Energy healing

Written by Emily Whitton
Emily Whitton
Therapy Directory Content Team

Last updated 3rd November 2023 | Next update due 2nd November 2026

Have you ever woken up feeling a little out of sorts? Perhaps you’ve found yourself surrounded by people who seem to radiate positivity. Energy is something that we feel within ourselves and can recognise in others, but what can we do if it becomes stuck?

On this page, we'll explore what energy healing is and how it can support our well-being. We'll discuss the types of healing and what you can expect in a session.

What is energy healing?

Energy healing is a holistic approach to well-being, meaning it looks at the body as a whole. Practitioners channel healing energy into the body to restore energy flow and remove blockages. It typically encompasses a variety of techniques such as Reiki, EFT and reflexology.

Energy healing can be delivered in different ways, such as:

  • Hands-on – This is where the therapist places their hands on parts of the body.
  • Hands off – This is often a sensory experience where the hands are not touching. Examples include crystal healing and sound baths.
  • Distant – Therapists can channel energy even if they're not in the same rooms as their client (e.g. online).

There are many terms used to describe energy healing. Other names given to this approach include:

  • biofield therapies 
  • energy medicine 
  • contact/distant healing 
  • therapeutic touch 
  • energy therapy
  • vibrational medicine 

Find out more about the difference between spiritual and energy healing.

How does energy healing work?

Energy healing is based on the belief that vital energy flows through our body. This is known as 'life force' energy or qi (pronounced “chi”). Our body contains energy centres known as the chakras. These are believed to help keep the body functioning and healthy. Therefore, our energy is thought to play a vital role in our overall well-being.

Unblocking your chakras is about removing stagnant and dense energies from your chakras to allow free flow of prana (life force). 

When our energy becomes blocked, it can cause physical and emotional discomfort, such as pain, illness or anxiety. To unblock and restore our energy pathways, practitioners manipulate the energy to encourage healing in body, mind and soul.

How can energy healing be delivered?

Energy healing can be delivered in a number of ways. This means there is likely to be a method suitable for everyone based on their needs, what they'd like to achieve or simply personal preference. All practices have the same goal but will differ in how they go about this. Some examples of energy-healing therapies include:

  • Reiki
  • Qigong 
  • crystal healing 
  • reflexology 
  • EFT/tapping

What is pranic healing?

Pranic healing is a system of energy healing which has the shared belief that the body is able to heal itself. Practitioners use fresh energy to cleanse and re-energise the chakras and the aura. The main difference is that pranic healing is a non-touch system, whereas many other therapies are hands-on.

What can energy healing help with?

There are few studies that support the effectiveness of energy healing in looking after our well-being. However, many people have had positive experiences and have seen improvements in their symptoms. Some examples of why people may seek energy healing include:

  • reducing headaches and migraines 
  • easing back, neck and shoulder pain
  • reducing arthritic pain 
  • maintaining healthy sleeping routines/achieving more consistent sleep
  • reducing insomnia 
  • boosting immunity 
  • increasing focus/concentration 
  • reducing anxiety and stress
  • boosting mood

Reiki – a specific technique used in energy healing – has been shown to be effective at reducing pain. It also reduced anxiety and depression (when compared with a placebo) as noted in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

A review published in the Journal of Complementary Therapies in Medicine found that qigong had a positive effect on patients with cancer, fibromyalgia, arthritis, anxiety and depression.

Energy healing has been around for thousands of years, but there is still limited evidence that proves its effectiveness. However, it has more recently grown in popularity, particularly among people looking for more natural ways to manage their conditions.

Energy healing is a complementary therapy, which should be used alongside conventional medicine. It's important to note that there is also no guarantee that it will work for everyone. Energy healing is felt on a very personal level and is dependent on how much you choose to believe in the system.

Some people may see instant benefits whilst others may not see an improvement in their symptoms at all. If this is the case, try not to be discouraged. There are many different types of holistic therapies available. We recommend speaking with a practitioner to help identify the one best suited to you.

Find a holistic therapist for you

What should I expect from energy healing? 

Energy healing sessions may last as little as 15 minutes if targeting a specific area or can last up to an hour. Before your treatment, you may be asked about your previous medical history and detail some of the symptoms you are experiencing. This will help the therapist get a better idea of where the energy blockage is. Before you begin, the therapist may set intentions for you, based on what you hope to achieve.

The type of energy healing technique that your therapist uses will influence how you experience your treatment. For example, whether the hands are on or off your body and if you should remain clothed. For therapies like Reiki, you will usually stay clothed. In reflexology, however, you'll likely be asked to remove your footwear.

How will it feel?

If your therapist uses a hands-on approach, you might feel very light pressure on the areas that they're touching. Energy healing shouldn't be painful or cause any discomfort. If you are uncomfortable at any point, do let your therapist know.

During and after the rebalancing process, you may feel a variety of emotions such as tiredness, emptiness or complete relaxation. Some people report feeling light-headed or a tingling sensation. Others feel nothing at all. It's important to be gentle with yourself after treatment. Any side effects should only last for a couple of days.

Energy healing isn't a 'one size fits all' approach and everyone will experience it on an individual level. The key is to enter into the treatment with an open mind to reap the full benefits.

Finding an energy healer 

Energy healing isn't a regulated practice in the UK. This means anyone can call themselves an energy healer. On Therapy Directory, we ensure our members have provided proof of registration with a professional body or have shown relevant qualifications and insurance.

If energy healing sounds like something you'd benefit from, why not reach out to a professional to find out more? Simply scroll through our list of healers and contact those who resonate with you.

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