As recently as 2010, it would have been unimaginable for an annual medical conference including allopathic physicians to hold a meeting themed Illuminating the Energy Spectrum. Yet it happened at the soldout Institute of Functional Medicine 2013 annual international conference. Workshop topics ranged from bodily energy regulation
to presentations by Grand Qigong Master Ou, Wen Wei, the originator of Pangu Shengong, and Medical Anthropologist and Psychologist Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D., whose Four Winds Light Body School offers a two-year program on the luminous light body, also known as a local energy field, aura, life force, qi/chi or prana.
The energy medicine practiced by acupuncturists and other health practitioners that offer any one of the 60-plus hands-on and hands-off modalities described in The Encyclopedia of Energy Medicine, by Linnie Thomas, operates on the belief that changes in the body’s life force can affect health and healing. The therapeutic use of any of them begins with an assessment of the body’s electromagnetic field. Then, a treatment specifically designed to correct energy disturbances helps recreate a healthy balance in its multilayered energy field, comprised of pathways, known as meridians, and energy centers (chakras) that correspond to related nerve centers, endocrine glands, internal organ systems and the circulatory system.
The objective for energy medicine practitioners is to uncover the root causes of imbalances—often from emotional stress or physical trauma—and harmonize them at a bioenergetic level before aberrations completely solidify and manifest as illness.
James Oschman, Ph.D., an academic scientist and international authority in Dover, New Hampshire, has conducted decades of research into the science of bioenergetics—the flow and transformation of energy between living organisms and their environment. He explores the basis of the energetic exchanges that manifest via complementary and alternative therapies in his book, Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis.
According to Oschman, there is now enough high-quality research in leading peer-reviewed biomedical journals to provide energy medicine the credence to transform from a littleknown, alternative healthcare modality into a conventional form of medicine. The progression to more widespread acceptance is similar to that experienced by acupuncture and massage.
For more than 35 years, pioneers of energy medicine like Barbara Ann Brennan, founder of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing; John F. Thie, founder of Touch for Health; and Donna Eden, founder of Eden Energy Medicine, have delved beyond conventional models of healing to confirm that our sensory experience of the world is as limited as our vocabulary to describe it. New language for new concepts is required, such as: nature’s drive for wholeness, resonance, a new band of frequencies, restructuring DNA, local fields and the non-local field, encoding, entrainment, strings, strands, attunement, evolutionary healing and vibration.
Eden, who has had a lifelong ability to make intuitive health assessments later confirmed by medical tests, can look at an individual’s body, see and feel where the energy flow is interrupted, out of balance or not in harmony, and then work to correct the problem.
“Very little of the natural world that human beings evolved in still exists. In addition, our bodies haven’t adapted to modern stressors or the electromagnetic energies associated with technologies that occupy our living and working environments,” says Eden. “Energy medicine is invaluable because anyone can learn how to understand their body as an energy system and how to use techniques to restore energies that have become weak, disturbed or unbalanced.” Her teaching tools include her classic book, Energy Medicine, and Energy Medicine University, which she founded in 2006 in Sausalito, California.
In a 2009 talk at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, Oschman predicted that energy medicine will become prominent in antiaging medicine. “When I review the history of medicine, there are periods in which things stay pretty much the same, and then there are great breakthroughs. I think that with the advent of energy medicine, another milestone is upon us.”
Learn more at issseemblog.org, the International Society for Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine website. Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings.