The term "Energy Medicine" refers to therapies that use energy or physics rather than chemistry to heal. These therapies are generally divided into two categories: putative energy fields that are theorized and cannot be measured or presently confirmed by scientific investigation; and veritable energy fields that can be measured and proven scientifically.
Examples of putative energy field therapies include acupuncture and acupressure, Reiki, Qi Gong, therapeutic touch, hands on and distant healing, and applied kinesiology (muscle testing). These therapies are based on the premise that all bodies are infused with a subtle energy or vital life force referred to as "qi" or "chi" in Chinese medicine and "prana" in Ayurvedic medicine. The health of a body's energy is determined by the overall flow, balance, and harmony of a person's vital force energy; and imbalances or blockages in the natural flow of energy fields in the body can result in disease. Acupuncture and acupressure are believed to act by correcting imbalances in the flow of energy along meridians or energy channels. In therapies such as healing touch and Reiki, a healer is believed to emit and transmit healing energy to a recipient as a way to restore health. Some of these therapies are associated with religious ideas of spirit and the power of prayer.
Examples of veritable energy field therapies include light therapies which I discuss in my post "Phototherapy" http://fibrofriends.typepad.com/fibro_friends/2010/07/phototherapy-healing-with-light.html, microcurrent therapies which I discuss in my post "Frequency Specific Microcurrent http://fibrofriends.typepad.com/fibro_friends/2012/01/freq.html, vibrational therapies, magnetic therapies, cymatic therapy that uses sound waves, and pulsed electromagnetic field therapies. These therapies are based on the fact that all living beings are primarily energetic and governed by electrical impulses. They employ devices that generate low levels of energy at specific frequencies and amplitudes that promote healing. The science and technology of these therapies is developing rapidly and provides effective nonpharmalogical treatments for many chronic conditions.
Like many persons with Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Syndromes I have pursued a variety of putative energy field therapies including extensive treatments of various forms of acupuncture. Although I received temporary relief from acupuncture, these treatments became less effective over time and failed to address the systemic causes of my health condition. I have never benefited from the more esoteric forms of energy healing like Reiki. Although I remain open minded about these kinds of therapies and believe they can elicit a relaxation response in many individuals, I do not think that they are in and of themselves an effective strategy for healing from CFS or FMS.
One of the most promising veritable energy field therapies is Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy or PEMFT. This therapy employs non-invasive devices that generate electrical energy and direct a series of magnetic pulses that induce tiny electrical charges to stimulate cellular repair. One of the properties of PEMF that make it particularly effective is that it can penetrate through matter with relatively low energy loss. Many studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of PEMF in healing soft tissue wounds, aiding in bone growth and repair, suppressing inflammatory responses at the cell membrane level and alleviating pain. Beginning in 1979 the FDA began approving PEMF devices for such uses that are now employed in mainstream medical settings.
PEMF generators (also known as magnetic resonance stimulators) are also used to simulate or mimic the naturally occurring earth based energies or electromagnetic fields in our environment. Originally developed for use in modern spacecraft after the first astronauts and cosmonauts became ill when they went into space, devices employing similar technologies are now used to combat electromagnetic pollution or smog and to promote health maintenance in general.
There are three kinds of bioenergetically active signals in our natural environment:
1. Schumann Resonances - electromagnetic waves produced and excited by electrical currents in lightning (every second approximately 200 lighting strikes occur somewhere on earth) which are trapped in the ionosphere, a resonant cavity surrounding the earth between its surface and 100 kilometers above its surface. Originally observed by the physicist Nikola Tesla and then named for the German physicist Otto Schummann who discovered in 1954 that these waves have a main frequency of 7.8 Herz. This is the same frequency as the alpha rhythm of the brain.
2. Geomagnetic waves - electromagnetic waves produced by 64 vital trace elements or minerals found in the earth's crust each possessing its own specific vibration. These are the same vital minerals found in the red blood corpuscles of human beings.
3. Solar waves - Ultra High Frequency (UHF) electromagnetic waves that correspond to natural sunlight.
These three natural electromagnetic signals are essential for the health and optimal functioning of all living organisms. Ancient Chinese teachings state that human beings need two balanced environmental signals to achieve good health: the YANG or masculine signal from above which corresponds to the Schumann resonances and the YIN or feminine waves coming from below which correspond to the relatively weaker geomangetic waves. Research done by the German physicist Dr. Wolfgang Ludwig confirmed that human health depends on these natural electromagnetic signals.
A number of factors have altered the natural electromagnetic geomagnetic environment that we presently live in. Over the past 100-300 years the earth's magnetic field has declined 50% and human development has resulted in a lowering of the water table. Man-made radio frequencies and electromagnetic fields created by power transmission lines, radio transmitters, wireless devices, cell phones, computers and microwaves have also altered the natural electromagnetic and geomagnetic environment. Compound this with the fact that the average person spends most of the day indoors shielded and insulated from the earth's natural EMFs and walks outside on asphalt in insulating footwear and there is a powerful case to be made that all of this is contributing stress in living creatures on earth.
There are many technological devices on the market that claim to protect the body from the harmful effects of man-made electromagnetic pollution and stimulate earth based frequencies. One is Earthing which I discuss at length in my post "Earthing - Healing from the Ground Up" http://fibrofriends.typepad.com/fibro_friends/2011/01/earthing-healing-from-the-ground-up.html . Another company called Earthcalm http://earthcalm.com/ produces devices that employ scalar resonance technology to mirror the structure of the earth's EMFs. The effectiveness of these devices varies with from individual to individual and the science behind many of them remains controversial.
The MRS2000 is a PEMF generator designed for personal use that duplicates or mimics in intensity and frequency the earth's natural electromagnetic signals. Described as a "whole body battery charger" that provides a catalyst for energy production in the cells and helps to increase oxygenation, hydration and nutrient absorption; improve circulation; balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system and promote deep relaxing sleep; and alleviate pain and inflammation, the MRS2000 is recommended for health maintenance as well as resolution of chronic health problems. The device includes a full body mat that persons lie on for 8 minutes twice a day and an applicator probe for use on problem areas. Testimonials on the benefits of using the MRS2000 include many people with CFS and FMS. An informative website belonging to a MRS2000 distributor is: http://gaiaresonance.com.
My own experience with the MRS2000 was negative resulting in a dramatic aggravation of my nervous system and a flare up of my fibromyalgia after lying on the mat for only two minutes at the most sensitive level and setting. A "fibro friend" of mine also tried the unit with no improvements and an agitation of her nervous system after 4 sessions. Needless to say I am one of the most sensitive/reactive individuals out there. But the question remains if a magnetic or electron deficiency is a contributing factor to developing chronic fatigue and or fibromyalgia syndromes. I do not think this is the case for myself because the onset of my illness preceded the general use of personal computers, cell phones and microwaves and I do not feel any different camping out in the wilderness far away from modern technologies as I do at home. I think there is evidence that chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia like symptoms can result from electromagnetic pollution. Individuals may be sick due to living in proximity to a cellular tower or power transmission lines and may be particularly sensitive to the radiation coming from wireless devices, computers and microwave transmissions including microwave ovens and cell phones. Safe Living Technologies Inc. is a company that provides a lot of good information on the subject as well as technology and products to evaluate and protect your home from electromagnetic radiation. http://safelivingtechnologies.ca/.
One of the most promising therapeutic technologies in the field of energy medicine today is NeuroField. (www.neurofield.org) Developed after years of research by a psychologist named Nicholas Drogris, PHD it employs a PEMF generator, the NeuroField X1000 with specific treatment protocols for various conditions. Described as an energy replenishment and stress reduction device, NeuroField is generally used by psychologists to enhance the effectiveness of traditional neurofeedback and LENS (Low Energy Neurofeedback System). Dr. Dogris worked closely with Len Ochs, PHD the developer of LENS a unique form of neurofeedback that involves feedback lasting only a few seconds of dominant frequencies at slight offsets. This feedback which is given at each of 20 different sites of the brain determined by a diagnostic brain map results in breaking up dysfunctional patterns which stimulates the brain to move towards more healthy balanced patterns. In other words LENS is a disentrainment neurofeedback device that disrupts the brain, causing it to re-organize itself. Dr. Dogris observed that this process pulls a lot of energy from the body. He hypothesized that better results might be obtained when the body had the energy to repair itself which led him to develop NeuroField. (For more information on various forms of biofeedback and neurofeedback including LENS go to: http://fibrofriends.typepad.com/fibro_friends/2010/05/biofeedback-therapies-for-cfs-fms.html.)
NeuroField is based on the same principles as other forms of energy medicine - that we are primarily energetic beings and that our biology is a summation of a dynamic interconnected web of energy. Energy is stored in every cell of the body and the overall "biofield", a term describing the subtle field that permeates and extends beyond the physical body is a summation of energy emitted from every cell in the human body. Cell membranes vibrate at specific frequencies. Diseased cells have weaker amplitudes and unbalanced electronic charges in the molecules often termed as free radical damage. The NeuroFieldX1000 acts by supplying pulses of energy into the biofield at specific frequencies and amplitudes determined by studying healthy body function, re-charging the damaged molecular systems and thus restoring balance and increased energy into body systems. The generator is operated by a sophisticated software program that individualizes treatment and is connected to a specialized cap that supplies EMF pulses into the field of energy around the skull and travels to other regions of the body.
Having reached a plateau in my recovery with LENS treatments alone I decided to pursue a combination of NeuroField and LENS treatments. In November of 2010 I traveled to Bishop, California to be evaluated by Dr. Dogris who did a Quantatative Electroencephalograph (QEEG) map on 20 sites of the brain. The evaluation showed "seizure-like" activity in my brain in several sites and suppression or inhibition of function in others. This type of pattern is typical of individuals who have experienced severe stress. Although I have recovered from chronic fatigue my nervous system remained hyper vigilant and fragile after years of struggling in an exhaustive state due to oxygen deprivation. This could explain my remaining symptoms which included disturbed sleep, fibromyalgia muscle flares after physical exertion and severe sensitivity to stimulants; and also could explain my adverse reactions with other therapies. Dr. Dogris was optimistic that NeuroField could help me and at the end of 2010 I began weekly treatments with Dr. Candia Smith in Orinda, California (the closest practitioner to my home in the Seattle area). Unfortunately I did not experience any significant improvements in my health during the subsequent six months of treatment using NeurField and LENS.
Although my sensitivities and reactiveness are severe compared to most other individuals, imbalance of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems is common in all people with CFS and FMS. I think my case is more pronounced because of the length of my illness, the fact that I have successfully treated all secondary infections and pathogens - conditions that tend to suppress the nervous system, and the fact that I do not take any sleep aids which basically act by suppressing the electrical activity of the brain.
Another interesting technology in the field of energy medicine is the Energetic Fitness Systems. Described as a tool for balancing the body's energetic system, the system generates a broad range of rapidly changing frequencies that are not programmed and are different for each person. The user sits in a non-metal chair with bare feet on an energized glass plate while holding a 5-inch diameter energized glass bulb in the hands while high voltage with no current at a broad spectrum of random wavelengths is maintained between the hands and the feet. The system has helped many individuals with fibromyalgia. For more information go to: http://energeticfitness.com/ and read my post "Energetic Fitness Systems http://fibrofriends.typepad.com/fibro_friends/2011/07/energetic-fitness-system.html .
I think that the emerging therapies of energy medicine hold tremendous potential for the treatment of disease and the maintenance of health. Eventually most putative fields of energy will be verified by scientific study confirming what the ancients and healers have intuitively observed for centuries. When this knowledge is combined with cutting edge forms of technology and biofeedback we will have an effective foundation for medicine in the future.