Ancient and western medicine have often had conflicting views of the human body and healing. Western medicine has often looked at the body as an anatomical and biochemical model focusing on internal medicine. On the other hand, traditional medicine, especially in eastern countries, views the body as a complex energy field. However, something has radically changed in the western world in recent years; more people are embracing alternative medicine.
Energy medicine is one of the most popular treatment fields of complementary therapies that have been around for centuries in Eastern medicine. Energy healing is gaining popularity among health practitioners who are combining it with other alternative and conventional medical treatments. This article will delve deeper into understanding energy medicine and explain why it might be your best complementary therapy option.
What Is Energy Medicine?
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) defines energy medicine as a therapy technique that utilizes channeling healing energy from the hands of the therapist to the client. Channeling healing energy aims to restore the average energy balance and ultimate well-being.
The name energy medicine was first used in 1989 by researchers from the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energy and Energy Medicine. The organization studies the science behind the use of subtle energy in medical and therapeutic treatments.
Modern energy therapies are based upon ancient shamanistic and Asian traditions dating back thousands of years. Ancient Asian energy healers believed that flow and balance of life were essential to maintaining health, and an energy imbalance caused illnesses. Modern Energy medicine is based on the same principles.
A notable contributor to the field of energy medicine is David Feinstein, a leading clinical psychologist and pioneer in developing innovative energy medicine approaches. He is a recognized leader in the field of energy psychology who works closely with his wife, Donna Eden, to educate and develop this discipline.
How Energy Medicine Works
Energy medicine utilizes the concepts below
- Energy forms that balance the body’s systems
- Principles that involve the mind, body, environment, emotional and spiritual dimensions
- Energy, breathing, and physical exercises
- Healthy eating habits
Energy medicine is based on the laws of physics and electromagnetic energy fields. Therapists can easily manipulate these subtle energies to promote healing. This concept led to using the body’s energy to promote optimal health.
The field of energy medicine is quite broad and has been described as a holistic approach to healing. Energy healing may include touch, movement, spiritual healing, meditation, and electromagnetic field therapies. The core foundation of all those energy medicine techniques is the application of energy fields to understand health and healing.
Most Popular Types of Energy Therapies
There are numerous complementary and alternative medicine therapies based on manipulating energy fields. However, we will focus on the top five most popular ones.
Acupuncture is one of the most popular and researched energy treatments today. The acupuncture technique involves inserting fine needles at specific points to improve the movement of qi energy in the body. The needles are placed on the body meridians through which qi travels and correspond to the significant body organs. The acupuncture points lie on those meridians.
A recent study indicated that acupuncture alleviates acute pain in chronic headaches, post-operation pain, labor pain, and period cramps.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health defines Qigong as a treatment technique that utilizes physical exercises to optimize energy within the body, mind, and spirit. Qigong aims to improve the body’s well-being by regulating the mind, breathing, body movement, and posture.
In most of its variations, Qigong utilizes the core concepts below
- Slow, long, and deep breaths
- Gentle and smooth movements
- Mind regulation.
Scientific evidence indicates a positive change in patients’ health who practiced Qigong techniques. 96.5% of the patients suffering from health complications such as blood pressure, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and other chronic conditions reported positive results.
Reiki is a Japanese word derived from the words Rei (spirit) and Ki (vital energy). A Reiki Practitioner places their hands on or above the client’s body to direct energy. A Reiki master is usually a licensed massage therapist with advanced Reiki knowledge.
The health benefits of Reiki are most pronounced in patients presenting with physical and emotional health issues. The health conditions may include anxiety, depression, stress-related problems, and chronic disease symptoms.
There is conflicting scientific evidence about the effectiveness of Reiki. Research findings still need to be more consistent on Reiki’s efficacy, especially in measuring energy fields.
Ancient Chinese medicine relies on the meridian theory. Chinese medicine believes that certain channels in the body connect specific points in your body to significant organs. Reflexology works by stimulating or massaging these points to improve energy circulation and healing in certain body areas.
A 2020 research found reflexology massage on the foot and hands decreases pain after surgery and anxiety levels of patients surveyed. An article published in the International Journal of Advanced Nursing found that reflexology improves sleep patterns.
5. Polarity Therapy
Polarity therapy is a holistic mind and body therapy that uses touch, massage, physical exercises, nutrition management, and inner self-awareness to balance the body’s energy flow. The technique is based on the study of the five Ayurveda energy elements. The Ayurveda elements include Ether, fire, water, earth, and air, which correspond to the different internal organs and functions.
Scientific evidence indicates that polarity therapy can help reduce fatigue in patients receiving radiation therapy for cancer.
Benefits of Energy Healing
1. Pain Reduction
Various types of energy healing, such as acupuncture, reflexology, and healing touch, suggest that energy medicine may help relieve chronic pain. Patients receiving energy therapies report improvement in their overall quality of life.
Research findings published in the national medicine library showed that acupuncture reduced chronic pain in patients. There was significant evidence that acupuncture is more than just a placebo.
2. Improved Sleep
Research has shown that healing energy reduces insomnia symptoms and helps regulate sleep in patients.
3. Complementary Medicine to Conventional Medicine
Using energy therapies alongside modern treatment plans has improved patients’ immunity and sped up recovery. Patients on chemotherapy for cancer, post-operation patients, and patients suffering from chronic pain have greatly benefited from energy medicine.
4. Improved Brain Health
Sensory stimulating techniques such as touch therapy and music can help improve cerebral functions. Energy therapies help balance the body’s energy life force, boosting the ability of the brain to focus.
Energy medicine is effective in the treatment of dementia.
5. Improved Mental Health
A study found that acupressure helped improve PMS symptoms such as anxiety and depression. Energy medicine promotes relaxation and spiritual well-being, which have the overall effect of reducing stress on the body and improving mental health.
Energy therapies such as healing prayer, meditation, and mindfulness are especially effective in improving mental health.
6. Energy Medicine Improves Healing
Energy healing reduces cortisol levels, which allows the body to relax and heal naturally. A study conducted in 1989 showed that music therapy reduced incidences of cardiac complications in patients.
Criticism of Energy Medicine
There is still limited clinical evidence to support the effectiveness of energy medicine in the western world. Theories that reinforce the concepts of energy medicine have also been criticized as hard to prove.
There is still a need for further studies involving more significant randomized trials on nonbiased participants. Other studies will help better to understand the effectiveness of the various energy therapies.
Finding a Therapist
Energy therapists are alternative health practitioners who have specialized in performing specialized hands-on therapeutic techniques to enhance patients’ well-being. The energy healers are often licensed massage therapists who may have completed technical courses in energy medicine techniques.
When seeking the services of an energy healer, you should consider a few things, including
- Ensure the therapist is qualified and offers the specific energy therapy you are looking for
- Make sure you are comfortable with the therapist and have a sense of trust in them
- Look for a therapist with an honest and caring therapy approach
- Book a meeting with the therapist to get to know them before starting your first session
- See if your therapist can offer a comprehensive plan with an estimated total cost of the required sessions. Planning can help you avoid any unexpected future eventuality.
- Location of your therapist – Recommendation are you visit a therapist near you. Sometimes a treatment session may unleash powerful emotions that may not be ideal when making long commutes.
What to Expect on Your First Session
A typical first session will involve the therapist asking you to complete a health questionnaire and privacy documents required by law. The therapist may also spend some time explaining what to expect in the upcoming sessions and answering any questions you may have. The energy therapy session often includes the activities below.
- Introduction – where the therapist may ask about your condition and your expectations of the session
- Healer centering – where the therapist connects with their inner self to eliminate all distractions to focus on the healing.
- Patient attuning – This is helping the patient relax and mentally prepare for the treatment
- Treatment – The therapist chooses the appropriate healing technique
- Grounding – This is where the therapist gently brings you to an alert state
- Evaluation and feedback – At the end of the session, the therapist will often ask you for feedback and describe the energy sensations experienced during the session. They may also be self-care techniques and strategies you can practice at home.
During therapy sessions, you may experience emotional release, such as tears. The session will, however, relax you, and your pain may reduce significantly after each session.
Anyone can benefit from energy healing. Energy medicine is ideal for anyone diagnosed with a physical disease or experiencing chronic pain and anyone struggling with emotional and mental issues.
We recommend energy medicine as a complementary therapy plan that you can use alongside traditional medical care.
If you or a loved one are struggling with the conditions listed above and need professional help to navigate them, consider booking a session with an energy healer. Our therapists are qualified and will guide you in choosing the most effective therapeutic technique for your condition.
Reach out to us today, and we will begin the journey of healing with you to help you lead a more fulfilled and balanced life.