Chapter 4 – Channel Release: Let It Flow!

4.1 Channel release

Under the name channel release are grouped a number of techniques aiming at awakening and cleansing the body of energy, or etheric body. The etheric energy, or life force, is identical to the prāṇa of the Indian tradition and the qi of traditional Chinese medicine. Our first purpose will be to reach a tangible perception of this energy.

Whilst circulating all over the etheric body, the life force follows certain lines of energy, called ‘meridians’ in Chinese medicine and nāḍī in Sanskrit. We will work on some of these, endeavouring to feel the flow of energy along them.

A more advanced, but essential stage will be to learn to move the energy consciously in these channels.

As this capacity develops, the student will be able to correct several health problems. It will become obvious that the proper functioning of the physical body depends to a great extent on the right flow and balance of the circulations of the etheric body. As the etheric body gains in strength through these practices, it acquires a greater resistance to negative energies. And when an undesirable energy is perceived in one of the channels, it becomes possible to expel it consciously, the same way as a pebble can be moved out of a hose by acting on the flow of water. Such a skill secures a high level of energetic protection and will prove to be a great help to all those involved in self-transformation or healing. At a later stage, inner alchemy deals with the opening of the most essential of all energy channels, located in the centre of the body. This central channel ascends from the root of the trunk (the perineum, between the anus and the external genital organs) to the top of the head and above. It is the thunderwand, the path of the serpent-fire of the western esoteric tradition, identical to the suṣumnā of Kundalini-yoga. One of the purposes of channel release is to prepare you for the work on this master channel. Channel release trains you to move the etheric energy consciously.

Therefore, instead of having to ‘imagine’ a flow in the thunderwand, you will be able to implement a proper circulation of energy.

4.2 Connected shaking

Stage 1: shaking

Sit with your back straight, preferably on a mat on the floor, possibly in a chair.

If on a chair, avoid leaning back against it. Keep your eyes closed throughout the exercise. Shake your hands quickly and vigorously for 10 to 20 seconds.

Connected shaking

Then remain motionless with your palms upwards. To achieve maximum effect, avoid resting your hands on your knees or the arms of a chair (see next figure).
Become aware of the vibration in your hands.

Stage 2: vibration in the eye, vibration in the hands

Repeat stage 1: shake your hands, then become motionless with the palms upwards.
Become aware of the vibration in the hands.

Become aware of the vibration in the eye (between the eyebrows.)

Focus for a few seconds on the vibration in the eye. Then become aware again of the vibration in the hands for a few seconds. Then, vibration in the eye again... Go from one to the other several times.
Then become aware of the vibration between the eyebrows and in the hands at the same time.

Stage 3: friction

Repeat stage 1: shake your hands for 10 to 20 seconds. Then remain motionless with your eyes closed, palms upwards. Become aware of the vibration in the eye and in the hands at the same time. Remain in this perception for 1 minute.

Then start breathing with the throat friction, as described in Chapter 2. Connect the friction with the vibration in both the eye and the hands. Continue the practice for 1 or 2 minutes. Watch the quality of the vibration change.


• A whole range of experiences can result from this practice. An essential point is to realise that a modification, in both the hands and the eye, occurs as soon as you start the friction. The vibration becomes more intense, more tangible, and at the same time its quality becomes more subtle.

• The throat friction not only intensifies the vibration, it also helps connect the eye with the centres of energy in the palms of the hands. A triangle of energy can often be felt, linking the eye and the palms.

Stage 4: connecting

Shake the hands for a few seconds. Then remain motionless with your palms upwards.

Feel the vibration in the eye and the vibration in the hands. Start breathing with the throat friction. Connect the friction with the vibration in the eye and the hands. Watch the changes in the vibration that automatically take place due to the friction. Then try to feel the connection between the hands and the eye. Use the throat friction to amplify this connection.

What exactly can you feel between your hands and your eye? Apart from feeling, can you ‘see’ anything (with your eyes closed)? How does the energy in your hands change as you intensify the connection with your eye?

Tips and traps

• The perception of energy linkage between eye and hands is often accompanied by the perception of a triangle of light. At a more advanced stage of the training, this triangle of light will play an important role in certain key practices of inner alchemy.
• Please remember our basic rule: no imagination, no visualisation. Flow with what comes. Develop what you have, don't make anything up. If you can only feel a slight tingling in your hands, work at developing it with the friction and by regularly implementing the other techniques of the book.
• As you go on practising this exercise and the following ones, it will appear that they create a gradual refinement of what flows` into your hands. The more the vibration in the hands is connected with the awareness in the eye, the more it will become subtle and endowed with healing qualities. This is a first step in the development of the hands of a healer.
4.3 Connected rubbing
Sit with your back straight.
Vigorously rub your hands together for up to 20 seconds, or more. Remain motionless with your palms upwards. Spend a few seconds observing the quality of vibration in your hands and in your eye. Then start breathing with the throat friction. Connect it to the vibration in your hands and in your eye. Be aware of the subtle changes that take place in the vibration of the hands due to the friction.
Connect the vibration in the eye with the vibration in the palms. Use the throat friction to intensify this connection. Sense the vibration in the hands becoming more and more refined.
• Apart from the work on perception, those who are involved in massage or any form of healing with hands will benefit from implementing this exercise at the beginning of their sessions.
• While practising channel release, always pay attention to the fact that the quality of energy that flows through your hands depends on the quality of the vibration in your eye, and on the connection between the two. The more subtle the vibration in your eye, the more refined the energy flowing in your hands. A powerful modality of healing, both for yourself and for your clients, consists of tuning into the highest quality of vibration in your eye and transmitting it through your hands.
4.4 Vibration = etheric
Fundamentally, the etheric is the layer of the vibration: whenever you feel the vibration, you feel the etheric. This statement is too simple to be completely true, and later on you may discern certain etheric frequencies of light or astral vibration. But in the beginning, the equation: ‘vibration = etheric’ constitutes an excellent reference to make sense of your experiences. For instance, feeling vibration in your hands indicates that the etheric life force is set in motion in the hands. Feeling vibration between the eyebrows indicates that the etheric layer of the third eye is activated... and so on, for any body part, or even outside the limits of your body. For the etheric not only permeates the physical body, it also extends beyond it, in proportions that may vary according to different inner factors.
When the vibration in your hands or elsewhere seems to become more subtle, it indicates that you are getting in touch with deeper and more subtle layers of the etheric body.
In the beginning, we use physical stimulation to awaken the perception of the etheric vibration. Later on you will be able to get the same vibration without rubbing or using any other physical stimulation. The vibration will come from inside.
I would therefore suggest that in these first stages of practice you do not worry too much as to whether your vibration is physical or etheric, or imaginary. Trust your experience. A very direct proof of the non-physical nature of the vibration would be to cut off your physical hand and to realise that you are still feeling the same vibration, as in the phantom limb syndrome in amputees. Other indications of the non-physical nature of this vibration will be that you will feel it in all sorts of places in your body, without any rubbing or any form of physical stimulation. You will even feel it beyond the limits of your physical body, first around you and then in more and more distant objects. The perception of the etheric vibration will then have become completely separated from any physical sensation.
In any case, please remember that in our approach there is nothing to believe (and therefore nothing to doubt either). What matters is not what you believe but what you perceive. Our constant focus is on direct experience. Learn to perceive this vibrating energy, and then decide how you want to understand it.
• Have you noticed that when you awaken the vibration in the palms of the hands, an intensification of the vibration in the eye seems to occur simultaneously? The vibration in the eye seems to become more tangible or denser, as if on a faster frequency; anyway it is more clearly perceived. More on this important effect at the beginning of Chapter 6.
4.5 General advice concerning the work on the meridians
• Practise as if you were inventing acupuncture. The method of channel release gives you all the elements to find the real location of the circulations of etheric energy in your body. Do not take for granted any of the traditional anatomical pathways of the meridians. Anyway, all ancient Chinese books do not agree about the precise location of various particular branches. The map of the etheric body, as will be used in the third millennium, is still to be plotted. Why not by you?
• For rubbing, use the bridge of the palm, on the other side of the knuckles. A line of energy can actually be felt along the mounts beneath the knuckles, at the base of the fingers. Make your hand flat and firm. Apply this line onto the line of the meridian that you want to stimulate and move to and fro along the line, operating a gentle but firm rubbing.
The bridge of the palm
• Remember that whenever you deal with energy, and especially in the beginning, there are days when it seems much more difficult to reach the perception of the vibration. For instance there are days when you are projected into the purple space in meditation, but you don't feel much vibration (in particular around the New Moon). Other days, it is just the opposite – lots of vibration but no space. And sometimes you won't feel anything at all. That is the normal course of the process. In the beginning, perceptions are not at all under your control. They come when you don't expect them, they disappear without reason.
Continue the practices regularly and after a few months you will just have to go into your eye and tune in to generate an immediate flow of vibration. But even once a fair level of mastery has been reached, the vibration remains subject to variations from one day to the next and even during the same day.
• In the case of cancer, many therapists advise against any form of massage because it might facilitate a spreading of the disease. For some, massage even remains contraindicated for as long as five years after the last surgical operation, or the last treatment that ended the cancer, even if the patient is completely healed. If you share this view, it is very possible to implement channel release without rubbing, just by moving the tips of your fingers very lightly along the meridians, as described in section 6.4.
• In this chapter, the acupuncture meridians will be referred to by the name of a corresponding organ, as frequently found in acupuncture literature. Yet it can never be emphasized enough how misleading these names are and what great misunderstandings they can create. The meridian of the gallbladder, for instance, has a number of distinct functions and connects with several body parts, from the eye and the ear to the ankle, apart from passing through the gallbladder. So the term ‘gallbladder’ does not summarise the function of the meridian at all. If this name is used, it is because it is simpler to memorise than the proper Chinese name, zu shao yang (literally: ‘middle yang of the foot’).
4.6 Shou jue yin, ‘Heart Constrictor Meridian’
The part of the Heart Constrictor Meridian that we are going to stimulate is a line that starts at the root of the palm and goes straight up the middle of the forearm to the tendon of the biceps at the line of the elbow, and then straight up the middle of the biceps.
Sit in a meditation position. If you are on a chair, don't prop against its back. Keep your eyes closed throughout the exercise. Rub your hands for a few seconds and repeat practice 4.3. Remain motionless with your palms upwards. Become aware of the vibration in your eye and in your hands.
Rub along the line of the meridian with the bridge of the palm (the mounts beneath the knuckles) as described in section 4.5.
Then stop and become motionless, with your palms upwards.
Become aware of the vibration along the line. After a few seconds, resume the throat friction and connect it with the vibration in the meridian. Spend half a minute or more building up the vibration along the line. Then become aware in the eye at the same time, so you connect the throat friction, the vibration in the eye and the vibration in the line. Continue for about 1 minute. Next become aware of the hand on the same arm. Even though you have not applied any physical stimulation to this area, could you feel the extension of the line of energy in the hand? To which finger does the path of the meridian extend?
Then become aware in the shoulder and the chest. Where does the line of energy go in these parts of the body? Could you also feel it in any of your organs?
Stop everything and remain ‘just aware’ for a few seconds. Repeat the same sequence with the same meridian on the other arm.
Snap the fingers of the right hand and open the eyes.
4.7 Shou shao yin, ‘Heart Meridian’
The part of the meridian that we are looking for starts at the root of the palm of the hand, on the inner side. If you explore with your fingers, you will find a little round bone, called the pisiform because it has the form of a pea.
Then slightly contract your biceps, and you will find another point of this meridian about 1 centimetre inside the tendon of the biceps, just at the line of the elbow. (Acupuncture points often give the feeling of a hole under your fingers, like a depression.) You just have to draw a line from the pisiform to this point and you have the part of the Heart Meridian that circulates on the forearm.
For the part on the upper arm, start from our point on the elbow and go up, following a depression on the inner side of the biceps like a little gutter. Note that this small depression is not always present and that it is easier to find in men than in women. If you are not too sure of the location, that does not matter very much. Just follow the indications shown by the figure and the line will reveal itself as your perception becomes clearer. Repeat the practice we described in section 4.6, this time with the Heart Meridian instead of the Heart Constrictor Meridian.
4.8 Shou tai yin, ‘Lung Meridian’
We now repeat the same practice, but on the Lung Meridian. The fraction of the Lung Meridian that we are going to rub starts at the root of the palm of the hand in the depression where it is common to take the pulse, on the radial artery.
Another point is located at the line of the elbow, outside the tendon of the biceps. You can gently contract your biceps to feel the tendon. The forearm part of the Lung Meridian follows a straight line from the pulse area to this point on the elbow.
Then go on up the arm following a sort of depression on the external side of the biceps. If the muscles of your arm are clearly delineated, you will find a sort of furrow where the line is. (If you are a woman, first look on a male friend of yours. It's much easier to find.) But again, you just need to have a vague idea of where to rub, as shown on the figure.
Anyway, the location of a meridian should never be taken for granted. The descriptions in books should be regarded as rough indications only. It is through your own perception of energy, and nothing else, that certitude can arise as to the real path of a meridian. The best attitude is therefore to rub slightly different lines in the area until you find the one that corresponds to the clearest feeling of circulation. If you practise, practise, practise... the initial vagueness will soon be dispelled, leaving little doubt as to the whereabouts of these simple circulations. Chapter 4 – Channel Release: Let It Flow! 59 4.9 More details on the paths of the meridians (Better not read this section until you have determined for yourself the path of the meridians in the hand and fingers.) Acupuncture describes the Heart Constrictor Meridian as ending at the tip of the middle finger (the one between the index and the ring finger). It may well happen that you feel a tingling in the ring finger too, as the Heart Constrictor Meridian is said to be coupled and to exchange energy with the Triple Warmer Meridian that circulates on the ring finger.
The Heart Meridian is said to end up at the tip of the little finger. (The Small Intestine Meridian, coupled with the Heart Meridian, also circulates at the tip of the little finger.)
The Lung Meridian is said to terminate at the tip of the thumb. While working on the Lung Meridian, it is not uncommon to feel vibration moving in the index finger too, related to the Large Intestine Meridian, for there are intense exchanges of energy between these two channels.
Tips, tricks and traps
• If this is not what you've felt, don't worry, for after all you might be right! (Yet I suggest you go on practising for a while before you make up your mind.) It is the privilege of the seers to be able to bring everything into question. For ultimately, direct perception is always superior to what is written in a book or copied from another book. Maybe also, the traditional cliche of the meridians as inflexible pipes is not so accurate. You will rather perceive them as ‘rivers of breath’ or flows of vibration that can sometimes deviate slightly in one direction or another. Once more, my view is that the essential still has to be discovered, as far as the etheric body is concerned.
4.10 The different levels of perception of energy circulations
The first level is to perceive the vibration along the line you have rubbed and to realise that this vibration is of the same nature as the one in your eye (between the eyebrows).
The second level is to perceive a flow of energy, meaning a circulation of the vibration along the meridian. It can either move upwards towards the shoulder or downwards towards the hand. By using the throat friction and the connection with the eye, you will be able to gradually intensify this flow.
The third level is to become able to move the energy consciously along the line. This function has to be developed out of nearly nothing, like when a muscle has become atrophied because it has not been working for a long period and it needs to be set into motion again.
Once awakened, the experience is similar to that of little hands of energy along the meridian. The ‘little hands’ contract swiftly and they squeeze the energy into movement, a bit like you squeeze toothpaste out of a tube. The whole thing is quite similar to the peristaltic contractions of the digestive tract (but much quicker) or the contraction of the muscles of the arteries that actively move the blood. But in the meridians, this takes place on the level of the etheric body, not the physical.
As we are dealing with the etheric, you will mainly be feeling vibration. But it may happen that you get some visual experiences of light flowing in the meridian as well. Once you start the techniques on seeing, described in Chapters 5 and 7, you can add the triple process of vision to the work on the circulations of etheric energy.
Tips, tricks and traps
• What if you feel the energy in a meridian more on one side than in its equivalent on the other side of the body? As always when you deal with energy, there are fluctuations. If this experience happens only once and does not come back, it does not mean anything at all.
It is only if you can repeatedly feel the same imbalance over a period of time that it becomes significant. If this is the case, it means that something is blocked in the line and the flow has to be restored, so you should practise more on this meridian until an equal flow can be reached. It is rather encouraging, because it gives you the opportunity to correct a blockage before it turns into a physical problem. Energetic medicines often play a potent role in the prevention of health disorders. Interestingly enough, in ancient China one used to pay one's doctor as long as one was healthy and stop paying as soon as one fell sick.
If you feel too many imbalances in your energy flows, it might be a good idea to discuss the situation with an acupuncturist.
• Should the energy in the meridians move upwards or downwards? In courses given at the Clairvision School, I have had the opportunity to share the techniques of channel release with a number of people who had no knowledge of the theory of the meridians as developed by traditional Chinese medicine. I was therefore able to observe the direction of the natural circulations of energy, innocently discovered by the students. I must say that what I have seen does not confirm the traditional theory of the circulations in the meridians. In acupuncture, it is said that out of the twelve principal meridians, six circulate the energy from the head to the extremities (feet and hands) and six from the extremities to the head. However, I have found that when you teach a group how to perceive energy, the great majority tend to feel it moving systematically upwards towards the head, whatever channel they may be dealing with.
My advice is to trust your experience and to encourage the flow of vibration that feels natural to you. It does not matter if the energy does not always flow in the same direction – energy is a whimsical principle, which is part of its beauty. Superior health comes from harmony with the natural flows, not from establishing a dictatorship of energies.
4.11 Practice

Implement channel release on the Heart Constrictor Meridian, as in

practice 4.6. Rub both arms, one straight after the other, but this time once you finish rubbing, hold your arms upwards (as if you were trying to reach the ceiling).
Is the direction of the circulation the same as before? Repeat the same exercise with the Lung Meridian, then with the Heart Meridian.
• If you can, repeat the same exercise while in a shoulder-stand, with your arms up.
• For your information, I have indicated what acupuncture says about the direction of the flows of the meridians in the note at the end of this chapter. However, I would suggest you do not look at it until you have reached your own perception of the flows. 4.12 Releasing negative energies
The technique that we are now going to describe is essential, and designed to be frequently implemented. Its purpose is to release negative energies.
The physical body is made of foodstuff, water, and what we extract from the air, meaning physical elements taken from our physical environment. Similarly, the etheric body is built of materials extracted from our etheric environment.
Just as some foods or substances may be toxic to the physical body, some etheric energies are noxious to the etheric body. In the chapters on earth lines and on protection, we will look at how modern life tends to create an accumulation of those toxic energies in our environment, making it more and more vital to gain the skills to release them from your system.
Turn on a tap of cold water. Direct your awareness to the flow of running water. Tune into it, feel its qualities. Let the water run down the inside of your arm from above the line of the elbow, if the sink is deep enough. Be really aware and focussed, as if performing an important action, and tune into the flow. Let all the negative energies be released out of your forearm into the running water. Continue for a good half minute. Then repeat the same practice on the posterior side of the forearm. The more you tune into the flow of running water, the more negative energies you can release. Repeat the practice on both sides of the other arm.
Tips, tricks and traps
• Although the practice may seem very simple, it is vital. If you do it a few times a day, and in full awareness, a new function will quickly develop: etheric excretion. You will clearly perceive that some undesirable energies are expelled into the flow of water, and you will feel better in your etheric body, exactly as a constipated person feels better after passing stools.
Excretion is a function as essential to life as ingestion. One of the discoveries you are going to make as you open your perception is that a significant proportion of the population is ‘etherically constipated’: unable to release negative energies. Etheric excretion should happen automatically, without us having to think about it. But somehow we came to lose this function, and now we have to work at regaining it consciously. The accumulation of negative energies in the etheric body of the majority of the population contributes greatly to the general ‘malaise’ and the level of neurosis of the modern world. • If you are living in a cold country, there is no reason why you should not mix some warm water with the cold. If the water is too cold, it makes it more difficult to open your etheric. • If you have to get rid of something particularly noxious in your hands, you can potentize the process by alternating cold and hot water. • In the chapters dealing with protection, you will read how one can intensify the release effect by exhaling with open mouth and throat friction while excreting unwanted vibrations. • Think of implementing this exercise with the running water: – each time you come home – each time you have the feeling of having a ‘dirty’ energy in your hands – after giving a massage or a therapy session of any kind – after completing a session on your computer, or any other gear that has a lot of static electricity attached to it – after dowsing earth lines (see Chapter 12) – after practising channel release – before meditation, not after. (The same applies to showers, one of the reasons being that meditation generates a valuable internalization of your energies. Running water, on the other hand, rather tends to attract the energy towards the exterior, just under the skin, thereby counteracting the benefits of your meditation. So showers and baths are better taken before you meditate than after.) – before going to bed – whenever else it feels appropriate • As you become more capable of releasing negative energies into the water, you can implement the same process while washing up, taking a shower, bathing in a river or the ocean. Waterfalls in particular have a spectacular etheric vibration. A note on the circulations of the meridians The Heart Constrictor, Heart and Lung Meridians are described by the acupuncture tradition as flowing ‘downwards’, meaning from the trunk to the hand. But the Chinese archetypal man is
represented with his arms upwards, the hands above the head. So the energy of these three meridians moves towards the sky in the Chinese pattern. According to acupuncture, the direction of the flow remains the same whether you hold your hands up or not.

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