Feasibility of Energy Medicine in a Community Teaching Hospital: An Exploratory Case Series

To read full article click this link http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/acm.2014.0157

Dufresne Francois, Simmons Bonnie, Vlachostergios Panagiotis J., Fleischner Zachary, Joudeh Ramsey, Blakeway Jill, and Julliard Kell. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. June 2015, 21(6): 339-349. doi:10.1089/acm.2014.0157.


Published in Volume: 21 Issue 6: June 2, 2015
Online Ahead of Print: May 26, 2015



Background: Energy medicine (EM) derives from the theory that a subtle biologic energy can be influenced for therapeutic effect. EM practitioners may be trained within a specific tradition or work solo. Few studies have investigated the feasibility of solo-practitioner EM in hospitals.

Objective: This study investigated the feasibility of EM as provided by a solo practitioner in inpatient and emergent settings.

Design: Feasibility study, including a prospective case series.

Settings: Inpatient units and emergency department.

Outcome measures: To investigate the feasibility of EM, acceptability, demand, implementation, and practicality were assessed. Short-term clinical changes were documented by treating physicians.

Participants: Patients, employees, and family members were enrolled in the study only if study physicians expected no or slow improvement in specific symptoms. Those with secondary gains or who could not communicate perception of symptom change were excluded.

Results: EM was found to have acceptability and demand, and implementation was smooth because study procedures dovetailed with conventional clinical practice. Practicality was acceptable within the study but was low upon further application of EM because of cost of program administration. Twenty-four of 32 patients requested relief from pain. Of 50 reports of pain, 5 (10%) showed no improvement; 4 (8%), slight improvement; 3 (6%), moderate improvement; and 38 (76%), marked improvement. Twenty-one patients had issues other than pain. Of 29 non–pain-related problems, 3 (10%) showed no, 2 (7%) showed slight, 1 (4%) showed moderate, and 23 (79%) showed marked improvement. Changes during EM sessions were usually immediate.


Conclusions: This study successfully implemented EM provided by a solo practitioner in inpatient and emergent hospital settings and found that acceptability and demand justified its presence. Most patients experienced marked, immediate improvement of symptoms associated with their chief complaint. Substantial practicality issues must be addressed to implement EM clinically in a hospital, however.

Patient example 1

Patient 31 was a 45-year-old woman with a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer since 2003. Given the progression of her disease, pain became a major morbidity. On this admission, she presented with severe upper abdominal pain that had worsened in the previous 2 days. She reported that pain intensified with movement or touching of the affected area. During EM, she lay on her bed. In the room were two medical attendings and the EM practitioner. On initial assessment, the patient stated that her abdominal pain was improved to a score of 6 of 10 since admission but that she had significant (7 of 10) mid-lower back pain. The practitioner placed his hands approximately 10 inches above her right upper abdomen for approximately 20 seconds without touching her. Immediately afterward, she rated the abdominal pain to be 0 of 10. He addressed her lower back by placing his hands several inches over her umbilicus, after which she reported a pain score of 0 of 10. The practitioner asked her about the location of the cancer and did further work on the liver area. The patient was reassessed 15 minutes later and reported a sustained relief from pain in both areas.

Patient example 2  

Patient 24 was a 72-year-old woman who presented to the emergency department with bilateral worsening knee pain, inability to walk, and inability to bend her knees. She had been told that she needed bilateral knee replacements, but her cardiac status contraindicated surgery. The patient arrived with her husband, who was sympathetic to her pain and frustrated by her inability to ambulate and the ineffectiveness of her pain medication. Before EM, her pain was 10 of 10 in both knees. She had less than 5 degrees of active range of motion. Passive range of motion was 3.5 degrees in the left knee and 0 degrees in the right knee. After the session, her pain was 0 of 10, and she had full active range of motion in both knees. She stood up and walked with a cane, smiling. Her husband applauded and said that he hadn't seen her do this in many years. 




The authors would like to thank EM practitioner Charlie Goldsmith for providing sessions free of charge; David Tompkins, MD, and Michael Timoney, MD, for design consultation; medical students Tanuj Sood and Melissa Qazi for assistance with data collection.

Francois Dufresne, Bonnie Simmons, Panagiotis J. Vlachostergios, Zachary Fleischner, Ramsey Joudeh and Kell Julliard.The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.Jun 2015.ahead of printhttp://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2014.0157

  • Published in Volume: 21 Issue 6: June 2, 2015

  • Online Ahead of Print:May 26, 2015


To read full article click this link http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/acm.2014.0157