"We are the same as plants, as trees, as other people, as the rain that falls. We consist of that which is around us, we are the same as everything." Gautama Buddha

“In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours,
healing was accomplished by moving energy”
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Energy or Energetic medicine can be considered to be a general term used to refer to many ancient and some modern medical practices that use an energy field, such as electrical, magnetic, sonic, acoustic, microwave, or infrared, to screen for and treat health conditions by detecting imbalances in the body’s energy fields. Balance can then be restored using specific therapies, or with treatment devices that rebalance the energy levels of the various fields. The hypothesis is that the body’s major energy systems—such as its larger biofield, local fields, and energy pathways—operate as electrical, electromagnetic, and subtle energies in varying combinations.

Western medicine (also called Biomedicine) uses a number of electromagnetically sensitive instruments for diagnostic purposes, such as EKGs for the heart, EEGs for the brain, EMGs for eye movements and MRIs for specific body parts. Energy Medicine, however, is differentiated from conventional Biomedicine in that generally speaking, proponents of Energy medicine believe that the body is more than a machine and that it is capable of healing itself. They also believe that the body is also capable of performing other actions that lie completely outside the realm of established science.

Energy medicine, then, can be considered an umbrella term to cover the wide variety of approaches to healing often called by conventional Biomedicine as alternative, unorthodox, integrative, complementary, or holistic. It would also include other approaches whose methodologies are based on Energy medicine concepts, including spiritual healing, long distance healing, laying-on-of-hands, psychic healing, shamanic healing, and specific indigenous traditions such as Kahuna, Curanderismo, and Native American healing. In many cultures, this energy is said to move and is charted in specific ways, such as the Oriental concept of the meridians or the East Indian concept of the chakras. Some individuals report that they can see these fields or auras and methods such as Kirlian photography have been utilized to capture these fields on film.

Expanding interest in working with the body’s magnetic fields has led to the new emerging scientific discipline of Bioelectromagnetics or “BEM,” which is defined as “an interdisciplinary science at the interface of physics, biology, and medicine that deals with the effects of low-level electricity, magnetism and electromagnetic fields on life.”

Recently BEM studies have yielded significant findings relevant to Energy medicine. Evidence demonstrates that organisms have internal bioelectrical currents that will change in relation to events taking place inside the body and that they emit and create external energy fields. These fields are sensitive, and will interact with other surrounding fields. Additionally, research has demonstrated that all living systems respond to external energy fields and these fields are force fields which carry energy and are capable of producing an action at a distance.

If we consider all of these findings, we can begin to create an image of the human organism that differs from that of the biomedical model. What we have is a living energetic system existing within and in relationship to, an energetic universe where everything is alive with its own unique vibration and where energy is being emitted and received-where we are impacting and being impacted upon by all other energy sources in our midst or at an intentioned distance. It is a universe where everyone we come in contact with-whether we touch them or not-has an effect on us in a little different way, because what they are energetically emitting issues from their subjective emotional state, just as what we are emitting comes from ours-and these energy emissions can be consciously moderated.

If these BEM findings are indeed valid, then it appears that we may very well be “circling back” and are not truly at theoretical odds with the animistic-based cosmological systems of our ancestors and indigenous cultures the world over. In accordance with view, we are, indeed, energetic beings living in a world of energy where everything is interconnected and interrelated. Following this, then, we can see that Energy medicine is not merely the use of electromagnetically sensitive methods and tools; we can see that, in a broad sense, all medicine is Energy medicine—whether it be those modalities deemed complementary or alternative or those considered biomedical and conventional. Every physical interaction and intervention will have corresponding energetic repercussions. We are not “discovering” the existence of these subtle energies—rather, we are faced with the challenge—and opportunity—of “remembering” their existence and integrating them into what has come to be the scientifically accepted western worldview.

What an image this presents! We are all walking energy fields interacting with everyone around us as well as every thing in nature—one gigantic web of existence of which we are all a part. But let’s add in another variable for consideration—the fact that not everybody is walking around with neutral energy. The more physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually charged an individual is, the stronger the output of energy. And this works both positively and negatively.

Take a minute and think about situations in your own life. Remember a moment in which you spent time in the presence of someone who was either
extremely angry or sad. And then go to a time when you were with someone who felt happy and joyous. Did you leave them with different kinds of feelings or sensations? Did you feel different in each of these situations?

Now let’s add in even another variable….and that is the concept of intentionality. It is one thing to be in an environment in which strong emotional energies of all sorts are being bounced around in a non-directed fashion and they happen to rub off on you. But what happens in situations where energies are being intentionally directed at you?

Let’s say you’ve just spent some time in the presence of someone who really loves you—openheartedly and unconditionally—not doing any kind of activity, just spending some time hanging out and connecting. How did it feel when you left that person? Now, can you think of a situation you’ve been in where you’ve been in the presence of someone who was angry with you, or resented you, or just didn’t like you. How did it feel when you walked away from that situation?

Intention equals energy—and directed, focused, intentioned energy has an effect.
To understand its power, realize that you don’t have to be present to have it impact on someone else or to be impacted upon—and this is especially true in groups or communities that hold a common belief structure. It is this concept that is the basis for both the efficacy of prayer and the reality of sorcery and curses. It is what magic is all about—nothing more than the use of focused and intentioned energy.

I have been studying-and utilizing-forms of what is considered to be Energy medicine for almost 30 years-from meditation and yoga, to parapsychology and psychotherapy, to various forms of bodywork, to shamanism, homeopathy, herbology, martial arts, and acupuncture. As a result of gaining an understanding of the impact that energy can have on another, I teach courses as it pertains specifically to burnout prevention, empowerment, and self-care and am in the process of completing a book and work manual for publication.

See Classes/Events for details click here

Knowing that energy fields overlap and intermingle, I have learned that the more I focus on keeping my own energies in balance and maintain the clarity of my own energy fields/pathways, the easier it becomes for me to feel these energies. Gaining increased sensitivity to it over the years, I can also feel when I am filling up with positive energies or being drained by energy that feels more negative. But in either case, there are times when I am just too “full”—where I have just hit my threshold by the sheer quantity of the energies co-mingling with mine. In those cases, I often will utilize the expertise of another person trained in any number of forms of energy work to facilitate this clearing and balancing, but it does not always necessitate going to someone to do that for me; it can be much simpler than that. Sometimes all it takes is consciously working with my breathing or using various energy-related exercises, standing in nature and allowing myself to work with the energy of the earth and sky, or simply visualizing the clearing of my energy system through a conscious intention. I have become more mindful of the necessity of keeping my own energy balanced, for I have found that the clearer my energies, the stronger my own center becomes, and the clearer and brighter my own source energy is, the greater is my ability to spread it to those around me not by working in any specific way, but merely by being in the world.

Suggested reading:
Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis, James Oschman
The Body Electric; Cross Currents, Robert Becker
Energy Medicine, Donna Eden

Pain Management: A Practical Guide for Clinicians (6th ed)
Chpt 50, “Energetic Medicine,” Diane Polasky