Energy healing is an umbrella term for many therapies some of which are, Pranic healing, Reiki, Qi-gong, Distance healing, Sanjeevani healing etc. The common principle being the ability of the healer/practitioner to modulate or direct the energy flow in the body of the person seeking help or in their own bodies, to bring about a therapeutic effect.

By Pragati Oswal

Before I explain how this happens, let’s look into some concepts.

There’s matter and there’s energy, inter convertible according to Einstein’s theory of relativity(E = mc2). If the theory is to be believed, consider our physical body as frozen energy. Apparently, this lump of matter, solidified energy, can be diffused or converted into its formless, expansive, invisible state. To put it simply, the visible, palpable “matter” has the ability to vanish into thin air.

Have you ever wondered what happens when an extremely fat person reduces in size? The accumulated fat “burns” away, shrinking the physical body. The previously large body, more matter, gets converted into a smaller body, lesser matter. Where does the excessive matter, the fatty layer, vanish? Does it get diffused? If so, into what?

What happens when we eat food? The food gets digested, energy is released, chemical processes take place converting food into other simpler substances which get stored in the body. Glucose is stored as glycogen, and when we are required to run or fight (or during the sympathetic activation) the glycogen gets converted to glucose which provides the body with energy to perform. By these examples one can understand in a simple way, the inter convertibility of energy and matter.

The vital energy layer which surrounds our body is called “Prana”. At a gross level Prana enters our body through our breath which is why Pranayama has immense therapeutic significance. Prana is what makes us alive, what makes us conscious. In Chinese it is referred to as “Chi”, in Japanese “Ki”; One can usually feel Prana in forms of nerve-impulse like tingling sensations, pulsation, muscular contractions, heat wave on particular areas or some sort of a magnetic field. Prana shouldn’t be confused with a nerve impulse. A nerve impulse travels only in a particular direction. Prana, on the other hand isn’t bound by direction.Too much Prana or too little Prana makes its presence felt in our physical body. Inflammation, spasms, pain (too much)on one hand; Weakness, paralysis, numbness (too little) on the other; The fraternity of energy healers try to bring about a balance in the Pranic sheath to bring about equilibrium/homeostasis in the body.

Let’s now look into the properties of energy in general. Energy is neither created, nor destroyed, it is only converted from one form into another. Potential to kinetic, electrical to mechanical, so on and so forth. Energy transformation takes place constantly in our body as well. It is easy to relate to this kind of transformation while we eat or move about. When we are stationary, externally we possess potential energy although internally our body processes are being carried out through energy conversions.

How does one explain the “thought-process” via the energy nomenclature? What kind of transformation could be possible? How does too much thinking induces headache or a heart-attack?
Let’s try to understand thoughts as the various possibilities, probabilities of manifestation or potential occurrence. In other words, at the level of thought, a physical manifestation is just an idea, not real occurrence. However, there’s most definitely some sort of kinesis that thoughts induce in one’s own body.

Pleasant thoughts transform themselves as elevated mood, enhanced energy levels, a feeling of well-being etc. Similarly, stressful thoughts make themselves felt as despondence, fatigue, restlessness etc.

One needs to take note of the fact that while one has entered a particular stream of consciousness, none of that is happening in the physical world really.

Since it is mostly the untowardly thoughts that create a havoc, let’s look into the similarities between physical stress created by a real situation and the mental stress created by repetitive stressful thoughts and recollections of past experiences.

The former is characterised by fight or flight. In other words, the body girds itself for immediate action when danger or confrontation is perceived. Stress response leads to sympathetic activation which means that our body automatically, involuntarily increases activities like our heart rate, blood pressure, pulse-rate, respiratory rate etc, but, inhibits the digestive processes. When the danger or the situation subsides, the body restores its original balance.

Mental stress translates itself the same way but tends to linger around for much longer. That is where the negative conversions of energy continue to translate themselves into physical bodily symptoms. Even recollection of stressful or emotionally charged events that have created the thoughts or emotions of anger, fear etc can lead to a rapid heart-beat, sweaty break-outs or bodily pain etc.

In the domain of energy conversion, one can use thought how one likes. In this sense, energy can be converted into healing energy by the regulation of thought. Consequently, it becomes possible for one to heal oneself with the help of thought regulation.

The other aspect of energy healing is with regards to the ability of a person to heal someone other than one’s own self. The answer to this is simple. We all are sensitive to another person’s thoughts to a greater or a lesser degree. For example, a good-luck wish, a compliment or a genuine smile from another elevates our mood. Also, at times someone’s presence can make us feel uncomfortable or even threatened. Another’s attitude towards us affects us! In other words, another person’s thought-energy can influence our own with or without our acknowledgement.

One of the working principles behind any kind of distance healing is similar (not exactly the same though). The healer channelizes the thoughts towards the heal. With the help of concentration and visualizations the healer manages to induce changes in another’s body.With a bit of observation and practice one can develop the sensitivity towards pranic manifestations like tingling, pulsation, heat wave, vacuum sensation etc.

One has to suppress the limited logical mind for a while for the para-rational to work. Let’s not call this a matter of faith, call it open-mindedness. Sincerely, attempt to shift your awareness to how your thoughts influence changes in your body. And if you come across a professional energy healer, observe how your body responds to that healing modality. Let your body bear the testimony. Testimony from a trusted one goes a long way. Mine did!

Pragati Oswal is a Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Practitioner and Researcher with expertise in pain relief, healing and wellness without the use of medicines. The views expressed in the article are her own and do not represent those of