Following Energy Intuitively: the Visualization Conversation
By Barbara Janelle M.A.
Early in Therapeutic Touch training, practitioners learn that visualization gives information to the field as it directs energy flow. With the use of visualization in treatments, there comes a time when the practitioner recognizes that the field is giving information through visualization too. For example, a practitioner may direct a particular color of energy through the field and then recognize that the color is changing as it moves through the field. The practitioner did not change the color; rather the field changed the color to suit its own vibrational needs.
Another example is that the practitioner may intend energy to flow evenly down through the field but suddenly notices through visualization that it is going to a particular part of the field. Again, the field is directing energy to areas that require it.
The field is intelligent. A skilled practitioner eventually learns to work with and indeed even yield to the field's directions. To insist on doing something different from what the field directs will stress the field as it works to counter this. If the practitioner persists in imposing unwanted directions, the field will block the treatment, which is a major stressor for the field.
A skilled practitioner becomes more and more aware of the field's actions and directions. The key is learning to pay attention to thoughts, images and subtle information presented by the field.
Exercises to Develop Awareness of Field Dynamics
Some exercises that train a practitioner to develop awareness of field dynamics are described below. The exercises focus on intuitive awareness and tend to emphasize seeing in images and movement. It is useful to explore how one visualizes before doing the TT exercises. For example, working in pairs, describe a spouse, child, parent, friend, or pet. In doing this, notice how the person or animal comes to mind: pictures, sound, emotions, tactile feelings, etc. Probably many different ways occur simultaneously.
In using the following exercises, it is valuable for the reader to do an exercise before reading the comments about what it teaches. By doing this the practitioner has his/her own experience to draw on and compare with the written comments. Readers: trust your own experiences. Do not dismiss them if they do not fit with the written comments. Instead, allow differences to lead you to deeper questions and greater insight.
1. Unruffle an arm from shoulder to hand, moving energy/light downward to the hand. Use only a few unruffling movements to do this. Wait a moment and then notice how the hand receiving that energy feels. (Do this exercise now and then read the following comments.)
Comments: The hand may feel heavy, swollen, pulsing, warm, stiff, etc. – basically unpleasant. Directing energy into the hand tends to build energy there rather than supporting flow through. If the hand was injured, doing this would make it more uncomfortable.
When an injury occurs, normal flow is impeded and energy will slow down and build up at the site. Physically, this may be seen as swelling. With any injury, it is important to draw congested energy off before directing more energy through the site.
So now because the hand is full of energy and "swollen," it is necessary to draw this energy away from the hand before going on to the next part of the exercise.
2. The most effective ways of drawing the energy build-up out of the hand are:
a. To pull the energy off perpendicular to the skin. This can be accompanied by visualizations of either seeing the energy dissipate into the air or grounding it into the floor.
b. To draw the energy either into the hand chakra or slightly up into the wrist chakra and draw it off from these places, again using the visualization of dissipating or grounding.
Attempting to draw the energy off by unruffling through the hand is more difficult because the finger chakras are too small as outlet places for the congested energy. The unruffling itself is also bringing more energy into the area, compounding the problem.
Draw the congested energy off now and notice how the hand feels.
Comments. "Swelling" will disappear and the hand will feel lighter and more normal.
3. Once normal feeling has returned to the hand, then unruffle from the shoulder down the arm, through the hand and into the ground. The visualization is of light entering the shoulder, flowing downward through the limb and exiting out through the hand into the ground. Do this now.
Comments. The hand very likely feels light and comfortable, as indeed does the entire arm: a very different experience from #1.
To an outside observer, the practitioner's unruffling hand movements in #1 and #3 are very similar. However, the difference in the effect of each of these unruffling movements is governed by the practitioner's intention expressed through visualization.
To prevent energy build-up in the field, it is useful to support grounding very early in a TT treatment and many times throughout the treatment.
B. Visualizing Color: An Exercise in Exploring the Conversation with the Field
The following exercise is an exploration in the two-way conversation with the field. (1) The exercise is done in pairs.
1. One person centers and unruffles the other's arm from shoulder to hand and supports the flow of energy out of the hand into the floor (grounding). This ensures an unimpeded flow.
2. Then the working partner chooses a colour (blue, green, or yellow) and with an unruffling movement sends it into the field at the shoulder, down through the arm and out the hand. Both practitioner and receiver should notice how this action feels to them and what if any impact it has on their breathing. Was the visualization of the colour easy to hold for the practitioner? Lightly unruffle and ground again to ensure that there is no energy build-up in the field.
3. Again with a movement to support the flow of energy down through the arm, the working partner invites a rainbow of light from the unlimited supply of energy in the universal field, to come into the field at the shoulder, move down through the arm and out the hand into the ground. Accompanying this is a suggestion to the field to take in, as much energy as it needs, in whatever colour is most appropriate for it. Again both partners should notice how this feels and what if anything happens to their breathing. Finish with a light unruffling and grounding.
4. Change roles and repeat the exercise; then discuss experiences.
Do the exercise to establish your own experience before reading the following comments.
Comments. The practitioner may find that it is difficult to maintain the single colour visualization during the second step of the exercise. This is because the field may be changing the color to suit its needs. This color change can occur several times even in as short a span as unruffling down an arm. If the practitioner tries to hold a single color visualization in the face of this, depth of centering will weaken as resistance from the field grows. The practitioner may also feel frustrated.
If the field tries to change the color to its needs and the practitioner resists this, the receiver will start to hold his/her breath and may experience a heavy feeling in the arm, or even throughout the body.
On the other hand, the invitation to the field to choose the colour and amount of energy taken in, results in comfort, relaxation and deeper breathing on the part of the receiver. The practitioner finds both breathing and centering deepening and the TT procedure is almost effortless. The field communicates through visualization, feelings, and impact on the breathing and centering of the practitioner.
Another exercise to strengthen visualization abilities involves grounding and connections through the bio-energetic field. (2) People work in pairs: the receiver sits on a chair with hands and feet separated. (If hands are clasped, energy does not flow as well from the shoulders, down the arms and into the legs and feet. If legs or feet are crossed, or if the angles at the knees and ankles are too tight, energy does not flow as easily through the lower part of the field.) The practitioner sits on the floor at the receiver's feet.
1. With hands on the feet, the practitioner visualizes roots from the feet into the ground. The roots may extend from the soles, heels, toes and even ankles into the ground. With visualization, increase the roots in number and thickness and deepen them. This strengthens the grounding and increases the flow of energy in through the crown and other chakras and down through the field.
2. Following this, the practitioner checks to see what parts of the field are connected to these roots: is the field up to the knees connected to the roots; to the hips? Is the tail of the spine rooted directly into the ground and through this the full length of the spine? Do roots connect to the digestive tract? Is the entire lower trunk connected to roots? The upper chest? The neck? And the head?
If at any time, the practitioner has difficulty visualizing a portion of the field connecting to the roots, he/she may support the connection with actual unruffling movements in the area.
3. Once the rooted connection through the entire field is visualized, the practitioner then supports the normal flow of energy by inviting light to come in through the crown chakra and gently brighten the entire field as it flows down through it. Follow this by visualizing light entering the field through the crown chakra and moving gently down through the head, neck, shoulders-arms-hands (into the legs that the hands are resting on), upper chest, the major organs, the back, the digestive tract, through the hips, thighs, knees, lower legs and feet into the ground. The practitioner may notice that the light turns different colours as it moves through the field. The field brightens, and the sense of energy flowing through the field increases.
If at any point the energy does not flow easily through a part of the field, the practitioner may support the flow with actual unruffling movements. When light flows freely through the entire field, the exercise is finished. (Do this exercise before reading the following comments.)
Comments. This visualized grounding-connecting-brightening procedure is particularly useful for treating migraine headaches, where actual unruffling movements might be too painful for the person to endure. In addition, this measure is helpful in the conventional TT treatment.
A useful additional step is to do this exercise in triads with additional steps. While the person at the feet does the grounding-connecting-brightening exercise, the person standing at the receiver's back simply observes the energetic changes intuitively. When this is finished the person at the feet continues to support grounding and signals to the one at the back to offer energy into the spine at the heart chakra or solar plexus and direct it down to the grounding roots off the feet and spine. Both practitioners watch this process. If at any time, the energy gets a little stuck, unruffling movements may be used to support downward flow. Also observe if the energy offered to the field moves directly downward or deviates from this path. Discussion among all three participants afterwards is very important.
A practitioner directing energy flow into the field must always yield to the field's responses and actions. For example, it is common that a practitioner may decide to send energy into a particular area only to find that the energy moves from that place to another. Where there is a problem, there is an energy deficit, and energy goes where it is needed.
Rather than impose directions on a field, it can be more effective to offer energy within the framework of the well-grounded field (3), and observe where it goes; and always finish with downward unruffling and grounding.
A very simple exercise is to do a light unruffling, address the grounding and then offer energy to a hand chakra and watch where it goes in the field. Unruffling and grounding complete the exercise.
Comments. The energy most likely goes up the arm and into the heart chakra and from there moves to place(s) where it is needed. Variations on this approach (such as offering energy to the major intake areas of the adrenals or spleen chakra) can be used as an assessment tool as well as a treatment step, with the understanding that at all times in the treatment setting, the practitioner is monitoring field response and acceptance/use of the energy input.
Visualization is an important tool in the Therapeutic Touch treatment. It is a two-way street however, in that the field gives information through visualization as well as receiving it. The TT treatment is a partnership and the field leads this dance. (4) To be more effective in the treatment process, the practitioner must be very aware of the information given by the field. Standard assessment tools of discerning where differences exist in how the field feels are only a beginning measure in receiving information. Increasing comfort with the visualization conversation grows with experience.
Barbara Janelle, "The Therapeutic Touch Treatment: A two-Way Conversation," Embodiment
of Spirit, Self-published,
2. Janelle, "The Role of Visualization in Therapeutic Touch," In Touch, Vol. 10, no. 2, May 1998; also in Barbara Janelle, Our Healing Power, Self-published, Kitchener, ON: 1999, 2004.
3. Janelle, "Energizing the Field," Our Healing Power.
4. Janelle, "The Field Leads the Dance," In Touch, Vol. X, no. 4, November 1998; also in Our Healing Power.