JSB-Special Issue

Journal of Spiritual Bodywork

       Special Issue              ISSN 1079-8390                       December 1996

SUBTLE ENERGY IS INVOLVED IN

HEALING, HEALTH, AND BODYWORK

Albert Schatz and Mary Brewster

It is possible that human emanations exist that are still unknown to us. Do you remember how electrical currents and "unseen weaves" were laughed at? The knowledge about man is still in its infancy. - Albert Einstein

We live in an ocean

of energy

We live and move in a vast and complicated ocean of energies. These energies move in and out of our own individual fields in a similar fashion to the process of breathing. Each individual seems to have his own selective process for taking in various types of energy. Certain activities or stimuli key in or give access to this ocean of energy. Other activities or emotional states may decrease the access to surrounding energies. Grief or self-centeredness, for example, appear to greatly diminish the individual's access to this energy supply... Within a group of people there is often a stimulating exchange of energies between and among individuals. 1

We are energy

Every individual living organism can  be described both as a physical entity and as a system of energy fields that are constantly interacting with the environment, which includes all other organisms. These fields (like all those known to science) permeate space. Each individual is a localization  (concentration) of energy within these universal fields. Moreover, these individual local fields interact with one another, being part of one whole, dynamic, and interdependent system... An energetic approach to human interaction may explain how individuals unknowingly affect each other.

The application of such a perspective may have outcomes that change our perception of human relationships, since every thought or emotion is an energy that may affect the energy field of others... Every thought, action, and emotion  can thus be seen as an energetic pattern with distinct characteristics - a pattern which we may unconsciously radiate or deliberately direct at another person. In fact, illness and health have characteristic  patterns of energy flow within each individual. Such dynamic patterns of energy may be likened to the ripple formation caused when a pebble is dropped into water. 2

Subtle energy is

important

Subtle energy is involved in our regaining and maintaining health, our personal relationships, and how we relate to other forms of life and everything else on our planet and in the universe.

Our material bodies and subtle energy fields (our energy bodies) are intimately interrelated and influence one another. When a Therapeutic Touch practitioner works on an individual's energy field without touching her material body, changes occur in her material body. Conversely, when a Swedish Massage practitioner works on an individual's material body without working on her energy field, her energy field increases.3

When a healer does a contact healing or a distant healing, the energy field of the person she works on is increased and balanced (symmetric). Some health problems appear as an imbalance or asymmetry of the energy field before symptoms appear in the material body. Conversely, balancing an individual's energy field often precedes the diminution and/or disappearance of a health problem.

Our mind, which may be viewed as one or more energy fields, consciously and unconsciously influences our health. This occurs because our thoughts and feelings are subtle energy patterns which affect our material bodies. Feelings of confidence and determination help us recover from illness. Feelings of hopelessness and despair are conducive to our developing illness. This means that You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought4 because Your Body Believes Every Word You Say.5 Our thoughts are also involved in the placebo effect, which is more important than previously acknowledged.6  

Subtle energy and

health

Our physical bodies consist of energy and matter. We are as much energy as we are matter. When people who see auras look at the human body, they see both the material body and its subtle energy field. Those of us who do not see auras see only the material body. When people do Therapeutic Touch, their hands feel the subtle energy field around the material body.

The energy  field consists of subtle energy which is the energy we are primarily concerned with in this report. The term subtle  is used because subtle energies are less obvious to us than other energies with which we are ordinarily familiar.

Examples of well-known energies are light, heat (e.g. the temperature of our body and the room we are in), sound (e.g. our voice) and kinetic energy which keeps our hearts beating. We use kinetic energy to stand erect, shout and breathe; and to push, pull, lift, carry, and throw things.

Subtle energies are what our thoughts and feelings are made of. These include anxiety, fear, determination, frustration, anger, hope, exultation, emotional pain, worry, excitement, etc.  Spirituality also involves subtle energy because it consists of our values, how we feel about them, and our feelings associated with what we do about them. 

Our energy bodies and our material bodies are intimately interrelated and influence each other. The comment He worried himself to death. recognizes (whether we are aware of it or not) how intimately interrelated our (subtle energy) mind and our (material) body are. He worried himself to death. also illustrates how profoundly subtle energy (thoughts, in this case) can affect the material body.

An individual's material body is comparable to a magnet. His energy field is comparable to the magnet's energy field which we call the magnetic field. A person's material body, like a magnet, has a fixed volume and occupies a well-defined space. 

An  individual's energy field does not occupy that kind of well-defined space. When we play with a magnet, we detect only that part of its field which is strong enough, within a certain distance, to pick up a nail, move the needle of a compass and produce an electrical current. But the magnetic field fills the universe, as radio waves do when they are transmitted from a broadcasting station. Because our energy fields fill the universe, each of us is literally as big as the universe itself. As a material body in the universe, each of us is smaller than a speck of dust ion our planet.

A person's mind may be considered a unique kind of subtle energy that is part of his overall energy field. In this sense, the mind occupies his entire material body and the rest of the universe.

We do and we don't end at our skin. Our material bodies end at our skins. Our energy fields, which are within and without our material bodies, have no skins and no ends. Each person's energy field occupies the entire universe. This includes his material body. Even though one does Therapeutic Touch only on a person's energy field, that person's entire material body is influenced because his energy field fills his entire material body. These considerations also apply to massage. Even though massage moves only the soft tissues, it influences a person's energy field. Therefore, the massage practitioner works on the entire physical body. This includes the whole musculoskeletal system, every other system, and the energy body.  

We connect with other people in two ways

1. Our material bodies are connected only when they touch one another.

2. Our energy fields (our energy bodies) are connected all the time, no matter where we are.

Each of us is literally "all over the place." We are also connected with everything else on the planet and throughout the universe. Because our energy fields occupy and fill the universe, each one of us is simultaneously everywhere in the universe. Everybody's energy field continually touches, overlaps, penetrates, fills and occupies everybody else's energy field and material body. Thus, each one of us is in a very intimate energy relationship with everybody else on this planet whether we know it or not, and whether we like it or not!

Health refers to the state or condition we are in physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Subtle energy fields are involved in all four areas. Because we each have a material body and an energy field, we influence health on the following two levels. 

1. On an individual basis, each person's material body and energy field are intimately connected and continuously influence one another. It is therefore not surprising that they  both influence an individual's health.

2. Collectively, we are all connected with one another through our energy fields. We therefore continuously influence each other's health directly and indirectly, consciously and unconsciously. 

We are all made of

stardust and sunlight

We are all related to the universe in different ways. We all live in an ocean of energies that fill the entire universe. Our own energy fields are part of that ocean. The universe contains many other kinds of energies with which we interact. These include radio waves, micro waves, gamma rays, the light and heat of our sun, and the light of other suns that we call stars.

Some of the starlight energy in the ocean of energies that bathes us is 15 billion-year-old fossil light  It is fossil light because it was emitted by stars which became extinct long before our planet was born. The stars which emitted the starlight we now see no longer exist. This is a ghost story because their starlight is a ghost.

We come from the stars because some of the elements that make up our material bodies are made of star dust. They literally came from the stars eons ago.7

We also come from the sun, which is a star in our galaxy,  because the energy on which our life processes depend comes from the sun. We obtain that energy from fruits, vegetables and grains produced by plants which stored sunlight energy in a form we can use. The energy in the meat we consume was originally sunlight energy stored in plants that were eaten by animals. "We are what we eat." "All flesh is grass."   

Energy fields connect massage

practitioners and clients

 "A massage practitioner and her client are interconnected through their energy fields before manipulations bring them into ... "material" contact. This subtle energetic interconnection may be responsible for bringing them together for the massage. Therefore energy fields influence massage and massage influences energy fields."8 It is a reciprocal action. It works both ways.

"It is therefore no longer" only "a matter of how well a massage practitioner administers manipulations. How her energy field influences her client, and whether she is aware of that influence is also important. Thus, the massage she gives may be significantly affected by her thoughts and feelings ... which are forms of" subtle "energy ... as much as by her manipulations" which involve kinetic energy. "This new concept of massage has much in common with Therapeutic Touch where the intent of the practitioner is of primary importance."3

 References

1. Karagulla, S. Breakthrough to Creativity. DeVorss & Co. CA. 1967.

2. Kunz, D., and Peper,  E. Fields and their clinical implications. Spiritual Aspects of the Healing Arts. pp. 213-261. The  Theosophical Publishing House. Wheaton, IL 1985.

3. Schatz, A., and Carlson, K. The integration of Swedish Massage and Therapeutic Touch. Swedish Massage increases the human energy field. Massage & Bodywork Quarterly. 10(2):51-55, 1995.

4. McWilliams., P. You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought. A Book for People with Any Life-Threatening Illness - Including Life. Prelude Press, CA. 1995.

5. Levine, B.H. Your Body Believes Every Word You Say. The Language of the Body-Mind Connection. Aslan Publishing. 1991.

6. Benson, H. Timeless Healing. The Power of Biology and Belief. Simon & Schuster. New York. 1996.

7.  Dossey, L. Space, Time & Medicine. New Science Library. Shambhala. Boston. 1982.

8. Schatz, A. I.A.M.S. massage is the massage of the future. Holistic Massage (magazine). Spring. 1989.

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