Energy medicine includes techniques involving the putative energy fields that surround and infuse all physical objects (bodies, cells) and psychological processes (thoughts, emotions and beliefs). This invisible energy is referred to by various names corresponding to different traditions. It is believed that this energy has the ability to direct physical healing, and that it is influenced by our environment. It is also thought that the body has its own natural energy flow which, when obstructed or depleted, contributes to pain and disease.
The field of energy medicine focuses on balancing this flow to alleviate pain and disease. Practitioners may use touch or non-touch modalities. The most common energy healing practices include therapeutic touch, healing touch, Reiki and Qigong. They involve a healer placing their hands on or above the patient’s energy field to rebalance it.
Other types of energy therapies are less well studied and are sometimes combined with traditional medical treatments. For example, magnetic therapy uses magnets to reduce pain in the knee. Other types of energy therapies involve sound frequencies (e.g. tuning forks or music therapy) that are believed to promote healing by restoring harmony to the biofield.
Research is beginning to address the existence of the human biofield and how it may influence emotion, behavior and health. It has been documented that low-level electromagnetic, acoustic and gravitational energies can alter biological and behavioral processes. It is also becoming increasingly clear that there are subtle, not yet measurable energy pulses generated by the body that interact with the physical environment and its occupants.