Everything is energy

- Photography by Alan Johnston

Albert Einstein is said to have said: “Everything is energy”.

We are willing to accept this as a possibility or even as fact when it comes to science in its many and varied forms, but we tend to draw the line when it comes to us. If everything is energy, and it is, what part of that ‘everything’ does not include the human body?

We are trained to see the body as very solid and certain, when quantum physics tells us that we are made of 99.9999% space, and that even the tiny amount of matter we are made of is not fixed or solid but is moving in and out of other universes.

We see each body as separate from all the other bodies, when science tell us that we are exchanging atoms with each other all the time, breathing in what others breathe out, eating and drinking what other have excreted, and dying and decomposing and being recycled again in other physical bodies.

We still see ourselves as very small and finite, when we know that we are made of the same stuff that made up stars, that has been here since the beginning of time.

How does ‘everything is energy’ pertain to the practice of medicine?

We are very literal when it comes to the human body. We try and treat it functionally, like a car, and regard doctors as very highly trained mechanics.

Western Medicine recognises energy at a cellular level, and knows that the body does not function without the energy required for all physical and chemical changes to occur – a neurone synapsing, a muscle contracting. However, when we come to considering energy, there is a barrier. We cannot measure it, but does this mean that we should act as if it does not exist?

Einstein is also said to have said:

“All that is countable does not count, and all that counts is not countable.”

So are we discounting what is not countable?

We have no word for the energy that makes the difference between living and dying – how can this be?

Eastern Medicine has long understood the human body in terms of energy, and manipulated it accordingly. Interestingly, modern research coming from Korea and China is identifying the anatomical nature of acupuncture points and meridians, supporting the understanding that energy underlies our physicality.

What could an understanding of energy offer us?

What could an understanding of energy bring to Western Medicine? We have many, many gaps in our understanding of the human body – despite the exponential increase in knowledge, the more we “know” the more we find we do not know. For each solution we discover, a hundred more questions arise. There are weaknesses in our understanding of the causation of disease. In fact, despite our advances in knowledge and our technological prowess, the incidence of illness and disease is on the rise. Our health care systems are buckling under the weight (literally!) of lifestyle-related chronic disease that we seem powerless to truly address.

Why are we living in a way that makes us sick?

We look to epidemiology for answers and sometimes it is clear – asbestos causes mesothelioma, smoking causes cancer…

However for the most part we only have partial answers. Is it possible that a deeper understanding of the nature of energy in the human body, the mechanisms of flow, the barriers to flow, a quantitative and a qualitative assessment, could give us answers to questions we have been struggling with?

Despite the fact that one of the most common symptomatic presentations in general practice is the patient who says they have “no energy”, we do not consider what that energy is and what it means in human terms.

Are all energies the same?

Are in fact all energies the same?

How does our body react energetically to physical and emotional stressors, to anger, to grief, to food and drink, to overwork, to lack of sleep, to violence?

How do we respond to gentle touch, to human warmth, to tender loving care, to laughter?

Do these different ways of being have different energetic effects in our bodies?

Could addressing lifestyle choices, illness and disease on an energetic level be the missing piece of the puzzle we have been searching for?

Could it be that addressing life on an energetic level, is what is needed to restore true wholeness to medicine once again.

As Plato once said:

“The part can never be well until the whole is well”.

While we continue to address the physical human body as the only thing that matters, treating it in isolation from the whole it belongs to, of which it is an inseparable part, we are not going to be able to truly heal the illness we are collectively suffering from, our separation from the whole of who we are.

When we restore energy to its rightful place, as the everything that impulses us to be, true healing will once again begin.


  1. What a breath of fresh air, what a wonderful suggestion, looking at the diseases and illnesses so many of us suffer with a very different understanding of the need to study the energetic aspect. This will be an aspect that will be very interesting to follow.


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