Prana – energy therapy through yoga

On my website you may have come across the use of the word “energy” in a few places. Reflexologists often talk about “balancing the energy” of the body, “energy flow”, “low energy” or “blocked energy”. Often what is meant by this is a form of subtle energy that is akin to what in yoga is referred to as prana and in traditional chinese medicine as qi or chi.

These disciplines and traditions believe that this subtle energy flows through the body along channels and is a necessary part of life itself. It’s a difficult concept for those of us raised in the western world, with its reliance on allopathic medicine, because we have no complete scientific theory of what this energy is and how it flows. It’s possible that it is a form of bio-electrical-magnetic force, perhaps passed on at a cellular level that our western instruments can’t yet monitor or reproduce. However, in my experience – as in that of many fellow therapists – it is real and it does exist and as we experience it we become sensitised to it and able to feel and respond to it.

In a reflexology treatment I often tune in to this energy within my client by assessing the balance between certain reflexes and encouraging any imbalances to correct themselves. This is a targeted treatment of the energy system and can be very useful for specific conditions. In addition I always address the energy flow of the whole person by other techniques such as grounding in which the connection between the client and the earth is established and nourished.

As well as reflexology there are numerous other ways to work with your energy to encourage correct balance and flow. Reiki is extremely powerful because it channels the infinite universal energy that is all around us to fortify our own energy flow. And recently I have been taking yin yoga classes at my Pilates studio and found that, for me, these sessions are extremely helpful in encouraging the flow of my energy (prana) and in helping blockages to be removed. Yin yoga uses long held passive poses to release the connective tissue within the body while focusing on breath and is a form of physical meditation. Connective tissue is present everywhere in the body and probably forms an important part of the physical aspect of the energy channels. So in yin yoga the energy channels are addressed both from the physical and the mental points of view which is why it is so effective in promoting the energy flow.

If you practise yoga you may already be aware of these benefits, and if not I recommend that you try it. Helen at Bodywork-Pilates can point you in the right direction if you are in Chester or you can find a local teacher through the British Wheel of Yoga.

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