Energy and Reiki healing in times of social distancing
Updated: 5 days ago
How science can help explain virtual energy healing sessions
By Genevieve Cavanagh
Sounds suspicious; the ability to receive energy healing without being physically with the practitioner. Thousands of energy healers around the world practice virtual healing sessions, especially during this time of social distancing.
When I first heard of Reiki and energy healing, I wanted to know the ‘how’. Like all modalities I’ve been trained in, I sought the healing for myself. After trying it and feeling the shifts within myself, I was enamored and began the journey of seeking to learn and practice several healing modalities of all shapes and sizes. But throughout all of this inquiry, vast shifts I experienced within myself and feedback from others to whom I have provided a session, I still wanted to logically understand what was happening. It has been over a decade of curiosity and learning - by knowledge of reading and teachings, as well as wisdom by experiencing it. The way that resonates the most with me at this time is quantum physics.
Trying to explain it scientifically is not cut and dry. There's a whole spectrum of work in quantum physics that looks at resonance, intention and the ability for someone to connect with you distantly. There are books and papers that would make your head spin if you’re not well versed in mathematics or science, others put into terms the right-brain individuals can understand. Outside of theory, the CIA has released classified documents around their remote viewing program and there’s a growing body of researchers that are experimenting and finding positive results of conscious-based distant healing modalities for their subjects. The research I highlight below is within the realm of psychology and psychiatry.
So, let’s dig into Reiki and what’s going on, and then let's dive into the possible explanations from scientific discoveries and research. Essentially, energy, even to the smallest measurement within an atom, cannot be created or destroyed, it can only transform. When it comes to understanding Reiki and energy healing modalities, many believe that disease and ailments show up in our energy bodies that surround a person first, and if not addressed or healed, it settles into the physical body in various forms of imbalance. The stories from various people in the documentary on Netflix, Heal, are great examples of this.
Breaking it down, many pioneers explain that energy bodies surround everyone, also known as layers of the aura. Each layer corresponds to a particular function: emotions, mental state, spirituality, etc. The energy of these layers are constantly shifting due to changes experienced through emotions, environments, thoughts and our interactions with others. These energetic layers around the body are constantly sensing and communicating with the physical body on an unconscious level, primarily through the central nervous system.
There are also several energy centres on the body, called chakras; seven main chakras that are more well known, as well as smaller centres, like the palms of the hands and bottom of the feet. Chakras are shaped like spinning vortexes and can provide insights beyond what someone is experiencing physically. Reiki and energy healing help to transform, balance and transmute energy blockages/imbalances, so that the chi/qi/universal life force energy within these centres can flow uninhibited.
Reiki, distance or in-person, heals these layers/bodies. The practitioner is attuned to symbols passed along the lineage of energy healing masters to connect and work from a distance. The beauty of this process and the fact that you are working on the energy body is that you receive the effects precisely as if you were in the room with the practitioner.
So, can we explain logically what’s happening?
Everything in the universe is made up of energy - the molecules vibrating and exchanging charges - and this can be measured. We know this from pioneers of Newtonian and classical scientists who measured the world as matter and gravity. So, naturally the breakthrough in the early part of the 20th century in physics shook up the view of how the world works. The continuation of Socrates’ “I know that I know nothing” birthed a curiosity.
One famous experiment in particular - the double slit experiment - found that light can exist as both a wave/frequency and a particle at the same time. It changes with the addition of observation, with consciousness. Albert Einstein wrote in The Evolution of Physics the marrying between old world Newtonian thinking and the new of quantum physics:
“It seems as though we must use sometimes the one theory and sometimes the other, while at times we may use either. We are faced with a new kind of difficulty. We have two contradictory pictures of reality; separately neither of them fully explains the phenomena of light, but together they do.”
So, I feel it makes sense that we need both the knowledge of what we consider matter (for example, knowing that cellular respiration and blood coagulation helps keep someone alive during surgery) and the wisdom of experience (for example, the healing nature of coming back to our breath, sitting in silence, being in nature and moving the body). Which is why we’re now at a point where alternative and scientific discoveries continue to conclude the existence and validity of consciousness, neuroplasticity, epigenetics, the New Physics, and the ever more and more present practices of holistic care and alternative medicine - Dr. Deepak Chopra, MD (Quantum Healing), Candace Pert, PhD (Molecules of Emotion), Dr. Bruce Lipton (The Biology of Belief) and Dr. Joe Dispenza, CD (Becoming Supernatural), The Wim Hof Method, to name a few. It also comes down to the ability to share knowledge more so now than ever before as people shift towards holistic modalities of healing, often complementing their existing care.
The biggest eye-opener in my quest aside from those mentioned above is reading The Field by Lynn McTaggart. This fascinating story explains the zero point field by starting with the space race to modern times. McTaggart attributes zero point field as a way to explain chi/qi/universal life energy - this ever evolving playground of energy that connects all things in the universe.
Zero point field is somewhat like a vacuum state of fleeting (lost/unattached) electromagnetic waves and particles that sporadically enter and leave the quantum field, until they meet their next molecule to bind and vibrate with, continuing to feed zero point field in a never-ending feedback loop. It’s called zero point energy because the energy is the lowest in the emptiest state of space, where no other energy could be removed making it the closest subatomic matter ever gets to zero.
This is becoming increasingly interesting because physicists are now factoring in what’s called the uncertainty principle, when, historically, they would subtract zero point energy (called renormalization) from the equation. This is because they felt since the zero point field was so minimal and always present, it didn’t change anything or factor into the equation, making it so that it didn’t count. What’s fascinating is that physicists started to factor in zero point field in their equations, and many unsolved equations from the pioneers in physics are now making sense. This is where it gets really interesting! Factoring in the uncertainty principle and how zero point field can help explain our universe and how things work more than ever before. As an example, all scientists agreed on Newton’s equation F=ma (force equals mass times acceleration), but no one could actually prove it mathematically. When they factored in Zero Point Field into the calculations, it made sense.
So essentially, everything is not actually made up of matter, rather it’s energy. And if this field is an unlimited field of energy how do we tap into it when we used to look at the body as matter rather than with quantum theory?
For distance healing in particular, McTaggart explains a series of experiments where the research group of psychiatrists hypothesized that a person could harmonize someone's field, so they tested if distance healing actually works. They conducted a double blind study of stage 4 AIDS patients with the same degree of illness to ensure consistent results (note, a double blind study is where the researchers split the group of participants where one group received healing and a group that did not; the participants didn’t know who was getting the healing, and the researchers/doctors were also unaware as to which participant was in which group). The group that received the healing were rotated through a spectrum of healers: drumming and chanting from a shaman, distance Reiki, singing bowls, prayers and intentions, etc.
The results were so revolutionary, that they did the experiment again with a larger grouping of patients: “The results were inescapable. No matter which type of healing they used, no matter that their view of a higher being, the healers were dramatically contributing to the physical and psychological well-being of their patients.” Other researchers are validating these results with their own studies with other participant groups.
This zero point field of energy correlates to the concept of universal life force that has been passed down for thousands of years in eastern philosophies. It’s like an ever constant way to tap into source energy. Also, think of times you surround yourself with people that drain your energy or those that energize it. Could there be a correlation? There’s also a growing development and interest in somatic therapy, like ecstatic dancing. Essentially, removing the energy of trauma trapped in the physical body.
Going back to Socrates and “I know that I don’t know”, this research and musing feeds my ego mind, the thirst to try and understand what I sense, know and feel during a distance or in-person reiki session. When I connect within myself and connect with my clients and hold the intention of healing, it’s about what feels true - your inner knowing and messages received from the body.
If you're curious to give it a try during lockdown, I can be contacted via telehealth for complementary reiki consultations and full sessions.
Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. The content provided is for informational purposes only. Use of the content provided on this blog post is at your sole discretion.