Energy healing is based on working with the biofield (magnetic field around the body) and other energy of the body. Many different types of energy healing techniques are available, with the goal to restore balance and harmony in the energetic systems, thereby supporting health and self-healing.
Some, not all, massage therapists incorporate energy techniques into their massage practices. There are many different ways of describing energy. In Energy Medicine, author Donna Eden writes about eight systems of energy:
Eden's book goes into depth about these systems and includes exercises you can do to promote optional functioning of each system.
This article discusses the following types of energy therapy, with links to more information:
Dolores Krieger, PhD, RN (1921–2019) and Dora Kunz (1904–1999) developed Therapeutic Touch (TT) and began teaching it in the early 1970’s to Krieger’s graduate nursing students at New York University. The technique involves practitioners using their hands as a focus to facilitate a consciously directed energy exchange to balance the energy field of the receiver and promote self-healing.
More information: Therapeutic Touch International Association
Nurse Janet Mentgen began using energy-based healing with patients in the early 1980s and formally established the Healing Touch program in 1989 as a clinical approach to energy-based therapy. Healing Touch practitioners consciously use their hands in a heart-centered, caring way to offer non-invasive techniques to clear, energize, and balance a person's energy field.
Healing Touch is based on integrative, holistic principles derived from the social sciences, the nursing process, and Dr. Jean Watson's theory of caring, according to Healing Touch: Essential Energy Medicine for Yourself and Others by Dorothea Hover-Kramer, who worked with Mentgen from the start of the Healing Touch program. I recommend that book if you want a personal account of the technique's development, the science and research supporting Healing Touch, how it's used, and much more.
Quantum Touch uses breathing and body awareness exercises to focus and amplify life-force energy.
Some of the principles of quantum touch are:
ThetaHealing teaches people how to use their natural intuition by connecting to the Creator through thought and prayer. Vianna Stibal, a naturopath, massage therapist, and intuitive reader, developed this technique in the mid-1990s, and credits it for healing her cancer. (She has MRIs and other doctors' reports proving she had cancer.)
Stibal believes the technique uses a theta brain wave to achieve instant healing. The brain produces four types of waves: alpha, beta, delta, gamma, and theta. Theta is the slowest brain wave, generally reached only in deep meditation or when drifting off to sleep. Stibal believes that changing your brain wave cycle to include the theta state lets you watch the Creator Of All That Is create physical and emotional healing.
More information: ThetaHealing website and ThetaHealing: Introducing an Extraordinary Energy Healing Modality by Vianna Stibal.
Insight Bodywork, developed by Barry Kapke, seeks to harmonize flow of chi through the body and balance the chakras. The influences on Insight Bodywork were shiatsu, Thai massage, Breema, and Buddhadharma. This technique is a floor-based energy work that uses movement, streching, and pressure on channels and marmas/acupoints to mobilize almost every joint in the body. uses both feet and hands and multiple points of contact
Insight Bodywork also uses visualization, sound, gestures (mudras), postures (asana), and ritual and cultivates the Brahma Viharas as healing intentions:
More information: Insight Bodywork website and Insight Bodywork: Massage, Movement and Meditation.
Johrei is a spiritual practice based on the focusing of universal life energy to foster positive changes to both the physical and the spiritual body.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.