Maybe it's the clip of Julianne Hough that got you wondering, or perhaps it's your coworker's collection of crystals that sparked your interest. Regardless, there's a chance you're still wondering — what is energy healing, anyway?
A genre that's filled with many different modalities and opinions, energy healing can be a confusing subject to dissect, so we did some research to answer at least a few of your burning questions.
First, you're probably wondering: what is energy healing, anyway?
Alexis Alvarez, an Intuitive Energy Worker at Modrn Sanctuary who practices many different forms of energy healing, including crystal healing and Reiki, defines energy healing as "a field of science that utilizes subtle energies — like wavelengths of color or sound frequencies — to restore a sense of relaxation and well-being."
"The theory is that energy work can benefit mental, emotional, and physical concerns or ailments because these issues always start as an energetic imbalance, first," she notes.
The goal, therefore, is to regulate the energy center and treat the imbalance, hopefully returning the body to a "harmonious state" or homeostasis.
Dr. Jill Blakeway, DACM, LAc, author of Energy Medicine: The Science and Mystery of Healing, describes energy healing as "healing modalities that diagnose or heal by manipulating the energy that pulses through every cell in our bodies."
Energy healing doesn't refer to just one singular process, either. Blakeway mentions that the field is broad, encompassing "small electrical interventions" and "hands-on-healing techniques."
One of the most talked about methods — and often backed by scientific research — is acupuncture, which is used to treat a plethora of issues including menstrual problems, fertility, pain, allergies, stress, and more.
Interestingly enough, Blakeway says it's the only energy healing technique that is licensed in the United States.
"Doppler ultrasound shows that it increases circulation, thermal imaging shows it reduces inflammation, and blood tests confirm that it prompts the body to produce its own painkillers, called endorphins," Blakeway notes. "It is also more mechanical than other forms of energy medicine."
Another common energy healing technique is Reiki, which is sometimes used to reduce stress and pain. Johns Hopkins Medicine describes it as a practice of energy healing when "hands are placed just off the body or lightly touching the body, as in 'laying on of hands.'"
Some other forms of energy healing include sound healing, chromotherapy, and crystal healing, as well as trademarked schools that promote specific techniques.
If you were ever gifted a set of crystals without much education on what they actually do, we got the lowdown on 'em for you.
"Crystals have applications in science that are related to their ability to transform energy," Blakeway explains. "The technical term for this is piezoelectric, which means they can transform energy from one form to another. Crystals vibrate at their own frequency, and the frequency emitted by specific types of crystal can be measured. This makes them an excellent conduit for energy, which is why they are used in energy healing."
Different crystals are said to have different energy components — for example, amber reportedly promotes emotional and physical healing.
Alvarez notes that utilizing crystals is one way to practice energy healing in your daily life.
"Some people listen to Aum chanting and specific sound frequencies for stress relief. Using a colored light bulb can quickly adjust your mood. Essential oils are also a great and practical energy tool we can use to feel better. The chemicals in the scents we smell can have immediate effects on our psyche," she adds.
Basically, the field is overflowing with different treatments, but not all are backed by a significant amount of scientific research.
So, if you want to give energy healing a shot, go for it, but do your best research, and keep in mind that if you're dealing with an issue, it's never a bad idea to ask for guidance from a licensed professional or a medical professional.