.¿ This is a meta-analysis of 42 studies `examining attempts by individuals to influence random systems¿, presented in chapter 7, `Non-sensory access to information: the ganzfeld studies¿, by Marilyn Schlitz and Dean Radin, both of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California. How strong is this element, the strongest part of their whole case? Schlitz and Radin found that the worse the study, the more likely it was to find a significant effect. Only 28 of the studies even reported the results of these attempts to influence random systems. Why didn¿t the other 14? Was it because their success rates were so low? Even on the basis of this skewed sample, the success rate was only one in three. It¿s good that our real senses don¿t work this badly: if we only had a one in three chance of seeing a lorry coming towards us, we wouldn¿t last very long! Schlitz and Radin conclude, ¿we can only speculate that some forms of intuitive medical diagnosis may have a telepathic component.¿ Speculate? Some forms? May have? And why is it suddenly just about diagnosis, not about any form of healing at all? What an admission that the whole approach is bankrupt! In general, healing - spiritual healing or healing at a distance - and energy medicine depend on breaking the known, proven laws of nature. As the philosopher David Hume noted long ago, it is always more likely that somebody is mistaken or lying than that natural law has been broken. Supporters of healing and energy medicine use terms like `energy¿, `vital force¿ and `psyche¿ to describe something that allegedly can exist independently of our bodies. Again, none of these studies present any evidence for such a thing. In fact, there has never been any reliable evidence of life existing without a body, never any reliable evidence of a mind existing without a living brain to support it. In the final chapter, David Hufford, of the Department of Humanities at Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, claims that osteopathy has ¿changed almost beyond recognition as the cost of entry to even marginal acceptance by the medical mainstream¿ ¿ a ludicrously overstated claim, and a slur on both osteopathy and mainstream medicine. Of course, supporters of healing and energy medicine have to decry health practices that do work, to make room for healing and energy medicine. If healing and energy medicine did work, all the health professions, including osteopathy, would be unnecessary. In sum, the evidence presented in Jonas and Crawford¿s book proves that healing and energy medicine do not work. As they sum up, ¿Conclusive evidence that these mental interactions result in healing of specific illnesses is lacking.¿ NoneWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.