Energy medicine

My research for this article has once again brought me full circle with the realization that what appears to be new is really quite old. It's actually quite validating for me, some things really don't change. Oh yes, the names and the terms we give to our research and medicine changes, the players change too, yet through it all, the constants of the physical laws of the universe governing us remain unchanging.

What does the term energy medicine actually mean? What are we wanting to say? Beam me up Scotty, but leave my cancerous tumor behind? I don't think so, at least not yet! The term energy medicine as I understand it is as basic as Einsteins equation E=MC2. Of course, that is an oversimplification but it does fit.

We are body electric. Without the ionic charges of pluses and minus in, around and throughout all living cells, life as we know it would cease to exist. Although energy medicine is a concept openly denied by western medicine, we have long embraced the concept of electric fields throughout the body with the use of EEGs, EKGs, and SPECT scans (electrical brain scans) and other types of scans. When seriously ill and hospitalized we use electrolyte solutions to correct and rebalance the blood and the cells.

The surgical laser is a technological marvel of the 20th century that we have only begun to utilize. The laser produces an intense light beam of radiating energy that actually cuts between the cells leaving very little scar tissue. Laser beams are now applied to all kinds of surgery, minor as well as major, everything from skin lesions to abdominal surgery.

In Victorian England, the idea that an electromagnetic influence could pass between two people and influence their behavior was widely known as ''animal magnetism'' introduced in the l8th century by Franz Anton Mesmer MD. So came the term mesmerized- the manipulation of an energy field, then known as animal magnetism to effect behavior. Mesmerism is the forerunner of one of today's commonly used forms of energy medicine, hypnosis. Many of Europe's most brilliant and famous minds took courses in mesmerism including physicist Michael Faraday.

Energy medicine is actually much older than Victoria England and Dr Mesmer. Oriental and Ayurvedic (Indian medicine) have utilized various forms of energy medicine for centuries including acupuncture, meditation and other forms of moving meditation such as Qi Chong and Tai Chi. These forms of energy medicine are prescribed to the patient and are used as tools to restore and recharge the stagnant chi or energy in the body. Their entire philosophy regarding health, healing and medicine revolves around keeping a balanced energy pattern circulating throughout the entire body.

Herbals and foods as well are viewed as sources of energy used for healing. Plants are classified as warming or cooling, wet or dry, energizing or calming and then applied accordingly. With a basic understanding of the ''energy'' of the disease process as well and the plants, the herbalist can match remedies that will calm a nervous condition or use a warming herb for a condition that causes coldness in the body such as poor circulation, a productive cough or swelling in the tissues.

The language of healing may have changed, our bodies basic needs for energies that bring healing have not. Energy medicine may be anew term, the concept is as old as time. Till next time, Rebecca.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online April 4, 2000

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