Chapter 5 Silk Reeling Qigong

Camillo Sanchez taught Silk Reeling Qi at a location a few miles from my home. He also taught Tai Chi and had advanced classes on both. I jumped in with both feet and took to qigong like a duck to water. I loved it, and physical benefits came with just a few months of practice.

A trauma to my right knee had been giving me constant pain for about seven or eight years. It got better and worse but never went away. Often it was difficult to sleep, and I’m just not a pill person, so painkillers didn’t interest me. I was hoping for other solutions. Now and then I would get fearful that at some point I’d have to have knee replacement surgery and that just sounded gristly. Knee operations weren’t always successful, and some who had knee replacements were still in constant pain. I was curious to find if qigong could help.

Qigong is exceptionally gentle, but since I had this severe pain, I had to take it extra easy with any exercise that put stress on my bum knee. And yet, after three months into my weekly class in Camillo’s studio, and practicing several times a week at home, the pain in my knee was completely gone. It felt like a miracle to me.

The gentle qigong exercises focus on opening energetic pathways so the subtle energy or qi can flow through the body, and go where it’s most needed. It seems the subtle energy has an intelligence about it and it aids the body’s healing ability tremendously.

Being pain-free was a great relief and a huge testament to the effectiveness of getting qi flowing freely in the body. This wasn’t theoretical, it was experiential. However, if I slacked off on the qigong exercises, my knee would pain me again, although it was quickly taken care of with more of the gentle exercises. 

Within six months to a year of doing Silk Reeling Qigong and practicing Robert Bruce’s New Energy Ways, and going deeper into the Pranic Healing book, I was able to build up the energy in my aura and channel it quite easily through my hands. I was learning to feel the energy around animals, plants, and people using the energy in my hands. I’m not talking about an emotional type of feel, but a tactile feel. I’m not talking about feeling the energy in a room after an argument, although that is real too. The feeling I’m speaking of here came through an extension of the energy from my hands that I could use to feel the energy in and around others. 

Imagine wearing wool gloves and lightly touching objects through the gloves. If you are sensitive, you’ll be able to feel when the fuzz of the wool touched the objects. If you brought your gloved hands together, you could feel the fuzz of the wool on each glove as it came in contact with the fuzz of the wool on the other. As you practice doing this, you’d become more and more sensitive to the subtle sensations. You’d even be able to feel the sensations farther and farther away. Increasing the energy in your aura also enables you to feel the energy farther away.

Another exercise you can do to increase sensitivity is to feel the heat from a plate of hot food when it’s served. Bring your hands, palms facing the plate, from some distance away, closer and closer to the food, and see how far away you can feel the heat. Over time you will increase your sensitivity to the heat of the food and will be able to feel it in your palms quite a distance  from the plate.

All of this learning and training was quite interesting, but I had other things to do as well. I had a residential remodel, repair, home inspection, and consulting business that took most of my time. I had also been inventing things since a very young age and had always liked learning about the way things work. This energy thing was fascinating, but I was only able to spend a little time with it each day, and every few days I might have more time to learn more about it.

Once in a while, I’d be able to experiment or practice on a friend, but I was too green to trust myself to go very far with it. Also, there’s an embarrassment factor, either yours or theirs, that can hinder the willingness to play with this weird stuff. Sometimes an awkward embarrassment will cause all confidence to fly out the window, and the ability to work the energy can shut down completely. It’s like going from being an extrovert to an introvert with the flip of a switch. 

I felt I could use a little in-person guidance from someone who might know more about these things, so I called the yoga teacher from Unity. I figured she’d been around the block a few times and might have some helpful advice she could share with me. She invited me to her home, and we agreed that she’d do a healing technique on me that used tuning forks, and I’d do what I’d been learning on her with this subtle energy. Now, what I’d been practicing was a mix of things I’d learned over time so it didn’t have a name that I could give her to reference it by. 

She had me lay on the floor and would strike a tuning fork and bring it into proximity of my body. I could readily feel the subtle sensations of the airwaves vibrating with the different frequencies of the various tuning forks she used. As I recall, the session lasted fifteen or twenty minutes, and it was relaxing.

Then we sat at her dining table and had a cup of tea before I did subtle energy work on her. She lay on the floor where I had been earlier, and I started on her right foot and calf. As soon as I beamed energy through her lower leg, she sat bolt upright and said with a great deal of consternation, “That’s not your energy! That’s God’s energy!”  Evidently the energy wasn’t so subtle and she was quite sensitive to it and alarmed by how much subtle energy was there.

Her words came at me as very cross. I was taken aback and didn’t know what to say or how to proceed. I was there looking for guidance on how to deal with this energetic phenomenon. I didn’t know anyone it had happened to and felt I was humble and open to any advice I could get on managing it properly.

There were times I’d lay in bed with this energy pouring through my hands like heat lamps, and I felt like my aura might glow in the dark. It was intense and often uncomfortable, but objectively it was still interesting, and I accepted this was something I was going to have to go through. I would ease up on energy exercises when it got too intense, and I found that eating meat could dampen the flow of it, but whatever was happening it was going to happen one way or another. It was like I’d gotten on a ride at a theme park and was going to have to see it through regardless of how I felt about it in the middle of the ride, upside down, stomach-turning inside out, or perhaps spontaneously combusting. 

I wasn’t sure how to proceed with the yoga instructor. I pulled my hands back and paused. I nodded to acknowledge yeah, this is God’s energy, and she lay back down. I continued the session but kept it light, not pushing it or probing too deeply with the energy. I didn’t get any guidance other than intuitive guidance to be careful about who I expose to this energy. She’s a good person and all, but it startled her. Maybe if I’d given more information about what was going on beforehand it would have been different, perhaps not so surprising. I felt bad about that and whenever I’d see her it seemed she was still a little miffed with me as if I tricked her.  

On the other hand, a few friends gave me opportunities to play with the energy in and around their bodies and they didn’t mind when the energy was strong. One friend had scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, and when my hands had a lot of energy and got near her back, though still several feet away, her spine started popping and shifting into a better alignment. We experimented to see how far away I could be and still have an effect. Across the room was no problem. One day she called me from her home, and I focused on her back with the idea of energy from my hands going to her back. She started laughing and said her back was popping and shifting! I had practiced distant healing before this, and rarely found out if they’d been successful or not, but this was on the phone with instant feedback on what was happening. It just added to the amazement I was feeling about this work. Sometimes I would be delighted and amazed and sometimes stunned into quiet wonder.

The funny thing about this woman with scoliosis is she was one of my best friends, and she was open and trusting of me to work on her, but she did not think it was a good idea to let other people know what I was doing. She didn’t think society at large would accept my healing work. It was too far out. I understood she had my best interests at heart, but I’d have to find my own way with all of this.

I was doing my best to be scientific about it, to understand the principles involved, to keep my feet on the ground so to speak. Nevertheless, I often found myself grinning from ear to ear. Sometimes I would experience a feeling of bliss while doing the work, especially if I did many rapid sessions in succession. Another thing was I didn’t get tired from doing it. Just the opposite, I got energized.

Another good friend came over one day and allowed me to practice on her. Here’s what Pat had to say about her experience of it:


"I've been amazed with Steve's ability to heal energetically. He has worked on several body issues for me, but most notably he healed a gnawing pain in my leg. The pain was about a 9 on a scale of 10. Steve began his work, and I could not only feel the energy from his hands without touching my body, the pain in my leg started to dissipate. Within minutes, the pain was gone. It never came back. 

On another occasion, Steve resolved a chronic lower back complaint I had for several weeks. He approached the healing from 'all sides' as I call it, working all around my body, guided by his intuition. I had no idea what he was doing, but when he was done my back felt like I'd had a dozen massages. I would highly recommend him.” 


Maybe my friend was so surprised by how effective it was she didn’t tell me about how much pain she had been in or how energetic and rapid the healing was until years later when she wrote that testimonial.

It’s not unusual for people to not tell me what’s going on, or to downplay their healing experience, or even to take it for granted. In the beginning, I sometimes felt let down when that happened. I relied on feedback to know how I was doing. I wanted to hear how strongly they felt the energy, or if the symptoms were changing, and how, and so on. Otherwise, I wouldn’t know if I’d been effective or not, or how I might improve. Years later I had much more confidence in my abilities and could feel the effects for myself. I also realized the people I was working with may not have known how to express what they’d felt since it was so new and different from other experiences.  

Some of the effects of energy work were audible and couldn’t be hidden, like when someone’s spine moved into alignment with popping sounds. A few days after the Quantum-Touch workshop I saw the host of the Course In Miracles meeting stretching and holding her lower back as if it were in pain. I offered to balance her hips using a Quantum-Touch technique, and she was open to it. I lightly put my thumbs, middle, and index fingers on the base of her spine and by the count of three there was a loud pop like a grown man cracking his knuckles, and she was so startled she nearly jumped! I thought I’d hurt her and apologized profusely but she said it was okay, that her hips were going out of balance regularly, but she’d never had it pop back into place with that kind of force. That early episode spooked me a little, but there was no pretending it didn’t happen. 

Another phenomenon in the mix here is what you might call the cool factor. When something cool happens people want to be cool about it. They want to appear nonchalant and easy-going, laid back. When you see a gorgeous person you aren’t likely to run up and tell them they are gorgeous. You want to be cool about it. You may want them to like you but you don’t want to be too obvious about it. 

Once in a while, people had an immediate strong response when they felt the energy, or the effects of it, eyes going wide, or remarking about it, but mostly they tended to play it down. They were cool about it. 

From my standpoint, being a serious student meant paying attention to results and learning from them. When people didn’t give feedback I was missing out on vital information. Sometimes I’d probe a bit, but probing too much would be uncool and could get uncomfortable. They didn’t know what just happened. They thought I knew and didn’t understand why I’d even ask.

It gets weird sometimes, but it’s not unusual for a person to have significant healing take place without my being aware of it. I’ve done many sessions where I didn’t know if I’d done anything worthwhile, only to find a few days later that the results were spectacular. Sometimes they’d surprise me so much that I’d want to know more about exactly what transpired. How much was the result of my work, how much was their believing in the work, how much was  being done through me, and so on? It was often difficult to adhere to scientific methods, but the results I was getting were compelling, to say the least.

~ S