I took basic psychology courses at university but it wasn’t until much later that energy psychology made its way into my life. In 1988, I was looking for answers to one of my children’s learning issues. I heard that Rob Williams, a psychologist from Colorado, was offering a weekend workshop in Psychological Kinesiology (now called Psych-K).
A mother looking for answers will go outside her comfort zone, so I signed up. It was a combination of Edu-K, Brain Gym, and muscle testing, as I recall. This was all pretty new to me, but I dived in.
There was something about the experience that spoke to me. Upon reflection, I realize it was the power of using muscle testing to gain insight into unseeable aspects of myself. Since then, I’ve studied several other modalities—differing from each other in details, but all working with my energy field in one way or another.
The Human Energy Field
The energy systems of the body have been an integral part of Eastern philosophy for thousands of years. In the West, we got sidetracked into believing that the only things that exist are what we can see. However, this began to shift in the latter part of the twentieth century with the work of Fritjof Capra (The Tao of Physics, 1975) and Gary Zukav (The Dancing WuLi Masters, 1979). Each showed how the mind-blowing discoveries of quantum physics gave scientific validity to ancient wisdom. And both wrote for non-scientists.
The evidence shows that vibrating packets of energy underlie all matter. Even scientists find these theories challenging. In a recent article on the PBS website, physicist Don Lincoln writes:
Physicists now use a class of theories called quantum field theories…which were first postulated in the late 1920s… Quantum fields are really a mind-bending way of thinking. Everything—and I mean everything—is just a consequence of many infinitely-large fields vibrating. The entire universe is made of fields playing a vast, subatomic symphony. Physicists are trying to understand the melody.
In a way, this shift opened the door for neuroscientist Candace Pert, who conducted research at the National Institute of Mental Health from 1975 to 1987. Her ground-breaking work went a long way toward establishing the scientific basis of the mind-body connection (Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel, 1997).
Since then, practitioners have used a variety of energy medicine modalities because they see results. A body of research is emerging which validates energy modalities as useful tools in psychology.
The Energy Therapy Centre in the UK explains energy psychology this way:
Building on conventional therapeutic modals, Energy Psychology utilises techniques from acupressure, yoga, qi gong, and energy medicine that teach people simple steps for initiating changes in their inner lives. It works by stimulating energy points on the surface of the skin which, when combined with specific psychological procedures, can shift the brain’s electrochemistry to help overcome negative emotions, habits and behaviours. … Energy psychology is applicable to a wide range of areas including psychotherapy, education, vocational guidance, physical health, sports and peak performance.
Energy psychology has also been found to be a powerful tool in treating PTSD and is used by three of the top international trauma relief organizations, according to Dr. George Pratt. He discusses that and many other aspects of energy psychology with Larry King in this short interview.
Using Energy Psychology
I find it intriguing and useful that it’s possible to shift my brain’s electrochemistry. I use energy psychology to identify and remove trapped beliefs and emotions from my field so the energy flows properly again. This allows my body-mind intelligence to perform as it is meant to, and I feel better for it.
The tricky part is identifying those trapped emotions and beliefs, since my critter brain safely hid them in my unconscious mind. My secret weapon is muscle testing, which helps me bring them to light. Once I’m aware, I apply one of several energy release techniques depending on what’s most appropriate at the time.
For more on the uses of energy psychology, check out the consumer resources page at the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology.
Next time I’ll tell you how energy psychology helped uncover my unconscious belief that women should never appear to be smarter than the men around them. And I’ll describe what I did about it. In the meantime, comments and questions are welcome.