Chapter One: You're Wired For Healing -- Your Energetic Anatomy
"During one of his healing sessions, Grandmaster Choa Kok Sui was working on a person who was a heavy drinker, though the person did not offer this information before the healing. Grandmaster Choa found a significant imbalance in this man's energy body -- specifically in his liver -- and told him that he should see a physician as soon as possible. The man went to the doctor and had a blood test, but the results indicated that his liver was fine. He received no medical treatment. Several months later, however, he developed severe pain in his liver. Tests at that time showed that he had hepatitis. We tell this story to students to demonstrate that we have an energetic anatomy just as we have a physical anatomy, and to illustrate that illnesses manifest in your energy body (also called your energetic anatomy) before they appear in the physical body."
-- Master Stephen Co
Your body already heals itself. You may take antibiotics to combat infections, dose yourself with aspirin to reduce pain, get a cast on a broken wrist, or even have your appendix removed by a surgeon, but drugs and medical procedures themselves don't "heal" you. They reduce inflammation, battle bacteria, or in the case of a cast or operation, make proper healing possible. But your body heals itself. And it does it magnificently. Through some process that we don't fully understand, your body has the amazing, innate ability to repair itself.
Medical science can explain the neurological and biochemical responses involved in healing a cut finger: The nerves carry the pain message to your brain to indicate a problem; white blood cells rush to the area to combat dirt or germs; platelets clot the blood and begin forming a scab; and the skin cells grow back underneath the scab. But medical science does not know how the body knows how to do this, and it doesn't know what force powers this healing process.
We know intuitively that there must be a consciousness behind this self-healing ability, one that knows how to work in the same way that our body knows how to breathe without our having to command our lungs to inhale and exhale. We have a storehouse of energy that our body uses for healing. Otherwise, white blood cells wouldn't be able to multiply and carry away infection and inflammation from the site of a cut. Skin cells wouldn't be able to repair and create new tissue. Traditional medical thinking holds that both this healing process and the energy used in it are beyond our willful control. But what if you could consciously control this supposedly unconscious self-healing process? What if you could learn to harness the most vital component in that process, the healing energy that your body uses to repair itself? What if you could learn to increase and direct that healing energy to improve your general well-being and relieve specific health problems?
This book will give you that ability.
Harnessing Your Healing Energy
Through a series of step-by-step, easy-to-learn, simple-to-perform exercises, you will learn to harness your body's healing energy, the force that is known as chi to the Chinese, mana to the Polynesians, and prana throughout India. You will learn an entire system of self-healing that uses as its framework the principles of one of the most comprehensive, effective forms of energy medicine, called Pranic Healing.
Energy medicine is a broad category of alternative healing methods that utilize universal life force as their primary healing modality. Although some energy medicine is used as an alternative to allopathic, or Western, medicine, most methods are now used as a complement to care given by medical doctors and other traditional treatments. We strongly recommend that you use Pranic Healing only as an adjunct to your physician's care.
In energy medicine, good health results from having the right amount of this energy flowing smoothly through the body, while health problems or ailments result from a deficiency or blockage of this energy. Energy medicine typically includes some method of increasing or stimulating the amount of life force in the body to facilitate healing. Some systems advocate drawing in the energy from a source outside the body; others teach practitioners to build up their own vital force and then use that for healing. Some incorporate self-healing; others do not. Acupuncture, chi kung, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, and Pranic Healing are just several examples of energy medicine.
Acupuncture is probably the most well-known energy medicine system today. In acupuncture, fine needles are inserted into a patient's body at certain points, along energy channels called meridians (see "Your Energetic Anatomy" below for more on meridians). These needles unblock the flow of life force, or chi, through the meridians, and thus balance the body's energy and facilitate healing. Occasionally, the acupuncturist gently rotates the needles or even sends a very low-grade electrical current through them to accelerate the healing process.
chi kung (literal translation: "energy work") stems from the same Oriental philosophical base as acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, and internal Chinese martial arts, such as tai chi. It consists of a variety of life force-generating exercises and practices that date back thousands of years. There are many different types of chi kung, but in general, chi kung practitioners perform a prescribed set of breathing routines and physical exercises over a period of years to enable them to build up the chi in their own bodies. They then project that energy into the body of the patient to bring about healing. You'll learn a different, more effective way to generate energy that is unique to Pranic Healing.
Reiki is a Japanese hands-on energy-channeling system believed to have its origins in the esoteric practices of Tibetan monks. Reiki practitioners must be "attuned" to the universal healing energy by a Reiki master, after which they are able to draw in this life force and allow it to flow through them into the body of a person in need of healing. There are three levels of Reiki training: first degree, second degree, and third degree, or Reiki master.
Therapeutic Touch is a method of energy healing incorporating techniques from traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and laying on of hands. It was developed in the 1970s by a nurse, Delores Krieger, Ph.D., R.N., at New York University School of Nursing, and Dora Kunz, a healer and author, and is comparable to first-degree Reiki. A Therapeutic Touch practitioner does not actually touch the patient but passes his hands lightly over the patient's body to detect and then "unruffle" -- in Therapeutic Touch terminology -- energetic blockages. The practitioner then directs energy into the patient to assist healing.
Pranic Healing was created by a Chinese-Filipino spiritual teacher and energy master named Grandmaster Choa Kok Sui, who spent years researching the root teachings of esoteric systems such as yoga, chi kung, Kaballah (an ancient Jewish mystical-spiritual tradition), and many others in order to create a simple, practical, effective, "optimum" energy healing system that anyone could learn and use.
In his teens Grandmaster Choa was already an accomplished student of yoga and various meditation and spiritual systems. In his twenties, he continued intensive study of higher-level esoteric practices, with a particular focus on the use of vital life force for healing. He concluded that healing, at its most basic, consists of cleansing and energizing -- that is, cleaning away dirty or blocked life force from the aura and replenishing the aura with fresh energy. Next, Grandmaster Choa, who by this time had also established himself as a businessman and engineer, applied a rigorous scientific approach to his inquiries. He set up a number of healing clinics in the Philippines to test the effectiveness of laying on of hands, chi kung, and other energy healing systems. Each patient who came in received a particular type of energetic treatment, and the results -- or lack of results -- of that particular treatment for that specific ailment were recorded. Grandmaster Choa also had highly skilled healers with heightened sensitivity -- people with the ability to see vital life force in the body -- observe the patients before and after treatment, so that he could detail the exact energetic effect of each system. These experiments were overseen by nurses and other medical professionals, as well.
These healing clinics continued for years, with Grandmaster Choa constantly testing and refining methods of cleaning out dirty energy and increasing the supply of healing energy. Finally, in 1987, Grandmaster Choa published his first book and held his first workshop in the Philippines to introduce Pranic Healing, a "best of the best" system of very specific instructions and sequences for cleansing and energizing particular parts of the body to achieve rapid healing. The system spread to the United States in 1990 and is now practiced worldwide.
Pranic Healing Compared with Other Types of Energy Medicine
Pranic Healing is a more comprehensive and treatment-specific form of energy medicine than the two more contemporary systems, Reiki and Therapeutic Touch, and it is simpler to learn and easier to apply than the ancient, formal Chinese systems acupuncture and chi kung. Additionally, Pranic Healing includes teachings rarely found in other energy medicine systems, such as the detailed use of colored pranas and the practice of energetic hygiene.
Like Reiki and Therapeutic Touch, Pranic Healing teaches practitioners to feel for disturbances in the aura. But the Pranic Healing version of this tactile technique, called scanning, is more explicit and precise. For instance, Pranic Healing teaches several simple exercises that help students open and sensitize the chakras, or power centers, in the palms of their hands. This enables pranic healers to detect both congestion, an energetic blockage, and depletion, an energetic deficiency, as they move their hands over the body of a patient. Pranic Healing also includes two other hands-on techniques: sweeping, which is manually cleaning away congestion or dirty energy, and energizing, which is supplementing areas of pranic insufficiency. Reiki has no comparable sweeping technique, while Therapeutic Touch's unruffling is similar to but not as effective as sweeping. Unruffling resembles what is called in Pranic Healing distributive sweeping, or using the hands to move energy gently from one area to another. But Pranic Healing's sweeping provides more focused, complete removal of energetic congestion, primarily because pranic healers can use several types of hand motions in sweeping, depending on the location and "stubbornness" of the energetic blockage.
Energizing is much more detailed in Pranic Healing than in either Reiki or Therapeutic Touch, though it is still simple to learn. Both Reiki and Therapeutic Touch practitioners channel energy into the body of the patient, and there is some rudimentary targeting of the energy to areas where the patient has discomfort, or where the practitioner feels an energetic disturbance. In Pranic Healing, though, for each specific health problem there is a specific sequence for cleaning and energizing particular parts of the body and particular chakras so that the prana is utilized to maximum healing effect.
While it is based upon some of the tenets that underpin both acupuncture and chi kung, Pranic Healing is easier to learn and use. As in acupuncture, Pranic Healing works with the meridians, but unlike acupuncture Pranic Healing concentrates on only the largest meridians, along which the major chakras lie. Hundreds of other, smaller meridians criss-cross the body, but by performing focused energy work on the large meridians, which feed the others, pranic healers can achieve more effective results in a much shorter period of time. And of course, pranic healers, unlike acupuncturists, needn't study for years to learn the location and path of those smaller meridians and which organs and parts of the body they energize.
There are numerous chi kung schools and thus many types of chi kung healing techniques. chi kung routines, or "sets" of physical and breathing exercises, were developed by Chinese monks centuries ago to supplement their spiritual development and martial arts training, and also to facilitate physical healing. The biggest differences between chi kung and Pranic Healing lie in their energy-generation philosophies and the length of time needed to become proficient in the practice. chi kung relies on internal generation of energy, which means that students learn techniques to help them build up and store energy within their body. They then tap this surplus for meditation, spiritual development, fighting, and healing. Pranic Healing, by contrast, is an external-generation system. Students are taught powerful techniques that enable them to draw in energy from outside the body and then project it into areas of deficiency for healing. Thus, pranic healers don't have to worry about their energy battery "running down." Pranic healers also don't have to spend years learning and practicing complex physical exercises and breathing patterns to build up the level of internal energy needed to heal effectively.
Finally, missing from nearly all other energy medicine systems are two cornerstones of Pranic Healing: the methodical use of colored pranas, which focus and greatly accelerate the healing process, and energetic hygiene, or rules and practices for avoiding energetic contamination and keeping the practitioner's personal energy tank clean and full.
Your Energetic Anatomy
Pranic Healing teaches that illness and health problems result from disturbances to the flow of prana through a network of power centers, passageways, and energy fields that interpenetrate the physical body called the energetic anatomy. Your energetic anatomy, also called your energy body, or simply, your aura, is a three-dimensional cloud of prana that begins inside your physical body and emanates outward in all directions to form a rough outline around your body. The energetic anatomy has five basic components:
1. The chakras, the body's power centers or transformers that take in and distribute prana.
2. The meridians, the body's energy channels that transfer prana to and from the chakras and nearby organs and parts of the body.
3. The inner aura, an inner shell of prana that begins inside the body and extends about 5 inches out from the body in a healthy adult.
4. The outer aura, an outer shell of prana that also begins inside the body and extends up to several feet beyond the inner aura in a healthy adult. The outer aura holds in the body's energy.
5. The health aura, an aggregation of 2-foot-long rays or beams that radiate from the body's pores. In a healthy person, these health rays are straight and well defined, but in a sick person they are crooked or droopy.
These auras are concentric, much like the layers of an onion, with the three auras nesting inside one another (Figure 1-1).
Your energetic anatomy has four principal functions:
1. to absorb, distribute, and energize the physical body with prana;
2. to serve as a mold or template for the physical body;
3. to control, through the chakras, the proper regulation of prana in the physical body;
4. to serve, primarily through the health rays and aura, as a protective shield for the physical body against energetic contamination.
Let's look at the components of the energetic anatomy in more detail.
Your energetic anatomy has three types of chakras: major chakras, which are 3 to 4 inches in diameter; minor chakras, which are 1 to 2 inches in diameter; and mini-chakras, which are less than 1 inch in diameter. (Note: All sizes are for a healthy adult.)
There are 11 major chakras, three of which -- the heart, solar plexus, and spleen -- have a front and back aspect. Thus, with the front and back heart, front and back solar plexus, and front and back spleen, you will work with a total of 14 of these major power centers. (You may find it helpful to refer to Figure 1-2a, Figure 1-2b, and Table 1-I as we discuss them.) Starting at the top of the head and working down the front of the body, through the legs and then up the back, the major chakras are: the crown, the forehead, the ajna (or brows), the throat, the front heart, the front solar plexus, the front spleen, the navel, the sex, the basic, the meng mein (or kidneys), the back spleen, the back solar plexus, and the back heart.
The minor and mini-chakras are located throughout the body in the jaw, hands, feet, arms, and legs. But since most significant health problems can be addressed by working on the major chakras alone, this book does not discuss in detail the minor and mini-chakras (though several remedies in Chapter 13 refer briefly to them). Here is a brief description of each of the major chakras:
The crown chakra is located at the top of the skull and energizes and controls the brain and the pineal gland. It is also one of the most important access points for prana into the body because prana entering the crown energizes the entire body.
The forehead chakra is located in the center of the forehead and energizes and controls the nervous system.
The ajna chakra is located between the eyebrows and energizes and controls the pituitary gland and endocrine system. The ajna is also important because it is the seat of our will power and conscious thought processes.
The throat chakra is located at the Adam's apple and controls the throat, trachea, larynx, esophagus, thyroid gland, and lymphatic system. The throat chakra is also connected to the sex chakra, as it is the upper center of creativity, while the sex chakra is the lower center of creativity.
The heart chakra is in the center of the chest and has two aspects: a front and a back heart chakra. The front heart chakra is located directly behind the sternum or breastbone. The back heart chakra is located on the spine, between the shoulder blades and directly opposite the front heart chakra. The heart chakra controls the heart, the lungs, and the thymus gland.
The solar plexus chakra also has a front and back aspect. The front solar plexus chakra is located in the soft area just below the sternum or breastbone and controls the stomach, pancreas, intestines, and diaphragm. The back solar plexus chakra is located on the spine directly opposite the front solar plexus chakra. The solar plexus chakras are the seat of all our emotions. The front solar plexus controls our expressed emotions -- for example, anger that you let out. The back solar plexus controls our suppressed emotions -- for example, fears that you bottle up. Because of its connection to the emotions and its proximity to the heart, the front solar plexus chakra also has an energetic and health link to the heart chakra and the physical heart.
The spleen chakra, like the heart and solar plexus chakras, has both a front and back aspect. The front spleen chakra is located near the left lowermost rib, or what is called the floating rib. The back spleen chakra is located on the back directly opposite the front spleen chakra. The spleen chakra is important because it draws in prana, assimilates it, and distributes it to all the other chakras.
The navel chakra is located at the navel and is one of the body's main power centers. It controls the large and small intestines and affects the birth process. In many Eastern systems, particularly those derived from Taoist teachings, practitioners are taught to focus on the navel chakra during meditation to build up energy.
The meng mein chakra, or "gate of life," is located on the back between the kidneys directly opposite the navel chakra. This is a key power center, for it acts as a pumping station for energy from the basic chakra. It controls the kidneys, adrenal glands, and upper urinary tract, as well as the blood pressure.
The sex chakra is located behind the pubic bone. In men, this is behind the base of the penis; in women behind the G-spot. The sex chakra controls the pelvic organs, including the bladder, the prostate (in men), the uterus and ovaries (in women), and the sexual organs.
The basic chakra is located at the base of the spine, at the tailbone or coccyx. The basic chakra controls the bones, the muscles, the soft tissue and blood production, as well as the adrenal glands. It also controls the body's general vitality and energy level.
Some forms of yoga, as well as some energy or meditation systems that are concerned primarily with spiritual development, mention only seven chakras. These seven usually include: the root or basic, the spleen, the navel, the heart, the throat, the brow, and the crown. A seven-chakra system may be effective for pure spiritual development, but it is inadequate for physical healing because it omits some important chakras that control and energize key parts of the body -- for example, the front and back solar plexus chakras, the sex chakra, and the meng mein. Furthermore, it does not acknowledge the front and back aspects of the heart and spleen chakras.
Meridians are the body's energy channels. Certain Indian esoteric systems, such as Ayurveda and yoga, refer to these energy channels as nadis. Although meridians carry the body's prana, they are not the same as our nervous system, nor do they follow closely the nerve paths or any other physiological paths identified by Western medicine -- for example, the circulatory or lymph systems.
The body has several large meridians and hundreds of smaller ones. In this book, we focus on only the two largest channels, for two reasons: first, these two large meridians control the smaller ones; and second, it is along these two major meridians that our major chakras are located. One major meridian runs down the front of the body from the crown on the top of the head down through the heart, front solar plexus, navel, and sex chakras and ends at the perineum (the soft area between the genitals and the anus). In Chinese systems, this meridian is called the functional channel. The corresponding major meridian on the back runs up from the perineum through the basic, the meng mein, the back solar plexus, the back heart, to the crown. Chinese systems call this the governor channel. Those who have read about any Chinese or Taoist systems or practiced them may be familiar with these two channels because together, they comprise what is sometimes called the "microcosmic orbit" or "small heavenly circle." Many Taoist systems feature a meditation that teaches practitioners to circulate their prana through these two large meridians.
Of your body's three auras -- outer, inner, and health -- Pranic Healing is most concerned with the inner aura. The inner aura is composed of the prana emanating from the chakras and the meridians. Thus, it is on the inner aura that you perform the energy manipulation techniques of scanning (feeling energetic disturbances), sweeping (cleaning away energetic congestion), and energizing (supplementing areas of pranic deficiency). These techniques are covered in Chapters 5 through 9.
With this discussion of energetic anatomy as a backdrop, let us take a closer look at the bio-force that powers our energetic anatomy, prana.
There are three principal sources of prana: the air, from which we get air prana; the earth, from which we get ground prana; and the sun, from which we get solar prana. All living things have the innate ability to absorb and utilize prana to sustain life. We do this unconsciously. For instance, we get solar prana through exposure to sunlight. We get air prana through the act of respiration. And we absorb ground prana through our feet as we walk around every day. (We also get prana from the food we eat, but consuming food is merely an indirect way of obtaining prana that ultimately comes from the air, earth, and sun.)
Other, more powerful, conscious methods of acquiring prana can be employed to obtain both a greater quantity and a higher quality of this life force. These more powerful prana-generation techniques are the key to effective self-healing. Energy generation is discussed in detail in Chapters 8 and 12, but Table 1-II gives you a look at the range of some of these techniques.
While all prana is energy, there are slight variations in the quality of the prana, depending on the source. For instance, solar prana is more refined than ground prana, which means that solar prana vibrates at a higher frequency than earth prana and is composed of smaller, finer particles. While all prana can be used for physical healing, its level of refinement dictates its suitability for certain purposes. For instance, higher-frequency prana is used for spiritual development and healing delicate areas, while lower-frequency prana is used for increasing physical power and healing not-so-delicate areas.
Prana is remarkably powerful and resilient, yet it is also very delicate. Prana can be used to relieve serious health problems. It can even be projected over great distances without losing its strength or effectiveness. But your prana can also be diminished or weakened by many factors, including your beliefs, emotions, attitudes, inhibitions, and traumatic memories, the food you eat, the people you associate with, where you work and live, how you work and live, what you say, what you think, and how you react to the general level of stress in your life.
In general, your state of health is tied to your supply of prana. When your prana is clean and plentiful, you are in good physical and mental health. When your prana is low or dirty, you typically experience some type of health problem.
Now let's perform an experiment that will allow you to feel your own prana.
Exercise 1-A: Detecting Your Own Personal Energetic Anatomy -- Hand Sensitivity Exercise 1
The easiest and quickest way to understand prana and your energetic anatomy, and how simple it can be to work with both, is to learn to feel your own personal energy. In this exercise, you will sensitize your hand chakras, which are located in the center of the palm (Figure 1-3), to feel the energy between them. You may sit or stand while performing this exercise.
1. Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth just behind the hard palate (the hard ridge behind your top row of teeth). Keep it there throughout the exercise. This connects the two major energy channels that run down the front and back of your body along which your major chakras are located. It also increases your sensitivity to energy.
2. Take four slow, deep breaths, breathing in and out all the way down to the bottom of your lungs. Breathe in and out through your nose. This helps clear and calm the mind, as well as relax the body.
3. Wrist rolls: Extend your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height. Roll your hands at the wrists 10 times in both directions; make small circles with your hands pivoting at the wrist, stirring 10 times clockwise and 10 times counterclockwise.
4. Hand openers: Open and close your hands vigorously 10 times.
5. Elbow, finger shake: Begin with your arms at your sides. Bring your fists up near your shoulders as if you were curling a dumbbell in your hands. The back of your hands should be facing away from you. From this position, snap your arms down, flicking your fingers open as you reach the bottom, as if you were dropping the imaginary dumbbells, and then back up 10 times quickly. Take care not to hyperextend your elbow (bend it beyond its natural range of motion) or jolt the joint. This movement should not hurt.
6. Extend your hands in front of you, with your palms about 3 inches apart and facing each other as if you are about to clap your hands. Spread your fingers. Now with the thumb of your right hand press down lightly into the center of your left palm for a few seconds. Then repeat the movement with your other hand, using your left thumb to press down into your right palm.
7. Now hold your elbows close to your waist with your forearms extended in front of you, parallel to the ground. Keep your hands relaxed with your palms facing each other about 3 inches apart as if you were about to clap your hands. Close your eyes. Keeping your hands a few inches apart, just breathe slowly and focus lightly on the centers of your palms. Do this for about 30 seconds (Figure 1-4).
8. Then, keeping your hands, wrists, and elbows steady, begin to move your arms in and out a few inches from each other, moving your hands closer together and then farther apart. Pretend you are clapping your hands in very slow motion, but don't let your hands meet. Bring your palms to within an inch or two of each other and then, slowly, move them out about a foot, and then bring them close together again. Repeat this action for about 30 seconds. Very shortly, you'll feel some resistance between your palms, as if you're holding a balloon, or your palms will begin to tingle or get itchy or warm. When you do sense this resistance, heat, or buzzing in your hands, what you are feeling is your energy, your prana, the life force that surrounds and interpenetrates the bodies of all living things.
Don't worry if you don't feel this energy on your first try. If you don't sense a warmth or tingling sensation in your palms after completing this exercise once, stop for a few moments, take a few deep breaths, focus on your palms, and start the exercise from the beginning again. You'll feel the energy before too long.
Even If You Can't Feel the Energy Right Away, Relax: You'll Still Be Able to Heal
We frequently tell our students that those who can't feel the energy immediately can still make this system work for them. Most important, you will still be able to perform healings. When I (Master Co) started with Pranic Healing, I had a technical, skeptical mind (from my engineering training and background), and was hindered further by a strict religious upbringing that did not look favorably upon energy healing. Despite daily practice, I was not able to feel the energy for almost two-and-a-half years. Yet I stayed with the system because I was still able to produce remarkable healings. The incident that really convinced me of the effectiveness of Pranic Healing came when I healed my wife, Daphne, of several compound fractures of her right hip. Daphne had fallen 14 feet, and the orthopedic surgeon who put her in traction to align the bones said it would take at least three-and-a-half months before she could even begin to try to walk again. I began applying Pranic Healing three times daily and subsequent visits to the orthopedic surgeon revealed that her hip was healing rapidly. Finally, in only five weeks -- one-third the minimum time her doctor projected -- she was up and running, literally. At about the same time, I also relieved my mother's chronic indigestion in only a few minutes, helped several clients reduce lumps by at least 75 percent, and had one client whose liver cancer went into remission for a year. These are dramatic results, but they are just a handful of the healings that I was able to accomplish before I was fully sensitized and able to feel prana. As an instructor over the last ten years, I have witnessed many students who did not immediately feel energy and still were able to relieve their classmates of various aches, pains, and ailments.
The important point to understand is that Pranic Healing is not dependent ultimately on the practitioner's being able to feel energetic disturbances. If you still can't feel prana by the time you get to the specific health remedies in Chapter 13, you can still heal simply by following the step-by-step instructions. Each specific health remedy is a tested, proven "recipe" designed to address the energetic imbalances related to a specific health problem, and you don't need to be able to feel the energy to make the remedy work for you.
As you work through the progressive exercises in this book, if you can't feel the prana, simply relax and continue with the program and your practice. You will feel the energy before too long. The methods of teaching Pranic Healing have improved dramatically over the last ten years. As a result, the vast majority of students today can feel the energy at the end of the first class, and 95 percent can feel their energy within two weeks if they practice hand sensitivity daily. We've based this book on those same new techniques and technologies, so just stick with your practice, and you will feel the prana.
Scientific Evidence of an Energetic Template and Self-Healing Ability
While mainstream medicine has been slow -- and often outright reluctant -- to accept the principles of energy medicine, some medical researchers have conducted experiments that support its basic tenets. Dr. Robert Becker, an orthopedic surgeon at New York University, performed some interesting investigations into the regenerative ability of simple, less evolved life forms that strongly support the notion of an energetic template, or mold. Becker cites the work of Swiss scientist Abraham Trembley, who found several species of hydras (a small, tube-shaped freshwater polyp) that regenerate if cut into pieces, as long as the piece had a portion of the central "stalk" or body. Becker also references at length the experiments of Lazzaro Spallanzani, an Italian priest who showed that a salamander could regrow a tail or a limb if it was cut off. Becker points out that if both the tail and the leg of the salamander are removed, you can take some tail cells and move them to the area of the severed limb, and they will grow into a limb. Before these experiments, it had been thought that these tails cells had differentiated -- that is, their genetic code had been programmed to grow into a tail. But the experiments indicate that the salamander's tail cells can de-differentiate (become general cells) and then redifferentiate into cells coded for a different purpose (to grow into a limb). In the salamander body, some force or consciousness in its cells somehow knew to grow a limb, even though the cells that had been placed into the area of the severed limb had already been programmed to grow into a tail. According to traditional scientific thinking, this is not supposed to be possible. Becker compares this to a pile of bricks spontaneously rearranging itself into a high-rise building, complete with structural steel, windows, and roof!
Becker cites further examples of regeneration. A newt can regenerate a new eye, including an optic nerve, in about 40 days. Goldfish and salamanders can regenerate spinal fibers. Even humans have some regenerative capability. The human liver can replace a portion of its mass lost due to injury through what medical science calls compensatory hypertrophy, the ability of cells to increase their rate of division and replace the lost tissue. And damage to or dysfunction of one kidney frequently leads to enlargement of the other.
Becker notes that regeneration becomes more difficult as you move up the evolutionary ladder, but the implications of his work are still significant:
1. Life can heal itself.
2. There is a self-regenerating ability.
3. There is a self-regenerating force and an intelligence that can direct it.
4. There is a larger energetic template that directs cells to grow and differentiate.
Basic Laws of Energy Self-Healing
Here are the basic principles regarding the use of prana in self-healing. These simple laws underpin the energy and healing work in this book.
1. When energy flows through the body properly, you are in a state of health. This is the most fundamental truth about prana, the body, the mind, and our health. If the aura is clean, the meridians clear, and the chakras balanced and functioning properly, the body is in a state of physical and mental health.
2. When there is an energetic disturbance in the body, a disease state is created. This is the corollary of the first rule. When the body's energy is disrupted in some way, when it is prevented from flowing smoothly through the meridians, to and from the chakras, and to and from the organs, a health problem is present (or about to be present; see principle 5 below). There are two types of energetic disturbances: congestion, which is an accumulation of either excess or dirty prana; and depletion, which is a deficiency of prana. These energetic disturbances can be either general (occurring throughout the entire aura) or local (occurring in a specific area, chakra or meridian). For the body to be returned to a state of health, these energetic disturbances must be corrected.
3. You can sense, increase, and direct the body's supply of prana to improve your health -- if you have the proper training. Prana is a living force; it has consciousness. It can be built up and consciously controlled. There is a saying in chi kung practice: "The chi follows the yi." Chi is, as explained earlier, a synonym for universal life force. We don't have a perfectly equivalent word for yi in English, but it refers to the mind or intent. Thus, the rough translation is: "energy follows thought"; prana goes where you intend it to go. This book provides you with the proper training to build up a surplus of prana and direct it to improve your health.
4. The body always moves toward homeostasis. Homeostasis is a word from Greek that means a state of stability or equanimity between different but interdependent groups or elements of an organism. All systems in nature move toward balance. The body, too, seeks a balanced energetic level. Why? Because this state of equilibrium, or health, is our natural state. Our body naturally seeks health.
5. Illnesses manifest in the energy body before they manifest in the physical body. The energy body is the template, or mold, for the physical body; it surrounds and interpenetrates the physical body. Thus, health problems occur first as irregularities or disturbances in the energy body before they become symptoms or full-blown health problems in the physical body. By treating problems at the energetic level, you heal the physical body. Additionally, through regular energy-generation exercises and proactive steps to keep the energy body clean, you help prevent physical ailments from occurring and greatly diminish their effects if they do physically manifest.
6. Healing occurs in the energy body before it becomes apparent in the physical body. This is a corollary of the fifth principle. When energy healing is applied to the aura, there can often be very rapid and dramatic positive results in the physical body. But there can also be a slight lag time before the healing manifests in the physical body. The length of this lag time depends on factors such as the healer's experience and proficiency, the complexity and severity of the health problem, and the current energy level of the person with the affliction.
7. The root cause of the energetic disturbances that cause many physical ailments is frequently negative thoughts and emotions stored in the body. Thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and memories contain real energy that is stored unconsciously in the physical body. (Consider: How do you know when you're nervous, angry, or fearful? Not through intellectual awareness. Only by feeling a physical manifestation in your body -- for example, stomach spasms, a tight neck, an increased heart rate, a sudden urge to go to the bathroom, heavy perspiration, etc.). Negative emotions themselves do not cause problems; our resistance to feeling them and releasing their energy in a constructive way causes the problem. When you avoid feeling negative emotions and beliefs, your body's musculature physically constricts and holds on to them. Held tightly in the body over a period of time, these negative emotions, limiting beliefs, and traumatic memories form blockages and energetic disturbances that lead to physical health problems. Certainly, your health can be affected adversely by external factors such as bacteria and viruses, as well as poor life choices, bad habits, and accidents. But many health problems result from an energetic disturbance that is ultimately caused by the unconscious mind trapping a negative emotion or limiting belief in the body.
The Six Steps to Self-Healing
This book facilitates self-healing through six steps that help you balance your aura, boost your overall energy, and address particular health problems with specific energetic remedies. As you work through these steps, don't mistake their simplicity for lack of sophistication or effectiveness. Just as the binary system of computer communication, a series of zeroes and ones, appears simple but has enormous brilliance and complexity behind it, these six steps to self-healing are easy to learn and apply because they've been distilled from many powerful energy healing systems and technologies. You're getting only the essential healing practices and techniques, so that you can perform them with minimal preparation and maximum effectiveness. We want you to spend your time healing yourself rapidly and properly, not studying book-length theories. The six steps are:
1. Clearing negative emotions and limiting beliefs -- This includes several techniques for removing negative emotions, fears, traumatic memories, phobias, anxieties, and limiting beliefs from the body, where they block the flow of prana. They must be cleared in order to restore the body's energetic balance.
2. Pranic breathing -- Pranic breathing is an optimal breathing technique that promotes physiological and energetic health benefits, including improved circulation, reduced strain on your heart, an enhanced immune system, and most important, the ability to draw in greater amounts of prana to be used for general energizing and specific self-healing.
3. Energy manipulation -- These are three unique Pranic Healing techniques. They include scanning, the method by which you use your hands to feel for energetic imbalances; sweeping, the technique for manually cleaning away dirty or congested prana; and energizing, the process of drawing in prana and supplementing depleted areas.
4. Energetic hygiene -- This is the practice of keeping your energy body as clean and charged up as possible through emotional regulation, dietary recommendations, special physical exercises, breathing practices, meditation, an energetically clean home and work environment, and the appropriate use of salt as a cleansing remedy.
5. Meditation -- Meditation helps still your mind, calm your body, and increase your flow of healing, cleansing energy. Two meditations are included in this book. One is a mindfulness meditation; the other is Grandmaster Choa's "Meditation on Twin Hearts," a powerful meditation on peace and lovingkindness.
6. Energy-generation exercises -- These two powerful routines, the modified Tibetan Yogic Exercises and the modified Mentalphysics Exercises, enable you to draw in and generate great quantities of high-quality prana.
In the next chapter, you'll learn about the emotional root cause of many health problems and how your mind's efforts to protect you sometimes aggravate these problems.
Copyright © 2002 by Master Stephen Co, Eric B. Robins, M.D., and John Merryman