The practice of mindfulness meditation is becoming very popular. However, many people find it difficult to start or stay with the practice. Energy psychology practices might help. ACEP founding member and past president Fred Gallo, with his colleagues Bhikkhu Anālayo, Christiane Steffens‑Dhaussy, and Dawn Scott recently published a paper exploring the relationship between mindfulness and the energy practices used in Energy Psychology (EP). You can find their interesting and insightful article, Energy Practices and Mindfulness, in the June 2022 edition of the online open-access journal Mindfulness. They help answer the question, can energy psychology help with mindfulness.

The roots and reach of mindfulness

The practice of mindfulness is central to Buddhism.  Indeed, Jon Kabat-Zinn, the creator of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction), states that MBSR was influenced by his study of vipassana. Vipassana is the traditional meditation practice of Theravada Buddhism. Recently, mindfulness has become the most common form of meditation practice in the US. Mindfulness has permeated other disciplines such as yoga, martial arts and psychotherapy.

The article begins with a discussion the Western concept of energy. It goes on to distinguish it from the Chinese idea of qi and the ancient Greek pneuma, as well as the Chinese and Tibetan concepts of wind. Then follows a discussion the benefits of qi gong and tai chi and the impact of mindfulness practices on the body’s energy system.

Can energy psychology help with mindfulness?

The practice of vipassana as taught by Buddhist master S. N. Goenka can lead to somatic experiences. This makes sense because this form of mindfulness stimulates the flow of qi. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), people can experience physical, emotional, and mental problems when their energy is out of balance – whether too high, too low, or even completely blocked.

Stimulating specific acupoints on the impaired meridian/s brings the bodymind back into balance, and the symptoms often clear up. EP differs from other traditional techniques because it does not use needles or massage, and because it treats primarily mental and emotional symptoms.

Buddhism’s five hinderances correspond to today’s understanding of psychology

The authors also discuss the Buddhist concept of the “five hindrances.”  This expression refers to a particular set of mental conditions that prevent people from feeling peaceful and thinking clearly. Clearing up or overcoming the hinderances allow practitioners to develop their meditation practices and their education in general.

These hinderances are:

  1. sensual desire
  2. anger or irritation
  3. sloth, or laziness
  4. restlessness and worry
  5. doubt

Buddhists believe that overcoming the five hindrances is an indispensable requirement for being able to cultivate mental tranquility as well as liberating insight.

Clearing the hinderances

The authors discuss several possible meridian-based treatments to address each of the hinderances. A sampling of their suggestions include:

  1. To address overstimulation of sensual desire, stimulate the stomach meridian and kidney meridian by tapping below your eye (stomach 1 point) and below your clavicle (kidney 27 point).
  2. To address anger and irritation, you can hold your wrist, and stimulate several points on the pericardium, small intestine, and heart and lung meridians.
  3. To address laziness, use the Thymus Thump.
  4. To address restlessness and worry, you can use Frontal Occipital Holding or the ESR (Emotional Stress Release) techniques.
  5. To address doubt, you can try Cook’s Hookup.

In every case, these techniques demonstrate how energy psychology can help with mindfulness.

Practical matters

Meridian-oriented EP methods, such as EFT, TFT, and TTT, address and reduce or eliminate symptoms of trauma, anxiety, and other mental health issues by combining Western psychology with Eastern-influenced stimulation of meridian points. In addition to the tips listed above, the article suggests techniques for energetic protection.

This protection can be important for clinicians, who often work with clients who are experiencing a variety of mental and emotional upsets, as well as for anyone who interacts with other human beings, who often experience a variety of mental and emotional upsets.  Among these techniques for protection are the “second skin,” the “invisible cloak,” and the “zip up.” The article provides detailed instruction on how to do these.

If you would like to learn more about the human energy field, consider signing up for ACEP’s new-and-improved Comprehensive Energy Psychology training, coming in the summer of 2023! To follow research on EP, email John Freedom  and ask to be added to the EP Research email list.


Anālayo, B., Steffens-Dhaussy, C., Gallo, F. et al.(2022).  Energy Practices and Mindfulness Meditation. Mindfulness.


Blog authors:

John Freedom

Sarah Murphy