When Master Yoda said to Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back, "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter", he was pretty accurate, scientifically speaking.
Once considered woo-woo New Age stuff, energy healing is an exploding market with effective results. Even Dr. Oz has called it the next wave in medicine. But the definition is fuzzy for many, and dismissive chuckles from skeptics don't exactly help boost confidence in nascent alternative treatments either. But, as the saying goes, the proof is in the electrochemical stimuli…
Cultures around the world have used energetic healings since injuries required it. Living creatures are electromagnetic beings built of cells and particles that transmit and receive different types of electricity and energy, and therefore, a number of types of energy healings have been highly effective. You've most likely heard of acupuncture (and if you're lucky, your insurance even covers it now, too). This ancient Chinese technique works extremely well in unblocking static energy in the body by using needles on key points where energy can commonly become blocked. Reiki is another technique that moves or channels energy through the body. Like acupuncture and reiki, pranic healing works by directing energy to healing parts of the body, but it's done without touch. Some practitioners can intuit or see blocked energy that causes illness or discomfort. Shamans and medicine (wo)men have successfully used song, prayer, dance and other energetic tools in healing for thousands of years.
The advent of antibiotics, sterilized operating rooms and the myriad of other incredible benefits of modern medicine have moved modernity away from energetic healings. But, as Western medicine, for all its advances, continues to leave a trail of sicker and angrier patients, many are turning to alternative treatments to heal minor and even more serious life-threatening ailments. With studies showing placebos often as effective as expensive drugs themselves, one does not need to necessarily believe in a chakra or qi system in order to heal it; one just needs to believe that they can be healed. And it sure feels like we're at a time when everyone on the planet could use some healing. Energy healings offer fewer (if any) side effects than prescription drug cocktails, and in many cases, they can be done at home, too. They're noninvasive, and as insurance carriers are starting to cover a variety of alternative healing modalities, exploring energy healing may be a worthwhile consideration as we move deeper into 2012 and beyond.
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Image: Pink Sherbet Photography