Want to become an energy worker? The first step is to build and move your energy. And visualization is the easiest way to do that.

The problem is, most visualizations only create sensations. They don’t create energy.

This post will explain how I know that, and give you reliable, tested ways to visualize energy.

Most visualizations create sensations, not energy

Most classes teach you to close your eyes, breath slowly and deeply, and visualize energy. When you feel tingling, they say, “Great job! That’s energy.”

I always wondered, “Is it? How do we know it’s not imagination, or expecting to feel tingling, or just mild hyperventilation?”

That changed once I started teaching. Because once I was the teacher, testing techniques with my students, I knew most of those sensations were just imagination, expectation, and hyperventilation.

How did I know? I tested it in every class, with energy games.

See, I wanted my students to know they were really moving energy. I wanted them to never have to wonder the way I had. And I wanted the experience and data to give me a grounded confidence, too.

So we played energy games in every class. Here’s the first: Blindfold your partner. Send energy to one of their hands. Don’t tell them which one, and don’t touch them. Using only your energy, get them to feel it.

The receiver guesses which hand is receiving energy, then they open their eyes. Did they get it right? Were the sensations from the energy, or from something else?

After playing energy games with a few hundred students, I can confidently say: The sensations are usually not from energy.

What surprised me most was that even experienced practitioners couldn’t reliably perceive energy. Some would report no sensations, like being blindfolded also blinded their energy. Others would report the same intense tingling they normally experience with energy, except the sensations were in the wrong hand half the time. They were feeling sensations, not energy.

The only students to reliably feel energy blindfolded were the ones who learned the techniques in this series.

The techniques in this series came from my own energy studies, informed by years of testing techniques on my own and with my students. I hope you’ll find them helpful in your own exploration of energy.

What is energy?

The word “energy” can refer to a variety of phenomena.

We might say, “This party has great energy.” This doesn’t mean an energy healer set a field of chi throughout the house. It means that the music and conversation is exciting. Here, “energy” is talking about emotion.

Or, “What a crazy day at work! My energy was pulled in ten different directions.” We don’t mean our co-workers were tugging on our chi. We mean our focus was split between meetings and interrupted by emails. Here, “energy” is talking about attention.

On this blog, I try to use the word energy more precisely, to refer only to the subtle energy produced by cells, that in the East is called chi or prana, and in the West is called biofield energy or just energy.

Read more here and here.

Why most visualizations don’t work

Here are a few common energy visualizations:

  • Imagine colored light moving up from the earth into your body
  • Imagine white light coming from the sky into your head
  • Imagine glowing mist entering your lungs with each breath

In each case, the teacher is telling you what to imagine. That’s the problem.

Visualizations are a way to communicate your intent to your own unconscious mind. But here’s the thing: Energy feels different to different people. It might feel like tingling to you, heat to your friend, and pressure to someone else.

Those sensations are the language your unconscious uses to represent energy. (Of course, tingling, heat, and pressure are created by many non-energy causes, as well.)

To create energy, it’s important to speak the same language as your unconscious. But when a teacher gives you a visualization, it’s in the language of their unconscious. That’s the problem.

The solution is to build a visualization for yourself, that speaks the language of your unconscious. This post will show you how.

Creating your visualization

Most people have one dominant sense, usually tactile, visual, or auditory.

Tactile people tend to do best by imagining how energy feels to them.

Visual people tend to do best by imagining a visual representation of that feeling.

Auditory people tend to do best by imagining a sound that represents that feeling.

This section will guide you through creating a customized representation of energy using all three: Tactile, visual, and auditory. If one feels best to you, focus on that one. If one or two senses feel bad to work with, feel free to omit them. You’re developing a way to communicate with your unconscious mind, so trust what feels right to you.

Just remember that when I say visualize, I mean to imagine the visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, and other attributes you’ve associated with energy.

And don’t worry about getting it perfect. You can always adjust your visualization later.

OK, let’s build your visualization:

If you’ve felt energy, or sensations that might be energy, think about how that felt in your body. This is the language of your unconscious.

(If you haven’t felt energy, imagine how it might feel. Common experiences include tingling, pleasant pressure, and heat. Pick a sensation that speaks to you. You can always change it later.)

Think of a visual representation of that sensation. A few examples:

  • Tingling as static electricity hopping over your skin
  • Pressure as a mist pressing against your body
  • Heat as a red glow inside your body

Those are just examples — there’s no one right visualization, so create one that feels most natural to you. You can always change it later.

Then think of a sound that might go with your visual. Does the static electricity crackle? Does the red glow hum? Or is your energy silent? Again, do whatever feels most natural to you.

That covers the three senses you’ll use for your visualization.

Building energy

To build energy, visualize the energy in your body. Most people do this by first visualizing one sense (tactile, visual, or auditory), then adding the second, then the third. If you know your dominant sense, start with that one. If not, just pick any sense.

Some people visualize the energy coming up from the earth, or down from the sky. Some visualize breathing it in from the air around them. Some visualize it emerging from within their body. Some experience it building in waves, while others experience it smoothly building. There’s no one right way to do it.

Some people associate different meanings with those different sources and sensations — you can do that if you want, but you don’t have to. Your energy visualization communicates your intent to your unconscious mind. Visualize the energy coming from wherever feels most natural to you. You can always revise it later.

Take a minute now to visualize energy building in your chest and stomach. Imagine the feelings of energy in your body, and the images and sounds you selected in the previous section. The visualization can be first-person, imagining the energy in and around you, or it can be third-person, as though you were looking at yourself. Take a few breaths to notice how it feels.

If you can’t express the visualization in words, that’s fine, just imagine the sensations, images, and sounds.

Moving energy

To move energy in your body, visualize the energy moving to the new location. Imagine the images, sensations, and sounds moving to the new location. Focus on where the energy is going, not where it used to be.

Try it. Visualize some of the energy moving from your chest up to your head. Take a few breaths to move it, then another few to notice how it feels.

If it feels like a rush or headache, you have too much energy in your head. If that happens, use your visualization to move some of the energy out of your head and back into your chest.

Once you’ve felt the energy in your head, move it back down into your chest, then into your shoulders, slowly down your arms, and into your hands. Pause and notice how that feels.

Place your hands on your legs, and visualize the energy moving from your hands into your legs and back up to your torso, making a loop. (If you’re new to energy, it may take some practice to create and maintain this loop.)

Take a few breaths to feel the energy flowing.

Releasing the energy

When you’re done with energy, you can release it.

This is optional. Most of the time, it’s completely OK to keep the energy you build in your body. Occasionally, depending on the particulars of the energy you built, holding excess energy can lead to a headache, difficulty focusing, or just feeling off. But most of my students like the feeling of energy and retain the energy after practicing, only releasing it on the rare occasions when they have those side effects.

To release energy, use the same visualization you used to build the energy, just in reverse: Visualize the energy going down into the earth (often called “grounding”), up into the sky, fading inside your body, or otherwise leaving. Whatever feels most natural to you.

You’ll know you’re done when the feeling of energy in your body subsides. If you’re not sure, just trust your intuition. This is an optional step, so if you don’t completely release the energy, that’s OK.

What if you decide to hold on to the energy, or just forget to release it, and you develop a headache, difficulty focusing, or just feel off?

Simple: Just release the energy and you should recover quickly. Use the steps described above.

(Note that those symptoms also have many non-energy-related causes. Releasing energy won’t help if your headache is due to dehydration. Make sure you’ve had enough water and food, and are otherwise taking care of yourself.)

Very rarely, releasing the energy won’t be enough, and you still won’t feel quite right. For those situations, here’s a more powerful way to reset your energy:

Build some new energy using the visualization you created earlier.

Move the new energy through your body, including your head, to flush the old energy out.

Release the energy from every part of your body.

This will flush out the old energy and return your energy to its normal state. Learn more here.

Congratulations! You now have all the tools you need to start exploring energy.

(And one more note for anyone new to energy: Pay attention to how energy feels as you work with it, especially when you receive energy from experienced practitioners. It might feel different than you had guessed when creating your visualization. If it does, update your visualization to match how energy actually feels, and you’ll likely experience better results.)

Next steps

Join me live every Sunday

Every Sunday at 11am Pacific, I geek out about energy on my live stream, Ask an Energy Scientist.

This weekend, I’ll talk about energy visualizations. Bring your questions, or just drop in and listen.

Just join my Facebook group, Energy Healing Lab, and you’ll get a notification when it starts.

Looking forward to talking with you!