Energy medicine is one of the five domains of “complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) identified by the National Center for Contemporary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) in the United States (2005). Other NCCAM classifications include Alternative Medical Systems, Mind-Body Interventions, Biologically Based Therapy and Manipulative Methods.
The NCCAM identifies two types of energy interventions: “Veritable Energy Medicine”, involving magnet, light, and electromagnetic and cymatic sound wave therapy. The second category is “Energy Medicine Involving Putative Energy Fields”: which includes acupuncture, medical qi gong, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch massage, Oriental medicine involving the philosophical notion of Qi energy, and Pranic and Indian Ayurvedic modalities, homeopathy, and distant healing or intercessory prayer methods (Oschman, J. 2000). Purifying Therapy (PT) falls within the latter treatment category. MOA is currently in the process of obtaining a classification listing within the NCCAM archives, as well as the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine, and American Holistic Nursing Association (2009).
Mokichi Okada described this treatment process as a way of “channeling” the natural energy of the “fire, water and soil element” through the hand of a therapist to the affected body part of the recipient. The hand is held about a foot away from the recipient as the therapist directs this energy to specific key points of the body. Particularly important in this treatment method is its application to the kidney region. Mr. Okada’s philosophy stresses the important purifying action of the kidneys, especially in the elimination of medicinal and chemical toxin residues. Other key points include the head, neck, shoulders and cervical, axillary and inguinal lymph glands. Common experiences for recipients of Purifying Therapy include increased urination and diarrhea, sweating, localized feelings of pain, heat or tingling, and increased expectoration of mucous. These elimination processes are encouraged, and interpreted as a “detoxification”, “purification” or “Johka”, and often result in reports of an overall improvement in the recipient’s health condition (Okada Purifying Therapy Handbook, 2005).
Another key philosophical aspect of the Purifying Therapy process is the concept of clearing “spiritual clouds”, which manifest materially as physical illness. This is a central theme in a variety of traditional schools of Mind-Body medicine (Oschman, 2009). Mokichi Okada claimed in his teachings that humans, as well as plants, soil, and living beings, possess a visible body, as well as an “invisible body”. This invisible body is susceptible to “clouding” through overuse of pharmaceutical medication, foods grown with pesticides, as well as harmful daily living practices, including negative thoughts, speech, addictions, and other activities. This “clouding” can manifest on the human physical body as disease. The Purifying Therapy operates under the philosophical premise that the “spiritual precedes the physical” in healing processes. Thus, the PT energy treatment is directed toward the purification of the recipient’s spiritual, invisible body, to help eliminate this “clouding”. Participation in the other therapies of the Okada Wellness Program, including gardening and horticulture therapy, flower arranging and art therapy, consuming organic foods, and volunteerism at the centers and farms also help to improve the spiritual aspect of the treatment process (Ultimate Wellness Program, 2008).
Medical researchers have recently explored the application of electromagnetic energy fields to stimulate healing (Bialek, 1987). Cell biologists are recognizing spectroscopic studies of energy emissions and adsorptions of molecules, and revealing the roles of energy fields in molecular processes. These include hormone-receptor, antibody-antigen, and allergic interactions (Oschman, 2005). The nuclear, cytoplasmic and extracellular matrices of cell regulation involve more complex energetic activity than previously-recognized nerve impulses and hormone production. Cell biologists explain this energetic network as a ‘living matrix’, which affects cellular activity, growth factors, carcinogenesis, and other physiological states (Oschman, 2005).
Zimmerman (1985) and Seto et al (1992) have been part of a group of molecular biologists conducting studies of the field of biomagnetic emissions from the human hand. Using a SQUID magnemometer at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver (1990), Dr. Zimmerman conducted an extensive research study of field emissions from the hands of practitioners of Therapeutic Touch. The findings of this study indicated measurements of a large biomagnetic field, ranging from 0.3-30 Hz during the course of a healing session. A Japanese study by Seto et al (1992) indicated that practitioners of medical Qi Gong and other energy healing methods were emitting magnetic field strengths from their hands, measured on a magnetometer, of 10-3 gauss. This strength is about 1000 times stronger than the strongest human biomagnetic fields (from the heart) which are about 10-6 gauss, and about 1000,000 times stronger than the fields produced by the brain. As in the Zimmerman study, the biomagnetic field of a healing practitioner’s hand pulsed with a variable frequency centered around 8-10 Hz. (Seto, 1992).
These studies indicate that the practice of energetic medicine results in empirically- measurable electromagnetic changes. The physical results of Purifying Therapy, and the detoxification process, including a feeling of warmth, mucous expectoration, increased urination and bowel movement imply a direct response to this increase in electromagnetic heat directed toward the human body. More research studies are necessary to confirm and explore the nature, and benefits of this therapeutic process.