Inhibitory effects of bio-energy therapies on cancer growth. An overview of recent laboratory studies in the U.S. and its implications in cancer treatment

Author: Chen, KW
Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Conference/Journal: World Sciences and Technologies –Modernization of TCM and Materia Medica.
Date published: 2008
Other: Volume ID: 10 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: 144-52 , Word Count: 284

Background: Bioenergy therapies (such as Qigong, Reiki, Yoga, Pranic Healing, and Therapeutic touch) have reported benefits for cancer patients, but few randomized control trials were done to verify their efficacy. It is believed that laboratory study of inhibitory effects of bio-energy therapies on cancer growth may lead to an understanding of the true efficacy of bio-energy and create a foundation for future clinical trials. Methods: Typical in-vitro study involved randomly dividing lab-prepared cancer cells into different groups with one being treated by bio-energy therapy and one or more as control groups. Sometimes, controls were treated by a sham healer. Typical in vivo study involved injecting or implanting cancerous cells into mice, then randomly dividing them into various groups. The control could be either non-treatment or sham treatment; the outcomes include tumor size or survival time. Results: Most studies demonstrated some inhibitory effects of bioenergy therapies on the growth of cancer cells in comparison with control. The in vivo studies reported that the bio-energy treated group had significantly slower tumor growth or longer survival lives than those in the control. One study reported survival with a normal life cycle instead of dying in 3 weeks, and cancer-infected mice developed immune response to the same breast cancer. However, researchers are confronted with methodological challenges in choosing appropriate controls, minimizing contamination, and replicating study outcomes. Conclusion: Encouraging evidence suggests bioenergy may have inhibitory effects on cancer growth, or prolong the life of cancer-infected animals, although improvement is needed in research design and replication of the findings. Bioenergy for cancer treatment is an area that is often neglected by mainstream medicine and research, and it should be seriously examined and considered as an important supplement to conventional cancer treatment.