by Adara L. Walton, PhD
Chronic pain is a problem that affects a sizeable percentage of the population, with significant costs to both the individual and society.
Often caused by a complex interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors, chronic pain is notoriously difficult to treat, and both patients and medical practitioners would benefit from additional options (particularly those that are low-cost and noninvasive). This study examined the effects of Quantum-Touch (QT), a complementary therapy for which there is anecdotal evidence but no published research.
Participants (N = 12) were screened and selected from a group of patients who (a) were being treated for chronic musculoskeletal pain at a clinic in rehabilitative and physical medicine and (b) had expressed an interest in incorporating holistic therapy into their treatment regimen. Participants were randomized based on gender into experimental (n = 6) and control groups (n = 6).
After identifying a particular area of their body that would be the focus of treatment, participants in the experimental group received light hands-on touch including QT; those in the control group received only light hands-on touch. Participants received a 30-min treatment session every 2 weeks across an 8-week time frame.
At the start and end of each session, they assessed their pain on the 0- to 10-point Pain Rating Scale (Matheson & Associates, 2005). Participants also completed a Functional Questionnaire before the first treatment session and after the final treatment session, to assess their range of ability on common everyday tasks and movements.
Statistical analysis revealed that pain decreased significantly for both men and women in the experimental group (-63%; p < .05). The control group showed no significant improvement. A similar pattern emerged in a comparison of the pre- and post-study Functional Questionnaire responses, with the experimental group reporting improvement in standing, walking, and general range of motion and the control group reporting no change.
Although future studies will need to incorporate a larger sample size, an array of validated assessments, and longitudinal approach into their design, these initial findings suggest that even very brief exposure to QT techniques can help reduce musculoskeletal pain in chronic sufferers.
Keywords: chronic pain, complementary therapies, holistic, musculoskeletal pain, Quantum-Touch
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