Chapter 1: How Your Body and Mind Works

Your body already heals itself.

You may take antibiotics to combat infections, dose yourself with aspirin to reduce pain, have a cast put on a broken wrist, even have your appendix removed by a surgeon. But drugs and medical procedures don't "heal" you. They reduce inflammation, battle bacteria, or in the case of a cast or operation, make proper healing possible. But your body heals itself. And it does it magnificently. Through some process that we don't fully understand, your body has the amazing, innate ability to repair itself.

Medical science can explain the neurological and biochemical responses involved in healing a cut finger: the nerves carry the pain message to your brain to indicate a problem; white blood cells rush to the area to combat dirt or germs; platelets clot the blood and begin forming a scab; and the skin cells grow back underneath the scab. But medical science doesn't know how the body knows how to do this, and it doesn't know what force powers this healing process.

We know intuitively that there must be a consciousness at work behind this self-healing ability, in the same way that we know that our body knows how to breathe without our having to command our lungs to inhale and exhale. We also understand that we have a storehouse of energy that our body uses for healing. Otherwise, white blood cells wouldn't be able to multiply and carry away infection and inflammation from the site of a cut. Skin cells wouldn't be able to repair and create new tissue. Traditional medical thinking holds that both this healing process and the energy used in it are beyond our willful control. But what if you could consciously control this supposedly unconscious self-healing process? What if you could learn to harness the most vital component in that process, the healing energy that your body uses to repair itself? What if you could learn to increase and direct that healing energy to improve your general well-being and relieve specific health problems?

This book gives you that ability.


Harnessing Your Healing Energy

Through a series of step-by-step, easy-to-learn, simple-to-perform exercises, you will learn to harness your body's healing energy, the force that is known as chi to the Chinese, mana to the Polynesians, and prana throughout India. You will learn an entire system of self-healing that uses as its framework the principles of one of the most comprehensive and effective forms of energy medicine called Pranic Healingsm.


Energy Medicine

Energy medicine refers to a broad category of alternative healing methods that utilize universal life force as their primary healing modality. Although some energy medicine is used as an alternative to allopathic, or Western, medicine, most methods are now used as a complement to care given by medical doctors and other traditional treatments. (For instance, we strongly recommend that you use PRANIC HEALING as an adjunct to your physician's care.)

In energy medicine, good health results from having the right amount of this energy flowing smoothly through the body, while health problems or ailments result from a deficiency or blockage of this energy. Energy medicine systems typically include some method of increasing or stimulating the amount of this life force in the body to facilitate healing. Some systems advocate drawing in the energy from a source outside the body; others teach practitioners to build up their own vital force and then use that for healing. Some incorporate self-healing; others do not. Acupuncture, chi kung, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, and PRANIC HEALING are just several examples of energy medicine.

Acupuncture is probably the most well-known energy medicine system today. In acupuncture, fine needles are inserted into a patient's body at certain points, along energy channels called "meridians" (see "Your Energetic Anatomy" below for more on meridians). These needles unblock the flow of life force, or chi, through the meridians and thus, balance the body's energy and facilitate healing. Occasionally, the acupuncturist gently rotates the needles or even sends a very low-grade electrical current through them to accelerate the healing process.

Chi kung (literal translation: "energy work") stems the same Oriental philosophical base as acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, and internal Chinese martial arts, such as tai chi, and refers to a variety of life force-generating exercises and practices that date back thousands of years. There are many different types of chi kung, but in general, chi kung practitioners perform a prescribed set of breathing routines and physical exercises over a period of years to enable them to build up the chi in their own bodies. They then project that energy into the body of the patient to bring about healing.

Reiki is a Japanese hands-on energy channeling system believed to have its origins in the esoteric practices of Tibetan monks. Reiki practitioners must be "attuned" to the universal healing energy by a Reiki Master, after which they are able to draw in this life force and allow it to flow through them into the body of a person in need of healing. There are three levels of Reiki training: first degree, second degree and third degree, or Reiki Master.

Therapeutic Touch is a method of energy healing incorporating techniques from traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and laying on of hands. It was developed in the 1970s by a nurse, Delores Krieger, Ph.D., R.N., at New York University School of Nursing, and Dora Kunz, a healer and author, and is comparable to first degree Reiki. A Therapeutic Touch practitioner does not actually touch the patient. Rather, the practitioner passes his hands lightly over the patient's body to detect and then "unruffle" - in Therapeutic Touch terminology - energetic blockages. The practitioner then directs energy into the patient to assist healing.

Pranic Healing

PRANIC HEALING was created by a Chinese-Filipino spiritual teacher and energy master named Grandmaster Choa Kok Sui, who spent years researching the root teachings of esoteric systems such as yoga, chi kung, Kaballah (an ancient, Jewish mystical and spiritual tradition), and many others in order to create a simple, practical, effective, "optimum" energy healing system that anyone could learn and use.

In his teens, Grandmaster Choa was already an accomplished student of yoga and various meditation and spiritual systems. In his 20s, he continued intensive study of higher level esoteric practices, with a particular focus on the use of vital life force for healing. He concluded that healing, at its most basic, consisted of cleansing and energizing -- that is, cleaning away dirty or blocked life force from the aura and replenishing the aura with fresh energy. Next, Grandmaster Choa, who by this time had also established himself as a businessman and engineer, applied a rigorous scientific approach to his inquiries. He set up a number of healing clinics in the Philippines to test the effectiveness of laying on of hands, chi kung, and other energy healing systems. Each patient who came in received a particular type of energetic treatment, and the results - or lack of results - of that particular treatment for that specific ailment were recorded. Grandmaster Choa also had highly skilled healers with heightened sensitivity - people with the ability to see vital life force in the body - observe the patients before and after treatment, so that he could detail the exact energetic effect of each system. These experiments were overseen by nurses and other medical professionals, as well.

These healing clinics continued for years, with Grandmaster Choa constantly testing and refining methods of cleaning out dirty energy and increasing the supply of healing energy. Finally, in 1987, Grandmaster Choa published his first book and held his first workshop in the Philippines to introduce Pranic Healing, a "best-of-the-best" system of very specific instructions and sequences for cleansing and energizing particular parts of the body to achieve rapid healing. The system spread to the United States in 1990 and is now practiced worldwide.