“Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form of energy to another.” –Albert Einstein

Remember this scientific law from your high school physics teacher?  Little did I realize at the time that this is an important concept to consider within our bodies and our environment if we want to improve our health and well-being.  Of course, some energy conversion is out of our control, such as a plant transforming sunlight, water and air via photosynthesis.  However, there are ways we can personally manipulate and convert energy within and around ourselves in order to enhance our quality of life.

As a yogini, I will use my favorite yoga class as an example of using energy flow.  At the beginning of practice, our instructor Oscar invites us to say “om” together.  It changes the energy in the room (our environment), centering and grounding all of us though our unified deep breath and sound.  During the asanas (poses), he encourages us to envision and feel a strong line of energy in our spine.  In warrior pose, we reach out with equal strength through both arms and imagine energy shooting through our fingertips.  As we mindfully breathe during these asanas, we invite fresh prana, or life force, into our bodies and literally energize ourselves and our surroundings.

For me, this brings about deep healing and an overall sense of peace and well-being.  Now, my husband will be the first to tell you that I am a sensitive person.  But even he agrees that when he practices yoga, his awareness heightens to the flow of energy within his body and the environment.  As we bring these experiences off the mat and into the world, we are more aware of our own energy flow, the energy of others and can make mindful choices that use energy flow to enhance the quality of our lives.

Energy flow balance is a treatment that is included in many forms of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, including meditation, chiropractic work, massage, yoga, tai chi, acupuncture, naturopathy, ayurveda, qigong, reiki and deep breathing exercises.  These different modalities focus on balancing energy flow through the body and to eliminate any obstacles that negatively impact that natural flow. By engaging in these activities, the body’s natural defenses have a greater chance of fighting off a wide range of diseases.  The secret is realizing that you are in control and can choose to point yourself in the direction of moving toward an optimal state of well-being.

On the other hand, tension stops the flow of energy and results from being out of balance.  This can be generated from things like stress, not getting enough sleep, not drinking enough water and not eating well, to name a few.  When we are worried and stressed, we send frequencies of fear and insecurity through our body. The natural reaction is to protect itself by tensing our muscles or getting sick in order to slow us down and pay attention to ourselves.

Most CAM disciplines that make use of energy flow balancing see the body and mind as supporting systems that impact the overall health of the individual.  By using energy work to restore a proper balance of energy flow, both the mind and the body are expected to respond favorably.  As the flow of energy through the body resumes, physical and emotional issues generated by the blockage of energy flow begin to subside and eventually disappear.  Keep in mind this is not a one way street – your work also positively impacts the energy of people and the environment surrounding you.

How do you use energy flow to enhance your quality of life?