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by Toni Bunnell PhD

The following was published in abstract form in the Journal: Research in Complementary Medicine, December, 1996;3:265-340, p314, 3rd Annual Symposium on Complementary Health Care, Exeter, UK, 11-13 December 1996


To test the hypothesis that hands-on healing influences the activity of enzymes, which in turn might account for the many reports that healing stimulates the body's own healing processes.


The rate of breakdown of egg albumen by a 1% pepsin solution, at 40(C and pH of 3.8, was followed in three test tubes using a DMS 100 UV visible spectrophotometer at a wavelength of 470nm. Prior to mixing, one test tube of enzyme was exposed to a healer's hands, a second to a non-healer's hands while the third remained untreated. The procedure for this double-blind study was carried out three times.


Using the 't' test for paired samples as the mode of statistical analysis, in all three trials the 'healed' enzyme was found to have a significantly higher level of activity than the untreated control (P( 0.01) and in one trial to differ significantly from the unhealed control (P( 0.01). In all three trials the ‘healed’ enzyme was found to be more active than the unhealed enzyme.


These preliminary studies suggest that 'hands-on' healing may be having an enhancing effect on the activity of pepsin which would speed up protein breakdown and thus aid digestion. Until further studies are carried out, however, such claims must remain speculative.

Important note: I am very keen to receive information from, and/or enter into discussion with, people interested in the following:
1. Developing a theory to explain the mechanism by which hands-on healing/therapeutic touch/reiki/polarity therapy works
2. Determining, if at all possible, the nature of the 'healing energy'
3. Examining the connection between the mind-body link and current theories on immunity

The author can be contacted by email at tonibunnell2018@gmail.com

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