Nappaland Research Papers

New Articles

Access to these articles is free and the link will take you directly to the article.

The following article captures some of the methodological issues in biofield therapy research.

Integrative Care Therapies and Physiological and Pain-related Outcomes in Hospitalized Infants

Using Healing Touch to Help Junior Nursing Students with Their Anxiety

A Critical Analysis of Healing Touch for Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety Dissertation by Christina R. Harlow

Effect of Biofield Therapy in the Human Brain

Can We Help Just by Good Intentions? A Meta-Analysis of Experiments on Distant Intention Effects

Earthing (Grounding) the Human Body Reduces Blood Viscosity - a Major Factor in Cardiovascular Disease

An Ongoing Critical Evaluation of Reiki in the Scientific Literature
This article is about the Touchstone process, which is a method used to evaluate Reiki. Interesting article as many of the issues are similar to Healing Touch research.

Healing Touch Research Studies

Presented below is a list of current research studies, completed research studies and clinical trials. There have been nearly 100 research studies conducted and documented. As this website grows we will add more studies and research categories. Check back often, as this section will grow.

Below you will find resources to locate published research studies.

Latest Healing Touch Research

Integrative Care Therapies and Physiological and Pain-related Outcomes in Hospitalized Infants
Hathway, Luberto, Bogenschutz, Geiss, Wasson & Cotton (2015), Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 4 (4), 32-37 doi:abs10.7453gahmj.2015.029

Management of pain in newborns is very challenging for the healthcare teams that work with these infants. A University of Cincinnati team recently published a study exploring the impact of massage (M) and Healing Touch (HT) on neonatal pain using four pre/post outcome measures associated with pain including therapist-rated pain, presentation of the infant (sleep to agitated), infant's heart rate and oxygen saturation.

The study was done retrospectively and used paired sample t-tests to examine the association between pain ratings for infants who received M and HT. 186 infants were included in the study which means that there was a large database to pull form. Of those 186- 62% received both M & HT. From pre and post therapy significant changes were seen in these infants' heart rates p

These observed improvements suggest that massage and HT used in combination may be useful therapies to improve comfort and reduce pain in neonates. No untoward effects were reported.

Important points about this type of study (as compared to a randomized clinical trial) include: there was no control group (infants acted as own control), and there was no control of variables (time of day, pain medication etc) or method of delivery of Massage or HT. In some ways this makes the study more pragmatic as the practitioners would have delivered the therapies based on their actual energy based assessment of need vs. a "prescribed" dose or method of massage or HT.

For those working in Neonatal environments, this study is worth sharing with decision makers about the inclusion of integrative therapies in neonatal environments. As always, more research is needed to support these conclusions.

Healing Touch with guided imagery for PTSD in returning active duty military: A randomized controlled trial. Military Medicine, 177 (9), 1015-1021, T Jain, S., McMahon, G.F. , Hasen, P., Kozub, M.P., Porter, V., King, R. & Guarneri, E.M. (2012).

A recent study published in Military Medicine compared the impact of Healing Touch and Guided Imagery plus treatment as usual in the study group (HT+GI + TAU) to treatment as usual only (TAU) in the control group on PTSD symptoms, depression, quality of life and hostility in active duty military personnel. The group of 123 participants were randomly assigned to receive either 6 sessions of HT+GI+ TAU over 3 weeks vs. TAU over 3 weeks. Statistical analyses (repeated measures analysis of covariance with intent-to-treat) revealed statistically and clinically significant reduction in PTSD symptoms (p < 0.0005, Cohen’s d = 0.85) as well as depression (p < 0.0005, Cohen’s d = 0.70) for the group receiving HT+GI vs. TAU. This same group also showed significant improvements in mental quality of life (p = 0.002, Cohen’s d = 0.58) and reduced cynicism (p = 0.001, Cohen’s d =0.49) vs. TAU group.

This well conducted study supports the use of HT in the care of military personnel with PTSD. Further study is warranted.

Click here for Full Article.

Biofield Therapies: Helpful or Full of Hype? A Best Evidence Synthesis, International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, October 24, 2009. Click here for Full Article.

Research Resources

PubMed - PubMed is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that includes over 17 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to the 1950s. PubMed includes links to full text articles and other related resources.

PubMed Tutorial - to learn how to use PubMed.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) - The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is the Federal Government's lead agency for scientific research on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). They are 1 of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

NCCAM Research Resources.

Google Scholar - Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature.

Features of Google Scholar:

  • Search diverse sources from one convenient place
  • Find papers, abstracts and citations
  • Locate the complete paper through your library or on the web
  • Learn about key papers in any area of research

How to use Google Scholar Search.

Healing Touch International Research - A summary of studies on Healing Touch. More complete information about these studies is available in the Healing Touch International Research Survey.

The 2015 science research that set the Internet abuzz included a super antibiotic, plastics pollution in the ocean, climate change, and species extinction, according to Altmetric, a start-up that analyzes online activity surrounding academic papers.

Research never rests: every year thousands of scientific articles are published across dozens of journals and disciplines. Some studies capture the media’s attention and get coverage in numerous news stories; others speak to a more niche audience and take off in passionate social media discussions. For the second year Altmetric has compiled a list of the top 100 academic articles of the year. They studied the attention garnered by scientific articles from November 2014 up until November 16, 2015, examining how papers fared in news coverage and social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, and the popular Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo. They also looked to see if studies were referenced by Wikipedia and policy papers outlining plans of actions written by analysts and think tanks.

To be clear, theirs is not a list of the most important studies of 2015. “It’s not about quality, necessarily, or even always about impact,” says Stacy Konkiel, an outreach manager at Altmetric. “We’re just looking at attention.” That explains how the twentieth overall story achieved its rank. On the surface, it was a paleontology paper. But it wasn’t the new horned dinosaur that interested the public: It was a marriage proposal tucked away in the paper’s footnotes.

This year’s list includes studies from 34 different journals—both traditional and open access, the latter of which is steadily gaining ground and tends to get more of a boost from social media. Forty-two of the top 100 studies came from an open access journal.

More than half of the hottest studies were health-related, with environment-related studies trending right behind. Some of these studies might have gotten a boost from the attention on climate change due to the COP21 talks in Paris. These papers were particularly successful with traditional news coverage, with some having more than 100 news articles written about them.

Health and environment are typically hot topics, but there were surprises too: On the list was a story that gained quite a bit of traction (the eighth most popular article) despite the fact it didn’t belong to either of the popular categories and only had two news articles written about it. The study, which compared the time effectiveness of major document preparation systems (word processors, such as Microsoft Word and the science-beloved LaTeX,) used by researchers to create their manuscripts saw 1,000 more tweets than any of the other top ten articles. “That is very surprising to me, personally, because it’s such a niche audience,” Konkiel says. “It obviously captured the interest of scientists who are very active on social media.”

The most-tweeted about article, a psychology study investigating whether or not sexist video games imparted sexist attitudes or mindsets onto the people who played them, was also an outlier. The study shared the most via Facebook, on the other hand, was about Homo erectus using shells as tools. Neither, clearly, involved health or environment. “We’re definitely seeing social media amplify studies that the mainstream media wouldn’t pick up,” Konkiel says. “As long as there’s an active community on social media, we see stories that otherwise might be niche get a lot of attention as measured by our score.”

“It’s not just about how many citations you’ve got or the impact factor of the journal you’ve published in, it’s who’s they’re sharing it with, and if they’re incorporating it into their day to day lives,” Konkiel says.

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