Hinduism Today Magazine Issues and Articles
"Energy Medicine" and Prana
Category : September 1990

"Energy Medicine" and Prana

Tandavan, Devananda



Modern science, including the medical profession, is finally seeing that there is a form of energy so subtle that our present instruments are unable to detect or measure it. The great rishis have always known that there is such energy and called it prana. Other disciplines call it by names such as cosmic energy, the force, odic force, ki, chi, psionic energy, orgone energy, life force and others.

All of these names are the same subtle energy that, according to our Hindu tradition, flows in an through our physical bodies in channels called nadis. Our forms are built upon this vast framework of energy flowing through the nadis. This energy is within every cell in our bodies and within every portion of these cells. In fact, it is the constant flowing of prana that gives our body its life and apparent palpable existence.

There is a constant change of birth, growth and death in the cells and tissue within our bodies. At no time are you physically the same body as you were yesterday. A continuum of existence is present so that what appears to be a body, mind and soul are all parts of the same pattern of energy. As long as the energy flows uninhibited, we are healthy and human. If there is a blockage to the flow of energy or any aberration in its flow, the result is "disease."

There are several branches of medicine that are built upon a fundamental belief in this principle. They all belong to what we term "energy medicine" or "vibrational medicine." The basis of all treatment in these systems is to influence the flow of the pranic energy to return to normal.

The ancient rishis knew that this energy flow manifests itself in pathways in the body with periodic and patterned emergence to the skin surface. These paths are called "meridians" by the acupuncturists. The surface points are all categorized and numbered. A form of therapy has been developed wherein internal effects are produced by stimulation of the numbered meridian points. This stimulation may be by needles, vibrating needles, moxibustion (a form of heat from burning organic substances at the points) or pressure. Acupressure, Do-in, G-jo, reflexology are all variants of the same system.

Therapeutic touch, Reiki, polarity therapy and many other techniques utilize the same transfer of energy by laying on of hands. Marma vidya was a healing method by applying the hand over these areas (which correspond to the acupuncture points). It is not necessary to actually come in contact with the skin surface in most of these techniques; it is often sufficient to merely hold the hands over the marma areas. The transfer of energy may be facilitated by massage with herbalized oils. In the case of Reiki, a special initiation process is required as well as instruction in the location of the points, but no pressure or massage is used. Reiki is the only methodology that I know of that requires no knowledge of medicine, anatomy or physiology or a diagnosis in order for the method to bring health and normal flow to the inner prana.

Article copyright Himalayan Academy.