What is energy work, and what are some of the options out there?
Energy healing has been used for over 5,000 years to treat various health ailments. Check out some of these different treatment styles.
The spiritual tradition of energetic healing was commonly used throughout ancient India and China. In India, energetic work is based in the belief of Prana, or universal energy, breathing life into all things. In China, vital life-giving energy is referred to as Chi. Chi is made up of two opposing forces, Ying and Yang. When these forces are balanced, optimal health is displayed.
Eastern methods and energy modalities are becoming more common in the West. If you've thought about trying it out, here are a few kinds to consider.
#1 - Reiki
Reiki is a Japanese style of bodywork founded by Mikao Usai. The name translates to "spiritually guided life force energy". It is a spiritual and vibrational healing intervention without the involvement of physical manipulation. Reiki is spiritual in nature but is not a religious practice, the intent is to maintain physiological balance through a subtle vibrational field.
Reiki has been used to treat ailments alone or as a supplemental treatment to promote recovery and enhance the quality of life. Clinical trials have confirmed the impact of both polarity therapy and Reiki intervention in mitigating cancer-related fatigue.
A small, qualitative study demonstrated the positive influence of spiritual healing on the survivorship experiences of breast cancer patients who were in long-term therapy.
#2 - Polarity Therapy
This method was founded by osteopathic physician Randolph Stone in 1947. Polarity Therapy is a holistic wellness practice used in alternative medicine. Inspired both by Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicines, the intent is to rebalance the distribution of energy throughout the body using a mix of bodywork, exercise, nutrition, and counseling to alleviate or prevent health issues.
"A small 2019 study with middle-aged women, examined the effect of four polarity therapy sessions on symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. Results indicated that women who received the treatment saw an evident improvement compared to women in the control group."
"More research is needed to determine the overall effectiveness of polarity therapy to manage mental health or overall health challenges." - Polarity Therapy: Principles, Sessions, and Effectiveness (psychcentral.com)
#3 - Ayurveda
Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words 'ayur' - life and 'veda' - knowledge, translating to knowledge of life. This natural medicine practice originated in India over 3,000 years ago and is based on the idea that diseases are a result of an imbalance within one's consciousness. In India, Ayurvedic medicine is regarded as equal to conventional Western medicine.
Ayurveda treatment starts with an internal purification process, followed by a special diet, herbal remedies, massage therapy, yoga, and meditation. The primary concepts of the practice are universal interconnectedness, the body's natural constitution (prakriti), and life forces (doshas). Herbs, plants, oils and spices are all commonly used in Ayurvedic treatment.
Currently there is no national standard in the US for Ayurvedic medicine, so be sure to research your practitioner's background and experience and consult your medical professional before using herbal medicine.
#4 - Craniosacral Therapy
CST or craniosacral therapy is a type of bodywork that relieves compression in bones of the head, spine, and sacrum using gentle pressure. The goal is to normalize the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the central nervous system to remove blockages and facilitate the body's natural self-healing abilities.
CST is used for common conditions such as:
Sessions last about an hour and are performed clothed. The practitioner may start at the head, feet, or middle of the body and many have reported feeling a deep sense of relaxation.
Your Energetic Healing Journey
If you are interested in trying out any of these healing techniques, research practitioners in your area to schedule a consultation. Energy work isn't for everybody, but many have found that they benefit from and enjoy it. Be sure to discuss any new health treatment decisions with your medical provider.
Have you tried any of these massage styles? What was your experience? Comment below!