Energy healing is also referred to as “energy work” or energy balancing, and there are as many variations in focus and methodology as you can imagine that fall under the broad umbrella of energy healing.
At their core, the majority of energy healing techniques rely on less invasive, more client-centered approaches to healing, using minimal physical touch and tissue manipulations.
Energy healing modalities rely instead on unseen forces like electrical frequencies to create an energetic exchange between the practitioner and the client.
Some forms of energy work originated in schools of spiritual thought, while others are non-spiritual in nature and developed out of scientific research. Because of this variety, some energy workers have a background in massage or chiropractic bodywork, while others are spiritual gurus who offer energy healing as part of their practice.
While there are some studies proving the effectiveness of certain forms of energy work, many others remain unstudied. Those who receive the work and share their enthusiasm for it are quick to share about the profound impacts it has had on their life and health, but there is still room for larger studies to provide more insight as to how exactly these therapies work within the body.
Although there are dozens of fascinating forms of energy work, today we’re going to give a brief overview of four of the most popular energetic practices.
1 | Reiki
Reiki—meaning “universal life force energy” in Japanese—is one type of energy healing that many people have heard of before, even if they haven’t yet tried it themselves. Reiki is viewed by many as a more spiritual practice, using the laying on of hands, as well as holding hands about 4 inches away from the client’s body in particular areas, to allow the client’s body to heal itself.
The ancient practice of reiki moves through eight different chakras, or energy centers, in order to clear them so that energy can flow better to all areas of the body. Like most energy healing work, reiki is not massage, because it does not involve the manipulation of soft tissues. While there is some evidence that reiki can improve overall mood in those with anxiety and depression, there is room for more research in areas where reiki has been found to have little or neutral effect in clinical trials, such as for treating fibromyalgia.
2 | Reconnective Healing®
Reconnective Healing falls under the broader category of Vibrational Healing, because it’s intent is to harness the frequencies already occurring within the body to open the body up to it’s own healing process. Beyond simply healing from physical ailments, this practice aims to bring the person into better alignment with all of the space, people, and experiences around them, something which Reconnective Healing founder Dr. Eric Pearle calls “Life Progress.”
Reconnective Healing occurs in a short session, and typically a client attends no more than three sessions total. The person receiving the work lies flat on their back on a table, and the healer uses a series of rhythmic hand movements near their body to complete the work without actually touching their body at all. Some research has been conducted which shows that the energy being exchanged between the sender and receiver functions similar to an electromagnetic signal, and that signal is detectable by both EKG and EEG.
3 | Polarity Therapy
Polarity Therapy was developed by Dr. Rudolph Stone, D.O., D.C., N.D., over the course of his sixty year healing career. It fuses together Stone’s knowledge of eastern and western healing principles to bring the body back into it’s natural balance, or homeostasis.
Polarity is based on the concept that everything is made of energy, and the body has positive, negative, and neutral pulls based on that energy. Polarity sessions seek out where you are already whole, rather than where you are broken, and then try to draw the rest of your systems into alignment with that wholeness until your entire self is functioning at it’s highest level. For example, research has been done on cancer patients receiving Polarity Therapy who showed improvements in cancer related fatigue after receiving treatments.
Dr. Stone believed that there is truly only one disease that exists in the body, and that is a disturbance in the flow of life energy in the body. By guiding the client through a series of gentle touches and holding hands over the client’s’ body, the goal of a Polarity session is to remove anything blocking the flow of life energy, giving space for the body to bring itself back into balance again.
4 | Craniosacral Therapy
Craniosacral Therapy (also referred to as Cranial Sacral Therapy or CST) is a light-touch manual therapy that focuses on improving the structure of the body, with a particular focus on the central nervous system. It was developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger following scientific studies he conducted from 1975 to 1983 at the University of Michigan.
The work involves light holding of the skull (cranium) and pelvis (sacral area) and almost undetectable undulating movements. The goal of these almost imperceivable manipulations is to affect the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord, in order to positively affect the health of the client. Evidence on the effectiveness of craniosacral therapy is limited at this time, at least one clinical trial showed evidence that CST provides “significant improvements” in neck pain in adults.
It’s important to note that these are but a few of many different energy healing techniques practiced today. If you think that energy healing is something you want to try, head over to our website, find a practitioner who offers the treatment that you’re interested in, and book your first session today!