Qi (Chi) – Prana; Qigong – Pranayama; Acupoints - Chakra; Qi (Chi) jewelry – Chakra jewelry
The concept of life energy of air or breath (Qi or Chi) is not unique to the Chinese culture. Prana is the yogic concept of a cosmic energy or life force, similar to the Chinese idea of Qi (Chi), which enters the body with the breath. According to Ayurveda and yoga, Prana flows through the body to keep the body alive and maintains a state of good health. It is considered the vital link between the spiritual self and the material self.
In different cultures, this energy is named:
Chinese - Qi, Chi
Greek - Pneuma
Hebrew - The Old Testament - Ruah
Indian – Prana
Japanese - Ki
Polynesian - Mana
Prana flows through the body and is focused at specific points called Chakras (a similar concept as Qi meridians and acupuncture points). These energy centers are an important part of health and wellbeing as in the Chinese medicine. The literal meaning of Chakra in Sanskrit is “wheel” or “disk”. There are seven principal Chakras situated along the spinal column from the base to the top of the head. Prana forms vortex at these Chakras, and when the Chakras are awakened, the energy turns in a clockwise direction. When a Chakra is blocked, the body weakens.
Prana enters into the body as we breathe, courses through the channels, and enlivens the body. By working with prana through breathing, one can attain good health. Pranayama is an aspect of Yoga that exercises the control of Prana through the regulation of breathing and shares a very similar concept as Chinese Qigong.
Prana can also be projected to another person for healing. Since the ancient times, the Indian Rishis practiced Pranic healing. In Pranic healing, a cure is achieved simply by removing ill energies from the patient, then transferring fresh Prana to the affected areas with the use of the hands. This is comparable to Qi healing (external Qi, medical Qigong). These systems were taught and practised secretly and selectively for fear of misuse.
Pranic Healing uses three basic techniques:
- scanning for energy abnormalities, such as blockages, congestion and depletion
- removing negative energy and
- replenishing with vital energy.
The Chakra energy can be used to vitalize the body when properly used. People who practice yoga and other related eastern cultural traditions are fully aware of the importance of Chakras and their energy in health. In Hinduism, meditations on a particular Chakra would be done to tap into its spiritual energy systems. The Chakras and their energy are channeled by "New Age" healers, holistic medical practitioners, and alternative healers of yoga, reiki, reflexology for healing purpose.
In modern Western practices, each of the seven Chakras is assigned with a color. This association of the Chakras with the color of light spectrum can be dated back to the 1940s, advocated by Patricia Mercier (The Chakra Bible, Patricia Mercier, Octopus Publishing Group Ltd., 2007).
Most Naturopaths, who practice natural medicine, feel that Natural Gemstone Jewelry is a very powerful tool in treating Chakra imbalances. Gemstones have been used for thousands of years in moving and manipulating Chakra Energy. It is believed by many Naturopaths that a Chakra responds to the energy produced by particular gemstones (often a gemstone with a color that matches the assigned color of the Chakra) and are therefore thought to align these energy points in the body. For example, the Chakra in the forehead is associated with the color blue, so to cure a headache you would apply a blue stone to the forehead. This idea has proven highly popular.