Unearthing Bioenergy Healing Origins in Global Cultures

Inquire into traditional historical origins of bioenergy therapy across diverse world cultures, uncovering ancient practices and beliefs in hands-on healing methods.
Healing practices throughout the world in history cover

Illustration "She" by Leonardo AI


Hands-on healing practices have been integral to various cultures and traditions throughout human history. These practices involve the belief in a universal life force energy channeled through the healer’s hands to the recipient’s body to restore balance, stimulate self-healing, and promote overall well-being. Although such techniques have gained popularity in recent years as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, their origins can be traced back to the religious and spiritual beliefs of the ancient world. In this article, we shall explore the oldest historical and archaeological evidence of hands-on healing or bioenergy healing usage from a traditional perspective, with a focus on the religious and spiritual thought of the antique world, spanning across different cultures, including South American, Southeast Asian, Japanese, Australian, African, and Siberian traditions.

Ancient Egypt

One of the earliest documented examples of hands-on healing can be found in the ancient Egyptian civilization, dating back to around 3000 BCE. Rooted in the religious and spiritual beliefs of the time, the Egyptians held a concept of a universal life force energy called “Ka,” which was considered an essential aspect of an individual’s spiritual and physical well-being. The ‘Ebers Papyrus,’ one of the oldest medical texts from ancient Egypt dating to around 1550 BCE, describes various healing techniques, including using touch to diagnose and treat illnesses. Ancient Egyptian healers were often priests or priestesses who invoked divine energy while performing hands-on healing rituals.

Ancient Greece

In ancient Greece, hands-on healing was closely linked to worshiping Asclepius, the god of medicine and healing. Patients would undergo a process called “incubation,” during which they would sleep within the temple precincts and receive healing through their dreams, often involving the touch of the god or his attendant spirits. Additionally, Hippocrates, a well-known Greek physician, recognized the importance of touch in the healing process, prescribing various forms of massage and tactile therapies to treat ailments. Asclepieions, temples dedicated to Asclepius, were established as healing centers throughout the ancient Greek world, serving as a testimony to the cultural and religious importance of hands-on healing in ancient Greece.

Ancient Greece healing practice illustration

Ancient India

The ancient Indian system of medicine, known as Ayurveda, also incorporates touch and energy manipulation in the healing process. Various forms of massage and touch therapies, such as Abhyanga and Marma therapy, have been used in Ayurveda to stimulate the flow of vital energy, or “Prana,” and promote healing. From around 1500 BCE, Ayurveda has been rooted in ancient India’s spiritual and religious beliefs, focusing on the balance of energies within the body to maintain health and well-being. The use of hands-on healing in Ayurveda reflects the belief that the body is a sacred vessel that must be treated holistically.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

The concept of a vital life force energy, known as “Qi” or “Chi,” has been central to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. Techniques such as acupuncture, acupressure, and Tui Na massage, which involve the manipulation of energy pathways called “meridians,” have been used to restore the balance of Qi and promote healing. The foundational text of TCM, the ‘Huangdi Neijing’ (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine), dating back to around 200 BCE, emphasizes the importance of balancing the body’s energy to maintain health and prevent illness. The use of hands-on healing in TCM reflects the belief that the body is a complex network of interconnected systems that must be kept in balance.

TCM historical illustration cover

South American Cultures

In South American cultures, the concept of a vital life force energy is present in various indigenous healing practices. Similarly, the Amazonian Shipibo people practiced “Chakarunas,” a form of energy healing that involves using touch and chants to balance the energies within the body. The Inca civilization, which existed in the Andean region of South America from the early 13th century to the late 16th century, believed in a life force energy called “Kawsay” or “Qì.” Incan healers, known as “curanderos” or “curanderas,” used their hands to manipulate this energy to treat various ailments and illnesses. Hands-on healing in South American cultures highlights the importance of spirituality and the interconnectedness of all living things.

Southeast Asian Cultures

In Southeast Asia, traditional healing practices also incorporate touch and manipulating life force energy. Rooted in the spiritual and religious beliefs of the region, Thai massage involves the use of pressure points, stretching, and energy pathways called “Sen” lines to restore the balance of the body’s vital energy, known as “Lom” or “Prana.” For over 2500 years, Thai massage has been a healing technique that is deeply ingrained in the region’s culture. These practices are often passed down through generations and are still widely used today, providing a fascinating glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Southeast Asia.

Japanese Culture

Dating back to at least the 7th century, the Japanese culture boasts a rich history of hands-on healing practices with a focus on restoring the balance of energy within the body. One of these practices is Shiatsu, a traditional Japanese healing art that involves applying touch and pressure on specific points along the body’s energy pathways, also known as “meridians,” to restore the balance of “Ki” or “Qi,” the life force energy. The term “Shiatsu” is derived from the Japanese words “shi” which means finger and “atsu” which means pressure. This practice is deeply embedded in Japan’s spiritual and religious beliefs and has evolved over time to incorporate elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western anatomy.

Australian Indigenous Culture

Indigenous Australian culture is centered around the interconnectedness of all living things and is steeped in traditions passed down from generation to generation. A central belief in their healing practices is the concept of a life force energy known as “Ngangkari,” which is present in all living things. The Ngangkari are healers who manipulate this energy using touch, massage, and spiritual rituals to restore balance within the body’s energy pathways. Indigenous Australian cultures also have a strong tradition of storytelling, using song and dance to connect with their ancestors and the natural world. Despite colonization, these practices are still widely used, with Ngangkari healers being employed in some healthcare settings.

Australian traditional healer cover

African Cultures

African cultures have a rich history of traditional healing practices that incorporate touch and manipulating life force energy. In the Yoruba culture of West Africa, healers believe in the concept of “Ase” or “Ashe,” a life force energy believed to exist within all living things. “Babalawos” and “Iyanifas”, the Yoruba healers, use their hands to manipulate this energy to treat ailments and illnesses. The Zulu culture of South Africa also practices traditional healing, with “Sangomas” and “Inyangas” using touch and the channeling of ancestral energy to promote healing and balance. Western medicine had certain effects on traditional African medicine during colonialism, viewed as inferior, marginalized, and sometimes banned as “witchcraft.” However, the WHO estimates a modern resurgence and advocates for learning from traditional practices to combat illnesses in Africa.

Siberian Cultures

In Siberian cultures, shamanic healing practices are deeply ingrained and extend beyond individuals to the community as a whole. Siberian shamanic healers, known as “shamans” or “Tuvan,” believed in vital energy called “Arkan” or “Wind Horse,”. The healing ceremonies and rituals, often held in specially designed “yurts” or “chums”, incorporate music, dance, and storytelling to promote healing and restore balance. An interesting aspect of Siberian shamanic healing is the use of drumming, chanting, and even psychedelic plants, which are believed to induce altered states of consciousness and facilitate communication with the spirit world. These practices not only heal individuals but also promote a sense of connection and unity within the community. Siberian shamanic healing is a unique and valuable tradition in the field of traditional medicine.


The practice of hands-on healing or bioenergy healing has been an integral aspect of human culture and tradition throughout history, often rooted in the religious and spiritual beliefs of the ancient world. From ancient Egypt, Greece, India, and China to South American, Southeast Asian, Japanese, Australian, African, and Siberian cultures, the concept of a universal life force energy has been central to various healing practices. While modern interpretations and adaptations of these traditional techniques continue to evolve, it is essential to recognize and appreciate the ancient wisdom and knowledge that has shaped the foundations of hands-on healing practices across different cultures.


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by ivan roca


Bioqr™ is bioenergy-assisted immune treatment. A therapist uses his own bio-electromagnetic field to stimulate the patient’s immune system in a nonspecific and specific way. The stimulated immune system responds and “heals” the patient.

Bioqr™ therapy is a bioenergy treatment first developed in Eastern-Europe in the late 1960s as a modern, secular approach to traditional hands-on healing methods with biological and physical reasoning. Later, the method crossed Eastern-Europe to ex-Yugoslavia in the late 1970s’ where it has merged with similar methodologies and has been researched and applied as a complementary medical intervention. The founder of Biotherapy Asia, Ivan Roca, adapted these methodologies and cleared it from the folklore and unnecessary procedures, techniques, and philosophies. Bioqr™ method is a purely medical, highly structured bioenergy system that can be easily applied in a clinical or non-formal environment. The name of the method is Bioqr™ – Human Bioenergy Therapy.

Bioenergy is the energy dynamic observed within living organisms. Also, it is a scientific name that tries to encompass a very broad interdisciplinary area of research into the energy of a living organism. “Bios” is an Ancient Greek word meaning life, and energy is another Ancient Greek word, meaning activity, but here it signifies potential and possibility. Bioenergy has nothing to do with concepts like bioplasma, Chi, Qi, Ki, Prana, Universal energy, Life energy or Orgon.

Yes, with an electromyography device (EMG).

EMG is an electrodiagnostic medicine technique for evaluating and recording the electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles. EMG is performed using an instrument called an electromyograph to produce a record called an electromyogram. An electromyograph detects the electric potential generated by muscle cells when these cells are electrically or neurologically activated.

No. The therapy is successful even if a person does not believe in the biological effect of the immune system stimulation with the human bioenergy field, which is a result of ignorance and a lack of information.

The body response does not depend on our beliefs. It is an automatic and autonomic biological process.

A Bioqr™ therapist uses different hand positions and movements in combination with muscular tension and/or relaxation to stimulate the recipient’s immune system for his/her specific medical condition. Human endogenous bio-electromagnetic radiation interferes with the bioenergy processes of a diseased person to alter the metabolism and cause a body shock response that triggers the immune system activation in a specific and non-specific way.
Every movement has a different energetic signature so that the biotherapist can trigger an immune response in different tissues for different purposes. Immune response due to a “shock” to maintain homeostasis (check danger model of the immune system from Dr. Polly Matzinger), stimulates natural defenses.

A therapist uses muscular tension and relaxation to consciously send bioelectrical signaling (active potentials) of a higher or lower electromagnetic radiation intensity into the area of the hands. Propagation of the action potentials in the nerves and muscles produces a bio-electromagnetic field that radiates outside of the human body.

All the ‘manipulation’ processes occur automatically which is a completely natural process that is constantly taking place, but most of the time we are not aware of it. Bioenergy therapy is the application of natural energy processes and laws for awakening your own immune defenses, which due to a disharmonious way of life or due to some other factors (genetics, environment, etc.) become weakened or stop functioning entirely.

Learn HERE more.

Bioenergetics is the part of biochemistry concerned with the energy involved in making and breaking of chemical bonds in the molecules found in biological organisms. It can also be defined as the study of energy relationships and energy transformations and transductions in living organisms. The ability to harness energy from a variety of metabolic pathways is a property of all living organisms. Growth, development, anabolism, and catabolism are some of the central processes in the study of biological organisms because the role of energy is fundamental to such biological processes. Life is dependent on energy transformations; living organisms survive because of the exchange of energy between living tissues/ cells and the outside environment.

The essence of the biofield perspective is that a variety of endogenously generated electromagnetic and other fields act within and between multiple levels of biology, from molecular and cellular, through tissues and whole organisms to affect our personal and perhaps even our interpersonal functioning. The human body is a biofield.

Biofield science is an emerging field of study that aims to provide a scientific foundation for understanding the complex homeodynamic regulation of living systems. By furthering our scientific knowledge of the biofield, we arrive at a better understanding of the foundations of biology as well as the phenomena that have been described as “energy medicine.”
Biotherapy is biofield therapy.

Yes, bioenergy/energy therapy is nowadays practiced throughout the world and is called biofield therapy. New approaches in scientific research are slowly revealing the possible mechanism of bioenergy therapy. Many hospitals and medical centers are slowly starting to integrate bioenergy therapy to complement and support conventional medicine.


No, Bioqr™ therapy is complementary and supplementary to all other medical and ‘alternative’ therapies, even though, in many cases, it is much more successful and efficient. After therapy, you should not discontinue the medication or other treatments or medical procedures prescribed by your doctor. Only a biomedical check-up can confirm improvement and make further decisions in conjunction with the patient about continuing or discontinuing conventional medical treatment.

With groups of people, energy potentials multiply and “share” automatically. When in a group, it is easier to observe improvement during the therapy itself. It is also easier to exchange experiences. Group dynamics are an essential part of the subconscious work.

No! A natural energy process cannot be harmful in itself. Biotherapy is a noninvasive treatment without side-effects.

Yes, a diagnosis is necessary from a doctor. We do not diagnose.

No special preparation is needed. It is advisable to come at least 15 minutes before the beginning of therapy. It is desirable to free yourself from as many commitments as possible during the therapy days. Strong reactions during therapy are possible which can interfere with our everyday activities. It can be detrimental to the therapy if we are forced to rush off somewhere, or if we are not totally committed to the therapeutic process. Therapy cannot be beneficial if we are feeling pressured.

Depending on the individual, what is felt ranges from very powerful sensations to no sensation at all. Some people feel a tingling, burning or prickling sensation, coldness, draft, pressure, momentary relief, fatigue or drowsiness, uncontrollable laughter or crying, a floating sensation in the extremities, body movement, dizziness or vertigo. Whether or not a patient feels something during therapy, is not an indication of the success of the therapy, because everybody is unique and therefore they react in unique ways.

No, only a medical specialist can decide about discontinuing the medication. 

After 15 to 30 days, depending on the condition treated, one can expect results that can be objectively measured by means of clinical medicine. Sometimes in the first 15 days after therapy symptoms increase, or a sudden deterioration occurs, which is a crisis that signifies a strong bodily reaction to the intensified activities of a regenerated immune system.

Therapy can be repeated in consultation with a therapist and in accordance with other therapeutic forms that are applied.

Yes, but it is important for the patient to personally commit to the decision to stop drug or alcohol misuse.

All diseases can be treated successfully. With some diseases, the objective success will be complete recovery, while with others, symptoms of the disease will be alleviated, or the result will be greater independence for the patient or arrest the development of the disease, depending on a number of factors that are not directly related to Bioqr™ therapy. We don’t treat medical conditions with psychosis or contagious diseases.

Yes, except schizophrenia and other mental diseases with psychosis. Patients with mental diseases must be accompanied.

With genetic diseases, we can only maintain symptoms with treatments on a monthly or a bi-monthly basis.

Yes, children of any age can be treated.

Yes. If the patient is vulnerable or being cared for by somebody else, then they will need to be accompanied.

Yes, it is possible for educational or research purposes and if you accompany someone else for some objective medical reason.

There is no price enforced for the therapy. At the end of the therapy session, an anonymous donation is made to the therapist.


Bioqr™ therapy is not based around the traditional concepts of the Life Force or Life energy like Qi or Prana. These concepts belong to Vitalism which was dropped in biology almost 100 years ago. Traditional concepts of the Life Force don’t have any scientific evidence to support its existence. Also, modern biophysics, biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, and genetics operate in a realm of the modern understanding of the world which is evidence-based knowledge. Qi, Prana, Pneuma and Life Force are spiritual concepts that are not biological or physical. The etymology of the words Qi, Prana, and Spirit is the same, the breath. 

No, we are based on a very modern approach to bioenergy therapy. Chakras and Auras don’t exist in a biological realm. They are only interesting mental concepts developed as a part of the New Age movement. To put it in a simple way, there is no Chakra and Aura as physical entities. They are just concepts.

Nothing in the classical sense where the healer is considered to be more spiritual than others. Medicine is a science of the mind, body and social well-being. Spirituality is a concept of the world that has many different faces and understandings. Medicine and spirituality are two completely different subjects. In some special cases, spiritual thinking can be beneficial for the patients, for example in hospice, pain management, palliative care, psychological work, etc.

No, this is a misconception that has roots in spiritism and animism. Energy is not bad or good. Energy is benevolent. Sometimes people use the word “energy” to express emotional states which are purely subjective and have nothing to do with term energy in modern physics.

Nothing, it is another misconception where a few psychological phenomena were thought to be the sixth sense. Unfortunately, humans don’t have magneto-receptors and electro-receptors beyond 5 senses which are developed due to our evolutionary needs to protect and survive.

No, anyone can do energy therapy. Healing is not a supernatural ‘special power’ that somebody possesses, but an application of knowledge and skills.