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Where we used to turn to a shrink—or wise best friend—we’re now refocusing to hone in on healing our energy. Talk therapy will always be a go-to (I mean what would we do without the ability to vent here and there), but this is being complimented with crystal adornment, chakra healing, and delving into past lives or spiritual purging with a shaman.

People are self-diagnosing and treating both modern woes and physical ailments by bringing it back to a foundational level. The beauty of it is that it’s allowing us to tune in with our own feelings, recognize what’s really bothering us, and then move forward with a course of action. We’re relearning ourselves and taking responsibility for our own lives, and believing that we can get better though simple changes including shifts in energy and taking time for self-nurturing.

(Kira auf der Heide)

(Kira auf der Heide)

The idea is that you have the power to move beyond blockages in your life. It’s a realization that, yes, the universe does give us some hardballs sometimes, but ultimately we have always had the power to instill change and create the path that we desire. It’s just a matter of reconnecting with that power and becoming more in tune with our inner selves.

For instance, it was incredible how simple making more time for myself had such an immense impact on my life, or how shifting around a few things to have proper energy flow through feng shui could create a more inspiring and productive work space.

It’s not just a bunch of hippies and hard-core spiritualists that are turning to healing therapies either. A number of studies show that energy healing works including one that exhibited the positive effects of reiki for pain and anxiety after analyzing cancer patients, post-surgical patients, and community-dwelling older adults. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) places reiki in the same category as biofield energy; which is an electrical or magnetic field produced by a biological organism (such as a human). To clarify, reiki is when a practitioner guides energy to the recipient to assist innate healing as well as facilitate self-healing. In other words, the practitioner is the channel for spiritually guided life force energy. They are not the cause or source of the healing.


(Katherine Hanlon)

Though there is no current scientific elucidation for reiki, an explanation may be found in quantum physics, and more specifically the moment in 2012 when two scientists won the Nobel Prize in Physics for detecting a particle’s ability to be in two places at the same time. This can explain distance healing with energy particles being present at the same time and location of the reiki practitioner as the recipient through the practitioner’s intention. This same kind of biomagnetic field has been measured emanating from the hands of practitioners of meditation, yoga, Qigong and similar therapies.

Ritual bath by Mama Medicine

(Ritual bath by Mama Medicine)

In short, energy healing is getting some serious cred—just take a look at Deborah Hanekamp aka Mama Medicine, initiated Amazonian shaman, reiki master and yogini, who has garnered over 40k followers on Instagram with her healing techniques and has been featured in Vogue, New York Times & Marie Claire Magazine. It comes as no surprise—she exudes all the wonder of a mystical healer as she sits in her sun-soaked studio in New York, offering aura readings, cleansing ceremonies, bath soaks and spiritual homework. She evokes all kinds of magic—she’s studied as much as those with doctorates—and people swear by her tactics. At the same time, her strength is finding something within others; she incites a sense of emancipation and grants people the tools they need to heal themselves. On her Instagram, she says:

“Like the sun and the moon, I’m just a reflection of you. Whatever you see within me is within you.”

That sense of liberation is exactly what we are seeking—the authority to care for ourselves. This new generation of clued-in practitioners touting hands-on healing therapies combined with an understanding of both ancient practices as well as the art of Instagram are turning more and more people on to self-discovery and self-nurturing. Whether it’s reiki, acupuncture, breathwork or sound baths, the goal is the same—clear blocks in your energy field to advance beyond anything holding you back in life; that energy is within you and can only truly be healed by your own doing.

(Austin Ban)

(Austin Ban)

Feature image: Mama Medicine via How You Glow