|Energy medicine - edit|
The term energy is used by writers and practitioners of various esoteric forms of spirituality and alternative medicine to refer to a variety of phenomena. There is no scientific evidence for the existence of such energy. Therapies that purport to use, modify, or manipulate unknown energies are thus among the most contentious of all complementary and alternative medicines. Claims related to energy therapies are most often anecdotal, rather than being based on repeatable empirical evidence.
As biologists studied embryology and developmental biology, particularly before the discovery of genes, a variety of organisational forces were posited to account for their observations. With the work of Hans Driesch (1867-1941), however, the importance of "energy fields" began to wane and the proposed forces became more mind-like.
Modern research science has all but abandoned the attempt to associate additional energetic properties with life. Despite this, spiritual writers and thinkers have maintained ideas about energy and continue to promote them either as useful allegories or as fact.
Forms of esoteric energy
Early psychical researchers who studied mediumship and spiritualism speculated that an unidentified fluid termed the "psychode", "psychic force" or "eteneic force" existed within the human body and was capable of being released to influence matter. The idea of ectoplasm was merged into the theory of ectenic force by some early psychical researchers who were seeking a physical explanation for reports of psychokinesis in séances.
The existence of ectoplasm was initially hypothesized by Count Agenor de Gasparin to explain the phenomena of table turning and tapping during séances. Ectenic force was named by de Gasparin's colleague M. Thury, a professor of Natural History at the Academy of Geneva. Between them, de Gasparin and Thury conducted a number of experiments in ectenic force, and claimed some success. Their work was not independently verified.
The idea that some kind of "negative energy" is responsible for creating or attracting ghosts or demons appears in contemporary paranormal culture and beliefs as exemplified in the TV shows Paranormal State and Ghost Hunters.
The concept of "qi" (energy) appears throughout traditional East Asian culture, such as in the art of feng shui, in Chinese martial arts, and in spiritual tracts. Qi philosophy also includes the notion of "negative qi", typically understood as introducing negative moods like outright fear or more moderate expressions like social anxiety or awkwardness. Deflecting this negative qi through geomancy is a preoccupation in feng shui. The traditional explanation of acupuncture states that it works by manipulating the circulation of qi through a network of meridians.
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