On Grounding Visualisations

Barbara Janelle M.A.

First Published In Touch, Vol. IX, no. 4, November 1997

In Therapeutic Touch we work downward through the field. Dora Kunz often asks those assisting her in a treatment to support the flow of energy downward through the legs. During the 1995 TT Ontario AGM, Sandra Johnson demonstrated a foot massage and whole leg unruffling that Dora taught her to use with AIDS patients to support energy flow through the lower limbs.

Many years ago, during a TT Retreat, I worked in a triad with a woman who misunderstood this direction and insisted that we were to unruffle upwards over the torso. The result was that the receiver became faint and had to lie down. Guided by a teacher, we unruffled downward from head to toe, and the young woman recovered quickly. This experience provides a useful illustration whenever I am asked why we unruffled downward through the field.

I and many other teachers and practitioners in Ontario use a visualisation of energy flowing downward through the field into the ground. Often, this is supported by holding the receiver’s feet and visualising roots growing into the earth. We call this “grounding.”

Supporting the Flow

In the early years of my TT experience (mid-1980’s), I followed the accepted procedure of unruffling, starting at the head, working downward through the field and finishing the treatment with unruffling the lower legs and feet. With the final grounding, suddenly the entire field would change and the receiver would experience a full-body relaxation.

When I received this kind of treatment, I noticed that during the unruffling in the upper part of the field, my back would often begin to ache. This discomfort did not dissipate until the final sweep down the legs and the wonderful holding of my feet.

In giving treatments, there were many instances of “antsi-ness” before the final grounding. One case remains engraved on my mind. I was working with a kind, elderly horse with an injured hind leg. As I did a full body unruffling and reached the injured hock, the horse suddenly lashed out. Had I been in the way of that kick, I would have been severely injured. I finally recognised that the unruffling was bringing too much energy into rather than through the area because the flow and grounding in the leg were not established yet.

Unruffling without establishing an initial grounding and flow in the lower part of the field was simply making the receiver uncomfortable. In addition, because the grounding had such a profound impact on the field, I wondered whether using it earlier and throughout the treatment might reduce the amount of work needed and keep the recipient more comfortable.

For the past few years, I have chosen to develop the flow in the legs and the grounding before doing too much in the upper field. This “non-linear” kind of treatment seems to work well. Flow and integration through the field develop through the treatment rather than as an end stage, and the receiver remains comfortable.

Problem Solving

A few years ago, a woman came to me for Therapeutic Touch. She was seeing a doctor for severe back pain, but had been unable to sleep through the night for three years because of the aching. A few days after the first treatment, she reported that her back felt a lot better but that her right hip was painful–her hip had been fine before the treatment.

I thought about this and recognised that in working to dissipate the blocked energy in the lower spine, I had not unruffled fully through the hips, legs and feet. Some energy obviously had gotten stuck in the hip area. She had been seated on a bench during the treatment, and because she was heavy-set there was even more of an impediment to the flow at the right-angle juncture of the hips.

When she came for the next treatment, I decided that rather than unruffle through the hips, I would simply unruffle directly off the congested back and hip areas into the ground. As I unruffled the back, I imagined the spine growing down into the ground; and any congested energy in the spine went directly into the ground (see Figure 3).

Then, I visualised a pipe or straw siphoning congested energy from the hips directly into the ground, and supported this with unruffling (see Figure 4).

Figure 4. Grounding through a visualised “straw”

Once the congestion dissipated, I unruffled downward through the entire field. This approach was very effective and the woman had no back or hip pain for many days after the treatment. She never complained of her hips aching again. With a few treatments the back pain was significantly reduced and she was able to sleep through the night.

Since then, I have extended this visualisation to include a skirt of roots from the spine and hips going into the ground (Figure 5).

Figure 5. Augmenting the grounded spine with a visualised “skirt of roots”

Direct Grounding Visualisations

I frequently use the immediate grounding visualisation of “siphoning through a straw,” supported by unruffling movements, for significantly congested areas and find it very effective. Grounding can be done through intermediate objects such as through wooden or metal chair arms and legs, through bed legs, through wooden or metal table tops and legs, into potted plants, trees, grass. Some applications of this approach are illustrated below:

Figure 6. Grounding through a house plant for a severe headache

In the case of a severe headache, direct grounding breaks-up and begins to move congestion. Following this with a through unruffling of the entire field (particularly over the digestive system) and grounding through the feet is often very effective in reducing pain.

Figure 7. Grounding congested energy around a knee and varicose vein site

Figure 8. Grounding congested energy in a shoulder through chair

Attempting to unruffle downward through a hoof that is severely congested energetically can cause great discomfort; that is why the unruffling movement is slightly up and off, and then downward into the ground. This applies to working with varicose veins in human beings too.Figure 10. a) Grounding dog through legs and tail

b) Siphoning straw for hip dysplasia congestion

Figure 11. Grounding injured bird through tail and table leg

I find that when I am able to fully visualise a grounding connection, the field changes immediately and dramatically. I do not have to work as long. Early and immediate grounding prevents congestion from building in another part of the field too, so the recipient remains comfortable. After a block is dissipated, full unruffling of the physical field supports flow and integration.

Other Visualisations

The use of grounding visualisations has proven effective in my Therapeutic Touch treatments. However, there are many other visualisations that will also support flow and integration in the field. Two that I use are a) envisioning blocked energy, initially dull in colour, getting brighter and joining the whole field flow and b) imagining blocked energy coming off in streamers that grow brighter and disappear.

Intent to help and clear visualisation, in whatever way, are major aspects of Therapeutic Touch. In most cases, full-field unruffling and visualising, incoming bright energy flowing through the entire field, support the move toward greater well-being.