Energy Medicine: Science or Witchcraft?

Dr. Carol Davis once told me that all evidenced-based practices started as witchcraft. For years I have attempted to separate my evidenced-based practice as a health care practitioner from my clinical belief in many of the energetic medicine modalities.  I have pondered on this long and hard and have chosen to be a leader in the process of taking ideas that appear to be anecdotal interventions and test them clinically and then follow the research as they become evidenced-based practices or not. Some clear examples of this include manual manipulation, magnetic and sound imaging, myofascial work, functional medicine, meditation, touch, positive intention, healing communication skills, Chinese medicine and much more. All of these have experienced a growing body of information in the literature. Many of these interventions would fall into the category of energy medicine or alternative therapies.

Movement happens to be my specialty and as I continue to teach, treat and heal through movement, I am continually impressed with how much I don’t know. The factors that could possibly be influencing perceived health and changes in biology, physiology and psychology is infinite. I learned a professional driving value from my mentor, Alan Lee MD, almost 30 years ago. Alan was like our Confucius in school and he said “a master clinician practices by intuition and justifies by science at the same time”. Though I have learned to trust my intuition in my practice, I have never been able to simultaneously provide a scientific explanation for all of the many healing experiences over the years. This is not because I do not try, only that the possibilities are so vast.

Energy is communication and comes in so many different forms; some are more obvious than others. Light, temperature, electricity, vibration, magnetism, sound, pressure and feelings are a few forms of energy we use to communicate.

I wanted to speak about one intervention, in particular, that uses an energetic modality that does not clearly fit into any of the above categories but is indisputable and that is “INTENTION”. Both the intention of the healer and the intention of the client have a tremendous effect on the treatment results. When we project a positive, loving, healing intention it improves the outcomes, no matter what the intervention.   The other powerful healing energy comes from “HOPE”. It seems when my language is filled with hope rather than “worst case scenario” language or a wordy diagnosis that scares the patient, I see a significant improvement in turnaround time, quality of life measures and confidence to return to life. This is not to diminish the skill set of accurate diagnosis and building a healthy tool kit of intervention tools. Quite the opposite, when we are able to exude an attitude of love and an intention to do good, we tap into some universal database of knowledge. Deepak Chopra refers to this as the “Akashic Field”, an endless source of knowledge and creativity without time or space. I choose to believe in this source of knowledge, experience and energy, which I believe is intuition.

I would like to share three suggestions that have greatly helped me in my practice over the years:

  1. Prepare yourself before treating by purposefully setting your intention to “DO GOOD”
  2. Use language that promotes compassion and hope for your clients
  3. Meditate or pray daily to be inspired with intuition to help your clients

If you are anything like me, you will find that you are more present than ever with your clients, the EGO takes a backseat and our minds and hands are inspired to use the evidenced-based tools and, in some cases, not so evidenced based, to make big differences in outcome. Attempt to justify the intuitive treatments with scientific knowledge by asking questions like:

  • What energy source was used to communicate this intervention?
  • How did their body and mind respond to sensitive, purposeful and inspired interventions?
  • How can I recognize the signs in others that might benefit from this successful treatment?
  • What am I not seeing or feeling?

I encourage a balance between the evidenced-based interventions and the not-so-evidenced-based interventions guided by intuition. Master your skills in what you do know and always be open to other skills and tools that you might not own yet. The AKASHIC FIELD will be at your beck and call as long as your intention is to DO GOOD.

For our latest online courses on the topic of Energy Medicine, click here.

Brent Anderson PT, PhD, OCS, NCPT

Brent received his degree in Physical Therapy at University of California, San Francisco in 1989 and his PhD in Physical Therapy at the University of Miami in 2005. His doctoral thesis explored the impact of Pilates rehabilitation on chronic low back pain using psycho-emotional wellness and quality of life measures. He is currently adjunct faculty at the University of Miami, Division of Physical Therapy. In addition, he owns and operates Polestar Physical Therapy and Pilates Center in Miami, FL, which serves as a model for the use of Pilates for rehabilitation. From his extensive background in rehabilitation and movement science, Brent has applied critical reasoning skills and supportive scientific research to Joseph Pilates’ revolutionary mind-body work. He also brings to the Polestar curriculum an investigation of the effects of psychology and energy systems on motor control and motor learning.

Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you for explaining some methods to use before the sessions. I’ve been thinking about learning how to do some energy healing. I’ll be sure to keep this in mind when practicing.

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