Saturday, October 27, 2012

Is Energy Healing a Placebo?

One of the questions that comes up often is whether people need to believe in healing for it to have a positive effect. If that were the case, it would be very easy to classify Energy Healing as a placebo. The answer is no, but it helps if they are willing to consider the possibility that it might work. It's hard to heal someone who outright rejects it. 

Skeptical clients give the healer just enough leeway. A client has to be willing to accept healing, whether or not they believe it actually works. On some level they will benefit, even if it's not apparent in the first instance. The healing might not be physical, so its important to be clear about expectations. 

The goal of healing is not to cure physical symptoms. I recently read a few posts on a science blog called Science Based Medicine. It was created by a group of doctors who spend their time debunking complementary therapies like healing, acupuncture and natural remedies. The often use phrases like "an elaborate placebo" when they talk about energy healing. I think the disconnect lies with the outcome we each want to achieve. Doctors work with the physical body and their main objective is to manage symptoms and treat diseases. Their work requires extensive skill and expertise, though it can be one dimensional if we think of the mind-body-spirit as three aspects in an individual's life. 

Energy Healing is said to work on four levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. There isn't a priority when it comes to energy healing, so the change may happen on any of these. One of the things I like about energy healing, is that it can involve asking what the illness means symbolically. What can they learn from the illness? The physical symptom will give us a clue about what that lesson is. 

Let's illustrate the point with the example of diabetes in a client. The healer's goal is not to cure or manage diabetes, they should be seeing a doctor for this. The energy healer will think about what diabetes means in the client's life. How are  the pancreas and the heart affected on an emotional level? They might have trouble balancing their career ambitions with their personal life. When we have a loving personal relationships, life is sweet. If that natural sweetness is consistently denied, a person might overcompensate with sugary foods that push their insulin level through the roof. Energy Healing addresses that internal clash between happiness, and ego driven ambition. Through the healing, the client might see their life in a new light. This facilitates the healing process, though it may not have an effect on the body. People who want to classify energy healing as a placebo are only looking at one aspect of human existence: the physical level. 

I am not sure how you would even go about measuring mental, emotional or spiritual healing. Psychologists have practice with the mental and emotional side. Would it be possible to quantify the effect on the energy body; for example, how would you document an aura or a chakra clearing? And if you capture the energy flow on film, say with photography, what does that mean for the person's biology? I find all of this fascinating. Individual clients may report sensations during a healing session, but what actually happens to their energy? 

Update! I'm pleased to share that in 2020 I found  more answers - have a look at this post on The Science Behind Energy Healing

Thanks for reading the blog, 



Regina Chouza is an Energy Healer, Angel Medium and author of A Personal Guide to Self-Healing, Cancer & Love and Chakra Healing & Magick. She studied angel intuition and astrology at The College of Psychic Studies in London, and qualified as a healer at the School of Intuition & Healing UK. Her passion is bringing the qualities of self-love, joy and empowerment to healing pursuitsRead her books to heal yourself.  

Image: (added 2023)


  1. I've rewritten this about 4 times since I posted it! And somehow it still doesn't say exactly what I want to say. Would love to hear your thoughts and interpretations of this =)


  2. The idea of placebo can be given t anything... But the one thing about healing that for mrves it, is the fact it work wonders on animals! Who have no believes, expectations and might or not be able to spiritually give us permission :) but who are extremely open to receive. With children the same is applied :)
    About ways to prove or not what levels the healing is working on... Of course is a hard one... Possibly a client diary of feelings, thought and practical things that start happening after the healing.
    A friend I been working on is still not physically healed even though a cyst has vanished on the operation day :) she is still in a lot of pain for other reasons that doctors can't find. So when I look at it I sometimes question: why is the healing not doing his job? And she always tells me: when you started I was depressed, not in peace, angry with out knowing and lost without even knowing who I was anymore. Since then, I am in pain, but mentally I couldn't be stronger! And emotionally is hard but I know that if I was still the person I was when you started the healing, I would be coping like I am, in fact I probably would not even be here! - this keeps me doing it and knowing it is doing something :)
    Possibly a photo of aura before and after healing could quite some skeptics! But in the end of the day, the way I would like to touch all his doctors and people is for them to experience it for themselves! For what I know is the ones who have they know that maybe they can't explain it all but it works! xxx

    1. Hi MC ...

      I agree with you in that experience it yourself is the best way to be convinced. Same goes for a psychic reading or any other kind of energy work. My quasi-scientific side does wonder if there is a way to assess it scientifically though. Eventually science and healing will meet in the middle.

      Some people need help coming out of their shell or mental bubble, and healing can also help them with that. I suppose there is a lot we can do without healing the physical body. I find all of that more interesting anyway =)

  3. Hi its a very interesting and informative things that you have shared here. Now days energy healing are very common and really benefits so many patients.
    again thanks
    psychologists chennai