The physical body can be approached on several levels: as a mechanical construction of bones and muscles, as a biochemical soup of interacting organic molecules, or as a collection of electric and magnetic fields. Each approach emphasizes particular aspects of the body’s functioning. Each may become stressed or out of optimal balance. Since the body is in fact a single whole; the energy body, each level is intimately related to the others. Stress and imbalance at one level will appear to some degree on the others as well. If a bone gets broken, there is the mechanical process of setting the bone, but there are also biochemical reactions that bring supplies to knit the break, and electrical fields that arise to guide the healing process.
In an analogous way the physical body is just one aspect of our total being as incarnate spirits. We may consider emotional, mental and spiritual bodies as well. These are also interrelated and interdependent. A mental self image (facilitated by the electrical network of neurons, and modulated by the biochemistry of hormones) will generate an emotional state in the body (through hormone chemistry) which can lead to a variety of physical actions. When there is stress, or an imbalance in a being, there will be affects (symptoms) in all the bodies. We are a single entity with multiple aspects.
While this may seem a complicated picture (and the variety of disease and treatment are testimony to this) a certain conceptual simplification can be achieved by considering all these bodies as being aspects of a single energetic being. Modern physics shows us that even the most mechanical parts of the physical body may be considered as a collection of atomic wave forms. The way energy manifests in the different bodies is still varied, but the simplification comes from the fact that all energy follows certain rules.
Consider a being with a unified energy body, which is capable of vibrating across a wide range of frequencies. Something like a string instrument with an very large number of strings. In its prime state it simply is, at rest, no particular vibrations, but having the potential to vibrate in many different ways. This energy being then encounters other energy beings (perhaps by getting born into a human body) with which it is possible to interact. This involves creation and manifestation. To act one first creates an image, a vibration in the energy body, which may radiate outwards, manifesting to others, or may be held in the energy body without manifestation. In our experience thought creates the picture, though it may or may not be physically carried out.
One of the basic laws of physics is that for every action there is a reaction. The same is true for every mental picture we create, whether it is physically manifested or not. The reaction can take many forms, both internally and manifested, but is such that the energy we put into the original image will be released. This is like plucking the strings on a guitar or harp. We pull the string to one side, adding potential energy. The string is now tense (stressed) and will, when released, relax to its original position.
Often things may happen quickly, we yell at someone, they yell back. But not infrequently the reaction is delayed. Perhaps we have placed our creation in the future, or we continue to imagine an action that we do not act out, or we manifest something that we like so much we continue to place energy into it, prolonging the action, rather than postponing it. If we have created internal images of pain, or fear, we may freeze them so as to avoid experiencing them, keeping them dormant (in potential form). In terms of our guitar string analogy: we may pull the string out, but not release it; or continue to pull it over and over, sustaining the note; or damp the vibration when we hear a note we do not like, but in a way that the string is still stretched.
In all these cases the energy body is no longer at in its relaxed original state, it carries various fixed energetic distortions or on-going vibrations. This is the energetic equivalent to the chronic aches and pains that we expect to accumulate as we go through life, sometimes smaller, sometimes larger. We may acquire distortions, stress, disease in all of our various bodies. The healing arts are all aimed at helping us to release the things we are holding in our being at various levels. Some work with the body, others with the emotions or thoughts, some even with aspects of the soul.