“We”, who we are, includes our bodies, but we are more than just “pieces and parts”. We are “beings”, living in a body. We are emotional, spiritual, relational, beings. Sometimes we get so busy that we run ahead of our bodies, so to speak, and our bodies talk to us with pain and tension. Sometimes trauma happens to us and we have to search for the thing that will give us peace and “wholeness”.
We feel and move as a unit, one body. We are intricately woven together with a number of different energy systems, organizing and communicating between all the remote locations or outposts of body parts to synthesize movement and responses to outer stimuli. I think this depth of complexity is one of the amazing features that draws me to the healthcare field, this mysterious and mystical body that we inhabit. There is always more to know! I love the analogy that the movie “Osmosis Jones” uses to compare the body to a bustling city. There is so much going on in here, in an environment “out there”! There is much to balance, internally & externally.
The most recognized of the systems of energy organization is the one manipulated in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture works with meridians, or energy lines that compare to a “streams” or as I like to imagine them as electric wires, carrying electricity around the body. There are twelve major channels that form one long circuit through the body, running on the skin’s surface and plunging deep under to organs, connecting everything together. There are other meridians, also. Acupuncture uses needles and other methods to break up blockages (log jams in streams) along the path to facilitate health. Where blockages form, stagnation breeds in the cesspools behind the blockages. Here is where bacteria breed, and free radicals rage, and disease can set up camp, inflicting damage on the surrounding tissue. Clearing the blockages allows health and vitality to circulate again around the body. The meridians need to each do their own job, just like everyone in a successful company. Communication is vital, and arguments and power plays tend to affect the whole group, therefore affecting the body’s overall health. This is a very old and complex system.
Another Chinese system is the Five-Element Theory. It has also been called the 5 transformations, or phases. This is a relational view of everything, including our bodies, nature, relationships, personalities, the cosmos, etc. It is comprised of the qualities of: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. The dynamics can be seen for example with water: Fire would be the clouds, Earth would be a lake, Metal would be ice, Water would be a river, Wood would be steam in a kettle.
Chakras come from the Aryvedic tradition of India. I sense these as 7 (major) toroids, or electrical dynamos (spinning donuts, tornados…) based in the spine for different areas of the torso, forward (and backwards), with the top one going out the top of the head and another one going out the tailbone toward the ground, sort of forming a “tootsie roll” shape all together. Each chakra holds a different “database” of emotional and experiential information, like on a computer. They can spin clockwise or counter-clockwise from their base in the spine. Any given distance from the body can spin either way. They reach out interacting with our environment. It is good to delete old emotional baggage to make room for fresh and vital opportunities for the system to function at maximum capacity. Yoga works with the chakras and meditation. This is also another very ancient and complex system that takes some study to understand.
The Aura is an energy system, much like Earth’s protective atmosphere. It surrounds us in a “bubble”. It encompasses our personal space, which can be encroached upon, and we can intrude upon others. We sense this when someone is confident or charismatic. If you notice someone walk into the room, you are noticing someone with a large aura that is preceding them. Angry auras can reach out and zap you. People that are sick or weak have a small protective field. Auras can hold lots of pollution and can get holes in them, and then toxic environments and people can have more of an effect you. The aura connects and communicates with other auras and gives us “vibes” about the other person. This is where intuition comes in. There are really very few secrets that are not visible and projected out into our environment for someone who is resonating with their intuition in their interactions with other people. I have noticed that we all form body postures and give facial clues that project our feelings and reactions to relationship dynamics. I believe real or perceived power struggles cause many health issues. An example of someone who is fearful would form a posture like a “dog with its tail between its legs”. I see this as patterns of tight muscles in a person’s body as I work through a massage session. I have seen the “fetal” position, the “hurt bird wing”, the bulldog”, the “cat hissing”, just to name a few. The postures are another whole article… but there is a Habit Field, which is related to the postures. I think it is sort of like an automated response system, much like a phone answering service. These can be unconscious and respond to situations whether real or perceived real. These habits can take time and attention, and sometimes will power to shift to something a step towards the better. Addictions show up here and that is also another article…
There is also subtle energy, or “strange flows” in Traditional Chinese Medicine. These have to do with intent and attention/or focus of our energy. Chi Gong and Tai Chi work with these. This is the deeper level of the martial arts. The Dan Tien line helps with focus & balance. Many people use affirmations, and these are the conscious use of intentional energy, or will power. It is most powerful when tapped into emotions, but the habit of a peaceful mind in meditation is also very powerful to be able to see what is going on around and in you. The arts and exercise are other ways of bringing this energy into focus. Again this about how You do things and flow with that energy.
Reiki, as a tradition, originates from Japan, and taps into an organic flow of intuitive energy, sending energy to where ever it is needed in the body, or around the world, very much like prayer. I relate Reiki to the Christian tradition of “laying on of hands”. I believe we are all intuitive, even if we don’t feel ownership of any psychic gifts or see auras. We just need to figure out and own what tools, or “spiritual gifts”, we were born with and then cultivate how to use them.
I have heard of other systems, but these are the ones I am most fluent in for now. Many “uncivilized” cultures are much more aware of and in tune with these energies than our “civilized” culture. We have gotten so far from nature that we are not connected any more to these vital energies.
There are teachers everywhere when you ask questions. You just have to be open to receive what you asked for! Follow your own path. No one is on your same trek, only you.