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A Study of Effect of Energy Healing on in Vitro Tumor Cell Proliferation

A Study of Effect of Energy Healing on in Vitro Tumor Cell Proliferation

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Published by: Ivan Roca on Nov 13, 2011
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THEJOURNALOFALTERNATIVEANDCOMPLEMENTARYMEDICINE
Volume5,Number4,1999,
pp.
359-365MaryAnnLiebert,Inc.
AStudyoftheEffectofEnergyHealingon
InVitro
TumorCellProliferation
SONALSHAH,
l
ALFREDT.OGDEN,2CHRISTIANM.PETTKER,2 ANTHONYRAFFO,Ph.D.,2SILVIUITESCU,
MD.,
andMEHMETC.OZ,
MD.2
ABSTRACTThisstudyexaminedtheeffectofenergyhealingon
invitro
tumorcellgrowthusingthecellculturemodelsimilartothatembracedbyoncologiststoassesstheeffectofchemotherapeu-ticagents.Afterselectinganenergyhealerbasedonhisabilitytoinfluencethismodel,weassessedtheeffectsofenergytreatmentcomparedtocellsleftatambienttemperatureandto acontroltreatmentconsistingofamedicalstudentmimickingthehealer.Achi-squaretest comparingamedicalstudent'sandthepractitioner'sabilitytoinhibittumorcellgrowthby 15%associatesourpractitionerwithinhibitionoftumorcellproliferation
(p
=
0.02).Wealsofoundthatthemagnitudeofchangewastooclosetotheassay'sintrinsicmarginoferror,thus makingourquantitativedatadifficulttointerpret.Althoughenergyhealingappearstoin- fluenceseveralindicesofgrowthin
invitro
tumorcellproliferation,theseassaysarelimited intheirabilitytodefineandprovetheexistenceofthisphenomenon.Moresensitivebio- logicalassaysareneededforfurtherstudyinthisfield. INTRODUCTION
A
llopathicpractitionersofWesternmedi- cineattributeailmentstoobservabledys- functionsoforgansortothebody'sregulatory mechanisms.Althoughtheplaceboeffectsug- geststhatthemindcancausemyriadphysicalchangesinthebody,themind-bodyrelation- shipstillremainsamystery.Medicalscientistswouldconcedethataperson'smentalstatecaninfluencehisorherphysicalstate,butaremore skepticaloftheideathatapersoncanmentallyinfluenceaspectsofanotherperson'sbody.Westernsciencedoesnotcurrentlyhaveapar- adigmwithwhichtounderstandtherapiesinwhichpractitionerspurporttodeliverorchan-nelenergytoapatient,ortherapiesinwhich practitioners,usingphysicalormetaphysical means,manipulateenergyfields.Forthisrea- son,healthcarepractitionersaregenerallymore opentophysicallytangibleformsofcomple-mentarymedicinesuchasmassagetherapyor yoga,butaresuspectofhealerswhoclaimto treatpatientsthroughintenseconcentrationormeditation.Thisnegativebiaspersistsdespite thepresenceofover150studies(seeBenor,
1992
forareview)claimingtheeffectofinten- tionalhealing.Thesestudiesoftenfailtoconvincephysi- cianspracticingatlargeacademiccenters.One problemisinconsistentadherencetostrictsci-entificmethodandanalysis.Forexample,a shamtreatment,acriticalcontrolofnonspecificorunintendedinteractions,wasomittedfrom oneofthemostcompellingstudies(Wirth,
1992).
Anotherstudywithimpressiveresults
lWasrungtonUniversitySchoolofMedicine,St.Louis,Missouri. 2ColumbiaUniversity,NewYork,NewYork.
359
 
360
failedtoreportthoroughlytheirexperimentalprotocols(Chienetal.,1991).Secondly,thereisdiminishedcredibilityofstudiesinwhichin-vestigatorshavepublishedwithouttryingtogenerateanadequatesamplesize(Rein,1995)orhavefailedtoreporttheirfindingsinpeer-reviewedjournals(Chienetal.,1991;Rein,1995).Finally,wefoundthatmanyallopathicphysiciansarebiasedagainststudiesthatareperformedinsmallprivatelyfundedcentersforalternativemedicine.Thoughthedataandmethodsofthesestudiesmaybesound,theirreplicationatlargeallopathicacademiccenterscouldboosttheircredibilityintheeyesoftra-ditionalallopathicphysicians.Thisstudyattemptstoaddresssomeofthesemethodologicalproblemsbydocumentingtheeffectofoneformofintentionalhealingonasimplebiologicalmodel.Wechosean
invitro
tumorcellproliferationassaybecauseitisspe-cificandquantifiable,andbecausepreviousstudiessuggestthatenergyhealersmaybeabletoretardtumorcellgrowth(Rein,1995;Sneletal.,1995;Chienetal.,1991).Furthermore,oneproposedmechanismofintentionalhealingisthathealersareemittingelectromagnetic(orother)energyfields.Low-frequencyelectro-magneticfieldshavebeenshowntoaffectonco-genicmechanisms(Deesetal.,1996;Liburdyetal.,1993). METHODS
Studyoverview
PhaseI.Initially,healerswerescreenedinor- dertofindonethathadthehighestlikelihoodofefficacywithintheconstraintsofourmodel.ProspectivehealersweregivenoneoftwoidenticalplatesofMCF-7cells(seebelow)totreatusingtheirmodalityofchoice.Addition-ally,astudentperformedashamtreatmentonanidenticalplateofcellsbymimickingtheac-tionsofthehealer.Thisplateservedasaneg-ativecontrol.After24hoursofincubation,thecellswerecountedandcompared.Weconsid-eredahealereffectiveifheorshecouldtwooutofthethreetimesdemonstrateatleasta15%decreaseincellnumberwhencomparedtothecontrol.
SHAHETAL.
PhaseII.Thehealerwiththemostimpres-siveresultsfromthescreeningphasewasusedinamoreextensiveexperimentalphasecon-sistingoffourcelllinesandtwomorecondi-tions:(1)aplateofcellswhichremainedintheincubatorat37°C,ermed"untouched";and(2) anotherleftoutinthelaboratoryatroomtem-perature,termed"ambient."Thefourexperi-mentalconditionsareasfollows:(E):experi-mental(treatment);(C):control(shamtreatment);(U):untouched;and(A)ambient. Treatmentlasted1hour.Attreatmenttime,thecellswereremovedfromtheincubator,broughttotheexperimentalroom,andplacedonadeskwithachairinfrontofit.Ourprac-titionerthenheldhishandsoverthecells,sometimespointingatthewells,sometimesholdinghispalmsoverthecells.Onceortwiceduringthetreatment,hegentlyshookthecellswithoutliftingthem,usingaslowback-and-forthmovement.Also,hewouldoftenmakeawipingmotionabovecellsthatlookedlikehewaspullingsomethingoutoftheair.Forap-proximatelythelast20minutesoftreatment,thepractitionersatdowninthechairandme-diated.Duringeachtreatment,astudentwatchedthepractitionerfromtheothersideoftheroomandnotedspecificmovements.Atnotimedidthepractitionerremovetheprotectivecoveringofthecellplates.Aftertreatment,thestudentreplacedthecellculturesintheincu-bator.Toprovideanegativecontrol,eitherbe- foreoraftertheexperimentaltreatment(inarandomizedfashion),astudentperformedashamtreatment,inthesameroomandpositionandforthesameamountoftime.Afterwards,thestudentreplacedthecellsintheincubator.Onceallthecellswerebackintheincubator,ascientistsnotinvolvedinthestudylabeledtheplatesinordertoblindtheinvestigatorsinallsubsequentsteps.Theplatesandtheircorre-spondingtreatmentswerematchedonlyafterallthecountswerereadandanalyzed.
Practitioner
Ourpractitioner,FrankHuo,hasstudied Yuanjimedicinefor18yearsandcurrentlypracticesundertheYuanjiScienceWorldwideCorporation.YuanjimedicineisatraditionalChinesesciencededicatedtohealingthedis-

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