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What is Energy Medicine?

The relationship between our bodies and the forces around us.

By: Stephen Roberts, MD

Answering the question, “What is energy medicine?”  is challenging because it is such a broad term. When people ask this, they often have in mind scenes of acupuncture, color and light therapy, hands-on therapeutic touch and Reiki practices, magnet therapy, chakra healing, and, perhaps, even the offerings from their local crystal shop.  But this vision fails to encompass the energy commonly used in conventional medicine, like applied electric currents, targeted laser and ultrasound, and neurofeedback devices. 

A more accurate definition would acknowledge that our bodies and our health are not simply the product of random physical substances that biochemically interact, but that other forces, including but not limited to a wide spectrum of biophysics, act on us to create, support, and generate life. 

Mainstream Applications of Energy Medicine

As much as conventional medicine focuses to an extreme degree on drugs and biochemistry along with surgery and anatomy, a critical eye can’t help but notice that even mainstream medical practice recognizes that we are beings that generate, are comprised of, and are acted on by electric and magnetic fields along with light and sound waves. 

While we measure electric currents of the heart and brain with EKG and EEG, we know magnetic fields are there as well. MRI and Ultrasound technology help generate diagnostic pictures and are dependent on biophysics. But we also use sound waves for lithotripsy and magnetic fields for both fracture healing (pEMF) and depression (rTMS). We use electric devices like TENS units, and nerve and deep brain stimulators for pain, headache, and certain neurodegenerative disease.  In dermatology, UV light is also used. 

But, despite all the mainstream applications, conventional medicine only scratches the surface of the therapeutic potential available through biophysics and other types of energy medicine. 

A Changing Backdrop in the Field of Energy Medicine

It’s worth acknowledging that just as our bodies must interact with the forces around us, the field of medicine must interact with the changing scope of the world. We can’t discuss and define Energy Medicine without discussing how the electromagnetic fields we have increased in the environment impact our health.  

In the last 20 years, we have exponentially increased the amount of man-made radiofrequency signal, with a cellphone in every pocket and Wi-Fi router in every home. As inconvenient a truth as it is, the electromagnetic waves we live inside do have health impacts – many of which are problematic. 

Just as we were slow to appreciate the health consequences of smoking, so too have we been slow as a medical community to acknowledge this issue that affects everyone, whether they know it or not. 

Our hope is that we all educate ourselves further on this topic and collectively work toward a greater understanding of how to not only minimize the interference and unintended damage of this new type of technology-driven ‘pollution’ in our environment, but also explore how we can harness these energies to promote health, healing, and greater harmony with each other and nature.

Creating a healthy home and a healthy sleep environment is a great place to start.  In our office, we have electromagnetic meters that we offer on loan to patients so they may measure the different types of electrosmog in their own homes, and take steps to mitigate their exposure.  The Building Biology Institute is a great resource to understand this issue in greater detail. 

Therapeutic Uses of Energy Medicine

Apart from providing meters to measure what we can, counseling about lifestyle prevention strategies, Wi-Fi hygiene, and how to clean up your home, we have also introduced biophysics tools in our office to support your overall health. These include pulse Electromagnetic Field mats (pEMF), Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM), photobiomodulation through the use of ‘cold laser’ (LLLT), LED light and audio entrainment tools for the brain, along with neurofeedback, and other assessment tools for the human biofield including Autonomic Response Testing. 

Therapies and assessment tools that address the ‘human biofield’ are a subtype of energy medicine, many of which are harder to measure convincingly. The previously mentioned aspects of energy medicine have generally accepted ways of measuring their presence, power, and frequency in a quantifiable manner that will hopefully lend itself to reproducible results amongst practitioners as we learn more about how to use them reliably.

But just because we don’t have high-tech, fancy tools to measure more subtle types of energy (yet), it does not mean they do not exist. Try to imagine what it was like before Marconi, Tesla, Edison, or even Faraday as the concepts and framework of the electromagnetic spectrum and fields were being laid out, without universal tools to confirm their existence. It should not be surprising to think that there are yet other types of energy or vibrational fields for which we do not have universally accepted measuring instruments and may in fact be distinct from the electromagnetic spectrum.

The concept is further supported as we respect the cultural and historical traditions such as Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, multiple other indigenous systems, and the work of the French vibrational radiesthesists from the early 1900s, who honored such energies through their scientific inquiry using the methods of their time and practices involving chakras, meridians, qi gong, and more.

Considering the Future of the Field

It is appropriate to be skeptical of that which is hard to see or difficult to measure. But the true spirit of science also would suggest we not be reflexively dismissive either. It would encourage us to investigate further the phenomenology behind those with supra-sensory abilities who can give us valuable insights into some of the energy fields identified through generations of observation in many different cultures. 

It is unfortunate that in our modern area, truly brilliant scientists including Nobel laureates who have attempted to explore some of these issues have been met by the ridicule of colleagues who will not see past their initial close-minded conclusions of implausibility. 

For those interested consider further the works of Drs Robert Becker, Hans Jenny, Albert Szent-Gorgyi, Luc Montagnier, Albert Fritz-Popp, and countless others.  A curious and open mind may well lead to a more healthy, interesting, and wholesome human experience.