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Energy Healing Simplified


Are you one of those who gets confused with the term “energy healing”? 

What does this mean? Is it Reiki, Reflexology, Kinesiology, Pranic Healing, Acupuncture or for that matter even Yoga could be considered a type of energy healing! When it comes down to it, everything is ultimately composed of energy, even things that appear solid. In reality what we do with each other is emotion therapy in its purest form. There are many ways to achieve this, and the synergy of adding energy healing into the mix, allows us to explore the imperceptible aspects and the energic influences often overlooked by other types of therapies. Read on to know more…

Energy affects how you feel, look, think, act, and interact. And everything affects your energy system and the way that energy flows through your body, including exercise, massage, your conscious and unconscious beliefs, what you eat and drink, and your environment.

An important distinction: In everyday English, healing means curing or ‘fixing’ a specific problem. In holistic healing, the healer treats the client as a whole, and helps the person make the best of whatever situation or state they find themselves in. That may or may not involve helping to fix the issue.

Sometimes what seems like a problem is actually helping to guide you to a better way of living. For example, if you go to a non-holistic healer complaining that your job makes you feel sick, they will probably focus their efforts on trying to cure the sickness. A holistic healer may advise you to get another job, if they determine that’s in your best interest.

Energy healing works on the root cause of an issue. You may think the problem is your job or your sickness, but perhaps the root cause is that you have a hard time standing up for yourself and voicing your opinion. The energy will work on that, not just the most obvious issue.

Some healers refrain from giving advice; they just work on your energy system and trust that once your energy is flowing well, it’ll be easier for you to make wonderful decisions for yourself. You may opt to stay at the same job, but find that your perspective changes after the energy healing, and that you can appreciate the ways in which the job actually benefits you.


• They’ve heard good things about a particular modality from someone they trust.

• They’ve tried conventional ways of tackling physical, mental, emotional and spiritual issues, but haven’t been satisfied with the results.

• They’re happy with the conventional treatment they’re receiving, but want the benefits of a complementary therapy too. (It can often accelerate or support the healing process).

• They already know that there’s more to life than the material plane, things most people can see, feel, touch, hear, taste or smell.

• They want a better understanding of themselves, and why they do the things they do.

• They’re curious and like trying new experiences.


Energy healing is any form of holistic healing based on balancing, sensing, moving, cleaning, clearing and replenishing someone’s energy. This can be done through physical touch, by working a few inches above the client’s body so that no touch is involved, or even long distance. While any form of healing will affect your energy system, some forms do so by working on your body (massage etc.) or your mind (like hypnotherapy).

Energy healing involves working directly with someone’s energy. It works even if the client doesn’t believe in energy

healing (I’ve worked with skeptics, so I speak from experience), and the client doesn’t need to have a language in common with the healer.


Lots. People have been using various forms of energy healing for centuries! Off the top of my head: Reiki; magnetism; chakra balancing; and Pranic healing.


Intuition plays a major role here. Absolutely listen to recommendations from people you trust or do some research, and ask to be guided to the right person. I think it’s important to choose someone you feel comfortable with, so you feel safe enough to relax deeply and get the most out of your healing.


Different energy healing modalities have different answers to this question. Most energy healers will ask the client to refrain from using alcohol or very heavy painkillers prior to the healing. Some will even ask you to wear a particular colour, or to fast before your session. Talk to your healer, and ask whether there’s anything you need to do in preparation.


You may feel tingling, cold or heat coming from the healer’s hands. Some people see colours, or find that memories or images pop into their heads. Even if nothing unusual seems to happen, it’s okay.

After a healing, most people say they feel relaxed, peaceful and lighter, as if burdens have been lifted off their shoulders. You might feel especially energised, or unusually tired.


In my experience, no. Most of us are here to learn and experience things, and a lot of lessons show up in the form of so-called problems.

Here’s an example: One of my life lessons is learning to be patient. If a healer managed to fix it so that everything happens when and how I want it to, I would never have an opportunity to learn patience.


While energy is indeed freely available to all of us, many healers invest substantial amounts of time and money into developing and refining their healing skills. When you receive a healing, you’re paying for the healer’s time, attention and expertise.

It’s often recommended that there be an energy exchange between a healer and a client, and money is one possible means of exchange. Money can be used at supermarkets and to pay rent and other bills, so it’s a great way of compensating healers who enjoy eating and living in homes!

There’s also a school of thought that says people may grow complacent and dependent if they receive free healing. In my opinion, an ethical healer will empower you instead of keeping you dependent on them.



It was a blistering hot summer afternoon when I went for my first ever Reiki healing session with Vanessa Arnold. It had been a long day and I was hot and irritated and not quite sure of what I was getting into. Skepticism and doubt were foremost in my mind.

Vanessa answered the door with her gentle smile and led me into the welcoming and warm confines, immediately putting me at ease. I had gotten to know Vanessa professionally and found her to be a warm, friendly person with a positive, welcoming vibe about her. I came to know that she was a gifted practitioner of ‘energy medicine’ that includes Reiki, the Chinese practice of qigong or the western practice of healing hands. The practice has been making inroads in traditional healthcare settings, including hospitals and clinics. Practitioners lay their hands either lightly on or just above people’s bodies, attempting to redirect the flow of an invisible energy, the idea here being the fact that we all have a vital life force or energy, called prana that can be blocked or interrupted due to various reasons resulting in illness or discomfort. Reiki healing helps balance that energy flow over a few sessions and is usually found very effective for relief of minor pains, aches, stress headaches, minor digestive upsets etc.

On arrival, Vanessa sat me down and started talking to me about various things like my thoughts, my dreams, what ailed me etc. It was slightly unnerving as she sat looking intently at me. I did not say a lot but somehow, within minutes her probing questions on matters that were somewhere deep down indicated that she instinctively knew a lot about me! Soon she bid me lie down on a comfortable bed in a cool, welcoming room with candles and soothing music. I lied down fully clothed feeling absolutely relaxed and comfortable and closed my eyes.

She placed her warm hands over my eyes and I could feel the heat coming palpably from her palms. As I reclined on the bed with my eyes closed, she walked around me very slowly and purposefully, from my head to my toes, stopping at various points along the way to hold her hands above me, or to quietly rest them on top of a certain place. Vanessa moved gracefully and wordlessly; all I could feel was her palpable presence and the warmth of her palms. At times, she shook me gently and it felt as if I was being lulled into a slumber. Towards the end she held my feet and massaged a cream/oil into them and it felt like sheer bliss. She worked on me for an hour, during which I was listening to the soft music playing in the background and trying to eliminate all sorts of thoughts that came to my mind, at one point I even tried to imagine fluffy clouds and endless oceans to try to be in a Zen like state.

At the end, she told me I could get up when I was ready, and I discovered I had no inclination whatsoever to move. I hadn’t realised the extent to which she had relaxed me. I felt deeply content and actually wanted to curl up and go to sleep! My body felt light and weightless as if a load had been lifted off my shoulders. Eventually, she explained to me about the various energies in my body, the anger that I had that would at times spill forth or a few aches and pains that I had. She explained about the lack of energy flow in my limbs and I realised that it could be the reason for my cold extremities. My energies indicated that I had manifestations of Goddess Kali at times and that explained the sheer rage that I get into in some situations. The tigress in me was the subtle physical energy waiting to be unleashed. It explained the emotions and feelings that I hold back in situations, while trying to be politically correct. It was a sort of a revelation about myself that made me look at myself objectively.

When asked how she did it, Vanessa explained, “When we’re first attuned to Reiki, we’re taught standard hand positions that work with the 7 major chakras. Over time, I’ve learned to trust my intuition, and I find that I am ‘guided’ as to where I should hold and move my hands as I work with the client’s energy. For me it’s less about ‘knowing’ what to do and more about surrendering and trusting that what needs to happen will happen. I’ve also studied other modalities of energy healing, so that has influenced how my hands work and move”.

That night I slept like a baby for the first time in ages, with a deep dreamless slumber and even over the next few days, without giving further thought to the reiki treatment, I grew aware of a few improvements in my general well-being. My mood was brighter, I felt fresh and energised and slept better than I used to.

I realised the subtlety with which reiki healing worked enabling the body to heal subtly. In each session, the individual’s energy level is raised to a higher level, which then gradually affects the person as a whole.

Whether it is this or something else, I would certainly say that it is something to consider as a complement to working with your doctor.

May the force be with us!



An intuitive energy healer, Vanessa Arnold has been exploring and studying a wide range of alternative healing techniques since 2002.


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