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The Efficacy of Reiki in the Treatment of Fibromyalgia

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. 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)

Brief Summary:
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.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Fibromyalgia Procedure: Reiki (distant and direct-contact) Phase 1

Detailed Description:

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.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Enrollment : 100 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Efficacy of Reiki in the Treatment of Fibromyalgia
Study Start Date : January 2003
Study Completion Date : February 2005

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Fibromyalgia

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

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

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00051428

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United States, Washington
Univ of WA - CFS/FM Research Center
Seattle, Washington, United States, 98104
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
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Principal Investigator: Dedra S. Buchwald University of Washington
Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00051428    
Other Study ID Numbers: R21AT001075-01 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: January 15, 2003    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 18, 2006
Last Verified: August 2006
Keywords provided by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):
Fibromyalgia, Reiki, Energy Medicine
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Myofascial Pain Syndromes
Muscular Diseases
Musculoskeletal Diseases
Rheumatic Diseases
Neuromuscular Diseases
Nervous System Diseases