Based on the belief that our "life force" creates energy fields that are unbalanced during emotional or physical disease. Because our energy fields are part of an interconnected whole, the use of focused intention by one individual can aid in the health and well being of another. Many individuals use their own individual means of directing their intention to heal. Others practice according to schools such as Reiki. In the West, a common form of energy healing is Therapeutic Touch, which has been taught to thousands of nurses across the United States.
Healers operate in many different ways. For example, they visualize, send intentions for diseased cells to die, send intentions for cells to revert to their optimum state of health, or simply send loving energy. A common theme is the intention for the well-being of the client. Another is focusing on being a conduit for a loving, universal life force.
An interesting feature of energy healing is that it may be performed over distances of thousands of miles. The "life force" claimed to be transmitted by energy healers does not have the properties of any known form of energy. A comparable practice to energy healing that is used frequently in the West is prayer. A 1996 survey showed that 82 percent of Americans believed in the healing power of prayer. A survey of patients in American Cancer Society support groups for breast cancer found that 88 percent experienced beneficial effects of spiritual and religious practice.