Women's Health Australia

Playing the Field

Once firmly on the wellness periphery, energy healing is converting to the conventional faster than you can say ‘clear my chakras’. Instagram, the unrivalled Zeitgeist capturer, shows about 40,000 posts tagged #auracleansing, while spas increasingly offer reiki alongside the usual treatments. This pull towards the alternative hinges on believing that energy goes beyond the number of kJs in your lunchtime sanga.

“You have 72,000 energy channels converging in seven points called chakras,” says energy healer Sushma Sagar. “The energy in the chakra should be flowing ... but if the chakra is blocked, the energy can become stuck. Think of energy healing as a way of clearing the blockages to help achieve your optimum state of wellbeing.” She isn’t surprised if you’re sceptical. “There’s something about the word ‘healing’ that can put people on edge ... but healing is just doing something that has a positive effect on the body and mind.”

Among the doubters is Professor Tim Caulfield, research director at Alberta Uni’s Health Law Institute in Canada, and author of Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? “The idea that you have a life force energy that runs through your body and it can be manipulated is scientifically far-fetched,” he says. “I’ve tried many of these therapies ... any benefits likely come from the placebo effect.”

Still, the prospect of a placebo lifting

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