Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Academic Program

Nursing BSN



First Advisor

Lachel Story, Ph.D.

Advisor Department



Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a growing field of holistic treatment modalities that aim to promote health and well-being or treat illness. Energy therapies are a subsection of CAM that have the potential to revolutionize the way that nurses manage their patient’s comfort. Past research has noted that more money is spent in the United States each year on CAM than is spent on conventional care, and researchers have identified the high spending as a discrepancy due to CAM’s general inaccessibility. This study aimed to analyze the existing research and evidence pertaining to the effects of energy therapies and to identify barriers in which energy therapies face, which hinder its integration with conventional clinical practices. Using the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine’s 5-step framework, a systematic review of existing literature was performed to determine what CAM is most frequently utilized for and what is most effective in treating. Analysis of selected sources suggests that energy therapies have the potential to assist nurses in increasing a patient’s sense of comfort and well-being, while also increasing their rate of healing. Barriers such as the undereducation of clinicians and evidenced-based research criteria necessary for acceptance into conventional facilities have contributed to CAM being grossly inaccessible to conventional patients. An in-depth review of these barriers and their potential solutions is needed in future research to facilitate further CAM integration.