Addressing Emotional Blocks to Healing in an Energy Medicine Practice: Ethical and Clinical Guidelines

doi: 10.9769/EPJ.2012.4.1.DF.DM.DT

By David Feinstein, Douglas J. Moore, & Dale Paula Teplitz


As the impact of emotional factors on physical health is being increasingly recognized, energy medicine practitioners (e.g., acupuncture, acupressure, applied kinesiology, Barbara Brennan energy healing, Eden Energy Medicine, Healing Touch, medical qi gong, Reiki, Shiatsu, Therapeutic Touch, Touch for Health, etc.) are addressing this dimension of healing in a variety of ways.

One that appears particularly promising involves the stimulation of acupuncture points and other energy centers, a strategy derived from the discipline of energy psychology. Having tools that directly impact the emotional aspects of physical health and healing enhances a practitioner’s effectiveness and provides an integrated approach to energy healing.

This development has, however, raised important practical, ethical, and legal concerns regarding the scope of practice for energy medicine practitioners who are not trained or licensed to provide mental health services. This article addresses these issues, offering ethical and clinical guidelines for responsibly integrating tools from energy psychology into an energy medicine practice.

The discussion focuses on when introducing these protocols may be appropriate, considerations for formulating such interventions, and guidelines on when a referral to a licensed mental health professional is required. Steps to ensure that these choices are made within an appropriate ethical framework are also delineated. The article concludes with a case history illustrating the effective integration of energy medicine and energy psychology protocols for a client with a serious illness, including a description of the techniques used and the clinical and ethical choices implemented by the practitioner.

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