Energy healing is the holistic practice of identifying and removing energetic blockages in the body. The goal is to allow the body to heal itself once these blockages are released. Did I lose you already? This definition alone has a lot to unpack, so I’m here to break it down for you with a complete guide on energy healing: what it is and where to find it.

Energy in the Body

chakra centers
The chakra points on the human body, by joandragonfly

Stemming from ancient philosophy originating in India, the concept of energy flow in the body involves seven energy centers, or chakras. They are (from bottom to top): the root chakra, sacral chakra, solar plexus chakra, heart chakra, throat chakra, third eye chakra, and crown chakra.

Although the first mention of chakras was in an ancient Hindu text, the concept of these energy points in the body is a fundamental part of Chinese and Japanese medicine. Practices such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and reiki are all based on the principles of energy healing: tapping into these energy centers to allow the body to heal.

The Hard Science

Although energy-healing practices like the ones mentioned above tend to take on a spiritual capacity and therefore are discounted as “woo-woo” and not taken as seriously, energy healing is in fact supported by hard science.

You might remember from your high school physics class that all matter is made up of molecules that are in constant vibration. Yep, even hard objects that appear to be still are composed of millions of vibrating molecules. In fact, all that we are and everything around us is basically just “empty” space.

Not convinced? A 2015 Forbes article breaks down quantum physics perfectly, laying out the mind-blowing nature of the universe. Basically, if we scaled the nucleus of an atom to the size of peanut, the entire atom itself would be the size of a baseball field. All of that space between the nucleus and the outer edges of the atom is space, in constant vibration. If we were to eliminate the space, the entirety of the atomic material left over from earth’s human population would fit into a single sugar cube.

Quantum physics is a highly respected hard science. But what does it tell us? Everything we see in the physical world at the most fundamental level comes down to one thing: energy. The difference between the energy of our thoughts and intentions and physical objects is simply the rate at which the molecules of those things move. Thought molecules move extremely fast, while molecules in physical objects move extremely slowly.

With this in mind, those who came up with the chakra system were certainly onto something. Thousands of years ago, we were beginning to understand the key role that energy plays in everything around us, even without having the “hard” science to back it up.

Energy Healing as a Practice

Wanaka, New Zealand

We don’t necessarily need to tie our energy healing practice to the chakra system or have profound knowledge of quantum physics to begin practicing energy healing. Many people feel intimidated by the abundance of information out there about energy healing and then become discouraged from implementing it.

There also exists a “this or that” mentality, wherein people often think that if they subscribe to energy healing, they should reject modern medicine altogether. On the flip side, those who are completely loyal to Western medicine tend to reject energy healing as a legitimate practice.

I don’t think we have to be 100% in favor of either. In fact, energy healing and Western medicine can work hand in hand. Implementing energy healing isn’t going to cause your meds to suddenly stop working, so why not give it a try?

You can begin your energy healing journey simply by taking up meditation as a daily practice. Even setting an intention every day to cleanse your energy as you take a shower is a great step. You might also start practicing yoga, or try visiting an energy healer. These are reiki practitioners, acupuncturists, reflexologists, and even massage therapists!

Benefits of Energy Healing

According to the book The Body Keeps the Score, our physical and emotional bodies are intertwined, and trauma is stored in the physical body, often resulting in ailments or illness. We can understand this also by considering the physical manifestation of emotional trauma as an energy blockage. Depending on what emotional trauma we experience and how we carry it, we may have unexplained physical ailments.

Energy healers work to allow our mind and bodies to release the the energy blockages that occur when trauma is stored in the body. If you are willing to receive energy healing as a possible solution to whatever ailments you may have, the benefits are plentiful.

Energy healing in all its forms is painless and requires only an open mind and a willingness to let go. It can help optimize physical health, reduce stress, improve emotional well-being, and calm anxiety.

Every body and mind is different, so while some people have life-changing experiences after energy healing sessions, some walk away with little to no impact and may require repeat sessions and more time to heal.

Finding an Energy Healer

whitefish montana saltbox
What a unique experience!

I’m not here to tell anybody that they should quit their conventional health treatments and dive into energy healing as a cure-all. In fact, I would advise against it. Holistic practices, just like conventional treatments, work differently for different people.

If you are interested in giving energy healing a try, there are a couple ways to find a healer who can help you. Here are a few ideas for what to search for:

  • Reiki: Reiki practitioners work to allow energy to flow throughout the body and to release blockages. Healers use hand movements to do so, and might incorporate crystals to further perpetuate the flow of energy.
  • Acupuncture: By placing needles in different parts of the body, acupuncturists seek to direct the flow of energy throughout the body and balance this “qi.” Many who suffer from chronic pain find acupuncture helpful for their recovery.
  • Breathwork: Breathwork healers use breathing techniques to help stimulate the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and therefore allow the flow of energy throughout the body. This practice is especially helpful for those who live with anxiety and intrusive thoughts.
  • Sound healing: By using sound bowls, chimes, and other instruments, sound healers seek to move energy through the body by way of sound vibrations. These vibrations move through the air and help our own molecules vibrate more quickly, creating a sense of euphoria.

Finding an energy healer can be as simple as a quick google, but there are a few places in the world where these practices are more common and therefore it’s easier to find the type of energy healing you are looking for.

Top 5 Destinations for Energy Healing

In my experience as a breathwork practitioner, I have noticed that healers tend to congregate. Because of this, there are certain hubs for energy healing:

Lake Atitlán, Guatemala

Tucked in the southwestern highlands of Guatemala, Lake Atitlán is a body of water in a giant volcanic crater. The several small towns on the water’s edge are an ideal place to connect with nature and admire the lake. One town in particular is especially famous for its high concentration of energy healers: San Marcos La Laguna.

San Marcos is one of the smaller communities on the lake and is teeming with spiritually minded people and energy healers. There you’ll find yoga studios in what locals call “the yoga forest,” further into the mountainside. There are also several massage therapists, reiki healers, and acupuncturists who call San Marcos home.

In addition to its abundance of healers, Lake Atitlán is a known positive energy vortex and is a sacred place for the Mayan people. Keep this in mind if you visit. If you go to Lake Atitlán as a part of your own healing journey, remember to express gratitude and be kind to local people whose ancestors considered the lake one of the most sacred places on earth.

Contamination of the lake due to overtourism is a huge problem, so consider visiting during low season (January to April or September to November).

Sedona, Arizona

This one is pretty obvious. Sedona is famous for its concentration of both energy healers and energy vortexes. Even while on one of the many beautiful hikes near Sedona, you might bump into people practicing energy healing, doing yoga, or meditating in nature.

Even if you aren’t convinced by the concept of energy vortexes (read more about them here!), there are plenty of awesome things to do in Sedona, and many of them involve getting outside and enjoying the gorgeous landscape. If that isn’t healing, I don’t know what is!

If you want to take a dive into energy healing in Sedona, this crystal sound bowl healing plus breathwork session is a great option.

Mount Shasta, California

Chakras 101: The Root Chakra

Native American groups have long-held beliefs about the energetic power of Mount Shasta, an active volcano in northern California. Ceremonies dedicated to the Creator are still held today.

For many visitors, this is one of the most peaceful and grounding places to visit. After all, it is believed to be the root chakra of the earth.

As such, Mount Shasta attracts energy healers from around the world who hope to harness the strong energy of the volcano to help others heal. The options for energy healing at Mount Shasta are plentiful, and there are several healing centers that house reiki healers, meditation teachers, and more.

Lake Titicaca, Peru

Another energy vortex, Lake Titicaca is believed to be the sacral chakra of the earth. The sacral chakra is ruled by the element water, so it makes sense that this massive lake is the earth’s sacral energy vortex.

Although the Peru side of the lake has a reputation for being super touristy, there are ample opportunities for energy healing. Retreats like this one are available, but you can also look for specific healing centers, like this one, which use meditation to help people connect with the energy of the lake.

Goa, India

Head to Goa for one of the most comprehensive chakra healing experiences you could possibly have. Since India is the birthplace of the chakra system as we know it, there are thousands of retreat centers, yoga shalas (centers), and healing hubs throughout the country.

Goa attracts energy healers from all over the world who come to this quaint coastal state to tap into ancient knowledge and practices. It’s also a favorite location for yoga teacher trainings. Since yoga and energy healing overlap so much, you’ll likely find yoga teachers who also practice energy healing as a part of their offerings.

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