Sometimes when I am giving an acupressure treatment, I feel the person's energy move. Then, I experience emotions that are not my own. For example, extreme grief in a person with a headache. When I feel the transfer of the emotion and energy, the person's headache goes away. This often leaves me feeling weak for several minutes or hours. What is going on?
This is a topic for which there are many opinions. Personally, while there is some sort of transference that happens anytime you interact with someone particularly in the ways that we work, I steer very clear of the terminology used by many healers and the like. Ultimately there is one energy - not positive, not negative so I keep that in my mind and personally do not believe in picking up bad or negative energy from patients. Certainly some days I might feel a certain way after working on someone but I don't get too worked up about it and it quickly fades. That is, by not adding terminology and certain theories the effect, if any, is made so minor it effectively becomes a non-issue.
The other aspect of this is that you must have solid and strong energy to work with patients at this level otherwise you may be more easily effected by the work. Qi Gong and Tai Chi, in my opinion, are a strict necessity for practitioners. Your qi gong, however, must be guided by a very good teacher as there are many, many people who practice for years and have no real qi development or energetic stability. To be effective, this part of your training and development should be done with a high level of focus and care.
With this you will avoid being affected as easily. As I said earlier there are many opinions and theories about this and there are techniques to avoid "taking up" your patients energy (another term I personally dislike). To me it comes down to having a stronger energy than your patients - enough to direct their energy instead of being a sponge for it. This is part techniques, perhaps, but mostly a development on the part of the practitioner that needs to be cultivated.
So, yes some of the phenomena exists, but it is not worthy of strong terminology. This terminology only exists to reinforce what you feel is happening and, ultimately, it will make the experience worse. As I said earlier if I feel a little strange after working on someone I let it go - if I do anything I focus on how great it was to help them, not what I might have picked up from them. You cannot get someones condition, but your mind is a powerfully ally or enemy depending on what you feed it.
Chad, while I appreciate your reply, I must admit I don't understand it fully. You seemed to be addressing the terminology I used more than my question.
First of all, I am not a practitioner. I just give acupressure to family, friends, and colleagues. I stopped doing it for many years because I was afraid of what seemed like energy movement with emotions attached to it. I didn't tell anyone (it would have seemed like telling someone I talked to a ghost). I'm using lay terms because I don't know the buzz words.
It is usually rather easy for me to "sense" or "feel" what pressure points need to be pressed. The person's headache usually goes away, or significantly diminishes, in a matter of seconds or minutes.
The feelings don't usually last long after I stop physical contact. On a few occasions, I had become completely drained of energy (again, I'm using a term to describe how I felt-- I hope you can get past the semantics).
"...some of the phenomena exists, but it is not worthy of strong terminology." I used terminology to describe the emotions and sensations I felt. Yes, the grief was overwhelming. By this, I mean that I could barely hold back tears and the emotion was definitely not my own. I was having an especially great day and not the least bit sad.
I am only trying to understand this phenomenon. Of course I know I cannot "get someone's condition." It's like empathy with a physical response. If their stomach qi is rebelling (which I don't know until I touch them), it gives me the sensation of needing to vomit.
It's not just a matter of feeling a "bit strange." Please don't respond to my word choice, I'm no expert. I just want to know if anyone else has experienced this sensation and can tell me what it is or why it happens.
All I am really saying is the more you focus on reactions like that to patients the more they are likely to happen. And while some people have varying degrees of reactions like this the vast majority of practitioners will learn to stop this effect. In reality you have to to practice successfully for years. This doesn't neglect the fact that the phenomena exist, but as I stated previously - "To me it comes down to having a stronger energy than your patients - enough to direct their energy instead of being a sponge for it. This is part techniques, perhaps, but mostly a development on the part of the practitioner that needs to be cultivated."
Some people have heightened sensitivity, naturally, and this makes training all the more important. I can only recommend that you must stabilize your energy and learn how to direct it better. This, in my opinion, only comes from the practice of Tai Chi (ideally from a skilled master, preferably someone who also practices Chinese Medicine).
From the Tam Healing System, we use acupressure on the GV 19 area to help regulate this sensitivity as well.
My strong wording isn't meant to pick apart your terminology in any way - your phrasing was just fine and to the point. It is only to emphasize the importance of getting past these reactions to continue practicing and helping others. It is important for people to not get caught in this way of thinking and realize also that this is why people train for years before doing this kind of work - not just in theory and medicine but in themselves and their skills and their qi.
I am less reacting to your specific phrasing or your specific issues than I am to the concepts generally as many acupuncturists, healers, etc. have the same experiences and often get consumned by them. As this is a public forum I try to generalize some of my answers as I know others are facing the same issues. So it's not meant to call you out in any way - just to make the discussion more valuable to everyone who might stumble across it.
It sounds to me that you are a very empathic and intuitive person. In Oriental medicine, we speak of the practitioner (you) and the patient being one ecosystem. Imagine the yin/yang taichi symbol where you are the black or white part and the person you are treating is the opposite color. You'll see that both of you together make up a whole, sphere, or circle-then notice that within each color is a tiny sphere of the opposite color. Think of this as energy transfer. A little bit of you goes into the person you are treating and vice versa. What acupuncturists and acupressurists and other energy/body workers want to avoid is having too much of their patient's energy 'invading' their own energy field or vice versa.
Hopefully you will realize this ability you have is a great gift and you have the potential to be a powerful healer. It sounds like you need training in qi gong and tai chi as Mr. Dupuis said, but I think you are looking for a more 'spiritual/ethereal' answer.
Lori Dechar who wrote Five Spirits Alchemical Acupuncture -also great for the acupressurist spoke in class about having an awareness of foreign energy 'invading' or 'possessing' the practitioner. Somehow you just knew that what you were feeling was not a part of you, but foreign. The impression I got was that it was a transient phenomena and acknowledging that what you were sensing was not native to you helped it resolve and go away....(just another way of saying what Mr. Dupuis has already said.
The energy in your patient has to go somewhere and the path of least resistence seems to be into you at this point. Try to visualize that negative energy being released into the greater universe while you are treating someone rather than allowing it to flow into you. Although your are physically in contact with your patient, there is space between your hands and the patient's body at a more atomic level and that is where you want that energy to exit the patient/practitioner ecosystem.
I hope this wasn't too new age for you but I think this may be more of the type of response that you were seeking.
Wade De Loe, M.S., L.Ac.
There is one more clarification I would like to make after going over your reply again - you pulled out this quote:
"...some of the phenomena exists, but it is not worthy of strong terminology"
Here you assumed I was speaking of your description of your personal experiences as if I thought you were going over the top or being hypersensitive - this is not the case at all. What I meant is that there are volumes of texts (both modern and classical) discussing phenomena such as this with elaborate theories and, personally, I think most of it of little value for practical purposes and is more often than not counter-productive. Talking about these detailed theories is a labryinth which I, personally, don't like people to enter into so I avoid using the theories (what I phrase strong terminology) - perhaps definitive would have been a better choice of words.
If you focus on your own qi development and control (i.e. practice Tai Chi) you will be fine with or without complex theories explaining energetic fields and the like. You have, as Wade points out, some natural gifts and this should be fostered. What I don't want to see is these natural gifts taken down a path where you are fearful of working on patients, particularly if you move into working with patients with serious illnesses such as Cancer, etc.
Also, training is very important as you are finding out. You mention in your description that you "know" where the points are energetically and move energy from the main point of blockage (basically). Well, while it appears to be somewhat effective, the theory is about using the points to allow the body to remove the blockage (generally), moving energy through an area. With a better understanding of the points and channels you may learn that you don't need to touch the most active spot energetically, but rather use points on either side of the area, or even distal from the area to create the same or even greater effect without being effected by working directly on the blocked area. This is where a greater understanding of the underlying theories of Chinese Medicine is important.
Thank you, both, for your insightful answers. I have a much better understanding now. It was quite frightening at times, and yes, Chad, it did keep me from wanting to help others at times. I know a little about the meridians, some things about specific types of points, and some basic terminiology regarding Traditional Oriental Medicine Theory. Clearly, this is just the peel of the onion! However, I no longer have the opportunity to study OM, as I now live in a remote rural area.
Your answers make so much sense! I can picture them in my head as light or electromagnetic waves. It makes sense to me in the same way as electricity grounding through the path of least resistance. I didn't realize before, but now it seems so obvious (after you graciously explained it), that it is important to be able to direct one's own qi to protect both practitioner and patient.
I see what you mean about helping the person redirect proper flow of their own qi, rather than allowing it to disseminate through me (one way or another). I also do not like having access to someone else's emotional turmoil. It feels as if I am invading their privacy in the same was as inadvertantly overhearing a private conversation.
Thank you both, very much!
I don't know where to turn, I have never told anyone. As a personal trainer, life coach, Reverend, nutritionalist, relapse prevention specialist and bodyguard, i wind up taking the energy or physical pain into my body-i have to stop so i stop hurting. I was working on a client with backpain on friday, for some reason on saturday and sunday- i had terrible back pain in the same exact spot whe he injured himself. This is not the first time this has happened.
As my life progresses, i see the potential of tranferrance becoming a problem. How do I prevent this? Is there a way to make me stronger as to not let this happen? am i doing something wrong? There has to be a way i can still help people with their pain and obsticles. Any advice would be appretiated.
I believe I've said just about all I can on the subject. Basically I strongly recommend Tai Chi for people that work in the energetic arts (from a good teacher, ideally), and then you have to have strong theories for what you are doing otherwise you are likely to be more effected than necessary when treating others. And, of course, the downside of this is that your brain learns to expect it and that greatly increases the possibility of the reactions and their intensity.
The Tai Chi will make you stronger energetically so you are not as easily effected and it will increase your sensitivity so you better know (with sound theories as a backdrop) how best to help people. Intuition and natural gifts are very valuable in this field, but they are not all their is to it and they are of little value if they are not properly honed and utilized.
I believe our systems (Tam Healing, and Tong Ren specifically) are some of the best and most useful for practitioners of varying levels of experience including lay people all the way to licensed professionals. But there are others... The main point is that you have to do this work within a system that allows you to get repeated results and not be weakened or effected yourself. And, ideally, your development is guided by someone who gets reproducible results with a broad range of cases.
I offer a thought that praying for the individual as you work with them might not be another potential solution to your problem. Of course there is the need to recognize within oneself where one's ego gets in the way to be the healer and not "offer" the energy to a Collective Unconscious as is said in the Tong Ren system of Healing. (I think that may be another vocabulary word for Creative Energy, a Power greater than yourself, God. etc. )
I have found that working with people involves a continous self discipline of the heart, mind and body.
Thanks a lot, i will follow your advice. i am sure that i may have some more questions in the future, it's nice to know that i can come back here and find the anwers.
This is all new to me, and just never had shared it in fear that people will think that i am full of shit:-) But i know that there must a way to protect myself from unwillingly taking on someone elses physical pain. I can't wait for your books to arrive, and i will immediately begin learning and practicing Tai Chi / Chi Gong ASAP!
it sounds to me like you have an empathic ability which is more widely known and accepted in "energy healing" work like Reiki. Its something you might beable to turn off and on. In my first Shambalha energy work class, I experienced this, it was very scary, and actully hut. I quickly shut if off ( I smoked at the time) and went outside and smoked some cigarettes...
Its hard to manage, it can open you up to a lot of pshycic ablities but I just find all of this gets to intense to deal with and have a normal life. I would rather take this on "piece by piece"
Its a great Idea to get yourself a Quartz Pendant and have it hanging at Heart Chakra Level when doing healing work. This will protect from others energies. However when you really want to open up to an experience, Niagra Falls, Flying, Love Making etc... You dont want to wear it..
Also check you lung pulse etc to see if there is defiency. The lungs job is to protect both "metaphysically" and physically like Wei Qi etc.
Hope this helps, Matt
Slfroedge wrote "I also do not like having access to someone else's emotional turmoil. It feels as if I am invading their privacy in the same was as inadvertantly overhearing a private conversation."
I feel like I have been on the opposite side of this a few years ago when I was receiving acupuncture treatment. Has anyone else had an experience similar to this? I have heard that sometimes (in some ways) a practitioner (in this case an acupuncturist) can be aware of things that a client is going through (on an emotional level or what not) even if the patient himself is not consciously aware of what the underlying issue may be behind the illness or issue. I saw an acupuncturist for a short while (less than 4 months) and only received a few treatments myself (we were mostly there for some help for my child). Nevertheless, sometime in the middle of those months I dreamt that this practitioner was able to see into my soul (through my eyes and into my soul). I dreamt that this person knew what the trouble/issue was that I needed help with (the underlying issue, i suppose) and this person wanted to help, but could not at that time.
Now I don't know if that was simply my subconscience letting me know that I had this belief about this person (that I believed that he/she could see something about me) or maybe it was some other phenomena.
It is interesting, though. I feel that that person was a very compentent professional/acupuncturist, as I noticed a world of difference after each treatment. Sure enough, however, it did turn out that we were unable to continue working together (and I have since moved on to seeing a different practitioner).
Has anyone else had a remotely similar experience (either as a patient or practitoner)? I wish I could ask this person about that experience and see if he/she noticed anything on their side. But that is not possible.
Thank you ;-)
I have a lot of sensitivity to other peoples energy
fields. The reason I like Tong Ren so much is that
it seems to have minimal feedback into me when I work
on someone else. When I practice Tong Ren, I
do feel the energy move in my own body as it shifts in the
patient. Even though I can sense the movement of the
energy, the effect is very temporary and fades immediately
after. So I have not had any adverse effects in myself
and I seem to be getting good results
I believe Tong Ren is more similar passing around radio
signals or sound waves than plugging directly into the patient.
So, while there is some sensory input, the "power levels"
are tiny because you are only dealing with "control"
signals, and not diving into the actual energy flows.
I think this is due to the magic "proxy" nature of the
Tong Ren being practiced on a doll or mental image instead
of directly focusing on the patients actual body or
For me sensing the energy flows is a very useful tool
when I practice because it gives me feedback to let me
know sometimes where the block is located and also
I can tell when the energy block moves. It's very
interesting practicing in the GP class as I watch the
energy move around depending on who/what is being worked
on. Usually I can tell when we nail the energy block as
I feel a "whoosh" go through my whole body.
The only time it gets tricky is when I feel a blockage
that is "remotely" related to the actual energy block.
For example, sometimes I'll feel something in the LV
point on my leg, but that may really mean some other
point(s) are the actual "source" of the block, usually
somewhere else on the LV meridian. And I also think that
I am likely to be more sensitive in areas where I have
blocks, so the sensory effects are not completely
consistent in either the ability or magnitude of what I
can sense. I usually work on myself first before I
work on anyone else so that my blocks are less likely to
affect the session.
I would recommend to anyone who is excessively
sensitive to energy transfer to give Tong Ren a try!
Its only normal for a person, that you feel weak after giving an acupressure treatment to somebody. I think the important you can do is to relax yourself and stretched your arm to avoid some energy transferred. Drink glass of water to feel refresh.
I hope this little advice can help you. Thank you so much.
The issue of transference seems to be another way of saying you're an empath.
Empathy is both a natural emotion aviable to us all and a heightened sensitivity to the emotions of others. Empathic abilities are in fact a form of being psychic -- being able to feel another's feelings! The trick is to know when they're yours or someone elses.
Prayers before client sessions help as do a number of healing crystals. Most recently, I have been using flourite to keep my own energy and not pick up/ feel/ carry those of my client's.
Also calling upon ArchAngels is beneficial as they can help alleviate the intensity of the emotion the client is expereicing and transmute the energy into something more beneficial.
Many who are kinesthetic pick up others' energies more easily than the 'norm' (whatever normal is. That sensitivity, which also gives one access to information which, when it can be modulated, is often useful, can also be overwhelming.
Grounding is very useful, for if one is not grounded that excess energy has no where to go. Likewise, anxiety can result when one is not grounded.
This happens to be an area in which I have been decidedly challenged. And my sensitivity has only increased the longer I have practiced subtle energy disciplines including qigong and t'ai chi. The kinesthetic experience is definitely more yin.
There are many things one can do to strengthen one's energetic boundaries. This happens to be the subject of a book I first published in 1999, which was the result of my own investigations in self-preservation. It includes about 150 activities that one can use to develop a strong aura, and to recognize when an emotion you are expeiencing has an external source.
The volume is More Than Meets the Eye: Energy. It's available from the store at HealingPoole.com along with other books and products.Here's a link to a youtube snippet of me talking about the book in an interview with Laurel McGregor. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
I just finished reading the posts about energy transference and being empathethic with your clients emotions/sufferings and such. I am not an empath but am aware as a Reiki I practitioner and Shiatsu practitioner that the therapist can pick up on and take on the spiritual and/or physical ailments of the client they are working on. Because I'm not as highly tuned in to this, and maybe that is a good thing, after doing a session with a client no matter what the modality I will brush the aura of the client head to toe till I feel as though the energy has been swept clean and then shake my hands like I am air drying them before I brush my own aura finishing up with another air drying of my hands. I also like to burn sage or sweetgrass before and/or after a session. Either of those help to clean the air of anything negative.
Good evening Steve,
As a Reiki Master, I'm aware of your dilemma. I agree with Chad that you must be sure to strengthen your own Qi, via, exercise, proper diet, and lots of water. When I became a Reiki level one, I was a Hospice patient. During one of my 3 week stays, I walked around praying and giving energy to the other patients (with permission of course...we must always get permission). One early morning(2-3am) during my stay, I began feeling extremely nauseated which was a new symptom for me. The next morning I was told that one of the patients had passed away. As the weeks went by, I experienced the same situation, only to find that someone else had always passed away the night before. As I became aware of what was happening I called and talked with a healer that I'd recently met. She explained that I'd been forgetting to break the ties between us, therefore, I was experiencing these ill sensations as they were dying. She, as well as other healers, and my Reiki Instructor, explained that as healers we should visualize ourselves in a bubble, or wrap ourselves in loving light while working on other individuals, which will keep our two auras from intertwining. It may seem odd, but you can actually feel when you've become too emotionally involved, and have let your bubble down. You'll begin to feel those foreign emotions.
I've found these technique helpful.....and believe me after everything I experienced duing that 3 week period, I always break my ties now :-), by snapping my fingers, knowing (and/or visualizing the ties between us are being broken)
The spirit world, can be overwhelming but we still have control as long as we keep God's love in our hearts and maintain good intentions.
Blessings to you.
I also seem to have very sensitive empathy in which i feel emotional and physical pain from others in my body. But, I think it's important to analyse where this comes from. In my own case i believe that it is partially from a childhood in which i felt a lot of fear and felt that had to keep watching out for danger in the form of anger from other members of my family, which i then translated in a more personally acceptable form of being excessively 'sensitive'. As an artist, this was also almost a pre-requisite! I find that the sensitivity can be used well, but can also turn into a pattern of hypersensitivity which is exhausting, and it's important to not feel 'helpless' in the face of it. I was taught to do a Wei Qi meditation before I started treatments in the morning (I am a newly fledged Medical Qigong Practitioner). This consists of imagining Wei Qi energy from the lungs forming a protective layer under between muscle and skin and then projecting it and strenghthening it. Typically, for me, I neglected to do this for a few months and ended up with Kidney Yang deficiency. But I think it was also the way I was doing the treatments. A little bit too much of myself and my ego went into them! So, I've now started doing the meditation every day, get myself out of the way when treating patients, and have a treatment each month to stay healthy.
Has anyone else had the same thoughts about their sensitivity and empathy?