Understanding holistic energy healing takes a mind shift for most westerners. The concept of the human body having an energy field can be hard to grasp. Think about it…
It’s well documented that our bodies function based on the flow of energy. It’s the flow of energy that creates “life.”
Our bodies use many forms of energy: chemical energy, electrical energy, mechanical energy and electromagnetic energy. You can see physical evidence of this energy flow when you see the electrical tracing of someone’s heartbeats on a heart monitor.
Holistic energy healing practitioners work with two types of energy fields: veritable and putative.
Veritable Energy Fields
Veritable (meaning verifiable or measurable) energy field healing uses mechanical vibrations (such as sound) and electromagnetic forces such as light, magnetism, monochromatic radiation (such as laser beams), and rays from other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.
This type of energy healing uses measurable, energy wavelengths and frequencies.
One of the most popular well-established uses for veritable energy healing is the use of magnets… magnetic healing. These magnets come in two types: static and pulsating.
Static Magnet Therapy uses magnets made of steel, iron, rare earth elements or alloys. They produce a static (doesn’t vary) magnetic field. Proponents report they relieve pain and improve the functioning of cells.
Pulsating Electromagnetic Therapy uses magnets consisting of a metal core wrapped with a wire coil. A magnetic field occurs when an electrical current runs through the coil. This forms a pulsating magnetic field proven to enhance bone fracture healing.
Putative Energy Fields
Putative (meaning reputed or presumed) energy fields (biofields) so far defy measurement. These subtle forms of energy, also called “life force” or “vital energy” infuse all living things.
For many centuries, different cultures have used these subtle fields to help people heal. Here are some of the terms describing this subtle energy:
- Qi in traditional Chinese medicine
- Ki in Japanese Kampo system
- Etheric energy
- Odic force
- Homeopathic resonance
How Holistic Energy Healing Works
Holistic energy healing is natural healing. Its practitioners work with your wholeness. You are whole: body, mind, spirit. You, your wholeness, constantly interacts with your environment.
You have varying levels of density to your unique wholeness. Perhaps most dense is your bones. Less dense are the tissues and fluids of your body. The more subtle expression of your wholeness is your energy.
You can feel this subtle energy with this simple exercise:
- Take a deep breath and relax.
- Hold your hands out in front of you with palms facing. Keep your upper arms relaxed and bend your lower arms forward at the elbow.
- Check for relaxation by moving your hands to make sure the wrists are loose, almost limp.
- Do not allow your palms to touch. Simply recognize what they feel like as “hands.”
- Now, feel the air between your palms. Play with it sensing it with your palms.
- Now slowly begin to pull your hands apart, noting the sensation in your palms.
- Bring your hands back together again, without allowing the palms to touch, noting the sensation in your palms.
- Practice for a few minutes bringing your hands closer, then further apart with palms facing, noticing all sensations.
- What did you notice?
Most often people notice a sense of warmth, coolness, or a magnetic pull. This is your energy field. If you did not notice anything, try again later. Learning to feel subtle energy sometimes takes time.
For example, as a nurse, when first trying to take a person’s pulse, I could not feel it. It took time to develop the sensitivity for feeling the artery with just the right pressure so that I could feel its pulsation without obliterating its flow.
I had the same experience when learning therapeutic touch. At first when assessing the person, I could not feel the field. I had to practice and learn to trust my sensing of this subtle energy.
Your Energy & Holistic Energy Healing
You are in a constant state of flux (change). For example, life giving oxygen moves into your body as your breathe. When you breathe in, tiny little sacs (alveoli) in your lungs absorb the oxygen into your blood stream where it travels to, and nourishes your body. When you breathe out you release carbon dioxide (a waste product) into the environment.
Plants use this carbon dioxide for their life process. They release oxygen as their waste product. And… the cycle continues.
Qi, life force, vital energy, prana (whatever term you use) also flows through you and nourishes you. You have a unique energy field and pattern. When healthy and in harmony with the environment, your energy field is balanced and flows freely…
When injured, ill, or not in harmony with the environment your energy field becomes unbalanced, blocked or depleted.
A holistic energy healing practitioner knows how to work with this subtle energy to balance it, remove blockages, and promote its dynamic flow.
Their training involves understanding different energy systems, quieting or centering oneself, and performing specific techniques. They learn to detect (feel, see, sense) and work with different energy expressions of the body including:
Subtle energy characteristics
Meridians (special energy channels)
Chakras (special energy vortexes or centers)
Auras (energy fields)
This requires quieting or centering so that the holistic energy healing practitioner can be sensitive to the subtle characteristics of the other’s energy.
Holistic Energy Healing Benefits
People who receive holistic energy healing report that it helps numerous conditions including osteoarthritis, chronic pain, anxiety, wound healing, allergies, heart conditions, stress-related conditions, high blood pressure, and others. Research studies document the following benefits:
- Pain reduction
- Decreased anxiety
- Increased relaxation
- Improved wound healing
- Enhanced immune function
Holistic energy healing has some challenges though when it comes to research studies.
It lacks the funding of big corporations. As a result, its studies typically have fewer subjects compared to those done by pharmaceutical or high-end technology companies. The numbers of subjects in a study is a way of determining a study’s validity. This leaves their research findings vulnerable to critics.
Another research challenge is proving the human energy field exists. Since putative energy healing is so subtle, it defies measurement.
Holistic Energy Healing Techniques
There are many types of holistic energy healing. Here we will focus on some of the most common techniques:
Some massage therapists integrate Reiki, healing touch, and other forms of energy healing into their massage.
Keeping your biological rhythms in tune with universal rhythms like the day-night light cycle supports your natural energy system and healing.
There are many forms of energy healing. You can learn more about holistic energy healing at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine website.
Enjoy holistic energy healing!
Brent Bauer (ed.), Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine (New York:Time, Inc., 2007).
Delores Krieger, The Therapeutic Touch: How To Use Your Hands To Help Or To Heal (New Jersey:Prentice-Hall, 1979).
Robert O. Becker and Gary Selden, The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and The Foundation of Life (New York:Morrow, 1985).