Therapeutic touch is a healing technique in which a practitioner’s hands are passed in wavelike motions inches above a person’s body. (Despite the name, the practitioner typically does not make contact with the body, although some practitioners do include physical touch.) It is believed that by doing therapeutic touch, the practitioner can break up a person’s energy blockages and thus improve health and well-being.
Reiki (pronounced “ray-kee”) is a therapeutic technique in which healing energy is channeled, or conducted, through a practitioner’s hands into the person receiving the treatment. It is believed that Reiki brings the body into emotional and spiritual balance, supporting the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Reflexology is a technique in which pressure is applied to specific points on the feet (and sometimes the hands) to promote relaxation and improve overall health. Proponents of reflexology believe that the foot surface contains a coded map of the entire body and that particular points on the feet correspond to particular organs, glands, and body systems. Pressing these points with the fingers and thumbs is thought to encourage healthy functions in the corresponding areas of the body.
Qigong (pronounced “chee gung”) is an ancient Chinese discipline that uses breathing, meditation, visualization, and repetitive physical exercises to cleanse and strengthen the body. Translated from the Chinese, qigong literally means “working with energy.” It is believed that this form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) promotes health and vitality by strengthening the flow of qi (energy) throughout the body.
Polarity therapy is a method of healing based on the concept that life-giving energy permeates every part of the human body. This force is thought to be governed by opposite “poles” of positive and negative electromagnetic energy–hence the therapy’s name. When a person’s energy becomes misdirected or blocked due to stress, trauma, or other factors, disease is believed to result. Peak health can be achieved when opposite poles are balanced and the flow of vital energy can proceed unimpeded.
Energy Psychology is the name of a family of therapeutic methods that address personal, psychological, emotional, and increasingly, physical, issues by working with the human vibrational energy matrix. Typically, energy psychology treatment focuses on disturbances on the meridian, chakra, or biofield level. One of the more popular forms of energy psychology looks like psychological acupressure.
Crystal and gem therapy is the use of semiprecious and precious stones to enhance mental, spiritual, and physical healing. It is based on the belief that certain crystals and gems possess a powerful energy that can positively affect imbalances in human energy fields and thus promote health and well-being. Practitioners believe that some stones direct their energy toward emotional states, while others affect certain organs through contact with the body’s related energy centers (known as meridians in traditional Chinese medicine and chakras in Indian Ayurveda).