If talk of chakras — seven focal points within the body — seems like new-fangled healing talk, Susan Koehler has another viewpoint to offer. If you’ve ever walked on a carpet barefoot and felt a little spark, that’s proof that you’ve got electrical energy within you.
The understanding and use of this type of spiritual medicine for the body and mind has been around for thousands of years, she says.
“I think chakras are the first and most important way for bringing energy to the human body,” she said from her East Amherst home. “That’s what connects to the human body, and takes out toxic energy. They’re the things that hold us back. You can calm the energy … it’s a basic way of bringing fresh energy. Anybody can do it.”
Koehler, a co-creative energy intuitive, will be conducting a workshop, “Chakras and the Healing Energy of the Body,” from noon to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 16 at First Presbyterian Church, 300 East Main St., Batavia. She will address questions including what are chakras? What is their role in the energy of the human body? How do they connect the human self with the divine self? and how can you work with your chakra energy to optimize your health?
There will also be practical exercises and applications for participants to use for future health maintenance.
Spoiler alert: so, what are chakras? The seven major areas are the crown, third eye, throat, heart, solar plexus, sacral and root. Each one represents a vital area and function within the body, and therefore when all are open and unblocked, energy flows through them freely.
Although it’s considered an ancient form of healing, the chakras system has been scientifically proven, Koehler said. She uses energy, colors and vibration frequencies when working with people.
“It’s really a very old belief system from a religious perspective,” she said, naming the likes of Jesus, Mohammad and Buddha as believers. “There's an omnipresent organizing force, even if you want to call it universal consciousness, but scientists have data that proves that there's a field of energy that envelops all of us and so that kind of protective bubble that makes us unique and allows us to interact with whatever is out there, wherever you want to call that, is really what the chakras do. It's an exchange of energy from outside to inside.”
Rev. Roula Alkhouri, who invited Koehler to conduct the class, said that there are no special requirements to participate and that anyone can benefit from giving it a try.
“I think those who are able to come to the workshop will find it very helpful as it will give them access to discovering their own body and spiritual energy and how they can release the things that weigh them down and get them stuck in life,” Alkhouri said. “The practices are simple and accessible to all people. You don’t have to be physically fit. You don’t have to have a belief system to find this helpful. This is about the practice. All you have to bring to it is an open heart and mind to receive this gift.”
An educator for most of her life, Koehler, who turns 70 in March, eschewed western medicine after her cancer diagnosis in 2007. More precisely, it was after she was given the prognosis at age 54: “They told me I was going to die.”
She wasn’t having it.
“I left my job in 2007 to study energy full-time,” she said. “There’s way more in this world than we have knowledge of or have explored.”
She’s not against all western medicine — it has its place for accidents, broken bones and such, she said. But in Koehler’s situation, she felt that the treatment plan wasn’t to cure her but to treat her.
“I studied, and I learned,” she said.
What she learned, taken in part from her website, is that “informational medicine, energy medicine, and consciousness technologies harbor the promise to change an omnipresent misunderstanding of healing in the world today,” she said.
“Drugs and surgery are not the only nor the best way. Within and around each human body lives a magnetic force field - an electrical network - in a constant state of change,” she said. “As in nature, our higher self or soul continually strives to achieve balance.
“When we experience health, this electrical network is balanced and fully connected. When something in your life threatens that balance, the electrical system responds by short-circuiting or overloading ... immediately impacting the central nervous system,” she said. “The body then kicks into 'high gear' (developing new strategies) in an effort to correct the imbalance. If your body does not succeed, you physically manifest the imbalance.”
She maintains that 80 percent of disease is caused by “conscription of blockage of energy, while the remaining 20 percent is caused by deficiency.” The goal is to restore balance in and around your physical body. Every moment is a new point of beginning filled with limitless possibilities, she said. Her story is part of author Kelly Turner’s book “Radical Remission.”
So what drew Rev. Roula Alkhouri to Koehler and invite her to conduct this workshop? First Presbyterian Church has a weekly Centering Prayer group, a receptive method of silent Christian prayer to deepen participants’ relationship with God. The group also practiced 20 minutes of QiGong before sitting down to pray/meditate through silence.
“So we have known through our experience about the importance of using the body to pray and to center ourselves. I often think of the many Bible stories of healing where Jesus and the disciples touched people and healed them. I also think of the ways we commission and anoint people for ministry through the laying on of hands,” Alkhouri said. “There are so many parallels in the Christ tradition with other practices of prayer using the body and its energy. I think of the simple prayerful practices of fasting, kneeling, or holding our hands in front of our hearts and how they open us up to the gifts of the divine.”
Alkhouri also had a deeply personal experience in which she met — and was strengthened by -- Koehler and her use of chakras.
“Last year, I dealt with a lot of loss in my family with the death of both of my parents within a month and with my brother and sister struggling with cancer. I had to travel to California many times to help,” Alkhouri said. “I found myself exhausted physically. One of my spiritual friends, Margret Mitchell, MD, who is also a holistic medicine practitioner, told me that Susan would be able to help me. After I went to see Susan in September, which was a tremendous gift, I shared my experience with the Centering Prayer group, and we decided to ask Susan to come to Batavia to teach us about energy healing.”
Koehler offered to conduct the class at no cost and to open it up to the community.
Alkhouri said that if people find this session helpful, the church will offer it again on a Saturday or Sunday or in the evening so that people who work during the day can attend. Register by Feb. 13 at 585-343-0505 or [email protected].
Submitted photo of Susan Koehler.