By Faye Martins
In a cartoon, a school of fish swims in a vast sea. “Do you believe in this thing called an ocean?” one fish asks another. As humans, we swim in a vast field of energy, but most of us can’t see it and some of us don’t believe in it. That’s why so many people question the field of energy healing – a broad category that has been around since the beginning of time.
What is energy healing?
Medical treatment in the Eastern world stems from the ancient belief that our bodies are made up of energy, from the past and the present, and that we are constantly sending and taking in energy from the people and the world around us. Because this energy cannot be seen or measured, it is known as “subtle” energy.
In Yoga, we call this vital life source “prana.” Practices that stem from early Japan or China call it “qi” or “ki,” as in Reiki or Qigong. Yoga centers on energy centers called chakras. Japanese and Chinese systems refer to energetic pathways in the body called meridians. All methods of energy work, regardless of age or name, however, revolve around the basic concept of subtle energy.
The chakras and meridians loosely overlap what we define as the nervous system in modern medicine, but researchers have traditionally questioned the validity of subtle energy. Recently, however, a new theory has emerged that may show a scientific connection.
The New Theory of Science and the Energy Medicine
Critics of the new theory call it “soft” science, but people laughed at the Hungarian doctor who suggested that doctors could prevent the spread of disease by washing their hands in 1847, too. Researchers, such as James Oschman, PhD, and Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama, physiologist and priest, think the connection between energy and modern medicine lies in the body’s connective tissue, or fascia.
Fascia is the connective network that envelopes every bone, joint and muscle in the body. It includes the nervous system, lymphatic system, and the blood vessels, and its job is to store water and carry messages to the body. Injuries, hypertension, inflammation, and structural abnormalities are just a few of the conditions that can cause problems within the fascia.
The Fascia and Energy Channels
We know that one of Yoga’s benefits is its ability to access the subconscious mind. Imagine that memories, especially traumatic ones, are stored as blockages in the body’s soft tissues. This restricts the fascia, circulation slows down, blood flow diminishes, and lymph accumulates. The body slows down, cells lose their ability to communicate, and disease develops. The cycle escalates.
That’s why energy healing works. Yoga, especially, gets lymph moving, stirs up circulation, and stretches muscles and nerves so that energy can flow freely. Other forms of energy healing, as well as Yogic meditation and breathing, are even more effective when combined with a Yoga training practice.
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