Source: http://heartofhealing.net (by Healer Mary Maddux)
- Introduction to Energy Healing
- Basic Principles
- Types of Energy Healing
- Human Energy Field (Aura)
- Aura Models (Vedic Five Koshas)
- Healing Touch
- The Chakras
- The Seven Major Chakras
- Chakra Balancing
- Spiritual Healing
- Distance Healing
- Science & Energy Healing
The healing journey is ultimately one of self-healing. The body is a marvelous self-healing mechanism. It contains the knowledge of how to function properly and bring itself back into balance. Our job is to learn to align ourselves with the natural, healing processes of nature. A healer may help to bring us into alignment, but it is ultimately up to us to integrate and sustain the results of the healing.
A good healer will empower you in your own self-healing rather than create a dependency on their healing work. Being able to reach out and receive help is crucial to healing, but equally important is the ability to follow through with good self-care. In the long run, developing and exercising our ability to self-heal will bring the most lasting and significant change.
What do we need to be able to self-heal? Listed below are the “Seven Essentials of Self-Healing”.
Seven Essentials of Self-Healing
1. self-awareness — including awareness of our bodies, emotions, thought patterns, and the spiritual dimension of ourselves
2. knowledge — including knowledge of our body; the role that our emotions and beliefs play in the functioning of our bodies; and of ways to bring greater health to all these levels of our being
3. motivation — a strong enough desire to have greater health and well-being to motivate us to take action
4. self-love — the ability receive and to care for ourselves with kindness
5. courage — the courage to move out of our comfort zone and experience the feelings we have as we change
6. self-authority (or self-responsibility) — being responsible for our own decisions regarding our self-care as opposed to relying solely on the opinion of authorities
7. self-care — taking practical steps to heal is essential, but without the first six essentials we won’t do this in an effective, consistent way
Usually we start with essential #7, self-care, putting the cart before the horse. There are tons of wonderful self-care techniques available. The challenge is finding which ones will work for your situation, and actually putting them to use. Without the other six essentials, significant self-healing cannot really happen. We need to develop those in order to find the right methods of self-care, use them consistently and use them in a manner which is truly healing. A good healer will help you to develop those six essentials. As you become more established in them, you will grow in your ability for self-care and become more and more self-sufficient in your healing journey.
The single most important essential for self-healing is self-love. Everything else grows out of the ability to regard ourselves with compassion and treat ourselves with kindness. With all healing techniques, it’s not so much what you do but how you do it that counts. If you eat healthy foods, but are not enjoying them, your body will not utilize all the nourishment they contain. Perhaps you are thinking about vitamins, minerals or calorie count as you eat and are lost in a mental world rather than savoring the taste and enjoying the sensual experience of eating. Perhaps you’ve started stretching, but rather than enjoy the pleasurable sensations in your body as you stretch, you are all caught up in how far you can go. The result is that you strain and force your body rather than nurturing it. Are your self-care endeavors fear-based? Are you straining or forcing yourself in some way? Or are you genuinely enjoying your self-care activities as you feel yourself nurturing your body, mind and spirit? Above all, self-care has to be done gently, with love.
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2. Introduction to Energy Healing
Energy healing promotes healing by enhancing energy flow and correcting disturbances in the “human energy field” or “aura” which permeates and surrounds the body. Improving the flow of energy in the energy field supports the self-healing capacity of the body.
Currently, there is a kind of revival of ancient understandings about energy healing in the light of modern science. “Laying on of hands”, which appeared in many times and cultures, is being rediscovered and formulated into healing techniques which are accessible to people in the present time. There are also more and more people who are spontaneously becoming aware of healing “gifts”.
ENERGY HEALING WORKS DIRECTLY WITH THE ENERGETIC LEVEL OF LIFE
Since everything is energy, all healing ultimately involves energy. Most healing methods are focused on the physical, mental and emotional levels of life, without recognition of the deeper underlying energy. Energy healing works purely with the energetic level of our being. Since everything is made up of patterns of energy, working directly with energy influences the physical, mental and emotional, as well as the spiritual level. Energy healing is thus by nature “holistic”.
If there is an illness or disturbance in the body, mind or emotions, we certainly want to address those levels. Energy healing, however, complements and supports other methods of healing, because it addresses the energy of which the body, mind and emotions are composed. (For more, read the Basic Principles of Energy Healing or Types of Energy Healing.)
Learn Energy Healing from a CD. We have created a CD which teaches you to sense energy, activate the healing energy in your hands, and give a hands-on Chakra Balancing.
The Human Energy Grid
Just as we have a physical anatomy, we have also have an “energy anatomy”. The human energy field or “aura” surrounds and permeates the physical body. The physical body could be thought of as the most dense expression of the energy, and as only one of a number of bodies which comprise our energy anatomy. We also have “subtle bodies”, which are sometimes referred to as the emotional, mental and spiritual bodies.
There are a variety of descriptions and images of the energy field from both ancient and modern sources. There are variations in these models, but many describe the aura as being in layers. Many, though not all, emphasize the importance of the chakras which are energy centers where important exchanges of energy take place. Energy healing effects change by positively influencing the energy field.
ENERGY HEALING AS PART OF ENERGY MEDICINE
Energy healing is part of the larger field of “Energy Medicine”. Use of herbs, crystals or sound are examples of energy medicine in that they contain “vibratory patterns” which influence the energetic patterns at work in the physiology. Energy healing is a unique part of energy medicine in that it involves the conscious use of the energy field of the healer to affect the energy field of the “healee”. Some energy healers may employ crystals or other tools, but more often it is simply the interaction of healer and healee on an energetic level which directs the work. (Excellent references on energy medicine are Richard Gerber’s Vibrational Medicine and James Oschman’sEnergy Medicine.)
Hands of Light by Barbara Brennan
Vibrational Medicine by Richard Gerber, MD
Energy Medicine by James Oschman
Wheels of Light by Rosalyn Bruyere
The Therapeutic Touch by Dolores Krieger
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3. Basic Principles of Energy Healing
Listed below are some principles common to all energy healing. To read about how various systems differ, read Types of Energy Healing.
- Everything is energy.
- We are energetic beings.
- Energy follows thought.
- Universal life energy can be directed through the hands to facilitate healing.
- Our attention is a like a beam of energy and affects whatever it is focused on, hence energy healing does not have to be hands-on.
- We have an energy anatomy just as we have a physical anatomy
- The physical body can be considered the densest expression of the human energy field.
- Changes in the human energy field are expressed in the body in the course of time.
- Greater coherence, flow and balance in the human energy field can facilitate healing.
- Free flow of energy is essential to health and well-being.
- An individual with greater coherence in the energy field can positively affect the energy field of someone whose field is less coherent.
- The energy healer is able to enhance his/her own energy field sufficiently to positively affect the energy field of the healee.
- Becoming centered and thus creating greater coherence in our energy field not only promotes self-healing but is the basis of using our energy field to support the healing of another.
- The healer can influence the energy field of the healee in a variety of ways – through the medium of the hands, attention, and use of his/her own energy field. A kind of resonance takes place between the two fields, set in motion by mutual intention.
- Various models depict the energy field as being in layers, which include layers which support the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of life.
- Energy is the common denominator in all levels of human life; therefore energy healing is automatically holistic.
- Energy healing involves one or more of the following:
- Increasing the energy available to be used for healing,
- Facilitating the smooth flow of energy throughout the energy field through removal of blocks or congestion,
- Altering the quantity and/or quality of energy in various parts of the energy field,
- Creating greater symmetry and balance in the energy field, and/or
- Restructuring the energy field.
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4. Types of Energy Healing
Basic Principles of Energy Healing lists principles of energy healing which are common to all types of energy healing. On this page, we discuss how systems differ. Various modalities have different philosophies, types of training, techniques used, models of the energy field and types of energy addressed.
How Systems Differ
Many forms of energy healing therapies already exist, and more are being developed all the time. The field of energy healing or “energy work” has a very wide range of programs and focuses. This is partly due to the fact that healers have a wide variety of backgrounds and natural gifts. Everyone has a different “energetic makeup”, and healing will be expressed differently through different people. When a healer starts to teach others, different techniques, structures and methods of teaching emerge.
TRAINING: APPRENTICESHIP VS. STANDARDIZED PROGRAM
Traditionally, healing was learned in an apprenticeship. Many people today still learn healing through an apprenticeship with an experienced healer. There are now, however, many programs which have been developed with a standardized kind of method or curriculum, so that the training does not necessarily occur with the originator of the program. Each way of learning has its value.
Standardized programs allow for large numbers of people to be trained in a particular style, which can create a pool of healers using the same technique for the sake of research. With a large group of people involved, organizations can be formed for development of standards of practice, study and certification of healers. A successful program can lead to public recognition and education about energy therapy. Those trained in a particular method are brought into association with others who speak a common language.
There are advantages also to learning as an apprentice. Study in an apprenticeship involves a one-to-one relationship with the teacher allowing for a depth of learning that may not be possible in a standardized curriculum. The learning can be tailored to the apprentice’s specific strengths and weaknesses, and can take into account the apprentice’s unique gifts. This can create a greater opportunity for intuitive development. An apprenticeship also allows the student to come into more intimate contact with and knowledge of the healer/teacher’s work.
SCIENTIFIC VS. SPIRITUAL UNDERPINNINGS
Some energy healing programs emerged from a more spiritual tradition, and some were born from a more scientific approach. Often they have more in common than they differ, despite the theoretical underpinnings. Even those which evolved within the nursing profession with a strong scientific base, such as Healing Touch and Therapeutic Touch, include reference to the spiritual levels of life. Most programs recognize “spiritual layers” of the energy field. Energy healing actually provides an arena where science and spirituality clearly meet.
Some energy healing systems have been created by healers with backgrounds in conventional medicine. These programs have a structure and language which makes them easy to integrate into the conventional medical system. There are also energy healing programs which have little to do with the conventional medical system, and may even have a very different focus, such as a focus on spiritual development or planetary healing.
A very obvious difference between programs is the actual techniques which are used. Many programs use similar techniques, while some are quite unique. The Basic Principles of Energy Healing describes the essential principles of how energy healing works and what the techniques do, but the mechanics and form of the techniques themselves can differ considerably. Techniques which involve the use of the hands are the most easy to recognize and describe as they involve actual positions and movements which can be seen. Energy healing can be accomplished through many avenues, however. Since it always involves the interaction of the energy field of the healer and healee, the work can be done without the use of hands.
In a sense, techniques are the most superficial aspect of an energy healing training. The development of consciousness and qualities of presence of the healer, as well as the healer’s energy field as an instrument of healing, is more essential and cannot be captured in the description of a technique. Energy healing programs will usually include specific techniques, but also training which develops the basic capacities of the healer.
Some programs include “attunements”. Reiki, which is probably the most common form of energy healing, has attunements as part of its training. Attunements are meant to open the student to healing energies, increase alignment with the “universal mind” and make touch more potent.
While some people feel receiving attunements has been a vital part of developing the capacity to heal, many people achieve equally satisfactory results without ever receiving any kind of formal attunement. The majority of programs do not involve attunements, but there will be some sort of process in the training which helps a person to increase sensitivity to energies and open up to greater energetic flow and higher energetic “vibrations”. This may simply happen as one automatically “resonates” with the energy field of the teacher, or it may be facilitated by meditative processes which enable one to enter a more centered and receptive state. Learning in a group setting amplifies the energy of individuals, and there a innumerable other ways that the expansion of healing capacity can occur.
TYPES OF ENERGY UTILIZED
Most programs make reference to some sort of universal life energy which has been recognized in various cultures and traditions throughout time as “chi”, “prana”, shakti, etc. “Reiki”, in fact, is often translated as “universal life energy”. Energy healing commonly involves increasing the flow and quantity of energy. Although this is an important part of energy healing, it is only one aspect. What occurs is actually a lot more complex, and hasn’t been fully understood or described by anyone at this time.
What can be said is that energy healing does not involve just one kind of energy or energetic frequency. The writings of Alice Bailey describe a number of energies which comprise the energy field, and two major categories of healing – “magnetic” in which “prana” (defined as “vital planetary fluid) is channeled through the hands and “radiatory” which involves a radiation of “soul energy”. This is only one example of the many kinds of energy which may be involved in healing. Different programs may involve both different energetic “qualities” or “frequencies” as well as varying techniques for using them in the service of healing.
Note: In addition, energy healing is not just a matter of increasing quantity and flow of energy. It can also involve balancing energies, which in some cases may be decreasing the energy in some areas of the energy field while increasing it in others. It can also involve re-patterning the flow of energy, as energy does flow in specific patterns and these can be enhanced or restructured. Various models have been proposed to describe the structure of the energy field (read below).
VARIATIONS IN MODELS OF ENERGY FIELD
Programs may have completely different models of the energy field with which they work. Many programs use depictions of the energy field which have had a long history, such as the chakra system. Others descriptions of the energy field have evolved more recently. Barbara Brennan’s elaborate description of the human energy field in Hands of Light has been adopted by many healers. Her model combines ancient understandings with her own observations.
There are many other descriptions which are highly unique and it is possible some represent structures of the field which are newly coming into being as a result of evolution or which are simply not observed by most people due to the limitations of their perceptions. (It requires development of the observer’s energy field to form a basis for what is observed!) Peggy DuBro, founder of EMF balancing, for example, describes a grid of energies which is unique.
Although not formally an energy healing program, the work of Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer (in the Awakening Your Lightbody course), works with “vibrational energy body” and “lightbody” centers which are described as being more subtle than, and in a sense underlying, the functioning of the chakras. Working with these centers does evoke a higher vibratory quality and seems to create coherence in the field more readily than working with the chakras. Some programs make reference to higher, newer frequencies that are becoming revealed or structured in the human energy field as well as that of the planet itself.
The qualities of the energy field of the healer will add a lot of variation to the actual effect of any particular healing, as there is much that is not accounted for by the models described in different healing programs.
ASPECTS OF ENERGY FIELD ADDRESSED
Modalities and programs vary in terms of which aspects of the energy field are addressed. Different techniques may be directed to different aspects of the energy anatomy, for example, meridians, chakras, various layers of the field. The healing may work with any of the following.
- Chakras — major and minor, as traditionally described
- Chakras — those which are “newly emerging” or being discovered
- “Etheric” (often said to be the first layer of the field, like an energetic blueprint)
- Emotional energy body
- Mental energy body
- Astral layer (defined differently by various healers)
- Causal body
- Spiritual layers of energy field — specifically the following 3 named by Barbara Brennan in Hands of Light:
- 5th layer – “etheric template”
- 6th layer – “celestial”
- 7th layer – “ketheric template”
- Lightbody and vibrational energy bodies as described by Packer and Roman
- Universal calibration lattice as described by Dubro
- Various other models associated with diverse techniques
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5. Human Energy Field (Aura)
nadis, chakras, subtle bodies…
The “aura” or “human energy field” is a field of energy which surrounds and penetrates the body. The aura underlies and supports the functioning of the body. Contained within the aura are the energetic aspects of every structure and function of the body, as well as everything that we experience (physical sensations, thoughts, feelings, states of consciousness, etc.)
Energy flows through the energy field through fine channels, or nadis, which are themselves composed of energy. Where many nadis cross, energy centers (or “chakras”) are formed. As major “hubs” of energy distribution, the chakras direct the energy which vitalizes the nerves and glands and ultimately all of the structures of the body. Models of the energy field describe layers or subtle energy bodies in its structure.
It is through the energy field that we are connected with everyone and everything else that exists. Some discussions of the energy field involve energies associated with the body which have actually been measured (see Oschman, James L., Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis). Our discussion involves aspects of the energy field which are more subtle, most of which have not been detected by scientific instruments.
How do we know the human energy field exists?
Knowledge of the human energy field comes from ancient texts and metaphysical literature, as well as what is observed through “high sense perception”. High sense perception is a term coined by Barbara Brennan to refer to the phenomena of “clairvoyance” — the ability to see that which lies beyond the reach of physical sight. The human energy field can be perceived in a number of different ways by use of what could be considered to be more subtle aspects of the 5 senses. Clairvoyance or “subtle sight” is only one way. People who are sensitive to the energy field may also hear it (clairaudience), sense it kinesthetically (clairsentience) or even have experiences of subtle smell and taste. Different people sense it in different ways, although some feel that everyone is capable of developing all types of subtle sense perception. It is also possible to have knowledge of the state of the energy field through use of intuition — a kind of “knowingness”.
Many possible models
Those who are able to perceive the aura have attempted to describe it through models which represent the structure of the aura. Not everyone perceives the aura in the same way, hence there are a variety of different models of the human energy field. These models all have some value, but are by no means the only way of describing the aura. Models which are three-dimensional are limited in their ability to capture the complexity and subtlety of the phenomena they attempt to describe.
It is important to remember that these are only “models” — attempts to create three dimensional representations of subtle patterns of energy. Just as atomic and sub-atomic particles do not have the well-defined structures and boundaries of the body, the “subtle energy bodies” of the aura are not like the well-defined structures of the physical body. Instead they are patterns of energy which are dynamic, fluid and interpenetrating. The subtler the energy which is being sensed, the less “localized” it is, and thus the more difficult to describe by a three dimensional model
Why models differ
There are many ways of accounting for the differences in descriptions of the human energy field. Certainly the varying capacities of the observers, and the particular frequencies of energy and structures they are capable of perceiving plays a major role. Auras may also differ widely from individual to individual depending on their particular “energetic makeup” and state of development. The aura of one person may be very different from that of another. Some sources assert that human beings are evolving and that this is reflected in development of the aura. In addition, different people might describe the same phenomena with different models.
Healers may need to create their own models
For those who are developing the capacity to sense energy, it is important to stay open to what is being experienced independent of existing models. Healers may work with models which are quite unique, but work well in terms of their healing style. Models also have a value in healer’s attempts to communicate with clients about the nature of the healing taking place.
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6. Aura Models (Vedic Five Koshas)
Vedic Tradition of India — The Five Koshas
The five koshas, or layers, of the human energy field from the perspective of the Vedic tradition of India are:
Physical body – Annamaya kosha
Anna means food. The outermost of the koshas is called the sheath of food, or Annamaya kosha. This layer is the physical body.
Energy body – Pranamaya kosha – subtle breath, life force
Prana means energy. It is the life force that moves the breath, supports the function of the senses and animates the body.
Mental body – Manamaya kosha – the mind
Mana means mind. In this body the thoughts and emotions are processed. It controls the operation of the physical body through the energy body. To function in the most life supporting way, it needs to be informed by the wisdom body where intuition resides.
Wisdom body – Vijnanamaya kosha – ego, intellect and intuition
Vijnana means knowing. This kosha underlies the processing, thinking aspect of the mental body. It evaluates, discriminating between this and that, useful and not useful.
Bliss body – Anandamaya kosha
Ananda means bliss. The bliss body is the innermost layer of our existence as humans, the most subtle manifestation of consciousness. Ananda is not the intense happiness we may call bliss that is experienced in the mental body. It is a more subtle, transcendent experience.
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Energy moves through the aura through millions of tiny streams of energy called “nadis”. (Nadi is a Sanskrit word from the root “nad” meaning movement.) The nadis are an intricate and extensive network of fluid energies, and are involved in absolutely every structure and activity of the human body. They underlie the functioning of the nervous system.
Nadis are actually composed of “planetary prana”, but other energies flow through them as well. They are the transmitters of many different types of energies coming from many sources. The energies are fused and blended as they come into the nadis, but then find their own focal points within the etheric body when they come into the dense physical body. The different types of energy go to the areas of the body where they are needed. This is the basis of healers saying that the “energy has its own intelligence and goes where it needs to” during energy healing. The nadis carry energy throughout the energy field in various patterns which, in essence, form an “energy anatomy”.
Two major features of this energy anatomy are “chakras” and “subtle energy bodies” (also called “auric shells” or “layers”). The chakras are formed at points where many nadis intersect. They are centers for the distribution of energy, and the subtle energy bodies are a series of interpenetrating fields which are structured of different kinds and frequencies of energy. The subtle energy bodies include energetic expressions of the body, mind and emotions, as well as spiritual energies.
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8. Healing Touch
On the Healing Touch program founded by nurse-healer, Janet Mentgen, RN
What is Healing Touch?
Touch in and of itself is healing. The phrase “healing touch” is commonly used. There is, however, a very specific program of energy healing named Healing Touch. Healing Touch is an energy-based therapy. By the gentle placing of hands on or near the body, the flow of energy can be re-directed, promoting a feeling of deep relaxation. Its goal is to restore the body’s natural flow of energy, thus facilitating self-healing.
Healing Touch is complementary to other health care modalities. Developed within the nursing profession, this program lends itself to integration with conventional medical settings.
Background and Description
The Healing Touch program grew out of the work and teaching of nurse-healer, Janet Mentgen, who taught the first official Healing Touch course in 1989. The program she developed is partly based on her interpretation of the healing philosophies and methods of well-known healers, such as Alice Bailey, Dr. Brugh Joy, Barbara Brennan, and Rosalyn Bruyere. It also includes techniques of lesser known healers, as well as insights and techniques discovered by Mentgen and her nursing colleagues.
Healing Touch is taught in five levels, and for those who wish to complete the program, can lead to becoming a Healing Touch Practitioner. In addition, those who wish to demonstrate their competence in the program can complete special requirements and get certified through Healing Touch International. The program is taught globally with a standardized curriculum, and certification is a rigorous process. Those who wish to become instructors in Healing Touch can complete a sixth level after becoming certified.
More: To read learn about Healing Touch in detail, visit the Healing Touch website: http://www.healingtouch.net.
Read article about Mary Maddux’s work with Healing Touch in hospice (Napa Valley Register, March 1999).
Healing Touch: a Guidebook for Practitioners, Dorothea Hover-Kramer, Delmar Publishers, 2000 (newly revised version). For those interested in Healing Touch and its techniques. Intermediate for the most part, some introductory material. Excellent chapter by Janet Mentgen, founder of HT, on the role and methods of the healer.
White Shadow: Walking with Janet Mentgen, by Diane Wind Wardell, Colorado Center for Healing Touch
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9. The Chakras
Chakras are centers of distribution of energy throughout the body. There are seven major centers which govern a multitude of lesser centers throughout the body. Five of the major centers are located along the spine and two in the head. The chakras are not within the dense physical body. They exist in the etheric matter and in the aura, outside the physical body.
Painting by Barry Stevens
Each of the major chakras is associated with a gland and major nerve plexus and governs the area of the physical body in which it is found. By influencing the endocrine system and its hormones, the chakras affect the functioning and structure of the tissues of the body, including the organs. The chakras are also associated with various aspects of our experience on the emotional, mental and spiritual levels.
Structure of the Chakras: “Chakra” is a Sanskrit word meaning “wheels of light”. This is descriptive of the appearance of the chakras which are like vortexes of energy which spin. Each chakra is structured uniquely to receive and transmit the particular qualities of energy which are necessary for the area of functioning governed by the chakra.
The seven major chakras are the “root” or “base” chakra, sacral chakra, solar plexus chakra, heart chakra, throat chakra, brow chakra and crown chakra. The three lower chakras are often described as being related to our functioning as a human being on the “earth plane”. They are controlled by the energies of the planetary physical plane. The chakras above the diaphragm are controlled by the energies of what is called the “cosmic plane”. The upper three chakras, in particular, are involved with the processing of “spiritual” energies. The heart, lying in the middle, is thought to be the connector or transformer which bridges “above and below” or “heaven and earth”. As we progress spiritually, the upper chakras are awakened, producing the expansion and development of the spiritual layers of the aura. The energies of upper and lower chakras are also brought into relationship, transforming each other. The whole chakra system and aura are actually in a state of evolution.
Colors of the Chakras: The chakras are commonly described as having the colors of the rainbow, beginning with red at the root and ending with indigo at the 6th (ajna or brow) chakra. The crown chakra is usually thought to be mostly white light, although some describe it as a light violet hue. There are other systems which describe the chakras as having different colors. The rainbow colors are actually the colors of the chakras at the 2nd, or emotional layer, of the energy field. Since those colors are the brightest, it may be that they dominate in the overall color perceived in a chakra. Also, at this point in time in human evolution, the emotional energy body is very active and this also may account for the popularity of this particular color scheme.
The appearance and structure of the chakras from person to person will vary considerably, depending on:
- The particular energies which constitute that person’s makeup — there are variations in the basic energetic “constitution” of individuals (ray energies)
- The point in “evolution” of the person’s chakra system. Chakras can be in various states of “awakening”.
- The overall health of the energy field. Energy field disturbances can be seen as distortions of the chakras.
- The current life issues and transitions occurring at a particular time — the chakras can be in a considerable state of flux.
Read about Chakra Balancing
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10. The Seven Major Chakras
This page contains a chart of the 7 major chakras, or energy centers, of the body, and the areas of the body and life experience with which they are associated. These are generalizations, of course, and the functioning of an area associated with a particular chakra is ultimately affected by the interactions of all of the chakras.
||Areas of Body
(between anus and genitals)
||Spine, kidneys, feet, legs
||Survival, Groundedness, Physicality
||Reproductive system, lower abdomen
||Emotions, Sexuality, Pleasure. Generativity
3 Solar Plexus
|Below the heart
||Stomach, liver, gall bladder, upper abdomen
||Mental activity, Will, Self concept, Self interest
||Heart. blood, vagus nerve, circulatory system, arms, chest, hands
||Love, Transformer of energies of upper and lower chakras, Connection to Soul
|Center and base of throat
||Parathyroid & Thyroid
||Bronchial, Vocal, Lungs, Ears, Respiratory System
||Communication, Expression of higher spiritual will
|Between eyebrows — center of brow
||Lower brain, eyes, nose, nervous system
||Intuition, Visioning, Imagination, Higher knowing
|Top of the head
||Higher knowing, Connection to Universal Source
This chart is meant only as a jumping off point for further study. Not everyone agrees on the exact location and functions of the chakras, although most would agree with the glands and parts of the body associated with the various chakras.
There are many excellent discussions of chakras on the web and in books. Reading these, combined with the investigation of your own experience of the chakras through meditation, observation or participation in energy healing, will help you to develop a familiarity with yourself as an “energetic being”.
It is also important to note that it is possible to help bring the chakras into a greater state of health and balance without a lot of knowledge about them. We can learn to work with energy simply as energy, without having to know what it is associated with or means.
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11. Chakra Balancing
What is Chakra Balancing? Why Balance the Chakras? How is it done?
“Chakra Balancing”, like many terms in energy healing, does not have a standardized definition. It is a term which is used very loosely to indicate a procedure that increases the healthy flow of energy through the chakras and therefore through the entire energy field.
A healthier flow of energy through the aura creates greater physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
Why balance the chakras? What are the benefits?
The chakras are centers in the human energy field which distribute the energy which supports the functioning of the body, mind and emotions. If there is too much or too little energy flowing through a particular chakra, this will have a negative impact on the functions associated with that chakra (read about the 7 chakras). Chakra balancing helps to bring about an optimal flow of energy through each chakra, and create balance in the sense that energy is more evenly distributed through the chakras.
The chakra system is constantly changing in response to the stresses of life and living. Suppose, for example, that you spend many hours doing mental work during the day. This may cause the chakras associated with the functioning of the mind to become over-stimulated because so much energy has been flowing through them. Your mind may become overactive and make it hard to relax or to sleep at night. Balancing the chakras involved would help the energy to stop flowing so much through the overactive chakras and redistribute it to the other chakras. More energy directed to the root chakra, for example, would help you to feel more grounded and bring more silence into your awareness.
The chakras also evolve as we grow personally and spiritually. At times the chakras are adjusting to the impact of higher frequency energies that are being built into the aura as a result of the process of evolution and practices such as meditation. A change in the quality of energy in any chakra affects all of the other chakras. Some chakras may be overactive or over-stimulated, others may be sluggish or deficient in energy flow. There may be some energetic blocks present, or some distortion in the structure of the chakras themselves.
How can the chakras be balanced?
There are many different ways of balancing the chakras. It can be done through hands-on techniques, meditations, visualizations, exercises, specialized music, as well as methods which employ crystals, aromas, etc. These methods may open the chakras to allow the energy to move through the chakras more freely. They often do this by clearing energy that may be stuck in the chakras (often referred to as “blocks”). They also can be used to redistribute the energy throughout the energy field so that it is more balanced from chakra to chakra. Some techniques can help repair the structure of damaged chakras.
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Reiki is perhaps the most popular and commonly recognized system of energy healing. Reiki is a Japanese word meaning “universal life energy”.
Reiki healing is a simple, hands-on energy healing technique which works primarily with the transfer of universal energy to the recipient. It relies on the intelligence of the energy itself to go where it is needed. It also employs the use of symbols to activate the energy for particular purposes. The heart of Reiki consists of “attunements” which the teacher uses to increase the student’s ability to be a conduit for the universal life energy.
The founder of Reiki, Dr. Mikao Usui, was a Japanese Zen Buddhist, businessman and scholar born the mid-nineteenth century Japan. He developed a desire to learn how to perform healings. A long search eventually led him to undertake a religious spiritual fast on Mt. Kurama. During this self-imposed retreat, Usui had a revelation which led the development of a system of healing.
Usui’s original teachings have gone through many transformations as they have been passed from teacher to student over the years. When the term “Usui method” is used, it indicates that the teacher feels that they are following the procedures of Dr. Usui, as opposed to teachers who have created or learned variations on the original method. Some teachers claim that their particular teaching is more authentic than others as far as adhering to Usui’s original teaching. There is much controversy, however, about exactly what Usui did teach and whether anyone can really lay claim to teaching the “authentic” method
How Reiki is taught — all courses are not alike!
Reiki was traditionally taught in several stages with an apprenticeship with a Reiki master, but there are now teachers who offer the entire training in one weekend. Those interested in learning Reiki or receiving Reiki need to be aware that all Reiki practitioners and teachers are not alike. Even in energy healing programs with a very standardized curriculum, there will be great variation among practitioners in terms of how they use and express the system. This may be particularly true with Reiki due to the variations in training. (It’s important to note that the term “master” comes from the Japanese use of that word to mean “teacher”. It does not imply mastery of an art. A Reiki master has completed their training and has the ability to teach Reiki to another person.)
Are attunements necessary? Many people start their energy healing careers with Reiki and it becomes a central part of their work. For some it is an ongoing spiritual and healing path, and they go very deep with it. For those who have already done hands-on energy healing, reports are mixed. Some feel it enhances the ability to conduct healing energy, and some feel it doesn’t add much to their practice. It is certainly not necessary to have attunements in order to be a conduit for healing energies, although in some cases attunement may be useful. Each individual needs to honor what intuitively “draws” them. There is no program of training which is best or right for everyone!
Is Reiki a Religion? Although Reiki is not a religion and people of many different religious backgrounds practice and receive Reiki, it does have a spiritual foundation which includes the “Reiki precepts” (guidelines for living). The vision in which Dr. Usui received the inspiration for this healing system is often seen as something which was divinely inspired. As a result, certain elements sometimes creep into the teaching and practice of Reiki which are often found in association with religions. Most notably, there are a number of controversies associated with the teaching and practice of Reiki, with various parties feeling that they have the “right” understanding. Most feel that the Reiki symbols should not be revealed to the non-initiated, and many have become quite upset at practitioners who have put the symbols into print. These controversies, however, do not change the fact that more people have started to use their healing abilities through Reiki than through any other system to date. Whatever the nature of Dr. Usui’s inspiration for the development of this program, it has proven to be a useful and beneficial system for many people.
Highly Recommended Books
The Everything Reiki Book, by Phylameana lila Désy, About.com’s Holistic Healing Guide. An excellent introduction and overview, as well as a perfect “handbook” for students and practitioners. Read book review below.
Reiki: Healing Yourself & Others by Marsha Burack — an especially beautiful and profound book by a healer and artist who has immersed herself deeply in Reiki.
Reiki: Universal Life Energy by Bodo J. Baginski and Shalila Sharamon — an informative, inspiring and insightful book about Reiki.
Many different offshoots and forms of Reiki have evolved. Since so many energy workers first learned Reiki, when new energies and techniques were discovered in their work, they continued to call it Reiki, adding another term to distinguish the new form. All Energy-Therapies Web is a website with an exhaustive list of the various forms of Reiki.
Book Review – The Everything Reiki Book, Phylameana lila Désy, Adams Media, Avon, MA, 2004.
The Everything Reiki Book serves not only as a perfect introduction to Reiki for those who are new to the subject, but a comprehensive handbook for students and practitioners alike. The book is clear, simple and straight-forward, yet contains a depth of understanding and wisdom. It really does cover everything to do with Reiki – just reading through the table of contents reveals the complexity of topics which have become associated with what started out as a very simple teaching. Desy has managed to give a birds-eye view of the whole subject, as well as practical details and down-to-earth advice on every topic covered. She states that Reiki is all about balance, and she demonstrates this perfectly as she deals with various issues in the Reiki community, including controversial ones, with a balanced perspective.
Desy makes it clear what is unique to Reiki as opposed to other energy healing systems. While her deep appreciation and enthusiasm for Reiki are clear, she acknowledges that being able to use universal life energy for healing is not exclusive to Reiki. She even includes a chapter on other energy-based modalities. One can substitute the term “energy healing” for “Reiki” in many places throughout this book and find that the same principles hold true. Thus the book is valuable for students of any energy healing modality. — Mary Maddux, May 11, 2004
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Kundalini is a Sanskrit word that refers to the potential or latent energy that is located at the base of the spine. According to the Vedic tradition which describes Kundalini, it is a primal feminine energy, called Shakti, which is responsible for all manifestation.
The kundalini rises up the spine through nadis, channels through which subtle energy flows through the human energy field. The primary nadi, called the Sushumna, is a channel which runs up through the spine starting just below the first chakra and going to the crown of the head. There are two other channels which go up the spine, the Ida and Pingala. The Ida, carrying feminine energy is on the left, and the Pingala, carrying masculine energy is on the right. They alternate sides at the chakras as they rise up the spine, as seen in the picture below.
The translation of kundalini is “coiled snake”, the snake being a symbol of the potential untapped energy which is concentrated at the first chakra. This spiritual energy is said to be activated by meditation or breathing practices which causes it to rise upwards to open and activate the chakras (subtle energy centers in the body). As it “rises” up the spine it is said to bring about altered states of consciousness and can enhance one’s spiritual development.
There are many teachers and systems in the East and West that offer programs to awaken kundalini to empower the individual to develop higher states of consciousness. We feel one should proceed with caution in this area because this energy is very powerful and activating it may lead to undesirable results if the teacher is not skilled enough or properly qualified to teach kundalini.
Chakra Dhyana CD — awakens chakras and develops kundalini
We have found the Chakra Dhyana CD to be both balancing and effective at awakening the chakras and enlivening kundalini. It contains a gentle, yet powerful, 45 minute process.
For an excellent description of Kundalini and Chakras from the traditional Vedic perspective, visit www.tantra-kundalini.com.
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14. Spiritual Healing
Traditionally, spiritual healing is healing in which the healer is felt to be an instrument of the divine, allowing the power of the divine to heal through him or her. The healer acknowledges that he or she does not do the healing. In a sense, the healer is only the instrument through which the person seeking healing surrenders to the divine.
Many healers who do not call themselves “spiritual healers” acknowledge that they do not do the healing – this has become a well understood idea in healing — but to really live that fully is truly radical. Joel Goldsmith’s classic, The Art of Spiritual Healing, provides a taste of what spiritual healing is when lived fully and taken to its full conclusion. A Course in Miracles also embodies this radical perspective.
Energy Healing vs. Spiritual Healing
There is no standard definition for spiritual healing or energy healing and often they are considered to be the same thing. Both terms can refer to widely varying practices, and there are many ways in which they overlap.
Since everything is energy, energy healing can simultaneously affect all levels of life – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Depending on the leanings of the healer and client, an energy healing session can have a spiritual focus and impact. On the other hand, what a spiritual healer does may look exactly the same as what an energy healer does, and can also affect all levels. What, then, would distinguish energy healing from spiritual healing, and vice versa?
An exploration of this question is actually quite complex, and it becomes clear that our current institutions and language do not adequately describe the tremendous variety of emerging healing practices. The understanding that everything is energy points to the impossibility of separating out the spiritual from the material. Energy healing truly bridges the gap between science and spirituality, and yet our institutions are either secular or spiritual. A healer who works purely with energy may may feel more aligned with either the scientific/medical model or a spiritual/religious model.
The key feature which distinguishes spiritual healing, at least in the traditional usage, is that the healer is seen as a vehicle for divine intervention. Many healers, however, also feel that they are divinely guided (regardless of the language used to describe this), and so even this key feature may not serve to distinguish spiritual healers from energy healers. Nevertheless, it could be said that spiritual healing in its purest form relies totally on the intervention of a “higher intelligence” — the healing occurs spontaneously without the healer making conscious choices. Usually a spiritual healer would not use particular techniques which are chosen based on some rationale of what technique works for a particular condition.
Spiritual healing often simply involves the use of prayer. Many miraculous healings occurred during the “miracle services” of renowned evangelist, Kathryn Kuhlman. Kuhlman never touched or even looked at those who received these healings. She didn’t know anything about human anatomy. From her point of view, she simply opened to the Holy Spirit, and had complete faith that all would be accomplished through this. A clairvoyant who observed one of Kuhlman’s services, however, was able to see how her aura flowed out energetically and interacted with the energy fields of those who were healed. This happened with out any specific intention or knowledge on Kuhlman’s part. The spiritual healer would not be able to say how the healing occurred, except to acknowledge divine intervention. The healer may even take the position that he/she sees only divine perfection in the one who seeks healing, and so would not even see disturbance or disease.
Spiritual Healing vs. Spiritism
Sometimes spiritual healing is very specific about the form of the divine which is being accessed for healing. Some spiritual healers refer to their work as coming from God or Source (or some other name for the divine). Others may say that angels and spiritual beings intervene. Yet another group of healers say that “spirits” of powerful healers who are no longer alive work through them. Both Rubens Faria and John of God, famous Brazilian healers, are said to channel spirits. Some would call this “spiritism” rather than true spiritual healing.
Energy healing, on the other hand, usually involves some conscious use of knowledge of the human energy field, as well as specific techniques to address disturbances. Programs which are based on the medical model will have an assessment of the energy field, and techniques will be chosen that address the disturbances found. After the energy healing is done, the healer would re-assess the field to discover the outcome of the treatment. These programs, however, recognize the importance of intuition and usually allow for intuitive work on the part of the healer. They also include the spiritual aspect of a client’s life in the overall treatment and recognize that the energy field has “spiritual layers”.
Cultural Bias Separates Science and Spirituality
The fact that the question would even arise as to what distinguishes energy healing from spiritual healing points to a cultural bias which separates the scientific from the spiritual. As we grow in our understanding and experience of the one reality which underlies these two seemingly different viewpoints, this separation should be bridged. Most people recognize the necessity of integrating complementary healing arts with our conventional medical system. This integration necessitates the development of a new paradigm which unifies what are often seen as contradictory approaches.
The Art of Spiritual Healing, by Joel S. Goldsmith. This book is a classic on spiritual healing.
A Course in Miracles (Workbook for Students, Manual for Teachers) — students of this course will find it is a teaching in spiritual healing.
Daughter of Destiny: Kathryn Kuhlman, Her Story by Jamie Buckingham. The only authorized biography of healer, Kathryn Kuhlman. This is a captivating story with a great deal of insight.
The Magus of Strovolos: The Extraordinary World of a Spiritual Healer (Arkana) by Kyriacos D. Markides. Fascinating reading about a spiritual healer from Cyprus.
Pure Light CD
Extraordinarily healing, this divine music is perfect for meditation, relaxation, yoga, massage. Use it to facilitate spiritual healing.
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15. Distance Healing
Also called “Remote Healing” or “Distant Healing”
Energy healing can be accomplished at a distance. Prayer is the simplest form of distance healing, and it has been demonstrated that prayer is effective in facilitating healing (see Dossey’s book, Healing Words.)
An energy healer can sense the energy field of the person receiving the healing and provide healing equally effectively if the person is in the same room or across the world.
How does distance healing work?
There are many ways one might understand how distance healing works. Much of our everyday experience involves the transfer of energy over long distances — satellite dishes are just one example. There are energies all about us traveling great distances in short amounts of time such as radio waves. Some have described the “life energy” used by healers as a subtle energy that is “faster than light energy” (Richard Gerber, MD, Vibrational Medicine).
From another viewpoint, it is not necessary for the energy to “travel” anywhere as some models describe the universe as being like a holograph, where the whole is contained in every part. Time and distance are only concepts which help define our reality. The Holographic Universe by Talbot is especially fascinating in this regard.
The laws of nature which describe subtle energies are different than those which describe the physical body. As physics explores deeper and deeper “layers” of the structure of creation, phenomena are less and less “localized”. Some physicists describe a “unified field” which is “non-local”.
This will seem like a very abstract discussion unless one has experienced “altered states of awareness” in which the limitations of time and distance have been transcended. Awareness itself, the field of intelligence and “beingness” in which this whole phenomenal world is contained, is completely non-local. In a more expanded state of awareness, it can be understood intuitively that physical distance is no barrier to a healing interaction. Many have had the experience of a kind of telepathic connection with someone else in which one senses what is happening with the other person. An energy healer doing distance healings can sense the presence of the healee and affect the healee’s energy field through this same kind of “sensing”.
References to research on distance healing can be found on the Institute of Noetic Sciences website
We do not offer healing sessions. Many practitioners of the Healing Touch Program and Therapeutic Touch offer distance healings. Although we cannot know what healer will be helpful for you, we are listing below some healers we know to have had success with some people and situations.
The Field: the Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe, Lynne McTaggart, HarperCollins, 2002. Highly recommended, and very far-reaching in its implications. Provides a scientific basis for understanding distant healing, and much, much more!
Healing Words, Larry Dossey, MD, Harper San Francisco, 1993. On prayer and healing.
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16. Science and Energy Healing
The Latin root of the word “science” can be translated as “having knowledge” or “to know”. Western civilization has developed the scientific method as a means of gaining knowledge, and many believe that it is the only means that can be trusted as reliable and accurate. Nevertheless, there are other ways of gaining knowledge which others would believe to be equally valid.
Everything is “energy”
We know from scientific understanding that everything is composed of energy, and yet the presence of this energetic aspect of ourselves and our surroundings is mostly not acknowledged in our culture. Even seemingly solid objects like a table appear to be solid due to the interpretations of the mind — on an energetic level they are mostly “empty space”. Modern science has made discoveries about the nature of reality that are consistent with the existence of a “human energy field” and the ability to influence healing through manipulation of energy. These discoveries have radical implications on how we view and experience our day to day reality. It takes time for radical new understandings to be absorbed and integrated into our understanding of reality.
Does science validate the existence of a human energy field?
All conclusions in the scientific method must be supported by empirical evidence. ”Empirical” evidence is based on observation or experiment. Ultimately it relies on that which can be perceived through the senses. In the west, only five senses — sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell — are considered to exist. But other cultures (as well as people in the west who have observed things without use of the five senses) believe phenomena can be observed that lie beyond the reach of the five senses.
With regard to the human energy field, those who are able to perceive it through “higher sense perception” have no doubt about its existence. Nevertheless, a Western scientist would refute its existence unless it directly observed or detected through some sort of instrumentation. ”Seeing is believing” works when everyone is able to see something. For example, if a group of people all perceive a table, the scientist would probably not refute its existence. But the existence of that which cannot be perceived through the five senses (or extensions of the senses through instruments such as microscopes) is assumed to be speculative unless proven by “objective means”.
How can anyone say something really exists and what is a valid way of knowing what exists? Who can really say whether someone who states they are able to sense energetic information is really sensing something or whether it’s a result of their imagination? Ultimately we are left to our own judgment of what is real, and more importantly, what kinds of descriptions of reality are valuable to us and point us to practical steps we can take to improve our lives.
What is “higher sense perception”?
Higher sense perception is one of many terms used for the ability to get information in other ways than through the five senses. Most everyone has heard of the “sixth sense” and the term paranormal. Although the word intuition can be used much more broadly, it is also a word that refers to gaining knowledge in a way other than through the senses. Higher sense perception could be thought of as a more subtle functioning of the senses.
How objective is “objective”?
The Western scientist attempts to eliminate subjectivity, using the scientific method to validate theories through objective findings. When investigated deeply, however, the boundary between objective and subjective blurs. Ultimately, it is the scientists subjectivity (or awareness) that ultimately registers the “objective findings” obtained through scientific instruments, and it has been found that the observer affects the object of observation through the act of observing!
Pitfalls for healers and clients
There are, of course, pitfalls for those who do perceive energies. It is very easy for imagination or fantasy to color ones perceptions. Often students of healing ask themselves questions like “did I really see that?” and have to learn to trust their perceptions. On the other hand, a certain amount of skepticism and questioning is important in order to learn to discriminate between imagination and subtle sense perception. While we can verify the presence of a table in the room by the consensus of those who see it, this kind of verification is less frequently available to healers and intuitives.
The fact that there is little objective verification for statements healers might make does give rise to the possibility of their clients being mislead by healers interpretations. It is important to honor ones own intuition above the interpretations of a healer and to examine everything in the light of common sense. All too often people want the healer to be all-knowing and be able to tell them exactly what is wrong and exactly what to do. This can lead to accepting the opinion of a healer too readily and suspending ones own intuition and judgment.
“It has taken thousands of years, but within this century both scientists and spiritual seekers alike have once again begun to view the laws of nature and the laws of God as reflections of the same truth.” Rosalyn L. Bruyere
Undoubtedly, few scientists would feel that there is any substantial proof of the existence of the energies with which healers work. There has been research, however, which indicates that energy healing does have an effect. The following references are recommended in investigating the question of how energy healing has been studied, understood and viewed in terms of Western science:
The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe by Lynne McTaggart – highly recommended for understanding quantum physics and its relationship to healing
Hands of Light by Barbara Brennan — contains a summary of relevant scientific concepts
Vibrational Medicine by Richard Gerber, MD
Energy Medicine by James Oschman
Wheels of Light by Rosalyn Bruyere
Spiritual Healing by Daniel Benor — research on spiritual/energy healing
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Mary Maddux provides energy work support for spiritual development, as well as mentoring for those developing healing abilities on a limited basis. To inquire about a session with her email or call 1-707-933-9111.