Types of Energy Healing

Basic Principles of Energy Healing lists principles of energy healing which are common to all types of energy healing. On this page, we discuss how systems differ.  Various modalities have different philosophies, types of training, techniques used, models of the energy field and types of energy addressed.

How Systems Differ

Many forms of energy healing therapies already exist, and more are being developed all the time. The field of energy healing or “energy work” has a very wide range of programs and focuses. This is partly due to the fact that healers have a wide variety of backgrounds and natural gifts. Everyone has a different “energetic makeup”, and healing will be expressed differently through different people. When a healer starts to teach others, different techniques, structures and methods of teaching emerge.


Traditionally, healing was learned in an apprenticeship. Many people today still learn healing through an apprenticeship with an experienced healer. There are now, however, many programs which have been developed with a standardized kind of method or curriculum, so that the training does not necessarily occur with the originator of the program. Each way of learning has its value.

Standardized programs allow for large numbers of people to be trained in a particular style, which can create a pool of healers using the same technique for the sake of research. With a large group of people involved, organizations can be formed for development of standards of practice, study and certification of healers. A successful program can lead to public recognition and education about energy therapy. Those trained in a particular method are brought into association with others who speak a common language.

There are advantages also to learning as an apprentice. Study in an apprenticeship involves a one-to-one relationship with the teacher allowing for a depth of learning that may not be possible in a standardized curriculum. The learning can be tailored to the apprentice’s specific strengths and weaknesses, and can take into account the apprentice’s unique gifts. This can create a greater opportunity for intuitive development. An apprenticeship also allows the student to come into more intimate contact with and knowledge of the healer/teacher’s work.


Some energy healing programs emerged from a more spiritual tradition, and some were born from a more scientific approach. Often they have more in common than they differ, despite the theoretical underpinnings. Even those which evolved within the nursing profession with a strong scientific base, such as Healing Touch and Therapeutic Touch, include reference to the spiritual levels of life. Most programs recognize “spiritual layers” of the energy field. Energy healing actually provides an arena where science and spirituality clearly meet.

Some energy healing systems have been created by healers with backgrounds in conventional medicine. These programs have a structure and language which makes them easy to integrate into the conventional medical system. There are also energy healing programs which have little to do with the conventional medical system, and may even have a very different focus, such as a focus on spiritual development or planetary healing.


A very obvious difference between programs is the actual techniques which are used. Many programs use similar techniques, while some are quite unique. The Basic Principles of Energy Healing describes the essential principles of how energy healing works and what the techniques do, but the mechanics and form of the techniques themselves can differ considerably. Techniques which involve the use of the hands are the most easy to recognize and describe as they involve actual positions and movements which can be seen. Energy healing can be accomplished through many avenues, however.  Since it always involves the interaction of the energy field of the healer and healee, the work can be done without the use of hands.

In a sense, techniques are the most superficial aspect of an energy healing training. The development of consciousness and qualities of presence of the healer, as well as the healer’s energy field as an instrument of healing, is more essential and cannot be captured in the description of a technique. Energy healing programs will usually include specific techniques, but also training which develops the basic capacities of the healer.


Some programs include “attunements”. Reiki, which is probably the most common form of energy healing, has attunements as part of its training. Attunements are meant to open the student to healing energies, increase alignment with the “universal mind” and make touch more potent.

While some people feel receiving attunements has been a vital part of developing the capacity to heal, many people achieve equally satisfactory results without ever receiving any kind of formal attunement. The majority of programs do not involve attunements, but there will be some sort of process in the training which helps a person to increase sensitivity to energies and open up to greater energetic flow and higher energetic “vibrations”. This may simply happen as one automatically “resonates” with the energy field of the teacher, or it may be facilitated by meditative processes which enable one to enter a more centered and receptive state. Learning in a group setting amplifies the energy of individuals, and there a innumerable other ways that the expansion of healing capacity can occur.


Most programs make reference to some sort of universal life energy which has been recognized in various cultures and traditions throughout time as “chi”, “prana”, shakti, etc. “Reiki”, in fact, is often translated as “universal life energy”. Energy healing commonly involves increasing the flow and quantity of energy. Although this is an important part of energy healing, it is only one aspect. What occurs is actually a lot more complex, and hasn’t been fully understood or described by anyone at this time.

What can be said is that energy healing does not involve just one kind of energy or energetic frequency. The writings of Alice Bailey describe a number of energies which comprise the energy field, and two major categories of healing – “magnetic” in which “prana” (defined as “vital planetary fluid) is channeled through the hands and “radiatory” which involves a radiation of “soul energy”. This is only one example of the many kinds of energy which may be involved in healing. Different programs may involve both different energetic “qualities” or “frequencies” as well as varying techniques for using them in the service of healing.

Note:  In addition, energy healing is not just a matter of increasing quantity and flow of energy.  It can also involve balancing energies, which in some cases may be decreasing the energy in some areas of the energy field while increasing it in others.  It can also involve re-patterning the flow of energy, as energy does flow in specific patterns and these can be enhanced or restructured.  Various models have been proposed to describe the structure of the energy field (read below).


Programs may have completely different models of the energy field with which they work. Many programs use depictions of the energy field which have had a long history, such as the chakra system. Others descriptions of the energy field have evolved more recently. Barbara Brennan’s elaborate description of the human energy field in Hands of Light has been adopted by many healers. Her model combines ancient understandings with her own observations.

There are many other descriptions which are highly unique and it is possible some represent structures of the field which are newly coming into being as a result of evolution or which are simply not observed by most people due to the limitations of their perceptions. (It requires development of the observer’s energy field to form a basis for what is observed!) Peggy DuBro, founder of EMF balancing, for example, describes a grid of energies which is unique.

Although not formally an energy healing program, the work of Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer (in the Awakening Your Lightbody course), works with “vibrational energy body” and “lightbody” centers which are described as being more subtle than, and in a sense underlying, the functioning of the chakras. Working with these centers does evoke a higher vibratory quality and seems to create coherence in the field more readily than working with the chakras. Some programs make reference to higher, newer frequencies that are becoming revealed or structured in the human energy field as well as that of the planet itself.

The qualities of the energy field of the healer will add a lot of variation to the actual effect of any particular healing, as there is much that is not accounted for by the models described in different healing programs.


Modalities and programs vary in terms of which aspects of the energy field are addressed. Different techniques may be directed to different aspects of the energy anatomy, for example, meridians, chakras, various layers of the field. The healing may work with any of the following.

  • Meridians
  • Chakras — major and minor, as traditionally described
  • Chakras — those which are “newly emerging” or being discovered
  • “Etheric” (often said to be the first layer of the field, like an energetic blueprint)
  • Emotional energy body
  • Mental energy body
  • Astral layer (defined differently by various healers)
  • Causal body
  • Spiritual layers of energy field — specifically the following 3 named by Barbara Brennan in Hands of Light:
  • 5th layer – “etheric template”
  • 6th layer – “celestial”
  • 7th layer – “ketheric template”
  • Lightbody and vibrational energy bodies as described by Packer and Roman
  • Universal calibration lattice as described by Dubro
  • Various other models associated with diverse techniques


Types of Energy Healing — 41 Comments

  1. What are examples of body and energy work that would focus on working the Mental energy body, emotional energy body, Chakras and Meridians?
    I would really appreciate any feed back.
    Thanks Tabatha

  2. Hi Tabatha,

    Many types of energy work will address all of those levels simultaneously. That’s because the flow of energy is common to the functioning of all levels of our being. Anything that works with the chakras, for example, will affect the mental and emotional bodies, as well as the meridians. Acupuncture and accupressure work specifically with the meridians. The Healing Touch program includes techniques that affect all levels of the energy field.

    Thank you for asking this — we’ll add some links on this page to some examples. Until then, if you visit our Complete List of Energy Healing Topics, you’ll see some links to examples under Types of Energy Healing.

  3. Sorry, bhavesh, we are not familiar with Magnified Healing and so can’t comment on it specifically.

  4. Hi-
    I am and always have been extremely interested in energy healing. Here’s my situation,. My boyfriend has a lot of negative energy around him that is keeping him from moving forward. He had a bad divorce 3 years ago from a cheating ex-wife. He is very afraid to commit due to his fears of history repeating itself. Is there a type of remote healing that can be done for him? If so, what type and who would you recommend to do the energy healing? Also, I was wondering the cost. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

  5. Hello EEC. For your boyfriend to benefit from energy healing, whether it is remote or in person, it is important that it is something that he wants. He would need to request and cooperate with the healing.

    If he is interested, having his energy balanced could help him to move forward. He may need more than one session, and he may need to do other kinds of work as well (such as counseling). Everyone’s situation is different.

    There are so many different types of energy healing. What is most important is the skill of the healer and your boyfriend’s ability to work with a particular healer. There are very professional, skilled healers and there are those who are very questionable. A personal recommendation is always useful. I would say that if you find someone certified in Healing Touch or Therapeutic Touch, you would at least know that they have some solid skills and would conduct themselves in an ethical, professional way. There are skilled healers who don’t have such extensive training, but it’s more difficult to know if they possess the necessary skill.

    As for cost, that can vary quite a bit depending on area of the country, training and so on. Many healers charge a fee similar to that of a licensed massage therapist. Others may charge more. Cost could range from $40 to over $100 for a session.

  6. I had an energy healing by a lady that was doing Shakti.
    When she was working on the front of my head I felt
    nothing, then she went to the back of my head. At first
    nothing, then I started to get dizzy and then to shake
    violently and then went stiff for a few seconds. The
    person with me was trying to get the lady to stop healing.
    She finally understood and stopped and I started to go
    back. My question what happened to me? No one seems
    to know? I was off balance for the rest of the day.
    Thank you.

  7. Hello Jean,

    It’s impossible to say exactly what happened, especially without having been there and knowing what the healer was doing. “Shakti” is a term used by many healers and systems and so I don’t know exactly what she was doing.

    I can only speak in generalities. In general, energy healing brings a greater flow of energy in the energy field. This increased energy flow can cause all sorts of sensations, and if a large current of energy is released and then hits a block, it could create something dramatic. It would be highly unusual to have as strong a reaction as you are describing, though not impossible. A skillful healer would usually modulate the energy in a way that would be more gentle.

    Again, I can only state some general principles and can’t be sure of what happened in your case.

    Of course if you continue to experience any problems or any of these symptoms, it would be advisable to check with your health care provider to make sure there isn’t something causing this that needs attention.

  8. Hello!
    I need your advice:
    After very traumatic experiences in my life ( my only daughter and son both passed away in different traffic accidents not caused by them ), I start feeling an enormous amount of energy entering into my head and front face and the only motivation for continue this life is to become a healer.
    I learned Reiki, Reflexotherapy, Flower essences and lately Pranic healing.
    I appreciatte your advice on how can I address this energy to help people,
    I keep waiting for your answer,


  9. I’m not sure I understand your question. If you have learned these techniques, you can start to offer sessions to people. You already have some good “tools” to help people with!

    We also have a CD, Everyday Energy Healing, available through this website that you can listen to as you give an energy balancing to someone. It guides you step by step. Check our shop for it.

  10. I’ve been doing energy healing for the past 10 years or so. The first 4 or so I was skeptic.
    I’ve never taken a class or read about it till now. I don’t understand how I came to know the things I do. After going thru many sites, I can’t find one that fits me.
    Hoping you could point me in the right direction.
    I’ve been told, that my hands become very hot, when healing, this I cant feel. I also need to physically touch the person I’m healing.(cant do remote) I feel different forms of vibrations or energy (im not sure what to call it) I learned different vibes. Mean different “injuries” a session usually takes no more then 5 minutes. In most cases, achieving total relief of pain.
    Any ideas? Don’t know where to go. Thank you very much

  11. Thank you for sharing your experience with energy healing. val. The ability to do energy healing doesn’t necessarily require training. These are natural abilities which are more easily accessible for some people than others. It’s just like any talent. Some people are natural born artists, for example, and others have to take courses to learn.

    What you describe happening as you do healing (hot hands, feeling different kinds of energy, and so on) are experiences that are common to many energy healers.

    If you seek more understanding, you might want to read books by other healers (check out our recommended books).

  12. Hi,
    I’ve been reading your comment, and I’m so thankful for the sound and thoughtful responses given.

    Recently, I attended a healing ceremony, and I was matched with another attendee. We were told to sense, give, and receive energy from each other, which was fine. However, after receiving energy from my partner, which she had been directing at my heart, my heart started aching. It continued aching throughout. I left the ceremony feeling very afraid and very open/unprotected.

    I continued to feel aching in my chest throughout the week. When I finally went to the doctor, I was told that I have inflammation of the chest muscles – a physical manifestation.

    I wondered if you have any explanation of what could have possibly happened in terms of the energy exchange. I’ve been trained a little in pranic healing, and I practice it with friends and family with modest success. There, they teach that one shouldn’t give energy directly to the heart. I forgot that rule that night, and I worry that I’m paying for it! If that is true, why? and how might I reverse the situation. . .
    Sorry for the long question.

  13. Hi Jean, It’s difficult to answer these kinds of questions. There are so many variables that I’m not aware of, so I can only generalize.

    First, I have never felt there’s a problem with energy being directed to the heart. However, there’s a big difference in the effect depending on how the energy is sent. I always work in terms of “allowing” whatever energy naturally wants to come through, rather than consciously trying to create and manipulate, or “send”, energy. It’s a subtle, but very pivotal, distinction about how healer’s work. I don’t know what you’re partner was actually doing.

    The energy could have caused something already present in your heart chakra to surface. Whatever the cause, obviously the heart is asking for healing, and it’s best to focus on that rather than fear that your were somehow harmed and “paying” for something. Things happen! Take care of yourself in terms of your doctor’s advice and whatever other resources you have for healing.

  14. My hands are very warm and dry for the past few years.
    If I hold them out in front of me and focus on them I am aware and experence them getting warming , also a tingle and numbing feeling in them , as well as an energy like feeling resting on my tongue. Can you throw any light on same. Thanking you in anticipation. Seamus.

  15. Seamus, We sense energy in so many different ways and people are different in how they experience it. Feeling warmth, tingling or even a numb-like feeling in your hands are things people commonly describe. Certainly the energy can intensify as we put our attention on it. I can’t comment on the dryness in your hands — that’s not likely related to energy sensing, and I don’t have an interpretation for the energy feeling on your tongue.

    To really be able to understand these experiences, they need to be put into a larger context of when these experiences come up, when they happen and so on, way beyond the scope of a discussion here. I would recommend that you take an energy healing class to get feedback from a teacher and from others and explore this interest further.

  16. Hi, I would like to heal my family and have started to try out healing them by laying hands on their shoulder. I’m not very sure how to heal practically, do I just lay my hands on them? How long should the healing take per session? Is 15 min sufficient? Also, during the healing, do I need to do anything mentally or can I think of something else or watch tv?

    Also, recently, I experience numbness on my arms and legs, has this got to do with healing directly? If yes, what should i do to resolve this ‘problem’? The tingling and numbness of my hands always come after I woke up from sleep..

    Many thanks.

  17. Suat, I’d suggest you take an energy healing course, or you can get our Everyday Energy Healing CD (or mp3) which will guide you in beginning healing. That would answer these questions.

    As for the numbness, I can’t really say. When it comes after waking up, though, chance are it’s a physical thing from the way you were sleeping. If the numbness is a problem, you should probably see a doctor. Sometimes you feel tingling when doing energy healing, but it could be a symptom of something else.

  18. rosie, qigong (sometimes spelled chi gung) is a meditative system involving movement that is designed to move the flow of energy through the body. It’s a system from China. “Qi” or “chi” are words for energy or life force. We’re not experts on it so suggest you do a search on the web.

  19. My 13 yr old step son has ADHD with sensory seeking and impulsivity. This combination is causing not only himself but the family alot of grief.

    I am a Reiki practioner and he is very receptive to the treatments, loves them actually, but the results are short lived, as far as him calming down is concerned.

    Is there some way to amplify the treatments? His energy is so chaotic and the field is so huge and spiky, invasive sometimes, I can sense him throughout the whole house. He can barely stand to be around himself most days. Unfortunately, he has no friends and is kicked out of class more often then he is in it. Any advice would help.

    P.S. He is not on medication currently, it takes nearly a yr to see a pediatrician locally. The appointment is made for early next year.

  20. I don’t know about amplifying the treatments, but it might help to do them more often if you can — shorter ones more often. You might also want to look into Chinese medicine or Ayurveda. A good practitioner might be able to help. Finally, some children are very soothed by some of the meditations on our (free) Meditation Oasis podcast — http://www.meditationoasis.com/podcast/listen-to-podcast/. You might have him listen to some of those.

  21. Nice!

    I wanted to ask you if you happen to know what type of electromagnetic energy is produced in a room where Reiki healing treatments are given?

    The analogy I want to make is for instance with Crustal fountains which are said to release negative ion in the air of the room where they are placed.

    Now a room where regular reiki treatments are given wold also have some type of electro-magnetic fields released. Do you know which ones? and if not, where I can find an anwer to my question?

    In gratitude!

  22. While my brother was bidding on a roofing job for a woman he was approached by her and said he was in a lot of pain. She then slapped her hands together and rubbed them then without touching him circled his shoulder and neck with her hands. My brother is now able to roof and bowl with no pain for the first time in years. What type of energy work would this be called that she performed?

  23. Melissa, there are lots of different styles of energy work, but in reality energy work is energy work and probably the way it’s done has more to do with the person doing it than the style they studied. The woman may have had training, or she could be doing it intuitively. Slapping her hands together and rubbing them is probably her way of opening up the flow of energy (she may have been taught it or may simply do it). Otherwise what she did with the circling is pretty typical of almost any system.

  24. Have you ever tried an energy healing method called “Hand-talk”? I understand it is fairly new and the hand is used to detect ailments in the body. When i did it, I was told my body “switched” because I had two traumatic experiences that sent my body into shock and then she had to remove a blockage in my pituitary glad and she had to do some cell repair. I’ve been looking for more info on Hand talk … suggestions?

  25. Sorry, Anje, not familiar with this. Perhaps someone else will respond with info.

  26. Hello, I am someone who has a great interest in spiritual healing. I have been trying to find one that fits me. Beleive it or not alot dont. I recently met a young lady who does Theta healing. When I picked up a book and tried it, honestly, I got a upset stomach and kinda ill. So I am thinking that was myself telling me this form of healing may not be for me. I am going into massage school soon and was hoping to incorporate the healing with the therapy. I currently am Level one Reiki but was looking for something else as well. There are so many scams out there, I wanted to try and get suggestions from some honest refrences. Please help. (sorry its so long!) Thank you again Lisa M.

  27. The Healing Touch program and Therapeutic Touch are both legitimate and researched.

  28. I am trying to figure out exactly what my natural talent is, and how it works. I know that it involves energy manipulation, and healing, but it also has aspects of being a “guide” for people to heal themselves. For lack of a better way of describing it, it is like I go into the darkness and heal the soul of a person-restore it to balance. But, I did this unconsciously for years, and am just beginning to try and understand that this is much more than just being a wise friend, or a good listener, etc. I DO something to people when I am working with them, talking with them. I don’t have the faintest idea what to call it, or where to look to find out more information. I know there have to be others out there with this talent, or something similar to it, but where do I find them? Any guidance you can offer would be greatly appreciated! Bright blessings, Eonel

  29. Hi Eonel, healing does happen automatically, and it isn’t even necessary to understand exactly how. But you are feeling a desire to understand more and this must be for a reason. Reading about energy healing is certainly a good start, and you could probably meet others with your ability by finding classes in energy healing in your local area. (Healing Touch, Therapeutic Touch, Reiki, etc.) The teachers will have experience with this, and the people drawn to take such classes are already in touch with some of their abilities. Good luck!

  30. WOOO HOOO! I didn’t know any of this stuff, except that all matter is really energy and I had a vague memory that some guru could heal people with white light. My boyfriend was in a coma for a week with kidney failure and his lungs were filled to all but a golfball size of breathing area left. The doctor told me to go in and say good bye. I thought “no way man”, as I went into his room. I put my hands on his torso and imagined white light from my hands fixing every cell back to normal. I closed my eyes and imagined that the whole room was bright. Suddenly his kidneys began to work! He started to cough, and woke up from his coma! His oxygen levels were rising! The doctors said “What’s going on!” “This is a miracle!” “This is impossible!” The doctors pushed me out of the room. He recovered fully and didn’t need dialysis anymore. If I can do it, anyone can heal somebody! Don’t give up!

  31. Hello,
    I broke my kneecap three years ago and in spite of lots of physical therapy,, acupuncure, exercise, tai chi, yoga, etc. etc., it still feels very tight and painful. I am very healthy otherwise and would like to get better. I had a couple healing touch sessions about a year ago and overall felt wonderful, but my knee pretty much stayed the same. Would a series of healing touch sessions get rid of this blockage and help me really get healed and rid of this inflammation? My knees are perfect otherwise…no arthritis, etc. and MRI a month ago read as “normal” except for the bone break which was put back together and healed. I have also considered attending one of the Dreamhealer Adam McLeod’s workshops, but I am thinking this might be a bit of a scam.. Thanks so much!

  32. Jeanne, no one can predict whether any therapy will work for you, but Healing Touch has been useful to many people in reducing pain. There have been lots of studies on HT you can look at. It’s probably worth a try!

  33. Pingback: What is Reiki? Part Three | Guide to Reiki Therapy

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  35. I have ovarian cancer i did the chemo 1 1/2 yr ago. Now the Dr. tell me is back. i don’t want to do chemo againg at the moment I am trying alternative treatment. I will like to know if I can find a someone in my area that does Energy healing please let me know.


  36. Eliett, we don’t have a directory of practitioners. Chances are you can find someone in your area who does Therapeutic Touch, Healing Touch or Reiki or another form of energy healing. Try an online search.