Over the last few decades, interest in energy healing has exploded. Practiced by Eastern cultures for thousands of years to heal and balance the mind, body, and spirit, energy healing is now drawing mainstream attention.
You may associate energy healing with trendy therapies like Reiki, color healing, or crystal therapy. But did you know acupuncture, massage, and reflexology are also considered energy therapies? A wide variety of both hands-on and sensory-based practices fall under the umbrella of energy healing. But regardless of the modality, all energy therapies work to heal your body by manipulating the energy fields around you.
As an alternative medicine based on scientific principles, energy healing has been proven to increase the overall quality of life, aid in relaxation, and reduce anxiety and stress in the body.
Energy healing continues to gain momentum as a complement to Western medicine, but some may still be wondering what it is and how it can help them. For answers, we turned to Michelle Peña, BSW, RSW, CH, Transformational Healer, and Teacher, to learn more about it and its usefulness in treating stress and anxiety.
In her practice, Peña incorporates various therapies, including energy healing, to help women facilitate life-changing transformations in their lives. She advocates using energy healing in conjunction with other traditional and alternative medicines to alleviate disharmony in the body and assist in breakthroughs.
Tell me about your practice?
I've been in the field of psychology and social work for 15 plus years. In that time, I've worked with families and women on various issues, such as life skills, healthy relationships, employment skills, and more.
The current focus of my practice is helping people navigate through emotional trauma. Many people who come to me are currently dealing with stress and anxiety and often feel stuck or lost in their lives. I help them work through those challenges using various techniques that include hypnotherapy, Mindfulness-Based Inner RePatterning, and energy work. The energy healing techniques I use in my practice are rainbow energy healing, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), also known as tapping, and color therapy.
What is energy healing?
Energy healing has different modalities, and there are many ways of working with energy. You may also hear it referred to as energy medicine. When we think of energy healing, we may automatically think of Reiki, but energy healing encompasses so much more. Acupuncture is energy healing; massage therapy is energy healing; cranial-sacral therapy is energy healing. And there are many more.
In general, energy healing is a process of clearing the blocks in the energy field around us by balancing and repairing the energy so that the body can work at its optimum level of health. Breaking through these energetic blocks we're holding on to, enables the body to heal itself.
How does energy healing work?
Practitioners work on the body energetically, thereby initiating a domino effect that stimulates healing on a physical, mental, and emotional level.
To better understand the process, it's important to know that we have subtle body energies and layers (or auras) that emanate from us and our chakra system. Those energy bodies act much like our subconscious in that they collect information about us throughout our lives. That build-up of information can cause blockages in our energy system. Blockages may occur due to past or present trauma, belief systems, stress, anxiety, and more.
As a result, you may feel stuck, depressed, or have increased stress or anxiety.
Additionally, our energy bodies are connected to the physical body. Manipulating the energy bodies through energy healing activates our meridian system, which is connected to our organs and tissues. So anytime you're working within the body's energy system, you also impact the physical body.
How does energy healing differ from other types of alternative therapies?
All alternative therapies are energy therapies because they work with energy in the body. For example, acupuncture works with the meridian system to create more energetic flow throughout the body and within the body. You can also look to osteopaths and chiropractors for further examples. They work on the body itself, but as they shift the body, it impacts the body's energy as well.
How does energy healing alleviate stress?
When we encounter stress and anxiety, our energy systems become disrupted. And if we don't deal with those issues, we end up with increased strain and worry. As a result, people often feel stuck or may have little success with other treatments. The root of the problem is usually an energetic one, such as blockages from internal factors like trauma, phobias, anxiety, stress, childhood programming, or external factors like our environments, exercise, nutrition, and more.
Through energy healing, practitioners use the body's vibrational energy to sense and locate the blockage in the body. And by tapping into the blockage, any disharmonious energy like stress or anxiety is released. It activates the body to heal itself.
What are some other benefits of energy healing?
Energy healing can release subconscious blocks, improve clarity of mind, enhance insight, and strengthen the immune system. It can also heal emotional issues, correct self-sabotaging patterns, increase energy, improve the connection with the conscious, foster spiritual growth, and clear, expand, and balance chakras for optimum health.
What else should we know about energy healing?
Energy medicine is backed by science. We are [made] of energy. People are now awakening to the reality that we're not just our physical bodies. We're energetic beings as well. Our energy reads before our physical bodies do.
Traditional Western medicine can't always solve the problems people encounter. Energy healing provides an alternative approach to healing that complements conventional medicine. And as we continue to move towards healthier, more natural lifestyles, people are searching for more holistic practices and methods that treat the body as a whole. Energy healing is just another level of us being whole beings.
I also want people to know that there is no "best" energy treatment. Results depend on the individual.
Where do you suggest newcomers to energy healing begin?
Ask around. I do think word of mouth is best. Maybe there's a family member or friend who has gone to an energy practitioner. Ask them about their experience or if they have a recommendation.
You can also look to national and international associations to find a professional that suits your needs. But whether you find someone who's been recommended to you or not, you still have to do your research because finding the right connection is essential. You must feel comfortable with the practitioner. I believe that when you are on this search, you'll be called or drawn to the right person. You'll know right away if you have a fit.
Beginners should also ask practitioners for a free consult. Have a talk with the practitioner about what they do and how they can help you, so you have more information going in.
What should people look for in a reputable energy healer?
Anyone searching out an energy practitioner should assess their comfort level with the practitioner, the type of modality they use, and their credibility (what training they've had).
Be careful about false claims. Energy healing is a support, and while there is healing, no matter what, there are no claims that you will be healed. A practitioner can not guarantee that. You will notice shifts and changes, sometimes as early as one session. But depending on your problem, how well you receive treatment, and your goals, you can expect treatments to take anywhere from 1 – 6 sessions with occasional booster sessions for maintenance.
Take advantage of packages. They are great for momentum and help you stay accountable.
What misconceptions about energy healing would you like to address?
For me, two misconceptions stand out. The first is that energy healing is just Reiki. As mentioned, there are different modalities. If one method doesn't work for you, try another. We all respond differently to different treatments.
The second issue is that energy healing is flaky, spiritual fluff that doesn't really exist. It's simply not true. Not only is it backed by science through the study of quantum physics, but our own experiences support it. That gut feeling that we often talk about is energy.
Can we practice energy healing techniques at home?
Yes. For sure. There are many simple energy healing techniques you can practice to relieve stress and anxiety.
You can take a salt bath to create flow energetically and in the body—soak for 20 mins in Himalayan salt for maximum effect. You can also use sage to clear energy in your home. Meditation is also a great option—look for chakra meditations online. You can use crystals to balance energy in your home and your body.
Even the simple act of moving your body is energy work—take a walk or practice yoga to change your energy. What we eat can also impact energy healing. Try to eat higher vibrational foods like fruits, vegetables, water, and limit meat.
Be open-minded about energy healing. If you're new to it, be open to the benefits, but do your research. Learn about it first if you are curious but hesitant. See how it can benefit you as a whole. Think of energy healing as another component of your overall well-being and optimal health.If you need help with anxiety, stress, or trauma in your life, visit Michelle's website to connect with her directly. You can also follow her on Instagram @livtruwithmichellepena and Facebook @livtruwithmichellepena for insightful messages and posts that inspire, support, and uplift.