Understanding Energy Healing – Are You Making This Error?

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Yesterday, I saw two mages, in two different conversations, make the same error in explaining energy healing. They said (paraphrasing):

“Biological cells need energy to survive. Mages use energy to heal people. So, when you heal with energy, you’re giving the cell the energy it needs.”

I’ve seen lots of experienced mages do this. I made a similar error myself this morning. Which means it’s worth talking about.

But before we can get to the magick, we need a little notation.


Scoping is a computer programming concept. (That’s my other career.)

Let’s say that Alice and Bob are arguing about whether a tree falling in the woods makes a sound. Alice says, “The tree vibrates the air. Sound is air vibrations.”

Bob says, “Sound is a subjective experience. It happens when you hear something. If there’s no one to hear it, there is no sound.”

Clearly, the problem is the two different definitions of sound. Alice and Bob mean different things by the word. But, because they use the same word, it seems like they’re disagreeing.

This is where scoping comes in. In computer programming, there’s a syntax where we say:


for Alice’s definition of sound, and


for Bob’s definition.

Now, we can accurately say, “A tree falling in the woods with no one around to hear it makes an Alice::sound but not a Bob::sound.” Scoping makes it obvious that those words really mean two different things, and it no longer seems like anything worth disagreeing about.

I got this idea from Less Wrong, though I can’t find the post at the moment.

Scoping for Energy Healing

So, let’s apply scoping to energy healing. There’s bio::energy, for the normal energy that makes cells operate when there’s no magick going on (ATP, electrical impulses, etc.), and there’s magick::energy, for the energy we use that makes you feel all tingly. And, most importantly, they are different.

Now, let’s redo the initial statement, with scoping:

“Biological cells need bio::energy to survive. Mages use magick::energy to heal people. So, when you heal with magick::energy, you’re giving the cell the bio::energy it needs.”

With the scoping, it’s clear that the last sentence shifted the meaning of “energy” under our noses. First, it talked about magickal energy, then equated that with biological energy. It’s a very common confusion, and I wish English had scoping so we could spot these shifts more easily.

Why Magick::Energy is not Bio::Energy

First, I want to point out that the presumption should be that magick::energy is different than bio::energy. You can’t simply assume two things are the same just because they share the same name, especially if that naming was done by new-agers, rather than scientists.

But, let’s go beyond that. I’m fairly certain that this model of energy healing – that the mage provides bio::energy to the cell – is inaccurate. Here’s why:

  • You can harm cells with magick::energy. For example, when I work with a cold, I’m focusing my energy on the bacteria — not to feed them energy, but to inhibit them.
  • Some of my healing techniques aim to decelerate a specific cellular process with magick::energy. I used this in the healing technique for Lisa’s hives, intending to tone down her immune response, with great results. Again, I don’t see how providing more bio::energy would do that.
  • You get the best healing results by cancelling the current magick::energy signature of the cell, then applying magick::energy in the new signature. This lets you be more precise with the signature, even though it means you’re not increasing the total quantity of magick::energy.

All of these make me say that energy healing works by changing the signature of the magick::energy around the cell to accelerate or decelerate cellular processes, not by increasing the amount of bio::energy to feed a cell.

Finding the Right Model

This is an honest mistake. And an easy one to make. The point isn’t that some mage somewhere got a wrong. The point is, it’s very easy to make a wrong step in modeling magick if you’re not careful with your terms.

If you came into this post thinking that energy healing worked by providing bio::energy, you’re probably thinking of clever arguments for why that’s still right. Pause for a second.

You can’t argue something into being right. If you start from an assumption based on language, and it turns out that assumption is wrong, you can’t build on it. Your best move is to discard that incorrect assumption as quickly as possible. Because no matter how many clever reasons you come up with to hold onto an incorrect belief, it’s still incorrect.

So, ask yourself, “If I were modeling this part of magic from scratch, knowing what I know now about scoping and the behavior of magick::energy, would I think that it’s the same as bio::energy?”

If the term “energy” is still tripping you up, replace the word with the definition. “Is it likely that [the magickal thing that makes you feel tingly] is the same as [the biological thing that makes cells function]? Does an increase in biological energy, like from eating lots of sugar, feel like a flood of tingly magickal energy?”

Because I promise you, even if you didn’t make this error, you’ll make a similar error at some point in your work. I’ve done it easily a dozen times, and just this morning conflated physics::energy with magick::energy. The key is to recover from these errors quickly, because we’ll never stop making them.

Also, I’ll probably rename “energy” at some point, like I did with “systems.” Any suggestions?

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12 Responses to “Understanding Energy Healing – Are You Making This Error?”

  1. f3n1x_hvn732 says:

    I´ve worked with the magick::energy, and think that “orgone” (term used by Wilhelm Reich) is a good name for it. Or at least for a type of magick::energy, the one that is related with qi, chi or prana. It can be experienced like tingly and can be accumulated (via orgone accumulators or orgonite). My own experience with orgonite (made by Karl Welz) is that it can accumulate magick::energy with different “signature” but with time it release it and “absorbs” magic::energy from the surroundings. Also it can make “patterns” in the water exposed to ot (they are like arcs). And can modify the climate (search for cloudbusters, specially the studies of James DeMeo). There are also chi-machines made by Karl Welz but I have not experienced them personally (but my experience with oronite that also made by him make think that the machines are factibles).

  2. Ananael Qaa says:

    These points were pretty much the crux of the last debate in the blogosphere over the “energy model” of magick. The problem is that the “energy” used by healers and energy workers has some, but not all, characteristics in common with physical or biological energy. Depending on how you sort those characteristics out, the “energy” metaphor can become pretty confusing.

    I have one of those Welz chi machines, and I can tell you that the field it produces certainly feels like the same sort of presence you get from a magical operation. I’ve also been able to use it to charge talismans and so forth that then produce solid probability shifts.

  3. I initially adopted energy as the word for “that thing that makes you feel tingly,” just because new-age books used it, I suppose. Like “systems” or “mental areas,” I didn’t really think about the metaphor it suggested. But the farther I’ve gone with it, the more I realize it’s the wrong metaphor. Which sounds like where you are with it, too.

    I haven’t looked into Welz chi, and google mostly turns up cheesy sales stuff, not technical write-ups. Do either of you have any articles you’d recommend?

  4. f3n1x_hvn732 says:

    About orgone orgone lab is your page:
    But he completly ignores the orgonite and the Welz chi machines, here is his approach to “orgone”:
    He is also a magician with a magick course online:
    About experiments with orgonite, Why not doing some yourself? Is cheap, easy (relatively) and then you can experiment with it.
    Here is a page with instructions to make your own oronite:

  5. I’m going to post a longer response to this on my blog, but my immediate response is to agree with you, but also argue for the notion that what occultists are fudging is what I’d consider to be a communication aspect, namely how do we communicate with our biology (if we do) and where does energy fit into that communication.

    • Agreed, magick::energy definitely influences cells in some way. (You can call it “communication,” but individual cells aren’t intelligent, so I say “influence”).

      My current thinking is that it accelerates or decelerates cellular processes, based on both the options the healing ethereal software provides, and on what I see when I connect to tissues with different types of injuries.

      One of the biggest risks in developing a model for magick is jumping to conclusions. I try to only go as far as modeling parts I’ve seen myself, and not speculate on the underlying mechanism. But it’s almost certainly more complex than “Magick energy feeds cells.”

  6. mike says:

    How are healers such as Chunyi Lin of Spring Forest Qigong, so successful?

    His primary external healing techniques are what he calls thunder hands and sword fingers. His primary source of energy is from the heart, and he also teaches students to use ‘universal’ energy. The only ethereal software I see is when he teaches students to use ‘universal’ energy.

    Videos of the technique below:

    Can we call what he does bio-energy?

    • Hey Mike, good questions. First, the bio-energy. He may call what he does bio–energy, because he thinks of it as coming from his body. However, even the way he thinks of it, it’s not the ATP or minor electrical impulses that separate living from dead cells. It’s a magick::energy that he visualizes as being produced by his body. (Whether it actually is, or if it’s produced by ethereal software that he uses unconsciously, I can’t say without seeing him.)

      Now, the results: I watched the first part of the YouTube video. At about 40 seconds, it cites a peer-reviewed, randomized control trial out of the Mayo Clinic, which caught my interest. A quick Google turns up the abstract:


      Subjects received weekly energy healings for several weeks. During this time, their pain levels decreased.

      When they followed up 8 weeks later, after several weeks of not having treatment, pain levels were back to normal. (That’s what “not statistically significant” means.)

      So, my read is that the healing was effective for temporary pain relief, but not for addressing the underlying condition. Which is roughly the results I got when I focused on building a “healthy” energy in my body, and sending it to the person. And it’s roughly the results you would get using the default “relieve pain”–type command from most ethereal software.

      Does that help?

  7. mike says:

    Thanks Mike.

    I believe he thinks of it as chi (qi) an energy source that permeates all things, even the air we breathe.

    I think his system also teaches a sort of ethereal connection because he also teaches his students to connect to him and other masters to use their energy for healing. *Would this work better by making a sensory connection to the ‘master’ and using his energy that way?

    I’m not sure how he defines universal energy.

    • Yes, that sounds about right for chi. And, since the biological energy that makes cells living does not permeate all things, he must mean magick::energy, even if he doesn’t call it that.

      On connecting to teachers and masters: I expect that, when they visualize this, they are actually connecting to ethereal software. Particularly if you’re talking about “Masters” in a broad sense, you’re really talking about the concept of Masters, which is probably ethereal software.

      On connecting to a particular master to use his energy: I don’t think this would be effective. You could drain his energy some, absorbing it yourself, as some spirits do, though there’s really no benefit to this if you know how to tap into your own energy properly. But that would be a very inefficient way to deliver energy to somebody else for a healing. Particularly when compared with channeling ethereal software.

      Also, a quick clarification: Sensory connections are a particular type of magick connection. They are done with minimal energy, and typically use it you use a lot of connections at a small signature scale to clearly see all the signatures in an area (like throughout an injured tissue). To most mages, making sensory connections is fairly advanced magick, and it forms the basis for most useful direct magick. You would not use them to drain energy, as the whole point is to sense the target while affecting it as little as possible. For more on sensory connections:


      However, if I were trying to replicate his results, I would start with a sensory connection to him, find the ethereal software he uses, make a communication connection (a connection suited to communication) to the ethereal software, and then channel it / issue it commands. So you are on the right track with using sensory connections, just not quite the right application.

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