“Is it really OK to use your own energy for healing work?” Students sometimes ask me this. They read that it’s best to avoid using your body’s own energy, as though using your own energy is harmful or would deplete you. They want to make sure they’re doing the right thing.

I always explain: Using your own energy is like running or playing soccer or other exercise. You might be tired after, but that’s the price of becoming stronger. Rest and you’ll be fine. Try not to overdo it, but don’t worry, it won’t hurt you.

The long answer is the rest of this post.

Energy, Vigor, and Chi

The term energy has many meanings. This post uses two different meanings, referring to two separate phenomena:
The ability to do work, the opposite of fatigue.
The subtle energy produced by living cells, also called chi or prana.
To keep this post clear, I’m going to avoid using the word energy, and instead use vigor for the first meaning, and chi for the second.

Chi is produced by living cells. Your body is constantly producing it. That’s part of being alive.

Moderate Exercise is Healthy

Students usually ask about using their own energy when I teach a basic healing technique:

  • Meditate and become calm.
  • Observe the signature of chi in your head. Notice how it feels. Make a visualization to represent it.
  • Build that chi in your body, then move it to your head. Notice how it feels.
    With a friend who wants to try it, send that chi to them. Let them notice how it feels.

(Covered in detail here, along with safety info.)

Not only is this safe, it uses such a small amount of chi relative to what most people have that you probably won’t even notice it. Your body will replace it easily, and you’ll be ready to do it again the next day.

Think of using a little chi like going for a walk or a short jog: Exercise, but nothing taxing, and key to strengthening your chi.

Channeling Energy Requires Your Chi

Like most professional energy healers, when working with clients, I channel healing energy. Using my own energy for several hours every day would be exhausting.

But channeling energy doesn’t just happen. The first step in channeling is to build some chi, send a small amount to your head, and quiet it. That small amount of chi in your head acts as a signal booster.

Getting better at using your own chi will make you better at channeling energy, too.

That’s why we practice using our own energy: Because it really is the foundation for everything else.

It’s OK to Exhaust Your Chi

A few times in my decades of practice, I’ve used all the chi in my body. I felt exhausted and hungry, like after a long workout or hard exam in school. But then I ate and rested, and my body naturally rebuilt its energy reserves. Within an hour, I no longer felt tired, and by the next day, I had plenty of chi to explore energy again.

Can you injure yourself? Not from what I’ve seen. Not by over-using your chi.

(I have gotten side-effects from mistakes on advanced techniques when modifying the deeper layers of my own energy body. But I couldn’t do that, either accidentally or on purpose, until I was quite advanced. So it’s not something a beginner, or even an intermediate practitioner, needs to worry about.)

The Goal

The goal is to use your own energy every day, in moderation, to build stamina and strength.

Go ahead and send some chi to a friend in a healing session. You’ll recover it before you notice it’s gone.

Try to avoid exhausting all your chi. Not because of some dire consequences, but because if you’re exhausting yourself every day, that will slow your advancement. Think of it like exercising to the point of exhaustion: Not terrible, but not the goal.

How will you know how far to go before you exhaust yourself? Once it becomes hard to engage your chi, it’s time to rest. If you keep going, you’ll reach exhaustion. And if you do, you’ll know, and you’ll know to stop sooner next time.

But don’t be afraid to use your own chi. Get used to using it and replenishing it. Learn the feeling of using it, and learn the feeling of where to stop. Like an athlete, you build strength and stamina by expending your energy. Use your chi every day to develop comfort and confidence.

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