energy cleansing

The beginner’s guide to energy cleansing

25 May 2023 | |By Felicity Carter

Bid farewell to heavy energy - it's time for good vibes only

Out with the old and in with the new is the concept behind energy cleansing. An ancient practice traditional in cultures across the globe, the central ethos is that we are all electromagnetic beings with our own vibrations, continuously receiving and omitting energy.

Over the years we accumulate different energies as we go about our lives and, like a good spring clean, we need to remove lingering stagnant energy to bring about self-renewal. The aim of the game is to clear and strengthen your aura, level up your frequencies, and attract positive, purposeful energy. Which, in practice, is much easier and less intense than it sounds. Energy cleansing can be done at home using smudging rituals (such as burning sage), sounds, and crystals to release blocked energy and create a positive flow.

So where to begin? Well, speaking to an expert like London-based holistic therapist, healer, and author Estelle Bingham is a good place to start. With over 20 years’ experience working within the energy field, as it were, she hosts talks, workshops, and retreats and offers 1:1 sessions, imparting her knowledge on meditation, healing, purpose discovery, manifestation and energy cleansing.

Here, Bingham gives us her expert guide to energy cleansing, including the origins of the practice, the process, and the advantages of incorporating it into your daily life.

What is energy cleansing?

By now, you’ll probably have at least one friend who carries crystals or have found yourself at a yoga class or sound healing session surrounded by a large cloud of sage smoke or the strong smell of Palo Santo. But what is it all about and why are we doing it? In short: to release blockages from our energy centres, and to clear and strengthen our auras so that we shine from the inside out and attract the lives we dare to dream about.

energy cleansing sage

Energy cleansing stems from the belief that all things, not just humans, have a unique vibration and are in a constant state of receiving and radiating energy. It is our individual vibration that attracts or repels the experiences that we most long for and desire. The reality is, you can create as many vision boards of the perfect partner, job, or home as you like, but if your frequency isn’t aligned, the universe just can’t hear you.

When our energy is cleansed and clear, our ability to manifest dramatically changes. The experiences and relationships we attract correspond to our frequency and match the energy that vibrates from within us and from the space just outside us, which is known as the aura. You can imagine the auric field as a luminous body that surrounds the physical one.

Energy cleansing for protection and alignment has been practiced for thousands of years in cultures all around the world, from India and Native America to China and Africa. In these cultures, the idea that we are electromagnetic beings is woven into an everyday understanding of the world.

Ancient Indian wisdom, for example, works with the chakra system. You can imagine these chakras as spinning disks of energy that are located at seven energy centres that run from the base of the spine to the crown of the head, in the subtle or energetic body. These energy centres correspond to the major organs within the physical body and, when they are blocked or out of balance, our sense of self and wellbeing are impacted, leaving us feeling anxious, sad, depleted, and stuck.

Most of us are blissfully unaware of how much stagnant or blocked energy we are holding onto until we begin a daily or weekly energy cleansing practice and start dumping some of the heaviness we have been dragging around. The good news is, it’s easy to integrate these practices into a busy life and many can be done anywhere at any time, so no need for lotus position or monastic silence.

energy cleansing sound bath

How do we accumulate unwanted energy?

Our bodies accumulate all sorts of energy from many different sources over the course of our lives. We may be carrying energy from childhood trauma or experiences, from old heartbreak, or negative thought patterns and beliefs, which is why a vibrational spring clean might be long overdue. We also pick up on other people’s energy all day long, 24/7. The secret is to not absorb that energy.

If you are an empath or ‘sensitive’, it can feel like you’re a human sponge for the energy out in the world. Friends, family members and certain social situations will leave you feeling utterly drained emotionally and physically and that’s why we should learn how to protect our subtle energy bodies. It’s just another form of self-care.

How do you practice energy cleansing?

Our thoughts have the power to cleanse our energy and visualisation is an effective way of both clearing the internal energy system and protecting the aura. This is what I call the ‘Light Suit’ method and I’ve been using it for years. Imagine you are sitting under a waterfall of white light and visualize a beautiful crystalline light pouring through your crown into every cell of your body. Push this energy out into your auric field so that you are in a bubble or cloak of white light. Zip up the cloak so you are fully protected.

Smudging is also a powerful way to clear a person or place. One of the most effective herbs to burn is white sage. Simply light the sage stick, blow it out and it will begin smoking. Before you begin, breathe into your feet to ground your own energy and make an intention to clear all unwanted energy from yourself or your space. Then wave the smoke from the crown to the bottom of the feet or the four corners of the room. If you don’t have sage, then Palo Santo is very powerful, but you can also light a good quality incense for the same purpose.

energy cleansing

You can also use sound to clear your chakras at home. Ringing bells or wind chimes is a common feng-shui tool to create a positive flow of chi, or life-force energy, and clear away stagnant vibrations. Tuning forks, Tingsha bells and Tibetan singing bells also align the chakras and clear space.

Finally, saltwater baths are a super-effective way to dissipate negative energy. When you are in the bath, light a candle and make the intention that all energy that no longer serves you is released down the plughole! Aura sprays are a wonderful way to keep your force field cleansed and protected as well. Make sure they are made from good-quality essential oils.

Do I need equipment to begin energy cleansing?

I love a crystal for energy protecting and cleansing – tumble stones are inexpensive but effective. Black tourmaline and black obsidian should be carried on the person for grounding and absorbing negativity while selenite can be placed on a bedside table for promoting peace and calm and clearing negativity out of the home. Invest in some Himalayan salt and essential oils for the bath, a good quality candle, a sage stick, or a sustainably-sourced Palo Santo wood stick and, if you are feeling adventurous, a Tibetan or crystal singing bowl or some Tingsha bells.

energy cleansing crystals

Where and when should I cleanse my energy?

It is worth having a daily energy cleansing practice. The ‘Light Suit’ protect and cleanse visualisation is great as part of your morning routine and only takes a few minutes. The added benefit of this practice is that you can also do it at any time you feel you need it. So, sitting on the train on your way to work, in the middle of a meeting, at a club, concert, or if you find yourself in conversation with someone who has begun to drain your energy.

I also advise having a regular weekly self-care evening where you create sacred space in your home by lighting a candle with intention, smudging, playing calming music or using bells, bowls, or tuning forks to clear the space, as well as running a cleansing bath with oils and salt. It is wonderful to include a monthly moon meditation into your practice which you can do alone or in community. The full moon is a time to release different emotions and this is the perfect way to keep energy flowing within you.

What are the benefits of energy cleansing?

When we let go of old, stagnant energy, or energy that we have picked up from other people, we experience a reduced sense of anxiety and fear and a renewed sense of self. Releasing energy that doesn’t serve us by default aligns us to our life purpose. Our frequency shifts completely and the universe can sign up to all our manifestations. It also helps us become more self-aware of the people, places or situations that either support or undermine our energy. This encourages us to grow self-esteem, set boundaries and show up for ourselves in a new way.  

Read more: The beginner’s guide to forest bathing