The Physical, Energetic, and Spiritual Bodies: Understanding the Connection

Perhaps the most important concept in shamanic and energetic healing and the most misunderstood - it's the existence of the spiritual, energetic, and physical body as all part of the human experience.  

By Sarah Petruno, Shamana

As humans, we exist as more than just the physical.

We have a physical body, a vessel, that we are given when we are birthed into this life.

Our physical body has bones, skin, hair, nails, blood, organs, and everything in between. It’s tangible. It’s touchable. It’s seeable.

But are those pieces that make us who we are?

Well in a small part, yes.

In large part, no.

There’s more to who we are as we navigate this earth, beyond our physical qualities, our features, and the inner workings of our digestive organs.

We have thoughts, feelings, emotions, perspectives, life experiences, and moral compasses.

Where do these reside in the physical body?

They don’t - there’s no physical location for these elements of who we are.

They reside as part of our Spirit, or our Soul, and the summation of which can be referred to as our spiritual body. You know, the one that transcends the physical world when we pass on.

Our spiritual body contains all the elements that make us who we are - past, present, and future. It has a soul memory, and because your Spirit has lived many previous lives, with likely many to go. Our Spirit grows, learns, and evolves. And as it does, it carries with it, from life to life, emotions, feelings, thoughts, perspectives, and soul growth experiences.

When we pass on, our physical body is left behind, and our spiritual body transcends.

The physical body is the vessel for the spiritual body to exist in this life.

But there’s one other piece - and it has to do with energy.

Each element of our physical body, our skin, our hair, our blood, is made up of molecules and ultimately, subatomic particles that have and carry with them, energy. The ability to move, shift, change, transform, generate heat, vibrate, and form into a wave.

Each piece of our physical body is made of up energy - and all of those pieces, individually and combined, have an energetic field.

Our physical body has and generates energy.

And so does our spiritual body.

Thoughts, feelings, emotions, and experiences - those have energy too. Not tangible, no, but their existence and perpetuation does carry an energy.  In order for transference and feeling to even occur and shift our state - there has to be an energetic substance for that to happen. Thoughts and feelings typically in the form of a wave and have an energetic vibration. Again, as individual units, they have energy, and thus, an energetic field. The summation of all thoughts, feelings, and experiences, also have energy and an energetic field.

Our spiritual body has and generates energy.

Our physical body and our spiritual body both have and generate energy.

We just have to give the energy from these two bodies a name - a collective name.

This is the energetic body.

The energetic body is the collective summation of all the energy that exists as a part of us - both physical AND spiritual.

Perhaps the most important concept in shamanic and energetic healing and the most misunderstood - it's the existence of the spiritual, energetic, and physical body as all part of the human experience.  

When a shift or a change is made in the physical body, there’s a shift in energy - because there always is - everything at the base, core level, is made up of energy. And a change anywhere, is a change in energy.

So, when a change is made in the physical body, there’s an energy shift in the field as a whole. Which of course, means that there could be a resulting shift in the spiritual body (i.e. a change in emotional state, for example).

Our energetic body is completely dynamic, when there’s a shift in the physical body, the shift in energy doesn’t just stay in the “physical body” part of the energy field - in fact, there’s no such thing. It’s completely intermingled.

When there’s a change made in the spiritual body, a shift in attitude, thought, or even a soul’s experience of growth, this is again, a change in energy.  As such, there’s an appropriate change in the energetic body, that has the potential to impact energy tied to the physical body (i.e. a physical sensation accompanying the change in the spiritual body).

physical body change (energy change)


energetic body change


spiritual body change (energy change)

Imagine now, you’ve been the recipient of a psychic attack, one in which someone was sending you energy in the form of nasty, angry thoughts - lodged right in your stomach, your solar plexus chakra. It is often the case, that accompanying a psychic attack such as this, comes intense stomach pain, indigestion, and cramping. In fact, this is how many energy sensitives first become aware of a spiritual based onslaught - because they physically felt the shift first.

In this case, there was an incoming energy that shifted and changed the state of the spiritual body to be lower in energy, punched or injected with energy poison, if you will. And this energy punch did not happen in isolation. It happened in the stomach area of the energetic body, which is linked to both spiritual factors like self esteem and confidence, but also to physical factors like digestion and stomach contractions.

When an energy shift occurs in one area, it’s often indiscriminate in nature and affects both connected avenues - spiritual and physical.

A change in one body, physical, spiritual, or energetic, has the full and complete capacity to have a change in one or more of the others.

This is why, energy healers, spiritual healers, and shamans are able to exact changes in the physical body, while only working with the spiritual and energetic body.

It’s because, within the human existence, there’s a Trinity of 3 bodies, all interlinked, interconnected, and interacting:

The Physical Body

The Energetic Body

The Spiritual Body

In many cases, a change in one means a change in the other. If only because the energetic body intertwines and links the underlying energetic components of the physical and the spiritual.

Energy is the connecting factor. All things arise from Energy - Physical, and the not-so-physical, Spiritual.

We’re so much more than our physical body - we’re Spirit, and we’re Energy, too. When contemplating changes in your world, it’s important to take into account aspects beyond just the physical, arguably a mere third of our existence. In healing, we have to consider all pieces of the puzzle - Physical, Spiritual, and Energetic.


LAST UPDATED: November 30, 2014

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