It’s a noun, plural -gies.
1. the capacity for vigorous activity; available power: I eat chocolate to get quick energy.
2. an adequate or abundant amount of such power: I seem to have no energy these days.
3. Often, energies. a feeling of tension caused or seeming to be caused by an excess of such power: to work off one’s energies at tennis.
4. an exertion of such power: She plays tennis with great energy.
5. the habit of vigorous activity; vigor as a characteristic: Foreigners both admire and laugh at American energy.
6. the ability to act, lead others, effect, etc., forcefully.
7. forcefulness of expression: a writing style abounding with energy.
8. Physics . the capacity to do work; the property of a system that diminishes when the system does work on any other system, by an amount equal to the work so done; potential energy. Symbol: E
9. any source of usable power, as fossil fuel, electricity, or solar radiation.
No mention here of the subtle energies of the body or energy healing.
Is energy visible?
I would say yes and no.
The effects of energy can be observed in different ways.
Energy can be measured by calories or kilojoules present in our foods and some foods, particularly organic or biodynamic foods have a different kind of energy to those foods grown in depleted or toxic environments.
Someone lacking in energy seems quite “wilted” and drab, as can vegetables that are past their use by date.
Those with an over abundance of energy can appear lively and sparkling, even repelling us if we are not in the same frame of mind.
It’s more of a feeling!
Energy can be observed by moving a switch to off or on.
Either the TV, kettle or other electrical appliance works or doesn’t.
What of the human body?
What energy fields lie within?
Many centuries ago the Chinese mapped the energy fields and called them meridians. They found that if certain points were stimulated, energy flowed through the body more effectively and improved health. Modern medicine now acknowledges the efficacy of Acupuncture in treating many conditions, including its use in anaesthesia.
Tai Chi is an energy based exercise. Gentle, graceful movements that stimulate blood flow, stretch the muscles and still the mind. Ch’i, Qi or Ki (気) may be regarded by sceptics as hocus pocus, even though many cultures have, for millenia, accepted that there are subtle and inexplicable energies that can work on the body and spirit.
Even though there is a vocal band of sceptics who denounce the existence of energy in this context, in the name of rational science, there has been a growing acceptance of the role of energy medicine across the globe.
Samuel Hahnemann was disenchanted with the way medicine was practiced in Germany in the 1780’s and by 1796 he had come up with a way of treating patients that fitted with the Hippocratic Oath “..first do no harm…..”. His system was Homeopathy. It was based on the premise that like cures like – using a substance that could create symptoms in a perfectly healthy person to cure those same symptoms in someone who was sick. He also discovered that dilution of the remedy caused it to work more effectively in many cases. Today, Homeopathy is used across the world and is available on the NHS in the UK and widely used in India and Pakistan where is a cheap and effective medical alternative.
Another famous German, Rudolph Steiner, continued the exploration of energy fields and medicine in the late 19th century through to the 1920’s. His major work was in providing an education system that nourishes the spirit of the child and is still recognised today with the acceptance and growth of the Steiner School system worldwide. Steiner spoke of us having four bodies:
- the physical or material body that contains the elements of the earth – minerals, gases – nitrogen and oxygen; water and other fluids
- the etheric body, which plants and animals also possess
- the astral body, which animals and man both have
- and the Ego or centre which is surrounded by the other bodies which envelope and sheath it.
Another interesting philosophy to come out of Europe in this era of enlightenment, was Dr Randolph Stone, born in Austria in 1890, who trained as an Osteopath, Naturopath and chiropractor.
He developed Polarity Therapy which melded ancient Eastern philosophies with modern European natural healing practices.
Dr Stone investigated the pathways in the body that energy could be felt to move in and drew upon his vast knowledge to create “maps” of these pathways that therapists could use to locate and move around energy.
He found that energy is constantly moving and we all have a positive and negative polarity.
By using the hands to manipulate the energy in a particular spot with varying pressure, some conditions can be alleviated quite easily.
Dr Stone said that ” the awareness of life as energy currents is the key to the natural art of health building.”