What Are the Energy Therapies Used in Medicine?

Energy Therapies

Energy Therapy is a part of the medical practice known as CAM or Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Energy therapy is based on the belief that the use of natural energy fields can promote good health and healing. These energy therapies (listed below) are not new in the world and have been used for thousands of years, they are still usually considered new to conventional medical practices in the US.

The energy fields in the therapy are known as veritable and putative:

- Veritable energy fields can be measured, and use mechanical vibrations like sound and electromagnetic energy.

- Putative Putative energy fields use what is known as 'life energy' or that which naturally flows through and around our body. This life energy is also known as qi (Chinese), prana (Indian), and ki (Japanese) as well as homeopathic resonance, dosha, mana, and more.

The objective in using these therapies is to help balance, and stimulate the human energy system to help promote the healing of the mind, body and spirit.

Listed are some of the commonly used energy therapies:


Acupuncture originated in China thousands of years ago. Most Americans are now familiar with this practice; it uses the insertion of very thin needles to various depths and at strategic points on the body. I visited a Chinese Clinic while in Beijing and witnessed the amount of extensive training that goes into being a practitioner.

Acupuncture has been used at the Mayo Clinic since the 1970s. Further, the NIH (National Institutes of Health) has recognized acupuncture for being beneficial in the treatment for fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, pain management, and for nausea and vomiting as a result of chemotherapy.

Acupuncture releases opioids - the natural endorphins that are part of the body's natural pain-control system - which are released into the central nervous system (the spinal cord and brain). Acupuncture can reduce pain just as pain medications.

Magnetic Therapy:

According to the Mayo Clinic, Americans spend over $500 million annually on magnets for health purposes. Magnets have been used for centuries to treat arthritis, gout, poisoning, even baldness, and more recently for stress, high blood pressure, respiratory illnesses, and fibromyalgia. There are two types of magnets that are used.

- static magnets - these are the kinds that we are familiar with and can be purchased anywhere. They are used in shoe inserts, in bracelets and other jewelry, belts, etc.

- electromagnets - are made by wrapping a metal core with a wire coil; an electric current creates a magnetic field. This type of therapy is being used for arthritis, fibromyalgia, and is being studied for treating depression. The Mayo Clinic reports that electromagnetic therapy has been used for more than 25 years to successfully treat poorly healing bone fractures.

Healing Touch:

This practice, also known as 'therapeutic touch' has been used in ancient healing practices throughout First People cultures here in the Americas as well as in Asia and India.

A session involves the practitioner moving her/his hands a few inches away from the patient's body to assess the energy condition. Then the practitioner gently touches the patient in ways created to move energy through the practitioner and to the patient. The objective is to promote the body's self healing process by opening the blocked flow of energy. It is used to reduce stress and anxiety, lower pain, and create a sense of well-being.

How important is touch? When I lived in S. Korea, it was simply a way of life to see women walking arm in arm or holding hands. Many men linked arms as well. But...alas...a bunch of us American types, who were there to teach English, could only look at each other because it is not standard practice here in the US to walk with our arms linked with friends or family members. I think we need to - touch is known to improve health.

Reiki: (RAY-kee)

Reiki is a Japanese practice. It is made up of two words - rei (universal spirit), and ki (life force energy). The belief is that energy disturbances in the body's energy system can cause illnesses. Reiki is used to treat stress, recovery from anesthesia, chronic pain, nausea from chemotherapy, and creating a sense of well-being.

There are 12 to 15 different reiki hand positions that the practitioner will use. The practitioner will place her/his hands either on or above the patient's body and hold one of the positions.

The Mayo Clinic reports that one study suggests that reiki may have some effect on heart and respiratory rates as well as blood pressure.

Personal experience:

When I lived in S. Korea, I tried acupuncture. My yoga teacher (who taught positions I have never seen in my life!) was a qualified practitioner. So after a class on the 14th floor we went down to this wonderful tea room on the second floor and she did acupuncture on the sides of my feet and then with the needles inserted we had tea and talked. And my left nasal passage cleared up! Now, this was surprising because I had no idea how bad it was, I just lived with it - until it cleared up! That was about 2 1/2 years ago and I can still breathe deeply.

And healing touch? Well, my first semester there, we American types, looked longingly at all the people walking around arm and arm or hand holding, the young guys could walk around with an arm draped over a pal's shoulder. A friend I met there, who became a good friend - well, we'd sit in a coffee shop and watch this arm in arm stuff - then look at each other and say "Nah." We couldn't do it. BUT...

The last time I went back on my own and I was met at a local board of education and the wonderful young woman who was to be my co-teacher and take me to my apt. and handle my visa, help with cable and everything else - well she took me by the hand and led me out - and whenever we met up we held hands. Other teachers I worked with saw that I was so happy with this that we all started walking around arm in arm. I think just being able to touch is probably the healthiest thing we can do. Imagine, so many cultures are comfortable doing this but Americans, knowing it is healthy, still have a hard walking arm in arm or holding hands with the same gender.

Soooo I am going to make a couple polls, including one about touching.

And include some links to healthy living suggestions.

Sunshine Energy

energy therapy

Would you try an energy therapy?

See results without voting

which energy therapy

Which energy therapy would you try?

See results without voting


Should we walk arm and arm as adults?

See results without voting

More by this Author

Comments 45 comments

msorensson profile image

msorensson 7 years ago

I did try acupuncture just out of curiosity and to my delight, I did feel the energy rush through my body, unexplained as the acupuncturist ran his hands 6 inches above my body after he put in the needles. It was a great experience.

The Mayo clinic has now adopted Qi Gong as a tool.

Thank you for this hub. It is wonderful.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You're very welcome msorensson! I am so happy to see this turn to ancient medicines that are without the toxic side effects - have been tested on people for thousands of years and work. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and the information about Qi Gong!

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

I loved reading this and as you say its been tested for so many years why can't the west learn if there is a good thing to learn? Thank you for a great hub.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

I'm so happy you enjoyed this Hello, hello. I have seen too much suffering through the use of Western pharmaceuticals. And after using drugs - then if they are recalled, what are you supposed to do? Yes, the objective in health care should be promoting good health not suppressing symptoms. If it has no side effects it should be worth trying. Thanks for commenting!

creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 7 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thank you BK, for a very educational hub, I really enjoyed all the available info. thank you for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You're very welcome creativeone59 - I appreciate your kind words! Thank you!

shamani67 profile image

shamani67 7 years ago

I have been using alternative medicine for many years. I also practise the art of the healing touch. The heat that is generated through my hands is unbelievable. I have been able to help several people with chronic conditions.It is only a hobby of mine and I do not charge anything for the service. Thanks for the great hub.

Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

This just goes to show us, that if we slowed down a bit, and really see what the world of nature has to offer us, then we would be so much better for it. You know how I feel about touch BkCreative - everynight before my girls go to sleep, I massage them to calm them down and help them sleep better. I on the other hand, haven't had a full body massage in a long time. I think I'm overdue for one. Thank you for such a well thought out and informal hub. I believe you have a niche for helping us at Hubpages tap into natural alternative (which really should be our first choice - I'm not sure when we started labeling living healthy an alternative) ways to feel, look, and live better.

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Becreative: This is a very informative hub, and though I know about these modalities, its good to have them listed to go back and read about them, so I have bookmarked this hub. I am very focused on energy healing, want to become more involved.

Thanks for this!

kartika damon profile image

kartika damon 7 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

Wonderful hub! Years ago in Spain, I loved seeing the women all walking arm in arm - it was really sweet! There is so much we can learn form alternative healing methods that use energy. Our system is so limited and seems to be mainly about pushing drugs and surgery.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You know shamani67 - since I made up my mind some years ago to have nothing to do with Western medicine I am better than ever. And after living in S. Korea and seeing that health is a way of life - I know we can do better. Thanks for your comment and input.

Yes, let's all slow down a bit Veronica Allen - we need to and take time to massage our babies and deep breathe. I started that as my mantra last year - yet it is so hard for Americans to do this. Probably because we need so much money to get back so little, so we have to work more hours and on and on. And imagine that - healthy living is alternative living - well, we the people are embracing it so now conventional medicine is forced to - albeit reluctantly. Hey, but we don't care, do we? Thanks for your input!

I like what you said VioletSun - about knowing these modalities and wanting to become more involved - perhaps this can be a career of the future - energy therapies but for children - they need to learn early in life that there are healthy alternatives - well, to everything.

Don't you just love it kartika damon - this ability to walk arm in arm? I so miss that from S. Korea. I was at my son's over the weekend and my Daughter-In-Law gave me a throw as a gift and I opened it and nestled under it on the couch and invited her to join me and we sat huddled up and laughed and talked. So lovely. Up until 9th grade my friends and I were able to walk arm in arm - after that, well, the ignorant name calling, and...well, thanks kartika damon - so glad we hubbers are so hip to knowing there are better ways and staying away from the legal drug-dealers.

I appreciate the wonderful comments!

gramon1 profile image

gramon1 7 years ago from Miami

VERY nice blog. Before I comment, I have a suggestion. In the "which energy therapy" question, would you add an "All of the above" possibility? I have tried them all. I am very much into alternative medicine.

I found the least results with acupuncture. However, the foundation for acupuncture tells me that it should work. The flow of the acupuncture chart is completely linked to the nervous and the lymphatic systems.

Overall, any belief that lasts thousand of years must hold some kind of truth. On the other hand, most scientific beliefs tend to last only a few years, until new discoveries contradict them. So, scientific foundation does not hold much strength in my book, in spite of the fact that I was trained as an engineee in undergraduate school and in social sciencwes in grad school. Especially in the social and biological sciences, the foundations for research are statistical significance, and correlation - none of which is valid to determine causality. Therefore, we are much better off going by what we feel is good for us than by what "scientists" think is good for us. After all, no scientist is going to come to pay your doctor bills.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks for the compliment gramon1 I'll have to update that poll - I'm glad to hear that you have 'tried them all' - and we have to, we just have to...start thinking for ourselves...about everything.

There was this medical debate on TV by a US doctor and a doctor from China. The US doctor said that he cannot buy into TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) because it has not been tested by science and approved by the FDA. The Chinese doctor politely pointed out that it has been tested for more than five thousand years by people made healthy and if used as it should be, has virtually no side effects. American medicine cannot make the same claim.

For sure, we are on every kind of toxic drug (suppressing underlying symptoms) with known side effects that are often described simply as 'fatal.' Even over the counter (OTC) drugs have life threatening side effects - but that can be another hub.

But, hey, we are getting it together here. It seems we had to hit rock bottom before our eyes were opened but we are beginning to see that it is all about profit, and nothing else.

Thanks for writing!

akirchner profile image

akirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

Western medicine sometimes hurts more than it helps - you are right - but sometimes it is necessary and if at all possible, I try and combine the two! I have multiple problems with arms and hands, neck, etc. and they are always recommending surgery - what is that about? Money! Anyhow, I find that massage therapy works the best for me and I keep arguing with the insurance companies about it - why would they want to pay for surgery when simple muscle energy techniques work? Doesn't make sense to me but hey - I'm just an old lady with opinions. Great hub and I totally agree!

gramon1 profile image

gramon1 7 years ago from Miami

There are some forms of meditation that involve physical development. They contribute to longevity, physically and mentally. Tai Chi and Yoga, when practiced correctly can be great preventive medicines. karate can also be of great benefit. But the quick, bursting movemnents involved in karate practice can hurt an out of shape older person. Tai Chi is particularly safe. All internal disciplines become meditation for the practitioners.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks akirchner! I'm glad you are benefiting from massage. Surgery just scares me. We have to do what is best especially in an emergency. As long as we stay vigilant and on top of it and ask questions. But then when we get so desperate after years of toxic pharmaceuticals and suffer the side effects such as a stroke or heart problems - the insurance companies don't want to pay. A friend's grandmother was on high blood pressure meds for so long she just got tired of taking them - and told her doctor she was going to come off them - and she did and is fine. We just have to be totally involved in our health and healthcare - thanks so much for commenting!

Yoga is amazing gramon1 - some people just cannot believe how strong you can become by practicing yoga and it works on so many levels. And healthy for sure. When my vision was getting kind of weird I started doing yoga eye exercises - my old eyes are fine, no more eyeglasses. In many of the Chinese communities here in the City, the older people come out very early and do Tai Chi - they are amazing!

Thanks for all your thoughts! Oh, and I did update the poll as you suggested - so it's all brand new now.

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

nice again I like acupuncture BK and I practice it when I was in the Philippines, Thank you, Maita

akirchner profile image

akirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

Exactly - the only way to participate in health care is to be sure of your own body and what you find acceptable. I think surgery has its place in emergent situations and as in my case just the angioplasty for my renal arteries but the rest of it - yikes. I really don't relish the idea of people cutting on me for any reason no matter how skilled they are (or claim to be). So much that we miss is about lifestyle and changes in diet, natural techniques, etc. and it is just sad. I guess my 'motivation' is that I want to be here for a long, long time (so I can write more hubs) - ha ha - cheers!

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Glad you tried acupuncture prettydarkhorse. More clinics are opening up here in NYC - it is becoming a part of conventional medicine - because it does work!

Hello akirchner, I had an uncle who had headaches - he didn't know why and his doctor told him he would have to have surgery on the head or he was sure to die soon. My uncle refused...and lived for another 30 years! My uncle decided that it must have been something he was eating - didn't know what but changed his diet.

I'm with you about getting older, I want to be here and I want to be healthy not crippled - or like so many elders in our culture - taking endless drugs and afraid to live without them. Aging here is treated like a nasty disease - as was menopause, neither are. Thanks for keeping in touch!

HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 7 years ago from Utah

Magnetic Therapy has been a new piece to my health puzzle. I truly believe in CAM. That is the best way to go.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thank you HealthyHanna - I'm so glad we are embracing these therapies that work and do not have fatal side effects. Thanks for commenting! Even if they just make us feel good - well, that too is part of good health and healing.

mbwalz profile image

mbwalz 7 years ago from Maine

I just completed my first level training in Reiki. I had had it done a few times as well as polarity. Energy work is amazing. I've also had accupuncture and go to a homeopath as well as a Osteopath. And I have a normal allopathic doctor (who is a d.o.).

We are very lucky here in Maine to have such a wonderful variety of highly trained professionals. The complementary medicine model, I think, is the very best.

I hope to volunteer at the hospital when I get some practice with the reiki. It is highly effective in quieting patients, helping them to relieve stress. It's used all the way from the neonatal unit to the hospice unit.

Thanks for a great article on these healing methods.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks so much mbwalz - for sharing how much success you are having with energy healing. Nothing is more effective than a personal account. We are seeing far more practitioners here in NYC as well. I'm glad to hear reiki is used in the neonatal unit - I think it will be one of the most effective ways to help preemies and just make babies feel good and healthy in general.

I hope you will share all your healthy good news with the hub community. I'd like to keep up with you - of course I am already a fan/follower.

Thanks for writing!

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

This is a terrific hub. There is some solid science behind most alternative medicine, though the practices are older than our "standard" medical procedures, recent research has found out some things about why they actually work!

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

So true Paradise7 - there is much proof about the effectiveness of these treatments. And I do appreciate the personal recommendations of which I have heard so many good reviews! Thanks for your input!

Greenheart profile image

Greenheart 7 years ago from Cambridge

Thanks for the hub!

I have benefitted from Reiki before.

Once i felt the hot hands and the warmth on and into the body.

I really hope that more and more we all find ways to heal our-selves that doesnt rely on prescription drugs of all kinds

Artin2010 profile image

Artin2010 7 years ago from Northwestern Florida, Gulfcoast

Excellent hub you've written. I read recently that Stonehenge has a rythym drum beat kind of energy going on there that has a relaxing effect on people when they visit it. Interesting information about CAM. Enjoyed it! Thanks for creating. Be Blessed!

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks Greenheart - thanks for the personal recommendation about Reiki. Maybe these are the careers of the future - more healthy, natural and ancient healing. I appreciate your comment.

Sounds intriguing about Stonehenge. There was a time people were allowed to touch it but by the time I went we couldn't go near it. I'm glad you found the hub interesting.

Thanks for writing!

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

in Dallas too, there are some here alreday, Thanks again BK, Maita

gramon1 profile image

gramon1 7 years ago from Miami

BkCreative, at the University of Miami, there has been research that convincingly proves that massage therapy works to help preemies grow bigger and faster. Also, after hurricane Andrew, many children suffering from post stress traumatic disorder were treated with massage and touch very successfully.

Having worked with developmental disabilities and psychiatric problems for years, my only conclusion is that the migger help offered by traditional occidental medicine needs to be suplemented with any other logical forms to help ill people, no matter what the illness is.

By the way, I did respond to the new, improved test. Thanks!!!

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

I'm glad to hear that Maita - I am so glad that we are seeking out these healthy non-invasive treatments. The problem in NYC is that everything is so expensive. Perhaps we will learn to massage each other. When I was in S. Korea a dear friend told me that a good son learns how to give his mother a good back and shoulder massage. I enjoyed the best therapies there - all very very affordable!

Thanks for checking back gramon1 and sharing that information. I had no idea about children being treatment for PTSD with massage and touch - what an excellent idea. Isn't this sooooo much better than giving them tranquilizers. I'm so glad to hear this.

It is certainly time to think of supplementing our conventional medicine. I'm tired of seeing so many elderly people crippled by prescription meds. They are told that their ailments are due to old age - not true at all.

And thanks for the suggestion for an additional comment in the polls!!!!!

DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 7 years ago

BK Creative! Nice Hub! As always this was very informative! Very well presented as well as great suggestions! I truly believe in the POWER of Healing Touch! Thank you for sharing, Blessings!

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thank you for commenting Deborrah K. Ogans. I'm glad you found the hub very informative and thanks for your opinion about healing touch. I'm reading this mystery that takes place in Ghana and this woman went for healing and the healing touch was so well described I could almost feel it!

DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 7 years ago

I am very healthy but I am always looking for ways to stay healthy.Can I try the energy therapies if I have nothing physically wrong.More like preventive maintenance before something breaks.I loved all your tips.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Sounds like a great idea to try this for prevention DREAM ON. We are battling so many toxins in our food and environment. I'm looking out my window at the snow from a storm 4 days ago - the remaining snow looks like charcoal. Just a reminder of what be breathe regularly - but cannot see.

Nice to meet you by the way. Thanks for commenting!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

What a great hub! When you listen to drug ads on television and then the warnings of all the things that can go wrong by taking those medications up to and including death...it is amazing that anyone would go to their doctors requesting them. In our American culture we have gotten so used to thinking that this pill or that one can cure everything instead of using natural methods. Thank heavens some of our institutions like the Mayo Clinic are starting to lend credence to what other cultures have known for centuries.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

So true Peggy W. Don't you love those commercials with all the soft music playing and everyone laughing and happy. How about showing some commercials with people experiencing side effects - and I don't get that bit about '...stroke, heart attack, death...' and still not only is it prescribed but people are lining up for it. Good grief!

Thanks for writing.

Teresa Laurente profile image

Teresa Laurente 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.

Hello BkCreative. Thank you for sharing this valuable tips. We need to know these stuff. And we need to have energy at all cost to function well and enjoy life. More power to you.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

So true Teresa Laurente. I'm so glad to see people taking control of their health and looking for alternatives that are not invasive. Thanks for commenting!

Will Apse profile image

Will Apse 6 years ago

I had something called Reiter's syndrome when I was in my twenties. It's an auto immune disease and the body's defenses go mad and attack various tissues and organs. I had problems with my eyes and bones. I saw a consultant in London when thing got bad. He told me my spine was curved and would get worse and my chest was freezing up.

I was having trouble walking at the time, so I went full throttle into the alternative therapies even though I have a science background and can be very cynical about these things.

I tried cranial osteopathy, bioenergetics and shiatsu amongst other things. They all helped. Shiatsu is especially beneficial as a long term solution. Any gains you make in Shiatsu in terms of body health and integration, you will keep.

I have no idea what energy fields in the body are or even if they really exist but I can testify that therapies based on ideas of the body as an energetic system (as well as being bio-mechanical)do genuinely work. None of the horrible forecasts made by my consultant came to pass.

So thanks, BK, for taking the time to bring these things to people's attention.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks so much for writing Will Apse - nothing counts as much as personal experiences. Imagine being crippled and chronically ill for life, as so many Americans are - because our medical profession will not look beyond suppressing symptoms - but there is no healing. I cannot tell you how many people here in their 50's, 60's and more are in wheel chairs, have canes, can barely walk or straighten up - but all regularly under a doctor' care. Something is gravely wrong with this picture.

What you said about Shiatsu makes it even more worthwhile - the fact that the gains you make you will keep. I found that with acupuncture and the Korean Hand Therapy.

Thanks for writing and for your input!

Stephen 6 years ago

Fell on a dowel, crushed a nerve in lower back. Three months of agony, any sneeze, bump in the road, brought tears. Three doctors suggesting surgery. Went to a medical doctor who had studied acupuncture in China for three years. One treatment, and the only pain was the feeling of a mild rope burn, which she was not able to treat. I'll take it. I was considering ending it all, knowing that I couldn't live with the pain. Sent her a big office a big bunch of flowers, am still thankful. I'm sold.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks so much for your personal input Stephen. This is just a reminder that we must take control of our health. No matter what we have previously been taught - to rely on Western medicine - we must avail ourselves of alternative therapies if they have been shown to work.

I'm glad you wrote.

acupuncture websites 5 years ago

Thanks for the share. Great Hub BkCreative.

Patients choose acupuncture when all other conventional treatment methods have failed.

Regular acupuncture treatment maintains the body's good health. It has many benefits such as: improves the immune system, releases stress as it calms the mind, relaxes the muscles & tendons, improves sleep, and detoxifies the body, as it releases beneficial hormones such as endorphin & dynorphin.

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

I'm glad you like the information acupuncture websites.I have used acupuncture for instant results and also TCM - which also work with the use of herbs.

Thanks for writing all the benefits of acupuncture. It is usually affordable too.

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