Energy healing is based on the belief that promoting the flow of energy in your body helps your body balance and heal itself. Although Western medicine has been slow to recognize the value of energy healing, some research does increasingly support benefits from energy techniques.

Many energy healing techniques are associated with massage therapy, including Touch for Health, Quantum-Touch, Jin Shin Jyutsu, chakra balancing and ThetaHealing. However, the four most common energy healing techniques are Reiki, Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch and Polarity Therapy.


Developed in Japan and introduced in the United States in the 1930s, Reiki is probably the most common energy technique that massage therapists use. The goal of Reiki is to add energy from the universe to your energy, not to manipulate or move around your energy. However, you must also be willing to receive this energy, or the therapist cannot transfer it to you.

Typically, therapists perform this energy transfer with a standard sequence of hand placements over your body’s major energy centers and organ systems, often staying in each position for three to five minutes. However, there are different styles of Reiki and details of their application vary.

Not everyone reports that they feel energy. Those who do may feel warmth, mild tingling or a pulsing or throbbing sensation. Some people have said to have experienced mental or emotional sensations, such as calmness or peacefulness. Most people find Reiki deeply relaxing.

Healing Touch and Therapeutic Touch

Both Healing Touch and Therapeutic Touch were developed by nurses in the United States. Details of the two techniques vary, but they both emphasize compassion and balancing of the body’s energy to restore harmony and promote self-healing.

The nurses designed these techniques to help their patients recover and then began teaching the techniques to other people. Practitioners use their hands, either close to or lightly touching your body, to clear energy blockages and promote self-healing.

Polarity therapy

Polarity Therapy, developed by U.S. osteopath Randolph Stone in the mid-20th century, is much more involved than the other three. While Polarity Therapy also uses touch to balance energy, that touch may be the light touch of other energy healing techniques or may also include deeper massage techniques.

Polarity Therapy also includes movement (gentle yoga-like stretching), nutrition and verbal support aimed at helping you develop positive attitudes that support the flow of energy.

Some massage therapists offer specific energy healing sessions, although a common practice is to incorporate energy techniques into a massage session. Not all massage therapists work specifically with energy and not all people want to receive energy work. If you have a strong preference either for or against energy healing, ask potential massage therapists if they include energy work as part of the massage.

Massage can:
Relieve pain
Reduce stress
Enhance athletic performance
Improve general wellbeing

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