If you type into Google ‘energy blocked’, depending on the day, it comes up with between 350 and 499 million results. Seriously.
A typical website, as from Integral Psychology, will tell you that people suffer trauma and the trauma gets stuck in the body. It comes from the field of Somatic Therapy, which ‘looks at the connection of mind and body and uses both psychotherapy and physical therapies for holistic healing’.
Many more websites will tell you how to find out why your chakras are blocked. How can you tell? A typical answer:
You may feel more tired or lacking energy, you may feel unmotivated or experiencing more anxiety and stress, dealing with digestive issues and just not feeling like your true self mentally, physically and spiritually.
I have to admit that when I first put up this website, and was trying to explain reiki, I explained reiki in this way too. I said that that we gather stress or blockages with time, and so reiki works to get rid of those blocks and help our energy move more freely.
I don’t know where I got that explanation from because I don’t believe it anymore!
I think my doubt started with so many of my clients coming for treatments for energy blockages and blocks in their chakras. But when asked how they were, the answers were much more simple. Rather than their heart chakra being blocked, preventing them from finding a good relationship or because they were hurt, it felt more true to me that they had been through a bad relationship, and that finding good relationships is difficult and needs work! Or that they were hurt, in a romantic or family relationship. When people said they are tired, it was likely that they live a busy life, or have young children to look after, or aren’t getting enough sleep. And the idea of ‘not feeling like oneself’? The older that I’ve gotten, the more I realise that we have many selves, and that it is a mistake to create a story about how we are always the same.
I feel a great fault of the new age movement and new age language is convincing so many people (and so many of my clients) that something is wrong with them: their chakras are blocked or not aligned; they have accumulated negative energy and they need a clearing. A few clients say they have negative energy and need it cleared, but this is a lesson, not necessarily easy, that we can learn for ourselves. If someone is angry at us, we can both see if there are valid reasons for it, and if there are not, to see that their anger is their issue, it is about them, not us, and try to not be affected by it.
What I also take issue with is the story that the older we get, that we accumulate pain and trauma and blocks: life is dangerous and we need to be healed from it. What if we told ourselves a different story, a more positive story? What if the older we are, and the more wise, the more we learn to be less stressed, less blocked and less troubled? I think that’s as good a theory as any. As my reiki teacher, Frans Stiene, says, if the energy in our body was truly blocked, we’d be … dead.
I should clarify what I’m saying. I don’t discount the idea that we can suffer trauma and that it can affect our bodies, and therefore our energy. But I don’t think it’s useful for most people to believe that we have suffered trauma and that it has affected our bodies. If you think this might be the case for you, DO see a somatic therapist or a psychotherapist or another counsellor, and uncover and define what trauma you might have suffered and address the issue directly. But don’t self-diagnose yourself and believe without questioning that you have something blocked in your body, which is the reason for not feeling great.
It’s just not healthy to walk around believing that there’s something wrong with us. There are a lot of good reasons why we might not feel great in our lives. Convincing people that our mysterious energy system is malfunctioning, I believe, takes away the power from people to address why we might not feel great. Many of the websites that tell people their chakras are blocked advise buying crystals or visiting someone who can clear their chakras. Has this all been invented as a commercial scam? I think it’s a terrible thing to convince people they are walking around with their chakras blocked and trauma stuck in their body. If you believe this, ask yourself why. How did you come to believe this?
If you know that work and life is busy, too busy for you, then you can consider finding ways of carving out time for yourself, of treating yourself well, and finding ways to slow down. If you feel tired, would taking time to yourself, or going for a walk, or doing some exercise, help you? It could be a physical issue that you should chat with a doctor or nutritionist about. If your heart is broken, perhaps talking to friends, or a counsellor, or treating yourself nicely, and also recognising that you are hurt and that there are good reasons for it, will probably help more than a rose quartz crystal for your heart. I believe that looking to ourselves to understand why we might be feeling low (or happy) is a way to give the power and responsibility back to ourselves to be able to do something about it.
A reiki treatment could be part of this. But rather than seeing a reiki practitioner to clear your blocks and align your chakras, I think the real healing comes in being proactive about wanting to feel better, gathering tools for your toolbox so you know what works for you in feeling better, and seeing your issues as something that, while they might not be easy to heal, can be healed with you taking an active part in making it happen.