Energy healing for wellness

Energy healing is a practice that is thought to increase the wellness of those who practice it or receive it. It includes techniques such as Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Healing Touch, and Spring Forest Qigong. All with notable similarities as well as unique differences, their primary focus is on wellness. Throughout this paper, I discuss the philosophy and dynamics of energy healing, and my experiences with energy healing. I discuss the importance of energy healing for those who are experiencing disease or stressful situations that need a relaxation remedy. I also discuss the implications it has on society and in the current health care system; this paper is meant to evoke change for social justice, to bring energy healing into the forefront of the health care workers lives, as well as to increase the wellness of both patients and health care workers. This paper brings awareness to energy healing as a holistic way to enhance people’s lives. First, I define wellness. Then I touch on the dimensions that relate to wellness. I go into what energy healing is and how it works. Then I review the research about the various forms of energy healing available. I speak to the implications energy healing has in the hospital setting and how energy healing influences the body in ways that psychoneuroimmunology is prevalent. I give a critical review about energy healing on society, from my own perspective. I give information about my own experience with energy healing. I discuss the need for energy healing for diverse populations; to bring peace to people’s lives with loving-kindness, compassion, and mindfulness programs like heart math. I conclude with the impact energy healing has on peoples’ lives as a whole. First, wellness defined.

    Wellness is defined by Charles Corbin as “a multidimensional state of being; it describes the existence of positive health, exemplified by quality of life and a sense of well-being.”  (UOI Wellness Center, 2015). Another definition provided by The National Wellness Institute, “Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices towards, a more successful existence.” (UOI Wellness Center, 2015). It is the right to all mankind, the opportunity to feel good and experience wholeness, this is imbued in the physical practice of energy healing, as evident by its ability to maintain good health. Our lives are more than what we feel with our physical bodies. “We are spiritual beings living a human experience” as eloquently penned by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. We are a sum total of all the parts that make us whole. Therefore, each choice we make affects our wellness and alters the balance of our entire being. Next, the dimensions that make us whole.

    There are seven dimensions that make us whole; they are emotional, environmental, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, and spiritual (UOI Wellness Center, 2015). Once we bring these dimensions into balance, we can experience wellness. Other researchers have found that the integration of four aspects of ourselves brings on wellness. These are spirituality, physical status, cognitive and emotional processes, and environments (Terry Cross, 2001; David Hodge, Gordon Limb, & Terry Cross, 2009). Basically, mind-body-spirit needs to be addressed for a person to be whole, healthy, and well. When all areas and dimensions of our life are in balance, we are said to be healthy. Energy healing is just one way to enhance this integration of all parts of ourselves for increased wellness. Next, energy healing described.

       Energy healing promotes relaxation through centering and grounding; this can have positive implications in all areas of ones’ life. Centering may eliminate distractions, so people may focus on what is important (Michael Garret, et al., 2008). Centering also allows people to clear space for greater present moment awareness, which is a learned skill by practicing mindfulness. With centering and grounding, the subtle energy of the body can be felt. The energy healing practitioner is well trained in centering and grounding, so they can energetically influence the client to relax. The client’s natural ability to heal is reinvigorated, energy flows smoother, and potential blocks to self-healing are eliminated.

         It is understood that energy healing is engaging life-force energy, otherwise known as prana, chi, and qi. This is the body’s life-force energy or spirit that moves throughout the energy pathways during the healing process. The breath is considered the life-giving force. The premise behind energy healing is that when energy pathways of the body are blocked or disturbed, a disruption occurs in the person’s holistic harmony, which may result in illness, disease, weakness, imbalance, pain, and psycho-spiritual issues (Fazzino, et al., 2010). With these blocks in the persons energy health degrades, thinking is not clear, and suffering happens. Energy healing is meant to help nature heal itself, through unblocking, releasing, and rebalancing the person’s energy (Edwards & Edwards, 2015). Energy healing practices like Reiki, Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch, and Spring Forest Qigong can open energy pathways and remove blocked energy (Mary Faulkner, 2012). These practices work by centering, setting the intention to help or heal for the clients highest and greatest good, and directing healing energy to the client (Guy, McCormack, 2009). Practitioners of energy-based therapies use contact or no contact to influence the human energy field to affect all dimensions of the patient (Fazzino, et al., 2010). Practitioners need not be present with the client for the healing to work because distance healing is effective and always available to them, as is self-healing (Diane Wardell, Sue Kagel, & Lisa Anselme, 2014). We each have the ability to move this life force energy, regardless of one’s religion, we can experience it fully (Faulkner, 2012). Energy healing is rooted in the understanding that we are self-healing. It works with the energy field, affecting the whole person-body, mind, and spirit (Faulkner, 2012). Next, the importance of self-healing.

Those who are giving the Reiki should be practicing it daily to see the best results, “It is important that Reiki practitioners/healers practice self-Reiki daily; it is vital to personal growth and healing” (Faye Castellano, Ellen Butler, & Colleen Mavroulis, 2014). It is essential or vital because it promotes healing and wellness in both client and practitioner. Healing begins when people take charge of their own health, for this reason, healers must attend to their own healing to be effective healers (Faulkner, 2012). Next, I discuss the different styles of energy healing.

    Spring Forest Qigong (SFQ) is a Chinese form of energy healing and in Chinese medicine, which is similar to Ayurveda medicine and other ancient cultures, energy is seen as the basis of medicine (Karin, Cooke, 2012). Master Chunyi Lin created SFQ. He teaches it in a way that is easy to understand and so people can become self-healing, Lin’s vision is “A healer in every family and a world without pain.” (Jane Coleman, 2011). “The active exercise and the meditation aspects of SFQ are effective self-care modalities for persons with perceived chronic physical pain and/or emotional distress” (Coleman, 2011). A study found that with SFQ, there was a significant decrease in the perceived pain of patients with chronic pain (Coleman, 2011). Furthermore, the clients experienced improved sleep, concentration, decision making, and reversal of loss of interest in people experiencing chronic pain (Coleman, 2011). SFQ has proven to increase relaxation in patients, has numerous health benefits, and increases well-being.             Therapeutic Touch (TT) is  utilized in the health care setting to promote healing in patients; it is widely used throughout hospitals, rehab centers, hospice care, and assisted living facilities for the numerous benefits such as improved sleep, immune function, increased social interactions, and improved daily functions (McCormack, 2009).

Healing touch (HT) is used for stress reduction to expedite the healing process in surgery patients. It was demonstrated that healing touch assisted in the healing of people recovering from heart surgery. The energy healing worked to alleviate the symptoms of pain, improve sleep, and reduce levels of cortisol for increased ability to heal the body after surgery (Barb MacIntyre, Jane Hamilton, Theresa Fricke, et al., 2008).

Reiki is a Japanese form of hands-on or hands-off energy healing where a certified Reiki practitioner places his or her hands on or near the client’s body in 12 designated places (Bonnie Raingruber & Carol Robinson 2007). Reiki is more passive than the other forms of energy healing (Pamela Miles, 2015). The Reiki practitioner is trained to channel universal healing energy and light from God, to redistribute stagnant energy, and facilitate the persons own natural ability to heal (Diane Stein, 1996). In a study, the researchers found that a combination of Reiki, tai chi, yoga, and meditation effectively created wellness for nurses who were stressed on the job (Raingruber & Robinson, 2007). The nurses felt the amazing benefits from the energy healing practices; they could tolerate their jobs much more, and it enhanced their problem-solving abilities (Raingruber & Robinson, 2007). Some people practice or receive Reiki to strengthen their wellness, help cope with their symptoms, support or integrate with their medical care for things like chronic illness and end-of-life care. Next, I give a background of the importance of relaxation and energy healing for greater wellness, as it is prevalent in psychoneuroimmunology studies.

    Energy healing practices are relaxing, and there is much research done to show the numerous benefits that relaxation has; such as reducing stress hormones and increasing feel-good hormones (Jorge Daruna, 2012). There is a clear link between elevated cortisol levels from stress, circadian rhythm disruption, and our immune function (Karin Cooke, 2012). These stress hormones impair the immune system and negatively influences the patients ability to heal. With improvements in the immune system, patients can experience relaxation, less pain, and faster recovery, all signs of increased wellness. Furthermore, western medicine is a temporary fix; surgery and drugs can only attempt to treat a problem in the body, they do not solve the root cause of the problem. Whereas holistic healing goes to the Psychoneuroimmunology roots of the problem (Daruna, 2012). Mind, body, and spirit are an entity; people are whole and need to be treated as such. Energy healing allows people to deepen their connection with their bodies, minds, and spirits to understand where the problem arose. Next, I discuss the benefit of energy healing for nurses working in hospitals.

Nurses may use energy healing as a means for self-care so they may become higher functioning nurses at the hospital; experiencing positive physical sensations and enhanced mental clarity (Raingruber & Robinson, 2007). By creating a sense of relaxation in their own life, they can become more aware and conscious of the subtle energetic cues from their patients (Raingruber & Robinson, 2007). Nurses may experience reduction in burnout, more gratitude for their work, a calmer mind, and enhanced clinical problem-solving skills (Raingruber & Robinson, 2007). Next, I discuss my thoughts on the social implications of energy healing.

    Reasons people may not use energy healing is because they have a misunderstanding that it’s against their religion, it’s not offered by insurance, not enough people know about it, and only a few volunteers are offering energy healing at hospitals, just to name a few. Energy healing is no longer a secret, more people are practicing and experiencing positive results, but it seems not enough people know about these benefits of energy healing. To be the change we want to see in the world we may spend our money more wisely. There are ethical ways to go about living our lives. People are spending money for energy healing certifications, and people are seeking out these therapies. What needs to be done is more people to request or demand our caregivers and health care workers offer holistic healing remedies. Insurance companies could begin reimbursing for these types of therapies. If energy healing went more mainstream, the society would be much more peaceful, loving, and kind towards each other. Energy healing was once taught to all persons; it was taught to all young children in grade schools until it became secretive (Stein, 1996). It would greatly benefit the masses if energy healing were taught in mainstream education, that the hands do heal. Touching is off limits and I believe this mentality is wreaking havoc on society. People are craving healthy touch and may go about seeking it in unhealthy ways. There is a missing link between children and the healing powers we all have. With energy healing, the possibilities to create positive changes and growth are infinite, and more health care centers and schools would benefit from it. Next, how heart math can positively influence children’s and everyones lives for the better.

Heart math is a practice that brings mind, body, spirit connectivity and awareness as tools for overcoming adversity. Heart math is working with children, students, and veterans, just to name a few, to reduce stress, anger, violence and replace feelings with compassion, love, and peace (The HeartMath Solution,1999; Institute of HeartMath, 2011). The program demonstrates its ability to effectively bring peace and compassion to our communities by increasing people’s emotional intelligence with mind, body, and spirit connectivity and coherence (Better Not Cry, Better Not Pout’ Institute of HeartMath, 2010). Heart math and energy healing are similar for the benefits of centering, meditating, calming the mind, to find a sense of serenity. Next, I discuss how psychologists Freud and Jung integrated energy healing into their practice.

    Energy healing can be practiced in addition to psychotherapy and other health care programs, for clients and workers alike, to preserve their health and keep it in good standing while helping others heal from deeper issues. What I find very interesting is Freud, father of psychoanalysis, or the study of human behavior, had implemented energy healing into his work,

“Energy healing is a popular contemporary term for forms of healing that facilitate a natural healing process through harmonizing, rebalancing, and releasing energy flow disturbed or blocked by disease and illness. Biographical evidence indicates that Freud used physical, suggestive, and radiant forms of energy healing and that his personal life, metapsychology, and psychoanalysis were founded on dynamic, energetic experiences and conceptualizations” (Edwards & Edwards, 2015).


Carl Jung, another prominent psychologist, fathered analytical psychology, and he also incorporated spiritual and energetic philosophies into his teachings by using meditative forms of healing such as the Mandela, meaning sacred circle in Sanskrit. Tibetan Buddhist Monks and Native American Indians used mandalas as a way to evoke healing, spiritual energy, and meditation (University of New Hampshire). The Mandela brought healing into the psychological setting. Also, Jung taught about the wounded healer (Ginger, Murchison, 2012). It is important to understand what happens when people come from a society with many problems and goes to see a therapist where there is an energy transference; the health care worker could possibly burnout from this over exposure to negative energy (Trisha Dunning, 2006). Healers need to be aware of the risks of becoming wounded by their work (Dunning, 2006). To the contrary, a wounded healer can be seen as a good thing.  According to Von Braschler (2015) wounded-ness is transformational and causes spiritual growth; people come out wiser, stronger, and more able to understand others suffering (p. 18). Wounded healers know how to make their lives whole again by restoring spirit, despite the wounds that don’t ever heal completely, they embrace the wounded-ness and keep carrying on (Von Braschler, 2015). To see things in a different light, to expand ones’ consciousness, and find that healing is an everyday struggle when dealing with modern day issues.

    The world and its inhabitants suffer on many different levels, to become more aware and connected to our spiritual nature, and our ability to heal ourselves is the objective of energy healing. Just knowing that we can improve the world we live in with one thought or action gives the most mundane of days real meaning (Casey, 1996). We are all at risk of losing our sense of belonging and purpose with issues of separation, desolation, alienation, stress, and isolation people experience from modern day living. The collective consciousness shares its pain, and healers are working hard to raise the vibrations of love on Earth. Our gifts and healing abilities are to be realized and shared.  We are all healers; not one person is more of a healer than another (Karen, Casey, 1996).  Next, my experience with energy healing.

  Energy healing gives me the power to take control of my health and wellness. Out of all the holistic healing modalities, I find energy healing to have the utmost importance for maintaining wellness. Energy healing is relaxing, and this brings me so much joy to be able to step back from life and to simply enjoy being alive. I am an energy healing practitioner, yoga teacher, and meditator, so I can experience relaxation and share this love for relaxation with others. I have experienced positive psychological benefits from practicing energy healing such as a calm mind, sense of surrender, and feelings of bliss. Energy healing applies to anyone who wants to experience relaxation and to heal on a deep level. Freedom from suffering is the ultimate goal for energy healing. All energy healing serves the same purpose, to create wellness by enhancing the sense of connection to something greater. A connection and oneness with the Universe and all beings, plus our innate ability to heal ourselves. It is important to know where we are in relation to all things, people, places, and experiences; otherwise we risk the chance of losing a sense of ourselves, our connection to the community, to the natural environment, and to the spiritual world. Every day is an opportunity to focus on the healing energies; to return to wholeness and wellness. From reading the different studies, I discovered the benefits energy healing has for health care workers and their clients. Nurses found solitude by practicing Reiki, people with chronic pain found pain relief, and patients recovered faster from heart surgery. These are just a few studies that have been done, despite the lack of research on this topic. Energy healing can be integrated into Western world beautifully, to help people on a deeper level to discover their true nature, and get to the root of the problems they are facing. Energy healing is the key to wellness that not everyone knows about, but should. It brings back the magic of simply being alive, to find peace and serenity. To enjoy touch, a sense of compassion, and love for all beings everywhere, can make all the difference in the world.



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Book Review: Chemistry of Joy

The book, Chemistry of Joy, written by medical doctor (DR) Emmons is a guide book to bring relief, using holistic means, to those who suffer from depression. He promotes the use of mind-body-spirit interventions such as exercise, nutrition, and meditation for treating depression, to treat the whole person rather than just handing out prescription medications. Emmons offers interventions such as a mindfulness practice to increase the feel good chemicals, such as serotonin and endorphins, through diet and exercise, thus he explains the relationship between hormone levels and depression. Emmons teaches Ayurveda and Buddhist philosophy to help the readers to understand the inner workings of their mind better; it is important for people to understand why they may be feeling depressed. Emmons offers simple guidelines for feeling more joy. He does a fine job of integrating western medicine with Eastern philosophy, making him a unique addition into the western medical science paradigm. Throughout this paper, I will discuss my perception of Emmons philosophy of healing from depression. I will begin by briefly describing what depression is. I will summarize Emmons key points in the book and discuss who this book may be meant for. I will discuss ways to find joy in life. Finally, I will finish with the greatest and highest message that I took from reading Emmons book.

Depression is a prominent mental disorder for those who are lacking joy in their life, experiencing loss of interest, or excessive sadness. On the contrary, depression can be seen differently. It can be a profound learning experience and offer transformation. It allows people the opportunity to make the necessary changes to live healthier lives. Depression can be viewed as a necessary component on the spiritual path. To become enlarged or grow more expansive rather than close up and become small. It’s a choice all depressives have, to sulk in the depression or to see it as a growing opportunity. Through times of hardship or depression we become more permeable and more open to the influences of love, spiritual transformation, and enlightenment, says Emmons (p. 249). There must be a thin line between depression and love. Furthermore, joy is not simply the opposite or absence of depression, it is the result of making daily efforts to experience inner happiness, as opposed to experiencing life in a mundane or melancholic way, rather, to see life through new eyes and in a different light. To see the light in the dark spaces. Joy can be experienced in many different ways, next I will discuss what Emmons had to say about seeking community.

Depression may be a time when people need to get outside of themselves and seek a supportive community. So he includes an exercise on building a house of belonging; to whom do we send love to? He emphasizes the importance of building a community of soul friends who help you on your spiritual path (Emmons, 2006). Joy can be experienced when actively engaged with community. The soul desires joy and community, and there is more joy when there is more community. There is much enjoyment by experiencing soul, through soulful living and increased awareness of soul in all things everywhere. Next, I will discuss more ways to seek joy.

There are many ways to bring joy back to life such as living a more active lifestyle, and eating the proper foods to aid the body in the production of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine; which are all hormones that influence the psychology and physiology of each person. Emmons describes depression as a chemical imbalance that can be corrected with a few minor changes in lifestyle choices. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the body, when the body is not sensitive to the beneficial hormones that are present, or the body is not producing enough of them. Depression can be the painful result of not living a well-balanced life. There are foods and exercises that help to release more of these beneficial feel good hormones. Emmons recommends people take vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and get consistent exercise and meditation to find balance and come back to equanimity. People may not always feel up to going on a long walk or visiting the gym for a workout, but exercise is the best and most cost effective way to beat the blues. Next, I discuss who this book may be meant for.

This book may be used for anyone taking medications and looking for a way to lower the dose, or as an alternative to taking medications. All people can benefit from this research and knowledge that Emmons is passing down. The book would help anyone who wants to better themselves. This book would be great for healers who are looking to help those with depression, to understand healing on many different levels and multiple dimensions. Emmons words of wisdom are especially helpful for Native Minnesotans who may suffer from a seasonal affective disorder, which includes symptoms of depression from not getting enough sunshine because getting enough light during the winter months is crucial for mental health. It is ok to feel depressed from time to time, but not all the time. This book is beneficial for the depressed person to find relief when they have nowhere else to turn or after other options have been exhausted. Talk therapy is always an option, so long as the psychologist is not trying to ‘fix’ the person. Emmons style of psychotherapy is to simply hold space for the person to work through things, he facilitates healing in a client-centered sort of way. Every person needs to feel that they can safely talk about their feelings without being judged.

This book skims the surface of Eastern philosophy with the recommendation for meditation, so this book may not be for the more advanced meditation practitioner, whom I don’t think would be in that much of a depressed state of mood if they are meditating regularly. This book may not be meant for the master in mindfulness meditation, if you are already advanced spiritually and well-read in Buddhist philosophy, or not experiencing symptoms of depression you can skip this book. This book is great for the beginner mindfulness practitioner, however, I do recommend this book even for the advanced meditation practitioner. Emmons includes lovely material that I find very welcoming to all people. These teachings apply to the world at large, to bring peace, love, harmony, and happiness to the masses with simple to follow techniques. It is simply a matter of helping people listen to their body better and to treat themselves right. To treat the body like a temple of God. To find spiritual perspective while life continuously has its ups and downs. On another note, these teachings are not new, this is ancient wisdom passed down from Buddhists and Holy Scriptures such as the Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad Gita. Many people have discussed this matter to great depth, Henry is only regurgitating these things in his own words. It is somewhat a short book, so it’s worth it just to read through it for the wonderful pages on meditation and nutrition, for increased feel good hormones. Emmons writes about Buddhist and spiritual philosophy and how they have integrated into western culture; these offer great tools to overcome depression amongst many other obstacles. Emmons brings perspective and light onto this very dark topic, depression. Buddhist philosophy relates to joy, I’m sure Buddhist monks have been studied and have the happiest brain waves around. Living a more balanced life, with proper nutrition, mindfulness, spirituality, mental and physical activity brings wellness.

This book goes to the heart of spiritual matter, spiritual discipline to overcome depression or emotional disturbances. He recommends Yoga and mindfulness practices such as breath awareness and meditation as a means to bring stillness and grounded-ness into one’s chaotic life.  Emmons practices and teaches mindfulness. “Mindfulness is awareness, on purpose, without judgment” as taught by Kabat-Zinn, the creator of mindfulness-based stress reduction program. Awareness is being awake. ‘Wake up and start loving life’ is a great motto that relates to the teachings in this book. Spirituality aids in the awakening of one’s psyche, awakening to higher consciousness, and awakening to living a life of healing and joy (Henry Emmons, 2006). Joy is a choice, and each choice that is made every day accumulates and creates our life, to choose joyful experiences makes for a joyful life.

Emmons offers quizzes for the readers to understand the types of Doshas (the nature of our being in Ayurveda system of health care, the sister science of Yoga) and the Buddhist psychology quiz for the readers to be more engaged with his teachings and understand their body and mind type, to make changes for the better. Doshas are the concepts that describe the three constitutions that people can be any one, two, or three of them. This quiz allows the readers to place themselves into a category so they can easily understand their health types.  Not everyone will find that they have only one dosha or Buddhist psychological type. At one time, we have a dominating dosha, and Ayurveda gives recommendations for balancing the doshas. Overall, it is nice to understand them all and be more aware of these life changing concepts. Furthermore, Yoga is a powerful practice to bring equanimity, balance, and wellbeing to all areas of one’s life. Yoga recommends a sattvic lifestyle, sattvic diet, sattvic attitude, satvic is a calm and peaceful demeanor. Yoga promotes relaxation. Yoga promotes respect to the body and give it what it needs. The proper amount of nutrition, sleep, movement, breathe, etc. Yoga teaches courage and presence. Yoga is meditative with a focus on breath awareness, generosity, gratitude, forgiveness, compassion, and living with a full heart.

Emmons encourages a meditation practice aside from yoga, such as walking, deep listening, dwelling in the heart, releasing negative emotions, navigating unhealthy moods, working through emotional blockages, living authentically, and living with a purpose styles of meditation. Dr. Emmons also guides the readers through a practice, the practice of having a dialogue with the soul. To dialogue with the soul so people may build a relationship and understanding of the self. It’s a beautiful thing to be self-sufficient, to inquire from within for deeper wisdom. To trust the intuition for any issues that might arise in life.

From the entire book, I feel my takeaway or the greatest and highest message that has the greatest and highest good for all is: love is the answer. Depression may be that we are disconnected from the love that is within. To me, love is listening to the heart and intuition is a powerful teaching taught in Yoga, to listen to the intuition or the inner Guru for guidance. I think this intuition comes from the heart space, the seat of the soul, the almighty heart! I love that Emmons recommends diet and nutrition, but this comes naturally with Yoga practice, as does a loving kindness practice with compassion for all beings. When Yoga is practiced your body, mind, and spirit become one and you naturally want to expend energy in a positive way. Overall, intuition has all the answers we need, all we must do is find a little silence and stillness to figure this out. I am a true believer that Yoga is a worthwhile practice that all would benefit from; and Emmons recommends a Yoga practice for improved mental and physical health, because Yoga promotes relaxation and wellness. It is in the stillness that we can hear the soft whispers from the deepest parts of ourselves which tell us right from wrong. Yoga can be done all the time, in all areas of life. Yoga helps to find increased awareness, interconnectedness with all beings everywhere, and to see the God in all things. Yoga brings light into the dark spaces. I commend Emmons for delving deeper into the spiritual wisdom of combating depression, while offering nutritional and lifestyle advice. He brushes on the topic of epi-genetics and us having the ability, with willpower, to change our fate and move away from a life of disease. Living the Yogic life brings ease. Books like this have the power to create change in the world, this can be a life changing book for the novice in Buddhist or Yogic philosophy. Thank you Henry Emmons, gratitude in all things. This book is a journey from darkness to light, from chaos to serenity, and from fragmentation to wholeness.


Emmons, H. (2006). The chemistry of joy. Simon & Schuster. New York, NY

Therapeutic touch for elders in pain who are undergoing OT after surgery: A research article review

Non-contact therapeutic touch (NCTT) is a holistic healing modality, this is a review of a research study done on elders who are undergoing Occupational Therapy (OT) after surgery to reduce pain. This study demonstrated that NCTT is in fact effective for reducing perceived pain in elders. ‘Using non-contact therapeutic touch to manage post-surgical pain in the elderly’ is a remarkable article that demonstrates the value of health care providers to practice therapeutic touch on patients to reduce pain and increase well-being. NCTT promotes good health, wellness, and healing which improves all areas of life. A brief overview NCTT is the practice of directing healing energy to the client by centering, using mindfulness meditation and setting the intention to help or heal (Guy, McCormack, 2009). NCTT practitioners learn to relax so they can allow optimal healing ability. Energy healing is done by channeling life force energy through the hands and into the client. The frequencies coming from the hands of the healer are similar to the Earth’s frequencies and facilitates homeostasis in the person’s body (McCormack, 2009). Having a good imagination, understanding of consciousness, and connection to higher power is important for this energy healing practice to work. NCTT is performed in four phases: centering, assessment, un-ruffling the field, and intervention or modulation (McCormack, 2009). NCTT effects the electro bio-magnetic field of the client and tests were done to verify the changes in the energy field of the client. NCTT invokes a relaxation response to reduce anxiety and improve the mood. NCTT is widely used throughout hospitals, rehab centers, hospice care, and assisted living facilities because there are many benefits from NCTT such as improved sleep, immune function, increased social interactions, and improved daily functions (McCormack, 2009).

  The purpose of this research study was to find out the effects NCTT had on the perceived pain of elders who were receiving OT after having surgery. Participants were randomly selected from a convenience sample of 90 elders. Numerous tests were given to the experimental group after receiving NCTT.  The control group and placebo group had no NCTT. Most all of the experimental group experienced a decrease in pain after receiving NCTT when the other two groups experienced an increase in pain. The reduction in pain supports the efficacy of NCTT to help elders cope with post surgical pain, also NCTT can be integrated with medications to improve the lives of elders (McCormack, 2009). NCTT is cost effective way for OT’s to integrate into their therapy and with studies such as this, there should be an increase in usage of energy healing modalities used throughout the health care system.


McCormack, G. (2009). Using non-contact therapeutic touch to manage post-surgical pain in the elderly. Occup.Ther. Int. 16 (1): 44-56. DOI: 10.1002/oti.264

Spring Forest Qigong for chronic pain: a research article review

Spring Forest Qigong (SFQ) is an energy healing practice that has a direct influence on chronic pain management. It reduces stress and promotes relaxation. SFQ is a form of energy healing that is well established and known for it’s healing properties, pain relief, and relaxing benefits thanks to master Chunyi Lin. He teaches SFQ so it is easy to understand. It is taught in a way so people can become self-healing.  Lin’s vision is “A healer in every family and a world without pain.” (Jane Coleman, 2011). 

This study was a pilot study using a mixed method design, it included 122 subjects who learned SFQ. They practiced SFQ every day for 30 minutes over an 8 week period, participated in group meetings, and completed surveys (Coleman, 2011).

The results showed that there was a  significant decrease in the perception of physical pain and emotional distress, as well as improved sleep, concentration, decision making, and reversal of loss of interest (Coleman, 2011). “The active exercise and the meditation aspects of SFQ are effective self-care modalities for persons with perceived chronic physical pain and/or emotional distress” (Coleman, 2011).  Eighty-six percent of the participants were still practicing SFQ at 16 weeks and six of the subjects completed a Level 2 SFQ class (Coleman, 2011).

This study, and others like it, indicate that health care providers could very well promote SFQ; for adults to utilize and experience the numerous benefits from this heath promotion practice (Coleman, 2011). This study is scientific evidence that SFQ works to alleviate stress and chronic pain while enhancing the well-being of people and promoting good health practices. These participants found relief from pain and more people can too.


Coleman, J. (2011). Spring Forest Qigong and Chronic Pain. Sage Pub. Vol. 29 No. 2

Yoga & Mindfulness

Yoga is the ancient Indian practice that uses breath exercises, postures, and meditation to balance the body’s energy centers; this enhances mindfulness, spirituality, sense of peace, and calm in all who practice (Lavretsky, 2010). It is relaxing to the body in a meditative way, so one can unite with the wisdom of his or her soul. Also, “Yoga and meditation are not religious; it is a practical, systematic, and scientific formula for excellence; a quest for perfect health” (Rama, 1998. p. 2) There are many styles of Yoga that elders can use, Silver Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga, Yin Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, etc., which have developed from the original Yoga, Hatha Yoga. The central teaching of Yoga is “Man’s true nature is divine, perfect, infinite, and whole” (Rama, 1998, p. 2). One may recognize this truth and find inner peace with a regular Yoga and mindfulness practice. Yoga elicits relaxation and healing with an emphasis on focused awareness, reduction in distractions, controlled breathing, and relaxation (Salmon, 2009). A study was done where elders practiced Trataka, a visual cleansing technique to focus the mind, was discovered to enhance the cognition in elders (Talwadkar, 2014). Kabat-Zinn (1990) posits that moving or physical practices have to have a focused state of mind to be considered mindful. Additional criteria for Yoga to be considered mindful are these aspects: meditative, contemplative, noncompetitive, nonjudgmental, proprioceptive awareness, total body and life force awareness, focus on breathe, balance, and alignment (Forge, 2005). One of the greatest benefits of Yoga is the ability to concentrate one’s’ mind on the breath, thus calming the mind. The Yoga practice accentuates awareness to the breath, which encourages a clear and focused mind by minimizing distractions to find relaxation (Iyengar, 1979). Breath is the most important component of Yoga. “Breath is the breath of life, the life force energy, and pranic energy,” (Iyengar, 2013, p. 319). Conscious Yogic breathing in every pose helps to massage the body from within and unravel the tightness of a lifetime of accumulated stress (Florence, 1996). The gentle, relaxing, strengthening, and restorative qualities of yoga may be highly beneficial for elders. Yoga can be a relatively convenient and attainable (you are missing a word here – attainable what?) since it is available at hospitals, community homes, local studios and gyms, etc.; as a way for elders to increase cognition, treat and prevent physical ailments, and increase ability to relax and enjoy the present moment (Florence, 1996; Salmon, 2009; Oken, 2006). Yoga is a healing system that has evolved over thousands of years and has become increasingly popular in the West with people of all ages; it can be used to improve the physical capabilities of healthy elders or as a means to treat unhealthy elders (Salmon, 2009). Tiedemann et al., (2013) found that high adherence rates demonstrates the feasibility and participant enjoyment of the Yoga program. (You should periodically indicate you are focusing on Yoga as a modality of Mindfulness – otherwise it begins to sound like a stand alone topic) Yoga has many health benefits, including increases in the beneficial high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max), improved cardiovascular fitness, improve the health of elders and act as a basis for a physically active lifestyle; meaning if Yoga were all elders did for exercise, they would be well off (Ramos, et al., 2009). Yoga offers restorative benefits to elders; which is more than what conventional exercise can offer; Yoga tends to have a higher adherence rate for elders for this reason (Solin, 2004). This may be attributed to the restorative qualities it offers, such as feelings of relaxation, peace, and calm (Woodyard, 2011). There are a number of other reasons to practice Yoga regularly. It is well-documented the health benefits and disease risk reduction, it is also devoid of adverse side effects and negative social stigmata (Salmon, 2009). Benefits of exercise for elders are vast. One study found that that Yoga exercise has positive benefits for both the physical and mental health of elders living with dementia within in long-term care facilities; it is recommended that yoga be included as one of the routine activities (Fan, J. & Chen, K., 2011). The researchers found that the yoga-trained participants had better physical and mental health than those who did not participate, including lowered blood pressure, reduced respiration rate, strengthened cardiopulmonary fitness, enhanced body flexibility, improved muscle strength and endurance, improved balance, and increased joints motion, reduced depression and problem behaviors (Fan, J. & Chen, K., 2011). Recent research studies have discovered that Yoga techniques have immediate effects on the sympathetic nervous system, with psychological effects such as reduced depression, stress, anxiety, and pain; which can be attributed to enhanced cognitive function (Gothe, et al., 2015). Yoga is life transformational. (Again – tie back to Mindfulness)Yoga has been shown to increase cognition, memory function, psychophysiological parameters, and executive function in elders (Gothe et al., 2013; Rocha, 2012). This may be due to the increased circulation of blood to the brain and lymphatic drainage of toxins away from the brain from practicticing Yoga (Muktibodhananda, 1998; Iverson, 2013). Other benefits of Yoga are fatigue reduction; it energizes, provides tranquility of mind, and increases elasticity of the body making it more limber, soft, and supple; preventing falls and other injuries (Florence, 1996). In a study researchers found that practicing Yoga for an extended period of time predicts lower body mass index and medication use in people aged 45 and up; resulting in zero obesity (Moliver, et al., 2014). It may be that Yoga practioner’s use less medications because Yoga loosens joints, banishes stiffness, and alleviates general aches and pains (Florence, 1996). It builds up the efficiency of heart and lungs, increases circulation, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, balances hormones, overcomes insomnia, regulates appetite, generates a vigorous and vibrant sense of well-being, and used as a means to reach enlightenment (Florence, 1996, Iyengar, 1979, 2005; Muktibodhananda, 1998). Enlightenment being freedom from suffering (Iyengar, 2005). Yoga has much in common with the stress reduction, meditative, and contemplative practices Tai Chi, Qigong, and Martial Arts (I don’t think you need this) offer; each are practiced in a focused yet relaxed manner. Moving meditation practices may be more appealing to elders than sitting or formal meditation. Yoga allows elders to engage mind and body in a relatively easy manner while continually offering new challenges and possibilities. Yoga includes slow and deliberate movements that also prevent injury while exercising. There are many varieties of Yoga poses; making Yoga adaptable, modifiable, and flexible for practitioners (Salmon, 2009). Yoga practitioners are encouraged to modify and work at their own level of expertise.




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Healing Touch for quicker recovery from heart surgery: a research article review

    The article, ‘The efficacy of healing touch in coronary artery bypass surgery recovery: a randomized clinical trial,’ demonstrates the remarkable ability of this somatic practice, healing touch, to assist in the healing of people. Healing Touch (HT) is considered a complementary and alternative medicine practice (CAM). “The use of CAM in conduction with conventional care has great potential to address patient pain, complication rates, and recovery time” (Barb MacIntyre, Jane Hamilton, and Theresa Fricke, et al., 2008). In review of this article, HT is shown to have helped the heart surgery patients recover through this relaxation technique, by supporting the body’s natural ability to heal itself. This research is important for the health care field, to integrate holistic practices like HT, to create a more relaxing and peaceful atmosphere within the stressful hospital environment.

The methodology selected for this research study was an experimental randomized controlled trial which lasted from September 1999 until November 2002 (MacIntyre et. al., 2008). There were three groups, a control group, visitor group, and partial intervention group. The group that received the HT proved the hypothesis to be true, that those who experienced HT would have noticeable results or an incline in relaxation, pain reduction, and speedy recovery. The HT patients were released from the hospital much earlier than those who did not. Positive results were reported by the intervention group, the patients commented that they were not aware of how stressed they had been until they experienced the deeply relaxing benefits from HT (MacIntyre et. al., 2008).

    Psychoneuroimmunology or the study of how emotions and beliefs can create physical changes in the body coincides well with HT therapies. HT is an ancient wisdom that believes what we think we shall become and works well based on intention and placebo effects. Currently “eastern” CAM modalities are intended to be integrated with “western” conventional care; this is  ideal since right now many people are using CAM without the help from insurance companies. It would be wise for insurance companies to include more CAM into the western health care system. Using modalities such as HT saves time, money, and resources; since the patients who received HT went home early with overall fewer mortality rates (MacIntyre et. al., 2008). HT is becoming a more popular healing modality in the health care system and we should look forward to seeing a positive correlation between touch therapy in the reduction of pain and stress for many more people to come.


MacIntyre, B., Hamilton, J., Fricke, T., et al. (2008). The use of CAM in conduction with conventional care has great potential to address patient pain, complication rates, and recovery time.  Alternative therapies Journal, Vol. 14 No. 4

Energy Healing

Looking back at the past semester,  I’ve come a long way in my studies of energy healing. Using consciousness in action has been very rewarding for me. I suppose I’m pleased with the results I’m feeling and seeing from practicing energy healing. I’m receiving wonderful, open, and honest feedback from my clients.  People love to be touched! Becoming an energy healing practitioner has influenced my life in great ways. I am forever grateful for this opportunity. Having found this healing modality has been amazing, for I am contributing to the higher and greater good for all.  I have a greater sense of the magic that is all around us. It’s a mystical outlook on life that I have embraced throughout this practice. Being initiated into Reiki has heightened my sense of Prana/Qi, unlike anything before. I have experienced much tranquility and peace through energy healing practice which enhances my Yoga practice too.  I am pleased to share this vital life force energy with others. I feel when I touch others I also breathe Prana into them. There are so many wonderful sensations to experience when practicing energy healing. There was a time when I did not know how to deal with my reactions, my anger, judgment, and resentments. I would explode with rage. I wanted to be strong and to overcome the darkness and find inner peace and tranquility. Through tedious work,  I found energy healing and Yoga to bring me to inner silence. I am gradually learning how to maintain inner peace and silence when faced with difficult situations and circumstances, especially in all areas of life. Practicing energy healing for me is like a medium to open up to new friendships. In society, things of interest bring people together, for me this is Yoga, meditation, travel, energy healing, vegan eating, nature-loving, so fourth. I have something to offer people that is highly sought out. Most people live stressful lives. Most people seek relaxation. My offering Reiki, healing touch, and therapeutic touch is bringing me closer to people around me. I feel more oneness and harmony now with the Universe than I have felt in all my life. Practicing energy healing brings so much life and light to my existence. It’s not so strange for me to speak about energy while I’m teaching Yoga since I have such a deep understanding of energy, from experience, and I’m oh so eager to share this wisdom with others. Often times I practice Reiki on myself to experience the magic, I simply allow the energy to flow, and keep my awareness on what is going on energetically in my body.
To offer energy healing is just as beneficial to me as it is to those I practice with. I’m happy to have shared this experience with a close friend and to come closer to reaching the master level of Reiki practitioner. I realize the importance of learning these skills for my own benefit, to transform my own life before I can truly help others. I am practicing Reiki on a daily basis for I know the importance of practice, a little bit goes a long way. I am full of contentment and happiness from what energy this practice has availed me. I am like a bubbling spring of love that wants to pour out to all who are near and far. I imagine myself waving back and fourth in a sea of love and bliss. I wonder ways I can reach out to more people. I have offered people Reiki in the sauna at the gym. I made a business card to hand out to perfect strangers and friends in case they truly desired a session by me. I come across many people who are willing to do a trade, for example, massage for Reiki. As a passionate energy healing practitioner I will continue this practice for the rest of my life.
    Reflecting on the documentation sheets, I see much improvement in my confidence level from the beginning to now. I have over fifty practice sessions completed. The energy healing practice has become comfortable and natural feeling to me. When my friend demonstrated Spring Forest Qi Gong it made perfect sense since I have this foundation and vast understanding of energy. So there is a mutual benefit from giving and receiving energy healing. It is creating a supportive, nurturing, and healing relationship or community of healers. I have known about energy for quite some time now, I grew up going to Unity of Minneapolis and we often talked about God and consciousness. This seemed to have only deepened my understanding of energy healing. I also noticed energy during my years of  practicing meditation and Yoga. I feel God has blessed me in many ways over the years of living a sattvic and pure lifestyle. I practice self-less service and offer up all the fruits of my work to God. I thank God in all things, and God is good all the time. I’m more confident when some person tells me that the energy movement is very noticeable when I am practicing energy healing on them; which I’ve heard numerous times.
  The books and teachings in class were very helpful. I continuously refer to the books as a energy healing refresher and guidelines to remind me the importance of higher learning. There are many factors involved to have a professional and very fulfilling healing session. I must be grounded, centered, set an appropriate tone and demeanor to my presentation. To adhere to ethical guidelines during healing touch. To introduce myself, to set an intention, and to act in a professional manner. I want to create a welcoming and safe environment for my clients to feel at ease. I like to see my clients comfortable, at home, and able to fall asleep on the massage table while I am going about my energy healing business. I like to include aromatherapy, heat therapy with the Bio-mat, light touch,  sometimes a light massage, candles, healing stones, etc.  I act on intuition during the sessions, always respectful and loving following professional conduct and ethic of touch guidelines. I am able to read the body and energy field and know what it is that would help this person at that time. It is a gift to offer energy healing, for the benefits are experienced immediately and felt long after the session. My body vibrates at a much higher frequency with the practice of Reiki and healing touch, I am blessed to experience this and want to share this with everyone.
    I truly enjoy hearing what the experience was like for the client. I’ve had people tell me about their visions, sense of surrender, and bliss. This makes me happy to witness all the tension and stress melt away. I am pleased when energy blockages are dissipated and pain relief is experienced. Most people have a smile and look so peaceful during the practice. There were a couple time when I felt confused what technique to use, with practice and in time I’ve grown used to switching back and forth between Reiki and healing touch with therapeutic touch thrown into the mix. For me, this took an act of acceptance. I was attached to the Reiki at first and did not want to learn other modalities, but now I am so thrilled to be practicing multiple forms of energy healing. It is nice to have variety. Just like I would not want to practice the same kind of asana every day, I like having the ability to practice multiple healing modalities with people. I am referring many people to Ayurveda and Yoga for these are the things that also influence self-healing.
I just love that we all have the ability to self-heal. I think what holds us back from healing is the lack of understanding and education. It is important and fulfilling to learn the ways of body, mind, spirit and to tap into your natural healing ability. Healing begins when we truly know ourselves, honor ourselves with love and respect, and become self-realized. There is so much bliss to be experienced when setting aside time to practice energy healing.