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What are the types of energy medicine?

Master Stephen Co
Alternative & Complementary Medicine

Acupuncture is probably the most well-known energy medicine system today. In acupuncture, fine needles are inserted into a patient’s body at certain points along energy channels called meridians. These needles unblock the flow of life force, or chi, through the meridians, and thus balance the body’s energy and facilitate healing. Occasionally, the acupuncturist gently rotates the needles or even sends a very low-grade electrical current through them to accelerate the healing process.

 

Chi kung (literal translation: “energy work”) stems from the same Oriental philosophical base as acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, and internal Chinese martial arts, such as tai chi. It consists of a variety of life force–generating exercises and practices that date back thousands of years. There are many different types of chi kung, but in general, chi kung practitioners perform a prescribed set of breathing routines and physical exercises over a period of years to enable them to build up the chi in their own bodies. They then project that energy into the body of the patient to bring about healing.

 

Reiki is a Japanese hands-on energy-channeling system believed to have its origins in the esoteric practices of Tibetan monks. Reiki practitioners must be “attuned” to the universal healing energy by a Reiki master, after which they are able to draw in this life force and allow it to flow through them into the body of a person in need of healing. There are three levels of Reiki training: first degree, second degree, and third degree, or Reiki master.

 

Therapeutic Touch is a method of energy healing incorporating techniques from traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and laying on of hands. It was developed in the 1970s by a nurse, Delores Krieger, Ph.D., R.N., at New York University School of Nursing, and Dora Kunz, a healer and author, and is comparable to first-degree Reiki. A Therapeutic Touch practitioner does not actually touch the patient but passes his hands lightly over the patient’s body to detect and then “unruffle” - in Therapeutic Touch terminology - energetic blockages. The practitioner then directs energy into the patient to assist healing.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.