3 Grounding Practices to Enhance Your Vitality
Three grounding practices that help you gather energy from the earth to replenish and enhance your own life force.
Illustration by: Ellen Rooney
Energy healing is based on the ancient concept that there is a vital force, an underlying flow of energy, both within the physical body and extending from it.
Opening and clearing the lower energy centers—the legs, first chakra, second chakra, and lower dan tien [essentially a yolk sac of energy between the pubic bone and belly button]—is important to our well-being, because through them we harvest vital energy from the earth’s energy field and because it helps us balance the energy within our body.
Often, people in their late 40s or 50s complain of chronic exhaustion for the first time in their lives. They are perplexed about why they no longer have the energy and vitality they had when they were younger. Here is the key to this vitality work: Our energy is not ours. It is dependent on how connected we are to the energy field of the earth.
Grounding the physical body is enormously helpful. Grounding means focusing on the core of our energy body in the lower dan tien and having the legs and hips open to the flow of the energy from the earth.
Toe tapping is an ancient practice that helps balance the energy between the body and head while it dramatically stimulates energy flow in the legs, allowing you to become connected to the larger energy field of the earth.
Do not do this exercise if you have had a recent knee or hip replacement or if you are pregnant.
Find a comfortable place on the floor.
The legs rotate from the hips, like windshield wipers on a car. Lie flat on your back. Allow your hips and legs to rest easily, hips loose and feet apart. Rotate or rock your legs and feet, in and out from your hips, leaving your heels in one place on the floor. Roll your legs, first tapping your big toes together and then letting your legs and feet roll back out. Keep your legs straight.
The faster you tap, the easier it will be to do this exercise, because you will be using momentum from the previous tap as well as the rotator muscles in your hips and thighs. Continue the tapping for five minutes at first, then work up to longer periods. Once you stop, rest on your back. Notice how you feel and relax in this position for a moment.
This exercise brings energy up from the earth to the energy reservoir in the lower dan tien, in the abdomen, and moves it from there to stimulate and awaken the body.
If you are pregnant, skip the belly-tapping portion of this exercise. If you cannot tap on an area because of a physical disability, use a handheld massager.
Do this exercise standing. Keep your feet a bit farther apart than your normal stance for balance. Be gentle in the beginning.
Start with the second chakra and lower dan tien, above the pubic bone and below the navel, right on the bladder. Make soft fists and tap on this area while you bounce gently with your knees to pump energy up through your legs. Breathe into your lower abdominal area. Tap for two to three minutes. Next, tap around your abdomen, following in a clockwise circular path, for another minute. Then stand still and see whether you can feel the energy that has gathered.
Resume bouncing and move your hands to the lung area and tap the entire chest area with the hands or fingertips. Move to your armpit with the opposite palm. Continue down the arm, and spend a little extra time anywhere you notice discomfort. When you reach the hand, clap your hands together briefly. Tap back up the arm and move to the other arm.
Using both hands, tap the back of the neck and shoulders with your fingertips. Tap up the back of the head, over the crown, and then on the sides of the head. With your fingertips, tap on your forehead, down your face, and over the cheekbones. Move to the jaw and tap.
With your fists, tap on the front of the hips where the legs meet the body. Tap on both the right and left hip at the same time. Move to the sacrum and then move to tapping on the buttocks.
Pause for a moment and stand still. Use both hands to tap down and back up one leg, then the other.
Finally, your back needs to be cleared. Ask another person, or use a handheld massager, and spend at least two minutes on the center of the back to clear it. Then you can move to tapping on the rest of the back for another two minutes.
Stand still, close your eyes, and notice how you feel.
Shaking the Bones
Emotion is actually energy in motion (e-motion), and every experience we have carries its own energy to be experienced through the body. Yet often, we pull the energy to the head and begin to think about it, changing the natural flow. When that happens, the energy crystallizes and can continue to pop up in our awareness as a memory.
You will need a place to stand on the floor and music with a fast beat. Any music with a good beat will help you shake for a longer period of time.
Do this exercise standing. Imagine a cord going from the crown of your head up to the sky, and relax your body like a rag doll. Let your neck go limp and your head drop forward. Close your eyes.
As the music plays, vigorously shake your arms and your body, and bounce gently at your knees. The head hangs forward and moves with the body; let it roll slowly from side to side. Let the movement, your breath, and the music take over, and allow yourself to let go. If at any point this exercise becomes difficult or intense, open your eyes, stop shaking, and stand still.
Do this for at least five minutes. Ten or fifteen minutes is even more effective. Stop and notice and how you feel.
Previously published as "Tap and Shake to Enhance Your Vitality" in Spirituality & Health's Practice issue.