The subtle energy system has various names in different cultures. The subtle body is known as etheric energy in spiritual compositions of Theosophy, akasha, or prana in Vedic and Hindu traditions, and chi or qi in Chinese philosophy. It is considered to be a medium in which consciousness expresses itself and is processed. Subtle energy is comprised of life force, which is what differentiates inert material/objects and life. Life force grants us our vitality in which we move through life with. Subtle energy transmits information as frequency, which is defined as either the number of traveling waves in a given period of time, or as the rate at which particles are vibrating. I know...very scientific!
In the same way that information travels through a computer network, electricity network, or mycelium network to sustain and maintain connections with other systems, energy flows through our bodies, and even outside our bodies for purposes of expression, transmitting information, and communicating. Emotions are also information, and sometimes we may choose to hold this information inside. When this information is held onto without being expressed or released, this can affect our subtle energy system in ways that will leave us with more to deal with later on. Our subtle energy body's quality is affected by external circumstances, our thoughts, and emotions, and vise versa.
Still a bit confused?
In the book called The Path of Emotions by Dr. Synthia Andrews, ND, the author provides a great example of how to understand subtle energy. Envision a fish tank. The fish are suspended in the medium of the water that supports them, moving into, through, and around them. The water is what connects the fish to everything else inside the tank. Every move that one fish makes is felt by a vibration through the water. Energy works in this way, and every minute flux will affect the conditions of everything that surrounds the medium. In this same way, all of our actions that we make, the thoughts that we think, the words we speak, the beliefs we hold, all create and shape our realities, and even our bodies.
Ancient cultures embraced and engaged subtle energy for guidance, fertility, healing, manifestation, and more. Visuals of the body were created that mapped out energy pathways and collection centers. The most famous and well known maps are called the meridian pathways, which is derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine, and the chakra system from the Hindu tradition of India. Both of these date back to at least 3000 BCE.
The subtle energy system has three components; the meridians, chakras, and the aura.
Meridians, or nadis, are pathways in which energy travel within our tissues that run on each side of the body--there are 12 major meridians, and one side mirrors the other. Each meridian is correlated to an internal organ. Each organ has its own functions that may be physiological or invisible energy functions, and highly depends on other organ systems. Energy and blood are constantly flowing through the meridians. The meridians communicate information to your organs, such as the need for temperature regulation, emotional regulation, and more. When your meridians and organs are in harmony, your body is more likely to be in a healthy condition. When you are experiencing stress, the meridians can become congested or blocked. This can have an effect on the mind-body-spirit connection. Ways to improve the flow of energy within the meridians include:
-Eating healthy foods
-Using Chinese herbs, at the discretion of a Chinese medicine practitioner
-Receiving acupuncture or acupressure
-Receiving Eden Energy Medicine, or doing a daily energy routine (https://www.youtube.com/user/WellIntoLife/videos)
-Researching acupressure points you can experiment with at home
Chakras are spinning energy centers that receive and express subtle energy and emotions. In the Hindu system, there are seven main chakras. The chakras are anchored in the core of the body and lie along a straight central energy line, otherwise known as the Hara line. Chakras project into the corresponding layer of the aura via front and back emanations. Each chakra opens into a very specific auric layer right outside of the body, and receives energy from that layer. Information that is carried by energy is transformed into emotions and body sensations, that inform us about our environment. The traditional seven chakra system begins at the root of the spine and ends at the top of the head. Each of these spinning energy centers are associated with different body parts, as well as certain metaphysical aspects. Various experiences throughout our day-to-day life can affect our chakras. Trauma, grief, experiences in our personal lives, rejection, love, fear, and other emotions can have an affect on our chakras as well. When our chakras are balanced and open, we experience harmony, grounding, self-expression, healthy communication, and healthy relationships. When they are blocked, they can spin slower or they can sometimes completely stop spinning. Here is a brief rundown of the traditional Hindu chakra system. My next blog post will contain more in-depth information on the chakra system, what it would looking feel like for each chakra to be in "balance,"as well as things that we can do to rebalance our chakras and to return to harmony.
-Root chakra, Muladhara in Sanskrit
Physical focal point: Base of spine
Associated with: Grounding, sense of security and safety, survival
Manifestations/locations where imbalance may be expressed/situations that can cause imbalance: sciatica, hips, legs, knees, feet, low back, immune disorders, eating disorders
-Sacral chakra, Svadhisthana in Sanskrit
Physical focal point: Lower abdomen just beneath the navel
Associated with: relationships, sexuality, creativity, power
Manifestations/locations where imbalance may be expressed/situations that can cause imbalance: Low back, lower abdomen, disorders of the sexual organs, urinary problems, menstrual issues, sexual repression, rape, shame, guilt
-Solar plexus chakra, Manipura in Sanskrit
Physical focal point: stomach, upper abdominal area (beneath sternum and above naval
Associated with: confidence, self-esteem, courage, trust, "gut feelings," action, vitality, intention
Manifestations/locations where imbalance may be expressed/situations that can cause imbalance: Anxiety, acid reflux, fatigue/exhaustion, bad feelings "in the pit of your stomach," gall bladder issues, adrenal issues, feeling a need to control, abuse, irritable bowels
-Heart chakra, Anahata in Sanskrit
Physical focal point: Heart, lungs, hands, arms
Associated with: Love, compassion, giving and receiving, forgiveness
Manifestations/locations of imbalance/weakness: "Heartbreak,"asthma, pneumonia, (unresolved) grief, resentment, guilt, congestive heart failure, heart attacks, inability to empathize or sympathize
-Throat chakra, Vishudda in Sanskrit
Physical focal point: Throat, thyroid, mouth
Associated with: Self-expression, choice, communication, creativity
Manifestations/locations of imbalance/weakness: Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), sore throat, gums and teeth, having judgment towards others or oneself, being very critical of others, addiction, thyroid issues, swollen glands
-Third eye chakra, Ajna in Sanskrit
Physical focal point: Space between the eyebrows and up a little under half an inch, brain, pineal gland, eyes, ears
Associated with: Intuition, wisdom, open-mindedness, differentiating between truth and fiction, psychic abilities
Manifestations/locations of imbalance/weakness: Learning disabilities, seizures, brain tumors, strokes, headaches and migraines, deafness, blindness, sleep regulation, dizziness, paranoia, depression
-Crown chakra, Sahasrara in Sanskrit
Color: Violet, sometimes white
Physical focal point: Top of head, pituitary gland
Associated with: Spirituality, higher love, inner guidance, sense of connectedness with others and the Earth
Manifestations/locations of imbalance/weakness: Nervous system imbalances, depression, disconnection/detachment, alienation, lack of empathy, chronic exhaustion, sensitivity to light and sound
The aura is like an image of yourself that is projected outside of you. An aura is a multilayered light that surrounds all beings, which is the individual's vibrational field expressing itself. As mentioned earlier, chakras open up into each layer of the aura outside the body. When our chakras are blocked, our aura may appear dim or less vibrant...and sometimes even black. An aura presents itself as more than one color, but typically there is one predominant color. Many people are able to see auras, but sometimes the word "see" is a broad term for an intuitive feeling. Even though this can come naturally for some people, you can train the eye to see auras. Sometimes, the auric field can contain debris which can be cleared by meditating, dry bathing, or receiving energy healing.
I hope this blog post helped you understand the subtle energy body a little better. I plan to write more blogs about chakras, reading auras, and the like. Please feel free to reach out if you have any confusion that needs clearing or any questions; if I do not know how to answer, I will help you find the answer and we will learn together. 💜