As insurance providers attempt to control healthcare costs, many are beginning to accept claims for ‘alternative’ modalities such as chiropractic, acupuncture and even massage therapy. There are limitations on the number of visits, and some providers ask for proof of efficacy for particular medical issues; but overall they are acknowledging that the alternatives are often as effective as needles and pills at a much more reasonable cost.
Practitioners use a variety of terms—chakras, meridians, qi—to explain how their particular modality produces its benefit. Many are based on Eastern energy medicine, in which the essence of being is represented by energy; and the notion that illness or dis-ease results when energy is blocked.
Patients gain relief from chronic issues as blockages are removed, allowing energy to flow freely. They generally experience a profound relaxation in the process as well. This is because most blockages are created by stress.
Though the effects of alternative treatments are hard to prove empirically (through traditional research methodology), there is ample anecdotal evidence (i.e., everyday experience) that they work for a significant number of people. The challenge is to find what resonates with you.
Is it right for you?
Are you more comfortable with a shaman or a faith healer; with acupuncture needles or a chiropractic adjustment; hands on (as in massage therapy) or hands off (as in Reiki). Better yet, are you comfortable following instructions and participating in your own healing? Most energy healers will recommend healthy food and some form of physical exercise as an adjunct to their work.
Some also teach relaxation, mindfulness and meditation exercises. Much of this can be easily integrated into your existing spiritual or religious practice. In fact, to get the most out of energy work requires a belief in something larger than ourselves. If you cannot in some way draw on universal Energy to guide your own healing, the most you can expect from any alternative therapy is (depending on the modality) a nice massage or a relaxing nap.
Contrast this with traditional medicine. You receive a shot or a course of medication; then you return home and wait for that treatment to work its magic. If you suffer from a chronic illness, condition or syndrome; this pattern repeats over and over with only temporary relief. The goal of alternative therapies is to change energy within your mind, body and spirit; removing blockages to promote wholesome, sustainable healing.
Check with your physician first
It remains prudent to consult a physician to rule out organic problems. And while some alternatives can enhance healing, you still want a qualified physician to set a broken leg. But, if traditional medical protocols have gotten you nowhere, that is a good time to explore alternative therapies.
A skilled hypnotherapist can use hypnosis to explore emotional energies in the subconscious mind, helping clients transmute negative energies to positive. The negative energies are generally associated with one or more specific medical issues a client is experiencing. Once the energy is transmuted, healing begins.