“How do you know if you’re alive?” That was the simple-sounding question posed by the workshop leader. His simple answer: “You move.” The presenter was Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of “The Biology of Belief.”
Those few words, despite their brevity and their simplicity, had a strong impact on me. I thought about them Could it be that simple? Realizing the almost certain truth of the converse statement, that if we are not alive we are definitely not moving, the truth and the implications of Dr. Lipton’s words began to sink in.
Our bodies are repositories of motion. Our heart contracts rhythmically several times per minute, blood courses through our veins, our chest expands and contracts as we breathe in and out, our eyelids blink regularly. Even when we sleep, our hearts and lungs and blood continue their motion. So even without any conscious input or effort on our part, we are always moving. We are never still if we are alive. And if we are motionless, well, we are not alive.
Dr. Lipton was speaking specifically about the cellular level, as he was explaining his research connecting our thoughts and beliefs to our biology and health (or disease). At the most basic level, our bodies are made up of millions of cells. Indeed, each one of us originates from one cell (a fertilized egg), that subsequently divided into millions of others to make us. In this way, what happens to us on a cellular level will be reflected in what happens to us on the whole, outwardly, in the form of sickness or health. And what happens on a cellular level is like a metaphor for what happens on the individual level.
Even after we stop growing, our cells keep reproducing, regenerating and dying only to reproduce again in an endless cycle that keeps us alive and well. Changes or dysfunction in this process are connected with disease and indeed aging and eventually dying. Dr. Lipton was speaking on the chemically molecular level, explaining that, at the cellular level, the chemical processes that cause our cells to reproduce is the movement of one molecular chain toward another. His implication was, and indeed his research shows, that the sources of the movement were many: physical, emotional, and mental.
As I mentioned, the truth of Dr. Lipton’s simple statement really sunk in. I thought about it a lot afterward and his statement and his supporting research helped me to piece together a lot of things that I already knew and things that I have experienced in my study and practice of energy medicine.
For one thing, it helps provide a deeper basis for understanding how exercise helps create health. For a long time now, we have heard that exercise is good for our health. We have heard that it enhances longevity and improves quality of life. Support for this is touted in study after study. And one factor always highlighted in studies of people who live long and at the same time maintaining a high quality of life is the ability to move (to walk on one’s own, to do certain motions, to be flexible). To me, Dr. Lipton’s cellular research supporting the need for motion at the cellular level to support life is like a metaphor for the need for motion (exercise) at the whole organism level to support a long and healthy, high quality life.
But not only physical bodies move. Energy flows and moves, too. According to many ancient traditions, energy flows around and within us. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), balance in qi (chi) or what has been translated as “intrinsic life energy,” is considered essential to optimum health. In my study of Brennan Healing Science, restoring balance and flow to the energy field associated with the human body supports health and healing. But how does this work?
Dr. Lipton believes that the “thing” that sets the molecules in our cells in motion – the motion that sparks the healthy function and reproduction of each cell – is a form of “energy,” like our thoughts (which in Brennan Healing are considered to have an actual energetic form, properties and power). If this is true, then it is possible to see how exercise and practices such as Yoga and Chi Gong can have a positive effect on our health. It also offers a basis for how breathing exercises can do the same.
Out of the goal to cultivate the ability to remain in seated meditation for extended periods, various yoga postures useful for restoring and maintaining well-being and improving the body's flexibility and vitality were developed. In many places, yoga is commonly practiced as physical exercise or alternative medicine.
Chi gong is a practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing, and meditation. With roots in Chinese medicine, martial arts, and philosophy, chi gong is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance chi.
Any of you who have practiced either yoga or chi gong will know the feeling of “buzzing” energy you feel running through and around you after even just a few minutes of exercise.
In my practice as an energy healer, one of the things I must do before conducting healing sessions is to release as much tension from my body as possible. This opens up the channels in my body for more energy to flow through me, so that I can be more effective in my work with the client. In my training we learned various techniques for doing this, including stretches that stimulate the flow of energy along the body’s meridians according to TCM. But it can also be more simple than that – we also learned to just move or dance around or jog in place for a few minutes – any kind of movement to get the body and its energy going.
In any case, when prepping for a healing I always concentrate on stretching the particular muscles that I feel are tight or in tension. (Interestingly, tension always tends to lie along a meridian.) And I started to notice that whenever I stretch a muscle/meridian that is particularly tense, the resulting flow of energy that is then released and allowed to flow in and out is so strong that my the muscles start shaking or vibrating from the strong flow of energy.
After experiencing this phenomenon quite often, I began to see, in a practice other than the particular energy work that I do, just how techniques like acupuncture, yoga and chi gong work. When the energy block in the meridian is removed, the energy literally rushes in, ultimately reaching a more balanced flow. I also noticed that after even as little as 10-20 minutes of chi gong or even just stretching, I feel completely different – more relaxed, balanced, energized and present. If I am feeling particularly tired, simply stretching for 10 minutes can lift my fatigue and make me feel rejuvenated. Likewise, in the energy work I do, clients report feeling relaxed yet often energized after a healing session.
Coming back to Bruce Lipton and his work, I began to sense a connection between the energized, balanced, healthy feeling I get after stretching – and the very real vibration of energy flowing through my body’s meridians – and his statement that you’re alive if you move. We are live if our energy moves. Indeed, this “universal energy” as Dr. Brennan calls it, or “life force” (chi in TCM) or prana (“vital force”), is likely the force that moves our molecules in our cells to carry out their vital regeneration and rejuvenation. When balanced and sufficient, this movement of molecules and cell growth is healthy and balanced, resulting in health and balance on the organism level.
So keep moving! Do whatever it is that helps you to keep the tension levels in your body to a minimum. Stop and breathe deeply every now and then, or do regular deep breathing and yoga exercises. Try qigong, or just stretch. Or have an energy healing session! Whenever you feel tired, dance a little or just try stretching for a few minutes. You’d be surprised at what a difference it makes. And perhaps you’ll be enhancing your longevity and health, too!
Krysti Brice, BHS® Practitioner, is a personal mentor, author and energy healer serving an international client base.