“It is possible that human emanations exist that are still unknown to us. Do you remember how electrical currents and un-seen waves were laughed at? The knowledge about man is still in its infancy.” ~Albert Einstein
Energy medicine is a healing modality that can seem mysterious. Reiki, acupressure, healing touch, or cranial sacral can appear on the surface as if they do not achieve anything, because by their very nature nothing “happens” that can be seen. We are a culture that values what can be demonstrated or proved visually. The value of energy work though, is in how it is felt. We are both matter and energy. Quantum physics shows there is more space between things, than there is the actual thing itself. What resides in this space is the electrical impulses that vibrate and communicate with the tangible components of our being. Energy work is based on the idea that this field of energy effects and affects our physical being.
The unseen and the seen play out a not so secret dynamic that can be felt in dramatic ways when something is out of balance, like when the lights don’t work because there is a short in the electric wires of our homes. Or, imagine a migraine headache that occurs because of an energetic blockage. Science has been making strides in what energy workers have known for centuries about these influences. As Dr. Jim Oschman, Ph.D. and founding member of the scientific advisory board for alternative medicine, says:
“Each component of the organism, even the smallest part, is immersed in, and generates, a constant stream of vibratory information…Complete health corresponds to total interconnection. Accumulated physical and/or emotional trauma impair the connections. When this happens, the body’s defense and repair systems become impaired and disease has a chance to take hold. Acupuncture and other energy therapies restore and balance the vibratory circuitry, with obvious and profound benefits.”
Over time, some debris or stagnancy will eventually cloud our capability to be as vibrant and luminous as we can be. This space between matter and energy is where the energy worker works to purify and heal. It is sometimes a quiet change, sometimes a dramatic release, but nearly always with a profound healing effect. Accessing and addressing the energetic field can have a profoundly positive benefit on the physical symptoms that manifest in our bodies.
I experienced this first hand as a young massage therapist who knew intuitively that there was so much more than the manual manipulation of muscle and sinew. I was living with a poet at the time, in artist housing in Northern California. She had met some fellow traveling artists from England who were staying with us, and one of them offered me reiki healing for a voracious migraine headache I was experiencing. I agreed, as I was desperate for anything that would alleviate the blinding pain behind my eyes. The young man had me lie flat on my back and close my eyes while the other two ladies were on either side of me. I could feel that his hands were hovering above my closed eyes but I did not know what he was doing with them, the ladies gently touched either arm and leg. There was heat emanating from his open palms, and a kind of pulsation I could sense running across my forehead and down my body. I could sense that he moved his hands by the change in heat, but he never touched me. Eventually the intense pressure at my skull began to lessen until eventually it dissipated. He asked me to open my eyes and I awoke a little dreamy and disoriented, but pain free.
So what can you expect at your first energy work session? Depending on the type of energy medicine the methods will vary, but in general you will be asked to lay down and made comfortable. The energy worker will lead you into a receptive state through breath work and mediation, and then begin her work. She connects to the great field of universal energy and the field of the individual seeking healing. It is then a matter of redirection in order to balance what is happening there. The energy worker becomes like a conduit between the atmosphere of vast potential healing energy, and the internal energetic environment of the individual. She is the translator in the intimate conversation between micro and macro. Energy can also be redirected from various parts of the individual in order to find accord between areas that have excess or deficiency. She becomes the filtration system, one that directs the flow of air, the temperature, and pressure in order to blow away contaminants and allow the pathways to flow freely. She draws upon the capacity of healing energy, both inside herself and the infinite resources available to her. Diane Kriegger, Ph.D. and R.N., and a long time teacher in hands on healing talks about these two ways of moving energy for the benefit of the patient.
“Primarily, energy is directed in a specific manner from the excess store of energies of the healthy person, the healer; and, in addition, the knowledgeable healer can direct energies from one place to another within the body of the healee.”
She herself is not the reason, miracle, or cure, but rather the temporary director of healing energy within the body of an individual open and ready to receive healing.
Why try an energy healing? Because what you can or cannot see is secondary to how you feel. Because the possibility of deep and sustaining vibrancy is as close as your local energy worker. Because the physical world impacts our inner world, and our inner world impacts our physical world. Because sometimes the healing that needs to take place is as subtle as the subtle onslaughts that we acquire in the daily battle of living. The tiny arrows of annoyance and infliction that happen as we walk in this world interacting with both effervescent and heavy energies. Because our ability to heal is as wide as our willingness to accept it.
Have you tried any form of energy work? What was your experience with it?
Related: My first Acupuncture Experience
- *Further reading: Krieger, Dolores. The Therapeutic Touch: How to Use Your Hands to Help or to Heal. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1979. Print.
- Oschman, James L. Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2000. Print.
- Schwartz, Gary E., and William L. Simon. The Energy Healing Experiments: Science Reveals Our Natural Power to Heal. New York: Atria, 2007. Print.
Photo: Claire Chandler via Flickr