Energy Healing: Does it really work?

Does energy healing really work? If you ask some health researchers, you may discover that energy healing has clearly earned a prominent place in the natural healing community Reiki certification.

According to a report by Compton Hospice [1], “the last decade has seen an increase in the integration and usage of CTs (Complementary Therapies) to conventional medical treatment,” due, in part to documented results of decreased pain perception, stress reduction, increased relaxation and an enhanced sense of overall wellbeing. These benefits have been demonstrated in those patients who are in palliative or hospice care.

Energy healing techniques, such as Reiki, have been integrated into cancer patient care. Reiki (pronounced “Ray-Key”) is an energy healing “system of enlightenment and a hands-on healing art developed in the early 1900’s by Mikao Usui in Japan.” [2] However, some findings trace this natural healing art back thousands of years ago. Based on Qi energy, or “universal life energy,” this energy healing therapy is facilitated to channel spiritual energy through the practitioner’s hands to heal the patient’s spirit; which then is purported to initiate self-healing of the physical body.

In an interesting turn of events, energy healing has begun making its appearance in the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in Hampton, VA. [3] In order to enhance health care services, energy medicine, such as healing touch has become part of the nursing care system to produce positive outcomes for persons suffering from spinal cord injuries and other major health conditions. Because findings demonstrate that healing touch can productively influence emotional, mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing, healthcare services now include holistic modalities based in part on the Watson’s transpersonal-caring-healing model.

As a non-invasive complementary therapy, energy healing is known for its innate ability to connect the mind, body and spirit in order to restore balance to the body’s self-healing mechanisms. Other forms of energy healing include a variety of natural healing techniques including acupressure, polarity therapy, magnet therapy, light therapy, meditation, prayer and visualization.

In a free energy balancing program (healing touch) offered through Healing Partners at Stanford’s School of Medicine, and in a news release on Women’s Health at Stanford [4], patients reported feeling an immediate energy flow throughout their bodies. While there is no clinical evidence to support these findings, “69% of patients participating in the (healing touch) program experienced reduced depression and anxiety; 71% experienced increased energy, and 81% experienced an increased quality of life.” So, does energy healing really work? That depends entirely on the patient’s receptivity to the therapy, which in many instances, has proven beneficial.

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