What is Energy Work?

Updated: Jan 7

About half the people I talk to about energy work know what I mean right away. The other half either know nothing or just think it is plain weird. I get it. I used to think it was weird too. I spent years avoiding it because I didn’t trust anyone enough to spend my hard-earned money trying it. Once I took the plunge, I realized it was the missing piece that my body needed to heal.

Bouncing balls of light

So, what is energy work? It is any practice that works directly with the flow of energy in your body or in your environment. There are tons of other forms of energy work out there. Many people know about Reiki, but there are additional modalities including Integrated Energy Therapy® (IET®) and other forms of angel work, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and other forms of tapping and acupressure, acupuncture, Autonomic Response Testing (ART), sound therapy, light therapy, and different forms of shamanic work. There is even energy work that overlaps with traditional psychology such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) (read more about this in my post Energy Psychology).


Then there is another whole group of practices that may not seem like energy work on the surface, but in many ways still influence and move your energy. This includes yoga, qigong, meditation, emotional therapies, vision boards, visualizations, and more.


As you can see, energy work is a wide field that includes a lot of different types of practices. I'm sure you've heard of at least some of these and you may have participated in a few without even knowing you were doing energy work.


How does this work directly influence the energy around you? We scientifically minded Westerners tend to think that everything is matter, except for those few things like sunlight, electricity, or wifi that are clearly "energy." In reality, though, everything is made of energy. Matter is energy that is moving slowly enough it seems to be solid, but it is actually vibrating at a level that is hard to detect. All matter in and around us has a unique vibrational frequency. Everything you eat, put on your body, or keep in your living space has energy that interacts with your own energy.


There are also other less solid forms of energy that we can detect with our senses such as heat, light, color, sound, smell, magnetism, etc. We know these are real even though we can't touch them in the same way we touch matter.


Energy can be even more subtle, though, and we interact with it in different ways. Think about a time when you felt someone’s emotional energy. As soon as you started talking to them you could tell something was off. Or maybe you went to a funeral and felt the collective grief in the room. You may have visited a place and felt a “bad vibe” that you couldn't identify but definitely didn't want to stick around in. These reactions are signals you are picking up from other people and places that give you information of their energy states.


Emotional energy can show up in other ways. Have you narrowly avoided a car accident and found yourself shaking afterward? That is just energy your body is getting rid of. Ever get an EKG? That is a test that measures the electromagnetic energy of your heart. Ever feel better after a workout? That is your body releasing stagnant energy. The more you think about it, the more you realize that there are many things in our lives that are energy even though we don’t generally label them as such.


Everything is energy. It makes up everything we consider to be matter and everything that isn't matter as well. It flows through us and around us, connecting us to others, bringing us information, and allowing us to send good and bad things out into the world. Energy itself isn’t good or bad, it simply is.


Crystals are really popular these days partly because they have very stable energetic frequencies. It's hard to change or block the energy of a crystal, which makes them excellent partners when it comes to healing work. The same is true of drums, tuning forks and other instruments that make sounds at standard frequencies.


Most other things in the world, though, have layers of energetic frequencies that add up to a combined whole. The land we stand on has energy that changes from place to place and time to time. Our homes are made up of the collective frequencies of everything inside as well as layers of energy left behind by anyone who has ever lived there. Our bodies are made up of layers of energy including physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energy. It is also made up of everything we carry inside us. Parasites, viruses, chemicals, heavy metals, what we ate for lunch today, and more are part of our overall energetic package.


I mentioned before that energy is not good or bad, it simply is. The energy of a virus, or a past traumatic event, or a negative belief is not necessarily bad. It is what happens to this energy that can be a problem.


Energy is meant to flow through systems. We receive and release energy constantly. Our bodies encounter energy signatures all the time and have to decide what to do with them. The land, plants, animals, ecosystems, even the earth as a whole is constantly moving and shifting energy around. This is not a problem.


The problem begins when energy gets stuck. When a system cannot move energy through, a block is formed that keeps energy from flowing. The energy blocks cause disruptions in the usual energy patterns.


Imagine the plumbing in your home. What happens when the pipes freeze or the sink gets clogged? Well, things get backed up, break, and cause a huge mess that you or your landlord have to fix. The same thing happens in any system. Energy gets backed up around that block and eventually causes a major problem that has to be cleaned up.


If that system that is blocked is in your body, you may notice that your knee hurts, your stomach rebels, you can’t sleep, or your teeth start to rot in your mouth. That system is not functioning as it is supposed to and health problems, emotional crises, or mentally destructive behaviors show up. What can block up your body are things like viruses, chemicals, emotional traumas, beliefs, and more.


If the system that is blocked is in the land or in your house, you see different kinds of problems. Houses that feel uncomfortable or creepy, land where plants grow oddly, properties where everything never seems to go right. Spaces or areas can be blocked up by memories of traumatic events, changes to the land such as mining, or even disruptions such as pollution.


Energy blocks can show up in all kinds of places for all kinds of reasons. Just as a plumber can find and repair the flow of water in your house, an energy worker is trained to find and release energy blocks to get the energy flowing again so the system can heal.


Woman doing yoga
Yoga is an ancient form of energy work.

Humans have always been aware of the flow of energy. For thousands of years people have used Yoga, Qui-Gong, acupuncture, Feng Shui, crystals, salt baths, and more to keep their energy open and moving. Today we have additional practices such as Reiki, EFT (tapping), IET®, reflexology, Healing Touch, Cranio-sacral Therapy, Rolfing, and many others. All these practices focus on locating and releasing energy blocks.


Much of this has been pushed aside and labeled as "alternative" medicine or therapies. There are many good things to be said about modern medicine, and I will not vilify medications, surgeries, vaccines, or any other kind of "standard" medical care. I do think, however, that modern medical practice has forgotten that our bodies are able to heal. It has forgotten the ancient wisdom that knew any problem we see in the physical world started with a block in the energy world. It likes treating symptoms but isn't good about finding subtle root causes for problems. It is just starting to realize that in order to heal disease we must treat whole people on emotional, mental, and spiritual levels, not just physical. It has barely begun to touch on some of the root causes for many of our diseases. So, while I honor the amazing advances made by modern medicine, I also acknowledge that there are some things it is really bad at, and some things energy work can do better.


Energy work finds the blocks in your body and removes them. When energy flows, your body is naturally able to heal. The energetic exchange between you and the world is returned to balance so you can freely give and receive. When energy work releases blocks in homes, the land, or other areas, it allows those larger systems to return to balance as well. I don't see energy workers as healers. We don't do the healing, we simply correct the movement of energy that allows systems to return to their own state of balance.


I think everyone can be an energy worker. Some energy work I mentioned above can be done on your own with little practice or skill. Other types of energy work require the assistance of a dedicated and experienced practitioner. The most important thing I want you to take away from this post, though, is that whatever you are dealing with in your body, your mind, your home, or your area has an underlying energetic cause and solution. If you have been ill for a long time and only worked with medical professionals, then know there is a whole other world of possibilities out there to support your body in its healing process. If your house feels crummy or creepy, then there are things you can do to change that.


Of course, once you accept that everything is energy and that there are ways to influence this flow of energy, there are more questions that arise. Are energy workers weird? Does energy work actually have real, physical results? Is it scientific? Is it magic? It is evil? These are all questions I talk about here.


I spent many years dealing with severe food sensitivities (read more of my story here) and a host of minor problems that medical science couldn't resolve. It wasn't until I discovered energy work and was willing to try it out that my body started to heal. I know exactly how bizarre it sounds and I also know precisely how helpful it can be. If you are at the point in your life when what you've been doing hasn't worked and you are ready to try something new, then this is an excellent next step.


Check out more of my blog and my website for more information about what I do and how I work with energy.


Contact me if you want to talk about anything going on with you or how to feel about energy work. If you are a little uncomfortable with it, that's totally ok. I've been there and can share my experience with you so you can make your own decision.


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