GROUNDING IN THE THERAPEUTIC TOUCH TREATMENT
By Barbara Janelle M.A.
In a state of health, energy continually moves in, through and out of the field. In Therapeutic Touch, we primarily support the flow of energy that enters through the Crown Chakra and exits through the Root Chakra and feet.
EFFECTS OF GROUNDING
Grounding strengthens the field’s connection to the Earth, supports the downward flow of energy through the field and increases the amount of light moving though the field. Grounding helps to integrate the field so that energy flow is more consistent through it. Grounding also provides an avenue for energy from the Earth to enter the field, although we do not focus on this in TT. Most important of all, grounding is a call to spirit to come fully into the body.
I teach grounding very early in my first level course because it significantly changes the field, deepens relaxation and often gives the student-recipient a body-sense feel of energetic change. The first style of grounding that I use is described here in Grounding Exercise #1:
1. The receiver stands comfortably with feet square under the hips, hands hanging at the sides. I ask the recipient to notice how the body feels, and then to say the first few letters of the alphabet to get a sense of the level of the voice. In this first experience of grounding I have recipients stand because they will feel more of the affects of grounding than if they are sitting.
2. The practitioner then gently touches one foot and imagines it growing roots into the ground. The roots go deep from the bottom of the foot, and also spread wide from toes and heel, and even from the ankle. The sense of rootedness usually comes in a few seconds. When that is apparent to the practitioner, the receiver is invited to notice how the body feels but not speak yet.
3. Step 2 is repeated with the other foot. When the grounding is sensed, the practitioner holds both feet and visualises the roots. Note: it is not necessary to hold the feet firmly, a finger on the foot will do, and indeed the exercise can be done with visualisation alone.
4. The practitioner removes his/her hands and asks the receiver to repeat the initial few letters of the alphabet. In most cases the voice has deepened and slowed indicating a change in level of relaxation. When asked to comment on any body-felt changes, receivers usually speak of a downward feeling and sense of relaxation.
Note: In some treatment situations where increased flow of energy through the field is wanted but not with such an intense feeling of relaxation and heaviness, I will visualise “elastic roots.” This allows the person or animal (e.g., in the case of performance horses) to moves lightly and fluidly while still increasing the mount of energy flowing though the field.
PARTNERING WITH THE EARTH
An even more effective way of supporting grounding is to ask the conscious, living Earth to hold the receiver. Grounding Exercise #2:
1. The receiver stands comfortable with feet square under the hips, hands hanging at the sides. I ask the recipient to notice how the body feels, and then to say the first few letters of the alphabet to get a sense of the level of the voice.
2. The practitioner then gently touches both feet and asks the Earth to hold the receiver.
3. The practitioner removes his/her hands and asks the receiver to repeat the initial few letters of the alphabet and comment on how the body feels. The experience of being part of the Earth, as if the Earth reached up and embraced the receiver, is extraordinarily powerful and profound.
I generally wait to teach partnering with the Earth in 2nd or 3rd level or in my advanced courses because I like students to develop good visualisation skills early in their TT training. In addition, body awareness usually increases with the use of TT, so by the 2nd or 3rd level students can more clearly recognise the difference in effect between visualised grounding and asking the Earth to deal with it.
The first approach, visualised rooting, gives important information about the field and is part of my initial assessment. The depth, thickness and overall connection with the Earth indicate how well the field is functioning and gives an overall sense of health. Increasing the rootedness either through visualisation or by asking the Earth to hold the recipient usually supports a shift in the field toward better function. Indeed an exercise can be built into a basic level treatment situation, where the practitioner assesses the field before grounding and then again after grounding. I encourage students to ground often during treatment not only to support changes in the field, but also to provide pauses to allow the field to process the work.
THE DYING PROCESS
The exception to the rule of the field’s response to grounding occurs during the dying process.
In my experience, grounding diminishes during dying and disappears upon death. When a person or animal has made the decision (usually unconsciously) to leave, the field will not respond to attempts by the practitioner to deepen the grounding; instead the grounding grows thinner and weaker as the spirit leaves. I continue to include grounding in treating dying people or animals because it prevents energetic build-up in the lower field and discomfort. I also use it as an opportunity to speak to Earth and spirit about gentle release when the appropriate time comes.
Of the things that I know that the field responds to well, deepening center, heart support and grounding are the most effective aspects of Therapeutic Touch.