Boston Women’s Journal - April/May 2007

Energy Healing: Can You Feel It?

When I practiced only traditional therapeutic techniques energy medicine seemed like a strange and unexplainable process to me. The concept of drawing in the power of the universe to heal people was bit hard to accept. Then I began to read and learn about different techniques and see some amazing results, and after some research I realized that energy healing had been around a lot longer than Western Medicine. It may have been one of the first medical techniques defined and set down for practice.

I was lucky enough during the theoretical period of my study to live with a Reiki Master, and see her use this technique on her clients. But it was still abstract until the night my then small daughter was screaming with raging ear infections. This was not an uncommon occurrence in our home, and I did not want to put her on yet another course of antibiotics. “Jane”, using only her hands, brought the pain down to almost nothing and got my daughter to sleep, and the next morning the infection was gone. I was amazed! The power to soothe a child in extreme pain and heal an infection was definitely something I needed to learn more about.

There are two types of “energy medicine” recognized by the National Institutes of Health. The first involves energy usage such as ultrasound, MRI, light therapy, and electromagnetic therapy. These use directly observable forms of energy. We accept them without question even though we often have no idea how they work (unless we extensively studied physics), and they are often invisible.

The second type of energy medicine is based on the concept that humans have subtle energy fields that have a flow, balance, and rhythm that can be modified and tuned for health and well being. This modality often includes the concept of meridians, or pathways of energy that flow through your body. These energies can be blocked, stuck, or frozen by injury or trauma, either emotional or physical, or conversely may be flowing too rapidly.

To find one such energy path, place your hand on the outside of your hip and gently press. You may notice that you feel a sensation all the way down your leg to your toes, that is an energy pathway. What flows through that pathway is called by many names: chi, prana, electricity, or life force, among others. Most of the techniques seek to establish a healthy and constant flow of energy through these meridians. As this energy flows, so goes your health. The meridians correspond to organs in the body or to central body systems such as the lymph system or liver and gallbladder. Practices that use techniques to assist these pathways and their flow and movement include: Acupuncture, Acupressure, Homeopathy, Reiki, Qi Gong, and Healing Touch, to name just a few.

It would be beyond the scope of this article to fully describe them all, but lets take a brief look. Acupuncture promotes energy flow along the meridians using fine painless needles inserted into specific points that correspond to various areas of your body. It is the energy therapy that is the most accepted and is often covered by traditional insurance, especially for pain management. Acupressure is similar, using gentle pressure rather than needles. Qi Gong uses movement to stimulate specific energy systems in the body and is widely used in China. Reiki uses therapeutic touch and remote healing to tune the chakras of the body back into harmony and strengthen and restore balance.

Energy medicine is difficult for some to accept because it involves things we cannot easily see. Yet it really works, and we all use it even if we are not aware of it. If you have ever put you hands over a child’s cut to ease the pain, that is energy medicine. If you have ever gently held someone’s head to ease a headache that too is energy medicine.

As a practitioner my goal is to do whatever is safe and effective to help someone get better. I often use a combination of energy medicine techniques including Reiki, acupressure, and healing touch in conjunction with other forms of treatment. A person with elevated blood pressure may be on traditional drugs and wish to find a more natural way of dealing with the problem. While using prescribed drugs, herbal alternatives can be tried and energy and relaxation techniques used as well. This multifaceted treatment often works better than any single approach. Energy medicine also has the “do no harm” part well covered. The least result of energy medicine is that someone leaves the table feeling relaxed, refreshed, calm, and happy. Sometimes that alone is a good start. I have seen quite often that it really works to reverse long standing problems and heal in a gentle and calm manner. I have used it on people of all ages and with problems both minor and severe. For more information please feel free to call and ask me about your specific concern. Be well, and enjoy Spring.