9 Books on the Science, Mystery, and Power of Energy Healing
Energy healing can take different forms: acupuncture, Reiki, and hands-on tapping, for example. People come to these modalities for their own reasons, often because they’re looking for some kind of release—from stress, from trauma—or because they feel stuck, physically and emotionally.
These books capture what we know so far about energy healing and what the great remaining mysteries are. They combine scientific discoveries, personal stories, and anecdotal evidence from doctors, researchers, and spiritual leaders who’ve spent their careers exploring seemingly invisible forces.
As an acupuncturist, Jill Blakeway began investigating the possibility that there was an invisible force her clients were feeling as she worked on their bodies. This curiosity led Blakeway—whose background is in traditional Chinese medicine—deep into the study of bioscience, quantum physics, and electromagnetic energy. The stories in her book are deeply fascinating, and she brings together science and spirituality to explore the inexplicable. (For more, see our Q&A with Blakeway and listen to her on The goop Podcast episode “Demystifying Energy Medicine”.)
Intuitive healer Caroline Myss’s seminal book on the concept of the body’s energy centers and the inner spirit was based on fifteen years of energy-medicine research. And while it was published back in 1996, it remains a timeless read for anyone on a spiritual journey for emotional and physical healing. (You can also listen to Myss on the podcast with GP.)
Scientist William Bengston’s research on mice is one of the field’s most convincing cases for hands-on healing. This technique, which he describes in his book, was tested in an experiment with mice that had been bred to have cancer. His study showed that not only did these mice live longer but they were cured and also immune to cancer when they were injected with it again.
Kelsey Patel is both an intuitive and a Reiki master, and she brings this wisdom together for her first book on how to deal with burnout. If you’re looking to get back into alignment, Patel shares how to tap into subtle energy shifts through simple yet powerful practices that you can do on yourself. (Burning Bright comes out in April, so you can preorder now, and in the meantime, see the story we did with Patel on Reiki for beginners.)
Habib Sadeghi has given us a lot of sage wisdom over the years. He believes that taking care of your emotional baggage is important for both spiritual and physical health. In this practical twelve-step guide, he shows us the process for clearing out emotional waste and how to heal your body.
James Gordon is a psychiatrist and the founder and director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, D.C., where his work focuses on changing how we think about trauma and the ways our bodies process and heal from the damage of it. His book explains what happens physically and mentally and takes us through his evidence-based program for population-wide healing. (We also published a piece with Gordon describing his soft-belly breathing tool and had him on the podcast.)
While it might be hard to fully grasp how energy works, understanding the chakra system is a good place to start exploring the body’s energy centers. This classic guide explores each of the seven power sources and how they all come together to influence mind, body, and spirit.
We’ve always been profoundly interested in medical miracles and the power we have to cure ourselves. Jeffrey Rediger, who is on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, explores how some people are able to “spontaneously” recover from incurable illnesses, and he has spent more than fifteen years researching and pioneering scientific tools that can help us and the medical community take a closer look at what’s happening.
Joe Dispenza is known for helping people transform in mysterious and miraculous ways, and his book takes readers through the energetic process of healing. He believes that changing your mind-set provides infinite possibilities for living more fully and that we hold the power to heal ourselves. (Dispenza’s episode of The goop Podcast, “How to Become Your Future Self”, is a good intro to his work.)