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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Time-lapse analysis of potential cellular responsiveness to Johrei, a Japanese healing technique

Ryan Taft1, Dan Moore12 and Garret Yount1*

Author Affiliations

1 Research Institute, California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, USA

2 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, USA

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2005, 5:2  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-5-2

Published: 24 January 2005



Johrei is an alternative healing practice which involves the channeling of a purported universal healing energy to influence the health of another person. Despite little evidence to support the efficacy of such practices the use of such treatments is on the rise.


We assessed cultured human cancer cells for potential responsiveness to Johrei treatment from a short distance. Johrei treatment was delivered by practitioners who participated in teams of two, alternating every half hour for a total of four hours of treatment. The practitioners followed a defined set of mental procedures to minimize variability in mental states between experiments. An environmental chamber maintained optimal growth conditions for cells throughout the experiments. Computerized time-lapse microscopy allowed documentation of cancer cell proliferation and cell death before, during and after Johrei treatments.


Comparing eight control experiments with eight Johrei intervention experiments, we found no evidence of a reproducible cellular response to Johrei treatment.


Cell death and proliferation rates of cultured human cancer cells do not appear responsive to Johrei treatment from a short distance.