In part 1 of this series, I talked about some of my personal experiences with the phenomenon known as External Qi Transmission (EQT). Check out the article here if you haven’t already read it. At the end of that article, I asked my readers if they wanted me to continue talking about my theories about EQT (as well as some more stories). The response, both here and on my Facebook page was an overwhelming “YES!”
Energy transmission seems to be a popular topic. And why shouldn’t it be? We live in an exciting time when we can corroborate ancient Eastern theories about energy with modern science. More importantly, the Internet allows us to have interesting discussions, and to share our experiences. I hope that this article inspires some of you to share your own experiences in the comments below.
Speaking of your experiences, I’d like to start with one of the most widely recognized forms of energy transmission in the U.S. — Reiki.
Reiki and EQT
I’m not a Reiki expert, but many of my students are. In fact, one of them is a well-recognized Reiki teacher with hundreds of students. From my conversations with her, I understand that there are some fundamental difference between Reiki and EQT.
Reiki was developed in 1922 by a Japanese Buddhist named Mikao Usui, and has since been spread into many different lineages. It uses a technique where the practitioner transfers Universal Energy (or Reiki) through their palms and into another person, mainly for healing. (FYI, the word Reiki is comprised of 2 characters, 靈 + 氣. The 2nd character, ki, is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese word qi. Both words mean energy.)
So how does Reiki relate to EQT? Well, EQT is from a Chinese tradition, and had no single founder. It’s as old as Chinese medicine, which mean that it’s at least a few thousand years old.
But the main difference between the two is in WHAT KIND energy is being transmitted. Reiki practitioners act as a conduit for Universal Energy. But with EQT, I actually transmit my OWN energy, not Universal Energy.
Of course, I originally got my energy from the Universe too (we call it the Cosmos, or Tai Chi). Every day, when I practice Qigong and Tai Chi, I tap energy from the Cosmos (or Nature, or the Zero Point Field, or whatever you prefer to call it). But that energy gradually assimilates into my system, soaking into my 12 Primary Meridians, the 8 Extraordinary Meridians, as well as my main energy storehouse at the lower dantian.
The best analogy I can think of is that the energy I transmit with EQT is pre-digested. It comes directly from my dantian, and then goes directly into the student. So the energy is already in human form, rather than in Cosmic form. It’s been in me for some time, and has somehow become more “human”. This may explain why EQT can do things that Reiki cannot.
This analogy isn’t perfect, but it may be a good working theory. If you have any other theories about the differences between human Qi and Cosmic Qi, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.
Showdown: Reiki vs. EQT
I mentioned that EQT is able to achieve things that Reiki cannot. So does that mean that EQT is superior to Reiki? Which one would win in a fight?
That’s like asking whether a wrench is better than a screwdriver. They are different tools. When you need a screwdriver, then a wrench will not do, and vice versa.
Reiki and EQT are different tools, and each one has its uses. Choose the right tool for the job.
Draining the Batteries
For example, EQT is not a good choice for healing a lot of people. My wife can treat 100 patients per week using acupuncture and integrative medicine. If I tried to do EQT on 100 people in a week, I would probably die from exhaustion.
That’s because EQT can be extremely draining for the practitioner. This does not seem to be the case with Reiki. And this makes sense. With Reiki, the practitioner is simply diverting Cosmic energy into the student; with EQT, the practitioner is channeling his or her own, pre-digested energy.
I remember my first experience with being drained. I was excited about my progress with EQT, and I wanted to help everyone. I did EQT in private sessions with students, and also opened vital points during classes.
That weekend, I crashed. I feel totally depleted, sluggish, and I slept all weekend. I also ate a lot more than normal (a pattern I’ve seen repeat over the years.) This was totally uncharacteristic for me, and it was a real wake up call. After that, I was much more careful about not draining myself.
Donating Qi Instead of Blood
Why is EQT so draining? From a Chinese medical viewpoint, transmitting Qi is similar to donating blood. Both Qi and blood are considered precious “substances”. So transmitting energy is similar to donating blood.
When I “donate” Qi from my dantian to another person, it leaves me with less energy. As I understand it, a Reiki practitioner should not be drained after a session. So with Reiki, you could help many more people over a week than with EQT.
This is why you need to choose the right tool for the job. If you’re a professional healer, and you’re trying to make a living from helping people, then Reiki (or another method) would probably be a better choice than EQT.
On the other hand, EQT can be extremely helpful in stubborn cases where nothing else has worked, including Reiki. And if you learn how to regulate the amount of energy you use with EQT, then you can gradually help more and more people without draining yourself.
The Problem with Empathy
But it’s not easy to regulate the amount of energy. I learned the hard way. Or maybe it’s the only way. Trial and error.
When you’re new to EQT, it’s common to use a ton of energy. You’re excited, you’re enthusiastic, and you’re eager to help your student.
And you will help them. But you’ll also be exhausted the next day!
The problem is that healers like myself tend to be very empathetic. In fact, we tend to help others even when it means sacrificing our own needs. When you genuinely want to help someone, when you empathize with their suffering and want to take it away, then you naturally send too much energy with EQT because of that empathetic connection.
Healers do this all the time in a different way. Nurses, for example, constantly drain themselves in order to help their patients. They give until it hurts. (This is probably why I have so many nurses as students — because they’ve given too much and they need to start taking care of themselves.)
With years of practice, you learn how to regulate the flow of energy with EQT, even when you’re being empathetic. But this requires a lot of practice. And you had better be healthy while you’re practicing, for reasons I’ll explain below.
Recharging the Batteries
Even if I regulate the energy perfectly, I still need to recharge. Years ago, I would see students privately for EQT sessions. When I did that, I would schedule in about 10 minutes between sessions so that I could practice Qigong and recharge. (Of course, I also had to factor this into the price, which is yet another reason why other methods can be more cost-effective than EQT.)
It also depends on which techniques I use. These days, I mostly just open the vital points. But in the past, I also used the Sword Finger technique to “loosen” blockages, the Cosmos Palm technique to nourish depleted meridians, the One Finger Zen technique to regulate energy in certain meridians, and the Dragon Claw technique to “pull” negative energy out.
All of these techniques were wonderfully effective, but they were significantly more draining than opening the vital points. Now I mostly use them for emergency situations, or for really stubborn cases. For example, I once had a student who had been in a car accident. So I opened her vital points, used the Dragon Claw to draw out some stuck energy, and then used the Cosmos Palm to fill in the depleted areas. I was slightly drained after, but it was no big deal for me. Meanwhile, the session was extremely helpful for the student.
The Quality of Energy
EQT is also highly effective for stubborn, chronic cases. For example, I had a student with a years-old knee problem. Nothing was helping, not even acupuncture. I saw him for a few EQT sessions. I can’t remember exactly what I did (later, I started keeping detailed notes), but I probably opened his vital points, and then used the Sword Finger to loosen the blockages in the knee, as well as the meridians that go through the knee. Within a few weeks, his knee was better than it had been in 10 years.
Why is EQT effective for stubborn cases like this? I can only speculate based on my knowledge of Chinese medicine. My theory is that the quality of my energy is very important. Although you need a certain quantity of Qi to have a good effect, it’s the quality of the energy that makes the difference.
So how do you get high-quality energy? The answer is simple, but some people aren’t going to like it: You develop high-quality energy by practicing Qigong diligently for about 10 years. And remember — it’s not just about building up lots of energy. In fact, it’s more important to cleanse out your yucky energy.
If you cleans out the yuck, then good energy will naturally flow in to replace it. But if you focus instead on constantly drawing in energy without cleansing out the old energy, then there’s a big risk if you do EQT. Here’s why:
The Back-Flow of Energy
During one of my private sessions, a student had a history of breast cancer. She mentioned that she was having some pain on the right side, but didn’t go into specifics. I went to work on the general area, dissipating the blockages using the Sword Finger technique that I mentioned above. After working on her for a few minutes, I suddenly felt a very distinct pain in my own chest. I asked my student a few questions, and it turned out that my pain was in the exact same spot, and of the exact same quality as hers.
In other words, her pain had “jumped” into me.
I don’t fully understand the physics of this, but the phenomenon has happened often enough for me to know it’s real. If the HeartMath Institute is correct that the electromagnetic frequencies from one person’s heart can have an effect on a person from a few feet away, perhaps that begins to explain this phenomenon.
But I don’t need to understand it to be wary of it. Over the years, I’ve had enough close calls with energy “jumping” into me that I know it’s real. And I know that I want to avoid it.
The flow of energy is obviously bi-directional. If you don’t transmit Qi just right, then you can get a black-flow of energy into your own system. And that’s exactly what happened with this student. Her negative energy “jumped” into me, almost like a contagious disease.
This is another reason why it’s essential for the person doing EQT to be healthy and skillful at Qigong. I was able to quickly clear away the negative energy with a 15-Minute Qigong session immediately after seeing this student. My pain was gone in 20 minutes.
But the lesson is important. When you’re transmitting your own Qi, there’s a risk of back flow, even if you’re well trained. I shudder at the thought of people with little training trying to transmit Qi. Even if they are successful with the transmission (it’s definitely possible, but not easy), they stand a good chance of “picking up” some of the negative energy from the patient.
This goes against my philosophy of healing. If you are spreading sickness, then you are doing something wrong. It should be the opposite. By healing others, you should also be getting healthier yourself.
Infecting People with Negative Energy
The reverse is also possible — accidentally transmitting YOUR OWN negative energy to the student. If you’re still unhealthy, if you have pain or some kind of illness, then it’s possible to transmit some of that negativity to the student.
I once received a healing session from someone doing something similar to EQT. (I’m honestly not sure what it was exactly.) Long story short, I felt some of her yucky energy “infect” me during the session. Specifically, I felt extreme nausea after the session. Later, after I did a Qigong session to cleanse myself, I casually asked her about her health. It turns out that, despite being a professional energy healer, she was still suffering from a host of digestive issues.
Doctor, heal thyself. This woman was actually quite talented at energy transmission. But I believe she should have spent more time working on her own energy before transmitting it to others.
This is why I can’t condone Qigong masters who teach relative beginners to do EQT. One well-known master teaches new students to be “healers”. I genuinely respect this master, and I know that he means well, but I don’t think he fully understands the implications of this. (Remember that some masters know less about the history and theory of Qigong and Chinese medicine than I do even though they are more powerful and more skillful than I am.)
From my perspective, there are 4 likely outcomes when beginners act as healers.
- They’ll be too new to actually initiate EQT.
- They’ll transmit their own yuck to the other person.
- They’ll drain themselves.
- They’ll pick up negative back-flow from the other person.
I want to heal the world, but I want to do it efficiently. To me, spreading negative energy isn’t effective. It’s much more effective for people to heal themselves using Qigong, and later — once they are very healthy — to start thinking about healing others.
Opening the Vital Points
I was ten years into my training before I really started working on others. I was in acupuncture college at the time, so I had plenty of opportunities to practice on colleagues and students. I had also been teaching Qigong for years, so I experimented on those students as well. (Of course, when I say “experimented”, I mean that the other person volunteered. I would never work on someone’s energy without their permission.)
What I’ve discovered over the years has been pretty amazing. With very few exceptions, opening the energy points consistently had a profound effect on the student. Time and again, it seemed to give a major boost to the overall healing ability of the body. Within a few days, they would feel better, sleep better, have less pain, or just be “unreasonably happy” (as one student phrased it).
And the results weren’t just subjective. There were also measurable results that acupuncture physicians, chiropractors, and even Western doctors noticed. In dozens and dozens of cases, opening the energy points showed objective effects that physicians could measure using their own diagnostic methods.
I especially noticed that patients and students who had their points opened by me often experienced sudden breakthroughs in other healing modalities. Time and again, I would open someone’s points, and then a week or so later they would have a major breakthrough with their chiropractor, therapist, or acupuncturist. This patterned happened too often for it to be coincidental.
I like to call this phenomenon Therapeutic Magnification. In other words, the power of whatever therapies you are receiving will be magnified after I open your points with EQT. To me, this is an efficient use of my time and energy. Opening the vital points doesn’t drain me, and it’s very quick. It’s also safe in the sense that I don’t get a back-flow of energy.
Once again, this article has gotten away from me. I’ve got more to say, especially about how I view the future of energy transmission. Shall I save it for a third article? What say ye?