The emergence of Energy Healing practices has in recent years experienced the beginnings of an explosion in the consciousness of the western world.  Energy Healing modalities have multiplied from ancient eastern approaches like Reiki to contemporary spin-offs such as Integrated Energy Therapy and Reconnective Healing.  Internationally, people are being trained in these revolutionary practices and in turn, the way people care for their mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing is changing rapidly.  As the world continues to move towards alternative healing practices such as energy healing, there are many opportunities for research, learning and growth as we evolve collectively into beings more aware of the energy that connects us with our world.  Through understanding the subtle energy field one can begin to interact with both the conscious and unconscious elements of their psyche and eventually come to the place of self-actualization. This work can be done on a mental, emotional and physical level.

Carl Gustav Jung, a prolific German psychotherapist and author, recognized energy as the guiding creative life force that all human beings have. He identified this energy as having the ability to be channeled creatively into a broad range of psychic, creative energies and pursuits.  He asserted that, all psychological phenomena can be considered as manifestations of energy’.  This energy is shaped by the constant adaptation to the external world that we move through in our lives.  This energy enters our lives holding energetic impressions that manifest as attitude.  Our energy also contains imprints of deep emotion that shape our complexes, neuroses and functioning. Jung\’s understanding of energy as the force that shapes everything, is the awareness present at the center of energy healing practices; that your energy subtly effects your physical, mental and emotional bodies.

It has been my own journey of exploration into understanding and working with energy healing as medicine for the mind, body and spirit that led me to my career as an energy healer.  After my traditional experience in colleges and universities, the training I received in both Reiki and IET, although powerful and comprehensive in their own right, were no way near as comprehensive as I felt I needed at the time.  As I continued to practice energy healing, my understanding and application of the principles began to deepen and develop.

However, after two years of practice, I was still left with a yearning to know more.  Much of my understanding of energy healing had come from a place of experiential learning and intuitive connection to the physical, mental and emotional energetic fields of my clients.  When presented with an opportunity to research and be an observer in the community, studying energy healing became the obvious area in which I was to focus.

I was presented with the opportunity to immerse myself in the field of energy healing for four months and research in depth energy healing practices, theories and methodologies.  I met with five energy healing practitioners, interviewed them and then documented my progress through the sessions on a mental, emotional and spiritual level.  I also researched a wide sample of energy healing philosophies and their connection to understanding the journey of the soul. This article is an overview of my research, observations and experiences in the field.

History and Philosophy of Energy Healing

My own experiences being trained in and learning about different energy healing modalities was strengthened through exploring the varied histories of the modalities that currently exist in the western hemisphere.  The energy healing modalities, all have different names and practices; Reiki, Integrated Energy Healing, Pranic Healing and Quantum Touch.  Each modality teaches a core of basic principles; namely that energy runs through our bodies and we can learn to understand how it flows and manipulate it for our health.  Each modality employs a similar map for understanding how energy flows through the body, but teaches the practices of energy healing with a slightly different focus.


Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing.  It teaches the practices and principles of allowing life force energy to flow through the body unobstructed.  The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words- Rei (God’s Wisdom) and Ki (Life Force Energy), reflecting the spiritual premise upon which the practice is based.  The Reiki teachings revolve around attunements that are given by a student that has trained as a Reiki Master.  These attunements activate the ability to tap into the life force energy that is already running through each individual.  Dr. Mikao Usui, the founder of Reiki also developed a set of spiritual principles to assist people in realizing that consciously deciding to improve oneself is a necessary part of the Reiki healing experience:

The secret art of inviting happiness
The miraculous medicine of all diseases
Just for today, do not anger
Do not worry and be filled with gratitude
Devote yourself to your work.  Be kind to people.
Every morning and evening, join your hands in prayer..
Pray these words to your heart
And chant these words with your mouth.

(International Center for Reiki Training, 2009)

Pranic Healing

Pranic healing also has its origins in Eastern culture.  Ancient Rishis, Chinese Taoists and Tibetan Monks used ‘prana’, yet another word for life force energy, in their healings for thousands of years.  The Pranic Healing modality that is practiced today in the west was created by a Chinese-Filipino spiritual teacher and energy master; Grandmaster Choa Kok Sui.  He reportedly studied a variety of energy healing systems such as yoga, chi kung and the Kaballah in order to develop a simple and effective set of practices to bring about health.  The basic tenants of Pranic Healing are based on the research and experiences of this man.  Grandmaster Choa determined that healing, at its most basic level, consists of cleansing blocked or stagnant energy from the aura and energizing the aura with fresh energy.  Pranic Healing is based upon the principle that the body has the ability to heal itself.  Grandmaster Choa also conducted his own rigorous scientific research at a number of healing clinics throughout the Philippines, constantly testing and refining practices for working with energy.

Quantum Touch

A western approach to energy healing can be found within the principles of Quantum Touch.  This modality is founded upon a combination of western scientific observations of how energy flows in the body and the acceptance of life force energy as a healing mechanism.  Resonance is a simple principle that explains the phenomenon that occurs when two things are vibrating at different frequencies; there is a force named resonance that causes a transfer of energy between the two, so that one either vibrates higher, one vibrates lower, or they both meet in the middle somewhere.  Entrainment is the process by which things align to match in rhythm and phase.  The principles of resonance and entrainment give a western scientific explanation of how energy works within our world. These are biologic processes, with evidence emerging in studies, and are universally accepted ideas,

\”We may look at disease as such out-of-tune behavior of one or another of our organs of the body.  When a strong harmonizing rhythm is applied to it, the interference pattern of waves, which is the organ, may start beating in tune again.”

Quantum Touch also uses breath as a way to amplify the power of life-force.  The practices were created for the average western logically minded individual to be able to understand the complex and often esoteric principles of energy healing.

CranioSacral Therapy

CranioSacral Therapy was developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger following extensive scientific studies.  CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of the craniosacral system – comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.  Using a soft touch, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.  The CranioSacral Therapist uses therapeutic imagery and dialogue which can lead to SomatoEmotional Release. SomatoEmotional Release is defined as a release from the body tissues energy that has been stored by the body. The energy, which is foreign to the tissues in which it resides, almost invariably has within it an emotional component. When SomatoEmotional Release is effectively carried out, the emotion can be re-experienced by the patient. This can result in a rather vivid memory of the incident during which the energetic placement which occurred comes into the patient’s conscious awareness. SER is a very general approach in which the patient’s unconscious is in charge and the objective is totally unknown to the therapist.


Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America (2009) What is craniosacral therapy?

Co, S. & Robins. (2002) Your Hands can Heal You.  New York: NY: Free Press.

Gordan, R.  Quantum Touch: The Power to Heal.  Berkley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Jung, C.G. (1983).  The essential Jung. (A. Storr, Ed.) Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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