part 2: Healing Hands Experiences

On this page I describe my personal experience of hands-on energy work in terms of sensations and imagery – the latter both spontaneously perceived and deliberately visualized.

While my intention with hands-on energy work is to heal and/or relieve pain, I neither claim to heal nor to “be” a healer — nor not to be one. I simply describe here the experience itself.


The sensations in my hands are of vibrations or a field, which seem to come partly from myself – my hands feeling like containers and channels for a concentrated form of my own body’s vitality – and partly from the person I’m working on – a sense of detecting their body’s energy as pulsations. Beyond this physical sensation, though, is a different kind of sensing. It sometimes comes as a sense of pressure, sometimes as a visual image of a shape and/or colour at a particular location within the person’s body. Sometimes it’s just an intuitive urge to move my hands to a particular location. It’s interesting that this solicits the same feedback from different people: even though they’ve never met each other, several people have used the same phrase, saying I have “magic hands,” because I so often move to the exact location of their pain the moment it arises, and often the pain then dissolves.

Active visualization

When I detect a dark colour or a sense of density, I focus my attention on that area and form an intent to send energy into it. I can increase the sense of my own energy by slow, steady breathing and a conscious intent to channel energy through my hands. This results in the sensation that I’m emanating an energy field around my hands and into the person’s body. I attempt an active visualization of the colour changing or the dense shape dissolving under the influence of this field. How easily or quickly I’m able to see or feel a difference is dependent, not on my own will to imagine it, but on what feels like the resistance level of the blockage itself. The imagery representing the problem serves in part as a feedback tool that tells me whether or not what I’m doing is having an effect.

Sometimes, sending energy to bathe the area is not enough, in which case I visualize energy replicas of my hands so that I can imaginally manipulate the blockage. While my physical hands are still in position, I move my energy hands into the body, pick up the dense or dark lump, and rub it between energy fingers, as if crumbling a hardened lump of earth. There can be a sensation of grittiness, and occasionally I still sense a remnant of this “grit” when I’m done. Usually, however, I work on this until everything seems to be dissolved and replaced with a sense of flow, glow or lightness. The rare times when I stop before the last remnant is gone, it’s either because I sense there’s another area that needs attention right away, or else the sense of resistance is strong to begin with and the time and effort I’m spending on it seem disproportionate to the results. It may be that the physical reality of an illness is quite entrenched, and sometimes I also have an intuition that the person still needs a remnant of their symptom for some reason.

Excess energy

Sometimes, instead of visual or kinesthetic imagery, the indication of a problem comes from a sudden nausea or a sudden, strong dizziness in my head when my hands are over a certain area of the person – usually their own head or neck. It disappears when I move my hands away from the area, and reappears when I move them back. In those cases, I don’t work directly on the trigger location, but use stroking motions pulling away from it, or else place my hands at a distance to act as the pull. The person usually experiences the result as a more even spreading out of inner sensation. It can be particularly powerful to place my hands on their feet when the apparent excess of energy is in their head. They may feel the spreading of the energy as the rushing of an inner sensation from their head to their feet, and it may manifest as a convulsive shudder.

Awareness of the recipient

It should be said that not everyone has a spontaneous ability to perceive energetic changes in their own body. For some, energy work merely feels like a relaxing session of light massage. They may not even be particularly aware that their sighs, shivers and shudders are reactions, coinciding with specific energetic happenings, but may take them simply as general indications of gradual relaxation. When a person is perceptually able, however, I like to get verbal confirmation of the correlations between what I’ve done and sensed and what they’ve felt. After the session, I might ask, for instance, “What was happening for you when you shuddered?” Most often, they will describe the same happening that I was detecting or orchestrating, before I’ve even revealed to them what I experienced from my side.

Mindset of the recipient

Even those who don’t experience an awareness of their inner workings usually report a decrease or disappearance of any pain they may have had. Sometimes something physically more drastic will happen during a session, such as the draining of sinuses that had been clogged for days. If it were merely the reclining position that triggered this, it would have happened the first time they lay down to sleep, rather than coinciding with the energy work days later. It’s true, however, that the environment of a session is broader and more complex than just the actual energy work, and it would be difficult to untangle the different aspects and their effects on a person. The mere fact of having requested or accepted this type of work reflects an attitude that it might be helpful for healing or pain relief. It also points to the person having taken a step to do something for their own well-being and placing themselves in a position of receiving care and being the centre of the caregiver’s attention. These mindset aspects can aid in a person’s ability to enter a state of relaxation and positive expectation during the session, which can be beneficial to healing regardless of whether energy work is done as well – perhaps enough to melt away all the pain or get bodily fluids moving more freely, as the case may be.


For this reason, I reserve judgement about how directly my attempts at channeling energy are responsible for these more tangible (“healing”) results. That I am succeeding in channeling energy, however, seems to me to be confirmed by the feedback I mentioned above: among those who report an inner experience, the sensations of blockage, heaviness, warmth, tingling, flow and other such impressions of energy blocked or released, correlate in timing and type with what I myself am sensing and sending. Without that confirmation, I would have much less to go on in determining whether my spontaneous imagery is at all useful and my deliberate visualizations and movements effective. With the confirmation, however, I can be confident that these are perceptions and actions rather than random imaginations, even if they’re mediated by imagery.

In fact, the role of imagery in my experience with energy work leads me to believe that to dismiss this or any other phenomenon as “just imagination” would show a limited understanding of what the power and function of the imagination really are. It is in part because of direct experiences such as those just described, that I’ve undertaken an investigation of image and perception, sight, inner sight and insight.

Want to help me with my research?

If you’d like to help me in my research of image and perception, or if you’d just like to share your own experience with energy work and/or healing, please feel free to share an account of your personal experience in the comments. Or email me if you prefer to keep your experience private.

Want to explore your own experiences?

If you’d like to explore your own ability to channel energy, see the next post, in which I suggest some exercises to explore your own healing hands energy.

You can also subscribe to my Body Mind newsletter, where I’ll be sharing more thoughts, resources, and experiments.

~ Marian