The effect of Johrei healing on substance abuse recovery: A pilot study

Audrey J. Brooks, Gary E. Schwartz, Katie Reece, Gerry Nangle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of the present study was to determine the effectiveness of Johrei healing, a form of energy healing, on substance use and psychologic symptoms in a sample of clients receiving substance abuse treatment. Methods: Twenty-one (21) persons in residential substance-abuse treatment participated in a randomized, wait-list control pilot study of Johrei healing. Twelve (12) of the participants received three 20-minute Johrei sessions for 5 weeks in addition to their regular treatment. Results: The results are from the first treatment wave. Individual healing sessions were evaluated pre-post with the Johrei Experience Scale. Participants showed significant decreases in stress/depression and physical pain and increases in positive emotional/spiritual state, energy, and overall well-being after an individual Johrei healing session. The Global Assessment of Individual Need (GAIN), Profile of Mood States (POMS), General Alcoholics Anonymous Tools of Recovery, and 12-Step Participation scales were administered before and after the 5-week intervention to assess change in substance use, psychologic distress, mood, and 12-Step participation. Improvements in depression and trauma symptoms, externalizing behaviors (GAIN), and vigor (POMS) were found for the treatment group. Despite comparable 12-Step attendance the treatment group showed greater improvement than the wait-list control group in the use of 12-Step recovery tools. No difference in substance use was found between the two groups. Conclusions: Variables related to substance use and relapse showed improvement in the treatment group suggesting that Johrei healing shows promise and should be studied with a larger sample, over a longer treatment period, with sham controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-631
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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