16th How much has been scientifically understood about Energy Healing?

Kiyoshi Suzuki, MD, PhD
President, MOA Health Science Foundation

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM, now NCCIH, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health) invested significant research funding into Energy Healings from the 1980s to the 2000s. Although the research funding for Western medicine is small, even famous universities have begun researching Energy Healing. At that time, Energy Healing was widespread in hospitals and other places, so I think they wanted to see how effective it was. Thanks to these researches, research on Energy Healing has made great progress, and some nurses have voluntarily obtained certifications for administration of various Energy Healings and they are now able to administer the therapy on patients.


Okada Purifying Therapy, which is one of the Okada Health and Wellness Programs, is also a type of Energy Healing.


Unfortunately, the existence of bioenergy itself has not yet been proven, and so far we have only been able to provide indirect proof of changes that occur in living organisms that undergo administration of Purifying Therapy. Nevertheless, some interesting results were obtained, as described below.

1.How do we prove the effectiveness of Energy Healing?

The Consciousness and Healing Initiative is an international energy healing research group, and the MOA Health Science Center is collaborating with this group on research.


In order to prove the effectiveness of a drug, the most reliable method is to ask the person to take either a real drug or a “fake” drug without telling them, and then observe the changes (random comparison test). For this reason, overseas countries often use a method of having actors imitate administration of Energy Healing to find out the difference between a “fake” and real administration of Energy Healing. All of the results presented below use this method.


2.Energy Healing has more effects than “fake” administration of Energy Healing

I would like to introduce an interesting paper recently published by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, known as an authority on cancer treatment in the United States. Of the 20 mice that were experimentally implanted with cancer cells, 10 were given the administration of Energy Healing by a famous healer, and the remaining 10 were given “administration of Energy Healing” by researchers who imitated the healers.


When the cancer tissues were examined two weeks later, it was found that the cancers in the mice that received the administration of Energy Healing from a real healer had many dead or dying cells, and a large number of immune cells had gathered around them (Figure 1, Integrated Cancer Therapies 2020). Since the mice would not be able to tell whether they received the administration of Energy Healing from a real healer, we can say that this difference was caused by the administration of Energy Healing.


According to a highly reliable paper that compiled and analyzed 66 papers on Energy Healing, real administration of Energy Healing are more effective than “fake” administration in relieving various types of pain, reducing abnormal behavior associated with dementia, and it reduced pain and anxiety in hospitalized patients (Figure 2, Int J Behav Med 2010). There are also reports that it alleviates depression and fatigue and improves the immune function in cancer patients (Brain Behav and Immun 2010, Cancer 2012).


3.What is the goal of Energy Healing research?

While there are papers like this, there are also many papers that are negative about the effectiveness of the administration of Energy Healing (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, etc.). Since bioenergy itself cannot be proven, it is impossible to directly refute the criticism that the effects of Energy Healing therapy are due to mere mental assumptions. We look forward to the emergence of more advanced science.


However, many Energy Healings are based on the traditional and religious beliefs of those who believe in their effectiveness, and are often aimed at improving mental and spiritual health, rather than just treating illnesses. Therefore, the Western medical method of only trying to prove the therapeutic effect on disease, while omitting the psychological effect, is unsuitable for research on Energy Healing. Development of new research methods is desired.


While there are many people who do not believe in the effectiveness of Energy Healing therapy, there are also people who are overconfident in the effectiveness of Energy Healing and do not want to receive the treatment they should receive. I spent the first half of my life as a doctor researching Western medicine, and the second half of my life researching Energy Healing. Based on that experience, I believe that modern medicine should incorporate the mental and spiritual healing properties of Energy Healing.


I also hope that those who believe in Energy Healing will receive Western medical treatment depending on their situation, knowing the effectiveness of objective administration of Energy Healing. I believe that this will lead to mutual understanding and the birth of a new medicine that aims for true health beyond integrative medicine.


Next time, I will talk about the Arts and Culture Program. Seeing something beautiful can soothe one’s heart, but to what extent has its effect been scientifically proven? Please look forward to it.

Kiyoshi Suzuki
Graduated from Chiba University School of Medicine in 1981. medical doctor. After working as Deputy Director of Pediatrics at Sakakibara Memorial Hospital, Seijo Clinic, (Medicine) Tamagawakai MOA Takanawa Clinic and Tokyo Medical Clinic Director, president of MOA Health Science Center and Honorary Director of Tokyo Medical Wellness Center. Director of The Society for Integrative Medicine Japan and Chairman of the International Committee. In 1994, he received the Young Investigator’s Award from the Japanese Society of Pediatric Cardiology.