The history of Pranic healing is shrouded in mystery. For hundreds of years the practices and methodology of Pranic healers were kept secret from those that it helped in order to preserve its practice and prevent misuse. In the 20th century, Pranic healing became part of holistic medicine and spiritual healing in the United States.
Pranic healing is thousands of years old and spans cultures and continents. Because the practice is based on a healer's use of the elements air, sun, ground and divine Prana (meditation and prayer), it naturally developed in several places and quickly adapted to new communities once introduced. Over time the Rishis, Chinese Taoists, and Tibetan monks (the most prominently known users of Pranic healing) used Prana. Lessons in Pranic healing were cloaked in secrecy and only taught to a few, who were responsible for passing down the practice.
Pranic healing is important because it empowered ancient people to heal one another. It created a system of respected mystical healers with a following of laypeople who were able to overcome their ailments, or at least believe they were getting better. Because of the religious connotations of Pranic healing, the healers were thought to be closer to God and therefore were part of a caste system that helped to structure ancient civilizations in terms of power, religion and healing.
Pranic healing is the process of cleansing and energizing patients through human energy zones in order to heal their ailments. Channeling energy in such as way is part of holistic healing methods and is one of the central themes of Yoga and Ayurveda. One of the oldest written accounts of Prana is in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. While Prana is the term for the energy that is manipulated in Pranic healing in India, chi is the term used in China for the same essential life-force.
The exact date that Pranic healing began is unknown. It is known that Pranic healing originated in the East (India, China, Japan, and Egypt) and slowly migrated West. In the latter half of the 20th century it was adopted by American holistic healers along with other Eastern wellness practices such as yoga.
Pranic Healing was introduced to the United States on the West Coast. Because of the large Asian immigrant population and the liberal politics of the area, Pranic healing was able to go beyond the esoteric confines of the immigrant community and came to be accepted by Americans. Master Stephen Co is one of the practitioners who has spread Pranic healing throughout California since the 1980s and caused it to flourish.