Energy

The term energy has been widely used by writers and practitioners of various esoteric forms of spirituality and alternative medicine[1][2] to refer to a variety of phenomena. Such "energy" is often seen as a continuum that unites body and mind. The term "energy" also has a scientific context, and the scientific foundations of physical energy are often confused or misused to justify a connection to a scientific basis for physical manifestations, properties, detectability, or sensing of psychic energy and other physic phenomena where no presently known scientific basis exists.[3] It is sometimes conceived of as a universal life force running within and between all things, (as in some forms of vitalism), as doctrines of subtle bodies or as concepts such as qi, prana, or kundalini.[4] Spiritual energy is often closely associated with the metaphor of life as breath - the words 'qi', 'prana', and 'spirit', for instance, are all related in their respective languages to the verb 'to breathe'.[citation needed] Sometimes it is equated with the movement of breath in the body, sometimes described as visible "auras", "rays", or "fields" or as audible or tactile "vibrations".[5] These are often held to be perceptible to anyone, though thi

may be held to require training or sensitization through various practices. Various distinct cultural and religious traditions postulate the existence of esoteric energies, usually as a type of elan vital - an essence which differentiates living from non-living objects.[citation needed] Older sources usually associate this kind of energy with breath: for example qi in Taoist philosophy, prana in Hindu belief, or the "breath of life" given by God to Adam in the Abrahamic creation story.[citation needed] Thus energy became closely associated with concepts of animating spirits or of the human soul. Some spiritual practices, such as Qigong or traditional yoga open or increase this innate energy, and the philosophy behind certain martial arts implies that these energies can be developed and focused. A number of New Age spiritual practices and alternative medicine modalities rely upon such ideas, without the more spiritual or mystical elements of traditional beliefs. Instead, they focus on the perception and manipulation of subtle experiences in the body, usually in the belief that conscious attention to the body's state will draw vital energy to the body, producing physical, psychological, and in some cases spiritual benefits.