Recently I received an email through a friend, about a workshop on pranic healing. I enjoyed reading the mail. He was the mirror of some things I had been talking and writing about the New Age movement. Although no training in acupuncture, this pranic healing therapist is able to create a discourse very similar to some acupuncturists. And in her speech can be seen the main lines of New Age thought.
The New Age thought is characterized by an esoteric discourse, where scientific terms appear mixed with religious beliefs. However, it is totally anti-science and anti-Western traditional religions. Western traditional religions are seen as movements that crippled human spirituality. However many of the New Age ideas/beliefs are based on these same religions.
It is ironic that much of New Age speeches depend on the manipulation of scientific concepts from the despised science, or religious beliefs with roots in the hated traditional religions. The New Age is, in itself a paradox. An ideological movement without foundation. The speeches appeal to the emotions as they try to mask their lack of content.
In this mail was stated that:
“Pranic Healing (Pranic Healing) is a technique that involves the exploitation of the energy body (such as diagnosis). The removal of energy where there are excesses and energizing… where there is deficiency. Pranic Healing (Pranic Healing) aims to rebalance the vital energy and chakras, channeling the Prana, acting on the bioplasmatic body, with physiological consequences or promoting healing…”
Obviously the whole discourse is based on energy concepts and a mixed Western vitalistic terms of scientific concepts with oriental culture. It is from this mixture that the author of the email write:
“The man’s physical body is composed of two parts: the visible physical body and tangible and the bioplasmatic body, formed by a subtle and invisible energy. These bodies interpenetrate and interact in a bond of energy exchange… we feed on vital energy – also known as vital force, prana, ki, pneuma, mana, ruach – which is the source of this universe in its natural manifestations: air, land and water. We have energetic captation and irradiation centers: Chakras. If these are not in balance can not pick and waste vital energy – Prana – necessary for our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.”
On the concept of Qi as “energy” I have already written on this very blog. But this email called my attention to other elements of this fantasy:
1 – the use of scientific concepts or pseudo-scientific as “bioplasmatic body” and “energy” applied to different contexts without precise definition. For example bioplasmatic the body is made of energy but then there is an energy exchange between the physical body and bioplasmatic body… but not switch the bioplasmic body.
2 – association of such concepts with disease states where it states that “acting on the body bioplasmatic, with physiological consequences or promoting healing” or “It’s a quick and efficient method to treat physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual disharmonies.”
3 – Note that demand is always associated with terms such as physical, mental, emotional and spiritual in order to appeal to a more holistic thinking (see the person as a whole “). This is aptly expressed in a part of the mail: “The human being seen as a unique and complete – as is seen holistically – their functions have physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic interlinked, influencing each other. As a result, diseases are normally the result of an imbalance of these factors.”
Indeed holism has more to do with the relationship of physical and psychological symptoms with personal/social factors than spiritual considerations. Holism does not imply belief in other forms of life-energy or esoteric concepts. And this, without forgetting that it is always nice to talk about psychic and emotional that basically are… the same thing.
4 – to link these concepts with Mother Nature when saying, “this source is that the universe in its natural manifestations: air, land and water” or “The concern with the ingestion of fresh and natural food corresponds to the knowledge that the more ingest that is connected to nature, more vital energy will circulate and serve as a source for extra body.”
5 – the victimization of nature and therefore human health at the hands of scientific knowledge and technological development is also well aware not only by the statements referred to above, but others, such as the following:
“Processed foods – that take a long period between harvesting and ingestion, which undergo chemical processes of conservation and/or high temperatures – have zero energy and often in their food value, serving only to give the feeling of plenty physical.
When the animals die quickly lose its vital energy not bringing much value in terms of energy for those who eat them. The plant reserve for some time over this energy, transmitting the one who eats them a pranic support increasing circulation in your bioplasmatic body that recovers disease-causing potential losses.”
The mail was much longer. However the parts shown here are enough to demonstrate my points of view. The reader may have noticed that still are not many references to traditional Western religions or their mixture with Eastern religious and cultural concepts. In reality these connections are very evident in the extensive curriculum vitae of the author of this email. According to the email to this author had extensive training in:
Basic Pranic Healing
Advanced Pranic Healing
Pranic Crystal Healing
The Spiritual Essence of Man
Meditation for the development of the Soul
Kabbalistic Meditation of Our Father
This author has not entered directly into TCM. At a oriental level she get inspiration from India (chakras) and China (Fenham Shui) but not directly enter TCM. However, anyone recognizes these discourses within the community of TCM in Western countries.
Esoteric Acupuncture with their fantasies of astrology, religion and existential crises, or simply the the day to day advertising where you diagnose energy imbalances and regulate the patient’s energies. It is true that the world of acupuncture has not been vandalized by bioplasmatic body but has been enough attacked with energy and other ridiculous beliefs.