Healing Energy Tools: Supporting Wellness Inside and Out
According to energy healer and author Donna Eden, our bodies are “lattice works of force fields,” in which “energy is the infrastructure.” But what happens when that infrastructure is stressed, exhausted, depressed, and filled with anxious thoughts, resulting in illness? To support wellness inside and out, healing energy tools can help foster physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Thankfully, we have an abundance of healing energy tools, from pyramids to crystals, energy healing stones to tuning forks. Whichever modality you or your energy healing professional work with, all are designed to optimize our wellness and heal what ails us.
Energy healing, or energy medicine, can be defined as any healing work designed to balance and restore our energetic channels. Similar to our circulatory system, which can have negative impacts on our health if not running smoothly, our energetic field also has a flow. If that flow is blocked, our energy fields can lead to emotional, spiritual, and soul pain.
Also similar to our physical body, energy carries its own anatomy — aura, meridians, and chakras. The balance for optimum energetic functioning leads to a sense of calm, equilibrium, and peace. To help achieve this balance, energy healers have a veritable energy healing toolkit at their fingertips. These range from ones steeped in ancient healing traditions, the natural world, and those derived from modern technology.
MOTHER EARTH AND HEALING ENERGY TOOLS
As old as the earth itself, energy healing stones, or gemstones and crystals, facilitate healing on different levels, from boosting the immune system, to clearing negative energy that is trapped in the energetic system, to creating a sense of balance and well-being.
Many believe the healing properties associated with energy healing stones can be traced to Asian concepts of interconnected mind, body, and spirit through a strong qi (life-force) or chakras. Healing stones and crystals are placed along locations, or meridians, on the body to help increase positive energy flow and provide support for specific health concerns. Out of the hundreds used in this practice, below are a few of the more commonly used energy healing stones and their healing properties:
- Amethyst: Beneficial for the intestines, calm, and decision-making
- Agate: Grounding, stability, and increases confidence
- Lapis Lazuli: Wisdom, self-awareness, and spiritual enlightenment
- Turquoise: Bridge between heaven and earth; highest spiritual potential
- Carnelian: Creativity and vitality
- Jasper: Joy and release from stress
Energy healing professionals also incorporated tools such as massage wands and heated massage stones into their practice. Massage wands are made of rounded, smooth crystals which are applied at various pressure points throughout the body. Massage stones, heated and placed along both sides of the spine, are normally made of basalt, a kind of lava rock believed to dissipate anger, as well as strengthen courage, stability, and ignite one’s inner fire.
In addition to healing stones, the natural world offers many other energetic tools, such as sage, grasses, feathers, the elements, light, and color:
- Sage: A purifying herb, sage is commonly burned or turned into a smudging tool for a variety of healing purposes, from spatial cleansing, to spiritual, emotional, and in Native American rituals. White sage is considered to be the purest form of sage and used for spiritual purification. Desert sage is valued for its medicinal properties including antioxidants, anti-fungal, antiseptic, and astringent.
- Cedar: Mostly used in the Pacific Northwest, red cedar is burned as a prayer offering, as well as a purification tool. Referred to as a “tree of life,” indigenous people incorporated it into many aspects of their lives, from building, to medicine, to sweat lodges and baths designed to cleanse the entire energetic system.
- Sweetgrass: Dried and braided before burning, sweetgrass makes the healing process a sweet one with its vanilla scent. The aromatic essence is thought to attract positive energy, people, and as a purification tool.
- Feathers or Feather Fans: Used in conjunction with smudging of incense, sage, herbs, or grasses, feathers represent duality and balance. According to Professor Tom Bacig, Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of Cultural Studies Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth, “the color of the tail feather is divided into two parts, light and dark…[i]t is said that the dualism is needed along with the symbol of the eagle to keep balance in the circle of life.”
- Five Elements: Phylameana Ilsa Desy, energy healing practitioner and author of The Everything Guide to Reiki, writes that understanding the healing aspects of the five elements — fire, water, air, wood, metal — can serve to guide one toward the best energy healing path. For example, if you are struggling with trusting your inner voice, water or air energy treatments can support those needs. Or if being grounded is a struggle, working with soil, or wood, can assist to feel more connected to self and the planet.
- Light and Color: The use of light and color therapies in energy healing tools is wide-ranging and diverse, from colorpuncture or Samasati Color therapy, Color Silks therapy, to Hydro Color and Light therapy, and more. Color and light are thought to be able to enter the skin, as well as the respiratory system, and used to treat everything from hormonal imbalance, to mild depression, to brain disorders.
SOUND AND OTHER HEALING TOOLS
One of the earliest forms of healing, sound healing techniques and tools use sound resonance to increase vibrational health and well-being. One of the most popular sound healing tools are tuning forks. Based on the acoustic resonance tools musicians use to create a harmonic and unified tone, tuning fork therapy applies heated metal tuning forks to different parts of the body, to promote healing, emotional wellness, and to relieve pain, anxiety, and stress.
The placement of the tuning forks is often compared to acupuncture, substituting sound frequencies to stimulate the meridians instead of needles. Recent research has suggested that tuning fork therapy is beneficial in the treatment of muscle and bone discomfort.
Singing Bowls: Whether made from copper alloy or crystal, singing bowls create different healing sounds either through by a mallet gently stroked on the inside of the bowl, or with the use of water inside. Used to evoke tones associated with chakra centers and in meditation, recent medical research has also shown the healing power of singing bowls for those suffering from chronic pain, as well as mood disorders, stress, and anxiety..
Pendulums: Made from natural materials including crystal, metal, glass, and wood, pendulums can be beneficial in setting intentions, pondering difficult life choices, and for creating more balance in the energetic field, or chakras. Similar to dowsing, pendulums are used to uncover and heal blocks in energy, as well as to receive guidance, and develop one’s intuition and sense of reflection.
Essential Oils: Derived from plants, flowers, roots, seeds, and other environmental elements, essential oils are used to balance and clear energies, help relieve stress, improve concentration, and assist in integrated health. According to the Center for Energy Healing, “essential oils work primarily on an energetic level — especially when they are used as a scent only, rather than applied directly to the skin. They clear out the “auric debris” (congested energy), thus making way for the field to shift into balance-back into a harmonious whole.”
Pyramid Therapy: Often referred to as an energetic, or cosmic antenna, pyramid energy tools are thought to activate the pineal gland, third eye chakra, or the geometric center of the brain which produces the calming hormone called melatonin, which regulates the body’s natural rhythm. “Pyramid,” comes from the Greek words pyra, fire, and mid, middle, translating into “fire in the middle.” Energy healers who incorporate pyramid therapy in their practice believe that these tools can assist with stress reduction, improved sleep, concentration, and an overall higher vibrational energy.
HEALING ENERGY TOOL KIT
Our energetic infrastructure is a living, breathing entity that requires care and attention. Working with a qualified and experienced energy healing professional is important and as well, understanding which tools are right for one’s healing is also critical. With the richness of energy healing tools, the paths to wellness are abundant and the potential for putting together your own healing energy toolkit is endless so you can live your best and healthiest life.
5 Methods for Energy Healing
The one thing that is undoubtedly universal amongst all of us is energy. It is the pervasive force that allows for life to exist and flourish, yet our Westernized minds are often reluctant to embrace it as something that should be considered in medicine. Meanwhile, it is the focus of many ancient Eastern health practices and remedies for the things that commonly ail us, and it can be used as a supplement to the prescribed medicine that we know to be tried and true. So what is energy healing, and how can you implement it into your life to benefit your health and wellbeing? These five different methods should give you a good idea.
How Does Energy Healing Work?
Depending on the method, energy healing focuses on the life force that flows through all of us; that force that dictates our mood, health, energy, and ability to connect with other beings. In Chinese and Japanese culture that force is referred to as ki or qi (pronounced: chi). In India, it is known as prana the energy that spins and flows through the chakras, an intangible force that cannot be comprehended in the materialist sense.
Although the perspective of western science and medicine often labels energy healing as pseudoscientific, the perception is starting to change as scientists and academics begin to understand the principles behind the techniques and benefits that have been known to eastern cultures for centuries. The learnings and breakthroughs in quantum physics have brought the understanding of the pervasiveness of energy to the forefront of western thought. Not only do our bodies consist of and run on energy in every aspect of their function, but there is an omnipresent field of energy throughout the universe that is now being studied via quantum field theory. This universal energy known to eastern cultures and the newly discovered quantum field are talking about the same thing, disagreeing simply over semantics.
Influencing this flow of energy by implementing physical and mental awareness and intention, can bring about profound and replicable results. Through meditation, physical touch, and exercise our energy bodies can be altered to provide higher states of health, consciousness and, you guessed it, energy. These energy healing techniques can help you find an approach that is right for you and lead you on a path to healing and sustained health, either as a primary or supplemental modality.
One of the fundamental practices of energy healing and exercise based on the Chinese concept of qi, qigong is concerned with balancing the flow of energy throughout the body. Much like Tai Chi or yoga, qigong cultivates the life force through a series of body postures, breathing, and meditation. It is also used as a foundational practice for martial arts, as it develops balance, agility, and muscle strength.
Qigong practitioners aim to develop higher levels of awareness, reduced anxiety, and a clearer vision of one’s purpose in life. It is often used as an effective practice in sports medicine, particularly with the elderly, due to its slow and controlled movements that aim to develop stability and ease tension. It has even been endorsed by the Harvard School of Medicine for its therapeutic benefits.
Qigong works by opening up blocked meridians, or the routes through which qi flows, in order to allow for unimpeded movement of energy throughout the body. The philosophy of qigong posits that blocked energy is the cause of illness and disease. By opening up these passages, we can prevent ailments or reopen the flow of energy to begin the healing process when we are sick.
Chinese Meridians and Acupuncture
The meridians are a map of routes within our body, through which qi energy flows. These meridians correspond with the connections and routes of muscles, endocrine glands and the nervous system. There are over 600 points on the body that acupuncture targets with thin needles that are directly connected to major organs and bodily systems. These connections are made through the meridians and collaterals, the vessels associated with meridians.
Knowledge of these meridians and collaterals is thought of very highly in Chinese culture and is considered equally as important as a doctor’s knowledge of our anatomy. Acupuncture is thought to promote the release of certain adrenal hormones like ACTH and cortisol that can help with certain bodily pains and organ function. It is even thought to have the potential to cure or help with overcoming addictions.
Of all of the different types of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture has gained the most notoriety, specifically as a complimentary modality to modern medicine. It has been widely embraced by doctors and patients throughout the western world, and could be one of the keys to a broader acceptance of eastern alternative medicine. Though needles are involved, the process is virtually painless and often relaxing.
Acupuncture has been found to treat a number of mental ailments like depression, anxiety, and negative moods. It has also had a positive impact on deeper physical issues like digestive problems and chronic pain.
Reflexology finds its roots in the Chinese focus on balancing the flow of qi, but primarily targets the hands, ears, and feet. Different locations on our feet and hands are thought to have direct connections through the meridians to different organs and systems in our body that can be detoxed and positively influenced. Through a targeted and sometimes intense massage, reflexology frees up blocked energy through stimulation, muscle relaxation, and the encouragement of lymph flow.
Reflexology is said to cleanse the body of toxins, boost the immune system, balance energy, and increase circulation. After a reflexology foot massage, one might feel like they are walking on air or feel lighter in their stride. Though these immediately noticeable effects can be fleeting, the unseen, internal effects can provide a longer lasting benefit.
The Chakras are the ancient Indian conception of our body’s primary energy centers and are very similar in nature to the ancient Chinese conception. The word chakra translates literally to wheel and is thought to be one of seven spinning centers of energy found in our bodies. Our chakras, based on their location, are connected to key endocrine glands and areas of nervous system function throughout the body, much like the Chinese meridians.
The seven Chakras are located in alignment from the top of our head, to the base of our spine and, when functioning in synchronicity, allow for a steady flow of energy throughout the body. Much like the Chinese yin-yang balance of qi, the energy in our chakras must be properly balanced. It doesn’t make sense to have an overabundance of energy in one chakra and a deficiency in another. Chakras also have the ability to open and close, allowing for the outward and inward flow of energy. Our chakras tend to close when we experience negativity, sadness and anger. In order to open up chakras we use breathing techniques, meditation and intention to eliminate negativity and open up to the flow of positive energy.
The seven chakras are as follows:
- Muladhara or Root Chakra: Base of Spine (tailbone)
- Swadhisthana or Sacral Chakra: Two inches below the navel
- Manipuraka or Solar Plexus Chakra: Three inches above navel
- Anahata or Heart Chakra: Located at Heart
- Vishuddhi or Throat Chakra: Located at Throat
- Sahasrara or Third Eye: Center of Forehead/Middle of Eyebrows
- Brahmarandra or Crown Chakra: Top of Head
This Japanese technique was developed in the early 20th century by Mikao Usui based on the five principles of Japan’s emperor, Meiji. They are:
- Don’t get angry
- Don’t worry
- Be grateful
- Work diligently
- Be kind to others
Reiki is also based on the idea of the flowing life force known in Japanese as ki. The practice was developed to help people realize the importance of making an intentional effort to heal and be conscious of their health. This concept of self-improvement and self-discipline, that is a characteristic of Japanese culture, encourages Reiki practitioners to incorporate energy healing into their lives, but to also take an active role in healing oneself.
Reiki is a spiritual practice with its root word, Rei, roughly translating to “God’s wisdom” or “a higher power’s wisdom,” though it is not religious. Rather, it is based on this recurrent concept of the unseen life force that flows between us that can be channeled and used for beneficial means. Reiki uses palm-healing or hands-on-healing to transfer, balance, and realign energy from the healer to the recipient. Some universities throughout the US have even begun to incorporate reiki classes into certain curricula.
There are many commonalities that can be seen between these different methods of energy healing and it makes sense that they are all so similar. Though these time-tested traditions varied semantically, they all understood the flow of energy throughout our bodies and its importance in our health and wellbeing. Which one of these methods have you had success with and which will you implement in your life?