The Human Energy Field
Common Elements of Human Energy Theories
Although each of the techniques I studied has a slightly different perspective on the human energy field and the mechanics of how it functions and how it interacts with our physical and emotional well-being, there are some areas of general agreement.
The following is my summary of the underlying assumptions of energy work, as described in the various healing manuals listed in the bibliography. Not all of the authors I have studied would agree with all of the points below, but these points do seem to represent a common denominator amongst the systems.
² A dynamic, vibrating energy field is present within our physical bodies, and surrounds our bodies as an aura of energy. The invisible field extends at least a few inches above the surface of the skin.
o Some of the authors, notably Brennan, describe several layers to the auric field, extending as much as three to four feet out from the physical body.
² The energy field can be experienced through physical senses, especially touch and sight.
o “Seeing” energy. Several healers report an ability to see energy. Some see a shimmering haze around the body (the aura). Others can see colors which indicate illness or disease. Some use high sense perception to see the structures of chakras, the health of the organs, the flow of blood through the body, etc.
o “Feeling” energy. When someone tunes in to his own energy or when he scans another person’s energy field, he can feel physical sensations such as tingling, heat, “magnetic” force, vibration, or currents. These are usually felt most strongly in the hands. When a healer focuses intention on sending healing energy, the client may feel similar sensations.
o These sensations can be further amplified through specialized breathing techniques and exercises. This indicates that we can consciously influence our energy field and other people’s energy fields with our attention, thoughts, feelings, and actions.
² Scientific instruments are able to measure some aspects of the energy field, and some effects of the energy field on other systems; however, some aspects elude measurement with current technology. The field shares many common aspects with electricity and magnetism (see Oschman for discussion) but it is not yet clear whether biomagnetism is exactly the same force as the human biofield, or just a closely related phenomenon.
² Energy movement:
o Energy appears to flow through the body in predictable patterns, similar to river currents or magnetic polarities (though various techniques are not necessarily in complete agreement about the direction of these flows.)
o This energy is carried through our bodies along definable pathways (aka meridians, nadis) that can be most easily contacted at certain identifiable points along the body (aka acupuncture points). There are certain centers on our body which appear to act as gateways for the interaction between our energy and environmental influences (aka chakras, emotion centers, dan tien).
o The energy field is connected with the breath. Energy can be increased by consciously controlled breathing. Breathing moves energy through the body.
² Sources of energy: The general belief is that there is an unlimited supply of universal energy that all humans have access to, as long as our energy pathways are clear and balanced. Some theoreticians view this in scientific terms, others in spiritual terms. This source may be referred to as God, or Cosmic Energy, or Divine Source.
o Our energy field can be equated with the “spark of life.” It is the animating force that gives and sustains life.
o Some ways we access energy: Breath. Food and other environmental influences. Inherited qi / karma. Meditation and other conscious connection to the energy.
o Types of energy: Some systems differentiate between heavy and light energy or between yin and yang energy. Neither energy is harmful or bad, but it is important to keep the energies balanced.
² Human beings are open energy systems. We are continuously exchanging energy with other people, animals, and the environment. Our fields are in constant flux and change. A normal healthy body has a continuous flow of balanced energy.
o We are constantly exposed to energy from our environment and our experiences which is incompatible with our energy, and which could throw our field out of balance. In a normal, healthy energy system, we are able to release these incompatible energies immediately. However, if we are already unbalanced, our energy systems may absorb them.
² Blockages and imbalances in the energy field can manifest as mental, physical, emotional, and/or spiritual disease.
o Physical injuries can cause damage to the energy field that may remain even after the physical injury has healed. This may account for some cases of chronic pain. Energy medicine can effect significant results with releasing the long-term energy blockages caused by the physical injury.
o Emotional traumas can also have long-term impact. If we continue to hold the emotional trauma in our energy field, the blockage may eventually manifest as physical illness. This is why energy work on physical dis-ease often leads to release of long-held emotional issues.
² The energy is associated with emotions and consciousness. It is involved in the creation and experience of emotions and spiritual experiences.
o Some argue that the field is the connection between our bodies and our consciousness, some define the field as the same as consciousness, some believe the flow of energy can be equated to the flow of emotions through our bodies.
² Gerber has a complex taxonomy for energy, including metabolic energy, bioelectrical energy, biophotonic energy, and subtle bioenergies (divided up into ch’i, prana, etheric energy, astral energy, mental energy, and higher spiritual energies.)
*Other terms for Energy:
There are several names for this field. In traditional cultures, it is called by names like Mana in Polynesia, Prana in India, Qi in China, Ki in Japan, and Hucha and Sami in Peru. Modern healing techniques refer to it as the Biofield, Life-force energy, Physioemotional Field, Body Energy Field, Vital energies, and Subtle Energies