= Menu

Special Edition on Energy Medicine

Special Edition 2015

Food for Thought

ìRelax your body, and the rest of you will lighten up.î - Haruki Murakami

Mind, Body, Healing: The Truth Is Still Out There

Special Edition on Energy Medicine, Mulberry Wellness in San Ramon, CA

The father of medicine, Hippocrates, once wrote, "The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well." However, as the quest for proof about how the body becomes ill and heals became the focus of the medical paradigm, the study of the mind and body were split apart.

Twenty-first century medicine is nearly coming full circle, returning to a foundation that advocates the mind and body are one, and the interaction between the two has an effect on well-being and healing from illness. Consequently, a number of terms and types of healing practices have been marketed to the public.

Letís examine those healing practices, what the research says, and how to determine if a particular treatment method is right for you.

Angela Rosen, LAc offers Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Fertility, Wellness in San Ramon, CA

Energy Medicine (EM) or Energy Healing is based on the supposition that illness results from disturbances in the bodyís energy fields. To restore and maintain flow and balance of oneís ëlife force energyíóalso known as chi or pranaópractitioners utilize noninvasive techniques from ancient traditions (e.g., acupuncture, Ayurveda, yoga, Reiki, kinesiology, and qigong). Many EM techniques involve tapping, massaging, twisting, or connecting specific energy points (acu-points) on the skin or along specific energy pathways (meridians).

Because so many people are trying these methods and expressing improvements in their health ówith or without their doctorís supportóthere has been an increase in quality research and case studies demonstrating effectiveness for some people and some health conditions.

Quantum Healing (QH), sometimes called the ìnew physics of health,î is based upon the premise that our bodies are fields of information, intelligence, and energy. As Deepak Chopra, MD, explained in an interview:


"Quantum healing is healing the bodymind from a level which is not manifest at a sensory level [visible or tactile] … a shift takes place in the fields of energy information, so as to bring about a correction to something that is out of balance. Quantum healing involves healing one mode of consciousness, mind, to bring about changes in another mode of consciousness, body."

QH embraces the view that some ëforceí or ëspirití is involved in healing; an example of QH is spontaneous healing from terminal illness. Distance healing, prayer, bioenergetics, and spiritual healing are some of the difficult-to-study methods that fall under QH.

Mulberry Wellness in San Ramon, CA

Mind-Body Medicine (MBM) focuses on the interactions between mind and body, and the powerful ways in which emotional, mental, social, and spiritual factors directly affect health. It is being studied at research centers across the U.S. and throughout the world. In fact, the effect of our thoughts on our immune system is so powerful that a relatively new field of study has developed called psychoneuroimmunology.

What is different about MBM is the strong emphasis on scientifically validated techniques. MBM techniques typically include meditation, guided imagery, massage therapy, biofeedback, mindful movement (including yoga, tai chi), and acupressure or acupuncture. As more techniques are studied and validated, they make their way under the MBM umbrella.

The Truth Is Still Out There

Attempts to explore these ëenergeticí and MB modalities scientificallyóto understand if and how they work, for whom, and for what health conditionsóis of great interest to both medical doctors and scientists. Researchers are looking for ways to measure clinical and biological changes that occur during and after a healing technique is administered, or used over time. They aim to demonstrate the mechanisms that cause healing to take place.

One intriguing question some scientists are exploring involves spontaneous healing from terminal illnessósituations in which no medicine or surgery has worked and death is imminent. The question often posed: Is it the modality that heals or is it the power of belief that heals?

Special Edition on Energy Medicine, Mulberry Wellness in San Ramon, CA

The so-called Truth could be related to one simple fact: The majority of alternative healing techniques all promote the Relaxation Response. Simply, this means that things like massage, meditation, acupuncture, and yoga create positive chemical and emotional changes in the body (e.g., lower heart rate and blood pressure, elevated mood, changes in brain waves, and lower stress hormones in the blood). These changes create a biochemical environment ideal for good health and for healing. Add in social support and a healthy dose of positive thinking, and you have a formula for optimal well-being.

Another possibility is the power of belief. We know that not every medicine works for every person with the same health problem. We know that some people benefit from alternative treatments and other see no change in their health. Is it because one person believes more strongly than another that something will work for them? If so, then that is the power of the mind over the bodyóbut scientists struggle to measure that phenomenon.

What Can Science Tell Us?

Angela Rosen, LAc offers Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Fertility, Wellness in San Ramon, CA

MB research is a burgeoning field. ìThe health benefits of mind-body medicine have barely touched the surface of what it offers for future health and well-being,î says Jim Massey, N.D. Techniques that have received the most research attention are those that have variables we can measure easily, such as physical changes in health, changes in hormone levels, and changes in self-reports of emotional states. Tai chi, qigong, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, meditation (various styles), acupuncture/acupressure, yoga, and biofeedback are some of the most commonly researched. But the results are mixed. Evidence shows that these techniques are beneficial for alleviating or reducing pain, anxiety, and emotional stress. But benefits depend on a wide variety of factors including age, gender, social support, and use of other interventions. It makes for complicated research!

Is It Right for You?

To decide if an EM/MB method is right for you, carefully look at information about the modality to see how it might apply to you. Does it sound too good to be true? Has it been studied in a scientific way? How reliable are the first-person accounts?

Become an informed consumer and consult with your health practitioner to best assess if any alternative healing technique could benefit you.

Types of Energy Medicine/ Mind-Body Practices

    • Magnetic Therapy
    • Biofeedback
    • Hypnosis
    • Color / Light Therapy (Chromotherapy)
    • ThetaHealingô
    • Therapeutic Touch, Reiki
    • Aromatherapy
Mulberry Wellness in San Ramon, CA
  • Flower Essence Therapies
  • Sound Healing (e.g., with Tibetan bowls)
  • Chi Gung, Qigong, Yoga
  • Spiritual Healing

Health Conditions in Recent EM & MBM Research

  • Chronic Pain
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Insomnia
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Headache/Migraine
  • Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure
  • Cancer (in dealing with psychological factors & pain)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Depression, Anxiety
  • Digestive Dysfunction
  • Menstrual Dysfunction


Guiding Principles

Special Edition on Energy Medicine, Mulberry Wellness in San Ramon, CA

The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.