Energy therapy is a broad category of modalities and practices that are intended to aid a person in maintaining health and recovering from illness.
Energy therapy can be broadly divided into two categories: veritable energy therapy and putative energy therapy. Veritable energy therapies make use of specific wavelengths and frequencies to treat a patient. The effects of these therapies are generally easier to measure in medical research because the energy is expressed in a way that is measurable in Western medicine. Putative energy therapies are more difficult to quantify in research studies and function in ways that have not yet or cannot be "proven" by Western medicine to exist. Putative energy therapies are generally regarded as more subtle than their veritable energy counterparts. Putative energy therapies usually focus on gently influencing the maladaptive energy thought to cause illness towards a more harmonious state, while veritable energies are based on the idea that energies can be immediately adjusted or realigned.
Energy therapy does not have its origin in any one medical tradition. Rather, it is a contemporary category of medicine that reflects the exposure and availability of multiple theories of sickness and healing.
Popular forms of energy medicine include light therapy, magnet therapy, music therapy, acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), moxibustion, cupping, Asian bodywork, Ayurveda, craniosacral therapy, crystal therapy, healing touch (therapeutic touch), meditation, muscle testing, prayer/distant healing/faith healing, Qi gong, reflexology, reiki, and yoga.
In general, veritable energy therapies are more respected and accepted by mainstream medical practitioners because the techniques involve familiar concepts, such as magnetic waves or electrical impulses. The ability to easily measure these forms of energy has rendered veritable energy systems easier to study. As a result, more research has been conducted on these areas of healing.
Clinical trials based on outcome of treatment rather than measured intervals of improvement are increasingly common in medical literature. These types of trials bypass the difficulty of measuring the putative energy expressed during the course of therapy, and therefore remove one of the primary barriers to evaluating healing traditions using scientifically verified methods. Though some energy therapies may never be measurable using biophysical properties, their popularity is increasing in mainstream American society.
Acupuncture, Asian bodywork, ayurveda, craniosacral therapy, crystal therapy, cupping, distant healing, faith healing, healing touch (therapeutic touch), light therapy, magnet therapy, meditation, moxibustion, muscle testing, music therapy, phototherapy, prayer, Qi gong, reflexology, reiki, TCM, Traditional Chinese Medicine, yoga.