Thursday, May 12, 2022

Overview: The Science of Energy Healing

Written by: Roberta Kline, MD
Energetic healing has been practiced by many cultures and in many forms over the centuries. While mainstream medicine has embraced some forms of energetic modalities, by and large it has viewed most as “alternative” and “non-science based”. This is slowly changing as the science is catching up to be able to explain this ancient practice. 

The term "energy medicine" has been in general use since the founding of the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine in the 1980s.  Energy medicine often proposes that imbalances in the body's "energy field" result in illness, and that by re-balancing the body's energy-field health can be restored.[5] Some modalities are described to "bring balance to the body's overall wellness", while others bring claims of  addressing pain, detoxing, cell regeneration or improve overall energy. 


Samples of energy therapies include:

• Biofield energy healing
• Contact healing
• Distant healing
• Therapeutic touch
• Reiki
• Magnetic resonance therapy

• Colorpuncture
• Light therapy
• Polarity therapy
• Bioresonance therapy
• MORA therapy
• Zero Balancing


ENERGY IS EVERYWHERE
Everything is energy. Quantum physics has demonstrated that everything exists as a vibrational energy. Some forms of energy have a frequency low enough to make the object solid and therefore visible and physically tangible, such as concrete, trees, mountains, and the human body. Others, such as sound, light, heat and gravity are invisible – but they are no less real. 

Every living thing requires energy to exist and function, and this comes in different forms. For example, in the human body are “energy generators” called the mitochondria. These tiny powerhouses in our cells convert fat, protein and glucose into ATP – the energy that fuels everything that is needed for us to be alive. (see review on the mitochondria)

While the science behind how energy exists and is utilized for health and well-being is quite complex, efforts have been underway for more than 30 years to create a more approachable understanding.


THE SCIENCE OF ENERGETICS: THE BIOFIELD
The Biofield is a relatively new term developed in 1992 to describe the concept of energy in a more unified way, integrating knowledge gained from traditional practices with that of modern science. [1] Three of the main scientific principles underlying our current understanding of the Biofield energy are thermodynamics, physics and quantum physics.

The First Law of Thermodynamics is a conservation law, meaning that the total amount of energy in the universe is constant, therefore it cannot be created or destroyed but only transformed. 

Physics operates on the principle that energy is the ability to do work, and there are 4 types of energetic forces found in nature: gravity, electromagnetism, and two related to atoms. 

Quantum physics demonstrates that all matter is energy, composed of atoms and subatomic particles that are always in motion. This energy is never static in its natural state, rather it is vibrating at a specific frequency. Sometimes that frequency is readily measured, as in the electrical signals from various parts of the body. The ECG (electrocardiogram) measures the electrical activity of the heart, the EEG (electroencephalogram) for the brain, and EMG (electromyogram) measures electrical activity in response to a nerve’s stimulation of muscle. These are all standard in Western Medicine.

In addition to the physical body, our food, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and consciousness are also composed of energy. The end result is a complex interaction of multiple vibrational frequencies that either work in harmony or are creating dissonance. 

“The concept of biofield regulation offers a shift from a mechanical, chemistry-based view of biology to an information-based view.” [1]

This, then, is the biofield: a complex energy field responsible for the generation, maintenance, and regulation of biological homeodynamics. Cell biology and biophysics research has validated that our own electromagnetic and other types of energetic fields play active roles in many biological processes including embryonic development, tissue repair, inflammation, pain, cell-membrane potential, cell signaling and other communication, and even as information encoded in our DNA. [1, 2, 3] 

The ongoing exchange of information that is required for living systems to maintain their integrity could be considered to be the true “language of life”. While much of this language has been described to date as electromagnetic, there is growing evidence for the role of quantum energy as well. [1]

ENERGY IS HEALTH
When that vibrational frequency or information flow is disrupted or altered, cellular health suffers and the end result can range from minor aches and pains to major illness. But now our knowledge of the Energy of the Biofield also provides the opportunity for healing in a much more effective way that can complement or even replace the need for more invasive conventional therapies. 


ACUPUNCTURE AND ACUPRESSURE
The ancient modalities of acupuncture and acupressure are now thought to operate within the connective tissue biofield that runs along the meridian lines, creating a rapid and effective communication channel [1] that may result in epigenetic changes. (see DNA methylation)

ULTRASOUND
With a wide range of frequencies available, clinical uses for ultrasound have expanded from limited diagnostic and treatment (such as lithotripsy for kidney stones) to advanced assessment and treatment of a wide range of tissues – even including surgical procedures. [4]


ELECTROMAGNETICS
PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic fields) devices have a wide range of frequencies available, and can influence cell membrane potentials of many different tissues to enhance communication and increase blood flow, decrease inflammation and activate a number of genes [3] possibly through epigenetics. 

Pharmacology is also leveraging electromagnetics to explore more effective ways of getting medications into cells. Drug delivery systems are being developed using nanoparticles designed to manipulate cell membrane electromagnetic fields to improve absorption.

No longer relegated to a few small corners of the healing world, energetic medicine has come into its own as an advanced way to view health and to promote healing.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

BOBBI KLINE, MD (Educational Dir. /Women's Diagnostic Group)
Dr. Kline is a board-certified ObGyn physician, Integrative Personalized Medicine expert, consultant, author, and educator whose mission is to change how we approach health and deliver healthcare. She helped to create the Integrative & Functional Medicine program for a family practice residency, has consulted with Sodexo to implement the first personalized nutrition menu for healthcare facilities, and serves as Education Director for several organizations including the Women’s Diagnostic Health Network, Mommies on a Mission. Learn more at https://bobbiklinemd.com 



REFERENCES

[1] Rubik B et al. Biofield Science and Healing: History, Terminology, and Concepts. Global Adv Health Med. 2015;4(suppl):8-14.

[2] Seema Bhattessa Pharmaceutical Drugs and the Human Energy System (Biofield) Global Journal of Medical Research: B Pharma, Drug Discovery, Toxicology & Medicine  Volume 20 Issue 6 Version 1.0 Year 2020

[3] Wu, Ziying et al. Efficacy and safety of the pulsed electromagnetic field in osteoarthritis: a meta-analysis. 2018 BMJ Vol 8 Issue 12

[4] Miller, Douglas et al. Overview of Therapeutic Ultrasound Applications and Safety Considerations. J Ultrasound Med. 2012 April ; 31(4): 623–634.

5) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (2005). "Energy Medicine: An Overview".

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