Energy field healing, also called aura or chakra healing, stems from the belief that everyone emanates a life force, or human energy field. Practitioners claim that this energy force affects an individual's balance and ultimate well-being. Energy field healing includes various alternative health practices, such as yoga, Reiki, acupuncture and Qigong. Energy medicine is generally regarded as a complement, not a replacement, of Western medicine. Energy field healing is practiced for many purposes, such as for physical therapy, to relieve stress, or simply to maintain a healthy state of being.
One of the most popular methods of energy field healing is yoga, which is intended to better open up a person's seven energy channels. These channels, called chakras, are said to reside within a person's subtle body, positioned in different areas along the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Through a variety of stretches and poses, yoga is believed to balance the energy that flows through each chakra, thus providing the practitioner with greater inner harmony and balance.
Reiki is a more specialized form of energy field healing. In what is referred to as palm healing, experienced practitioners use their hands to smooth out imbalances in a patient's energy field. Much of the time, practitioners of Reiki might not actually physically touch an individual, instead influencing energy currents by tracing their hands just over the surface of the skin.
Acupuncture is an ancient method of energy field healing. Literally translating into "needle prick," acupuncture involves placing various needles in the skin to induce relaxation and pain relief. These needles are placed along pathways in the skin called meridians, where a person's vital energy, or qi, is believed to flow. This therapy is believed to unblock meridians to allow one's qi to flow more freely.
Like acupuncture, Qigong is intended to encourage better flow of qi throughout the body. Less like acupuncture, however, and more like yoga, Qigong achieves this through a series of shifting poses and breathing exercises. The word Qigong can be broken down into qi, or life energy, and gong, or work, so the practice of Qigong is literally working one's life energy or life force.
Crystals are also used as an energy field healing method. The belief is that crystals are energy conduits, capable of clearing out negative energy and restoring balance. Many practitioners simply wear crystals around the neck, acting both as elegant jewelry as well as constant energy cleansers. During healing exercises, some practitioners place crystals along different points of the body where chakras are believed to be located.