Therapeutic Sensations: A New Unifying Concept

Author: Florian Beissner1
1 Somatosensory and Autonomic Therapy Research, Institute for Neuroradiology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.
Conference/Journal: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
Date published: 2020 Aug 6
Other: Volume ID: 2020 , Pages: 7630190 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1155/2020/7630190. , Word Count: 162

Physical sensations of tingling, warmth, dull pain, and heaviness are a common phenomenon in mind-body interventions, such as acupuncture, hypnotherapy, osteopathy, qigong, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation. Even though there are striking parallels between sensations produced by many different interventions, no attempt has yet been made to understand them from a unifying perspective that combines information from different therapies and practices. Therefore, this narrative systematic review introduces the concept of therapeutic sensations and summarizes studies of their sensory quality, bodily topography, and the meaning that patients attach to them. Furthermore, it highlights the essential role of therapeutic sensations in the development of vital energy concepts, such as qi, prana, pneuma, and orgone, in various traditional medicine systems, body-oriented psychotherapy, and so-called energy medicine. Finally, the assessment of therapeutic sensations may help to gain a deeper understanding of such concepts, finding a common language between scientists, patients and practitioners, and bridging the wide gap between materialistic and vitalistic views.

PMID: 32831879 PMCID: PMC7428881 DOI: 10.1155/2020/7630190