Beginning Energy Work Techniques to Help Yourself & Others

By Barbara Clearbridge


Table of Contents & Excerpts

Table of Contents


     About Energy Work

     Working with Animals

     Willpower vs. Intention

     The Energy System

     Chakra Balancing Meditation

     Healing Responses

     Expanded Senses

     Guides and Guidance

     Lifestyles for Energy Work

     Fraud and Incompetence in Energy Work, Other Complementary Therapies, and the Counseling Professions


     About Grounding

     Grounding Exercise


     About Earth Energies

     Meditation for Drawing Up Earth Energy


     About Reiki


     Reiki Lineage

     Kanji Hand Positions

     Using Your Hui Yin

     Preparing For, Beginning and Ending A Session

     Helpful Hints for Doing Reiki

     Proper Body Mechanics

     Hand Positions for Treating Yourself

     Hand Positions for Treating Others

     Problem Solving


     40 Breaths Meditation For Energizing

     Meditation to Open Palm Chakras


     Specific Applications of Energy Work:

          Sexual Abuse Recovery

         Attention Deficit Disorder

     Survey of Energy Work Techniques

     Summaries of Research Results for Therapeutic Touch, Laying-On-Of-Hands Healing, and Reiki



From Willpower vs. Intention

You receive and transmit energy according to your intent. You direct or block it with your intent. You ground yourself with your intent. Intention is the key to energy work.

Intention is not the same as willpower. You do not “will” energy to act. Intent is akin to wishing, to imagining. “Willing” is more of an act of force. “Willing” includes trying, overpowering, concentrating on the outcome, and making something happen.

In the moment of intention, energy moves. There is no effort involved. You imagine where you want the energy to go, and in that moment it goes there. You picture your energy feet sinking into the earth and they are suddenly there, cool and full of vibrant Earth Energy. You do not have to make anything happen. It is easy. Imagine that it’s easy!

From The Energy System

You have several energy systems connected with your physical body. The energy system most often used in energy work has four main components: its organs (energy centers or chakras), its circulatory system (energy meridians), its spine (Central Energy Channel, a vertical pathway connecting chakras to meridians), and its skin (your external energy field, also called your aura).

Chakra is a Sanskrit word for “wheel.” In Eastern medicine, chakra refers to an energy center of the body. Because so many of our energy techniques have come from Eastern traditions, the word chakra has come into common usage. “Wheel” is appropriate because chakras are spinning vortices that pull in energies for our use. Our bodies have seven major chakras commonly used in energy work, and many minor ones. They spin at different rates, corresponding to the vibrational rates of the colors of the rainbow. Chakras are funnel-shaped with the root, or narrow end, inside the body. The first chakra extends downwards, the seventh upwards, and the rest surround the body horizontally (see illustrations). Our chakras affect every part of our function, including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. They correspond physically with our endocrine glands and our major nerve plexuses.

Some energy work techniques are chakra-based, others are not. One can successfully and easily use the Reiki and Earth Energy techniques in this manual without understanding chakras or being able to find them in the body. Chakra information is included here to enhance your knowledge in general.

If you are able to feel the energy of chakras under your hands, you can use this information to guide your treatments rather than staying with the standard hand positions.

From About Reiki

Reiki (pronounced “ray-key”) is a popular and prevalent part of the growing family of energy therapies. It is natural, eminently practical, simple, and fun. It is not part of any religion. Reiki energy is defined as “universal life energy.” Rei-ki. The ki is the same as Aikido, the same as the ch’i in T’ai Ch’i. This is the energy of creation itself. The common definition of the word Reiki is “free passage of universal life force.” (Since Reiki was rediscovered by the Japanese, its language is now Japanese, in the same way that the language of ballet is French and the language of allopathic medicine is Latin. The concepts to which the Japanese terms refer are universally true.)

“Reiki” refers to two things: a particular tradition and technique of using one’s hands to heal, and a particular energy wave—part of the spectrum of energy which constitutes ki. So we speak of the Reiki technique, and of Reiki energy.

Reiki energy is intelligent. It works with the body’s own intelligence to provide what is needed where it is needed. Because of this, it is not possible for Reiki to do harm.

When a Reiki practitioner puts her hands on someone, or concentrates in a particular way for a “distant” session, she turns herself into a conduit for Reiki energy. The energy flows into her from the general atmosphere, and the client draws from her the amount of Reiki needed. Besides benefitting the client, the Reiki energy benefits the practitioner as it passes through her. The same energy is transmitted whether or not the practitioner actually touches the client. . .

. . . When you give Reiki to someone you do not become depleted. Because you are a channel, it is not your energy that you are giving. In fact, you receive Reiki whenever you give it. And the more you give, the more open to Reiki your energy body will become, and the more Reiki you will be able to channel. For the same reasons, you do not need to be in perfect health to channel Reiki to others. A cold, headache or other minor problem will not affect your ability. You may even feel better yourself after the treatment. However, if you are very ill or tired, do not try to treat others, for you will absorb all the Reiki coming into you, and will not be able to pass it on.

Besides people, Reiki can benefit plants, food, water, animals, atmosphere, and more.

The heart of Reiki is something that I have found in no other energy work: an actual empowerment of the student to channel Reiki energy. The Reiki Master does this in a process called “attunement,” in which certain energy centers are “tuned” to receive Reiki. Also, healing symbols are implanted in the student’s energy body for her use. Students often can feel an increase in power and ability with each attunement. Sometimes they also experience personal healing through this process.

    Note: There are several other energy work modalities also called “attunement,” which have nothing to do with Reiki.

Therefore, though you may learn Reiki hand positions and principles from this manual, it will not enable you to do Reiki. A class is necessary with a Reiki Master certified to do attunements.

Classes are valuable also in that you get feedback and confirmation of your perceptions and abilities from other class members and the Reiki Master. . .

. . . A long period of training is not needed in order to help yourself and others with Reiki. Hawayo Takata, a Hawaiian who brought Reiki from Japan to North America, was often called on to give Reiki for acute conditions. Once the immediate situation was under control, she would often teach the patient’s family members to provide Reiki. She could then leave, and the family would continue giving Reiki until the patient was completely healed.

Today we teach First Degree (first level) Reiki in one weekend. The class includes the basic technique, the history of Reiki, and simple energy work skills. Most students wait at least three months before advancing to Second Degree Reiki. This gives them time to practice the technique and to fully assimilate the attunements. Second Degree amplifies the student’s power to channel Reiki and teaches techniques for emotional and mental healing. Three symbols to facilitate healing are taught. Third Degree (Master level) is for people who feel a lifetime commitment to Reiki. Training is usually at least a year after Second Degree training. . .

. . . My hope is that eventually every family will have someone trained in Reiki, so that it is a simple, normal part of daily life.

©1995, Revised 2014 by Barbara Clearbridge

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