Energy medicine, also known as energy healing, is a holistic approach to health and wellness that views the human body as a dynamic system of energy. This perspective is in contrast to the Western biomedical model, which views the body as a collection of organs, tissues, and systems that work together to maintain health. Despite this difference in perspective, both Western medicine and energy medicine share the goal of improving patient health and wellness.
Energy Medicine Used Around the Ancient World
The concept of energy medicine has roots in a variety of cultural and spiritual traditions, including Qi in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Prana in Indian Ayurvedic Medicine, Pneumo in ancient Greek Medicine, and animal magnetism in Western Esoteric tradition. These concepts have been used for thousands of years to explain the flow of energy in the body and how it can be manipulated to promote health and healing. Chakras and Dan Tian refer to areas of localized energy in the body that participate to energy flow for health or disease.
We don't understand how anesthesia works, but we still use it in medicine everyday - energy medicine is similar
Energy in the Western Biomedical Model
In the Western biomedical model, energy is understood in the context of cellular energy, specifically the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in the mitochondria. ATP is the primary energy source for cells and plays a crucial role in maintaining health and wellness. Despite this understanding of energy in the Western biomedical model, there is a growing recognition of the importance of acknowledging patients' beliefs around energy medicine.
Example Benefits of Energy Medicine
Some practical examples of helpful interventions that may utilize energy healing include:
- Acupuncture for pain, nausea (especially after chemotherapy), chemotherapy side effects, depression and anxiety
- Tai Chi and Qigong
The mind directs the qi, and the blood follows the qi
We Can't Measure Healing Energy... Yet
It is important to recognize that just because we cannot currently measure energy, it does not mean that it is not a real phenomenon. It is possible that in the future, we may develop the technology to better understand and utilize energy in medicine. In the meantime, it is crucial to acknowledge patients' beliefs about energy medicine and to be respectful of their perspectives. This is particularly important before vulnerable times such as surgery and anesthesia, where patients may be more likely to be receptive to complementary and alternative medicine practices.
Energy Medicine: Benefits Without Appreciable Side Effects
One of the great benefits of energy medicine is that it is generally considered safe and has few side effects. For this reason, it is important to have an open and honest discussion with patients about their beliefs and preferences around energy medicine, especially before surgery and anesthesia. This type of discussion can help to build trust between the patient and doctor, and can ensure that the patient feels comfortable and supported during these vulnerable times.
In conclusion, energy medicine is an important perspective in the field of holistic health and wellness. Despite the differences between the Western biomedical model and the perspective of energy medicine, it is crucial to acknowledge patients' beliefs around energy medicine, especially before surgery and anesthesia. By being respectful of our patients' perspectives and having open and honest discussions about energy medicine, we can help to build trust and ensure that patients feel supported during vulnerable times. The importance of humility in medicine cannot be overstated, and by being humble and open-minded, we can help to improve patient outcomes and promote overall well-being.
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