The Energy Healing Manifesto

– embracing the “woo” and ensuring the future

We are in the midst of an evolutionary leap and expansion in the field of energy healing. Energetic medicine, subtle energy healing, what many call the “woo woo” wellness field, is undergoing a massive growth in the US and many other countries as well.

Why a Manifesto?

If you find yourself surprised to be reading an Energy Healing Manifesto, I assure you this is nothing compared to my astonishment at finding myself writing one. In no way did I consciously set out to do so.

As an energy healer and medical intuitive and someone committed to supporting healers to create successful practices, I noticed there was a big gap in data about who we are and what we do.

To address that I set out to create a short presentation for leaders and educators in the industry, to invite them to work together and gather information, real data, about energy healers and the current field of energy healing.

Along the way it was pointed out to me that what I was creating was nothing more or less than a manifesto – so while it was not my intention to write it, I can only say an INTENTION existed for it to be written, and apparently through me.

A manifesto is a public declaration of views, one that places a stake in the ground based on strongly held beliefs about what is right and what matters enough to take a stand for. It may also, as we do here, call for action from others to take a stand in the matter. You are invited to join us.

--Ann Hession

The signs of the evolutionary leap and expansion in the field of energy healing are evident for those who are looking; in the past 60 years we’ve seen the following advances and shifts occur:

  • Education and Certification:
    • The emergence of dozens of schools and certifications in many different Energy Healing modalities
    • Accredited universities offer degrees that include studies in subtle energy healing and spiritual psychology
  • Research: Growing recognition, in healthcare, public policy, and research, of the importance of the mind-body connection in overall health and well-being, and over 15000 published studies worldwide
  • Integration with Western Medicine – a few examples:
    • Energy healing modalities, such as Reiki and qigong, being offered in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings
    • Increasing interest in and use of Eastern energetic approaches to health and medicine in both the general public and Western medical institutions (most notably yoga, meditation, acupuncture)
    • A 2020 review found that more than half of office-based US physicians recommend at least one form of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) to their patients 
  • Technology: The emerging industry of bio feedback and bioenergetic devices that work with the body’s subtle energies and the mind / body interface
  • Insurance Industry:
    • Chiropractic and Acupuncture becoming commonly covered by health insurance
    • The existence of Professional Liability Insurance products that insure many energy healing modalities
  • Industry Revenue: While energy healing modalities constitute only one portion of the greater CAM industry, it is worth noting the CAM industry in the US alone was estimated to be in excess of $100B and growing in 2021 Specific data on energy healing alone is more challenging to find -- more about this later
  • Industry Growth
    • the most comprehensive study yet into the use of CAM by Americans was conducted in 2004, and showed approximately 40% of Americans used some form of CAM. Three of the top five CAM techniques involved prayer, a form of distance energy healing
    • In 2000, there were more distant energy healers in the UK than therapists practicing any other form of CAM 
    • The global CAM market is projected to grow over 25% between 2023 and 2030

These signs and more show a rapid expansion in the prevalence of, interest in, and demand for energetic healing modalities in the US and other countries.

For those with an eye to history, it is evident this change and expansion are comparable in many ways to:

  • the growth and eventual widespread acceptance of chiropractic medicine over the mid to late 20th century
  • the emergence and proliferation of the life coaching industry from the 1980s to the early 2000s and beyond, and
  • the gradual acceptance of acupuncture (itself one form of energetic healing) in the US and other Western countries since the 1970s.

The Growing Wave: Bringing Opportunities and Challenges

We are now, in the early 2020s, on the crest of a massive wave in the field of energy healing, a wave clearly impacting Western medicine and extending across multiple sectors of the US society and economy.

As the industry grows, that growth brings with it wonderful and exciting new opportunities, and the positive impact of energetic healing on individuals and institutions expands; however our issues and challenges also become bigger and bigger problems.

And it’s essential we work together to address those issues, create solutions, and ensure a future where energetic healing can flourish widely and make an even more powerful impact in the world than it ever has.

What We're Facing

One of the biggest challenges we face is that we are not yet united together as a community.

And this primary internal issue as an industry has its roots in how most energy healers have typically practiced, and/or taught their students, not only in the past hundred years but throughout most of history.

Historically, those practicing and teaching energetic healing have worked largely in isolation from one another. Typically they are solo practitioners, some of whom expand to teaching and training relatively small groups of followers and students. 

This organic growth of energy healing knowledge and influence has brought us to where we are today. We certainly stand on the shoulders of those who have followed their soul’s calling and contributed their wisdom, creativity, and passion for healing so generously, and taken a stand for healing the world despite the many challenges they have faced over the years.

However this historical, grassroots growth also means we’ve not worked together in the way that is now essential.

We will need to collaborate in new ways to advance standards and practices, promote data collection and scientific research, support energy healing practitioners in creating viable businesses, and develop the ability to deal effectively with the inevitable regulations that are already impacting our community.         

Who is meant by “we”? Those who teach and practice any form of energetic or intuitive healing, from any tradition, those who have developed energy healing modalities and train and certify others to do them, those who use energy healing principles and practices in their daily lives, for themselves and their loved ones, those engaged in scientific research to study and document the effects of energetic healing, those who feel called to disseminate the knowledge and wisdom of energetic healing in the world – all of these people, and more.

We are those who passionately want energetic healing knowledge and techniques to be freely available in the world, who want to ensure people everywhere have access to learning and using what we have learned, and more, and to empower people in their own journeys of health and wellness.

All of us, this WE, are part of this massive wave of growth in the whole field of energy healing; the signs listed above and more make that very clear.

What should also be clear is that we don’t know enough about this wave of change and growth, and as stakeholders, we need to.

We need to because what we do, collectively and individually, over the next 5 - 10 years will have a huge impact on the future of energetic healing in the world.

What we do, or fail to do, will have enormous impact on every aspect of our field including:

  • the availability of education and training for energetic healers
  • the viability of funding essential research
  • how people are able to run their businesses offering energy healing for others
  • the financial viability of having an energy healing business
  • how the industry is regulated
  • consumer acceptance of energy healing modalities
  • the exponential expansion of breakthroughs in the energy healing field and more

Our collective efforts in the next 5-10 years will be the single biggest factor determining what this current re-emergence of energy healing in the world will become.

Our efforts will determine whether this is ultimately just a brief episode, or a true renaissance, which fundamentally re-energizes and uplifts the health and wellness of not just our current generation, but many generations to come.

In order to understand the future, it's helpful to review the past and how we got here (a brief summary of energy healing history in the Western world, below)...

Energy Healing, as old as humanity

The term Energy Healing as it is used today is an umbrella term that encompasses many modalities and practices, some relatively new in human history, and others having their roots extending back millennia, far before any recorded history.

What these modalities and traditions have in common is a view, a paradigm, that the body has natural healing abilities and that the flow of energy within the body can be disrupted by physical, emotional, or spiritual imbalances.

This energy has been referred to as life force energy, chi, prana, and other terms in different traditions and languages. Energetic imbalances, left unaddressed, may lead to physical, emotional, or other manifestations of ill health, and when corrected, will allow or support the body in healing itself.

With that as the foundational paradigm (much simplified), methods of energy healing require addressing these energetic imbalances. These methods over the centuries have included prayer, meditation, herbs and other foods, the laying of hands on the body, homeopathy, focused intention and envisioning of healing, “channeling” energy into or away from the body, the use of crystals and other items from nature, clearing away negative energies including those believed to be evil or non-beneficial spirits, and the direct manipulation of energy itself, through conscious intent, both in person and over distance.

Over the course of human history, and presumably pre-history as well, this energy healing paradigm has most often been tied to religion or spirituality in some way. It has also been accepted as simply a part of the natural experience of the human body healing itself.

The Age of Mystery

There was a long period of history, thousand of years which we’ll call The Age of Mystery, during which this energetic perspective was integral to most peoples’ view of health and healing. It was a mystery what happened in the body, and a mystery how healing occurred, and how those known as healers were able to promote healing, and why different approaches worked or didn’t work.

Because healing itself, and healers and their practices, were such a mystery, over the centuries energy healing has been revered and honored at the highest levels of society – but has also been condemned as evil, as so often happens when humans are faced with things they don’t understand.

Practices of healing have been sanctioned or not, reviled or not, honored or not, as part of power plays in politics and religion for millennia.

The division between religiously sanctioned healing and traditional healing work we would now call “energy healing” was in many centuries starkly evident. The laying on of hands by an ordained priest was deemed divine, while time honored healing practices by village wise women and others were far too often condemned as witchcraft.

Many healers were condemned, reviled, and punished by torture and death.

In Europe and the US and elsewhere, “energy healing” was driven underground in response to this intense persecution, from the Spanish Inquisition (1478 – 1834) and other societal forces and movements.

Let’s pause for a moment and honor those healers over the centuries, women and men who felt their soul’s calling to serve others and answered that call despite persecution and violence. We remember those who learned and practiced and allowed themselves to be guided by their intuition and inner wisdom, who trained their apprentices, served their communities, brought babies into the world safely, offered herbs and tinctures to promote healing and calm pain -- those who kept their wisdom and knowledge alive, even knowing that to be a healer might mean, and often did mean, death or torture for themselves and those they loved.

We owe them a debt of gratitude for keeping the torch of intuitive and energetic healing lit and passed down to us today.

As we face the challenges to our practices now in the 21st century, we’re grateful that while we may need to fight for our right to serve and promote energetic forms of healing, we will never need the level of courage they required, when the cost of standing for healing might be the stake or the gallows.

That was the Age of Mystery, and that’s how it was for a long time, hundreds or thousands of years in many different cultures. But during the past 500 – 600 years there were other forces emerging, primarily the rise and development of modern science from its classical roots (and the inevitable battle between the emerging scientific paradigm and the established church worldview.)

These new developments opened the door for the gradual transition from the Age of Mystery to the Age of Science.

The Evolution of the Scientific Method

While the scientific method of acquiring knowledge through observation and experimentation has roots at least back to the ancient Greek philosophers, in the Middle Ages through the work of scholars such as Roger Bacon and William of Ockham it evolved into a more systematic form.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, led by Galileo, Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, and others, the emphasis shifted to the importance of not only experimentation and observation but also the formation and testing of hypotheses.

This, along with the invention of new tools and technologies such as the telescope and microscope, allowed for more precise observations and measurements than had ever been possible before. And the world changing invention of the printing press allowed for greater sharing of knowledge and findings between doctors and scholars.

This shifting approach to gaining and sharing knowledge was revolutionary in every aspect of life, including how it affected our view of and approach to health and healing.

The World as a Machine

Over time, and largely through the works of Descartes and Newton, what arose was a highly mechanistic view of the natural world, a view which was intoxicating in its promise that everything could be understood and explained, that all answers could be found if we could simply apply our minds and do enough experimentation and observation.

It was also a paradigm that for centuries was deeply at odds with the principles and practices of energy healing, which did not lend themselves well at all to the tools and technologies available for measurement during those centuries.

It wasn’t until Einstein blew apart the established mechanistic view of the world by opening the door to the study of quantum physics that a vision of some common ground between science and energy healing was possible -- but that’s jumping ahead.

And so the Age of Mystery gradually evolved into the Age of Science.

The Age of Science

As the Age of Science unfolded the world saw major and paradigm-shattering breakthroughs like the concepts of Newtonian physics, evolution, germ theory, modern chemistry and the whole world of the atom and the table of elements.

These breakthroughs allowed for massive advances in our understanding of health and healing, from antibiotics and advanced surgery to genetic testing and so much more.

No more bloodletting. No more doctors moving from one patient to another without washing their hands. No more “wandering womb” as the “cause” of disease in women.

A Whole New Challenge to Energy Healing

With the expansion of science and the application of the scientific method to health and healing over the past 200 years, it was inevitable that energy healing came to be seen as outdated, superstitious nonsense, ridiculous compared to the advances of science.

Energy healing couldn’t be studied and measured in the same way as new medicines could be developed and tested, or bacteria could be seen and studied, or new scanning technologies like X rays could be used.

In addition, many forms of energetic healing rely on the intuition of the practitioner, and can’t necessarily be duplicated by some other person “doing the same thing.”

Nothing could be more antithetical to the mechanistic view of reality given by Newtonian physics than “intuition”! How do you even begin to measure such a thing? How can you document it? How can you scale it?

You couldn’t, not back then.

So in addition to energy healing being at odds with powerful organized religions, it is now being impacted by the overwhelming power of the Scientific Paradigm as well.

The Rise of Allopathic Medicine

As the advances in scientific understanding of the human body and disease progress in the late 19th and early 20th century, the study of “health” more and more does truly become the study of “medicine.” Miracle breakthroughs such as sulfa drugs and then antibiotics save millions of lives. And the practice of medicine becomes deeply enmeshed with the business of pharmaceuticals.

Allopathic medicine, which relies more on drugs and surgery than other approaches to healthcare, becomes the dominant and only fully accepted approach in the US, Europe, Canada, and many other countries.

Others have thoroughly documented the role that pharmaceutical companies and others have played in the raising of allopathic medicine above all others, as well as the role of profits in that profound cultural shift. For our purposes we will simply note that this also led to legislation over the past 100 years or so which has been another challenge to the practice and teaching of energetic healing techniques – another force driving it underground.

Underground but never gone

But none of these challenges, not religion, or science, or legislation, has succeeded in driving it away.

Our bodies are energetic systems, and energy healing is fundamental to who and what we are, it’s fundamental to how we heal, whether we realize it or not.  And this innate knowledge that energetic healing is ours, ours by right, has kept it alive and sourced its new growth over the past 50 – 70 years, to where we are now, where even science is starting to be willing to accept energy healing may just have some merit.

In fact, ironically, it is two massive breakthroughs in science that contributed hugely to the re-emergence of energy healing, the massive expansion we are seeing now, and the first tentative handshakes between mainstream science and energetic forms of healing.


When Einstein published the Theory of Relativity in the early 1900s, opening the door to the study of quantum physics, the highly mechanistic view of the universe (and of health and healing), which most of the world had embraced with such fervor, took a body blow it has never recovered from.

As much as we would love to believe that everything can be explained, quantified, and measured, we’ve been forced to realize that it just isn’t so, and much of our understanding of reality is at best an approximation. Often an incredibly useful and fine approximation to be sure, but an approximation none the less. After all, one of the most fundamental principles of quantum mechanics is the Uncertainty Principle.

And the concept of quantum nonlocality, which Einstein himself described as demonstrating the existence of “spooky actions at a distance”, makes the scoffed at idea of “distance healing” at least no longer inconceivable.

With this new understanding of the nature of reality, we had the ability to develop health technologies that would not have arisen under the older paradigm, particularly in the areas of medical imaging and radiation therapies. The Theory of Relativity’s predictions of time dilation and length contraction have been applied in the development of medical imaging technologies, such as computed tomography (CT) scanners and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.

And it’s exactly these advances in science that have finally led to our current ability to measure connections between mind and body, and many of the effects of energy healing.

A few examples:

  • In 2002, a study of monks’ brain waves during and after meditation showed extraordinary and replicable changes in brain activity, including a result showing the brain circuitry for empathy risen 700-800 times higher during meditation
  • In 2005 a clinical trial studied energy healers sending distance energy healing to recipients, and used MRI to measure the effect on the recipients. Significant differences were found between the times the healers were sending energy or not, and areas activated during the energy healing included the anterior and middle cingulate area, precuneus, and frontal area.
  • In a 2008 review of multiple studies of biofeedback, 10 different health issues ranging from anxiety to motion sickness to epilepsy were rated as “Efficacious”

Information Technology and the Internet

The other scientific breakthrough which has contributed so powerfully to the re-emergence of energy healing in the world is, of course, the rise of the information age and the creation of the internet.

We’d be hard put to find any industry that hasn’t been revolutionized in one way or another by the invention and explosion of the internet, including industries that were ended, and others that came into existence solely in response to it.

For the field of energy healing, the internet has allowed those teaching and training others in new and ancient energy healing techniques to reach thousands, even millions, of newly awakened healers all over the world.

It’s allowed energy healers to work remotely with clients anywhere in the world, through the internet, and to find ways to promote their work through websites, online events, and social media.

It’s allowed for the dissemination of information and for new schools to emerge and operate virtually, training others without the prohibitive costs of having a brick and mortar school.

And most importantly, the internet allows us now to connect with each other and collaborate with intention and commitment, to ensure the future of energy healing in a world that’s more and more curious about what we do, but still isn’t quite willing to fully accept us.


... and this history led us to where and who we are today...

… a loosely connected group of passionate, gifted, committed individuals, of many ages, cultures, and backgrounds, each seeing new possibilities in energetic healing and advancing them in our own ways, all over the world.

We do our muscle testing and our shamanic healing journeys and our soul retrievals, and we change lives.

We open up to and learn to trust our sacred guidance and intuition, and ancient wisdom is brought forth newly, in ways we could never have predicted.

We open chakras and guide release of trauma that has blocked health and healing for decades, for lifetimes, and we watch the miraculous transformations happen for our clients, our loved one, and ourselves.

Some of us teach what we’ve learned and create new energy healing modalities and train new energy healers in the world.

We are millions of shining lights, a vast sisterhood and brotherhood of healers raising the vibration of humanity and of the planet.

When we have done so much, each in our own small silos of wisdom and healing, imagine what we can accomplish working together?

And here's what we need to do next:

We need to come together with a collective commitment to furthering the renaissance and expansion of energy healing in the world, and that includes healing the business of healing and empowering healers to create legitimate and successful businesses doing their wonderful work.

How are we going to make this happen?

We’re going to collaborate with shared intention instead of operating primarily each in our own silos.

We’re going to form a more cohesive community so we can support each other and the field as a whole.

We’re going to establish sensible standards for teaching and training that strengthen the process of passing down our wisdom and practices.

We’re going to open more schools and certify more practitioners.

We’re going to embrace and create the reality of regulations being helpful not harmful, and work together to ensure that they are, by having a strong representative voice

We’re going to support and fund research and documentation to further the credibility of energy healing in the medical world

We’re going to “heal the business of healing”:

  • by helping long time and emerging energy healers let go of the inherited trauma and fear of being known as a healer, that comes from the centuries of persecution
  • by working together and healing the limiting beliefs about being paid for healing work
  • by providing energy healers the tools and skills to help them create thriving businesses that make a real difference in peoples’ lives
  • by raising the validity of what we do so that energy healers no longer feel the need to hide
  • and more – healing the business of healing is one of the most important areas of growth and opportunity we have before us – after all, what does all the research and training amount to if people can’t create a sustainable income as an energy healer?

We are called on to work together to create a strong structure to support and strengthen the next era of energetic healing in the world.

And there are four key and absolutely essential areas that require our collaborative focus and effort.

Pillar 1: Data Collection, Research, and Scientific Advancement

Pillar 2: Education / Certification / Industry Standards

Pillar 1: Legal / Regulatory Participation and Action 

Pillar 1: Healing the Business of Healing 

Knowing that we have a huge task before us, we can make it easier to work together having these Four Pillars to focus on, and around which to organize our efforts.

Some of us already feel specially called to research, others to teach, as the explosion of energetic healing schools and modalities in recent years makes clear.

Some have already answered the call to clarify the legal realities of what we do and have worked on laws and regulations – all of us, who are now and will continue to be affected by laws, need to support those willing to lead the way.

Some of us are called to healing and transforming the business of healing, envisioning and creating a new reality where energy healers can thrive and change the course of many lives through their powerful work, and be paid well for the difference they are making in the world!

What about you?

In reading this manifesto you may feel the call to be a leader or contributor in one of the Four Pillars in particular, or in several – and you may be looking for clarity in how to move forward and answer that call.

Has the time has come for you to start teaching others what you’ve learned, and help develop and mentor a new generation of energy healers?

Are you inspired to find a way to help forward research in an area you are passionate about?

Is it time for you to write your own book, or become a transformational speaker about the power of energetic healing to change lives?

Are you inspired by a vision of a future where energy healing is fully accepted as an important part of healthcare and of life, and want to be part of that discussion?

Do you have a new energy, realizing you truly are not alone, and you’re ready to step more fully into your own practice as an energy healing practitioner?

Are you finally ready to enroll and get certified in the healing modality you’ve been wanting to immerse yourself in for years?

Do you realize now how essential it is that as energy healers, we have a collective voice, and a seat at the table in the laws that affect us?

Are you wondering how you can forward that or be a part of that discussion from where you are right now?

All of that, and more, is here in front of us, waiting for us to create it together. Exciting progress has been made already, but there’s a great deal we still have to accomplish.

It's time...

If you’ve read this far, you know this miraculous time when the world is awakening to the power of energetic healing is for you.

It’s your time to answer your own call, perhaps in new ways that are just now becoming apparent to you.

And it’s our time to support each other in doing that – it will take all of us to create the future of energy healing.

I invite you to go deep inside and hear what is calling to you right now about our future, and choose what actions you will commit to take, today, and tomorrow, to answer that call.

Whether you are called to teach, forward research, expand your energy healing practice, write about your experiences, or something else entirely, know you are part of something much bigger. Together we can create a future and legacy we can be proud of and our great grandchildren will thank us for.

Want to join us and be involved in creating that future?

There are four impactful things you can do right now, to ensure your voice is heard.

  • Sign this manifesto here to show your commitment and support: I want my voice to be heard 
  • Then share it with your community, to expand the support for this vision, and your commitment to co-creating a vibrant and lasting future for energetic healing in the world.
  • Participate in ground-breaking data collection by taking the annual Energy Healing Practitioner Essential Survey. The projected reach of this questionnaire has never been done before. The results of this survey will help us more fully understand our energy healing industry, and what education, support, and resources energy healers want and need.
  • Help us build the energy healing practitioner community by participating in the annual Energy Healing Leadership Conference.

Our collective efforts in the next 5-10 years will be the single biggest factor determining what this current re-emergence of energy healing in the world will become.

Our efforts will determine whether this is ultimately just a brief episode, or a true renaissance, which fundamentally re-energizes and uplifts the health and wellness of not just our current generation, but many generations to come.

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Bibliography and sources – a fully annotated version of this document can be made available upon request.'s%20brainwaves%20were%20to,task%20four%20times%20in%20succession