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Table 5 Impact and outcome of healing

From: Experiences of healing therapy in patients with irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease

Theme Sub-theme Code Examples from patients
Physical Impact Improvement No or limited change More “Normal” Routine “I am going to the toilet more regularly without any medication” (P7 F IBS)
“I have been sleeping better…Swelling seems to have gone down” (P8 F IBS)
“Interviewer: in terms of your bloating, had it stopped your bloating? P15 F IBS: I don’t get it as much as I used to” (P15 F IBS)
Less Pain “I haven’t had or haven’t been getting the stomach cramps or diarrhoea as much…it’s probably been better than what I expected” (P2 F IBS)
“Last week [session 4] I felt so much better…I can actually go to the toilet without too much pain now” (P7 F IBS)
“The pain is a lot easier you feel like doing more stuff and you are not in pain all the time…it [healing] has mainly helped the pain” (P8 F IBS)
“I would say the pain is reduced, due to the relaxation it has taught me” (P 22 M IBS)
Better Sleep “The sleeping is a big benefit you know…you feel as though you have had a more satisfying sleep” (P5 F UC) “I actually sleep very well from it” (P3 F IBS)
“[After the 4th session] I slept absolutely brilliantly that night” (P5 F UC)
“I have noticed that since I have been doing the trial have been sleeping better” (P8 F IBS)
Interviewer: would you tell me the best and worst part of the therapy? P15 F IBS:…going to sleep [at night]” (P15 F IBS)
  “I can’t see that anything has actually changed” (P1 M IBS)
“I wouldn’t say it has helped the IBS…I was perhaps hoping, perhaps over time it might” (P11 F IBS)
Unable to determine   “Interviewer: because you were feeling great you can’t say whether it has done anything at all? P12 F UC: No I can’t.” (P12 F UC) “When I started I was feeling great the best I have ever felt since starting the trial” (P12 F UC)
“If you are going to ask me questions as to whether I am feeling better, the answer is I don’t know.” P16 M UC
Other factors influencing change Medication/Medical Reason “The stomach cramps were stopped anyway, because of the tablets I have been put on” (P2 F IBS)
“Every time I plan something [going out, undertaking an activity] I have to have tablets as well” (P2 F IBS)
  Diet “I haven’t had the swelling that I have been having…I don’t know whether it was because of healing of because I have changed my diet” (P13 F IBS)
  Other Therapy/Activity “Tuesday which is like a therapy group for people who have panic attacks and anxiety” (P14 F UC)
“Going to [teaching location] I think has been very positive” (P11 F IBS) “I have done CBT, I have been doing for a while which has been going through the same time” (P22 M IBS).
  Change in Lifestyle/Stress “There is a slight problem in that I stopped work [extremely stressful position] and went through the healing at around about the same time…[also] I missed 1 [session]” (P18 M IBS) “Any kind of noise outside is a distraction” (P1 M IBS)
Intensity of healing “The next week she said ok, we won’t be so intense this time…So I hadn’t felt anything really once she turned the heat down” (P20 F IBS)
  Advice/therapy from healer “She [therapist] is giving me things to think about different ways to think about” (P11 F IBS)
“At night if I can’t sleep then I put on the tape [given by therapist] and just listen” (P13 F IBS)
“So I have to say I am not sure about the Reiki but the counselling, that…has been positive” (P20 F IBS).
Harder to carry the effects over “Week 2 or 3 [of the sessions] I was kind of like losing the strategy of how to get back to that sort of zone” (P14 F UC) “a lot of my stress has been lifted after a session and I feel more confident as well, but after a few days I would go back to flat” (P14 F UC)
Undesired symptoms Adverse experience “I wasn’t expecting to feel so bad…I haven’t found it a pleasant experience…I just felt so ill after it [the first session]” (P20 F IBS).
“The first week…I can’t say if it is connected with the healing I went to my brothers house…and I knew I was going to be sick and I was sick.” (P11 F IBS) “After the third one [session] I ended up in hospital [patient suffered a transient ischemic attack]” (P7 F IBS).
Unusual experiences “The first time…I was like totally zombified…my husband took me home and I slept all afternoon and half the evening” (P17 F UC)
Tiredness “Every other week it has left me tired, [I am] tired anyway” (P11 F IBS)
“I quite often get tired, but I yawn, constantly the whole of the time [within the session] when I go home, in the car I am yawning, yawn” (P21 F UC)
Psychosocial Impact Approach to symptoms Control over condition “When I feel myself going that way I will make myself relax” (P7 F IBS)
“How you deal with things, your choices and your reactions are far more relaxed laid back than they would have been before” (P22 M IBS)
  Confident in their ability to cope “I went to sleep with the cramps and thought, oh well, this happens doesn’t it? Whereas before I would literally be sweating bags” (P1 M IBS)
“I think if you have a negative mind that is detrimental” (P1 M IBS)
  Less anxiety & thinking “I am just trying to change my think patterns” (P6 F UC) “Try to think about things differently” (P11 F IBS)
“It’s making me switch my mind off” (P14 F UC)
  Calm “It’s made me more calmer inside” (P6 F UC)
“It’s quite calming” (P12 F UC)
  Positive “My perception towards my elements has shifted…I’m definitely positive about it…that it is all very positive” (P1 M IBS)
“They [symptoms] don’t seem to get me down as much” (P1 M IBS)
  Rejuvenated and Alive “Starting to get back on track” (P10 M UC)
“I feel a bit cleansed” (P14 F UC) “It’s made me more alert” (P20 F IBS)