The Energy Therapies
Energy therapy is based upon the theory that around and throughout the human body lie energies that can be manipulated to have a positive effect on health. These energies are not seen but rather felt. Many who practice energy therapy feel that the field of energy being out of alignment or interrupted is one of the main reasons that a person is not feeling well, or is suffering with some kind of disease. There are many different types of energy therapies but they all generally rely on the idea that the energy surrounding a person and flowing through them can be altered to help improve the overall health.
Energy therapy is part of a practice considered as “bodywork.” This type of work generally uses resources such as touch, meditation, and breathing techniques to make people more aware of the feelings that they are experiencing, and the energy that is flowing around them. This type of therapy can help to increase the feeling of relaxation that a person feels, and therefore lessen pain and muscle tightness.
Energy therapy relies heavily on the connection of the natural energy in the earth and the body. This is not a new philosophy: it has been practiced by many different cultures in one form or another. Humans have often sought to link themselves to the intangible world and discover how it connects to them and the problems they are facing.
Energy therapy defines that energy is the force of life and is an invisible yet very real part of all of us, including everything in nature. This energy has been described in different ways over the course of history.
The History of Energy Therapy
Energy therapy has been part of human culture from the beginning of time. It has been used, and thought through many different types of cultures, in numerous areas of the world. Most of these cultures accept that energy is a part of the world around us, permeating our bodies, the land we walk on, the stars we gaze upon, and even the air we breathe.
Many cultures have their own name for this energy, from the eastern chi, or ki, to the shaman traditional animu. This type of energy reference can even be found biblically, as God ushers his energy into the first man. Regardless of the belief system, energy can be found at the core of its history. More commonly these days it is referred to as spirit, energy, or life force. Some people fail to give this type of belief system credit as they cannot see it, and it is not tangible. However, those who practice energy therapy believe that it rules the entirety of our existence, including our overall health, and our mental state, helping to drive us to keep trying.
Gnostic Christians from Greek and Roman history were known to practice healing rituals based around the idea of the heavenly energy found in each and every living being.
German physician Wilhelm Reich worked to connect this energy into the up and coming psychology of Sigmund Freud. Out of this research, he came to the conclusion that the whole of the universe had its own life energy that was coursing through everything and everyone.
Many energy therapists feel that it is not only the person that is involved, but the whole of the cosmic universe having a connection to each living thing. Within this theory therapists place significant meaning on both the sun and the moon. The sun is thought to provide not only heat and light but is also thought to be the most abundant energy source. An interesting connection was found through research that states when there were large flu epidemics throughout the world there were also notable increases in solar activity. The moon is another primary consideration when considering energy as it is connected to health and wellbeing. The moon has a major influence on our world, changing the tides and influencing weather. For many years, people have noticed full moon fever which impacts the way people act during the full moon. A full moon has been thought to cause more problems for people with epilepsy and many believe it causes an overall increase in the risk of accidents.
Energy Therapy In Practice
The practice of energy therapy varies greatly with multiple forms of the therapy. It depends greatly on the type of practice, as well as the practitioner, as to what type of energy therapy is being done.
Energy balancing is one of the many forms of energy therapy practices that is performed. This type of therapy is often done for those who have ongoing problems, such as chronic pain. Balancing the energy helps to realign the way that it flows through the body and increases a sense of calm and wellbeing.
Energy As Therapy
Practitioners use many different types of techniques to help locate areas of blockage in the human energy and to help remove it. Yoga, for example, provides individuals a way to meditate and relax while being physically involved. This type of therapy can help to alleviate conditions such as stress and improve flexibility. Other practitioners use treatments such as herbal remedies; Chinese medicine in particular, along with homeopathy, often recommend herbal supplements to complement the other types of therapies that they offer. Some methods require that a practitioner manipulate the energy field in some way, using magnets, or even their own energy field to help remove any blockage in the energy flowing through the body.
Conditions Benfited by Energy Therapies
There is no scientific background to prove that energy therapy can or does treat any specific illness. However studies have been done and are still being conducted to determine the effectiveness of energy therapy as a whole, though the results are still inconclusive.
Practitioners and advocates of this form of therapy, however, say that it can help to treat almost any condition. As it is designed to work on the person as a whole, through relaxation, stress relief, and to promote a good feeling throughout the body. This type of therapy should be considered a complement to more traditional methods, and not as a replacement for seeing a medical professional.
- Bratman, S. The Alternative Medicine Ratings Guide: an expert panel rates the best treatments for over 80 conditions, Prima Health A Division of Prima Publishing (1998)
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- Deepak Chopra, M.D. Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, Celestial Arts (2002)
- Nancy Allison. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body-Mind Disciplines, The Rosen Publishing Group (1999)
- Servan-Schreiber, D. The Encyclopedia of New Medicine: Conventional & Alternative Medicine For All Ages, Rodale International Limited (2006)
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Healing touch is closely related to energy therapy and in fact is a form of it. This process is accomplished through the use of touch to discover any imbalances in the energy field around the body. This type of healing process has been around since the start of time. Humans have felt that through their touch they could manipulate the energy surrounding and flowing through a person to improve their health condition. This type of therapy, however, is dependent upon a connection between the person being healed and the person performing the healing touch.
Magnetic Field Therapy
Magnetic field therapy, which is also known as magnetotherapy, relies on the use of magnetic fields to diagnose and treat physical emotional and mental problems. This process has been thought to alleviate many different types of symptoms along with helping to slow the progression of a new disease or condition.
Qigong is an ancient form of Chinese medical treatment that is still among the most popular treatments today. Qigong is defined as energy cultivation in the literal form, and depends on the ancient practice of methodic breathing, exercise, and self-massage. It is combined with meditation that helps a practitioner to invoke a person’s life energy, known as qi. The use of this natural form of therapy is not, however, limited to China: it has traveled throughout the world, and is used commonly in both China and he U.S. This type of therapy has been used for thousands of years as a way to lower pain, increase mobility and vitality, deal with mental illness, and treat a person’s overall health. Some of the medical conditions that Qigong practitioners have also used this technique for include high blood pressure, migraines, respiratory problems, stomach conditions, joint pain, and even some types of cancer.
Radionics is designed to help improve the overall health of a person. This practice is related to the energy fields that exist in living creatures. Practitioners of radionics work remotely through a combination of the use of the universal energy fields and technological devices. Most often, those receiving radionics treatments do not ever meet their practitioner in person.
Light therapy (also called phototherapy) uses the power of light to treat physical and emotional illnesses. Because the brain and body use light as an indicator for physical processes, light therapy may also be used to regulate an individual’s biological rhythms. These processes include the production of Vitamin D, the inhibition of melatonin, and the stimulation of serotonin and norepinephrine.
Polarity therapy is a holistic method of healing which focuses on the balancing of energy within the body. Polarity therapy is based on the belief that energy flows through the body along five pathways to five energy centers along the spine. These five pathways correspond to the five elements of Ayurdevic tradition (space, fire, water, air, and earth). Polarity therapists believe that these flows must be free and balanced to maintain optimal physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Energy flows may become blocked due to unhealthy lifestyles, trauma, and a lack of self-confidence, and blocked energy flows may lead to further issues.
Reiki (pronounced “ray-key”), also known as energy healing, is an ancient Buddhist practice wherein practitioners use their hands to transfer energy or life force to their patients. The work reiki comes from the Japanese term “rei”, meaning universal spirit or vital force, and “ki” (or “qi”), meaning life force energy, the energy that inhabits all living beings. Reiki treatment involves balancing the universal spirit or force with the individual’s life force.
Sound therapy (sometimes known sound healing or vibrational therapy) is a treatment method that uses measureable amounts of sound wavelengths and frequencies to promote healing. Sound therapy includes not only music, but any sound vibration treatment, which may include sounds that can be felt but not heard. A subset of sound therapy, called sounding, focuses on how individual use their own voice and listening abilities to help their communication with the outside world.