Qi or chi, is the energy that flows throughout the universe and inspires life (Rubik, 2007) The Chinese believe that it is an energy substance that flows from the environment into the body. In ancient Hindu writings, it was referred to as "prana". Ancient cultures have worshiped the sun for its abundant rays of energy, prana, chi. (Gerber, 2001) In the Chinese model, the energy is absorbed into the body through the skin. These portals of entry where formed to be acupuncture points, openings along the meridian system running deep into the body and organ systems. The meridians are like electrical circuits that connect to the organ system and functions. There are twelve pair of meridians and the Chinese believe that the energy flow into the organs to provide sustaining life force energy. (Gerber, 2001)
There are five basic categories of qi including mineral, plant, animal, human, and divine. Chinese also expressed a philosophy concerning polarity energy of the yin and yang aspects. "Yin is passive, receptive, feminine, cold, dark, and soft; while yang is active, creative, masculine, hot, light, and hard." (Rubik, 2007, p. 213) The Chinese philosophy shows that the yin and yang represent balance; one can not exist without the other. (Rubik, 2007) When the meridians are open and energy is flowing, balance and healing can occur. However, if the energy is blocked, stuck, or lacking, people can get ill with dis-ease. (Rubik, 2007). This energetic blocked dysfunction can lead to the imbalance of the merdians which then effect the organs. If the energy is not balanced within the organs, the organs, may cause harmful affects on one another causing dysfunction. (Gerber, 2001)
In energy medicine the body - a person is constantly moving, changing, metabolizing, and all parts of the body are linked to the wholeness of a person; body, mind, and spirit. (Cassidy, 2004) Unlike biomedicine, it utilizes verb-based perceptions and uses a different type of approach away from locality and itemization. Energy is nonlocal, the energy of the heart is in every part of the body, including the brain, uterus, and hands. Energy medicine works more with what is felt than measured. The energy can be tracked with the fingers, hands, or other senses mostly, but there are some electromagnetic devices that provide confirmation or evidence of energy moving. Energy medicine doesn't follow a systematic procedure. The feedback coming from the energy body person helps to identify what is the best course of treatment for the patient. The patient is encouraged to notice a change and track their experiences to enhance healing and partnership with their practitioner. With energy medicine, there is usually rapid reward and people report instant relief. (Cassidy, 2004)
The conventional medical model and the energy medicine model are very different from one another. While conventional medicine aims at the biochemistry of cells, tissue, and organs, energy medicine aims at focusing on energies and the organizing fields surrounding the cells, tissues, and organs.
There are 6 strengths to Energy Medicine that stand as its pillars.
The first pillar is reach. The human body is a system of living energy. Energy Medicine can address biological processes at their energetic core, improve the energies that surround, enter, and support the body structure and function. (Feinstein and Eden, 2008) It is able to impact the full range of physical conditions, down to gene expression.
The second pillar is efficiency. Energy medicine can address systematic disease factors, send immediate signals, and offer instant feedback to the practitioner in order to know how to intervene. Energy medicine can regulate these biological processes through accuracy, flexibility, and non-invasiveness, along with the reduction of time involved in the healing process without creating unwanted side effects. (Feinstein and Eden, 2008)
The third pillar is practicality. Energy medicine utilities somatic movements, postures, and hands-on techniques that don't require high technical equipment. (Feinstein and Eden, 2008) It is a healing that can be readily and economically practical for anyone. So much so that clients can use energy medicine exercises at home forming a self-help basis.
This brings me to the fourth pillar, patient empowerment. Energy medicine includes methods that can be used at home forming a foundation of self-care and fostering a stronger patient-practitioner partnership. (Feinstein and Eden, 2008) These methods can be self-administered to address systems that are out of balance and build energy patterns throughout the body to keep it resilient from illnesses.
Pillar five is quantum compatibility. Energy medicine has explored the work of distance healing. It believes that there is a non-linear concept that allows healing to happen through the impact of prayer and intention. (Feinstein and Eden, 2008)
Lastly, pillar six is holistic orientation. Energy medicine integrates the whole of a person including body, mind, and spirit. Energy medicine believes that all are connected and cannot be separated from one another. By addressing a holistic approach, it focuses on healing and fostering physical and emotional well-being. (Feinstein and Eden, 2008)
Cassidy, C. M. (2004). What does it mean to practice an energy medicine? The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 10(1), 79-81.
Feinstein, D., & Eden, D. (2008). Six pillars of energy medicine: Clinical strengths of a complementary paradigm. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 14(1), 44–54. Retrieved from direct=true&db=cmedm&AN=18251321&site=ehost-live
Gerber, R. (2001). Vibrational medicine: The #1 handbook of subtle-energy therapies (3rd ed.). Rochester, VT: Bear & Company. (Chapter 5, pp. 173-185)
Rubik, B. (2002). The biofield hypothesis: Its biophysical basis and role in medicine. The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 8(6), 703-717.
Rubik, B. (2007). Qigong for Health and Wellness. In Serlin, I.A. (Ed.). Whole person healthcare (Vol. 2, pp. 211-234). Westport, CT: Praeger Publishing Group