Bioenergy is at the core of a sweeping new field of inquiry, which holds that the world is comprised of energy and that physical objects manifest a result of this energy.
A branch of biophysics, the multi-disciplinary field of bioenergetics is “the study of the flow and transformation of energy in and between living organisms and between living organisms and their environment.”1 As the term indicates, it deals with biology (the study of all life) and energy (perhaps the underlying structure of all life) and where these two intersect. The meeting area between biology and energy is immense, extending beyond imagination. Virtually every area of human activity is touched by bioenergy.
Initially, the term bioenergetics was defined as “a form of psychology based on the use of kinesthetics and muscle testing to assess energy flow and levels,” so the field first took root based on physical anatomy. Physician Alexander Lowen popularized it with his book Bioenergetics. More recently, in his book Energy Psychology, psychologist Fred Gallo shows how the discipline has grown by revealing connections between cognition, energy, and behavior, and placing the movement and blockages of energy squarely in the center of why disorders manifest.2
The idea of energy playing a role within the body is well established. The principal communication mechanism of the central nervous system is electrical, brain waves are measured by frequency, and energy is the basis of metabolism. Plus, elucidation of the role of energy within the body is becoming more enhanced. It is known that the human body constantly receives and emits magnetic electrical information and other types of energy-based signals. From taking in the Sun’s energy and converting it to Vitamin D, to sound affecting regions of the brain, to receptors in the eye that detect photons, the body has an array of energy-detection apparatuses. Furthermore, there are over a hundred years of research behind the modern field of electromyography, the tracking of electrical currents behind muscle movement, which shows this type of activity occurs naturally within the body.3
The specialty of biophysics has evolved as a result of physicists furthering their research into all areas where energy plays a role. This discipline has grown to include topics including cellular communication, neurobiology, and the role of photons and electrons within the human body. At the same time, the world of technology is birthing devices that reveal and alter biological energy fields, and even interact with environmental energies. As physicist Milo Wolff points out, “Nothing happens in nature without an energy exchange. Communication or acquisition of knowledge of any kind occurs only with an energetic transfer. There are no exceptions. This is a rule of nature.”4
In a bioenergetic world, the energetic systems of human anatomy are the physiological basis of perception. These structures communicate to each other and to the whole as part of a living matrix. Individually, these systems have been elucidated by modern science as well as ancient disciplines native to China (Taoism), India (Hinduism and Buddhism), and Toltec shamanism (Mexico). In this section, then, we look at the nervous system, meridians, chakras and nadis, and the whole of the energy body. In true bioenergetics fashion, we also need to account for environmental influences as these play a role in determining what occurs within us.
First Section: Nervous System