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Dr. Richard Isaacson

Manipulating energy : Acupuncture, Massage, Shiastu & Therapeutic Touch

Energy is called many things throughout the world, like ‘chi’ or ‘qi.’ These terms refer to life force energy that lives in the body as well as the energy force around the body. Nurse practitioners often call it ‘subtle energy’ and therapist who are properly trained can manipulate this energy by alleviating blockages and allowing energy to flow freely and the body to heal itself. Some therapies that are utilized to move energy and create a healthy energy field include therapeutic touch, acupuncture, acupressure, shiatsu, massage and more.

Acupuncture and Acupressure

Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese treatment, can be successfully used to rebalance chi or energy and help the body heal itself. The ancient Chinese believed that all energy comes from the Tao, created by the opposing forces of yin and yang. In the body, there are 14 meridians along which our energy flows and if there is a build up of chi or a blockage, then the balance of yin and yang is thrown off, toxins build up, and the body is unable to heal itself properly.

The treatments consist of the use of tiny needles placed at specific points along the meridians that correlate with the organs or functions of the body that are manifesting symptoms of blocked chi. The insertion of the needles does not cause bleeding or pain, penetrating no deeper than the first layers of skin. These needles can be used to:

+ Increase or decrease chi
+ Increase or decrease heat
+ Increase or decrease dryness

Acupressure is a counterpart of acupuncture, a treatment that utilizes pressure from the therapist’s fingers and thumbs along the meridians to manipulate chi. No needles are used, but it achieves the same effects of releasing tension in the muscles, triggering endorphins to relieve pain.

BASIC Massage

The BASIC in BASIC massage stands for Body And Spirit Integrated Consciously and it is a type of neuromuscular integrated massage that focuses on both the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. Through 10 sessions that build upon each other, the therapist works to realign the body by manipulating the muscles and myofascial connective tissue. Connective tissue that binds the muscles sometimes adhere to each other when the body is traumatized or under stress. The BASIC massage therapist works to break this adhesion, which releases pain and increases energy.

Massage of the skull and head is aspect of neuromuscular integration in BASIC massage. Therapists work to increase the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid around the spine and brain which helps remove energy blockages and allows the body to heal itself. When these therapies are complete, BASIC massage, a full body, deep muscle treatment begins, releasing the tension in muscles which further increases energy flow and self healing.


Take acupressure and combine it with massage and you have the practice of shiatsu. The therapist uses not only her fingers and thumbs like an acupressurist, but also the palms of her hands, her knees, elbows, and legs to unblock the energy in the body. Rather than focusing on specific meridian points or symptoms, shiatsu treats the entire body as a whole.

Therapeutic Touch

Therapeutic touch is a scientific, well-researched energy therapy utilized by nurse practitioners around the world. Therapists can feel the energy around another person, locate any negative energy, and manipulate it to create room for positive energy and balance. In short sessions lasting about 20 minutes, simply by moving her hands in your energy field, the therapist can assist your body in normalizing and increasing the flow of blood, reduce pain, and help you to think more clearly.

Still other energy therapies like reiki and reflexology, guided imagery and talk therapy, and biofeedback exist to assist you in increasing energy flow and allowing your body to heal itself not only of the symptoms but the blockages that cause the symptoms.

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