Though sometimes seen as two distinct systems in the body, there is a very intimate link between the energetic workings of the body and the emotional state. Many ancient cultures recognized and systematized this connection - the chakras and the Chinese organ systems being prime examples. This is why receiving energetic bodywork, such as Reiki, is particularly effective at calming, regulating and harmonizing the emotions. Smoothing the energy flow and calming the emotions also has the additional benefit of strongly harmonizing and balancing the physiology of the body, creating greater health and increased resilience.
There are many ways to understand how energy moves in and around the body. While most people pay little attention to how it works, the effects of problems in this flow can be easily identified and recognized - pain, stuck emotions, even serious health issues like cancer all have an energetic component to them. This is the main target of therapies like acupuncture, where the disruptions in energy flow are identified and manipulated with the insertion of acupuncture needles. Energetic therapies like Reiki and Craniosacral also identify and treat disruptions in the body's energy and flow, but do it in a gentler, less invasive way that affects the body on an even subtler level. The energies these therapies target animate tissues and hold the imprints of thoughts and emotion, which is why working at this level can greatly affect our emotional state as well as the functioning of body tissues.
Just as feelings affect the energy field, the state of the body's energy is also affected by how we are feeling. The more pent-up, frustrating or negative emotions we have, the more disordered, disrupted and stagnant our energy field becomes. If these issues aren't tended to, physical discomfort and disease result. In modern life, stress, trauma, feelings of lack and negative self-talk all run rampant in our day-to-day lives. Slowing down is challenging and positivity and optimism can be hard to maintain. Working on energy brings one into a deep state of relaxation and allows the acceptance, release and flow needed to flush out the system, let go of emotional looping, and return to a stable state. This in turn supports the body's overall function, including strengthening immunity, supporting the nourish and repair systems and encouraging rest and rejuvenation.
As I've come to be more aware of how energy and emotion affect my body, I have developed a much deeper appreciation for what energy work can do for overall health and wellness. I used to always want to receive therapeutic bodywork only, not really understanding the power of subtler modalities. After beginning to practice Reiki myself, I saw what it could do: fewer tantrums from my kids, less pain in my body, emotional calming when I felt caught up in a whirlwind of emotion, and deep, deep relaxation. It is now a primary tool I use in both my personal life and in my practice.
Energy and emotion are intimate partners in our lives and bodies, and, as a pair, are incredibly influential in our overall health, wellness and ability to cope with life. In these challenging times, energetic healing is a powerful ally that can be used to help restore balance to the body and mind, as well as contributing to the health and balance of the world as a whole.