9 Types of Energy Work, Explained

Self-care is trendier than ever, and we’re definitely not mad about it. But where mindfulness and yoga used to be our go-tos, the current practice du jour is energy work, i.e., tapping into the body’s own frequencies to promote well-being. You’re probably already familiar with some forms of energy work (like acupuncture) while others are a little more, um, out-there (like flower essences). And while the verdict is still out on the efficacy of many of these alternative therapies, we’re definitely curious about them (and they sound pretty damn relaxing). Here, nine types of energy work to consider adding into your self-care regime. 

25 Totally Free Ways to Practice Self-Care

woman doing reiki energy work


Pronounced ray-key, this Japanese technique is an alternative therapy in which practitioners place their hands lightly on or just above a person in order to rid the body of blockages and improve their energy flow. It’s kind of like a massage but, um, without the rubbing. Curious? Find out more about reiki here.

woman doing energy work breathwork


It’s breathing, but not like you know it. Think of breathwork like an active meditation, where you change your breathing pattern to boost mental, physical and spiritual health. Celebs like Gisele Bündchen and Christy Turlington love the practice, which can apparently get pretty intense (think: visions and outpourings of emotion).

burning a smudge stick energy work


You know how some spaces feel like they have bad vibes floating around? The ancient ritual of smudging helps to clear negative energy by burning specific herbs and creating a “smoke bath.” It’s not as scary as it sounds, although we are dealing with fire here, people. So don’t try to wing this one. Here’s how to smudge properly.

reflexology energy work


You love a good foot massage, but have you ever tried reflexology? Based on the idea that different points on the feet (and hands) correspond to specific muscles or organs in the body, a reflexologist will apply pressure on these points in order to improve health in the related area of the body. So, let’s say you’re having back problems—a reflexologist would focus on the big toe to help relieve symptoms. (But it also just feels really nice.)

woman tapping energy work


Also known as EFT (emotional freedom technique), tapping involves touching various acupressure points on the body in a specific pattern in order to ease stress, anxiety, depression and possibly even chronic pain.

acupuncture type of energy work
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The idea of putting needles all over your body doesn’t exactly sound pleasant, but there are actually some pretty cool benefits to this ancient healing technique.

woman holding hand full of healing crystals

Healing Crystals

These sparkling gems are believed to contain vibrational energies that work to heal and promote well-being. And whether or not you buy into them, there’s no denying that they’re definitely having a moment—celebs like Adele and Kate Hudson love them, they’re showing up in skin-care products and, heck, even in our bras. Here are six of the most popular crystals to know.

woman doing yoga and unblocking her chakras1


You know how your yoga instructor is always telling you to open up your chakras? Well, she’s referring to the seven chakras, or energy centers, beginning at the top of the head and going straight down to the bottom of your spine. When one of these chakras is blocked, it throws the whole mind, body and spirit connection into disharmony. Here’s how to tell if your chakras are blocked.

flower essences type of energy work

Flower Essences

These infusions made from, well, flowers (duh) are believed to harness the plant’s vibes (yes, really) and promote well-being. We’re not entirely sold on their ability to heal, but you can find out more about these floral tinctures here and decide for yourself.

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Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...