Energy Therapy: Farce or New Frontier?
It sounds crazy, right? Someone holds their hands over your body, charges you a bunch of money, and calls it a healing session. This is an internal and sometimes external discussion that materializes when discussing reiki as an energy therapy or energy therapy at all even! It can seem like a bunch of “woo woo” hippie talk… but only about as much as electricity was once “woo woo” or flying planes, or hey how about that little square in your pocket that can get you your favorite hot meal delivered right to your door step within the hour!?
At some point in history, every reality we are currently existing in was some idea of magic. This is my public service announcement for you to get on board with the new frontier of health and wellness now, because the old frontier of numbing, cutting, medicating, essentially desecrating the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual body, are not necessarily healing it!
You might argue that whatever the perceived healing these current practices are offering at least are tangible and “doing something,” and waving your hands over somebody’s alleged auric field is a bunch of hog wash. Ok, cool. Let’s talk about it.
Have you ever had acupuncture or ever wanted to try it? Yes? So, you’ll let someone actually assault you with a bunch of needles and call it helpful, but the gentle laying on of hands is a bit too “woo woo” for your taste? I get it, we’re bred in a society of tangible return. I feel the needle pricking my skin, it must be doing something! And it is! Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about acupuncture and highly recommend it, I’m simply highlighting that acupuncture treatments are in fact, energy therapy. Those needles piercing your epidermis, are specifically placed on meridians that move chi. Sounds fancy and mystical, right, “chi,” ooooh, well chi simply translates to energy; life force energy to be specific. That which gives life. So, if acupuncture is energy therapy and I already do it, why then would I need reiki? Well, oatmeal is really good for you, but I don’t recommend a diet, breakfast, lunch and dinner, strictly of oatmeal. Variety is the spice of life, because variety is a dynamic frequency that aligns with how dynamic we are as humans.
Let’s demystify this concept of energy therapy a bit. You believe in magnets, don’t you? If you hover a magnet over a bunch of metal chards, you can move them around. Without getting too deep into the science of magnetic and electric charge, it has to do with electrons, protons, and other subatomic particles. And guess what… YOU’RE made of electrons, protons, and other subatomic particles!!! So, this means… dun dunna duhhhh… you have an electromagnetic field!
But I’m not here to sell you on the practice, or maybe I am because there’s a bunch of people selling you pharmaceuticals and other modalities to help you “heal,” and this may be coming across as selling, but really my main objective is to open your mind to the prospective of transformative healing you may be unfamiliar with or even skeptical of. B.K.S. Iyengar, regarded as a highly respected yoga teacher, stated, “There is no progress toward ultimate freedom without transformation1.” When we are in pain, physically or emotionally, we want to shift it, otherwise known as ‘transform the energy around what we are feeling’ so that we can be free from whatever suffering we are experiencing.
What I love about the wording “transformative healing” is that it includes the word “form” There are so many different forms of healing but there are also different forms of you! And I don’t mean like business you, son or daughter you, lover you… while those archetypes are important, I’m actually referring to the forms of you that are tangible and intangible. The root word “trans” means across many; across the many forms of you, here’s some interesting information about yourself you may not have known, the form of your body, the part you can touch is not all that you are!!! There’s more! In his book, “Light on Life,” Iyengar discusses our “kosas.” The Sanskrit word meaning sheath. Kosas is a yogic philosophy that we embody, not only our physical body, but layers, consisting of the energetic body, the mental body, the intellectual body, and the blissful soul body. And here you are claiming to be a simple man or uncomplicated woman! Mmmmnn honey, you are like an onion, a little better smelling, but full of layers!
So, about that energetic body you’re carting around, here’s some really cool scientific information. A neuroanatomist, that’s a scientist that studies the nervous system of the body, by the name of Harold Burr, during his research at Yale discovered that the unfertilized egg of a salamander contained an electrical axis, that was synonymous with the electrical axis of a fertilized egg, and eventually proved that this electrical axis formed into matter as the spinal column and brain of the developing salamander. He essentially concluded that our energetic field is the blueprint of destined growth and what directs our body to take form and maintain form, much like the mold in which you pour liquified gelatin in to give it its shape.
So, I mean, yea, about that energetic body, no big deal, right, except that its literally keeping you together! Which brings me to an interesting point. Have the words “I feel like I’m falling apart” ever come out of your mouth or a friend’s? Yep, we all know this state… feeling like your life is not under your control, depleted of energy, or you’re anxious and your energy is all over the place, you feel neurotic, drained, maybe even over enthused! It’s simply that your energy is out of sorts, lost its rhythm. If your energy feels off inevitably your physical body will be off, the only difference between physical matter and intangible etheric matter is frequency, the rate at which the energy is vibrating. It is known that energy follows the path of least resistance and if we’ve created a personal world of only understanding chaos and stress, the energy will flow in that direction, continuing our experience as such. Changing the direction of energy can be much like training a muscle. It takes discipline, action, and consistency. You can’t decide one day that you want to get strong and pick up a 50lb dumbbell and start bicep curling, you have to work up to it starting with lighter weights and doing it repetativly to teach the muscle. Energy is NO different. Think about all the years you’ve been training your energy to get you to where you are today! That’s a lot of work and consistency, right!? Likely mindless consistency, called “doing what you gotta do” or “following the flow of life,” mostly because no one ever told us to pay attention to our energetic body or how important it is. We’ve been told much more frequently how important it is to get a good job, make lots of money, buy a house, get a dog, create some offspring. These things are important to our life experience, but all these things are repositories for our energy. These things are now sharing our energy, literally. We give of ourselves to this experience we chose to create. But it’s nothing dramatic, right, its everyday stuff that the majority of the population goes through. We chat with our friends and are validated that they too are struggling with similar situations and that this drained feeling and struggle is “normal.” Until some major shift occurs, whether it’s an unfortunate unexpected traumatic experience or diagnosis or simply just waking up one day realizing we’re stuck in a rut that’s unfulfilling!
So how do we make these changes? First, we need to understand the root of where it all began and even before that we need to understand that everything, absolutely everything is energetic. Nikola Tesla stated, “if you want to understand the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.”
In my personal studies, experiences, and work, along with the Scorpio mentality of needing to research everything to the point of its prima materia, I asked the question where did this start and why? As I dig and dig and dig ever deeper the only answer that was ever satisfying enough was that it began on an energetic level. Then I started to come across validation! Among my personal library of books, one of my most cherished, a book entitled “Vibrational Medicine,” written by Dr. Richard Gerber states, “that changes in the etheric structure precede pathological changes of illness in the physical body.2” How it is viewed in traditional Chinese medicine is “that illness is caused by energetic imbalance within the meridians supplying the nutritive chi energies to the organs of the body. The meridian changes reflect dysfunction that has already occurred at an etheric level. These changes gradually filter down to the level of the physical via the acupuncture meridian system.2” In short once the energy has become imbalanced the flow of chi depletes the nutrition of the organ. If we take it a step back, what affects the energy of the organ? The answer is the nervous system. The nervous system is the first line of information to the brain, then the brain assimilates energy to the organs. So how, pray tell, do we get into the energetic system that affects the nervous system before the energy of the organs. Enter in the chakra system!
“Subtle precedes gross, spirit precedes matter” rings through ancient yogic texts. Subtle is not meant to be confused with less effective, in fact, I’d argue that the subtle whispers of influence, that may go undetected have more impact to steer a course without notice for a sustained longevity than that of a sudden jolting shift. Hence the life of “doing what you gotta do” discussed earlier. There are thousands of energy channels throughout our body, called nadis, and seven main epicenters of energetic assimilation called the chakra system. The chakras emanate from within our physical body extending outward through our etheric body, transmitting information from our external world to internal and vice versa. Dr. Gerber presents in his book, that “these unique channels [of energy] are interwoven with the physical nervous system. Because of this intricate interconnection with the nervous system, the nadis affect the nature and quality of the nerve transmission within the extensive network of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Dysfunction at the level of the chakras and nadis can, therefore, be associated with pathological changes in the nervous system… there is a special alignment between the major chakras, glands, and nerve plexuses that is necessary for optimal human functioning.2”
This, my friends, is where energy therapy such as Reiki treatments are important. If your energetic body is affecting your nervous system, and your nervous system tells your organs what to do, and your organs are collectively running the ship of your body, wouldn’t you want to fix the origin of the oil leak in your car, rather than just pouring oil in it every day to compensate for the oil that’s been lost? Time to reconsider all those manufactured drugs… no?
Reiki is an ancient Japanese relaxation technique that promotes healing. When the body is fully relaxed and receptive to healing vibrations, it is able to find homeostasis and more efficiently do what it is designed to do... HEAL! Reiki assists in releasing energetics blocks in the body which may have resulted from stress, unprocessed emotions, traumatic events, or simply everyday life. If you take care of your energetic body, the physical body takes care of itself!
What about snake oil salesmen? I’m glad you asked. As humans, our greatest and most dynamic power is the power of interpretation and application of perspective. Along with that comes an ego driven penchant for manipulation lurking in the background typically originating from a survival instinct. I also believe along with that shifty ego we are gifted, when we incarnate as a human being, we come complete with clear undeceiving intuition. When you get clear with your intuition, you get clear with understanding the energy frequencies others are putting out. If they are putting out vibes of trickery or deceit, when you are clear you can read that and trust that feeling and choose not to engage, conversely, if you get good vibes from someone and what they are offering you may do yourself a great service to trust in them. I believe if what we are putting out into the world is infused with honest benevolence it will raise the vibration and the collective good. I am a believer in benevolence, the power of belief, and even the placebo effect, so even if my dissertation on that actual existence of evidence backing energy therapy isn’t enough, it comes back around to the personal responsibility that our thoughts shape our reality.
Lets talk about the money aspect, I know, super controversial, especially in the healing world, because if you’re a healer isn’t your mission in life is to help and serve the world, yes, absolutely! But aside from the reality that healers need to eat and keep a roof over their magical little heads, there is an energetic charge behind money. I’ll spare you my tirade here but trust another article and podcast will be forthcoming to dive deeper into this topic. The cliff notes of that tirade is that we put a value on money. Money, which at its essence, is simply a middleman to get what we need. The energetic charge behind money is gratitude for what you are receiving as well as a symbol of where you invest and allocate your values. Money is simply a representation of symbiotic exchange of value.
I will leave you with this thought… People will challenge the extraordinary, because they don’t want to believe they themselves are extraordinary for fear of having a standard to live up to, but what most don’t realize is that they are, at their soul level, already extraordinary beyond comprehension and there is no need to try to live up to any standard, you ARE extraordinary! Start exploring that! And start with the energetic body!
1 B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom (USA: Holtzbrinck Publishers) 2005.
2 Richard Gerber, M.D., Vibrational Energy (USA: Simon & Schuster) 2001.
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