woman in sedonaAll of my life I have had a heightened ability to sense what can't be seen with the physical eyes or proven through classical science. Everyone has intuition, everyone is born with it and some of us stayed wildly plugged into our intuitive abilities from birth.

I have always been able to feel energy. I could feel others' emotions even if they were miles away. I could feel the grandmotherly energies of the Smoky Mountains as a young girl and the powerful push and pull energies of the ocean. In a crowd of people I often felt overwhelmed by what felt like 1000 pipe organs all playing different songs at the same time.  I felt the soft whispering energy of flowers and the dense, heavy energy of certain historical buildings.

When I began practicing a Taoist form of meditation in 1993 I was introduced to the concept of "energy" also known as "chi", "ki", "prana" or "life force"  depending on the tradition.

I was taught that this "energy" is the essence of all of Nature. I learned through the philosophy and practice of Taoism combined with other traditions that spiritual living begins and ends with deep reverence and respect for all of Nature inside of us and outside of us. I was taught to pay respect to the "unknown" as well as to all that can be seen and known through human senses.

I often hear people ask about this idea of "energy healing." What is it and what does this have to do with living a healthy, holistic lifestyle?

First, let's consider the over-arching concept of holistic healing and quantum mechanics and then how this lends to "energy healing."

Holistic healing addresses the WHOLE of who and what a person is... the physical body, the mental and emotional processes and the spiritual essence of each person in relation to all that is Nature within and without.

Scientists used to believe and teach that the world is made only of tangible things that we can observe and recognize: grocery carts, basket balls, escalators, human bodies. They believed that these things exert forces and interact, and their motions change in response to those influences. BUT...in the early decades of the twentieth century, physicists eventually came to the conclusion that the classic rules of physics were not the end-all-be-all explanation for all of reality. Quantum mechanics, today, receives the respect that classical mechanics held at the dawn of the twentieth century. Today, most researchers believe that the ultimate laws of physics are quantum-mechanical in nature.

When we refer to "the body," we must also consider "the subtle bodies." You have the physical form of your body you can see with your eyes, touch with your fingers. You also have "subtle bodies” which refers to layers of your being beyond, inside and outside of your physical form.

All matter at base level is simply molecules vibrating at varying rates. Your entire bodily system is simply  energy that shows up in various patterns and various rates of vibration. Our thoughts and feelings are inherently connected to our physical bodies and those thoughts and feelings indeed have a vibration of their own. Consider the sensation of grief in your body when experiencing the death of a loved one as opposed the sensation of joy when experiencing the birth of a child. Think of the experience of watching the sun set over a peaceful lake with as opposed to watching a violent movie. The feelings elicited from these experiences each have very different vibrations.

The nature in and of our physical bodies create patterns that work to keep our hearts beating, our blood flowing, our breath regulating. When these patterns of energy work together in a balanced way then we experience physical health and wellbeing for the most part.

When these patterns are disrupted we experience imbalance, pain and illness. From mild indigestion to a debilitating disease, the body can experience degrees of imbalance. Balance equals ease. Imbalances can equal dis-ease. Nature will heal itself if given optimal opportunity. Correcting this imbalance one way or another is what healing is all about.

Aside from all of the practical means of attending to a balanced, healthy body such as eating organic whole foods, drinking plenty of pure water, getting plenty of quality rest, moving the body optimally  we also can look to many other means to bring about balancing and healing.

You see, when we turn to something that is inherently in a state of natural balance, it can help us by calling us to return to the original, balanced, natural patterns of energy that belong to our bodies.

Think about this... Consider a time in your life when you were in a lousy mood. Perhaps you were feeling frustrated or melancholy but you found yourself feeling lighter after listening to a beautiful song, viewing an amazing work of art, watching that sunset over the lake or sitting in a church or temple.

I see it happen every day at my wellness center. Clients walk in the door feeling heavy, disturbed. By the time they leave the session an hour later they are visibly lighter and I am convinced it is all about the high vibration of energy in the space as well as the high vibration my fellow therapists and I bring to our sessions with clients.

When we are open and receptive and willing, we can experience energetic healing by allowing the higher vibration of plants, objects, sounds, laughter, aromas or simply the presence of another person who is in harmony to affect us.  Receptivity and willingness is key.

Emotions are a form of energy. To be released from the stuck patterns of emotional pain, it is often important to explore and express emotions in the safety of a therapy relationship or healing session with a trained practitioner. It helps my clients when they feel intense emotion to remind themselves, "This emotion is just energy moving through for the purpose of release and healing."

There are many, many methods of energy healing. In my years as a psychotherapist and coach, there has always been a powerful but subtle element of energy healing that naturally takes place for my clients in therapy and coaching sessions. Part of this is because of the dedicated personal practice I have observed for many years which has cultivated a hive of buzzing healing vibes people can often feel when they sit with me. Part of the subtle but powerful energy healing that has happened is simply through sitting, listening and feeling sincere compassion. All the years I practiced traditional psychotherapy and now my coaching work, through my full presence in high vibration of compassion, listening, reflecting and holding the space for clients, there is and has always been a consistent and profound energy healing happening for clients without me having to direct anything.

Beyond that, there are many other ways people can experience energy healing. There is Reiki, Chi Kung Energy Healing, Crystal Therapy, Aromatherapy, Pranic Healing, CranioSacral Therapy, and much more.