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What is Energy Healing?

By M. Donahue
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Energy healing is the practice of balancing the energy field that surrounds the human body. Called “chi,” or an “aura” or simply, “the energy field,” this energy is referenced in many cultural traditions and is central to several alternative healing techniques. It is often divided in chakras — each one corresponding to a person’s mental, emotional, and physical self.

One's energy is believed to influence an individual’s well-being. The energy field can be healed, and that healing translates into physical improvement. If the energy around the lungs is blocked, for example, there may be a corresponding physical problem. If the energy is smoothed out, the physical problem may be improved.

Energy healers specialize in improving a person's energy. They claim to manipulate the energy field of their patients, dispersing blockages or re-routing paths. They positively influence the energy field, which changes the physical state of the patient.

There are several different traditions and methods of energy healing. Reiki and Healing Touch are the most common. Others include Ama Deus, Karuna Ki, Pranic, and Tantra.

Reiki is an ancient Japanese energy healing art. It is concerned with the universal life energy. In a reiki session, the practitioner channels healing energy from herself to her patient, and transfers that energy by touch. Specific hand placements cover each part of the body. Reiki corrects imbalances that hinder wellness. Reiki practitioners are trained in classes, and initiated into reiki with a ritual called an attunement.

Healing Touch is an energy healing practice that also uses the hands to interact with the energy field. It was founded by Janet Mentgen, RN, BSN. Healing Touch also tries to achieve balance in the energy system. Practitioners of this type of energy healing undergo class training, learn by practice, and are often also nurses.

Though the medical establishment has been skeptical towards energy healing, it is becoming more common and acceptable. There are reiki masters, and healing touch practitioners all over the world. Finding one near you won’t be hard.

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Discussion Comments

By Alchemy — On May 06, 2011

@Chicada- I have always wanted to learn Tai Chi. I believe in energy healing therapies because every reaction in the body is the result of a transfer of energy. Anyway, I have never heard of qi gong. Is it anything like Tai Chi? Is it more or less difficult? I am interested in learning more.

By chicada — On May 04, 2011

@Amphibious54- My father died recently a few months before the start of a qi gong workshop he was organizing before he passed. When he first told me about qi gong I thought it was a little on the spiritual healing side of things so I was a little skeptical of its benefits.

He had first studied qi gong on an 8-week trip to China a few years ago. Then he went to Austin for a workshop with Master Li, Jet Li's Martial arts trainer. He struck up a friendship and was able to organize a workshop in Arizona.

Anyway, I decided I would give the workshop a try, and it turned out to be one of the coolest things I have done in a while. I learned the Shen Zeng standing form and I try to do it at least a few days a week before my day starts. I feel like fewer things stress me out and I have a better day. It is not very strenuous, but it is worth the time.

By Amphibious54 — On May 01, 2011

Some types of internal martial arts are good for natural healing. Tai Chi and Qi Gong can help reduce stress, improve circulation, and improve mood. Participating in these types of martial arts can be fun and is an easy way to keep your body healthy. These martial arts also focus a lot on centering your "chi". You find balance by absorbing or expelling good or bad chi to keep your body/mind/self in balance.

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