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December 9, 1998

An Even Closer Look at Therapeutic Touch

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;280(22):1905-1908. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-280-22-jac80017

To the Editor.—The experiment by Ms Rosa and colleagues1 does more than demonstrate that the practitioners of TT are unable to sense the HEF. It also shows that they genuinely believe they can. The practitioners would not have allowed themselves to be tested otherwise. Their public responses to the article indicate that they will continue to believe they can and will be wary of future critical investigators of any age. Of course, none of us can easily divorce our personal experience from our accustomed interpretation of that experience. The practitioners feel good about their practice. Their patients—those with a healthy placebo response—say they feel better and pay practitioners for their services or have someone else pay them.

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