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The Healing GodsComplementary and Alternative Medicine in Christian America$
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Candy Brown

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199985784

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199985784.001.0001

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Energy Medicine

Energy Medicine

How her Karma Ran Over his Dogma

(p.179) 8 Energy Medicine
The Healing Gods

Candy Gunther Brown

Oxford University Press

Chapter eight uses case studies of Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, and Healing Touch to illuminate the processes by which CAM entered the medical and Christian mainstreams. Energy medicine’s mainstreaming was not unplanned, but required intentional, systematic maneuvering, as predominantly female practitioners seeking empowerment concealed their metaphysics to gain entry into conventional healthcare settings. Practitioners who understand energy healing as one thing, metaphysics, present it as something else, medicine, to make it acceptable to those with authority to permit or to block practice. Although drawing on Buddhism, Hinduism, and Western metaphysics, energy medicine is depicted as scientific and spiritual, but not religious, to win audiences of hospital administrators competing for clients, patients in pain, and female nurses who feel disempowered by gender inequities in male-dominated medical and Christian professions. Fee-based courses eligible for CEU credits, trademarked certificate programs, and articles published in peer-reviewed journals neatly package metaphysical religion for modern healthcare professionals.

Keywords:   reiki, therapeutic touch, healing touch, energy medicine, buddhism, hinduism, gender, empowerment, hospital administrators, patients

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