Integrative Medicine purports to include alternative treatment modalities but in practice, few integrative medicine programs include much beyond acupuncture and yoga. A 2012 report of The Bravewell Collective, an association of 29 academic clinical centers across the U.S. (“Integrative Medicine in America”), states that interventions prescribed most frequently across all conditions, in descending order, were food/nutrition, supplements, yoga, meditation, TCM/Acupuncture, massage and pharmaceuticals. Missing from the roster of alternative therapies in these clinical centers were any of the more energy-mobilizing, hands-on treatment modalities such as Healing Touch, Touch For Health/Eden Energy Medicine and Reiki, because they are not considered evidence-based. In other words, these therapies must be scientifically proven effective for doctors to accept a given therapy, and for insurers to pay for it.
This stance on limiting alternative medicine to a very few evidence-based therapies in integrative medicine is problematic for the following reasons: 1) the cost of clinical trials prohibits most practitioners who do this work for a living from presenting evidence of efficacy; 2) evidence of efficacy is difficult to achieve with these modalities because energy is not one thing—the energy applied in these modalities represent a continuum of different frequencies, types (subtle vs. electromagnetic) and qualities of energy—it is therefore difficult to isolate a standardized energy “x” applied to medical condition “y” to yield outcome “z;” and, 3) people are different energetically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually and for that reason cannot respond in the same way to the same therapeutic application. An additional factor to consider is the difference between the energy of the patient and the person administering the treatment.
To obtain reliable results of clinical research the researcher must go to great lengths to simplify the experiment so that only one thing is applied to another thing in order to determine a reaction. In the working world, this is very difficult to do. In the Bravewell report, many modalities were applied to a single medical condition, negating any singularity of cause and effect. In addition, the clinical centers admitted that, though they had captured outcomes data, even they did not have the resources to collect and analyze this data. They considered success in terms of patient satisfaction instead.
The whole notion of creating reliable data on energy-based therapies is problematic because energy, as a system, is interconnected, so intervention aimed at the chakras, for example, as in Eden Energy Medicine, affects not just the chakras, but all other energy organs, such as the meridians and aura. It is not possible to predict or to detect where the therapeutic stimulus is being felt once it is directed, only that it has been applied. It could be that the trouble was alleviated in the meridians and not in the chakras at all.
When I speak of people having different energy, one might recognize this by noticing that some people when they enter a room you immediately “feel” their presence while others you don’t at all. In fact, some people experience life as if they are “invisible,” that nobody notices them, ever. The quality of energy one emits is the product of emotion, physical status, and soul evolvement. Depending on the combination of these three factors, a person may or may not be compatible energetically with the therapeutic agent (and the energy of the practitioner). Given the connected nature of the body’s energy, and the energy of the practitioner, any test of efficacy must be drawn from an understanding that scientific proof may be elusive in a strictly scientific paradigm of clinical testing. Instead, proof must be rendered in the documentation of the patient’s makeup and circumstance, the treatment regimen and clinical outcome (that would include social, psychological, physical and spiritual betterment).