Article originally featured on Rumblstrips.com.
Along with your vascular, nervous, and skeletal systems, you also have an energetic system that is, like all energy, invisible to the naked eye. Your energetic system, or subtle body is like a holographic overlay on your physical body and is made up of power centers (chakras), energetic fields (auras), and conduits (nadis). Information about your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual states live within your subtle body.
Energy healing works in this realm. It is a general term for many modalities that remove blocks and energetic cords attached to others, grounds your energetic system to Earth energy, connects to light energy, repairs any energy leaks within the auric field or chakra system, and disconnects from any energy that is not your own.
If you are wondering why any of this matters, it is blocks within the energetic system that manifest as illness in the physical body.
Evidence of energy healing practices dating back 1000s of years is found in cultures throughout the world. The ancient Egyptians practiced Sekhem, a form of energy medicine that included channeling energy through the hands similar to Reiki (see below) though a much higher frequency of energy, an understanding of energetic meridians in the body and chakras, herbs, stones, amulets, and sound. They also had healing temples where, in part, they treated the sick. Their pyramids also functioned as powerful energy centers.
In India, the understanding of the energetic system and chakras, in particular, dates back to the Vedas, the oldest written tradition in India (1500-500 BC). In China, the roots of Qigong, a holistic system of body postures, breathing techniques, and focused intentions used for health, spirituality, and martial arts training, date back to the 300 BC and Tu Na, a breathing exercise that entails breathing down to your feet and up through your throat. Traditional Chinese Medicine grew out of the principles of Qigong.
Reiki, meaning Universal Life Energy in Japanese and refers to the energy channeled through the hands of a Reiki Master during a healing session, was received by Usui Sensei atop Mt. Kurama in Japan during an experience of spiritual enlightenment in 1922. He immediately tried this new healing technique on himself and his family and found it to be so powerful that he had to share it with his community at large. Reiki has been passed on from master to student since that time.
Energy healing modalities either work with the chakras and/or aura (explored below) or the energetic meridians in the body as understood through Traditional Chinese Medicine.
A few techniques based on the chakras and aura are: Healing Touch, Shamanism, Reiki, EFT, Alchemical Healing, Quantum Touch, Chakra Healing, and Energy Intuition. Acupuncture, Acupressure, Cranial-sacral, and Qigong use the meridian system.
Chakras spin and draw in universal life force or light energy. This keeps the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health of the body in balance. The subtle body is made up of the seven major chakras (described below) and hundreds of minor chakras connected by nadis (energy conduits) through which energy flows, as well as the auric field.
Each chakra governs different parts of the body mainly determined by their location in the body. For example, the Root Chakra governs the feet and legs, the Sacral Chakra – the intestines and immunity, and the Fourth Chakra – the heart and arms. The Chakras also rule different elements of our lives which are explored in more detail below:
· The Root, or First Chakra, symbolized by the color red, is located at the base of your spine and is your foundation, your ground, your roots, your DNA and your connection to family. It’s the chakra that sends energetic roots down into the Earth to ground our energetic systems, our human bodies, and our souls in to this Earth plane. From here our foundations are built. The mantra associated with this chakra is I AM SAFE.
· The Sacral, or Second Chakra, symbolized by the color orange, is located in your lower abdomen and highlights creativity and passion. Drawing up Earth energy through your Root Chakra and up into you Sacral Chakra ignites a fire, a joyeaux de vivre. This is the source of all the juicy things in life: pleasure, money, sex, and art. The mantra associated with this chakra is I AM CREATIVE.
· The Solar Plexus, or Third Chakra, symbolized by the color yellow, is located between the navel and breast bone and is your seat of personal power. Feelings of worth or enough-ness sit here with your diaphragm. It can be home to anxiety and being seen in the world. This is the place from which we project out into the world. The mantra associated with this chakra is I AM ENOUGH.
· The Heart, or Fourth Chakra, symbolized by the color green, is located in the center of the chest and is all about giving and receiving love. The latter can be really hard for folks who are givers and is that much more important for them to learn to receive love. My favorite tool to expand the receiving side of love is to visualize the heart embracing any and all compliments directed your way. You can also visualize these compliments as butterflies flying into the back of your heart chakra. The mantra associated with this chakra is I AM LOVE.
· The Throat, or Fifth Chakra, symbolized by the color turquois, is located at the throat, where we hear and speak our personal truth. When this chakra is energetically blocked or out of balance, words are hard to find, or you never stop talking. You can also experience sore throats, earaches, and neck pain. The mantra associated with this chakra is I AM TRUTH.
· The Third Eye, or Sixth Chakra, symbolized by the color indigo, is located at the brow and is our window into the intuitive world; the place of psychic sight. This Third Eye sees through the forehead as well as the back of the head. If you tend toward headaches, it’s time to start asking yourself what information are you discounting. It is most likely intuitive information you are ignoring that is causing the headaches. The mantra associated with this chakra is I AM INTUITIVE.
· The Crown, or Seventh Chakra, symbolized by the color purple, is located at the top of the head and is our connection to divinity, the infinite, the astral plane – the place our soul comes from and returns to after this life. We draw light and/or universal light force energy into the body through this power center. The mantra associated with this chakra is I AM DIVINE.
The aura is the energy field that surrounds the body. It surrounds your body and is made up of seven layers, each correlating to one of the major chakras. The closest layer, hugging your body, is connected to the Root Chakra located at the base of the spine. The outer most layer is connected to the Crown or 7th Chakra on the top of the head.
To get a sense of your own auric field:
Close your eyes. Take a breath in. Exhale. Visualize the outer edge of your auric field. How far out does it extend from the body? What does it look like? Is there a color you see in your mind’s eye? Take note of any details or images that pop up.
The outer edge of the auric field extends out as an oval (think egg shape) three feet from the physical body. This is also a great gauge for ‘personal space,’ especially if you are sensitive to being in crowds. If yours felt way bigger or smaller during the visualization, adjust it now in your mind’s eye. This is enough to shift its shape.
Your aura is an early detection system, meaning that you can get a sense of someone else’s energy by filtering it through this field rather than allowing a stranger’s energy into the inner sanctum of your own chakra system. Other peoples’ energy infiltrating the inner workings of your energetic system within your physical body can cause blocks, the underlining cause of illness. Know that if your aura is 25 feet in diameter, you will feel the energy of anyone walking through the space your auric field occupies.
You can strengthen the outer edge of your auric field by visualizing it as a metallic mesh where you can control the energy that enters and leaves your subtle body. Therefore, your energetic system and the major and minor chakras that live inside of your physical body can relax and run at optimum performance. Your chakras are safe to stay open rather than close to the onslaught of other people’s energy.
This article functions as an overview of energy healing, it’s history, modalities, and components. I am happy to answer any questions and explain the concepts in more depth, or connect how this information relates to your personal experience.