What is Subtle Energy?
From basic physics we learn that there are four basic forces that govern the fundamental interactions between objects: Gravitational, Electromagnetic, Strong, and Weak.
“All the known forces of nature can be traced to these fundamental interactions. The fundamental interactions are characterized on the basis of the following four criteria: the types of particles that experience the force, the relative strength of the force, the range over which the force is effective, and the nature of the particles that mediate the force.” Encyclopedia Britannica
As these forces pertain to the human body, historically they have been collectively known as Life Force, Qi, Chi, Prana, Orgone, Mana, Ether, and many other names. The notion of life force or energy of the body has been shared by people around the world for millennia.
The construction of the world is built upon subtle energies and their interactions. The majority of knowledge about subtle energies in and about the body has been again historically derived from subjective observations by mystics, and sensitives.
Now Energy Medicine, which can be considered the study, and application of subtle energies of the human body, includes all concepts of energy: light, sound, electro-magnetism, body, mind and spirit. From Traditional Chinese Medicine comes the principle of Chi, with its biorythm cycles and flows through the channels or meridians in the physical body. From Yogic Hinduism comes the breath or Prana, and the principles of multiple energy vortices in the body – the Chakras, and especially the concepts of multiple bodies beyond the flesh and blood physiological body, conceived in various systems as layers such as the etheric body, the astral body, the emotional body, the mental body, and the spirit bodies.
Due to their very definitions, subtle energies, and energy medicine therapies have been difficult to isolate let alone measure quantifiably, repeatably, without subjective observational or experiential biases.
While direct measurement of subtle energies is difficult, if not impossible, at present, as the physical/psychological/spiritual aspects of these energies do not conform to a unifying understanding. However, indirect measurement of subtle energy in the body is definitely possible.
The Biofield Energy Systems Technology is a prime measurement system for Subtle Energies, and Energy Medicine modalities.
Reiki – Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.” www.reiki.com
Research was carried out by Dr. Nancy Rizzo using the BEST Scanning system to assess the effects of Reiki as compared to relaxation. The resulting research article abstract is provided below.
Intention-Specific Reiki vs. Simple Relaxation
Quantifying the Effects on the Physical and Nervous System Biofields
Authors: Nancy R. Rizzo, Barbara Hudak, Karen Fontes, Nathalie Rivett
Objectives: The main purpose of this study was to measure the effect of a single session of Reiki on physical and nervous system health as compared to a relaxation control session in a small cohort of 20 individuals.
Design: The study design was a randomized, two-round, crossover, pilot study to evaluate the bioenergetic effect of Reiki performed with specific intent between Reiki practitioner and subject as compared to a relaxation session of same time duration.
Settings: The study took place at a private facility in Glendale, Arizona.
Subjects: Subjects in the study ranged in age from 16 to 79 years, with a mean age of 50.5 years. 85% were female. Of the 20 total subjects, 14 were familiar with Reiki, and six were naïve to Reiki.
Interventions: Two trained and certified Reiki Master Level practitioners conducted the Reiki sessions in person, with each Reiki session lasting 25 minutes. The Reiki masters held a specific intention regarding the heart/heart chakra region for the highest expression/elevation during the Reiki sessions. The relaxation sessions were simple, quiet time sessions of the same duration as the Reiki sessions. No direction regarding focus or intent was provided for the relaxation sessions.
Outcome Measures: Subjects were asked to complete a 10-point Likert Scale questionnaire before and after both relaxation and Reiki sessions. After the Likert Scale questionnaire, each subject was measured with the Biofield Energy Systems Technology (BEST). The system measures the bioelectric energetic exchange within the body pertaining to mitochondrial respiration, a relative measure for biophoton exchange. Two measures are made, one pertaining to the physical function response and the other to the autonomic nervous system response across the five major body systems: Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Hepatic, Renal, and Respiratory. While the BEST scan has the capability of producing measurements across 49 different organs/structures in the body, it was decided that a focus would be made on the overall body system outcomes.
Results: Each of the 20 subjects completed both a Reiki and relaxation session of the same duration. Statistically significant improvements were observed for all Reiki physical outcome measures: Cardio, p=3.45e-5; GI, p=4.90e-4; Hep, p=0.028; Ren, p=2.60e-4; Resp, p=1.84e-5. The Reiki autonomic nervous system measurements also had significant outcomes: Cardio, p=1.34e-5 and Resp, p=1.61e-5, while the remaining systems did not achieve significance. The relaxation sessions physical measurements also produced significant outcomes for all systems except Hepatic, p=0.079 with Cardio, p=0.003; GI, p=0.010; Ren, p=0.034; Resp, p=0.022. Relaxation autonomic nervous system measurements had significant results for Cardio, p=0.004; Ren, p=0.023; and Resp, p=0.004 while Hep, p=0.223, and GI, p= 0.06 were not significant.
Conclusions: The results from this double cross-over study suggest that a single session of Reiki improves multiple variables related to physical and autonomic nervous system health, and in direct correlation to the intentions held by the Reiki practitioner.