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The Efficacy of Reiki in the Treatment of Fibromyalgia

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00051428
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : January 15, 2003
Last Update Posted : August 18, 2006
Information provided by:
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

January 9, 2003
January 15, 2003
August 18, 2006
January 2003
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Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00051428 on ClinicalTrials.gov Archive Site
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The Efficacy of Reiki in the Treatment of Fibromyalgia
The Efficacy of Reiki in the Treatment of Fibromyalgia
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of Reiki in the treatment of fibromyalgia (FM), a condition characterized by widespread muscle pain and stiffness, often accompanied by sleep disturbance, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, and psychological distress. Reiki is a form of energy medicine in which practitioners reportedly access universal life energy to heal patients, either by direct contact at specific hand positions or from a distance.

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common rheumatologic diagnoses. Treatment is generally unsatisfactory and most randomized, controlled treatment trials have been unable to demonstrate a sustained effective intervention. A vast body of anecdotal literature as well as two randomized controlled trials suggest that Reiki may be an effective treatment for FM, appearing to relieve pain and improve psychological well being. Reiki appears to have no adverse effects and can eventually be self-administered, making it a low-risk, low-cost, potentially patient-empowering intervention. This study will investigate the efficacy of Reiki in the treatment of FM.

One hundred Reiki-naive FM patients will be recruited from a chronic fatigue referral clinic and will participate in an 8-week trial. Patients will be randomized into one of two Reiki groups (direct-contact and distant Reiki) or one of two control groups (sham and placebo). Patients will receive either Reiki or placebo 16 times during the course of the study. Patients will be assessed at study entry, at Weeks 4 and 8, and 12 weeks post-treatment.

Phase 1
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Procedure: Reiki (distant and direct-contact)
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*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
February 2005
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Inclusion Criteria

  • Fibromyalgia without concurrent medical conditions associated with chronic pain, such as diabetic neuropathy, systemic lupus erythematosus, or severe degenerative joint disease
  • Willing to undergo randomization and attend treatments regularly
  • Willing to stay on a stable medical regimen during the entire 8-week trial and use only acetaminophen for breakthrough pain
  • Live within a one-hour drive of the study site

Exclusion Criteria

  • Received Reiki or any other energy medicine (Therapeutic Touch, Qi Gong, SHEN Therapy, etc.)
  • Pregnant
  • Pending litigation or disability claim related to FM
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
United States
R21AT001075-01( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
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National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
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Principal Investigator: Dedra S. Buchwald University of Washington
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
August 2006

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP