The Effect of Energy Healing on Behavioral Symptoms and Cortisol in Persons with Dementia

In the June 2009 edition of the journal Research in Complementary Medicine in an article entitled 'The effect of therapeutic touch on behavioral symptoms and cortisol in persons with dementia', University of Los Angeles School of Nursing researchers found that therapeutic touch (a form of energy healing) significantly reduced restlessness and stress hormone production in a study of 64 residents, aged 67-93 years.

Researchers stated that "Between 75–90% of nursing home (NH) residents with dementia develop behavioral symptoms (BSD) which may be associated with a stress response."

Researchers found that "restlessness was significantly reduced in the experimental group compared to the control group (p = 0.03). There was a significant difference in morning cortisol variability among groups across time periods (p < 0.0001). Findings suggest that therapeutic touch may be effective for management of symptoms like restlessness coupled with stress reduction."

"At a time when cost containment is a consideration in health care, therapeutic touch is an intervention that is non-invasive, readily learned, and can provide a non-pharmacologic alternative for selected persons with behavioral symptoms of dementia."

The full text of this article is available here.