Differences Between Energy Healing Touch Modalities
Do you find explaining the differences between energy modalities challenging? Below are brief descriptions of massage, acupressure, Reiki, and Healing Touch. While all methods offer relaxation and energetic balance, they approach these goals in different ways.
The descriptions of massage, acupressure, Reiki and Healing Touch indicate the benefits they offer overlap, although their approaches differ. Massage practitioners work with the physical body. Acupressure influences the energetic flow within the body through the meridians. Reiki and Healing Touch practitioners work with the energy within and around the body. Acupressure uses specific points on the energy meridians. Reiki takes a general approach. Healing Touch practitioners focus on the chakras and use specific protocols based on the presenting issue.
Massage treatments provide stress relief, tight muscle relief, pain reduction, increased circulation, and deep relaxation. Practitioners manipulate and apply pressure to the soft tissues to help clients relax and heal. Practitioners are trained in massage techniques, kinesiology, anatomy, physiology, first aid, and handling to be licensed by the state.
Acupressure is based on acupuncture. Acupuncturists manipulate the flow of qi (life force) in the meridians (energetic channels), using needles at specific points to correct imbalances and improve well-being. Acupressure has the same goal as acupuncture: to balance and restore the body’s natural harmony using pressure rather than needles. Acupressure can relieve muscle spasms, reduce swelling and inflammation, increase energy, relieve pain, support quicker healing of injuries, build the immune system, help relieve chronic health problems, enhance calm, and strengthen muscles and joints.
Reiki is a Japanese healing method founded by Dr. Mikao Usui in 1922. Reiki provides stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. Reiki is based on the concept that life force flows through and around every living being. Our life force responds to and is influenced by everything in our environment. When our life force is disrupted, our health and well-being is affected. Practitioners place their hands on the person or animal (or hold their hands near or at a distance) and allow the spiritually guided Reiki energy to flow to the client. Practitioners may follow a pattern of hand placements or move their hands intuitively to different areas of the body.
Healing Touch is a gentle, heart-centered, biofield energy therapy that often results in deep calm and relaxation. Practitioners use their hands to clear, energize, and balance the human energy field and energy centers, which positively affects physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. The Healing Touch Program is endorsed by the American and Canadian Holistic Nurses Associations and is an accredited provider of continuing nursing education.
Massage practitioners have a similar training background due to state regulation. Acupressure is often taught in conjunction with massage. A number of organizations teach acupressure using the acupuncture points as the common basis for the curriculum. HTA, Matrix Energetics, Theta Healing, Reconnective Healing, and other newer systems have parent organizations that offer a core curriculum and set standards for their instructors and practitioners. No single body oversees Reiki instruction or practitioner standards. As a result, there are a number of variations of Reiki. However, all practitioners are tuned to Reiki energy by a Reiki Master. Massage and acupressure are commonly used on horses, dogs, and other species that enjoy touch. Reiki and HTA are used on all species in any environment because hands on touch is not required.
Using more than one method for the same issue
Massage, acupressure, Reiki and Healing Touch complement physician and veterinarian work and complement each other. The use of one modality does not exclude the use of the others. For example, we would not hesitate to have a massage one week and a chiropractic adjustment the next week.