Richard G. Petty, MD

Tools of the New Laws of Healing: Energy Medicine

By Richard G. Petty, M.D.

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
(Hamlet, Act 1, Scene V)
–William Shakespeare (English Poet and Dramatist, 1564-1616)

There has been a lot of talk recently about energy medicine, energy psychology and even energy psychiatry.

What exactly are they, and why do we believe that these therapies only have half the answer?

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine divides energy medicine into veritable and putative. I find these terms a little clumsy. By veritable they mean energies like light, sound and electromagnetism that can be measured. They use the term putative energy fields, also known as biofields, because they have not been measured in a reproducible manner. Treatments like Reiki, Qigong, Shiatsu, Healing touch, Thought Field Therapy and perhaps prayer can all be included under the heading of energy medicines.

A note of caution here. The Scientific and Medical Network, which I had the privilege of serving for almost a decade, has had a high-powered study group looking into energy medicine. At its inaugural meeting, the Nobel Prize-winning Physicist Brian Josephson made the important point that we need to be careful about our definitions. Let me clarify that, and tell you why this is such an important issue.

In my book Healing, Meaning and Purpose, I reported the stunning discovery that scientists seem to have “overlooked” more than 90 percent of the universe. This missing piece is being referred to as “dark” matter and “dark” energy. We know very little about it, but some visionary scientists are already wondering if this dark matter and dark energy may have something to do with the burgeoning evidence for the existence of “subtle” systems associated with the body. These subtle systems appear to be of many types, and in Asia have been given names like Qi (Chi) and Prana, or in the West were called the Etheric or the Fifth Element, after Earth, Fire, Air and Water. Why do I say that much that these therapies have only half the answer? I prefer to use the term subtle “systems”, to be a little more precise than saying “energies”, for these subtle systems are composed of the inseparable twins:

1. Subtle energies and
2. The subtle fields that carry them.

Without energy the fields could not actualize, and without the fields, there would be nothing to carry the energy.

The next point is that underlying the subtle systems is the key to healing. Before even there were the subtle systems, there was an Informational matrix. This is a very scientific and clinical term for something that we also know as the Inner Light or your Inner Divine Spark. You have it: we all do. Aging, illness and death occur when this matrix degrades. Then the subtle systems become chaotic and the biochemical and cellular systems follow. When we treat someone with acupuncture or Reiki, it is not so much that we are squirting “energy” into him or her, but that we are giving that person’s whole organism some cleaned-up information that has a positive effect on the person receiving the treatment.

Let me leave you with a delightful quotation, that you might want to use as a topic for meditation.

“Love is the immortal flow of energy that nourishes, extends and preserves.
Its eternal goal is life.”
–Smiley Blanton (American Speech Pathologist, Psychoanalyst, Writer and Founder
{with Norman Vincent Peale} of the
American Foundation of Religion and Psychiatry, 1882-1966)

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