Universal Healing Energy
Since 1987, I have practiced, and taught Therapeutic Touch. Therapeutic Touch, based on
many ancient traditions of healing, is one of many methods that uses an awareness of
energy to help a person heal. Dora Kunz and Dolores Krieger, PhD, RN introduced
Therapeutic Touch to the health care community in the 1970s. Since that time there
has been a growing body of scholarly work challenging and supporting its effectiveness.
When a person practices healing through energy work, such as Therapeutic Touch (TT), s/he
develops an attentiveness to working and living from a place of center. This means that
there is the conscious intent to focus on and allow Universal Healing Energy, the energy
that supports and sustains life. It is an energy of inner stillness, calm, compassion,
light, good will, balance, harmony, wisdom, respect and peace. Breath connects us to this
vital energy as well as to our environment.
"The first principle:
A human being is an energy field or an energy system."
Underlying Principles of Therapeutic Touch
The following underlying principles of Therapeutic Touch reflect an awareness of energy
that naturally broadens and deepens as the practitioner develops her or his skill. The
principles are grounded in the late Martha Rogers theory of person as a unitary
human being. The first principle: A human being is an energy field or an energy system.
This perception recognizes that the energy is not simply around the person but also is the
person. For example, the cells that create the human body are energy as is the oxygen
which is breathed in and transported to the cells. Every person is unique therefore her or
his energy is unique; as is every interaction. The second principle: A human being and
the environment are continually, simultaneously, and mutually exchanging energy. The
environment is defined as everything in the universe, including other people, nature,
traffic, colors, sounds, aromas, textures and so on. As a society, we recognize the
continual, simultaneous and mutual exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. However, as
individuals practice energy awareness, there is also recognition of an exchange of energy
at other levels. The exchange of emotion occurs consciously or unconsciously; for example,
when an angry person walks into a room, others in the room may notice it even if the
person says or does nothing. The third principle is that universal order is a force
innate to all energy fields; this is similar to the idea of the order of nature. The
more I practice and experiment with trusting this universal order, the more aware of it I
become. As well, the more aware I become of times when I am resisting it or "banging
my head against the wall" so to speak. Awareness of energy naturally results in
recognizing the flow of energy, or when there is congestion, struggle and so forth.
Dimensions of Energy
Everything is energy. The cells that create the human body are energy, as are the atoms
that comprise the air we breathe, the molecules of the Saint John River, or the rust in a
1986 Volvo; the energy of a smile, the energy of electricity. It is all energy manifested
in different densities and different forms.
We are familiar with physical energy. It is tangible and measurable - a desk,
two lamps, trees, logging, chemical waste, statistical analysis, friends, the action of a
kiss, a hug, a new puppys urine on the rug, money. The human body is an example of
this physical energy. We can measure its height, weight, sonic waves, blood cell count,
vision, hearing, blood pressure and so on. Science and therefore society has focused
predominantly on this measurable form of energy. Hence physical energy is perceived to be
the most valid and most reliable form of energy.
As a society, we increasingly are becoming more familiar with emotional energy.
Awareness of emotional energy is not taught with the same value as the physical forms of,
for example, mathematics, reading or writing. Yet, it is an equally valid aspect of every
moment. Indeed each word, thought, or action is associated with emotion as is everything
you see and hear, touch, smell and taste. Briefly pause after each of the following
statements and pay attention to how you feel in response to their message.
"With God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)
"Cigarettes cause cancer." (Surgeon Generals warning)
"Tobacco is sacred." (First Nations belief)
"The practice of mindful breathing can lead to the release of all suffering."
(Thich Nhat Hanh)
How aware of your infinitely expansive emotional energy are you? - love, anger, fear,
passion, discouragement, excitement, calm, doubt, vulnerability, frustration, overwhelmed
depression, harmonious, peaceful, joyful, supportive, affectionate, controlling, malice,
resentment, bitterness, love. . .
Mental energy is another expression of energy. Thoughts are energy. How do we spend our
mental energy? I find it interesting to pay attention to what we define as
"news" because it reflects where we are placing our mental energy. Where I place
my energy is what grows. If I nurture a relationship in a certain way, it fosters. If I
plant a mustard seed, I harvest a mustard plant. Sound too simplistic? Experiment with it
in your own life. Just for today, pay attention, five minutes four times today, and simply
notice the thoughts you are thinking. Being aware of thoughts as energy and recognizing
that you can direct energy is to realize that you can change your life by changing your
I find spiritual energy or etheric energy difficult to describe because we
are virtually blind to it. For example, the energy of stillness is incredibly peaceful and
I cannot possibly fully describe it in words but I feel it spiritually. It is necessary to
experience it; we are sentient beings. Spiritual energy, is the awareness of a felt
experience. The stillness of the Saint John River early morning is permeating and the
experience interacts with my physical body. There is perhaps an excitement associated with
the stillness. It is like the excitement of the deep hushed stillness I felt as a child
sitting with my dad in the Westfield woods waiting patiently, homemade bow and arrow in
hand, for a deer. In practicing Therapeutic Touch, the etheric energy is felt as the
experience of the honor of working with another human being.
These dimensions of energy: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, interact with
each other. They are not separate even though they manifest in different densities. To
focus only on one is not to see the wholeness of the person or the situation or the
country. So solving a problem solely relying on the physical symptoms is like only asking
for one opinion to solve world crises. Awareness of energy is a very practical asset to
any life, situation, business, or government.
"To think of life in terms of energy is simply to become more aware..."
An Example of Energy Awareness
The energy of fear can be very restricting (individually or corporately). My body shuts
down when I am fearful. This emotion of fear interacts with my physical energy in that my
breathing becomes shallow. My heart beats faster. My blood vessels constrict. I dont
get as much oxygen to my brain. My thoughts, my mental energy, are preoccupied and
consumed with the source and consequences of the fear. My spirit is blinded by the fear.
Our bodies are the ways we experience energy. The experience of the energy of fear is very
different from the energy of trust, for example. When I experience trust throughout my
whole being - body, mind, and soul, I do not experience fear. I am fearless. I prefer to
make decisions grounded in trust rather than fear, for I would rather live the
consequences of trust than the consequences of fear.
To think of life in terms of energy is simply to become more aware daily, monthly and
yearly. It is to become mindful of life - paying attention to this moment and all of its
wonders. Every experience of life is about energy.
I end with this quote because I like its energy:
. . . Imagine how it feels to always belong - belong in a diversified community, for it
is the diversity in nature that gives the web of life its strength and cohesion. Imagine a
time where everyone welcomes diversity in people because they know that is what gives
community its richness, its strength, its cohesion. Imagine being able to relax into our
connectedness - into a web of mutually supportive relations with each other and with
nature. . . .
. . . The vary fact that you can imagine these things makes them real, makes them
(Margo Adair, Working Inside Out: Tools for Change, 1984, p. 284)