You’ve heard the term energy healing but what exactly is it and why and how does it work?
For most of us, the word “energy” calls to mind something that turns lights on and off, runs our cars, or is enhanced by vitamins. We don’t realize we are made of energy, and that we interact with people and animals on an instinctive, energetic basis. All living and non-living substances are made of vibrating electromagnetic energy – just like light, sound or microwaves. We literally send off an invisible electromagnetic field in all directions, like ripples caused by pebbles tossed into a pond. This energy field is a physical connection to our families and friends, animal companions, wildlife and natural surroundings. It connects us to every being on the planet.
Everything is connected
Energy practitioners know that all beings are connected – it is the basis for distance healing. Studies involving prayer show that patients who were prayed for had better outcomes than those who weren’t. These patients did not know about the prayer. When I do a distance session with an animal, the guardian will observe all the physical signs they witnessed with previous hands-on sessions.
Science is getting closer and closer to proving this concept. Physicists have long theorized about a substance throughout the universe called dark energy. It can’t be seen or measured yet; its existence is based on discrepancies in gravitational calculations between galaxies and other celestial objects. Scientists know that some other force is at play, connecting everything that exists. Someday they will have the tools to adequately measure this force.
Riding the wave
Electromagnetic fields are composed of waves, so to understand how to use energy principles for healing, it’s important to have a basic understanding of wave theory. In addition to the immediate connection discussed above, waves traverse locally very quickly and interact with other waves around them. When one wave hits another object that is vibrating similarly, it resonates with it. If you put two guitars on opposite sides of a room and pluck the E string on one, the sound will travel across the room and interact with the opposite guitar. Because the corresponding E string is of a similar frequency, it would resonate with the vibration and produce a sound. We often use the word resonate to mean being in synch with something – it feels good. When we are around people who vibrate at similar frequencies, we resonate with them, just as guitar strings do. Anyone who has ever participated in a group musical performance knows the importance of resonating in tune with one other. The audience knows it too!
Each of us experiences energetic resonance daily, but most of us aren’t aware of what’s happening. Have you ever disliked someone you just met, without knowing why? Your energy field knows exactly why – you don’t resonate with the other person. If we are fearful or angry, we produce uncomfortable vibrations. We have all felt unsettled around certain people, or felt anxious in a room. You’ve heard the phrase: “the tension was so thick, you could cut it with a knife”. That’s a great way of describing disharmonious energy! The magnetic fields of everyone in a room influence the environment. That’s why we feel vibrant and full of life around some people, and tense, anxious or tired around others – even if they don’t say a word. This gives whole new meaning to the term “body language”.
Another property of waves that’s extremely valuable in understanding energy healing is entrainment. When two waves of similar frequencies resonate, their frequencies entrain, and they will eventually vibrate at the same rate. One wave increases or decreases the frequency of the other. Two pendulums of equal weight and length that are swinging at different rates will eventually swing together. The wave from one entrains the wave from the other, and they synchronize. The more closely the waves resonate, the more in synch they become.
We observe entrainment frequently in nature. A school of fish changes direction in a moment because all the individual fi sh are acting as one unit. Their fields are entrained, so they move together. We also see this with the “dormitory effect”. Women living in close proximity will have their menstrual cycles together – their biorhythms actually entrain with each other.
Animals are very sensitive to energy
Dogs and other animals are extremely sensitive to environmental energies. That’s why it is so important to approach an animal with a calm demeanor, and to be mindful of the sounds around him. We may love to watch dramatic sports or political shows, but do we think about how they affect our dogs? The same is true of music. For example, the Through A Dog’s Ear project was a valuable learning experience for me. We tested calming music in homes, shelters and veterinary hospitals. Over 70% of dogs in kennel settings and 80% in homes were visibly calmer – many in both groups went to sleep. I now understand the healing power of music, and prescribe it for animals of all kinds. It is also played for our patients during their hospital stays.
The concepts of resonance and entrainment form the basis for energy medicine modalities such as Reiki, Therapeutic Touch and many others. The practitioner’s energy field entrains the patient’s energy field and changes its vibration, allowing the body’s instinctive healing mechanisms to work more efficiently. Every cell in the body has its own energy field and optimum frequency. When all cells are vibrating at their best, the entire body is in tune, which helps it stay healthy. Studies have shown that people undergoing chemotherapy who received healing touch had more cancer-killing immune cells. The body is no different from an orchestra – when it is in harmony and playing in perfect pitch, the music moves us to a higher place.
Entrainment can occur from the opposite end of the spectrum as well. If we are in a negative state of being – angry, fearful or chaotic – we can entrain others to these vibrations. How we feel and act influences the people and animals around us – positively or negatively. So in order to be an effective practitioner or helpful animal guardian, we must create our own healing energy field. This is accomplished by staying in a heart-centered space – one that is free of judgment. This state of being is peaceful and compassionate, yet very powerful. As our own “orchestras” approach this vibration, we are better able to serve others, including our animal companions.