Let’s have a serious talk about health before we get anywhere near this topic.
Mental health and physical health are serious things, and there are very serious issues usually at play if someone is having muscle spasms, shivers, and so forth. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of talking to health practitioners. Repressed trauma, poor gut health, and other maladies should be considered first and investigated with multiple health practitioners before deciding this is something spiritual in nature.
Before reading on, please watch this 2023 video on the topic.
I can’t believe I haven’t written about this topic of energy-caused involuntary muscle spasms yet, but there’s so much to talk about on the spiritual path. It’s hard to address it all!
For some people, they have involuntary muscle movements as they experience energy more deeply and go deeper inwards. One word that I have heard for them is called, “Kriyas.” I am not going to use this word because I don’t like to tread on other tradition’s terminology, and many of those traditions have specific connotations. According to Wikipedia, one “meaning of Kriya is an outward physical manifestation of awakened kundalini, such as a spontaneous body movement related to Kundalini energy flow.”
That definition is too narrow for me. I’ve found that plenty of people who haven’t awakened can have these spontaneous body movements, and Kundalini tends to be a very specific term regarding spiritual awakening. I can’t say that many people who have awakened feel their energy in some of the ways that a Kundalini awakening is described. Hence, you don’t hear me use that term much at all either.
Instead, I simply say energy because energy can be anywhere in the body, and your energetic experiences can arise anywhere, not just one specific region. So, for the sake of this blog post, I’m going to use a made-up acronym. Let’s shorten energy-caused involuntary muscle spasm to ECIMS.
With all that said, let’s get into this topic of muscle reactions in relationship to energy to talk about what is going on.
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When in Doubt, See a Doctor
I said this before, but I’ll say it again: I strongly recommend seeing a doctor if you have involuntary physical movements. In fact, even if you aren’t in doubt, I recommend it. There are so many body issues and neurological disorders out there, and it is best to check in with a Western MD to make sure that there isn’t anything biologically wrong.
NONE of what I am about to write is medical advice. It should not be construed as such or used to self-diagnose any physiological issues you may have.
As I said, there are a lot of things that can go on with the human body, and everything out there–including Western medicine–is a tool to help you understand and heal yourself.
So we good?
These days people are trying to self-diagnose more and more through online sources. It is a real problem. Many people try to address mental health and health issues with “spiritual” stuff. So hopefully, we’re all on the same page now.
Also, please check out the Mayo Clinic’s post about seizures at the end of this blog post.
Genuine ECIMS and Your Spiritual Practice
I’ve had numerous conversations with people who mentioned having ECIMS when they first start meditating. It is more than a little surprising, and rarely do they know that it is energy related. Are these people awakened? Usually not. But that is not a prerequisite for energy to move. This is one of the reasons that I am not using the term, Kriyas, because having a kundalini awakening seems to be a prerequisite with that term.
You literally can have ECIMS at any time energy starts moving inside you. For some people, their bodies respond very physically to energy. That can result in basically any body movement you can think of including,
- tremors and shivers,
- and plenty more.
In my experience, what causes the jerks, rotations, shivers, and other involuntary muscle movements is resistance. Energy is like water flowing through a riverbed. If there are rocks, it gets frothing and more agitated. If there are no rocks, it just flows. And if nothing is flowing, you don’t feel anything wrong.
Certainly, if people don’t have ECIMS, that doesn’t mean there aren’t rocks in their proverbial riverbeds. I don’t know why some people get these experiences and others don’t. However, it does seem to be fair to say that some kind of energy movement needs to be at work for genuine ECIMS to arise. Many people who have ECIMS have never had such bodily experiences, and many only have them when sitting with a spiritual teacher, meditating, and other specific spiritual practices. If that’s the case and you’ve never had these energetic experiences and you are in good health, then it seems a relatively safe bet that you are having ECIMS.
ECIMS and the Awakened Individual
Someone who has awakened doesn’t necessarily have jerky muscle experiences, and plenty of people who aren’t awakened can have these ECIMS when working with energy. That being said, “yes” someone who is awakened can certainly have this experience. Whether it is common for someone who has awakened or not is ultimately irrelevant. For those who are awakened, it seems like when they relax more, the energy kicks in again. Some awakened people can be have a normal day doing things, and then once they stop and give themselves space to just be, the rocking and rolling starts up again.
I can’t say that it’s like this for everyone, but just from what I’ve seen, when a person stops doing things and settles, the energy has space to go to work. If you are too busy doing other things, the energy can be otherwise pre-occupied, and there isn’t enough of your energy left to do other things like healing. Some of you who get intense fatigue, however, may get forced into stillness, and then the ECIMS go to work. And that is ultimately a good thing.
Once again, spiritual practice can amplify the ECIMS so that they are much more prevalent in spiritual work than anywhere else. If they are arising randomly with no regard to whether you are relaxed or active, doing spiritual work or not, I would definitely advise checking with a doctor.
Relaxing and Directing Attention Inwards
Usually my experience with those who are awakened is that they can better direct their attention–and therefore their energy–towards the blocks causing this inner friction to work them out more quickly. It can take some time and practice, but this spiritual practice is not hard to do, although the issues may feel hard and uncomfortable, especially at first.
Additionally, you don’t have to have awakened energy to use this tool. The point I’m making is that awakened energy accelerates things.
Either way, you should pay attention to where in your body the muscle spasm is. Then you focus in deeper to find the epicenter, and then you breathe into it and around it until the issue that is being highlighted by the energy emerges. As many of you know, this can take minutes, hours, days, weeks, and longer depending on the issue.
Several Misconceptions About Body-energy Reactions
One of the big misconceptions of those new to spiritual practice is to think that their spiritual practice is the problem. I’ve definitely heard people say, “Well, I felt so much and my body was going crazy. So I stopped.” Stopping doesn’t remove a block. It simply stops the energy from moving. It’s like going back to a dry riverbed. When nothing is flowing, you don’t feel the friction of the “water” against the “rocks.” When things first start to move, the energy starts moving the debris and issues into your awareness. And there can be a lot of debris in the human energy field from years of neglect. Because everything seemed “fine” before, this movement and discomfort feels bad for many people. The person assumes that something is going wrong. Such is the nature of human ignorance.
The misinterpretations can get even worse.
Some people assume that these energetic jerks and random movements are signs of demon possession or some such nonsense. Let me assure you that such things are exceedingly rare. Demon possession or the devil taking over your body should not be in your top ten list of possibilities. They probably shouldn’t make the top 50. The possibility of seizures or some early stage neurological disorder are a thousand times more likely than demon possession, and that’s why I suggest the doctor visit first and foremost.
What some people will do to “exorcise” a demon in this situation I won’t get into it. Jumping to such a conclusion around possession is a misunderstanding of where pain is and how much pain can be unconsciously stored inside of a human being. To be sure, people need guidance with these types of energetic reactions. If you’re having ECIMs, I definitely encourage you to find a spiritual teacher who understands energy to help you figure this stuff out.
How to Address ECIMS in Your Spiritual Practice
Step one to addressing ECIMS is to not be afraid of them. Fearful responses cause immense problems for doing inner work. They shut the door to going any deeper, and it’s part of why relaxation and meditation are so important to going within. They help to neutralize the fear response so you can go deeper. If you don’t do that step first, you are not going to resolve the deeper issues that are creating the muscle movements.
In general, I’d say that ECIMS should not be a long-term part of your spiritual journey. They can and should be resolved if they are issue-related. If they continue with you, that’s usually a sign of not going deep enough into your inner work (I am continuing to assume that you are in good neurological and physical health). There’s all kind of ways people don’t go deep enough, and I’d encourage you to check out some of my posts and videos about going deeper and working through deeper layers of ourselves.
Learning to Work Through the Layers (YouTube Video)
Learning to Work Through the Layers Part 2 (YouTube Video)
As I mentioned earlier, you may need a teacher who is well-versed in energy to help you get to the core of the block, especially if they’ve been a long-term part of your spiritual path. You may also need a therapist to help if you have never looked at your issues and ego beliefs.
I would also recommend grounding. Grounding gets convoluted these days when other spiritual people talk about it, but it can be as simple as sitting and relaxing. Other times, a nice walk in nature or gentle exercise is a way to drop more into your body. Grounding may drive up the issues as you settle more into your body, and that’s fine. That’s not a problem. You just need to breathe and relax into the feelings that are surfacing as well as the muscle movements. Many of these ECIMS are not overly problematic. You just sit and rotate your body or your head. Or they ripple through like a shiver. Or you shoulder roll for awhile. It’s not a big deal.
As I said, the complicating issue is if you have a fearful reaction to them. That tends to make everything more tense and upset.
4 Kinds of Cold Shivers and Energy
Once again, there are lots of legitimate health reasons for cold shivers, and professional medical practitioners should be consulted. And this type of ECIMS is not meant to be any kind of an exhaustive list on the topic of cold shivers and tremors. I just feel like talking about one very small possibility in the vast numbers of spasms that people can feel. Hopefully, this advice is useful for those who experience this type of ECIMS.
Low Energy Cold Shivers–If someone has been doing too much with energy work, they can get the low energy cold shivers. Doing self-care is important to rebuild the energy. Meditation is useful here.
High Energy Cold Shivers–This comes up when people are moving into an energy state that is higher than they’re accustomed. There can be a kind of euphoria to it. It’s pretty ungrounded, so grounding tends to be useful here.
Cold Shivers Specific to Body Regions–Certain areas of the body as they get worked on by energy can be unreasonably cold and shivery. This often only comes up during spiritual practice.
Cold Shivers and Connection–Sometimes when a person is opening to a deeper level of meaningful connection, they may feel these shivers as two or more people connect energetically. Or sometimes, they may be feeling a deeper level of fear or pain in another. This ECIMS is tricky to figure out, but usually, the more someone dissolves the pain inside themselves, the more they will not react to the pain in another.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, here are thoughts about sweating and heat as well as a link about other energy states people have.
Resting Deeper Into Your Body
As you listen, please remember that your body and energy won’t speak in words. They don’t speak in ideas or even emotions. They speak in sensations, and the more you can allow them to talk in their native language and be heard, the more they can move.
One key aspect of energetic issues is that they move. Blocks can shift from one area of the body to the next unlike a real physical issue. A real physical issue like a twisted ankle never shifts from your ankle to your knee to your heart. Energetic issues, however, can and often do. They often move up towards the head until they’ve been fully expressed and understood, and when that happens, things open up inside; the issue resolves.
Depending on where you are in your spiritual journey, an opening may lead to expansion and deeper relaxation into your body. The ECIMS may stop or may stop occurring in that specific area where the issue originated. Or the release may open the door to a bunch more repressed and forgotten issues. That may cause more intense body sensations and even more powerful ECIMS. Either way, my advice is the same: breathe and relax deeper.
Doing Too Much Energetic Work
I just mentioned in this in the shivers part, but doing too much energetic work can cause problems and not just shivering and light tremors. Maybe they’re working too much on themselves, or they’re doing too much with others. Energy is powerful stuff, and human beings are children in terms of how much they understand energy. This is just a fact.
If you are doing too much, the following post can help, but the main recommendation is to do less with energy until you re-stabilize.
Dropping Into Physical and Energetic Power
I’m jumping way ahead in this topic, but I feel like it is important to understand how powerful human beings are. When we are cut off from ourselves, all kinds of imbalances are created. We then create all kinds of unconscious responses to these imbalances to hold it all together. But this is a precarious and exhausting balance to try to maintain.
So if nothing else, ECIMS show an imbalance. But as you resolve that imbalance, you can become more naturally stable.
Natural stability is like a tree with its roots in the ground. It may even feel like a mountain. It’s a very, very powerful thing to have this kind of rooted strength, and most human beings do not. If any wind blows on us when we are uprooted or tipped on an edge as opposed to planted firmly on the ground, we are susceptible to being blown around and blown down. We cannot handle even the simplest of life’s difficulties. When energy starts to move via awakening or via a spiritual practice that just works for you, it illuminates these imbalances. It pushes you towards a deeper, stable state, but that means going through a lot of issues that you’ve created and are holding on to that maintain your imbalances.
In this way, ECIMS are just another method for the Divine to show us how out of alignment with truth we are. We do not understand what is real or natural, and that puts us into strangely unstable spaces internally. Through awakening and spiritual practices, our energy finds the extra jolt to attempt to fix that and break us out of these unhealthy patterns and inner postures.
Whatever your ECIMS are like, they are just an experience. I can only encourage you to go within and find out how you have forgotten the truth and held onto some kind of pain. Then you can learn to heal and continue to journey back to reality and spiritual truth.
Spiritual Growth and Energy Imbalances
I’ll offer one last word about spiritual growth. In spiritual growth, we can go through all kinds of imbalances as well. In that state, we aren’t looking for unconscious issues because we’ve usually rooted out a few thousand attachments. So the ECIMS in this situation is just a kind of growing pain.
However, the vast majority of people have a lot of unconscious attachments that have never been addressed. Step one is almost always looking within for an attachment or block. Those who are truly growing spiritually and have ECIMS have probably already passed through a phase of getting used to ECIMS during the healing phase, so you probably aren’t too concerned about them by now if this is where you truly are.
Important Medical Information to Review
Once again, I think it’s important to cover all bases before deciding you’re having ECIMS, so here’s a link to the Mayo Clinic with their information on seizures:
If you feel this is part of a spiritual awakening, please go to this link:
If you really think this is energy related and regardless of if you feel awakened, this is a good post to read:
If you want support, you can learn about my online classes.