Energy Healing

Understanding energy healing

What is energy healing?

Energy healing – or energy medicine, as it is widely called – is a form of alternative therapy. In fact, you could say that it is a range of different therapeutic methods that come under this single term. What makes these different techniques connected to one another is the idea that the healer is using energy to help someone get better. In many countries, energy medicine is seen as an accompanying therapy that can go alongside traditional Western medicine. However, there are parts of the world where it is viewed as a pseudoscience that is not to be trusted. This is because of the idea that fraudulent healing or curative claims are made about the practice, which means that people will not seek medical assistance when they need it. That said, energy healing is now widely viewed to be useful for many people who have faith in it alongside their acceptance of traditional medicine.

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 What is energy healing good for?

The fact of the matter is that energy medicine is supposed to be good for any ailment at all. This is because by channelling, boosting or realigning the supposedly natural energy flows that pass through people – and all-natural things, including the planet – it is possible to set them on a more natural course. This idea relies on the notion that illness, ailments, symptoms and conditions are all a result of misaligned energy flows. Once corrected by the healing process, they will diminish or go away entirely. Consequently, most energy healers would claim to be able to treat any condition even if they may fall short of saying that they can completely cure it. Some disability groups oppose the idea that their conditions are down to unseen and undetectable energy flows. However, this is by no means universal. People use energy medicine for many things these days, from overcoming seizures to coping with fear.

Is massage a part of energy healing?

Massage therapy should be seen as a distinct form of therapy from energy medicine. This is because, in nearly all forms of massage, the body's muscles and joints are physically manipulated to help them recover and heal. In energy healing, there is nothing going on at the physiological level with the body. Instead, invisible energies are being manipulated by the healer. This means that, in some cases, energy healers will carry out their work remotely. It could be done over a video call or even a phone call. However, massage and energy medicine are largely connected to one another in many people's minds because of one form of it, namely reiki. In reiki, it is commonplace for a healer to place his or her hands near to the part of the body they are treating to focus energy there. That said, many reiki practitioners do not do this and can work remotely, too.

What is fusion energy healing?

Fusion energy healing is just one form of energy medicine. Practitioners of it claim that they are fusing the power of the universe and its creator through multiple generations and dimensions to bring about healing in our world. What tends to happen is that the internal mechanisms people have built up around themselves to protect themselves – such as negativity that prevents them from taking steps that might end in failure or adopting a persona that is not a true reflection of their inner self – are broken down with this form of healing. Just like other forms of energy medicine, however, the explanation of how this happens comes down to realigning a person's chakras – focal points used in Hindu meditation for centuries – to allow for improved energy flows.

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What is scalar energy healing?

Scalar energy is a product of modern mathematics and twentieth-century physics. Scalar field theory suggests that there is a singular point in every part of the universe. It relies on both quantum theory and classical physics, but, in many physicists eyes, it could be either dimensionless or have an assignable constant or number value. However, the only time a scalar field has ever been detected in science is a so-called Higgs field which has been discovered to have a non-zero constant value in a vacuum. Scalar energy medicine is based upon this theoretical – and observable – phenomenon. Healers claim to be able to channel all of the universe because of its implied singularity in scientific research to help heal people. The relationship between physics, mathematical theory and healing has not been fully explained. Some critics, therefore, consider the connection to be used merely to bamboozle potential patients with science they don't really understand.

Is reiki a form of energy healing?

As previously mentioned, reiki is one of the better known forms of energy healing that is around today. Like the other types of energy medicine that people practice these days, reiki is based on the idea that energy flows throughout the universe and even, perhaps, inter-dimensionally. In the West, reiki is widely considered to be an alternative form of therapy, like acupuncture or aromatherapy. It was first developed by a Japanese scholar who preferred the term universal life force – or chi or ki or qi, depending on the spelling variant you use from Japanese – to energy. Nevertheless, since reiki first began to be popularized in the West in the late 1970s, many people have chosen to simply refer to universal life force as 'energy'. Central to the theory of reiki is that this life force is part of physiology and, therefore, it can be used to heal diseases and ailments.

Can energy healing be harmful?

In scientific studies, energy medicine has been found to have little effect on people. This means that it is neither good nor bad. That said, many people who use it as a part of their everyday lives would claim that it does have a positive effect on them. This means that there are some potential downsides to look out for. One is the idea that negative energy flows need to be grappled with by a healer, which can have an adverse effect on them. Therefore, maintaining positivity throughout a healing session is a good move, something that many energy healers would call intentionality. In other words, so long as you intend for a positive outcome, potential negativity will be much less likely to occur. Some people report minor side effects of treatments, such as tiredness or a headache, but these are not common. Most people who say it is harmful think so because they think it stops people from seeking medical help.

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Is energy healing supported by science?

There are numerous studies into energy healing, many of which focus solely on reiki. Although there is a beneficial effect of such healing that is noted in some research, this will rarely go beyond anything more than a placebo effect. In other words, the positive outcomes that are noted from energy medicine are not greater than they would have been had some other practice been conducted instead. What tends to happen is that people feel relaxed during a healing session. This can lower blood pressure and leave people feeling their anxiety drop for a time. Given that this will also often mean fewer stress hormones are released into the brain than would otherwise have been the case, healing with energy can have a positive physiological outcome. Some scientists have pointed out that those studies with very positive outcomes tend to be the least reliable, often using questionable data and randomised trial methodologies.

Does energy healing help with anxiety and depression?

One of the most common sets of conditions that energy medicine is used for is mental health disorders. It is quite common for people who suffer from anxiety and depression to seek an alternative therapy these days, especially if they are unfortunate enough to suffer from side effects from the usual medications that are prescribed for such conditions. Although there is no scientific evidence base that says energy healing will improve the mental state of people who are suffering from anxiety and depression, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to this effect. Often, although not exclusively, this will come from the testimonials of people who tried it who were initially sceptical about the potential benefits of this form of healing. Again, such positive outcomes may come about thanks to being relaxed and having some hope rather than energy manipulation, but there is nothing to say otherwise, certainly not in the views of the many people it has helped.

Which belief systems support energy healing?

As previously mentioned, the idea that chakras control energy flows throughout the body is something that goes back very far into ancient belief systems, particularly Hinduism. The concept of the universal life force, or qi, is something that runs throughout TCM traditional Chinese medicine and a number of martial arts. Qi is associated with the Analects of Confucius, a large collection of his sayings, where it tends to be best translated as breath rather than life force or energy. Qigong, which also relies on energy flows by manipulating qi, is a Chinese practise that combines body posture, breathing and meditation for self-healing. This, too, dates back to Confucius, who was born in 551 BCE. However, qigong probably relies on belief systems that predate that of the philosopher's lifetime. Some people believe that bio-magnetic is at play with energy medicine, although this is not a widely held view among all healers.

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Is bioresonance therapy a type of energy healing?

Some practitioners of bioresonance therapy will claim that it is a form of energy healing. This therapeutic method was developed in the 1970s in Germany. The initial idea was that the energy electromagnetic waves, which penetrate the body and pass through it, could be manipulated to have a physiological outcome and, therefore, to heal. Developers came up with energy medicine machines that were branded as MORA-Therapie. They measured, among other things, skin resistance to electrical energy, something that is popular in Scientology. The pioneers of bioresonance therapy thought they might be able to manipulate individual cells with their machines, transmitting electrical energy via pairs of electrodes. Studies have shown bioresonance therapy to not even have a placebo effect, however. The use of machines for this type of healing is banned in many countries, including the US.

Which books on energy healing are worth reading?

'Chakra Healing: A Beginner's Guide to Self-Healing' by Margarita Alcantara gives a wide-ranging view of many types of energy medicine that rely on chakras, such as reiki, for example. 'The Little Book of Energy Healing Techniques: Simple Practices to Heal Body, Mind, and Spirit' by Karen Frazier is a good one to read if you are looking to take the first step into energy medicine and just want to try out a few things before learning more about the practice. Published in 2008, 'Energy Medicine: How to Use Your Body's Energies for Optimum Health and Vitality' covers lots of topics, including psychological and spiritual health. It was written by Donna Eden. Finally, 'The Energy Codes: The 7-Step System to Awaken Your Spirit, Heal Your Body, and Live Your Best Life' by Dr Sue Morter is often seen as an accessible self care and self help book that covers numerous aspects of energy medicine.

Does energy healing work on pets?

In theory, energy healing is something that can be very beneficial for animals. This is because it neither requires any medication nor any surgical intervention to be made. Because our pets cannot talk to us, it is hard for them to explain the symptoms or to tell us about any side effects that they might be suffering from as a result of a condition or an ailment. Consequently, healing them with energy means that they should not suffer from any inappropriate treatment. Many energy healers will say that their work is just as effective on pets as it is on humans. This is because, under the concept of the universal life force, all things have energy flowing through them. To that end, energy medicine could also be applied to your garden and house plants just as much as your pets.

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Energy healing in summary

To sum up, energy healing is not one practice but a range of different therapeutic models which are all designed to make people feel better. In some cases, people will feel they are cured of a condition but most healers will simply claim to be able to alleviate the worst of someone's symptoms, often by combining their alternative therapy in a way that complements, but does not take away from, their conventional treatment. Some people channel energy through themselves and direct it using their hands – as happens with reiki – while others channel it with extraneous objects, such as healing crystals.

What all of these different methods have in common with one another, however, is the idea that it is energy that is being channelled or manipulated for a positive outcome. Mental and emotional as well as physiological conditions can be treated with energy medicine. However, some studies suggest that the healing powers of these techniques are overrated and have little more than a placebo effect on those who undergo treatments. Against this is a tide of anecdotal evidence from people who have experienced the positive effects of energy healing for themselves. Given that what is going on for some will never be fully explained by science because it has a more spiritual nature than a physical one, the dichotomy between science on the one hand and alternative therapies on the other may, itself, be overstated. What is certainly true is that, whether you regard it as a pseudoscience or not, energy healing is something many people enjoy and are practising it in ever-increasing numbers.

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