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Emotion and Healing in the Energy Body

A Handbook of Subtle Energies in Massage and Yoga

Published by Healing Arts Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



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About The Book

A comprehensive guide to emotional blockages in the energy body and their physical manifestations

• Details how emotional trauma, long-term stress, and environmental influences cause energy blockages in the subtle body that affect the physical body

• Explores more than 30 specific physical ailments, detailing the energetic origins of each condition and which meridians, chakras, and points are affected

• Explains how to interpret and work with energies released in massage and during yoga practice

In this comprehensive guide to subtle energy and its associated physical manifestations, Robert Henderson reveals how the discomfort and pain you carry in your physical body is related to the energies of the life you have experienced.

The author explains the eight types of subtle energy: Emotional, which carries anger, fear, love, and other emotions; Mental, which affects patterns of behavior, beliefs, actions, and memories; Spiritual, which influences intuition, inspiration, and transcendent states; Sexual, which affects creativity, spontaneity, and excitement; Environmental, which arises from stress at work, tension at home, and other outside influences; Interpersonal, which comes from interactions with family, lovers, and friends; Ancestral, the energy of the lives of your parents up to the time of your conception; and Karmic, the energy of your past lives.

Detailing how these energies are drawn in by the chakras and distributed throughout the body by the meridians, the author explains how suffering acute emotional trauma or long-term stress causes negative energies to accumulate in the energy body much like fat deposits. Our physical body reacts to these energy blockages, leading to physical conditions such as closed hips, tight hamstrings, digestive distress, chronic pain, and persistent tension in areas like the shoulders. The author explores more than 30 specific physical ailments, providing the energetic origins of each condition, the exact location of the corresponding energy blockage, and which meridians, chakras, and points are affected. He covers sexual energy in depth, explaining how to handle repressed energy as it is released during yoga or massage.

As the author shows, physical ailments caused by the energies of hurtful life events can be healed through massage and yoga, allowing you to become open to the free and spontaneous circulation of energy through the subtle body.


1 Understanding Subtle Energy

Energy Blockages

An energy blockage is an accumulation of subtle body energy from current or former sources that has become stored in a particular part of the body. It’s a bit like the accumulation and storage of fat in the body. Under normal circumstances, the body ingests, digests, and evacuates a certain amount of harmful nutritional energy, like junk food. If we ingest too much of a harmful food, for example grease from chips, burgers, and pizzas, the body becomes unable to digest and evacuate all of the grease properly, so the remainder of it gets sent to a part of the body for storage. The body stores unprocessed food as fat, whereas it stores unprocessed subtle energy as energy blockages.

Fat is a tangible solidified form of excess nutritional energy. Energy blockages are the metaphysical solidification of negative experiences in the eight types of subtle energy, as shown in the following examples.

1. Emotional
--grief, fear, anger, jealousy
2. Sexual--use of sex to fill a void, forced or coerced sex
3. Spiritual--distorted sense of truth, lack of access to higher intellect and consciousness
Mental--unwillingness to let go, need to dominate other people,refusal to forgive someone who has hurt you
5. Interpersonal--your partner taking his or her anger out on you
6. Environmental--stress from work
7. Ancestral--energies of your parents’ lives, which are passed on to you at the time of your conception
8. Karmic--energy of your own past lives come back to you in your current life

In general all emotional, mental, and ancestral energy blockages originate in the first, second, and third chakras in the body. The presence of an energy blockage in the body can result from an acute event, such as the shock at being robbed or mugged on the street, or from a chronic negative situation, such as living in a home where you are constantly afraid of a spouse or a parent.

Take for example working in a frustrating work environment. Under normal day-to-day circumstances, the body is able to process and release low levels of frustration energy. Sometimes if the level of frustration at work rises, we may need to do some form of physical activity, like going to the gym, to help the body get rid of this energy. From time to time, however, you can have a really bad day at the office during which you get so frustrated that your body is simply unable to process and release all of the energy. These are the days when the excess energy of frustration that your body is unable to process gets pushed down and stored in some part of your body. Now imagine you have been working in a frustrating work environment for the past ten years of your life. Add the effects of all those bad days when you have been unable to process and get rid of your frustration together and you will begin to see the process of energy blockage. It might not have felt like much ten years ago, but it has been subtly building up inside until you find yourself in a semi-permanent state of unfulfilled sleep, with low-level tension, shoulder and chest tightness, breathing irregularities, sensitivity to certain food types, and the inability to find peace of mind. These conditions are all characteristic of energy blockage.

Some of the more easily detectable physiological characteristics of energy blockages include sticky skin, a feeling of cold in your abdomen, tightening muscles, nonspecific body pain, inflammation in the neck, headaches, and sensitivity to certain foods. Although the presence of energy blockages can have an adverse effect on the physical condition of the body, the good news is that all types of energy blockage can be undone and released.


There are two types of anger: simple anger and complex anger. Simple anger is an expression of anger related to a single event, for example the anger at having a bad toothache or a pounding headache. Complex anger is an expression of anger relate to a broader series of events, such as anger at work or anger at life. Complex anger is an umbrella emotion made up of parts of other energies, such as frustration, impatience, jealousy, hatred, bitterness (anger and sadness mixed together), disappointment, unforgiveness, intolerance, judgment, the need to punish, the need for revenge, the feeling of injustice, the feeling of being controlled, the experience of having your personal power undermined or taken away, the feeling of loss, such as a job loss and the subsequent feeling of entitlement following such loss or injustice. Rage is an expression of complex anger when allowed to explode without control.

I have grouped these feelings, experiences, beliefs, and behaviors together because the energies that fuel and give rise to them have a common origin, or start point, within the body. This start point is an energy center in the body known as the third chakra, located in the solar plexus region of the body. Due to their common energy and origin, all these particular emotions, feelings, experiences, and behaviors have similar physiological and metaphysical effect on the body.

1. It makes parts of your body go hard. It makes the muscles in your body go hard. Three common examples are mid-back, shoulders, and jaws.
2. You cannot fully connect to yourself. You somehow do not feel right in yourself. You are unable to ground yourself.
3. You lose your natural ability to digest a full range of foods and beverages. In other words, certain foods begin to make you feel nauseous. This is not food making you ill, but food telling you an illness is already present.

When you experience any of these feelings during or after a strong massage, yoga, martial art, or meditation practice, it shows that there has been a release of anger-type energy from your third chakra into your system.

About The Author

Robert Henderson is a Thai Yoga Massage therapist and energy worker. A student of Asokoananda, Chaiyuth Priyasith, Pichest Boonthumme, and Jasmine Vishnu, he is a member of the Thai Healing Alliance International. He lives and works in Austria.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Healing Arts Press (June 25, 2015)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781620554272

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Raves and Reviews

Emotion and Healing in the Energy Body provides a sophisticated yet user-friendly map of the body’s subtle energy systems. The work is rooted in the authority of Henderson’s own experiences as an energy healer while seamlessly weaving together knowledge from the wisdom traditions that are at the foundation of his work. Written in highly accessible language, it will be a valued resource for beginners as well as more advanced practitioners.”

– Donna Eden and David Feinstein, Ph.D., coauthors of Energy Medicine and The Energies of Love

“What lays between your ‘true’ and ‘current’ self? Based on Robert Henderson’s thorough, enriching, and illuminating explanations of subtle energy and healing, I would say, ‘Your place of power.’ Henderson’s brilliant book outlines the means for detecting the blocked energies in your life and body and ways to clear them using energetic, yogic, and massage processes. Henderson’s comprehensive understanding of the sources of our obvious problems, from karma to emotions to mental misunderstandings, will enable us all to powerfully transform others and ourselves.”

– Cyndi Dale, author of The Subtle Body, New Chakra Healing, Energetic Boundaries, and The Intuition G

“With more than 15 years of experience teaching and practicing Thai massage, Robert’s book enriches the culture of massage and yoga. In clear and simple language he provides a doorway to understanding the role of energy in healing. I highly recommend this book for those who want to explore beyond the physical.”

– Kam Thye Chow, founder and director of the Lotus Palm School and author of Thai Yoga Massage and Tha

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