From the ancient Orient to modern Western societieslike ours, the therapeutic technique of Pranic Healinghas travelled through time to cure more and more people.By Serpil Senelmis
On a typical Western Australian summer's day, it'snot unusual to lie back on your hammock, with the seabreeze brushing your cheek and stare out at the endlessblue sky. And if you're lucky, while you continue tostudy your surroundings, you may be able to see a multitudeof white flitting specks swirling together in a remarkableatmospheric tango. This sparkling vision is a uniqueview of 'prana', the animating force behind life itself,at play in one of its many forms. 'Prana' is a Sanskritword meaning 'life force' or 'vital energy' and it isthe core power behind Pranic Healing.
Derived from ancient esoteric beliefs, Pranic Healingis founded on the idea that physical, emotional andpsychological ailments are symptoms of imbalances ina person's electro-magnetic energy field or bio-plasmicbody, also known as the aura. So if we become ill, pranichealers believe that the cause ultimately stems froma contaminated or depleted energy body.
Melaney Ryan, an advanced pranic healer from the WAInstitute of Inner Studies, says disease first appearswhen emotional issues come into sight on a person'senergy body.
"A lot of people spend a lot of time and effort onthe physical body and they actually forget that it'sthe energy body that keeps the physical body alive,"explains Melaney.
In Pranic Healing, the practitioner first scans thepatient's energy field for signs of any energy blocks.He or she then goes through the process of cleansingand clearing diseased energy from the aura and "energisingit with fresh and vital prana". According to Melaney,prana is drawn from various sources like the sun, theair and the earth and provides nourishment for the energybody during the healing process. "Prana is a vital forcethat surrounds us so we direct it and bring it in throughour energy centres and transmit it through to the personwho needs the healing. We believe this helps the naturalhealing of the physical body."
If the energy body is healthier, this will have adefinite reflection on the physical body, says Melaney.She adds that while the physical body stays alive throughits internal organs, the energy body stays alive throughits chakras. Chakras she likens to whirling energy centreswith each centre relating to a different physical organ.If the energy level of a particular chakra is out ofbalance, then the relating physical organ is going tobe out of balance, too. She says redistributing theprana through the energy body can rectify this situation.
"If the naval chakra were out of balance, that wouldmean there would be problems with that person's digestion.If a person's heart chakra is out of balance that wouldsuggest that the person is suffering in the lungs, maybefrom asthma. We actually work with 11 chakras whilemost people only work with seven. Because we work quitespecifically with some conditions and the emotionalorigin of those conditions, we've been given a few extrachakras to work with."
The remedial techniques of Pranic Healing can be usedto treat a variety of ailments, from persistent headachesright through to more intense conditions like ADD andcancer. Pranic Healing can also be used as a stress-busterand aid in combating negative emotions. Furthermore,the ancient therapy can enhance a person's life by simplyrestoring their balance. Finding a balance, says Melaney,could mean "finding peace within oneself or just beingable to laugh, or simply sharing time with someone."
"In creating balance you not only improve a person'shealth, wellbeing and life, but that also reflects ontoothers. As you get more balanced and aligned, you onlyhave to smile to touch somebody's life."
While Melaney has actually worked with energy healingfor over 17 years, with the skill passed down to herfrom her great grandmother, she says it wasn't untilshe picked up a book titled The Pranic Healing thatshe realised energy was universal and not personal.
While knowledge of Pranic Healing has been aroundfor centuries among Tibetan monks and Chinese Taoists,this ancient science has been modernised for today'suse by Grand Master Choa Kok Sui from the Philippines,who is aptly called the modern founder of Pranic Healing.Master Choa, a former chemical engineer and scientistand now enlightened teacher, has spent the past 25 yearsdeveloping Pranic Healing to create a holistic caresystem that is easy to learn and is practical in itsapplication.
Melaney, who trained with the Grand Master, pointsout that while the therapy requires a highly trainedpractitioner for certain treatments, his simple stepby step techniques allow everyone to tap into this healingfaculty.
"For instance, a housewife who wants to bring downher child's fever is able to do so. If someone has afever you just look up fever in his book and it tellsyou what you need to work with, where you need to drawthe energy from and how you have to clean the prana.The process of cleansing and energising can be learntby anyone."
The master also teaches a variety of advanced techniquesincluding pranic psychotherapy, pranic crystal workand the breathing technique of Arhatic Yoga, some ofwhich can take up to six years to learn.
Master Choa's progressive approach towards PranicHealing comes from his desire to have at least one competentpranic healer in every household, says Melaney. Sheexplains that meeting the medical needs of familiesin the Third World was his major incentive, spurredby his belief that if at least one member of each familycould alleviate suffering, then it would be worthwhiletrying to teach the healing technique.
Since its inception, Pranic Healing has exploded inpopularity, particularly in Switzerland, Holland andAmerica. So how does Australia compare in the schemeof things? "If you look at places like England evenroyalty has alternative therapists. Yet I think alternativetherapies are more slowly accepted in Australia andthis is because if you scan Australians as a whole manylack confidence and the grounding that gives them confidence.But I can see that changing."
Despite our slow embrace of alternative therapies,Melaney says we've come a long way since her early daysas a practitioner working with energy. "I had a clinicin Fremantle and I had to be very careful even 15 to17 years ago about how I showed the energy work I wasdoing because people would be sceptical. I found theonly thing that got me through was to get results thatactually made a difference."
She believes there is now an awakening among Australianswith more and more people wanting to be grounded. "Evenwhen you speak to people who are quite enlightened,they still want to be human and they still want to functionwell within society. They don't want to end up on amountain or isolate themselves from other people. You'llfind a lot of spiritual teachers are out there in thecrowds now and that's because people have finally realisedthrough a shift in thinking that they're here to havean experience."
This change in perception has led to the emergenceof a mutually beneficial relationship between conventionalmedicine and complementary therapies. In most partsof the world, Pranic Healing has now been introducedto hospitals with doctors asking pranic healers to doscans more and more.
"I actually have doctors who ask me for advice onwhat I feel. So they may actually say, 'There are nomedical reasons here, what do you feel?' So I scan foremotions that may be stored or why a particular energycentre is out of balance and where that relates to inthe physical body."
With the global demand for Pranic Healing growingand the introduction of a worldwide certification program,it looks like the therapy may become a common practice.The WA Institute of Inner Studies has already been runningfor four years and now boasts up to 13 teachers whotravel throughout the State with some servicing centresin isolated and remote areas. "There's only ever onepranic healer in any regional area and it's great especiallyfor the remote areas like the Wheatbelt. These teacherstravel in their own time usually once a month. It'svery special," Melaney says.
In her opinion a good Pranic Healer is "someone whois very grounded, who actually has a very strong heartand who has a very good sense of intuition or higherknowing".
She believes it is a technique to heal others andus. Above all, Melaney leaves us with the strong messageto "just sit and be still".
"Even if you are very busy just sit, be present, bequiet and listen. People are finding this is a veryimportant part of their life. Even in business peopleare actually saying you can't talk to the director nowbecause he's in meditation. People are now happy tosay this is my own time and my time to just breathe.
"The only person who can change your life or the essenceof your life is yourself. If you can't give yourselffive minutes in a day then how can you touch other people'slives?"