It sounds like something from the Star Wars movies, yet it is interesting how “the Force” described by Obi Wan Kenobi as permeating every object in that science fiction film is analogous to real ‘energy’ in our own universe.
Dr. Jim Oschman, a leader in the field of energy medicine and author of Energy Medicine in Therapeutics and Human Performance, explains that modern science is beginning to reveal the role of natural “energy forces” within the human body that were previously thought to be inexplicable.
“Energy medicine is medicine based on the appreciation that living systems have energy fields inside of them and around them and that these fields play important roles in physiology, regulatory biology and processes that are going on inside the organism”. It is essentially the use of energy to optimise wellness and healing.
Indeed, across the globe there has been thousands of years of research and knowledge documented in the field of human energy, much of which has been passed down through generations. Nonetheless, energy medicine has seen a resurgence in the last two decades, with many related scientific developments discovered through western scientific methods, an encouraging sign.
In fact, Dr Oschman states that all medicine is energy medicine – because everything we do in medicine ultimately involves energy.
In the US, energy techniques such as Acupuncture, Ayurvedic Medicine, Tapping and Reiki fall under the category of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). This is a group of diverse medical practices that are generally not considered part of conventional medicine.
Some people refer to them as wholistic/holistic therapies as they relate to treating a person as a whole rather than specifically treating one part of a person, such as how a dermatologist would only focus on a skin condition or an ophthalmologist would focus on the eyes.
I remember in the early 90’s as a medical student that it was only then as such holistic practices were starting to be recognised by western practitioners, mainly due to their popularity with patients.
In my own personal journey, I began to discover a new world of well accepted energy modalities which use energy as a primary mode for achieving emotional, mental and physical wellbeing as well as diagnosing health conditions.
I call this a ‘new world of whole’ as these therapies review at every part of you as an interconnected whole person, when making diagnoses. While this is also true in western medicine, there is a greater focus to be referred to a specialist as you become more ill, which is appropriate by that medical paradigm.
However, one can occasionally lose focus on the treatment of your whole self. I have tried my best to summarise the various modalities categorised here.
These various energy-based modalities can be classed in several ways:
- Hands-on: Treatment is conveyed to another person involving contact with a practitioner’s hands e.g. Reiki, Energy Healing, Kinesiology, Healing Touch, Quantum Touch, Acupuncture, Thai massage etc.
- Hands-off: Treatment involves no physical contact with practitioner, such as tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique or Thought Field Therapy), Qi Gong & Tai Chi.
- Whole Medical systems: Traditional Chinese Medicine (China) and Ayurvedic Medicine (India) are whole integrated systems of healthcare that use energy as a major pillar of therapy.
Have you tried any of these modalities? Which is your favourite?