The basics of energy healing – and why you may need it

Curious to try energy healing , but have no idea what to expect? Here’s the lowdown on reiki and kinesiology.

The concept of energy healing has been around for thousands of years, initially observed by Chinese healers to treat severe illness and maintain health.

Also known as energy work, co-founder of Sydney’s holistic wellness centre Soul Station Marcia Diamond says it’s rooted in the belief that humans are more than biological beings.

“When we approach wellbeing from this perspective, we open ourselves to the possibility that healing can be found in the unseen,” Marcia says.

“It’s based on ancient teachings that if our qi, life force or energy is blocked then illness presents.

“But if this energy flows well and is balanced, then we are happy and heathy.”

Check out our rundown on two popular energy healing modalities, kinesiology and reiki:

What is kinesiology energy healing?

Empowered Happiness founder Carolyn King says kinesiology is the science of energy balancing, grounded in the study of anatomy and physiology.

This healing modality involves assessing every aspect of your health through muscle tests to understand why there is an imbalance, the kinesiologist says.

“Using muscle monitoring, we would ascertain if there were any stresses in your diet, your muscles or your emotional, mental or spiritual state,” Carolyn explains.

“Fundamentally, kinesiologists believe that the body has innate healing energy and is doing its best to care for itself, but sometimes it needs assistance in finding this balance.”

How does kinesiology work?

A session will usually start with a chat on why you’re there and what your goal is, Carolyn explains.

“We would then ask you to lie on the table, on your back and fully clothed and begin to use your arm to monitor where there are stressors in your body while checking for things like stress levels and what the underlying emotion is to determine what the best goal is for you in that time.

“From there, we help bring your mind and body back into balance through muscle monitoring by rubbing on acupressure points on any part of the body, movement, visualisation, essential oils and anything else the kinesiologist has in their tool box.”

What are the benefits of kinesiology?

Carolyn has worked with babies in utero up to people in their 90s and believes anyone can benefit from a kinesiology session.

“Kinesiologists don’t work on treating diagnosis but rather we look at what symptoms a client is struggling with and how it is impeding them in their life,” she says.

“We then balance them to that goal. I have personally helped people with headaches, chronic pain and tiredness, stress and anxiety, gut issues and so much more.”

A small 2014 study found kinesiology may help reduce depression levels, while another highlighted its effectiveness in pain management for elderly people.

What is reiki energy healing?

Originating from Japan, the term reiki represents the energy of life, with rei standing for universal transcendent spirit and ki meaning life-force energy.

Soul Station reiki practitioner Phil Haines says unlike kinesiology, reiki brings about healing and balance to the physical body via the energetic body.

“This process restores balance to the seven major chakra points that govern the health and vitality of the mind, body, emotion and spirit,” Phil says.

“Some practitioners gently place their hands on the body while others do not.”

What is reiki session like?

Reiki sessions can involve comfortably lying down, then the practitioner will begin channeling energy to you by holding their hands near your body, Phil explains.

“Depending on your therapist, you can also mix reiki with massage,” he says.

“Feeling sensations such as light tingling or warmth are quite common for some clients, while others may travel their inner worlds or even drift off into sleep.”

What are the benefits of reiki energy healing?

A complementary modality widely popular in Australia, reiki has been used in hospitals, cancer support centres and for rehabilitation purposes.

“Since reiki works directly on the spiritual and energetic body, its effects flow through to support the mind, body and emotions,” Phil adds.

Some studies suggest reiki is positively associated with aiding those with depression, pain and anxiety.

What to do after your energy healing session

Reiki and kinergetics practitioner Alexis Hammer says it’s important to hydrate yourself after your treatment, just as you would after a massage.

“This will help flush the toxins out of the body and speed up the healing/cleansing process,” Alexis says.

“The best way to manage any symptoms is to listen to your body, and this may include a nap, extra sleep, time in sunshine and nature, or some peace and quiet.”

This includes taking some time out (even if it’s just 15-20 minutes) after your appointment to re-centre, rather than immediately picking up your phone or jumping back into work.

For more on positive and balanced energy:

Originally published in January 2019. Updated by Melissa Hong in September 2023.