Three forms of healing energy work, all practiced by some massage therapists, have been identified by British researchers as having value to cancer patients and staff; however, such therapies receive little funding in the medical setting, the researchers noted.

The researchers identified 67 practitioners working at 38 cancer centers in the UK who provide reiki, Therapeutic Touch or Healing Touch to cancer patients, yet “less than half were paid or had specialist cancer training,” according to a press released published on

The researchers also found that patient self-referral was the usual route to obtaining energy-work sessions, followed by hospital nurse referral.

“Exchange of information and communication on referral possibilities between [energy work practitioner] and conventional staff needs to be improved,” the researchers noted.

“Providing [energy work] in conventional cancer care may improve patient empowerment and choice … [yet] [d]espite the value to patients, staff and healers, many services receive little financial support,” they added.

“The integration of healing into conventional cancer care in the UK” is published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice (2010 Nov;16(4):222-8).

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