A new pilot study shows reiki may reduce colonoscopy patients’ anxiety and need for post-procedure pain medication. Reiki is a form of energy work often practiced by massage therapists.

The study examined the use of reiki prior to colonoscopy to reduce anxiety and minimize intraprocedure medications compared with usual care, according to an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov. A prospective, nonblinded, partially randomized patient-preference design was employed, using 21 subjects undergoing colonoscopy for the first time.

Although the experimental group patients had more symptoms, they did not require additional pain medication during the procedure, suggesting that: anxious people may benefit from an adjunctive therapy; anxiety and pain are decreased by reiki therapy for patients undergoing colonoscopy; and additional intraprocedure pain medication may not be needed for colonoscopy patients receiving reiki therapy, the abstract noted.

“This pilot study provided important insights in preparation for a rigorous, randomized, controlled clinical trial,” the authors wrote.

The results were published in Gastroenterology Nursing, the journal of the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates.

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