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Healthwatch: Fibromialgia Treatment

By: Eric Singer
By: Eric Singer

Seattle researchers are launching the first study to prove “energy healing” is an option for patients suffering from Fibromyalgia.

For the most part traditional medicine has failed in curing it and patients continue to live with the pain. But, an ancient Japanese alternative called Reiki may offer hope.

Micki Flowers checks out this alternative therapy. After years of suffering, Susan Guse is still looking for an effective, long-lasting treatment. It mainly makes me tired, irritable and achy. Susan says while exercise has helped some, medications failed. Now she is willing to try something new.

“I am going to lightly touch over your eyes, and you just kind of totally relax.” This is an ancient Japanese therapy called Reiki. The Reiki therapist is trained to deliver so-called “universal life energy” into the patient’s body to restore balance and promote healing. We don’t, of course, know what really happens. But in my experience with Reiki and talking to patients who have had Reike, they feel some kind of energy. They feel warmth, tingling, peace. The just feel better.

What may sound like science fiction to some has captured the interest of researchers at the University of Washington and Harborview. They are launching the first; government supported study to see if they can prove with hard science that Reiki works for Fibromyalgia patients. If it does – how? Dr. Nassim Assefi heads up the research.

It may be just receiving touch. It may be a honed kind of warmth, compassion and presence with the patient, or maybe there is this kind of “energy” that is being delivered to the body to restore wholeness and well being.

The researchers hope to have answers for patients like Susan Guse by Spring of 2004. Two benefits of Reiki – it is safe and can be self-administered. The University of Washington is hoping to recruit 100 Fibromyalgia patients for study.


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