Spiritual healing practices like Reiki and Johrei are often relegated to the realm of pseudoscience, which is why it’s so interesting when there are legitimate scientific studies done to measure their effects in tangible ways.
A 2004 study measured the effects of “healing intention” – a concept relevant to the traditional Japanese practice of Johrei – on both living human brain cells, and on non-living randomly generated numbers.
The study concluded that the effects of healing intention on physical aspects of the human body and environment are weak, but cumulative, meaning that only large doses of healing intention had a noticeable impact on the outcome of cell growth.
This study is not the only one to measure non-traditional methods of what is often called “energy healing” – one study used seed germination as a biomarker in measuring the effects of music, noise and healing energy on living cell growth, concluding that “sound vibrations (music and noise) as well as biofields (bioelectromagnetic and healing intention) both directly affect living biologic systems”.
A third study examined “compassionate intention as a therapeutic intervention by partners of cancer patients” and discovered that healing intention directed towards a cancer patient was correlated strongly with activation of that person’s autonomic nervous system. ”
Strong motivation to heal and to be healed, and training on how to cultivate and direct compassionate intention, may further enhance this effect,” the study added.
While it’s currently hard to measure the often intangible effects of healing energy on human bodies, these studies all show promising results. There is definitely a need for more legitimate scientific studies on this matter.