You have certainly seen them while scoping out the New Age section of your local bookstore. Prana. Aura. Chakra. Tantra. What do all of these words mean? What’s the story here? Obviously there must be something to it, with all of these books dedicated to the topic.
Are All Energy Healings the Same?
Prana is a Hindu method of energy healing, and dates back to antiquity. Chakra is a term often seen in regard to Pranic healing, as is the word aura. The aura is a a sort of non-physical companion to the physical body, having seven layers, or chakras. These layers relate to the emotional, spiritual, mental and physical well being of a person as measured in energy. The color and depth of these auras give the healer a clue to the health of the person they are studying. There are six basic color variations in these auras, and are considered to be tied to six personality types. All six colors will be present in all persons, but one or two colors will be prominent in any given individual. These colors are:
Green – ambitious achiever
Blue – spiritual peacemaker
White – unconventional chameleon
Red – activist
Orange – creative communicator
Violet – psychic
Tantra is most commonly associated with the combination of spiritual and sexual techniques, it is also a type of energy healing. From the word tan (to spread, expand), tantra is related to the idea of connectedness. This connectedness is a common theme in writings on tantra. This spiritual/sexual connection is used as a way of energy healing. Tantric practitioners hold that during orgasm, the union of man and woman takes on a spiritual aspect which can cast negative energies and impurities from the bodies of the practitioners. These negative energies if left untouched can cause illnesses.
Reiki has a different origin than that of Prana and Tantra (whose roots of course lie in the Hindu religion). Reiki hails from Japan, and is much newer than the other two forms of energy healing. Reiki means “universal energy”, e.g. and energy emanating form some higher intelligence. Reiki practitioners use this source energy to heal illnesses of the emotions, the mind and the body.
All three systems of energy healing discussed here are similar in their aims, but differ in the source of the energy drawn upon for healing. Prana uses life energy, Tantra sexual energy and Reiki universal energy.
All three also share another similarity: the belief in the interconnectedness of people with their surroundings and with other living (and even non-living) things in the environment, as well as the effect of energy on the well being of individuals.
Why Do People Turn to Energy Healing?
Pranic, Tantric, and Reiki are all considered to be alternative forms of healing. More and more are drawn to energy healing, despite the continual advances made my conventional western medicine. Why is this? Here are some possibilities:
· Energy healing worked where modern medicine failed.
Modern medicine has at times just out and out failed to heal some illnesses. There are reasons for this, some explainable by science, some not. Many will take a chance on alternative treatments as a last resort when conventional medicine has failed. Sometimes, these techniques effect a cure where other methods could not. Whether or not the research bears it out statistically, alternative and traditional healing has saved the lives of some patients.
· People perceive modern medicine to be isolating.
Western medicine is not by nature holistic. Focusing strictly on the disease and it’s cause, rather than the overall health of the patient which provided the disease a place to settle, the patient can be left feeling like they are merely a petri dish where physicians do battle with their disease. While conventional medicine is starting to move in the direction of holistic treatments, the shift is happening gradually. With energy healing, health, spirituality and energy are seen as all part of one thing; this means the patient feels like they are being cared for as a person rather as a symptom.
· Energy healing is non-obtrusive and natural thus it is safer.
Surgery can be traumatic and dangerous for patients, especially if surgical interventions must occur repeatedly. this makes energy healing attractive to many patients. Non-invasive and natural, it is certainly a safe option for treatment, and one rapidly growing in popularity.
· Energy healing is a good way of relieving stress.
An added benefit of energy healing for the stressed individual is its emphasis on meditation. After stress can cause and exacerbate some health conditions. Also, energy healing is an attractive field for students to get into as it doesn’t require practitioners to have tons of sophisticated and expensive equipment.
Traditional medicine and alternative healing methods will continue to fight it out in the arena of public opinion for many years to come. Both have their benefits and their place. What matters in the end however, is the restoration and maintenance of health.