The Secret to Energy Work: Kinesthetic Memory Techniques
There are roughly 4 gazillion books out there detailing methods for moving energy through the body. And whether they refer to chi, ki, prana, or The Force, almost all of them use the same basic technique: visualization. Despite this wealth of spiritual training material available, the number of people who’ve managed to achieve anything using these techniques remains pitifully small. A skeptic might use that as proof that energy work is just a load of hooey, but perhaps the problem lies not in the idea, but the approach. Most people take the word visualization far too literally; the world of meditation and energy work is rife with visual terminology: “see a ball of energy going up your leg” or “picture your body filling up with energy”. This leads most folks to attempt to create a mini-movie in their heads, a process that doesn’t, in most cases, stimulate the energy body enough to be really noticeable. It does work, just not very well. Visualization takes a great deal of training, but fortunately one can get started quite easily.
The real secret to making energized meditations work is to let go of your sense of sight and start playing with your sense of touch. Instead of trying to “see” a ball of energy running up your leg, try to feel the ball as it rolls over your skin. Kinesthesia is a far more powerful tool for working with energy, especially for beginners. Remember, Yoda admonished Luke to feel the force, not see it.
Technique – Energy Reflexology
Start with the feet. Choose a time when you can work barefoot or in socks. Have you ever had someone give you a foot massage? If not, get to work and give yourself one. Start by gently massaging the toes, using a kneading motion with your fingers. Work your way down to the heel and then stroke the bottom of the foot back up to the toes. Go back and forth several times, lightly stroking the foot.
Cease using your hands and try to replicate the feeling without actually making physical contact. If you lose the feeling, go back to physically massaging yourself, then stop and use your memory to recreate the feeling of being massaged. Do this slowly, take your time and alternate between spiraling and stroking motions.
You should play with the feeling to get maximum results: imagine using a wash cloth or a loofah on your foot, switch rough with soft, or pretend someone you find attractive is performing the massage. Switch to the other foot and see what kinds of sensations you can elicit.
Human beings have five senses, but we filter everything primarily through some combination of sight, hearing and touch. We live in a very visual society, so it’s only natural that that particular sense predominates, but working with the energy body (the energetic structure that underlies the human body) requires one to step outside the norm and play with the more neglected aspects of the mind.
Using kinesthetic memory techniques on the body can create some weird and occasionally disconcerting sensations. Once can possibly experience tingling, vibrating or buzzing, the muscles may twitch and sensations of heat or cold and they can be very strong. Eventually they should subside as your body becomes used to the energy moving through it.
You can apply this basic idea to any energy method you might already now, just look for ways to use your sense of touch. A popular image these days is to imagine a ball of energy going up the limbs or through the torso in various orbits. Instead of worrying about what color the ball is, think about what it might be made of; is it smooth rubber, a rough sponge, light or heavy, silky or abrasive?
After you’ve gotten good at creating sensations in your feet, trying moving up the calves and thighs, and then jump to the hands and arms using your kinesthetic memory to give yourself a relaxing massage.