- Alternative & Natural Medicine
What Are the Energy Therapies Used in Medicine?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Would you try an energy therapy?
which energy therapy
Which energy therapy would you try?
Should we walk arm and arm as adults?
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