When you think about health and healing, what comes to mind? Drugs? A dude in a white lab coat? Beeping machines displaying your heart rate? But what if I was to mention….. Prana regulation? What about herbal tinctures? What about harmonizing Qi? What about guided meditation? What about Qigong Energy healing?
Modern society has long held the idea that anything new is better. The new house you just bought… way better than your old one. The new car you just bought…. way better than your old one. The new phone you just bought….well, pretty much the same lol …. but still, way better than your old one!
We have become a society of consumers and disposers, always looking to get the latest must-have innovation. Accordingly, when it comes to healing, there have been incredible advances in medicine in the last hundred years. But does that mean we should simply throw away long-held, and effective means of treatment, like the last version iPhone?
Many of our modern healing modalities are simply modern versions of ancient techniques. People use to consult shamans, herbalists, energy healers, and tribal medicine men. They used long-held knowledge passed down from generation to generation on the healing effects of plants, food, the spirit, as well as the energy that everything is made of.
Unfortunately the more we focus on pharmaceutical measures as the end all be all, we close our minds to countless ways to heal the body naturally.
Using plants as medicine has been replaced with synthetic pharmaceutical alternatives.
Using food as medicine has been replaced with synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements as well as pharmaceutical alternatives.
Understanding spiritual implications have been replaced with psychological therapy,… oh ya, and pharmaceutical alternatives.
But when it comes to standardized medicine, western pharmaceuticals and surgery have more or less completely replaced the traditional Chinese and Indian energetic approach to medicine. But as we are now learning, just because it’s new, doesn’t mean it's better!
What is Energetic Medicine?
The first thing we should establish is that ALL medicine is ENERGETIC medicine… period. Whether a shaman is shaking a feather over you on a mountain top, an acupuncturist is inserting needles into your meridians or your GP is prescribing you antibiotics. Yes I know, you just lifted your eyebrow in protest, but stay with me?
Before I became a TCM Acupuncturist, I spent nearly two decades working as a kinesiologist and functional trainer. My forte was biomechanics. I loved to analyze the movement patterns in the human body to understand the structural weakness and imbalance that lead to injury.
I spent those years building and rebuilding professional and armchair athletes as well as rehabbing injuries on both the young and old alike. But with all my in-depth knowledge of biomechanics, physiology, exercise and nutrition, healing the body was challenging and took a lot of time and effort.
I continually updated my knowledge looking for better and more efficient ways to heal the public I vowed to help. Different coaching certifications, personal training accreditations, and reading every manual and abstract I could find. However, after many years of getting frustrated with the results of referring out to chiros, physios, and western MDS for conditions that were out of my scope of practice, I once again went back to school to study traditional Chinese medicine.
For me, learning this new information (although thousands of years old) didn’t mean throwing away all that I had learned in the past twenty years. In contrast, it made me realize that east and west were really saying and trying to do the same things, just using different words and techniques.
Everything is Made of Energy
Whether you say Prana, Qi, or electromagnetic energy, you are talking about…..energy! This is a touchy subject for many western practitioners who look at acupuncture and ayurvedic techniques as “WooWoo” back of the supplement store magazine kind of stuff.
Many “western” practitioners have somehow forgotten the fact that “western” science has determined that at the smallest level of inspection, all matter in existence is made up of vibrating waves of energy!
That basically means everything in the universe that you can see, feel, hear, touch or taste is energy vibrating at a certain frequency. It is the particular frequency of energetic vibration that gives everything its physical appearance and qualities.
Whether you are talking about the air, a tree, a fish, water, or YOU, at the smallest level of inspection all are simply waves of energy vibrating at different frequencies. When that energy vibrates within its normal parameters, everything is hunky-dory!
Vibrating waves of energy form the structure of quarks
Quarks form the structure of proton, electrons, and neutrons
Protons, electrons, and neutrons from the structure of atoms
Atoms from the structure of molecules
Molecules from the structure of elements (remember your Periodic Table of Elements from grade 9 science???)
From this level, you can basically build anything. When it comes to us;
Elements form the structure of cells
Cells form the structure of tissues
Tissues from the structure of organs
Organs and bodily tissues form the structure of YOU.
Once again if you look small enough, everything including us is made from vibrating waves of energy. However, when your energy doesn’t vibrate within its normal parameters for whatever reason, things start to malfunction. We might call it aging, illness, disease, cancer, or bad breath!
For the energy of our body to vibrate properly, it needs to harmonize with the energy of the water we drink, the food we eat, the sunlight we see, and the air we breathe. Life and health are really a choir of harmonic frequencies that either sing in tune or not.
But what happens when the energy we come in contact with vibrates at a disharmonious frequency that is toxic to us? We might call it dirty water, unhealthy food, lack of sunlight or air pollution, but once again it is just energy vibrating at a frequency that is not in harmony with what our specific energetic needs require.
That means, the answer to the illness, injury or disease created by energy vibrating at an incorrect frequency, is to remove the disharmonious signal and then to retune the body!
Yes, even pharmaceuticals at their smallest level are once again vibrating waves of energy. That energy has an effect on certain bodily tissues that are made up of specific vibratory patterns of energy. The purpose of the drug at the energetic level is for the energy of the pharmaceutical to change the frequency of the energy of the dysfunctional tissue and bring it back into harmony with the energy of the rest of the body. So yes, pharmaceuticals are energetic medicine!
Where the mind goes, energy follows
Thousands of years ago, eastern healers learned the concept of “Yi Dao, Qi Dao”. This translates to “Where the mind goes, energy follows”. From a modern perspective, this can be understood as the notion that our perception and focus of reality, is what creates our reality.
Are far as our perception goes, the sky can be too blue or the water too wet. Your job can be amazing, or the worst ever. Heaven and hell are all around us. It’s all a manifestation of our perspective and perception of reality.
The evolving field of Epigenetics study’s the effect that our perception of the world has on the genetic expression of our DNA and the resulting health and function of our bodies. Perceived stress is just as toxic and damaging as real stress. Perceived illness is just as toxic and damaging as a real illness.
To that matter, the supposed positive stimulus can also turn out to have negative effects based on perception. Exercise can have damaging effects if you mentally hate what you’re doing. Healthy food can have damaging effects if you mentally hate being deprived of pizza and burgers.
This is where the placebo effect (the belief in the positive effects of the said stimulus) and the nocebo effect (the belief in the negative effect of the said stimulus) take on real importance.
As for our focus, when we direct our attention to a specific thing, energy moves in that direction. We focus our attention on our fingers to make them move. We focus our attention on the song of the bird and our eyes focus in that direction. We focus our attention on the food in our mouth and our body engages the digestive system.
As energy moves, it creates electromagnetic fields. When it comes to the energetic fields that are created by the movement of energy, the stronger the energy, the stronger the field. The stronger the field, the stronger the effect on all around it.
The energy of the sun’s electromagnetic field has the strongest effect on the earth. The energy of the earth's magnetic field has the strongest effect on you. Accordingly, a person with a strong electromagnetic field will have a stronger effect on someone with a weak one.
Trust in your Doctor
This is where trust in the abilities, as well as the overall health of a health practitioner, is very important. The old saying goes “Never trust a bald barber!” And yet how many of us take health and wellness advice from unhealthy, overworked, stressed out, burnt-out medical professionals who are not healthy themselves.
Belief in the practitioner and the medicine they practice has a powerful effect on the results seen in patients. Yes, even the efficacy of pharmaceuticals falls victim to this perceptive problem. Belief in the healing power of a drug makes up a significant portion of its healing power.
This goes for ALL healing modalities without exception. The belief that the surgery is going to help, makes it help. The belief that the drug is going to help, makes it help. The belief that the acupuncture needle is going to help, makes it help. The belief that the feather being waved above your head is going to help, makes it help. This is the basis of the placebo effect.
Having faith and trust that a certain treatment will do what is expected allows your body to shut off its fight or flight response and engage its rest, digest, and heal response. The reality is that all healing is self-healing.
The opposite is also true. If you think the surgery will fail. The drug is pointless. The needle is useless, or the feather is a waste of time. Your perception will create reality. This is the nocebo effect.
The other side of the coin is the energy projected by the practitioner. A healthy, happy practitioner exerts a stronger field of harmonious energy. In effect, they begin to heal their patient the moment they come in contact with them.
Now just imagine if a strong, healthy, happy practitioner was trained to direct their harmoniously vibrating, healing energy in a focused way to the patient they treat. What an incredibly powerful medicine they would become.
Qigong Energy Healing
In India and China, energy healing has been cultivated and developed for thousands of years. Predating codified traditional Chinese medical training, Qigong treatments and exercise have been used by practitioners and their patients to heal the mind and body of all types of energetic disharmonies and illnesses.
I have written extensively on this site with regards to the benefits of Qigong exercise for health and healing. So to summarize, Qigong exercises employ specific bodyweight movements designed to stimulate the acupuncture meridians and their associated organs. The movements are coordinated with an extended diaphragmatic breathing pattern known as Beating and Drumming the Qi. Finally, breath and body are aligned with specific visualizations or intentions which turn the physical practice into a healing moving meditation.
There are literally thousands of different Qigong sets and accredited styles taught around the world, TaiJi being one of the most well known. All sets and styles share the same conceptual basis of slow, gentle movement, breath, and intention.
Qigong movements can be used as wonderful stand-alone healing practices or can be used in combination with practitioner-applied Qigong energy healing treatments.
There are almost as many kinds of Qigong treatments as there are illnesses. However, they all are composed of four basic components.
A Qigong energy healing treatment will always begin with the collection of health history information, which will allow for theoretical diagnoses. This will entail the patient verbally describing what is going in their body and what they are feeling, as well as specific questions used by the practitioner to probe deeper into the illness's root cause and effect on the body.
This will allow the practitioner to understand the situation and state of disease as well as point them in the direction as to possible energetic disharmonies.
Next, with the patient laying on a table or bed, the practitioner will use their hand to connect to the energetic field (WeiQi Field) of the patient. Here is where things get interesting!
In the video for the article on “What is Qi” I taught the exercise used to sense and feel your own electromagnetic field or Qi. It is a skill that takes a great deal of practice to develop. But once you can feel the Qi between your hands, you can then expand your awareness to your arms, legs and the rest of the body.
With time and practice, you will slowly become aware of differences in the field. As your glide your hand above the tissue, some areas will produce extra pressure against your hand as if there was an excess of energy present. While some areas would produce significantly less pressure against your hand as if there was an energetic deficiency. In some areas, the energy would feel hot, while in others it would feel cold.
With time, training, and practice, the differences in excess or deficiency, hot and cold, and internal and external will become quite apparent and easily detectable.
Let's get back to the patient!
As the patient lays on the table, the practitioner will aline their body posture to increase their own flow of energy and quiet their mind. It is important during energetic treatments, that the practitioner remains mindfully connected to the moment and have very specific intentions.
As I mentioned before, stronger energetic fields will always affect weaker ones. So the last thing an energetic practitioner wants is to be mindlessly disconnected from what they are doing (and god forbid be having a crappy day! lol). The practitioner will gently glide one hand about one inch over the surface of the body (without actually touching the skin) to perform an energetic diagnosis.
As the practitioner moves their hand over the body they will take note of excesses and deficiencies or any specific changes in qualities of the energetic field. A practitioner with well-developed sensitivity will be able to energetically confirm as well as add to the verbal information previously collected. Next, it's time to treat!
Once the practitioner has made a connection with the disharmonies, next it is time to clear out any energetic excesses that may be present. There are many techniques used to dredge both the WeiQi field as well as specific acupuncture meridians within the body.
It is important to remove excess first so the practitioner does not cause harm during the next phase of the treatment. Clawing techniques used to rake over the general energetic field, or guiding techniques used to purge energetic stagnations in the meridians are often used during this phase.
Throughout the process of purging excess energy, the practitioner will often reassess the energetic field to note changes that have occurred. Once the excess is released, now it's time to strengthen.
Now that any excess in energy has been purged, it’s time to tonify any deficiencies that may still exist. Once again this is where a practitioner’s mindful connection to their work is of vital importance.
When a practitioner extends or “pushes” Qi into a patient, they want to make sure they are not pushing their own Qi, but rather allowing Qi to flow through them and into the patient. This is an important distinction to make.
I had personally studied Qigong for years as well as being certified as a Medical Qigong Practitioner well before I went back to school for acupuncture. So when I went through TCM school, several of my instructors said it was unfair to other students that I could “push Qi” into my needle. They said it made my treatments stronger than the others. My answer was always “isn’t the fact that the patient heal, the most important part?” Not all acupuncturists have experience with Qigong training, but in my opinion, it is a real asset to your practice if you do!
Once again, after tonify any deficiency in the energetic field, the practitioner will often do a second reassessment to note changes that have occurred and create awareness of any imbalances leftover that need regulation.
Regulating Yin and Yang
Like the end of any good Qigong set, the end of a Qigong energy healing treatment typically will involve balancing out and regulating the body. Balancing the cooler, deeper, darker, yin aspects of the body with the warmer, surface, brighter yang aspects helps to bring a sense of equilibrium to the energetics of the body.
For the practitioner performing Qigong energy healing, treatments serve as a personal healing meditation as well as a constant connection to internal and external energy. For the patient, quite simply, it's a powerful and unparalleled healing experience in both mind and body… Give it a try!
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