University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

Research Council


Jada Samudra

Jada Samudra

Fall 2009

"A Preliminary Study of Patients' Experiences of Energy"

Grant in Aid of Research

Final Report: "I conducted a literature review on previous medical and anthropological research on energy medicine. I also conducted a content analysis of popular texts on both ‘energy’ and ‘spiritual’ or faith healing. From these I developed preliminary lists for future anthropological research involving the pile-sorting method. One list contains approximately 80 synonyms and metaphors for ‘energy’ (e.g., aura, breath, electricity, holy ghost, life force, power, vibration, etc.); the second list contains 50 terms describing distinct sensations experienced during energy healing (e.g., boiling, shock, dizziness, hollow, falling, magnetic repulsion, pulsing, etc.) At the American Anthropological Association meetings in New Orleans, November 2010, I chaired the Flexible Bodies and Medical Pluralism panel, wherein I presented the content analysis in a paper titled: “Flowing, Spinning, Tingling, Warming, Pressing, Stinging: Conceptualizing and Experiencing ‘Energy’ in Energy Healing.” I suggested reasons why ‘energy’ healing has been neglected and discussed the need to develop a cross-culturally applicable taxonomy in the domain of energy medicine. Since presenting this paper, I have been establishing contact with energy healing practitioners and patients who will be willing to be observed and interviewed after I have cleared my research plan with UWGB’s IRB."