You’re not alone! Most of us who live in developed countries are accustomed to the allopathic or Western approach to healthcare. Rooted in battlefield medicine, it was designed to save lives using interventions such as surgery and medications. It was not designed to promote wellbeing by tending to our minds, bodies, spirits and energies. In short, it is largely not a holistic endeavor. That said, I am a huge fan of the brilliance of this crisis approach to medicine. When my father got a heart transplant, when I had a complicated knee surgery, when a dear friend got cancer, I was profoundly grateful for the collective knowledge of allopathic medicine.
It’s helpful, however, to be able to contribute to our own wellness in advance of being sick. Fortunately, there are many healthcare systems, some millenia old, that do take this approach by acknowledging and working with the prana, ki, qi, life force, bio-energetic field that is part of each of us. Traditions like Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, Reiki, yoga, tai chi and qigong are all based on facilitating the healthy flow of this invisible but perceptible energy within us. However, since most of us can’t see the energy, it is hard to believe that it is real and that facilitating its flow can really impact our health for the better.
I was certainly in this camp at the beginning of my exploration of energy healing. Before I encountered energy healing practices, I studied martial arts which are also grounded in directing qi, but I sincerely doubted that qi was something that anyone other than old masters truly had access to. When I learned about Healing Touch and Reiki and received sessions for the first time, I experienced sensations and felt something in my body but didn’t trust that it meant anything. Instead, I looked to the practitioner to tell me what, if anything had happened. I didn’t have my own vocabulary of energy experiences to draw on. I didn’t trust my own knowing.
That began to change when I started to practice Yan Xin Qigong, a sitting meditation practice that invited what it called “spontaneous movements” whereby you allowed yourself to move in response to unblocking energies in your body. To my surprise, as we were sitting and meditating, sometimes my arm or my neck would move without my volition. There was a cue inside of me that I listened to and allowed it to express. I didn’t know what it was accomplishing but i did know that it was right.
I began to take Reiki classes and other hands-on healing instruction and discovered that when my hands were in someone’s energy field, I had similar sensations to the spontaneous movements and my hands would move or hold points on someone’s body that felt impactful to both of us. Again, I didn’t know what I was accomplishing but by dialoguing with my partner, I confirmed that it was feeling powerful to them.
Enter, Donna Eden and Eden Energy Medicine. Through Donna’s insightful teaching and resources, I learned about 9 different energy systems that exist in our bodies and began to understand how my intuitive movements connected with them. I was able to build trust in myself and my own knowing when I could learn about an energy flow and remember a time when I had intuitively worked with it. I remember one time I was giving someone an energy session in the very early days of my work and I was pressing firmly and repeatedly along my client's outer thigh. I had no idea why I was doing that but I later discovered that I was massaging the neurolymphatic reflex points for the large intestine meridian. I don’t know why that was beneficial to that person, but I do know that his body called for it and I listened and responded. In this way, I built my own vocabulary of knowing. I matched intuition, observation and intellectual study so that I came to understand how my body “speaks energy” to me, and also how I can support others’ energy vibrancy.
Because this is my vocation, I have devoted a lot of time to developing this language of energy communication with my body and intuition but anyone can do it. Awareness of our own bodies and energy flow is our birthright.