We had this story in the can even before we knew about Charlie Goldsmith and his new TLC show, The Healer, which launched in November. Far from stealing our thunder, Goldsmith is helping to — or at least is hoping to — bring credibility to the field of energy healing.
Reiki is a form of energy healing that has gained credence among some health practitioners as a healing modality in hospitals. Healer Anne H. Bentzen, MSOT, RMT, who has a Westchester-based practice that offers reiki healing courses, group healing circles, and private sessions, shares some of her insight into the fascinating world of energy healing.
What exactly is energy healing?
It is a non-invasive, safe, holistic healing art that helps relieve the symptoms of stress through heart-centered intention, affecting all aspects of our being, including our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Its goal is to restore energetic balance and internal flow of life force energy enabling all bodily systems to work harmoniously for optimal health.
How does it work?
Our bodies store stress in our cellular tissues when we are unable to release it naturally. A deep relaxation response facilitated by all forms of energy healing triggers a detoxification process whereby stress is released from the body. As a result, the patient experiences benefits including improved pain management, reduced inflammation, restoration of healthy sleep patterns, immunity responses, and more.
How can energy healing help a person with PTSD, pain or anxiety?
The deep relaxation response signals a shift within the autonomic nervous system from the sympathetic (flight or fight response) to the parasympathetic nervous system response (rest and digest), which inhibits the body’s ability to produce stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. During relaxation, circulation is improved, allowing for a reduction of inflammation, a primary cause of pain. With relaxation and balancing the brain, people feel a reduction of anxiety as they release tension around emotional issues.
What are some forms of energy healing besides Reiki?
Some of the more well-known forms, started by nurses in the last 30 years, include Healing Touch and Therapeutic Touch. Other forms include Feng Shui, Qui Gong, and Polarity Therapy.
What should people look for in an energy healer AND what would be a red flag?
Energy healers are compassionate people who do not “fix” you but allow you to develop a greater awareness of yourself which will lead to personal healing on all levels. Energy healers are not medical doctors and should always support any medical protocol by insisting that energy healing is complementary and not a replacement for traditional medical care. Significant support can be provided for physical issues within a few sessions. Holistically energy healers uncover the wholeness that is you. Energy healers cannot predict how many sessions you may require especially when dealing with emotional trauma because the healing process is dependent on the person’s willingness to surrender anger and fear, accept their own limitations, to forgive, have gratitude and open to love and compassion for themselves and ultimately for others.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about energy healing?
Energy healing is not connected to any religion. There is no dogma around energy healing. Energy healing works with the subtle vibrational energies of the body to restore the free flowing life force energy that enlivens all organs in the body. When life force energy is flowing freely, people experience ease and grace for managing all aspects of daily living.
There are many case studies for the use of Reiki in hospitals. Go to this link for more information: www.centerforreikiresearch.org.