Effectiveness of Spiritist "passe" (Spiritual healing) for anxiety levels, depression, pain, muscle tension, well-being, and physiological parameters in cardiovascular inpatients: A randomized controlled trial

Complement Ther Med. 2017 Feb;30:73-78. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2016.11.008. Epub 2016 Nov 24.


Background: Biofield therapies, such as laying on of hands, are used in association with Conventional Medicine as Spiritist "passe", among others. The aim of this study was to evaluate anxiety, depression, pain, muscle tension and well-being, as well as physiological parameters in cardiovascular inpatients submitted to the Spiritist "passe", sham, and no intervention.

Methods: In the total, 41 cardiovascular inpatients submitted to the Spiritist "passe", sham, and no intervention during a 10-min period on 3 consecutive days. They were evaluated through anxiety and depression level, pain, the perceptions of muscle tension and well-being and physiological parameters, before and after interventions.

Results: A significant reduction (p=0.001) in anxiety scores and muscle tension (p=0.011), improvement of well-being (p=0.003) and a significant increase in peripheral oxyhemoglobin saturation scores (p=0.028) were observed in Spiritist "passe" patients, and a significant reduction (p=0.028) of muscle tension and improvement of well-being (p=0.045) in sham patients. However, muscle tension reduction (p=0.003) and improvement of well-being (p=0.003) were more accentuated in the Spiritist "passe" compared to sham and no intervention.

Conclusions: Results suggest that the Spiritist "passe" appeared to be effective, reducing anxiety level and the perception of muscle tension, consequently improving peripheral oxyhemoglobin saturation and the sensation of well-being compared to sham and no intervention in cardiovascular inpatients.

Keywords: Anxiety; Complementary therapies; Coronary artery disease; Depression; Energy therapies; Spiritual healing; Therapeutic touch.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / psychology*
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Tonus / physiology*
  • Pain
  • Pain Management / methods
  • Religion
  • Spiritual Therapies / methods*