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If you want to recharge your batteries, rewire your aching muscles or jolt your immune system back to life, then it may be worth giving energy healing a go.

Energy healing is based on the principle that there is a universal, distilled energy which is freely available to all and can be used/channeled to restoring harmony, balance and health to the body and mind. This energy source is known 'chi', 'ki' or 'qi' (all pronounced 'chee') in traditional Chinese medicine, is called 'prana' by ayurvedic practitioners and yoga afficianados and is also sometimes referred to as 'the life force', 'healing energy' or 'divine energy'.

There are a number of different schools of healing that utilise this energy, including Reiki, seichem ('say-keem'), reiki-seichem, quantum touch, therapeutic touch and spiritual healing.

None of these forms of energy healing require the client – the recipient of the healing – to believe in any specific creed, dogma or set of beliefs. Even the most sceptical person can benefit from energy healing.

How does it work?

During an energy healing session the practitioner relaxes and opens his or her awareness to the universal energy that is all around us. The practitioner draws in this healing energy and then directs it outwards, passing it on to the client. The client does not receive the practitioner’s energy, but only the chi, prana, life force that the practitioner is channelling.

An energy healing session will usually last for about an hour. Depending on the school of healing to which the practitioner belongs, they may or may not begin the session by taking a brief medical history and details of what the client hopes to achieve. The client, fully clothed, will be asked to sit in a reclining chair or lie on a couch.

The practitioner will place their hands over the client’s body and begin to access and direct the healing energy to wherever it is needed. Some practitioners focus on working with the client’s chakras (the seven energy centres: see colour therapy), in which case they will be aiming to release energy blockages and encourage energy flows.

Other practitioners will direct the healing energy to all parts of the body, focusing on those areas or organs which specifically need help. Some practitioners will lightly touch the client during the healing session, whilst others will keep their hands two or three inches above the client’s body.

Is it for me?

Energy healing can be used to treat all kinds of conditions and illnesses. It is successfully used for pain relief in all areas of the body, skin problems, broken bones, cuts and lesions, headache and migraines as well as for stress management, insomnia, depression, anxiety and other mental and emotional problems. Therapeutic touch is used in hospitals and hospices, particularly post-operatively or to help with pain management and recovery following chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Clients report that receiving energy healing is a wonderfully soothing and relaxing experience which promotes feelings of well-being and rejuvenation. There are no side effects as a result of receiving energy healing, and it is suitable for everyone from the very young to the very old; people who are in reasonably good health to those who are experiencing serious illness.

When you receive energy healing you may experience sensations of tingling, heat, coolness, but these are not in any way painful or uncomfortable, and soon pass. Some people find the therapy so relaxing that afterwards they feel unable to do much apart from go home and rest for an hour or so.

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