How Energy Medicine Can Help You

Avatar photo Staff May 11, 2022
Energy Medicine

You’ve probably heard about various types of alternative health treatments — such as acupuncture, homeopathy, breathing techniques, yoga and others — that claim to solve many health problems, but you may not realize that often times these treatments help people heal by changing a person’s energy flow.

But how exactly does changing someone’s energy help them improve their physical, emotional and mental health?

“In Western medicine, we don’t have a word for the energy that keeps up alive. For example, people know that when you cut your finger, it will heal. But how does it heal? This life force inside our body is called many things, but in Chinese medicine, specifically, they call it chi,” explains Dr. Kelsie Lazzell, DC, a chiropractor and licensed acupuncturist at the Center for Holistic Medicine.

Dr. Jerry Gore, MD, clinical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine, says this lifeforce, or chi or prana, is essential to making sure that our organs are functioning properly. “Too much or too little energy creates an energy imbalance. This imbalance may affect people physically, emotionally or mentally, so the goal of energy medicine is to balance your energy flow,” he says.

Although the idea that our energy field has a direct impact on our physical health has been around for centuries in many Eastern cultures, it was a concept that typically wasn’t embraced by Western doctors. However, over the last few years, more and more scientific studies have shown that energy medicine can make a big difference in our physical, emotional and mental health.

For example, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, studies have shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for various types of pain, including low back pain, neck pain, knee pain, headaches and dealing with the side effects from chemotherapy. At the Center, we’ve also had the personal experience of seeing that acupuncture can boost people’s energy, support their immune system and help with their sense of fatigue after being infected with Covid.

And now, a growing number of doctors and hospitals are suggesting patients try acupuncture and stress reduction interventions such as breathing, yoga and meditation as a complementary treatment to their medical care.

One of the benefits of trying almost any type of energy medicine is that, unlike taking medication or undergoing surgery, it usually doesn’t cause any side effects and is very cost effective and self-empowering.

If you’re interested in exploring more about energy medicine, here are four different types and how they work and what they are often used to treat:

Developed more than 5,000 years ago, acupuncture is a type of energy medicine based on the ancient Chinese theory that your energy flows through your body through energy pathways known as meridians. When your chi is deficient, in excess, or blocked, in certain areas, imbalances may create disease in the organs that are associated with those areas.

Dr. Lazzell explains that when you are deficient in chi, you may get sick more often, feel fatigued, have trouble recovering from intense physical activity, or just feel depleted. And when you have too much chi in certain meridians, you may have a higher likelihood of getting injured or sick as well.

To keep your chi in balance, an acupuncturist will place hair-thin needles along different meridians on the outside of your body to either help increase or decrease chi in that meridian. “By using acupuncture needles locally and distally to the area of pain, you can support movement of the chi and have an overall reduction in pain,” Dr. Lazzell says. “This is why physical pain responds very well to acupuncture.” 

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system, which causes chemicals to be released into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain that may stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities.

Can Be Used to Treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Back Pain
  • Digestive issues
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility issues
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle cramps/spasms
  • Poor immune function
  • Sciatica
  • Tennis/golf elbow

Pranic healing is another form of energy healing that involves a practitioner clearing away energy blockages by gently placing his or her hands on your body or a few inches above your body to assess your energy field. The practitioner uses a sweeping technique to cleanse blocked and stagnant energy around a patient’s 11 major chakras, before bringing healing energy into those areas.

Mary Ellen Boyte, a naprapathic practitioner who practices pranic healing at the Center for Holistic Medicine, says energy blockages may be the result of past emotional pain or trauma that is being stored in the someone’s energy field, and those energy blockages may be causing physical pain.

“When there is emotional trauma, I clean and energize the chakras related to the emotional issue, then I use naprapathy on the physical issue,” Boyte explains. “Working on the energy body can heal the physical body.”

Can Be Used to Treat:

  • Asthma
  • Back pain
  • Cancer
  • Flu
  • Headaches
  • Mental illness
  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Ulcers

Homeopathy is a type of energy medicine that was developed by a German physician named Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in the late 18th century in which remedies are made from plants, minerals and animal tissues that are diluted to the point that just the energy of the original material remains, and that energy in the remedy positively affects the patient’s life force.

“Homeopathy helps stimulate the vital and healing force of the individual. With a vital boost, the body is supported to heal itself,” explains Allison Musso, who has a background in naturopathic medicine and does health coaching at the Center for Holistic Medicine and often recommends homeopathic treatments for her patients.

For example, a homeopathic practitioner may recommend that someone take Allium cepa, which contains a diluted form of an onion, to stimulate a self-healing response in someone who has allergy or flu symptoms, or they may recommend that parents give children with ear infections the homeopathic remedy Chamomilla, which contains a diluted form of the herb chamomile. Because the original plants have been diluted so much and are given in such small doses, all homeopathic remedies are non-toxic and are safe to use with infants, children and adults.

Musso says homeopathy can be used in countless situations to support the body’s natural healing capacity. For example, she says homeopathic remedies can use used to help speed up recovery after surgery, help with first aid and fevers, heal chronic disease and support people emotionally when they are experiencing a loss of a loved one or grieving or dealing with depression or anxiety.

Can Be Used to Treat:

  • Age-related memory loss
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Arthritis
  • Colds and flu
  • Digestion
  • Fatigue
  • Fibroids
  • Headaches
  • Heart problems and hypertension
  • Infertility
  • Injuries
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Joint pain
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Sinusitis

Although yoga is often considered a form of exercise and stretching, it can also be used to help balance the energy flow in our bodies as well. In his book, Holistic Medicine, Dr. Gore explains that hatha yoga, which uses a system of slow, stretching movements and attention to your breathing, is designed to create “a sense of balanced energy, mental alertness, and the increased ability to focus and concentrate.”

Can Be Used to Treat:

  • Asthma
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Stress

Not all types of energy medicine require you to go to a practitioner. Some, like breathing techniques, can be done on your own to help you balance or change your energy. For example, in Dr. Gore’s book, he explains that you can use abdominal breathing to quiet down your “fight or flight response to stress;” bhastrika breathing, which is done moderately quickly by bringing your belly button towards your spine and then pushing your belly button out, to help you feel more energized; and kapalbhati breathing, where you actively exhale for one count and then passively inhale for four counts, to cleanse the toxins in your lungs.

“Note that even though we use our physical body, the end result is to establish a certain kind of energy,” he says.

Many studies have been done on how meditation can have a positive effect on pain management. And the reason is simple: Meditation helps decrease the “fight or flight” response and helps reduce stress, which also helps slow people’s heart rates, lower blood pressure and reduce muscle tension. In Dr. Gore’s book he says that meditation can also have beneficial effects on brain neurotransmitters that may positively affect your mood. So simply by quieting our mind, we are able to affect our physical, mental and emotional states.

Can Be Used to Treat:

  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle tension
  • Pain
  • Tension headaches

Contact us to find out more about the types of energy medicine practiced at the Center for Holistic Medicine. Make an appointment to have an acupuncture treatment with Dr. Kelsie Lazzell, a pranic healing treatment with Mary Ellen Boyte, or a homeopathic consultation with Allison Musso or Dr. Jerry Gore today!