The physical body is your anchor point in the tangible world. It is the visual manifestation of all that you are, strengthened and protected by what is referred to as the energy body surrounding it.
This energy body, called prana in India, qi in China, mana in Polynesia and ki in Japan, can be defined as a series of systems outside the body that give energy to the physical body. Visually, the energy body is often depicted as a halo around the physical body that closely follows the body’s outline. The energy body could be said to resemble a cocoon of protection drawing energy from the universe to stimulate and revitalise the systems of the physical body.
A clear and free-flowing energy body is necessary for the physical body to be able to function at its peak, allowing us to maintain a sense of wellbeing and healthy body functions. There are a number of layers or systems associated with the energy body but the ones most clearly linked to physical wellbeing are the chakras and meridians identified and defined by eastern wisdom.
The seven major chakras vitalise the physical body and are located up and down the physical body’s midline. When blocked they can cause illness or pain in specific parts of the body. Each chakra is said to govern a different area or areas of the physical body, making diagnosis of the site of a blockage easier for practitioners. Intimate knowledge of the way the chakras work can also help you to keep track of your wellbeing in a meaningful way.
The chakras are defined by the parts of the body they govern and the symptoms you may have if an energy block occurs. For example, the first chakra is the root chakra located at the base of your spine. If this chakra is blocked, the physical symptoms you might experience include lower-back pain, sciatica, varicose veins, rectal tumours and immune-related disorders. This chakra governs the spinal column, kidneys, legs, feet, rectum and immune system.
The next chakra, the sacral chakra, is located between the lower abdomen and the navel. If blocked you may experience lower-back pain, sciatica, obstetric or gynaecological problems, pelvic pain, issues with your libido or urinary problems. This chakra governs your sexual organs, stomach, upper intestines, liver, gall bladder, kidney, pancreas, adrenal glands, spleen and the middle of your spine.
Chakra three is the solar plexus chakra and it is located in the solar plexus. A blockage can cause stomach ulcers, intestinal tumours, diabetes, pancreatitis, indigestion, anorexia/bulimia, hepatitis, cirrhosis, adrenal imbalances, arthritis and colon diseases. This chakra governs the upper abdomen, umbilicus to rib cage, liver, gall bladder, middle spine, spleen, kidney, adrenals, small intestines and stomach.
The fourth chakra is the heart chakra. It is, as the name suggests, located at the heart and can cause heart conditions, asthma, lung and breast cancers, thoracic spine, pneumonia, upper back and shoulder problems if blocked. Along with the heart it governs the heart, circulatory system, blood, lungs, rib cage, diaphragm, thymus, breasts, oesophagus, shoulders, arms and hands.
The throat chakra is the fifth chakra and again, as the name suggests, it is located at the throat. It can cause throat and mouth ulcers, scoliosis, swollen glands, thyroid dysfunctions, laryngitis, voice problems as well as gum and teeth problems if blocked. It governs the throat, thyroid, trachea, neck vertebrae, mouth, teeth, gums, oesophagus, parathyroid and hypothalamus.
The sixth chakra is the brow or third eye chakra located on the forehead. If it is blocked you may experience brain tumours, strokes, blindness, deafness, seizures, learning disabilities or spinal dysfunctions. It governs the brain, neurological system, eyes, ears, nose, pituitary and pineal glands.
The last major chakra is the crown chakra, located on the top of the head. If it is blocked you could experience diseases of the muscular system, skeletal system and the skin, chronic exhaustion or sensitivity to light, sound and your environment. It governs the top centre of the head and the midline above the ears.
The other system to directly affect physical wellbeing contains the meridians. These meridians run deep within you, carrying energy throughout the body. A disturbance in the transportation of this energy can cause physical illness and disease.
The ancient Chinese identified 12 major meridians, naming them after their functions. They are the lung, large intestine, spleen, stomach, heart, small intestine, kidney, bladder, heart constrictor, triple heater, liver and gall bladder meridians. Between them they cover the entire body’s physical systems, keeping the body in balance. If blockages occur and the body’s balance is upset, the meridian points located along these channels can be stimulated.
So how do these energy blockages occur? How does your energy body become toxic? The physical body is fragile and is impacted by both external and internal triggers, causing energy to stagnate. These triggers are most often caused by emotional and mental upsets but environmental stressors, poor nutrition, illness and disease also impact on the effective functioning of the physical and energy bodies.
When the physical body experiences any of these triggers, the energy flow begins to dilute, resulting in physical symptoms such as pain, inefficiency in the body’s systems and damage to internal organs. While the blockage directly affects the area where it occurs, energy flow can also be interrupted to other parts of the body, affecting other organs and systems and creating a downward spiral in the overall quality of your health.
While Western medicine will treat any illness or disease in a direct and focused manner, there has to be a definitive illness or disease to treat. Unfortunately, a clear reason for symptoms of illness cannot always be made so those suffering from conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, general feelings of malaise or “unwellness” cannot be readily assisted. Energy body healing can provide relief in these and more clearly defined instances of illness and disease through therapies that treat the whole body and its linking systems.
Healing your energy body
In many cases energy therapies treat all three levels of our being – physical, emotional and spiritual. Some of the therapies that can treat the energy body include:
Ayurveda: This 5000-year-old practice from India is a type of “energy medicine” based on freeing your body from ama or toxins. In Ayurveda, the physical body is a manifestation of three energy fields — prana (life energy), mind and soul — which are interlaced as one whole system. Ayurveda believes that most pain and disease is caused by vatta imbalances which result in obstruction of flow of energy through the chakras. Getting rid of toxins means that your digestive fire (agni) is strong, which helps to restore nutrition at a cellular level, aiding overall good health. This is done through massage, relaxation techniques and proper nutrition.
Reiki: Reiki energy goes to the deeper levels of a person’s being. The practitioner is the conduit of universal energy, allowing it to flow into the client so that it goes to where it is needed most. This releases blocked energy, cleanses the body of toxins and alleviates pain. Reiki works to recreate the body’s natural state of balance and restore good health.
Therapeutic Touch: This healing technique was developed by Dolores Krieger and Dora Kunz in 1971. It uses the idea of positive touch as a way to relax the body. When your body relaxes, endorphins are released from the brain, helping the muscles to relax even further. This improves circulation and increases blood flow which in turn elevates oxygen levels throughout the body. This allows nutrients to be absorbed more efficiently, builds enzymes to aid digestion, regulates hormones and releases toxins from the body. Healthy cells then regenerate, promoting a sense of wellbeing which supports healing and regulates the immune system.
Acupuncture & Acupressure: These techniques work on the meridians and meridian points that have been identified to unblock the energy body and stimulate the flow of energy to the parts of the physical body that are diseased. In acupuncture fine needles are used at these points while in acupressure the fingertips are used to apply pressure to each site.
Kinesiology: Kinesiology stems from chiropractics and is also based on the ancient Chinese acupuncture theory of qi energy. The therapy aims to stimulate the body’s energy so that untapped potential can be released. Kinesiology practitioners look for the many subtle imbalances that lie behind physical, mental and emotional problems.
Body Energy Treatment: This treatment works to boost the body’s own healing powers through detoxification and improved function. It stimulates body repair and regeneration. Practitioners use a combination of magnets and manual compression alongside dietary principals and lifestyle advice to reinvigorate the energy body.
Chios Healing: Chios healing corrects energetic defects in your energy field. Practitioners diagnose the energetic needs of clients by assessing the condition of their aura. If the body’s aura is clear and strong, the person is healthy, but when the aura appears weak, unbalanced or otherwise compromised the practitioner directs energy into your body at specific pressure points, vitalising the chakras and clearing blockages.
Pranic Healing: This is an ancient practice where a healer examines, cleanses, energises and balances the energy fields in the human body. Given that the physical and energy bodies are closely linked, cleansing and energising the energy body speeds up the rate of healing in the physical body.
Arhatic Yoga: Purification is a critical element of this yoga practice. Through physical exercises and specific breathing routines as well as the following of simple dietary guidelines, practitioners develop stronger and more vibrant “energetically clean” physical and energy bodies. These purification routines help practitioners to recognise and even avoid negative or unhealthy energies in order to maintain healthier physical bodies.
Aikido: In aikido training the focus is on extending the energy body or ki outwards. This enables practitioners to use their life force in a positive way. Aikido uses the power of the mind over the body. In aikido, the philosophy is that the state of the mind, if allowed to dwell on negative thoughts, can influence the chemistry of the cells of the body causing illness and disease. Practitioners focus their minds on the “One Point” in the lower belly and use positive energy to influence and effect the physical body.
Qi Gong: Qi gong is a therapy based on movement and breathing and is a 5000-year-old Chinese energy healing system for health of body, mind and spirit. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, when the energy body and blood are flowing freely, the body will maintain the balance of yin and yang and disease will disappear. Though practising qi gong, the energy body and blood circulation are improved and the balance of yin and yang is restored, opening the meridians to allow unimpeded flow of chi and blood.
Tong Ren Therapy: The energy body is an individual’s own energy system but there is also universal energy which can be accessed through the collective unconscious. In tong ren therapy, group sessions are used to access this universal energy to heal patients from within.
Reflexology: The principle of this treatment is that each of the body’s organs and glands is “linked” to a corresponding area on the ears, hands and feet. Putting pressure on these points through manual manipulation results in the energy body being restored. This strengthens the immune system and the natural healing system of the body.
There are many other methods of healing and detoxing the energy body. Some of these focus on the individual participating in physical activity accompanied by breathing techniques. Other techniques focus on the mind-body connection and others still on the manipulation of the physical body through various kinds of touch.
Crucial in all is the drawing of energy from the universe back into the physical body. Sometimes this is drawn down through a healer while, at other times, patients themselves can draw that energy in.
Finding a method of healing that suits the individual and then acting to prevent future episodes of illness and disease is crucial for detoxing the energy body and keeping it pure. Proactive behaviour that helps balance the mind and body will ensure that the energy body operates effectively, creating harmony and health within the physical body.