An Introduction to Pranic Healing

Stephen Co and Eric B. Robins, Your Hands Can Heal You: Pranic Healing Energy Remedies to Boost Vitality and Speed Recovery from Common Health Problems. Atria Books, 2007.

Energy healing modalities are a matter of personal preference. I am partial to Reiki for its meditative quality: letting it all go and becoming one with the flow fits well with my mystical nature. However, I am always happy to learn from other systems. This is why I was thrilled to come across Your Hands Can Heal You.

Authored by Eric Robins, a physician, and Master Stephen Co, the book claims to provide the “same detailed guidance… as in the popular Pranic Healing workshops.” I am sure Pranic Healing instructors will disagree; however, since I usually learn a lot more on my own than in a classroom environment, I found this claim quite compelling. Since my background in energy healing could be best summarized as 30 percent Usui Reiki Master and 70 percent personal research and experimentation, I am unable to tell you how consistent Your Hands Can Heal You is with Master Choa Kok Sui’s teachings. However, what I found is that this books provides valuable information about techniques that can be incorporated into any modality of energy healing.[1] In what follows, I describe a few.

For one, the book builds the case for energy healing by suggesting that most physical ailments are caused by the resistance to feeling negative emotions—what in Reiki parlance is known as “blockages.” Therefore, witnessing one’s emotions is the best approach to releasing and redirecting one’s energy.

Co and Robins also recommend Pranic Breathing, both for its therapeutic properties and as a preparation for the practice of Pranic Healing. As we go about our everyday life, they suggest, most of us fail to breathe appropriately. Our shallow clavicular breathing rarely reaches the bottom of our lungs; with Pranic Breathing, however, we gently fill our abdomen with breath, thus ensuring a proper oxygenation. Similar to the Savitri Pranayama of Hatha Yoga, Pranic Breathing has a tempo of six seconds for the inhalation, three for the internal retention of breath, six for the exhalation, and three for the external retention.

The next step consists of using one’s hands to scan the aura—your own or that of others–for the sake of detecting areas where the energy is stagnant, dirty, or deficient. Once you identify trouble spots, you will sweep them with your hands. This is the part that, as a Reiki practitioner, I found particularly useful: this sweeping process may entail visualizing a disk of colorful light (which the authors compare to a Ping-Pong paddle or a spatula) protruding from one’s hand and moving it over the client’s body in a dog-paddle hand motion. The color, of course, needs to be appropriate for the kind of energy one is trying to remove.

A thorough sweeping is followed by the action of energizing the client’s auric field. During this stage of the process, prana flows into the body of the practitioner through what the authors call the “water pump technique:” the practitioner’s receiving hand is held palm up and is extended forward. Prana flows into it from a divine “source chakra.” The other hand, instead, projects energy into the client’s body. As with the sweeping technique, this prana, too, may take on different colors.

Throughout the process, the authors recommend flicking the dirty energy into a bowl of saltwater and spraying one’s hands with alcohol to prevent picking up any energetic issues. Since Pranic Healing is not allopathic medicine and does not deal with germs per se, I am skeptical about the use of a physical disinfectant to pre-empty energetic contamination. However, I do agree that the symbolic power of alcohol may help protect the boundaries of those who believe in its magical power.   

Protection, in Pranic Healing, is paramount. Not only do practitioners cleanse their hands frequently, but after each treatment they also execute a symbolic cutting of the energetic cords that connect them with their clients. Just as importantly, Pranic Healing practitioners are expected to maintain a clean energy body; for this purpose, Robins and Co provide a number of recommendations ranging from meditation to emotional hygiene, and from dietary prescriptions and physical exercise to maintaining a clean environment. These precepts are an excellent reminder for all of us energy healers that the prana with which we work is only as good as its physical, emotional, and spiritual channel.

The most effective energy healers are those who never stop learning. Whether you trained in Reiki, Pranotherapy, Healing Touch, or any other modality, you are likely to find useful information in Co’s and Robins’ Your Hands Can Heal You.  This book is recommended for all those practitioners who are eager to experiment with new techniques, thus broadening their horizons even as they deepen their understanding of energy healing.


[1] Unlike Reiki, Pranic Healing does not require an attunement imparted by a master. Instead, it entails training in the techniques detailed in this book.

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