all arrow-next arrow-prev arrow-right arrow-upload body button-down check circle ellipsis energy facebook linkedin mind mood play quote spirit subscribe twitter warning website

Prana Healing Techniques for Balance and Invigoration

chi, energy, healing, prana

Share:

In the West, researchers focus on the body’s glands and hormones in order to study how they affect our happiness, stress, calmness, libido, and more. For example, our adrenal glands produce cortisol and adrenaline, which activates our fight-or-flight response. But what would happen if our adrenals fell out of balance? 

There are solutions for energetic misalignment in the East. Eastern tradition formulated the concept called prana. Prana is the energy that fluctuates, according to Eastern philosophy, between energy centers called chakras. The chakra system happens to accurately line up with the glandular system.

Prana healing occurs when prana is properly balanced among all the chakra centers which are located along the spine. How did this knowledge and philosophy of healing come about? 

History of prana 

The earliest mention of prana and prana healing can be found in the Upanishads and Vedas, two ancient Hindu scriptures containing philosophy, hymns, and spiritual guidance. According to the scriptures, prana is what pervades all of reality, including life, the elements, and even inanimate objects. 

Today, prana is often attributed to the use of breathing and air to gain energy, and bring the body into balance. The yogic practice of pranayama, as described by TKV Desikachar, the son and disciple of Krishnamacharya (who’s partially responsible for bringing yoga to the West), is actually the practice of controlling our mind and feelings. Desikachar wrote:

“The quality of our breath expresses our inner feelings.”

Desikachar is getting at an important idea. That is, if we harness a better quality of breathing, our inner feelings will improve as well. Through prana healing, we can practice using the breath to feel, think, and act better. There are various forms of breathing that can be used for balancing effects. Some breath practices are invigorating and healing while others are calming and balancing. 

Here are some simple techniques that I have used to oxygenate the body, invigorate the senses, as well as calm and rebalance the system. 

How to reap the benefits of prana healing 

Using prana healing to still the mind goes hand-in-hand with meditation. Basically, pranayama is very powerful when coupled with the act of sitting and attempting to still and focus the mind. Here are a few pranayama techniques to try the next time you’re seated in meditation. If you’re just beginning pranayama practice, I suggest practicing each technique independently and for no more than 5 minutes. With time, you’ll build your endurance and will be able to practice longer. 

The breath of fire 

The breath of fire is a prana healing technique that is energizing and revitalizing. To do this, begin with a few normal, deep breaths. When you are near the top of the third inhale, shoot short spurts of air from your nose by contracting your stomach. Begin doing this rapidly with 2-3 breaths per second. You’ll find that air re-enters your nose rather naturally. The name of this practice gets its name from the idea that when doing it, you’re stoking a pranic “flame” that’s burning in the stomach and navel. 

The breath of air

The breath of air is similar to the breath of fire. To complete this pranayama technique, take a few deep breaths. Near the top of the third inhale, suck air in rapid, short spurts through your nostrils rather than pushing it out as with the breath of fire. Again, do 2-3 breaths per second. Unlike with breath of fire, breath of air forces air from the lungs automatically. The quick exhales should feel very automatic. 

The breath of water

The breath of water is ideally practiced following either the breath of fire or the breath of air. The breath of water mimics the breathing we do while diving under big ocean waves. When diving this way, we take deep inhales into the lungs and hold the breath there. That’s what breath of water entails— holding the breath at the top of deep inhales. 

If you’re a beginner to pranayama practice, I suggest trying the breath of water alone without using the breath of fire or air previously. This will eliminate the chance of dizziness and allow your breath of water to be longer and more effective.  

The breath of earth

This technique is wonderful to use after breath of water. After a session of breath of water, release all air from the lungs. Hold your breath at the bottom of the exhale for as long as you can. This is the breath of earth. The calmer you can remain, the longer you’ll find you can hold breath of earth.

Scientifically, breath of water and earth are known as “intermittent hypoxia,” which is essentially an intermittent decrease in oxygen supply. Intermittent hypoxia has been found to have therapeutic applications, including an increase in neuroprotection and neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, particularly in the hippocampus, show therapeutic potential as well as the potential for prolonging the onset of neurodegenerative disease. In basic terms, these practices increase learning and memory, prevent dementia, and enhance mood. 

The power of meditation and natural breathing 

When thinking of the breath, my mind naturally wanders to the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist author, activist, and seasoned meditator. In his book, Being Peace, he writes about the power of the natural breath during meditation:

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”

Often, the most powerful breath available to us is the natural breath we can effectively focus on during meditation. By bringing awareness to the breath, as Hanh mentions, we become fully intact with the present moment which in turn is very helpful with prana healing. Present moment awareness helps trapped prana escape the head to benefit the rest of the body. This is how meditation helps overthinking while healing the body from stress and tension. 

Overall, prana healing is a practice that is worthwhile for anyone trying to increase their balance and energy. While the West focuses on the glands and how hormones affect our energy levels and mood, the East focuses on life-force energy known as prana. According to Eastern practice, this prana can be built and balanced through breathing exercises that enhance our overall wellness.

Want more info on increasing your energy? Explore more of the TelMD Upstream Blog.

Let’s Make Wellness Contagious!™

chi, energy, healing, prana

Share this:

Related articles

How to Meditation: For Beginners

Meditation has been used for thousands of years as a way to ease the mind and tune into a deeper sense of connection with the self. Here are some tips to get you started.

The Healing Benefits of Reiki Massage

Reiki massage is a form of massage where the massage therapist incorporates Reiki techniques to enhance healing energy within the session.