Energizing Trends

Well-being is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as, “the state of being happy, healthy and prosperous;” however, the methods to achieve well-being are anything but defined. Some associate a healthy diet, exercise, a supportive family and stable finances as effective pathways to attain well-being, but physical and environmental factors may not be enough to ensure joy in life. According to a recent study by the Women’s Health at Stanford, Energy Balancing Therapy may just be the key.

Stanford, in its studies, researched Healing Partners, a noninvasive program that uses energy balancing to promote deep tranquility. The program was initiated by Kathy Turner, a nurse practitioner in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Healing Touch’s techniques involve assessing a patient’s energy field by moving hands inches from their body and then lightly touching the patients’ body while moving hands to improve energy flow.

Healing Partners has been a used in conjunction with breast cancer therapy. Many doctors are skeptical of the procedure. The Journal of the American Medical Association questioned the existence of energy fields. Still, there are patients and practitioners alike who firmly believe it works.

A concluding program analysis of 26 participants in the Healing Partners programs produced positive results. Sixty-nine percent experienced reduced depression and anxiety, 71 percent experienced increased energy and 81 percent experienced increased quality of life.

Those questioning the process highlight the inability of its proponents to prove the increase in energy. David Spiegel, M.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stanford doubts the scientific theory behind the therapy, citing human touch as the catalyst for increased energy. Turner agrees that human touch enables a deeper relaxation and wants to gather more hard data to support her program.

Physical contact is not the only way to achieve well-being. There are a few skin care brands that also claim to improve one’s quality of life. Skin care from Shiseido integrates a patent-pending aromachology-based scent that is reported by the company to relax the consumer and improve overall well-being.

While methods to increase energy and vitality do exist, scientific evidence of their success does not. Although more research is being directed toward the investigation of “mind” claims, determining factors remain hinged upon medical proof that the mind reacts to such treatment.

-Katie Schaefer, C&T magazine

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