In Defense of Energy Medicine...sorting through the confusion and misunderstanding!

I decided to write this post because I kept reading about people claiming that those who practice energy healing are being deceived; They say energy healing is priestcraft, it detracts from the priesthood, it is of the devil, etc.etc. Some of these arguments are made by people who clearly don't know what they are talking about, and have absolutely no interest in seeking truth, while other arguments are very thought out, articulate, and intelligently written by people that have obviously pondered these things a great deal.

I have found that most of the misunderstanding comes from a basic confusion about what energy medicine is, and what it is not

There is nothing mystical, new-age, voodoo or magic about energy medicine. In fact, many cultures have studied and taught about the energy systems of the body and their effect on health and well being for hundreds of years. Energy healing is certainly not's ancient!! HERE is a very in-depth PowerPoint packed with information explaining the nuts and bolts of energy medicine, from an LDS perspective. It is the presentation I use in my Introduction to Energy workshop.

Energy healing is simply the application of physics in medicine (while our western medical model is based upon the application of chemistry in medicine.)

This post will be a work in progress, as I continue to address the most common misconceptions I come across. Every time I run across misinformation, I will post it here, with my response. So here goes!

Q: If energy healing is real, how come the Brethren haven't talked about it?

A: When was the last time one of the brethren stood at the pulpit and gave instruction about how to heal a broken leg? Or how to give proper first aid after a car accident? NEVER! Because it's pretty well understood that if you have a broken leg, you need to see someone who has been trained in healing broken legs. Similarly, if you have something emotional going on...depression, anxiety, unresolved need to go to someone trained in methods to address those issues. Latter Day Saints are taught to seek out truth, wherever it may be, and do our own research. There's lots of things the Brethren don't talk about from the pulpit, because it doesn't fall under their mantle as leaders. There's lots of truth in this giant world we live in...I believe the Lord expects us to figure some things out on our own using the brains he gave us!

Here is a little gem I stumbled across on an online forum the other comments are in blue

"There is a wave of new age spiritualism* creeping into the church and undermining the power and authority of the Priesthood**Energy healing is spreading like a virus with members of the church especially the woman***. They have taken it upon themselves to heal in the name of Christ. They use methods that are not authorized by God****. If the men of this church were to humbly yet powerfully rely upon the powers of the Priesthood, I don't think we would see such a wave of energy healing as we do. Energy healing has become the new Preisthood. Muscle testing has become the new method of revelation.*****

here is NOTHING new age about working in the body's energy fields to affect health and wellness...It's SCIENCE! (Study more about quantum physics !) As I mentioned above, it is simply the application of physics in medicine. Incidentally, our western medical model is based upon the application of chemistry in medicine...hence, the reason pharmaceuticals are so central to our mainstream medical model

**The claim that energy medicine undermines the power and authority of the Priesthood is probably the claim that bothers me the most. Energy medicine has nothing to do with priesthood authority and in no way undermines priesthood power. Priesthood authority gives it's bearer the authority to act in the name of God, and is used to administer ordinances of the Gospel, excercise keys, and to administer priesthood blessings. Nothing in the field of energy medicine has anything to do with those things! Energy healing is nothing more than a "tool" in our toolbox of things available to us to take care of ourselves and our families-just like using herbs, essential oils, going to the chiropracter, massage therapist, or any number of other things we can learn about... I was taught to do all I could before asking for a priesthood blessing.If I had a child with a broken bone, I'm sure the Lord COULD heal it through a priesthood blessing, however I believe he'd also expect me to take my child to an appropriate medical professional. There are times when we need extra help, or what we can do ourselves just isn't enough...then we ask for a blessing. Learning more about alternative forms of healing, like energy medicine, herbs, essential oils, etc, etc just gives me more tools in my toolbox, but a priesthood blessing still is, and always will be, drawing on a higher power! 

***there are lots of people learning about these truths...and helping a lot of people in the process. I personally have worked with Bishop's, Primary Presidents and Temple ordinance workers, and not one person has ever expressed concern over the principles of energy healing. My Stake president's wife does a form of energy healing (Foot Zone Therapy), and has done a lot of good for others. Most of the people I work with are active, faithful Latter Day Saints. As truth and light spread, Satan ups his game and spreads confusion and false information as well. That's why I felt it was time to speak out about these misconceptions!!

****"They use methods not authorized by Christ?" I believe the exact opposite! I believe Heavenly Father expects us to learn of the laws that govern health and healing, and to use those laws to be proactive about our health. Just as a dr. can study the laws that govern healing broken bones or a physical therapist can learn to use the laws that govern healing and strengthening muscles, the Lord not only authorizes us, but expects us to learn the laws that govern all aspects of health and wellness. Our Heavenly Father expects us to be proactive about our act and not wait to be acted upon! Energy healing is just another field of study, just like nutrition, herbs, massage therapy, accupuncture, etc, etc. 

*****anyone who is letting muscle testing take the place of personal revelation is misusing a very valuable tool. Muscle testing is simply a tool, and can be used to obtain information regarding health and well being. That's the scope of it. Prayer and personal revelation is still a higher power, and you should never muscle test things you should be praying for. If in doubt...PRAY! I will often confirm the results of a muscle test with prayer, especially if I'm testing for something that could have serious consequences, isuch as serious injury or illness. And...I would never dream of working in someone's energy field without praying first! I always pray for the spirit of discernment, and for the ability to obtain the information i need to address whatever issue I am working on. The very fact that the Holy Ghost will assist my efforts by confirming the results of a muscle test, or help me know that I've missed something and need to go back and ask more questions is additional evidence to me that I'm using knowledge and understanding that are God-given for our use and benefit! I absolutely believe muscle testing and energy healing are among the "hidden treasures" spoken of in D&C

Q: Why can't I cure my depression, anxiety, grief, etc, etc with a priesthood blessing?

A. There have been some really great articles in the Ensign that deal with this very issue. Here are a few thoughts that help add clarity to this very valid question:

 (Elder Alexander B. Morrison Of the Seventy; October 2005 Ensign) 
"I am a great advocate of priesthood blessings. I know, from much personal experience, that they do inestimable good. I know too that final and complete healing of mental illness or any other disease comes through faith in Jesus Christ. In any and all circumstances, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad, our lives will improve and become richer and more peaceful as we turn to Him. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,” He said. “… Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28–30). He and only He has the healing balm of Gilead needed by all of God’s children. 
We must understand, however, without in any way denigrating the unique role of priesthood blessings, that ecclesiastical leaders are spiritual leaders and not mental health professionals. Most of them lack the professional skills and training to deal effectively with deep-seated mental illnesses and are well advised to seek competent professional assistance for those in their charge who are in need of it. Remember that God has given us wondrous knowledge and technology that can help us overcome grievous problems such as mental illness. Just as we would not hesitate to consult a physician about medical problems such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, so too we should not hesitate to obtain medical and other appropriate professional assistance in dealing with mental illness. When such assistance is sought, be careful to ensure, insofar as possible, that the health professional concerned follows practices and procedures which are compatible with gospel principles."

 And this from Jeffrey R. Holland, October 2013 Ensign, "Like a Broken Vessel:

"The Apostle Peter wrote that disciples of Jesus Christ are to have “compassion one of another.”1 In that spirit I wish to speak to those who suffer from some form of mental illness or emotional disorder, whether those afflictions be slight or severe, of brief duration or persistent over a lifetime. We sense the complexity of such matters when we hear professionals speak of neuroses and psychoses, of genetic predispositions and chromosome defects, of bipolarity, paranoia, and schizophrenia. However bewildering this all may be, these afflictions are some of the realities of mortal life, and there should be no more shame in acknowledging them than in acknowledging a battle with high blood pressure or the sudden appearance of a malignant tumor.
In striving for some peace and understanding in these difficult matters, it is crucial to remember that we are living—and chose to live—in a fallen world where for divine purposes our pursuit of godliness will be tested and tried again and again. Of greatest assurance in God’s plan is that a Savior was promised, a Redeemer, who through our faith in Him would lift us triumphantly over those tests and trials, even though the cost to do so would be unfathomable for both the Father who sent Him and the Son who came. It is only an appreciation of this divine love that will make our own lesser suffering first bearable, then understandable, and finally redemptive.
So how do you best respond when mental or emotional challenges confront you or those you love? Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend.
If things continue to be debilitating, seek the advice of reputable people with certified training, professional skills, and good values. Be honest with them about your history and your struggles. Prayerfully and responsibly consider the counsel they give and the solutions they prescribe. If you had appendicitis, God would expect you to seek a priesthood blessing and get the best medical care available. So too with emotional disorders. Our Father in Heaven expects us to use all of the marvelous gifts He has provided in this glorious dispensation." [end quote]
Read Elder Holland's entire article HERE 

I think Elder Holland pretty much nailed it with that last paragraph...There are many different types of energy healing techniques, and many different practitioners. It is crucial to find someone who has been properly trained and has the skill and knowledge to address your particular issues. Not all practitioners have the same training, or have the same skill level or expertise. You DO need to do your research and ask questions, but it's clear to me from the above statements (and additional research you can do on regarding mental/emotional struggles) that it is not part of LDS doctrine that a priesthood blessing is the only thing you need to heal, and that emotional/mental issues need the same attention and professional care that physical issues require!

Q: After Oct 2017 General Conference, I keep getting asked "What do you make of Elder Ballards talk, where he said:

"In some places, too many of our people are looking beyond the mark and seeking secret knowledge in expensive and questionable practices to provide healing and support....An official Church statement, issued one year ago, states: “We urge Church members to be cautious about participating in any group that promises—in exchange for money—miraculous healings or that claims to have special methods for accessing healing power outside of properly ordained priesthood holders.”11The Church Handbook counsels: “Members should not use medical or health practices that are ethically or legally questionable. Local leaders should advise members who have health problems to consult with competent professional practitioners who are licensed in the countries where they practice.”12Brothers and sisters, be wise and aware that such practices may be emotionally appealing but may ultimately prove to be spiritually and physically harmful."

A. My sister, who is also learning about energy work, asked me the same question, and I'm referring people to a copy of the conversation I had with her, where I expressed my own thoughts and opinions on the matter. Click HERE to see the conversation!

Q: It feels like my energy worker is receiving personal revelation for me, or is telling me things they have no right to know. Isn't that crossing a line?

A. I'll be honest. This was an area that concerned me when I was first learning about energy medicine. I would watch my mentor working with people, and it was clear to me that she knew things about that person she could not have known unless given through revelation, and of course we've all been taught "you cannot receive revelation for another person". I pondered this in my heart for a long time, and prayed and prayed for understanding. I knew that just because we COULD do something didn't mean we SHOULD. I wanted to make sure I wasn't crossing any lines. I finally took my concerns to my Stake president. He explained to me that our doctrine is "you can't receive revelation for anyone outside your stewardship". He helped me understand that when someone comes to me for help, there is a stewardship there. They've given me permission, through their agency, to use the tools, knowledge and gifts I have to help them with specific concerns. My stewardship is limited to the area they've asked for help in, just as stewardship in our church callings extends only to the bounds of our callings.

As I'm working with clients, most of the information I receive comes via muscle testing, and is information known by my clients own body system. If you study more about the energy systems of the body, you'll understand there are vast amounts of information stored there, all relevant to our health and well being. Muscle testing simply accesses information the body already knows.

There are times when information relevant to someone's healing is given to me through the Spirit. Sometimes I have difficulty connecting the information I am receiving, or I can't find all the pieces to the puzzle. In those cases, quiet whisperings through the Spirit help me have a clearer understanding of what my client needs. Often, if I'm working on a particularly complicated issue, I will receive spiritual help in making sure I am able to understand the whole picture, and know what is needed. 
President Russell M.Nelson describes this type of help from the Spirit in his own professional work HERE (at 4:15), and HERE. My unique spiritual gifts are a also a valuable tool in assisting me as I work. Such revelation is within my stewardship, since the person I am helping has asked for my help, and given permission for me to muscle test and access the information in their energy systems. I would never dream of working in anyone's energy field without praying for help and guidance first!! Therefore, I have the expectation of Heavenly help in my work, as would anyone who prays for the guidance of the Spirit in their professional work. 

Think of other relationships you have with people in your life who you count on to take care of you in some way. If I'm having surgery, I want the gifted surgeon who has prayed for revelation on my behalf, and I expect him to listen to the Spirit if he's prompted to do or say something. When President Nelson speaks of preparing for a difficult surgery and having the Spirit diagram the procedure in his mind, did he have the right to receive that revelation about someone else's body? YES! It was within his stewardship. I want my children's teachers, and doctors and counselors praying over them, and seeking revelation in how best to help them. If you are a professional person, and aren't praying for revelation for those you have stewardship over, shame on you!

Many people who are drawn to the healing arts are natural nurturers and have the gifts of compassion, empathy and a natural sensitivity to the Spirit. Many have additional gifts, such as beholding ministering angels, the gift of discernment, or the ability to "see" what is happening in someone's system and know how to help. As I have worked in this field, I have developed many of these gifts. They are gifts from a loving Heavenly Father, allowing me to be a better instrument in His hands. I believe He expects me to use all the tools and knowledge and gifts he has given me to help my brothers and sisters, while taking care to stay within my stewardship and use those gifts within the bounds he has set. Using spiritual gifts in our professional work is a great blessing to those we serve. And I, for one, want the gifted teacher, the gifted nurse, the gifted counselor, etc. And I don't expect them to work for free because they are gifted at what they do.

My stewardship in energy work is confined to obtaining information for my clients health and well being. That's it. And I only have stewardship to address things they have asked for help with. I work very hard to stay within those bounds. Not doing so would open me up to deception by the adversary. I know many good people who try to help others who do not stay within those bounds. I know many faithful Latter Day Saints who do not have the gift of discernment, or do not know our doctrine well enough to discern truth from error. Those people give everyone a bad name!! In this field there is an abundance of the "philosophies of man mingled with scripture." 

The lord expects us to study things out and ask Him if what we are learning is truth, and to use the Spirit to hold on to what is right, and discard the rest. Probably everyone who has questions or concerns about energy work know someone who is going down strange paths. It is imperative you are careful who you go to. Not only do they need to have proper and thorough professional training, but they need to make receiving and keeping the gift of discernment the highest priority. They need to be seekers of truth and learners of doctrine, so they have a baseline through which to prove all other information. They need to understand the concept of staying within their stewardship and keeping within the bounds the Lord has set. Not doing so can lead to deception and falling for Satan's counterfeits. But remember, wherever Satan has created a counterfeit, there is a true principle he is trying to obscure. Too many people close their eyes to truth out of fear of being deceived. 

The scriptures speak of "great treasures of knowledge...even hidden treasures." I firmly believe that muscle testing, the healing arts and energy medicine fall into this category. Hidden treasures need work and study and discernment to uncover and understand. Study these things out, do the work required to "prove" these things. Go to the Lord.
In a recent conference address, Elder Ballard also said: 
"Many of us are on amazing journeys of discovery—leading to personal fulfillment and spiritual enlightenment. Some of us, however, are on a trek that leads to sorrow, sin, anguish, and despair." 

To me, this reiterates the fact that "By their fruits ye shall know them." "Prove all things, and hold fast that which is good."  The scriptures are clear: if a journey does lead to personal fulfillment and spiritual enlightenment, we can be sure it is of God. Study and read Moroni 7! God has given us a fail safe pattern in all things, that we may not be deceived. It is up to each of us to study it out in our minds, and ask God if it is right. 

What about the term "Christ Centered Energy Healing?" 

As I began my professional training, one of the very first courses I took was called "Christ Centered Synergetic Healing." Christ centered energy healing ISN’T a method or modality. A Christ Centered practitioner is simply someone who believes in Christ and is open to prayer, like the therapists at LDS Family Services (who are paid for their professional work without question.)
There’s a huge misunderstanding in the terminology.
Christ centered energy healing isn't a certain method or practice apart from other forms of energy healing. It isn’t a counterfeit form of a blessing. Those who use the term aren't claiming access to any special healing power, nor are they using energy healing as a replacement for the priesthood. "Christ Centered Energy Healing" is simply a term used by practitioners to indicate their beliefs are Christ centered, and everything they practice is in-sync with their belief that all truth comes from, and points to the Savior. In this context, I suppose you could have Christ Centered Dentistry or Christ Centered Chiropractic Care. However, those industries aren't as plagued by mis-information or counterfeit versions the way energy medicine and alternative healing is. 
In the energy healing arena, there are many differing beliefs as to how and why energy healing works, or those who attribute the healing power to questionable sources. Designating ones-self as Christ Centered is simply a way to let clients know where we stand as a practitioner. Nobody is paying money for an increase of Christ, or "special" access to Him or His healing power. They are paying for a treatment, a therapy, and choosing someone who happens to know and love the Savior, in the very same way we choose counselors at LDS Family Services over others so we know the things they tell us are safe, and in line with our beliefs. 
Elder Ballard said to be "cautious of groups promising miraculous healing." Energy healing isn’t miraculous, nor should a trained, qualified practitioner ever promise miraculous results, any more than your chiropractor or physical therapist should.  Energy healing is often used in combination with other holistic as well as main stream healing techniques to address all the root causes of imbalance. 
Energy healing techniques do not require trust in God to work because they are not faith based healing. Many of these therapies are scientifically proven, such as acupuncture, cranio-sacral work, foot zoning, etc, and are rapidly becoming more mainstream. Practitioners are utilizing a skill they have worked hard to learn and pay for (tuition), and aren’t promising miracles, although someone who doesn’t understand how it works may call it a miracle, just as many people call various medical treatments and medicines “miraculous”.
I believe the Lord expects us to use all the tools and knowledge he has given us, both from alternative and western medicine schools of thought. 
That being said, after much misunderstanding regarding "Christ Centered Energy Healing", I have stopped using the term in reference to my work. I have done so for 2 main reasons:
1) I wanted to avoid any confusion by those who felt the term was claiming special access to healing power outside the priesthood;

2) I have since come to understand the name Christ should be used with much more reverence, and not attached to things casually. It is still important to me that people know that all of my beliefs and practices are in line with my faith as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but I can think of more respectful and appropriate ways to indicate that...or better yet, I can trust the Lord to help people find me when they are ready, and trust in the power of discernment as people decide for themselves if I am the right person to work with. After all, "By their fruits ye shall know them"