Throughout history our understanding of energy has evolved in spurts characterized by dogmatic resistance and sudden revelations. Sir Isaac Newton's contributions to our understanding of light were significantly altered by James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), who recognized that electricity and magnetism are essentially the same. And, by the time that Albert Einstein, a 3rd grade patent clerk (who couldn't get a university job), wrote his famous essays, there was a clear recognition that any definition of energy must include light, magnetism, and electricity. So, if even one accepts the frizzy haired doctor's famous formulation that energy is equivalent to mass times the square of velocity, we are only just discovering how energy is used by the human body. Then add to this the role of the brain and thoughts in the regulation of energy.
Our bodies absorb energy from various sources to include magnetic forces, heat, light, and the chemical digestion system. Living in an extremely low level magnetic field (ELMF), which is evident when looking at the needle on a compass, and considering the impact of celestial gravitational forces, as Messmer pointed out in is doctoral dissertation, we are affected by magnetism. Next, consider the impact of transdermally absorbed heat.. And, the rods and cones, which are our ocular neurons, act as photoelectric cells, converting light energy into neural energy, which affects every cell of our body. Add to this energy created by chemical reactions related to our digestion system, it should be clear that our bodies are affected by energy.
For our good health, it stands to reason that our biological distribution of energy must be at some level of homeostasis or harmonic. (Note: that the followers of Messmer, M.D., called themselves the Society of Harmony for just this reason.) Touch-related therapies, which include Messmer's animal magnetism, Therapeutic Touch, Reiki, Quantum Touch, and others, recognize the issue of energy imbalance. Take this a step further into the domain of epigenetics and you will discover the concept that our genetic make up can be altered merely by having good, healthy thoughts or bad, unhealthy ones. Add to this, ancient shamanic beliefs in the role of the dream world on health or even Tibetan Vajrayana concepts of manipulating energy flows through chakras and meridians. (The Tibetan's related energy to consciousness, which even transcended physical lifetimes in a given incarnation.)
The modern recognition of the role of energy in both mind and body was pioneered by Elmer Green, Ph.D., who combined the disciplines of Autogenic Training and biofeedback. In recent research, which was a study of psychophysics and psychophysiology during a form of Tibetan meditation), he and his colleagues found anomalous electric-field effects in and around the bodies of well-known healers. What we have seen is a resurgence of the interest in energy as a factor in mind and body healing.
Over the past year or so I've stated publicly in several presentations that medicine as we know it today will be radically transformed within the next 25 years. Despite modern medical "miracles", main stream allopathic medicine, with it's focus on medication and surgery, will become increasingly obsolete if it does not fully embrace the role of energy as a significant part of healing.
Yet, conventional medicine must change. Already the National Institutes of Health has reported a significant migration from allopathic medicine toward complementary and alternative care. And, with allopathic medicine facing increasing charges due to the sudden rise in deaths from iatrogenic medicine (which annually claims multiples of the losses in the twin towers on 9/11) the federal government is increasingly sensitive to the need to improve regulation for conventional medicine. Then add to this the recognition that for conventional medical interventions chronic pain do not answer this epidemic, even The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals, has mandated that all hospitals develop chronic pain programs that are beyond conventional surgery and pharmacological treatment Add these facts to the emergence of new science supporting ancient energy medicine and energy psychology beliefs and you can reasonably predict that while a drastic change may not be over the horizon, it is not much further.