Energy healing is the practice of using hands-on therapies to treat disease and reduce stress. It is becoming increasingly popular, and several studies have shown its effectiveness. However, it is important to view energy healing as a complementary therapy.
Your energy contains the story of how you overcame a problem. This is why one healer can only help so much.
The idea behind energy healing is that illness stems from disturbances in the flow of the body’s life force. This can be caused by physical, mental, or emotional issues. It is believed that when the flow is restored, the illness will disappear. This type of treatment can be combined with traditional medicine or used as a standalone therapy.
Some forms of energy medicine focus on manipulating the electromagnetic fields purported to be in and around the human body. These fields are also known as the human biofield, and are believed to support the body’s innate healing processes.
Those modalities include acupuncture, which targets specific points along the energy pathways (or meridians) that correspond to organs; acupressure, which uses the same pressure points as acupuncture but with the fingers instead of needles; and reiki, in which practitioners hold their hands over the patient’s body with an intention for healing. These therapies can be effective in relieving pain and reducing anxiety.
Other forms of energy healing involve influencing mechanical vibrations in the membranes and cytoskeletons of cells to bring them back to a healthy harmonic pitch. This can be done with the hand, as in Reiki or Craniosacral Therapy, or through subtle alterations to body movement, such as qigong and yoga.
Manipulation of invisible energy fields
While conventional medicine excels at improving symptoms and eradicating disease, energy medicine goes deeper and addresses the root cause of the issue. These practices involve manipulating the invisible energy fields purported to be in and around our bodies.
Scientists from the most prestigious medical institutions have confirmed that every cell, atom and molecule in our body is made of subtle energy. Energy healing aims to balance this energy by restoring the human biofield to a healthy harmonic pitch. This can be done with the hands, as in Reiki or Craniosacral Therapy, or through slight alterations to body movement, as in Qigong and Yoga.
Traditional healers across the globe have long known that our thoughts, feelings and emotions are as much part of a person’s overall health as their bones, blood and organs. Many of these ancient traditions like Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, and shamanic medicine see the body as an energy field rather than a flesh-and-blood organism. These healing modalities rely on the life force they call chi or prana. While these methods have not proven effective on a scientific level, they continue to gain popularity with anecdotal reports of positive results from users.
Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy
PEMF is a safe, non-invasive treatment that helps cells regenerate and repair. It has been shown to be effective in a wide range of conditions. This therapy uses pulsating magnetic fields to stimulate the body’s cells and tissues. It has been proven to improve pain management, promote healing and reduce inflammation. It is also an effective treatment for a variety of other health problems, including diabetes, muscle weakness and impaired bone health.
PEMF devices are regulated by the FDA and are available for purchase from various retailers. There is an extensive and growing body of research demonstrating the effectiveness of PEMF devices in cell models, animals and humans. However, the exact molecular mechanism remains unclear.
PEMF has been shown to stimulate the proliferation of human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and tendon progenitor cells. These cells are responsible for the synthesis of tendons and ligaments. The result is an increase in the rate of healing. PEMFs can also help reduce inflammatory cytokines in laboratory animals and enhance bone formation. This therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for rotator cuff tendinitis, all forms of knee pathology, shoulder pain due to “witch stroke”, cervical spine pain from whiplash and many other conditions.
Veritable energy medicine uses mechanical vibration and electromagnetic radiation, but at safe levels that do not interfere with cellular function. For example, MRI and ultrasound equipment use electromagnetic waves, but at frequencies that do not damage cellular DNA.
Acupuncture is an ancient healing practice that uses needles to stimulate acupressure points on the body. Practitioners believe that a life force, known as chi or prana, flows through pathways called meridians in the body and that stimulating these points can unblock any imbalance.
Energy healers believe that illness occurs when the body’s biofield becomes desynchronized with its physical and mental environment. They say this is caused by disturbances in subtle energies that create blockages and imbalances. These disturbances are said to be responsible for symptoms such as pain, fatigue and illness.
Energy therapies, such as acupuncture, reiki and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), can be used to treat conditions that include chronic neck and back pain, fibromyalgia and asthma. These techniques may also relieve premenstrual syndrome and reduce bothersome symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and mood changes.
Emotional freedom technique (EFT)
Developed by Gary Craig in the 1990s, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a mind-body energy healing practice. It involves tapping on specific acupressure points while thinking about an emotional issue and verbalizing the feelings. It’s said to help release negative energy and calm the nervous system. This can help with traumatic memories, phobias, stress, food cravings and mental blocks.
During a session, a practitioner will guide you through the basic tapping sequence and help you identify the trauma or emotion that’s causing a problem in your life. Then you’ll repeat a “reminder phrase” that desensitizes the brain to the memory. Over time, this will allow you to recall a traumatic event without the associated distress.
Research on EFT has been promising, with several studies demonstrating its effectiveness in reducing anxiety and depression. A 2021 RCT found that EFT significantly reduced depression in postmenopausal women compared to a sham therapy group. However, the technique may not be as effective in reducing physical pain and other health problems.