Energy healing: Reiki – Meditation – Acupuncture – Yoga – IET – and the list goes on on. There are so many ways to work with energy and these are just a very few modalities. Let’s start with the basic definition of energy from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective. Energy or Qi is the basis of everything in the universe. It forms all things substantial (we can touch i.e. rocks, books, etc.) and ethereal (things we can’t touch i.e. wind, dreams, etc.). There are two main parts of qi – they are yin/yang. Yin is dark, moist, feminine, sinking, moon, cold, and night. Yang is light, dry, masculine, rising, sun, heat and day.
We see and recognize the yin/yang symbol easily and it represents this flow of qi. In the circle we see the dark color representing yin and the light color representing yang. We also see a small circle with opposite color within each half. The reason for this is that the two parts interact with each other like so:
- they are mutually dependent – one cannot exist without the other
- they are mutually engendering – one creates the other
- and they are mutually transforming – one becomes the other
- yin and yang flow is in continual motion and
- it also depicts the interplay and balance of yin/yang balance in the universe
- in the body, yin and yang represent the organs, their functions and the continual flow of qi
- when we are healthy, everything is in right relationship
Think about this qi like flowing water. When water flows easily everything flows. When there’s a storm and sticks and debris enter the water, the ecosystem is changed – it turns to mud (dries up) or be halted (damn). The same happens in our body when energy is not moving or stagnant. When this happens, qi may sink (i.e. hemorrhoids), lack of qi may make us feel tired, stagnation may occur (sharp or diffuse pain), or rebellion may occur as qi moves in the wrong direction (i.e. acid reflux).
Our ecosystem is complex and our body’s healing intelligence is in “fix and repair” mode continually. We don’t have to think about it since it just happens miraculously. Intuitively, we know that we are responsible for our health and can enhance our well-being in many natural ways.
Top on the list is working with our energy/qi. To keep this simple, I suggest we think about it in three categories: (1) what makes us happy, (2) food is important, and (3) where does intention fit in?
Do what makes you happy! I know this may be a hard concept to think through when we feel like life is so busy, there’s no time to do the things we love and too many responsibilities – sound familiar? My suggestion is to start SMALL. If you like to draw and haven’t in a long time don’t wait for the perfect class – doodle. Doodle at work, doodle while you’re making out your “to do” list and once you get on a roll grab a colored pencil and bring it to life. It may sound simple and it is! Takes no time to start so do it now. Use this example for whatever lights up your life – here’s another example – maybe it’s hiking but you never have time. Take it slow and go outside and step by step you’ll find a way to increase your time outside and with intention, you’ll find or make time for a short or long hike.
Qi flows freely when we are happy – our creativity increases and so does our intention. We smile more – did you know when we smile we release endorphins which improve our mood, lowers blood pressure and releases stress. Oops I almost forgot to say – this is energy healing at it’s best.
Food is important. In TCM, the saying is Eat like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch and a pauper for supper. The theory is we need the largest portion of food at the beginning of the day to fuel our body as we become active, both physically and mentally. We get up and “get into gear” for the day; and there are days where we don’t have time to eat and have to skip a meal so don’t let it be the first meal. This meal is recognized as providing the yang qi that runs our body, enhances our immune system and helps the heart. Habits of the most successful people include a consistent morning routine. Most will start with meditation or journalling, second on the list is breakfast.
Keep it simple and varied with fruit, grains, protein – even chicken soup is thought to be a wonderful meal for a king (or queen). Begin this practice sizing up meals for morning, then lunch and supper. A snack in the evening is fine too.
“Food is medicine” is a common thread for health and wellness and one we should embrace and follow. For more information on this topic I recommend Whole Health by Mark Mincolla, Ph.D., author and natural health care practitioner. Lucky for us his practice is in Braintree, MA.
Where does our intention fit in ? Have you heard the quote “energy flows where our attention goes?” Well it is true and something to focus on as we speak, as we stress out and in what we do or do not do. Attention to our intentions is critical to living a happy life. In the morning when we set our intention to flow with ease and peace throughout the day it only goes that energy we put out follows suit. For example, I heard someone say to their friend at an early morning class that her day was going to be frustrating as she knew there would be lots of traffic, a difficult meeting to attend and in the next breath she also stated she was feeling bad for a friend who’s cat was missing. All I could think was “wow, cancel those thoughts/statements.” This is an example of setting an intention for a very lousy day. Tony Robbins says “where focus goes, energy flows. ” When we speak clearly we create what we want in our lives. It is a process or listening, reflecting and adjusting our mindset. A few of my close friends and I have agreed to point out in a nice way when we need to adjust to right thinking/speaking – it’s very helpful.
Additionally, intention is simple. Simplify is my intention for the year. So I’ll share examples of intention and how easy it may be applied:
- morning intention – I simply state that my day be filled with love and peace (changes by day)
- gratitude – either out loud or silently I say thank you for the people I meet, the birds chirping, chimes ringing, a smile from a stranger and so on – it’s simple
- I visualize my day filled with students and clients feeling the beneficial effects of energy work
- open my heart to be present and to really hear what is being shared
- to eat well and move, to get outdoors more
- to have compassion and let go of judgment
- to share a cup of tea with a friend
- to laugh and to feel what’s coming up and breathe through it, and
- most importantly, go with the flow
These are all ways to work with energy and to increase our awareness of energy, how it impacts our life and ways to bring our energy into balance.
Contact me for more information or join a class/workshop.