Goop COO Explains Julianne Hough's 'Exorcist'-Style Energy Therapy Treatment (Exclusive)
By Antoinette Bueno
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A video of Julianne Hough receiving a bizarre therapy treatment has some fans a little bit alarmed.
In an Instagram video shared by The Bit** Bible podcast host Jackie Schimmel, Hough receives a form of treatment from Dr. John Amaral during a demonstration that took place at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday. In the video, 31-year-old Hough lies face down on a massage table and twitches her body in awkward poses, and at one point, screams out loud.
In the video, Dr. Amaral says Hough is releasing stored-up energy in her body.
"There's always a huge dissipation of energy and the feeling of relief, release, freedom," he says of what Hough is experiencing before she cries out. "Expression of emotion may happen when the system moves. When energy that was stored and bound up in the muscles, it gets to dissipate, and if we're really free to express and allow energy that's been bound in our bodies to move through -- this woman is like, an incredible dancer, actress, just, human being, and she has practiced just allowing things to move through."
"Most people wouldn't, especially in Davos, in this environment, wouldn't make that sound," he adds of Hough's scream. "So you know, what they would have is physical pain, tension in their bodies. We've just been made it easier for that energy to be liberated."
Interestingly enough, Dr. Amaral is featured in the trailer for Gwyneth Paltrow's new Netflix series, The Goop Lab, which premieres on Jan. 24. In a preview, Paltrow says she cried while undergoing the treatment for the first time.
"The human body has an energy field and we're processing the world through it," Dr. Amaral says. "The more connected you are energetically, the healthier you will feel. ... I believe the 21st century is the age of energy."
ET spoke with Goop COO Elise Loehnen, who is shown undergoing the treatment with Hough on an episode of The Goop Lab, which Dr. Amaral shared a snippet of on his Instagram. She said Hough encouraged her to make sounds throughout the experience.
"Julianne was actually very helpful," Loehnen tells ET. "We were next to each other and I was struggling and at one point she was like, just, 'You have to make sound. Like, you have to, you gotta move it out with sound.' Because John can't do it to himself so it's interesting to, like, be with someone where it's simultaneously happening. So, she was, like, coaching me through my own baby exorcism."
"I ended up -- I could not control my body as you might have seen and was making horrible noises," she adds with a laugh.
Loehnen described to ET what it's like going through the intense experience.
"It's interesting because you're doing it and you are all on these tables and then there's this sort of a cutout, and then you're facedown so you have no idea where he is and you have no idea what's happening in the room and then your body just starts to move and then to see it on tape was the wildest -- when he's literally, like, moving his hand and people's bodies are following. It's so weird. I can't explain it."
Meanwhile, during the episode, Hough shared that she's been working with Dr. Amaral since 2013.
"This work is so transformative that I just wanted to share my experience with every single person that I could," she notes.
Hough went on to explain how he helped her deal with past trauma.
"The first time I worked with John, I’ll never forget this because I’m a dancer," she explains. "I’m very connected to my body, and my body just sort of took over. There was this one moment last year when John was actually working around my foot and I got angry. And then I just had such deep sadness. And it was actually from a memory that I had, and it was connected to a trauma that happened to me when I was 10 that I haven’t even thought of for the last 20 years. At 10 years old, my parents went through a pretty aggressive divorce and I lived with my dance coaches. It was not the best living situation. And so I had this, like, really pissed-off anger, like, literally attached in my foot, basically. This method works incredibly well for me because it helps me experience and go back to things and be able to shift them."
On his website, Dr. Amaral describes his "Energy Flow Formula" as "a somatic energy practice" he developed by working with thousands of clients, including top athletes, entertainers, and entrepreneurs over 25 years.
"If you’re feeling disconnected, struggling with chronic pain or emotional trauma, or simply want to discover your untapped potential, the Energy Flow Formula can help," his website reads.
Meanwhile, Hough has yet to address breakup rumors surrounding her and her husband, Brooks Laich. Earlier this month, Laich shared on Instagram that he wanted to release "old identities" in 2020 and that he felt "a new stage of life" calling him. Hough supported the message, commenting, "so beautiful."