Energy Psychology (EP)
Energy Psychology is a branch of psychology that recognizes and studies the contributing effects of the bodies energy systems on an individual’s psychological, emotional and behavioral disposition.
Its origins stem from Western medicinal practices taking an interest in Eastern medicinal practices that have for centuries proclaimed the existence of such energy systems and the necessity to include them in any therapeutic process. Yoga, Qi Gong and Acupuncture are now familiar Eastern “energy manipulation” practices, and it was the latter of these that particularly fascinated the likes of Californian psychologist Roger Callahan back in the 1980s. Callahan, along with the Australian psychiatrist John Diamond, pioneered the use of acupuncture principles in addressing psychological issues. The precise methodology was changed though, in that the use of needles is replaced by simple tapping or massage of points on the skin surface.
Western science has long realized that the physical universe is solely configured of energy that forms into matter by vibrating at a certain frequency. Every “thing” is energy condensed into a frequency that we perceive as that thing. This also applies to the living being. Energy is the blueprint for all matter. It is the infrastructure and foundational element of the human being. Your body maintains an energy signature frequency that is produced by energy pathways (meridians) and energy centers or vortexes (Chakras). This energy system is in a constant interplay with every cell of the physical structure and every emotion and thought of the psychological structure. The energies include electromagnetic frequencies that are measurable through MRI or EEG readings and more subtle frequencies that instrumentation is not yet able to read.
Energy Psychology is attempting to take psychology into broader areas of consideration; areas that overlap, interlink and encompass ideas and concepts from other scientific disciplines that will hopefully produce a more definitive paradigm for psychology itself. It incorporates understandings on human functioning contributed by several mainstream psychological research paths. Particular consideration is given to:
- The cognitive perspective – which examines the interrelationship of emotions and language and the assimilation and processing of sensory information in our thinking and reasoning.
- Physiological psychology, especially neurology – which investigates the structures and functions of the nervous system.
- Biochemistry – which looks, for example, to the influences of neurotransmitters (vehicles of communication between cells in the nervous system), hormones and neuropeptides – described as the “molecules of emotion” by Dr. Candace Pert.
EP looks to introduce the significance of energy fields and forces to the overall construct of a human being’s functioning. It recognizes and utilizes the information on bio-energy systems that has been accumulated over many centuries in Eastern medicinal practices. Its basic premise is that illness, whether defined as physical, mental or emotional in origin, is caused by “energy blocks” or a “disruption in the body’s energy system.”
Pursuant with this fundamental premise in EP, efforts are made to balance any disruptions and release the “blocks” impeding the flow of energy through the body when treating illnesses. There is an assumption made that held energy within the bio-energy system of the self is composed of one or more “negative” emotions that are associated with one or more “traumatic” experiences. Treatment of the bio-energy system is regarded as sufficient in many cases to alleviate the symptoms of illness. Whereas allopathic medicine attributes the cause of illness to disruption of the physiological and biochemical structure (the physical “layer” of your self), and psychiatric medicine attributes cause to the mental (psychological “layer”) and biochemical imbalance within the brain, EP assigns cause to the disruption of the bio-energy system (the electromagnetic energy field “layer” of your self.)
In its approach to illness, EP moves the cause away from the baseline of atomic and molecular interaction, to the more subtle fields of energy interaction and transaction – away from the strictly physical realm, to the more subtle forces at play between the physical and the non-physical planes of existence. Importantly, EP gives recognition to the thoughts and beliefs from the psychological realm that may contribute to the blocking/disruption of energy and the necessity to address cognitive behavior in order to achieve sustained relief – but the emphasis of treatment is on the electromagnetic energy fields of the body.
There are a number of treatment methods that fall under the umbrella term of Energy Psychology. These include the pioneering approaches of the Callahan Techniques such as TFT (Though Field Therapy); TAT (Tapas Acupressure Technique); BSFF (Be Set Free Fast); Seemorg Matrix Work; and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques).
Most EP methods primarily utilize meridian-based techniques from Energy Medicine when assisting in the treatment of mental, emotional or physiological challenges. These techniques essentially stimulate or invigorate the meridians and important points on the skin surface associated with them. Whereas acupuncture resorts to the use of needles for invigoration, EP methods are non-invasive and generally rely upon the tapping of key meridian points, usually with the fingers, and/or the movement of energy flows through utilizing the therapist’s own energy fields emitting from the hands and fingers.
This fundamental aspect to the various EP approaches was developed from initial successes with people in fairly obvious emotional distress – fear through phobias, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anticipatory anxiety, and suchlike conditions. Eventually, the maxim “try it on anything,” (from EFT instruction), took hold and the list of ailments that have been favorably affected by EP methods such as EFT now incorporates many physical, emotional and mental forms of distress.
Energy Psychology then, sees the restoration of energy flow as a prerequisite for the relief of emotional distress and the use of suggestion through affirmations as the optimum method of thought or belief modification. This double-pointed attack on the distressed individual invariably leads to the alleviation of certain physical symptoms being experienced. The approach is a genuine attempt to regard the nature of our being in a more holistic fashion. It regards itself as “complementary” rather than “alternative” as it recognizes the contribution of biochemical balancing through drug intervention. It is though a practice that harbors concern for the blinkered approach of drug treatment for all forms of illness and champions the possibility that its methods may well negate, or at least reduce, the use of drugs for a wide variety of common ailments. EP, like the alternative treatments of say, acupuncture or Reiki, addresses the bio-energy system of the distressed self but it also attempts to address any errant belief systems at the crux of the matter – the “psychological reversals,” as EP theory refers to them.
Energy Medicine (EM)
EM is a practice that recognizes that at the fundamental level the living organism is a “latticework of energies.” Its intention is to encourage the individual in optimizing these energies’ functions, to manage them more effectively, and when necessary, utilize their natural healing capacities when ill-health prevails.
Energy gives life to the body. Medicine is an agent that is used to heal or prevent disease. In energy medicine, energy is the medicine. And in energy medicine, this medicine is applied to the body’s energies. Energy heals, and energy systems are healed.
The return of energy medicine is one of the most significant cultural developments of the day, for the return of energy medicine is a return to personal authority for health care, a return to the legacy of our ancestors in harmonizing with the forces of nature, and a return to practices that are natural, friendly, and familiar to the body, mind, and soul. Regardless of the dazzling technologies that have already been introduced, such as electromagnetic imaging, or the undreamed-of advances that will come along, the essence of energy medicine will always be the energy systems that make up the subtle infrastructure of every body. (Donna Eden, “Energy Medicine,” pp.2/3.)
References and Resources:
Consciousness and Healing: Integral Approaches to Mind-Body Healing. Marilyn Schlitz and Tina Amorok with Marc S. Micozzi.
Energy Medicine. Donna Eden with David Feinstein.
Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis. James L. Oschman.
Energy Psychology; Energy Psychology in Psychotherapy. Fred P. Gallo.
Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine. Candace Pert.
The Biology of Belief. Bruce Lipton, Ph.D.
The Promise of Energy Psychology: Revolutionary Tools for Dramatic Personal Change. David Feinstein, Donna Eden and Gary Craig.
www.energypsych.org (Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology.)
www.issseem.org (International Society for the Study of Subtle Energy and Energy Medicine.)
www.innersource.net (D.Eden and D.Feinstein’s website.)
www.emofree.com (Gary Craig’s Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) website.)
www.attractingabundance.com (EFT Master Carol Look’s website.)
www.rogercallahan.com (Dr Roger Callahan’s Techniques [TFT])
www.tatlife.com (Tapas Fleming’s website. Tapas Acupressure Technique.)
www.besetfreefast.com (BSFF, Dr. Larry Nims’ website.)