Energy therapies

What are they?

These therapies are founded on the concept that all living beings have an energy field around them and flowing through them, and that this field can be altered or disturbed in association with illness. Energy therapies aim to restore balance to assist in healing.

Energy therapy techniques include:

  • Bowen therapy
  • polarity therapy
  • reiki
  • healing touch
  • therapeutic touch.

Why use them?

Energy therapies are often used by people with cancer, as they are very gentle and do not require the therapist to make many heavy physical adjustments. The aim is to help increase energy levels, promote relaxation and wellbeing, and assist in overall healing.

What to expect?

Usually a client sits or lies down fully clothed. The therapist may gently touch you or may hold their hands slightly above your body. The aim is to use their own healing energy to identify energy imbalances and promote health. This may generate a feeling of warmth.

Sometimes therapists perform different moves on or above the body – these are believed to stimulate the flow of energy. The session is usually very restful.

What is the evidence?

Clinical research has not proven the idea of an energy field within or surrounding the body. However, many traditional healing therapies, such as tai chi, acupuncture and yoga, are based on complex systems of meridians (energy channels) within and around the body.

Anecdotal evidence also shows that energy therapies can provide a deep sense of calm and relaxation, often helping to relieve pain and anxiety, reduce stiffness and improve posture.


This information was last reviewed in May 2015
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