In recent times, attitudes towards what was once called ‘alternative medicine’ have definitely changed. Although some still scorn the idea, there is a growing general trend towards acceptance and belief.
Thousands of people are now enjoying the benefits of healing methods once viewed as being weird and ‘New Age’, rejected by the mainstream medical world. The reasons for this change of heart could be down to the fact that we have a better understanding of the science behind energy, as well as the simple fact that these healing modalities actually work!
Many complementary healing methods rely on the manipulation of energy to treat the whole person, rather than just easing the symptoms. But what different types of energy healing are there? Choosing one that suits you can be difficult, especially as new methods seem to spring up regularly.
Let’s take a closer look into the world of energy healing to discover more.
How many different types of energy healing are there?
This is difficult to answer exactly, as some people change certain methods to suit their own requirements or agenda. Before looking at some of the more popular ones, let’s first try to understand the basic types of energy healing:
- Meridian Healing – this method concentrates on energy that flows through the body in channels, much like tiny rivers. Anything that blocks the flow can cause the energy to stagnate, to become overactive, or to be diverted. The trials of everyday life often cause disruption to the meridians, resulting in symptoms of physical or mental illness. The healing process involves balancing the flow once again, usually focusing on traditional acupuncture points.
- Chakra Healing – Chakras are the seven ‘primary energy centers’ in the body, running from the top of the had to the base of the spine. Modern science is still generally reluctant to accept them, but some scientists have grudgingly conceded that they exist at some level. As with meridians, the chakras can be affected by all kinds of traumas and trials. This blocks the chakras and stops energy from flowing, which in turn causes further problems, physical, emotional, or spiritual. Treatment is aimed at unclogging these points to allow the energy to move as it should.
- Chi – also known as ‘ki’ or ‘qi’ (or prana, in Sanskrit), this is regarded as the Universal Energy that connects all things. In effect, it is the same energy seen in both meridian and chakra healing. The difference, when it comes to healing, lies in the fact that chi is believed to extend beyond the body, creating a field (or aura) that extends to about five feet around us. It is this field that becomes affected by outside influences, and this is where the healer places their focus.
- Non-Chi – the healing modalities that fall into this category are often seen as being more spiritual or mystical. Rather than dealing with the chakras or meridians, they rely on channeling divine energy or calling upon angelic beings. Some forms of healing will use the energy within crystals, the essence of flowers, shamanic journeys, and dream-work, or use sound.
Although these four seem distinct, they will often overlap as practitioners and healers combine methods to gain the best effect.
What is energy healing?
For centuries, western medicine has focussed on purely biological and anatomical matters.
Anything regarded as ‘unorthodox’ or outmoded was utterly rejected; shamanism, Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, and so on.
These ancient healing methods recognized that we have a complex ‘energy body’ that needs treating if we are to achieve wholeness.
Research at NASA, Harvard, and other prestigious scientific organizations, is gradually discovering that ancient medicines have something to teach us.
These theories have not been accepted everywhere – yet – but it has already opened the way for practitioners of energy healing to treat patients in hospitals, or even at their own clinics with the blessing of doctors.
But what exactly is energy healing? As stated above, we all have an energy body.
We are not just flesh and blood.
We also exist within a complex field of electromagnetic frequencies. We are vibrational beings existing within an electrodynamic world. Don’t worry if it sounds complicated!
All you need to understand is that everything is energy, interacting with everything else in subtle ways.
Energy flows to us and from us, and we can be affected by changes in this flow. Some changes will help us, others will cause a disruption.
Energy healing simply allows those energies to flow properly, which ensures that the body, mind, and spirit are in balance. The cause of the problem is removed, which relieves the symptoms.
Energy Healing Methods
With these above methods in mind, here are some popular types of energy healing:
Surprising as it may seem, aromatherapy is a form of energy healing. The healing qualities of the plant’s essence are absorbed by the body’s energetic field and are transmuted to bring relief from suffering.
This form of massage concentrates on the hands and feet (and occasionally the ears) in the belief that certain pressure points within them are connected with parts of the body.
By applying pressure to the corresponding points, healers allow the client to relax deeply, but also to free the energy that may have become blocked.
This stimulates a ‘healing response’ which alleviates the symptoms and helps the body to heal itself.
Similar to reflexology. these two energy healing methods use pressure points, but around the body rather than just in the hands and feet.
As the names imply, acupuncture involves piercing the skin with between 5 – 20 extremely fine needles (which most people don’t even feel!) and acupressure entails light pressure applied to the points.
As with reflexology, they stimulate the flow of energy through the body.
Emotional Freedom Technique
Also known as ‘tapping’, this method evolved from acupuncture/acupressure, using meridian energy points.
Focus is placed on the cause of negative emotions. The subject will make a statement to the effect of “Even though I have this (illness/fear/problem) I accept myself completely”.
Sometimes they start where they feel more comfortable, perhaps with, “I am learning to accept myself”.
They repeat this three times while tapping the ‘karate chop’ pressure point (the fleshy part of the edge of your hand, beneath the pinky finger). Several more rounds of tapping take place, this time at points around the face.
The client, having set a ‘score’ for the intensity of their fear or problem, should feel this intensity being reduced with each round until it has gone completely.
At present, this is by far the most popular energy healing method. Chakras are an aspect of reiki but as the energy flows to where it is needed it is not vitally important to be aware of the chakra points or their specific attributes.
It is perhaps more important for a practitioner to be aware of them, especially for ‘attunement’, but as a client, you simply have to relax and receive the energy.
Reiki uses universal energy, or ki, which is channeled by the practitioner and sent through the client.
This energy can reach you via physical touch, or by the practitioner’s hands placed above your body, or even remotely.
Reiki is often used alongside mainstream medicine, where it brings deep relaxation that helps the medical treatment to work.
This aids the overall healing process and boosts your clarity of mind, which helps you to make better life decisions.
Similar to Tai Chi, Qigong uses specific body movements to stimulate energy flow within the body.
Meditation and breathing techniques are also applied to achieve a balance of the mind and spirit, as well as physical wellness.
Quantum Healing (or Quantum-Touch)
A relative newcomer, but one that is gaining support, quantum healing encourages the belief in ‘life-force’ energy (chi, or prana).
This is amplified through breathing exercises and a heightened awareness of one’s own body.
A Quantum Therapist is believed to create a high-frequency energy field around a ‘problem area’, which allows the client to amplify their natural ability to heal themselves.
There are many more examples than this, mostly similar in style or aim.
You may feel more comfortable with one modality than another – and that is fine! These are all ways of making you feel better. If any method makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, then it is wise to seek another.
“Energy healing is unlikely to work if you feel anxious about it.“
All of these methods essentially rely on the same energy.
Whether you call it chi, qi, prana, life-force, source, or God, that energy is available to all and it is there not only to heal you when you are sick.
It is open to you at all times, to create a better life and a better way of living. Most of these methods can be used to prevent illness by boosting our immune systems and stopping us from becoming ill in the first place.
If we embraced more of these, our hospitals might just be empty.