Energy healing on the rise

Forget guns, germs and warfare and welcome to health, wholeness and healing.

Maryland profiles a new healer:

Disease has always been with us, but modern, Western medicine is only a few hundred years old.

Before germ theory and pharmaceutical research, the human race devised countless strategies to relieve pain, banish illness and prolong life.

Southern Marylanders are keeping a few of these ancient disciplines alive, insisting they have much to teach us, even in a scientific age.

Energy flow

Janet Hall is perhaps a complementary medicine polymath. She teaches all 13 courses in "natural health and healing" offered by the College of Southern Maryland's continuing education program, as well as a course in "inspirational walkabouts." She operates Overhall Consulting out of her Port Republic home, where she has a massage table in her basement for Reiki and other therapies.

"I love it, sharing my knowledge and experience with alternative and complementary medicine. I love doing healing work because it's amazing. The energy we can transmit through our hands, we transmit from the universe," Hall said recently as a grizzled retriever-mix dog twitched and snored on the floor of her studio. "The person receiving healing work is really the healer. We're just a conduit."

Energy therapies can differ in their particulars, but practitioners trace their origin to concepts in traditional East Asian and Indian medicine, especially the Chinese idea of "qi," roughly meaning life-force, that is said to permeate all human beings, and the ancient Indian belief in "chakras," seven energy centers located along the spine.

Reiki, a Japanese energy-balancing technique, was the first that Hall learned. It captivated her, leading her to study spiritual energy disciplines founded in the United States, including Quantum Touch. Hall said she found it useful for everything from nasal congestion to post-traumatic stress disorder. Eden Energy Medicine, in which she is certified to work, focuses on seven of the human body's eight "energy systems." Emotional Freedom Tapping teaches clients to touch different parts of the body with their fingers to tap away anxiety, cravings and trauma. As a "raindrop" practitioner, she rubs essential oils in at points along a client's spine, a process she says causes the person to gain up to an inch in height.

Hall stresses that she is not a medical practitioner. Three years ago she was ordained as a minister to get added legal protection for her work, she said. Consulting a certificate, she said she is a minister of The Sanctuary of the Beloved, Order of Melchizedek, based in New York.



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