Stimulate the Body to Heal

Conventional medicine views the body as simply a physical/chemical machine. But a new perspective is emerging which sees humans beings as networks of complex energy fields. Some of these energy fields are easily measured by conventional technology - brain waves, for example. Others, "subtle" energy fields like the "etheric body" concept from certain spiritual traditions, we are only now beginning to explore scientifically.

Richard Gerber's book, Vibrational Medicine (Bear & Co.) is encyclopedic in its coverage of the new science of energy, or "vibrational," medicine. Gerber contrasts conventional therapeutic modalities - drugs and surgery - with methods that are less toxic and less invasive. Vibrational medicine treats people with energy healing modalities to stimulate the body to heal itself. Some methods are based on long healing traditions, where there is ample evidence for their effectiveness, such as Chinese acupuncture. Others, like the use of crystals for healing, are relatively untested.

There are two major traditional approaches to the human energy system: the Hindu chakra system, and the Chinese ch'i system. In the Hindu system, chakras (Sanskrit for "wheels") are seven centers in the body said to resemble whirling vortexes of subtle energies. Each chakra translates energy from a subtle level to physical effects in the body. In the Chinese system, ch'i is the subtle energy that permeates our environment. Its application to healing is best known in the West through the practice of acupuncture. Ch'i supposedly flows through subtle channels in the body called meridians. Acupuncture heals through stimulation of those meridians by needles to establish a balance of ch'i.

Beyond these historic healing systems are such approaches as homeopathy, radionics, crystals, flower essences, and psychic healing. Gerber proposes that all of these methods can and should be tested experimentally. None should be rejected simply because we do not yet understand how they might work.

Vibrational medicine, particularly in diagnosis, is not as unconventional as one might imagine. X-rays, CAT scans, and MRI scans are all a part of current medical practice; they use energy to image the inside of the body. Less conventional are devices like the Motoyama machine, a device that measures electrical activity at acupuncture points to diagnose disease. For treatment of disease, electrical stimulation to relieve pain is already a common practice. Well-designed research is also beginning to show the efficacy of homeopathy, crystals, and prayer in the healing process.

(Digest by Douglas Richards, Atlantic University.)