Energy Medicine is a term used to describe a number of effective therapies that can address physical illness, emotional distress and mental imbalance, promoting overall health, vitality and well being. Energy medicine works to restore health by activating and enhancing the body’s natural healing energies that may have been thrown out of balance due to stress, injury, illness, and poor dietary and lifestyle habits.
The philosophies and applications of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM ) have embraced the concept of energy healing for thousands of years. TCM uses ancient knowledge of our physical and psycho- spiritual energy pathways to restore and optimize our flow of vital energy and heal us on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. TCM also incorporates the observation of specific patterns and structures within the natural world, such as the laws of interdependence in nature, to form a dynamic philosophy of the body’s innate healing capacities.
There are many therapies today that utilize a diverse array of energy healing techniques. Some of the well-known treatment modalities in energy healing are TCM and acupuncture, Reiki, Jin Shin Jitsu, and homeopathy, among others. Let’s take a closer look at each of these different therapies and examine their applications and benefits for the mind, body and spirit.
TCM and Acupuncture
The effectiveness of TCM and acupuncture in treating a wide range of medical issues using energy healing techniques has been proven over thousands of years of traditional use. In the world of modern medicine, clinical trials conducted mainly in Asia, Europe and the US, have given this ancient medical system a viable reputation in terms of safety and effectiveness.
Acupuncture is the main treatment modality within the system of TCM, and involves the use of very thin needles placed less than 1mm into the skin to stimulate the flow of the body’s vital energy, or Qi (Chi). These needles are strategically placed along the body’s energy channels, known as meridians, which serve as pathways of vital energy to our organs and systems. When these pathways are blocked due to illness, pain and other degenerative conditions, then energy imbalances build up and produce negative effects on all levels: physical, mental and emotional. By placing acupuncture needles at various key points along these meridians for a short period of time, practitioners can relieve these blockages and stimulate a more efficient and harmonious flow of vital energy, allowing the body’s innate healing mechanisms to flourish.
This form of energy medicine has effectively improved health concerns ranging from cancer, HIV/AIDS and cardiovascular disease to hormone balancing, depression, and acute and chronic pain. With regard to cancer therapy, some of the goals of TCM and acupuncture treatments include supporting the strength of the body’s various systems, enhancing vital energy, boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, increasing circulation, and relieving the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Overall, the goal is to treat the health of the whole person –body, mind and spirit – so that the individual’s own innate healing capabilities can flourish unobstructed and they can better overcome the health issues they are facing. This is the essence of energy medicine. As a healer and practitioner, I believe TCM offers some of the most sophisticated, in-depth philosophies and practices in energy healing.
Reiki is a practice that was developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui and involves the transfer of healing energy in the form of “Ki” through the palms. The word Reiki comprises two Japanese words – “Rei,” meaning “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and “Ki,” which is “life force energy.” The practice of Reiki healing involves the practitioner placing their hands lightly on different parts of your body, allowing their hands to rest on each placement for several minutes before continuing on to the next. Most Reiki practitioners move their hands freely throughout the body to assess the areas where they feel Reiki is most needed. A Reiki treatment is aimed at healing the whole being, including the body, emotions, mind, and spirit, while promoting relaxation and feelings of peace, security and well being. It is a simple, natural and safe method of mind-body healing and self-improvement that can also work in conjunction with other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve pain and promote health and vitality.
Jin Shin Jyutsu
Jin Shin Jyutsu is an ancient art of harmonizing the life energy in the body. This treatment modality is aimed at bringing balance to the body’s energies, promoting optimal health and well being, and facilitating our own profound healing capacities. Jin Shin Jyutsu employs 26 “safety energy locks” along the body’s natural energy pathways, and when one or more of the energy locks or paths are blocked, the resulting stagnation causes disharmony in the body. Holding these energy locks through the practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu can have a profound effect in bringing balance back to the mind, body and spirit.
Homeopathy is a system of integrative or holistic medicine that originated in Germany around 1795 from the work of German physician, Samuel Hahnemann. It works by stimulating the body’s inherent healing responses with remedies that consist of various natural substances diluted to almost untraceable amounts, making them safe for everyone.
Most homeopathic remedies are based on the Law of Similars, which is a philosophy in healing that dates back to the time of Hippocrates and states that “like cures like.” For example, the homeopathic remedy, “Coffea,” is derived from coffee and can be used to treat insomnia. Traditional homeopathic doctors will typically ask patients many questions related to their psychological and emotional history, and specific remedies are often selected based on the mental/emotional patterns presented by the patient as primary symptoms, while the physical issues often remain secondary.
In addition to this mind-body approach, Homeopathy can be viewed as energy medicine because the substances which are used in remedies are diluted many thousands of times, making the remedies practically indistinguishable on a molecular level. Remedies contain merely an “energetic imprint” of the substance, and it is this subtle energy that can sometimes have the greatest impact on a person’s health.
In holistic, integrative medicine, the overall health of a person is believed to be interrelated with their psychological, emotional and spiritual health. Many of the diagnostic and treatment protocols within energy medicine take into account this relationship between the physical functioning of the body and a person’s mental/emotional energies and experiences. Your vibrancy can flourish freely when you entire being is centered and grounded in a state of harmonious energy flow.
The time tested therapies discussed here, along with many other energy healing techniques such as yoga, Qi Gong, and meditation therapies, aim to balance and strengthen your flow of vital energy for lifelong health and well being.
Dr. Isaac Eliaz, a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine since the early 1980's, is a respected author, lecturer, researcher, product formulator and clinical practitioner.
Since 1991 Dr. Eliaz has maintained a busy private practice in northern California that focuses primarily on integrative, holistic protocols for cancer patients. He leads an integrative medical team at Amitabha Clinic in Sebastopol, California with focus on cancer and other chronic ailments.
To learn more, please visit www.dreliaz.org.
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