Energy Therapies

The report from the NATO Science and Technology Organization on Integrative Medicine in the Army defines energy therapies as follows:

Energy medicine (therapy, healing) is a sub-practice of “alternative medicine” that manipulates the energies (often subtle energies) of the human body to create a positive influence. Examples include Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Alpha-stimulation and spiritual healing. Acupuncture can be considered a form of energy medicine since acupuncture is based on the movement of energy (Qi).” (329)

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), which is part of the US National Institute of Health, uses a different definition:

Energy healing therapy
A technique that involves channeling healing energy through the hands of a practitioner into the client’s body to restore a normal energy balance and, therefore, health. Energy healing therapy has been used to treat a wide variety of ailments and health problems, and it is often used with other alternative and conventional medical treatments.” (330)

The basis for all therapies in this subgroup is the concept of life force or bioenergy. It is a concept that is not yet accepted by scientific medicine, yet is inherent in many alternative treatment systems and practices, both traditional and modern. In traditional Chinese medicine, bioenergy is referred to as "qi", in Ayurveda as "prana" (331).

The following pages provide a brief description of the approaches and methods that cooperate in one way or another. As there is currently no reliable source of information on these therapies in Czech, and foreign sources differ in their description, we have often used foreign organizations and companies offering these therapies as sources. The various methods not only use different intervention techniques, but also treat different disorders. They also differ a lot in how exactly they explain the mechanism of the methods they use.

Spiritual Healing

This type of energy therapy has a long and rich tradition in, among others, the UK

one of the oldest schools for spiritual healing in Europe, is the school of the famous British healer Harry Edwards (1893-1976). The school was founded in 1946 and is still active today (Healing Sanctuary, Shere, England). In its concept, the school defines Spiritual Healing as follows:

“Spiritual Healing is a simple, safe and supportive energy therapy that aims to bring balance to mind/body and soul, as well as to stimulate the body’s own natural healing ability. The healer links to the healing energy in a method called ‘attunement’ and is a channel through which the healing energy flows to the person/animal who may or may not be present. It is complementary to all forms of treatment as it is non invasive and patients are always encouraged to seek medical advice for their conditions.” (332)

- Harry Edwards was a founding member of the National Federation of Spiritual Healers (NFSH), founded in 1954 (under the name of The Healing Trust). Their website provides further information about the nature and effects of spiritual healing in this context:

When a healer heals, he helps the patient to help himself, allows him to use his own innate self-healing skills, and thus recover his balance and health in the best possible way.

The curative energy is never harmful. It has no side effects.

Treatment is possible even remotely and is then called "Distant Healing".

The healing energy is always attracted to wherever it is most needed. The healer does, therefore, not need to know the diagnosis. (333)

Improvement may occur in any area: physical, psychological, spiritual or emotional. The patient’s attitudes, clarity of thinking and quality of life may also improve. The treatment is effective as an auxiliary therapy and is also effective for children and animals. (334)

The Josef Zezulka Biotronics

A field of spiritual healing, which originated in Prague in the middle of the 20th century.

The field was created and developed by the Czech philosopher and healer Josef Zezulka, who devised and created the name "Biotronics". This name was used for the first time after 1945.

The current representative of the branch is the biotronicist-sanator, Tomas Pfeiffer.

The theoretical basis is the philosophy created by Josef Zezulka: Biotronics is primarily a philosophy, and biotronic healing is its practical application – spiritual biotronic treatment is always based on spiritual philosophy and is, therefore, always connected to religious philosophy.

The basis of Josef Zezulka Biotronics as a method of spiritual activity is the following: man consists of three basic parts, a physical body, a psyche and vitality – medicine is the most effective treatment for a physical disease, psychotherapy is the most effective treatment for the psyche, and spiritual biotronic healing is the most effective treatment for disorders in the vital system.

In many cases, a disease is caused by more than one factor, and the respective disciplines should then cooperate in order to provide the best care.

The biotronicist holds his hands a few centimetres away from the patient and treats him by transmitting vital energy of a certain quality, according to the nature of the disease.

Only a gifted individual who develops his innate ability through extensive studies under the guidance of a teacher can become a biotronicist. The most powerful biotronicist is called a "sanator".

Healing Touch

The method was established by Janet Mentgen in the 1980s.

It is a kind of energy therapy where a therapist consciously uses his or her hands to promote physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health and healing. The practitioner uses very light touches, or places his hands in close proximity to the body to affect the energy field that permeates the body and surrounds the patient.

- It aims to restore balance and harmony in the energy system and to enable the patient to activate the self-healing process. (335)

It is based on a friendly, caring relationship in which the energy of the practitioner and the client meet and thus support the healing process.

The founder of the Janet Mentgen method, was convinced that this energy method could be learned by anyone with a compassionate heart and a desire to help the needy. (336)

Therapeutic Touch

An energy therapy that consists of intentional and compassionate use of universal energy to promote balance and health in the patient. It is a consciously controlled process of energy exchange, during which the practitioner facilitates the whole process with his hands.

The method was developed by Professor Dolores Krieger and the natural healer Dora Kunz in the early 1970s.

The method was developed based on initial tests performed by the authors: one group of patients was subjected to energy therapy while a control group was not. Haemoglobin levels in both groups were measured before and after a series of healing interventions. The treated patients had significantly higher haemoglobin levels than the control group. These initial tests were followed by other tests and studies which confirmied the treatment’s efficacy.

The method’s efficacy has been demonstrated on oncology patients as well as premature babies and coma patients (making it difficult to claim that the effects where due to the placebo effect).

The authors began teaching the method in the 1970s and it has gradually spread to up to 90 countries. The largest representation is found in the US and Canada.

The method is simple and creates a personal connection between the practitioner and the patient. The method can be learnt by anyone. (337)

Biofield Therapy

This term refers to a group of energy therapies within CAM that directly work with the energy and information field that surrounds all living systems, i.e. Reiki, Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch etc.:

“Biofield therapies are noninvasive therapies in which the practitioner explicitly works with a client's biofield (interacting fields of energy and information that surround living systems) to stimulate healing responses in patients. While the practice of biofield therapies has existed in Eastern and Western cultures for thousands of years, empirical research on the effectiveness of biofield therapies is still relatively nascent.” (338)


A method that involves placing ones hands over the patient's body.

It originated at the end of the 19th century; it was created and expanded by the Japanese Christian monk Mikao Usui (1865-1926). The monk studied ancient healing techniques (including ancient Christian texts that spoke of Jesus' healing of the sick) for many years before receiving his healing power through fasting and meditation. (339)

-It involves learning to work with spacial energy; "Rei" means space, life-giving, and "Ki" means energy.

Life energy – Reiki – removes pollutants from the body. It encourages and releases blockages, harmonizes energy streams in the body, and flows wherever it is most needed. It is not limited by distance. (340)

- The energy system of the human body consists of seven basic chakras. When something is wrong, it means that blocks that disturb the energy flow have emerged. Reiki can remove these blocks and the positive energies can then flow back to the chakras. (341)

Qi gong

A traditional Chinese exercise technique.

- vIt originated in China more than 3,000 years ago. Alongside acupuncture, massage, herbal healing and dietetics, it is one of the five pillars of traditional Chinese medicine. The Chinese name "Qi gong" can be translated as “working with life energy”.

It is not a martial art (unlike Tai Chi); it only focuses on health and care.

The purpose is to eliminate the "chi" blocks, thereby improving both physical and mental health.

It involves slow movements, stretching, controlled breathing and attention. Patients thus reach a meditative state, and experience relaxation and inner peace. The energetic pathways, acupuncture points and self-healing forces of the body are activated when the body is in such a state, and increased quantity of life energy "Qi" can freely flow through the body.

It strengthens the immune system, promotes mobility, concentration and general health. It also exercises the joints, tendons and muscles. Through regular exercise, the patient learns to control his breath, improve his Qi intake, and engage in dialogue with himself. (342)