How Do Energy Healers Heal?

How do energy healers heal?

Energy healing refers to a range of alternative therapies that manipulate the body’s energy fields to promote healing and wellbeing. Though the concept may seem mystical, the history of energy healing goes back thousands of years in many ancient healing systems like traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda (EverydayHealth).

The basic premise of energy healing is that the body has subtle energy systems and fields that can be influenced for therapeutic benefit. Energy healers work to balance and harmonize the body’s energies through light touch, intention, meditation, visualization, crystals, tuning forks or other tools. The goal is to promote the body’s natural ability to heal itself on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels (IONS).

Types of Energy Healing

There are many different types of energy healing modalities that originate from traditions around the world. Some of the most common types include:

Reiki – Originating in Japan, Reiki practitioners channel energy through their hands to facilitate healing. It aims to restore balance and flow to the patient’s energy field and speed healing in the body and mind 1.

Crystal Healing – Uses crystals and gemstones to absorb, focus, direct, and diffuse energy in and around the body. Practitioners place crystals on or around the body to open blocked energy centers and bring about healing 2.

Chakra Healing – Focuses on aligning the seven chakras that run along the spine by clearing blockages and restoring balance. Sessions often utilize visualization, meditation, crystal healing, or hands-on healing 3.

Other types include Qi Gong, polarity therapy, therapeutic touch, aromatherapy, sound healing, and shamanic healing. Each has its own techniques but a shared goal of promoting wellbeing through restoring the body’s energy field.

Theory Behind Energy Healing

Energy healing is based on the concept that the human body has energy fields both surrounding it and permeating it. Practitioners believe there are subtle energy systems within and around the physical body, connected through energy pathways called meridians. Disruptions, blockages, or imbalances in these energy fields are believed to manifest as disease or illness.

According to energy healing theory, restoring balance and flow in the energy system allows the body to heal itself on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. Energy healing seeks to channel universal “qi” or “prana” energy into the client’s body, clearing blockages and restoring energy balance. This is believed to support the body’s natural healing abilities.

Some key principles behind energy healing include the belief that illness results from disturbances in the subtle energy systems and energy flow in the body. Restoring proper energy flow removes blockages and allows the body to use its inherent healing wisdom to return to health. Energy healing also holds that the body, mind, emotions and spirit are connected, and true healing must occurs on all levels (Hansen, 2017).

Benefits of Energy Healing

Practitioners and proponents of energy healing claim it provides numerous health benefits. The most commonly cited benefits are reduced stress, pain relief, and emotional healing.

According to the Everyday Health guide on energy healing, a major benefit touted by practitioners is pain relief, and there is some research to support this. Studies have found energy healing can reduce pain from conditions like arthritis, headaches, and nerve pain. It is believed to help relax muscles and decrease inflammation, providing a complementary therapy alongside conventional treatment.

Advocates also state energy healing can provide emotional and psychological benefits. The calming nature of techniques like Reiki and healing touch may help relieve anxiety, depression, grief, and trauma. By releasing blocked energy, proponents believe negative emotions and stress can be relieved. Some even make claims related to treating addiction, obsessive behaviors, and relationship issues through energy healing.

While these alleged benefits seem promising, more research is still needed to conclusively validate many of the claims made about energy healing. The mechanisms behind how it works are not yet scientifically understood. However, many report positive personal experiences with reduced pain, relaxation, and emotional balance from incorporating energy healing into treatment plans.

Energy Healing Techniques

Some of the most common techniques used in energy healing include:

Laying on of Hands – This technique involves placing the hands either on or just above a patient’s body in order to facilitate the flow of healing energy. The healer uses their own energy field to assess blockages or imbalances in the patient’s energy field and then uses their hands to channel healing energy into the patient. This is one of the most basic and widely used energy healing techniques.

Sweeping Hand Motions – The healer will make long, sweeping motions with their hands over the patient’s body from head to toe. These motions are believed to smooth out the aura and energy field, break up stagnant energy, and channel healing energy into the patient’s body. Different hand shapes may be used during the sweeping motions to direct energy in specific ways.


A Visit to an Energy Healer

An energy healing session typically begins with a consultation where the healer will discuss your health goals and concerns. They may ask questions about your medical history, diet, lifestyle, and emotional state to get a holistic understanding of your wellbeing.

Before beginning the actual energy healing, the practitioner will explain how the session will proceed and what to expect. Some healers have you lie down on a massage table while others have you sit in a chair. The healer may dim the lights and play soft music to create a relaxed ambiance.

The energy healer will likely start by grounding and centering themselves. Many use techniques like meditation, prayer, or visualization to connect with the healing source, be it universal energy, angels, spirit guides, or their own healing abilities. The healer places their hands either directly on or just above your body.

Different traditions employ unique hand positions, movements, and techniques to open and balance the energy pathways and chakras. The healer may scan the aura and energy field to locate imbalances and blockages. Most sessions involve very light touch while others don’t require physical contact at all.

You’ll likely feel subtle sensations of warmth, tingling, pulsing or relaxation where the practitioner’s hands are working. The healer will intuitively adjust their approach based on the feedback they receive through your energy field. An energy healing session usually lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour based on your individual needs.

After the healing session finishes, the practitioner will offer guidance for self-care over the next days and weeks. They may suggest dietary changes, stress management techniques, exercise, journaling, or additional sessions. It’s common to feel very relaxed and a bit tired after a treatment as your body integrates the energetic shifts.

Drink lots of water and give yourself plenty of grace in the next few days. Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep as your body recalibrates ( The healing process continues long after your appointment as you maintain the changes initiated during the energy work.

Scientific Research on Energy Healing

There have been several scientific studies conducted on the efficacy of energy healing over the years. A 2015 systematic review published in the journal Biofield Science and Healing examined over forty clinical trials on various biofield therapies including Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, and external qigong. The review concluded that overall, biofield therapies show promise for reducing pain intensity in pain conditions, anxiety levels in hospitalized populations, and improving functional status in patients with heart failure. However, the researchers noted the need for more rigorous, high-quality studies with standardized protocols to further validate the efficacy of biofield therapies.

Another 2021 systematic review published in Frontiers in Pharmacology looked at clinical trials on energy healing techniques like Reiki, Johrei, external qigong, and Therapeutic Touch. The analysis found some evidence for positive effects on psychological well-being, pain levels, and biological markers of stress. But the researchers emphasized the limitations of the existing literature including small sample sizes and lack of blinding in studies. They called for more rigorous randomized controlled trials with standardized treatment protocols to build higher quality evidence for energy healing.

While initial research shows promise, more robust and replicable clinical trials are still needed to demonstrate definitive evidence of the efficacy and scientific validity of energy healing according to established medical standards.

Expert Perspectives on Energy Healing

Energy healers often describe their experiences working with clients and the powerful transformations they witness. Kirti Sharma, an energy alchemist, explained how energy healing helps people get in touch with their deepest selves: “As an Energy Alchemist, I hold space for my clients to reconnect back home to their essence. There is an incredible intelligence that begins to flow when we learn how to tap into the wisdom of our body.” (

Melanie Ericksen, an intuitive energy healer, shared with Dr. Christiane Northrup: “I can literally see energy as a vibration. I see colors, shapes moving, pulsating. The energy field reveals where there is congestion or blockage.” She goes on to explain how energy healing facilitates deep healing: “What ends up happening energetically is a recalibration and a balancing of their energy field so their body can do what it was meant to do, which is heal itself.” (

Mraia, a quantum energy healer, describes how energy healing helps people connect to their own inner power: “We all have our own healing abilities within us. When you come to see me, I help you tap into that.” She explains that her role is to be a catalyst and conduit for activating clients’ self-healing abilities. (

Criticisms and Concerns

Energy healing is not without its skeptics. One of the primary criticisms is that its effects might be attributed to the placebo effect—a psychological phenomenon where a person experiences benefits because they expect to, not because of any inherent properties of the treatment itself ( Because energy healing involves a lot of intention-setting, relaxation, and positive thinking, critics argue that any benefits stem from these psychological factors rather than mystical “energy” transfer.

Additionally, the energy healing field lacks regulation and standardized training requirements compared to many licensed health professions ( This means quality can vary greatly between different energy healers. There are few protections against incompetent or fraudulent practitioners. Some worry that people may waste time and money on energy healing rather than seeking treatments with more scientific evidence behind them.

More research is still needed to validate the effectiveness of different energy healing techniques. Controlled studies have been limited in both quantity and quality. While anecdotal reports of benefits abound, robust clinical proof remains elusive ( There is also no scientific consensus around how or why energy healing could work from a biological standpoint. This lack of mechanistic explanation makes many scientists skeptical.


As we’ve explored throughout this article, energy healing is a broad term that encompasses a variety of techniques and modalities focused on balancing the body’s energy systems to promote healing and wellbeing. While some approaches like Reiki and healing touch rely on the practitioner’s ability to channel energy into the client through their hands, other methods like acupuncture and qigong incorporate physical touch using needles or movements to unblock energy.

Despite skepticism from some in the scientific community, a growing body of research has demonstrated measurable effects and health benefits from energy healing practices. Small clinical trials have shown energy therapies can help reduce pain, anxiety, fatigue and other symptoms, as well as possibly support conventional cancer treatments. However, larger high-quality studies are still needed to better evaluate efficacy, particularly for specific conditions.

While energy healing should not replace traditional medical care, many people find integrating these modalities helps them feel more in tune with their body and empowers them to take an active role in their own healing process. As energy medicine continues to gain mainstream acceptance, we can expect to see expanded training standards, licensing protocols and integration with standard healthcare. The future looks bright for this ancient holistic approach now grounded in modern science.

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