Life Force Energy

The concept of life force energy goes by many different names in different traditions, including prana, qi, and chi. Regardless of its name, life force energy comprises the unseen essence and vitality of all living beings, and in some belief systems even extends to inanimate objects. It is believed that the flow of a person’s life force dictates their health, prosperity, and often the course of their life. Our individual life force energy is also considered to be part of a larger field shared by all living things, interconnected in subtle ways. In this way, the energy of outside forces may both influence and be influenced by the intentions of individuals. Many practitioners of energy healing methodologies work with these unseen subtle energies, seeking to bring health and vitality to their clients by addressing blockages in a person’s life force in order to bring them back into harmony.

View Our Introductory Article


An Introduction to Life Force Energy

Along the path that is our lives, sometimes we feel like we are skating, while at other times we are dragging. When we have energy in the right quantity, we feel great; when we don’t, we may feel we’d try anything to get it back. What foods we eat, how much we sleep, our mental state—these are some of the more mundane factors that come to mind when we consider the question of our energy levels. 

But what about the deeper questions of life force energy? What it is, where it comes from, and how we can tap into it? From religious, spiritual, and scientific perspectives, the quest to understand the life force energy is timeless and ongoing.

What is life force energy? 

In its most basic sense, life force energy is the difference between animate and inanimate, between life and death. Without it, we don’t exist. Like all forms of energy, it has a vibratory quality, and when it is vital, we can feel it coursing through our body.

The ancient Greeks called it “pneuma,” the breath of life. The Japanese call it “ki” and emphasize the flowing quality of the life force energy as it is released. The Chinese know it as “qi” or “chi” as within all things and consisting of yin/yang energies.

In Hinduism and yoga, “prana,” or breath energy, is understood as the fundamental creative power that flows within and outside us as consciousness, as movement, as the regulator of all the body’s physical functions. Pranayama is a yogic breathwork practice that is considered an extension of life force energy.

In Taoism, qi energy set the universe in motion and has sustained life since. It is known as a “bio-energy,” the energy of living beings. This property distinguishes it from inanimate forms of energy such as lightning or from burning fossil fuels. 

The life force energy is associated with the concept of the subtle body, an energy connecting the physical body with the spiritual realm. Not detectable by existing scientific instruments, life force energy has been compared with several other invisible—but measurable—subtle energy forces, including the geomagnetic field of the earth, the strong nuclear force that holds the nuclei of atoms together, and electromagnetism. The “ aura,” the electromagnetic field that surrounds all living things, is considered a projection of the subtle body.

Scientific research on qi and prana has led to a possible connection with biophotons, another measurable subtle energy force linked to communications and control systems between all animal and plant cells. In addition, biofield theory is coming together with quantum biology to suggest the possibility of energetic connections between physically distanced living systems.

Where does it come from?

No one can say where this energy comes from, only that it is within and all around us, and can be tapped or blocked as circumstances dictate. Ultimately, life force energy can be said to represent our highest potential, a transformational power contained in each living cell. As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it: “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” 

How do I feel my life force energy?

We can feel life force energy through our breathing and by practicing embodied awareness. When we bring attention to the feeling of the breath moving through the body and the sensations in our skin, muscles, bones, and internal organs, we are connecting with life force energy.

Kundalini is another form of life force energy in the yoga tradition. Kundalini is centered at the base of the spine. Breathing and other yogic practices fostering embodied awareness activate kundalini to flow up through the body’s chakra system and connect with the collective form of the life force energy.

What drains life force energy? How do I increase my life force energy?

The stresses and pressures of life stemming from our life circumstance—including family dynamics, socio-economic circumstances, our genetic makeup, and social conditioning—affect how we hold our life force energy. If our energy becomes blocked we may feel depressed or anxious or a deep weariness very different from the kind we get working out.

Energy healing—the restoring and balancing of life force energy—is at the heart of many healing approaches in Eastern medicine. Energizing prana is a central principle of Ayurvedic medicine, and the focus of traditional Chinese medicine is balancing chi. In addition to yoga, acupuncture, Reiki, qigong, and t’ai chi can all help to increase life force energy.

Meditation, spending time outdoors (including forest bathing), healthy eating, and exercise are all energy lifters. The heart practices of lovingkindness and compassion are wonderful means to enhance your life force energy as well as that of others. Tonglen, a Tibetan Buddhist practice, involves breathing in the suffering of others and breathing out lovingkindness; as described by Ethan Nichtern, “Your body is now like a recycling plant, “accepting” pollution and “sending out” clean energy.”

You Might Also Like Our Content on These Topics: Qi, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Energy Healing

Close Introductory Article
FindCenter Video Image

Need More Energy and Vitality? | Donna Eden

In this short video, they share 2 simple techniques that will boost your life force energy in just MINUTES. And the best part? You don’t get the same type of unsustainable energy high of caffeine.

FindCenter AddIcon
FindCenter Video Image

The Energy Cure: Unraveling the Mystery of Hands-On Healing

With The Energy Cure, Dr. William Bengston presents astonishing evidence that challenges us to totally rethink what we believe about our ability to heal.

FindCenter AddIcon
FindCenter Video Image

The Energy of Your Food May Be Affecting Your Health

For thousands of years, classical Chinese medicine has used nutrition to treat imbalances. Here, we make the practice’s principles of energetics-based dietary therapy more digestible.

FindCenter AddIcon
FindCenter Video Image

FindCenterOf what is the body made? It is made of emptiness and rhythm. At the ultimate heart of the body, at the heart of the world, there is no solidity . . . there is only the dance.

FindCenter AddIcon
FindCenter Video Image

Chi Is Bio Magnetic Electrical Energy | Master Chia on London Real

FindCenter AddIcon
FindCenter Video Image

Charge and the Energy Body: The Vital Key to Healing Your Life, Your Chakras, and Your Relationships

We all know what it’s like to have a “charge” about something. It’s a feeling of excitement, fear, sexual arousal, or irritation. But what we don’t currently know is how to use charge for the behaviors we want to create. Charge is a word for the basic life force running through us.

FindCenter AddIcon
FindCenter Video Image

How to Use the Energy of the Chakras to Heal Yourself | Anodea Judith

Energy is in everything. It's everywhere. It's all around us, and that includes our bodies. By conditioning your body through simple exercises, you can learn to heal the physical body, and nourish yourself with energy.

FindCenter AddIcon
FindCenter Video Image

FindCenterAt the heart of each of us, whatever the imperfections . . . exists a silent pulse of perfect rhythm . . . which connects us to the universe.

FindCenter AddIcon
FindCenter Video Image

The Master Key: Qigong Secrets for Vitality, Love, and Wisdom

With The Master Key, Master Peng brings together the unique insights of his teacher with the moving account of his own journey to inspire and guide us into: The foundational methods for gathering, refining, and using the Life Force • A five-minute exercise to directly experience the reality of...

FindCenter AddIcon
FindCenter Video Image

How to Build Energy Circuits in Your Body - Dr. Sue Morter

Your ability to manifest and be masterful at your life depends on how well the two systems that run your body are functioning. In this video, Dr. Sue explains how the nervous system and Electromagnetic Systems run your body, and how to master them by building more energetic circuits. Dr.

FindCenter AddIcon


Energy Healing