Why Julianne Hough Loves Energy Healing, According To The Goop Lab

Photo: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for goop.
By now, Julianne Hough has proven that she's willing to put it all out there. Whether the Dancing with the Stars alum is discussing her sex life or health issues, people have come to know the dancing phenom as an open book. Still, her latest move earlier this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland provided a shock.
As part of the celeb's touring fitness program Kinrgy (sometimes called the SoulCycle of dance), she had John Amaral, a licensed chiropractor and body worker, perform an energy healing practice on her in front of a crowd at the event.
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In a video taken at the demonstration, Hough looks like she’s doing the worm and having an exorcism at the same time. Lying on a massage table, she lets out a carnal scream, then contorts her body. Meanwhile, Amaral stands behind her, calmly explaining the art of energy healing.
Hough expanded on her relationship with energy treatments in Gwyneth Paltrow’s new Netflix series, The Goop Lab, which premiered today. 
She and Amaral are both on the show, and they gush about the benefits of the practice. “This work is so transformative that I just wanted to share my experience with every single person that I could,” Hough says.
The Goop Lab shows Hough sitting through a healing practice that Amaral calls his “Energy Flow Formula." In one scene, Amaral touches her back and moves his hands above her, and in response, Hough's body twists into what looks like a reverse boat pose in yoga.
Energy healing therapy is a technique that involves “channeling healing energy through the hands of a practitioner into the client’s body to restore a normal energy balance and, therefore, health,” according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. In the Goop show, both Paltrow and Hough say they’ve had powerful experiences with this kind of treatment. 
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“There was this one moment last year when John [Amaral] was actually working around my foot, and I got angry. And then I just had such deep sadness. It was actually a memory that I had and it was connected to a trauma that happened to me when I was 10 that I hadn’t even thought of for 20 years,” Hough describes on screen.

She says that when she was young, her parents went through a “pretty aggressive divorce” and she had to live with her dance coaches. “It was not the best living situation,” she reveals. “So I had this really just pissed off anger, literally attached in my foot. This method works incredibly well for me because it helps me experience and go back to things to shift them.”
Hough clearly loves the practice and she's not alone. But as of now, there's little research proving its benefits, says Timothy Caulfield, author of Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? and a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy. "If people believe in a supernatural energy force, that's fine,” Caulfield says. “And I get that the ritual might provide relief. But it’s wrong to claim that it works in a scientifically measurable way."
(The Goop Lab has a disclaimer at the beginning of each episode explaining that the series "is designed to entertain and inform — not provide medical advice." They suggest that viewers see a doctor about your personal health before seeking any treatment.)
Hough, however, says she’s personally benefited from the practice. "I feel so much more liberated on the inside that I can speak my truth clearly, stand in my power and not feel overtaken by emotion," she explained during the live demonstration with Amaral this week, according to Entertainment Weekly. "Our body is our vessel to hold our energy and that is the most prominent thing that we can take care of."

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