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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.—Bias occurs when researchers take a holistic process, such as TT,1 extract 1 aspect of the process, and measure it in a separate situation. When the experiment fails to prove what the researchers hypothesized, they then declare the whole process worthless. The fact that this declaration was derived from a sample size of 21 further validates bias on the part of the researchers and the editors. Furthermore, to dismiss large volumes of research, including double-blind studies, as incompetent research means the authors never thoroughly evaluated or considered the merit of the articles listed as references. Moreover, I care very little whether a practitioner can feel energetic exchange successfully in a contrived situation such as the experiment set up when I see outcomes that the TT process as a whole works. Much about the mechanisms of energetic transfer and healing is not understood. To take 1 reductionistic experiment and make sweeping statements is an irresponsible research process. Encouraging further reasonable research into some of these mechanisms would be a positive outcome to this negative experience.