Though there have been advances over the last 30 years in the therapeutic approaches to cardiovascular disease (CVD), heart disease and stroke remain the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Many medical therapies for CVD are associated with a number of side effects, often leading patients to seek non-pharmacological treatments to complement standard care. Referred to as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), these therapies consist of a heterogeneous group of modalities used in addition to conventional health care. Biofield therapies exist within this CAM domain and involve the direction of healing energy to facilitate general health and well-being by modifying the energy field. What follows is a brief overview of three biofield therapies developed or used within the field of nursing (Therapeutic Touch, Reiki, and Healing Touch), surveying the use of these interventions for individuals with CVD, and outcomes that may impact CVD risk factors and health-related quality of life.
Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies, School of Nursing, University of Virginia, Charlottesville.
Correspondence: Ann Gill Taylor, EdD, MS, RN, FAAN, Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies, School of Nursing, University of Virginia, PO Box 800782, Charlottesville, VA 22908 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This publication was made possible by grants 5-T32-AT000052 and 5-K07-AT002943 from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the National Institutes of Health. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NCCAM.