Energetic medicine as defined within the mind/body/spirit model, involves approaches that affect energy fields. These approaches are based on the concept that human beings are infused with a subtle form of energy. This vital energy is known throughout different cultures, such as qi in traditional Chinese medicine, ki in the Japanese Kampo system, doshas in Ayurvedic medicine, and elsewhere as prana, etheric energy, fohat, orgone, odic force, mana, and homeopathic resonance. Vital energy is believed to flow throughout the material human body, but it has not been measured by means of conventional instrumentation.
Practitioners of energy medicine believe that illness results from disturbances of these subtle energies. For example, more than 2,000 years ago, Asian practitioners suggested that the flow and balance of life energies are necessary for maintaining health and described tools to restore them. Herbal medicine, acupuncture, acupressure, moxibustion, and cupping, for example, are all believed to act by correcting imbalances in the internal biofield, such as by restoring the flow of qi through meridians to reinstate health. Some practitioners are believed to transmit the vital energy (external qi) to a recipient to restore health. Examples of practices involving putative energy fields include:
- Reiki and Johrei, both of Japanese origin
- Qi gong, a Chinese practice
- Crystal healing, colour healing and healing through sound
- Zero balancing
- Focused meditation
- Imagery and visualization
- Shamanic practices
- Healing touch, in which the therapist identifies imbalances and corrects a client’s energy by passing his or her hands over the patient
- Prayer specifically for health purposes
- Chanting, drumming
- Trance and hypnosis
- Flower essences
- Creative practices e.g. art therapy, dance, music, journaling
Hands-on healing, also known as Energy, Radiant or Spiritual Healing, has been practised by many cultures for thousands of years. In Greek mythology, Chiron, the wise Centaur taught Asclepius, the God of Medicine, hands-on healing. This practice was so revered that Grecian statues of Asclepius were made with gold-gilt hands, celebrating the power of touch to heal. This was also the source of the caduceus, modern medicine’s symbol of healing and the word Chi-ergy, which evolved into surgery.
Energy healing addresses the subtle energy body that governs the physical body. Working directly with the emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions of this energy body, the practitioners affects the healing and release of blocked and distorted energy patterns, enabling the innate intelligence to operate freely, restoring physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
Healing is any activity that increases communication between one’s body and spirit, allowing one to move towards greater levels of self-acceptance, integration and wholeness.