Within the last decade, various government agencies have begun research into alternative healing approaches known as energy medicine. While research into energy medicine is a modern undertaking, energy medicine itself is anything but modern. It has its roots in the world’s oldest healing and spiritual traditions. Like their ancient counterparts, modern forms of energy medicine begin with the assumption that there are subtle energies that surround and penetrate everything in the universe.
Practitioners of energy medicine believe that the flow of subtle energies within the person creates a “biofield” that can be sensed. Some energy healers sense temperature variations corresponding to different areas of the body. Other energy healers see an aura surrounding the body. Still others simply intuit characteristics of the biofield. When the flow of vital energy is balanced and unimpeded, the biofield is said to be harmonious and health is at an optimum level. Alternatively, a disturbance in a person’s biofield indicates the presence of a condition, either physical or psychological, that limits health and promotes illness.
During therapeutic sessions, energy healers first try to identify biofield disturbances. They then attempt to manipulate a client’s biofield to re-balance the flow of vital energy. Often, the energy healer must transmit additional healing energy to supplement the client’s own vital energy. In theory, the additional energy helps unblock the flow of energy within the client and allows the client’s own internal healing processes work more efficiently.
There are many complementary and alternative therapies that accept the basic principles of energy medicine. For example, acupuncture is based on the idea that the body has identifiable energy channels called meridians. Of special interest, however, are those therapeutic approaches that are completely non-invasive. The three most popular, non-invasive forms of energy healing include Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, and Healing Touch.
Reiki – Reiki is a form of energy healing that developed in Japan. In this approach, a practitioner acts as a conduit to channel universal life energy to the client. The practitioner transmits this energy to the client though a specialized form of “laying on of hands”.
Therapeutic Touch – Therapeutic Touch was developed within the American nursing tradition. In Therapeutic Touch, generally, there is no physical contact between the practitioner and patient. Instead, the practitioner works with the biofield a few inches above the patient’s body. When problems are detected, the practitioner attempts to smooth out the constrictions and restore the free flow of energy.
Healing Touch – Healing Touch is a variation of Therapeutic Touch. Healing Touch uses both light touch and near touch to clear and balance the biofield. Again, the idea is to support the body’s natural ability to heal by creating an unimpeded flow of vital energy within the individual. The American Holistic Nurses Association has sanctioned the use of both Healing Touch and Therapeutic Touch.
Many anecdotal reports, and a few small scale studies, have provided support for the beneficial effects of energy healing. However, because it is not yet possible to measure the human biofield scientifically, applications of energy medicine remain controversial. Author Box Douglas Hardwick has 1 articles online
Douglas Hardwick has extensive interests in issues of holistic health and human development. He contributes frequently to the information website: Holistic Health and Healing Resources. You can visit this site to read more about alternative healing therapies such as Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, meditation, massage therapy, acupuncture, and aromatherapy.
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