Edzard Ernst describes a reiki study on cancer patients:
The researchers …compare[ed] reiki against “sham reiki” and against no such intervention. Sham reiki involved a non-reiki healer pretended to be a reiki healer. He was not trained in reiki and only followed the ritual of the treatment. So he did not send any “healing energy” to the patients whereas the reiki healer had been taught to do just that.
The researchers were quite clear about their interpretation of the results. They believe reiki has been shown to work. Yet, I think the findings demonstrate exactly the opposite: genuine reiki is no better than sham reiki, thus it does not work.
Credit: @EdzardErnst on Twitter
Ernst shows how results from CAM trials can be selectively interpreted to sound positive when, repeatedly, the thoughtful interpretation is far less impressive. He makes an important point about the responsibility of health care professionals to recommend treatments that actually work.