Energy-caused Involuntary Muscle Spasms or Kriyas

kriyas, spiritual energy, ocean, Bodega Bay, spiritual awakening
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.

Kundalini Awakening and Kundalini Experiences

Instead, I simply say energy because energy can be anywhere in the body, and your energetic experiences can arise anywhere in your body, not just one specific region. So, for the sake of this blog post, I'm going to use a made-up acronym for Kriyas. 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

Before I go any further in this topic, I strongly recommend seeing a doctor if you have any doubt about involuntary physical movements you may have. 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.

Additionally, 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 recently had a conversation with an individual who mentioned having ECIMS when he first started meditating. It was more than a little surprising for him, and of course, he didn't know that it was energy related. Was he awakened? No. 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,

  • jerks,
  • rotations,
  • shrugs,
  • 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 such specific spiritual practices. If 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.

How to Find and Release Physical Pain During a Spiritual Awakening

ECIMS and the Awakened Individual

Interestingly enough, in my experience, someone who has awakened doesn't have the jerky muscle experiences as much as those who have not awakened. We seem to get just about every other energetic experience you can think of such as heat, pulsation, buzzing, pressure, and more. But it seems like once that switch gets thrown into the "On" position, a different kind of energetic experience is hard at work melting through blockages.

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 having 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, once a person stops doing things and settles, the energy has space to go to work again. 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.

Chronic Fatigue and Spiritual Awakening

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.

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. As you continue to pay attention to where in your body the muscle spasm is, you can focus in deeper to where it starts. Once you find the epicenter, 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.

How to Guide Your Awakened Energy

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 terrible. 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 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.

I would also recommend grounding. Grounding gets convoluted these days when other spiritual people talk about them, 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.

Resting Deeper Into Your Body

I think a lot of Westerners are really cut off from their bodies, and as you drop into your physical body, you may find that you have a lot of stuff to clean up. Your inner house has gotten messy because your attention has been elsewhere. For a lot of people, it's by getting stuck in their minds. Others cover up bad feelings in the body through substances and good feeling experiences. The spiritual path can also be used as a means of self-avoidance, as a person attempts to feel good all the time.

Seeking the Elusive Spiritual High

Regardless of how you got cut off from your body, the way back home is simple enough. You sit. You meditate. If some of your ECIMS are strong, then lie down on something soft so that you don't hurt yourself. Breathe into them, and focus on where they are centered in your body. Learn to listen to your body and energy.

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.

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, an ECIMS shows 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 space of presence, 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.

Finding Alignment With Life

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.

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:

Seizures-Symptoms and Causes

If you are truly going through awakening and want support, you can learn about my one-on-one video chat sessions here:

Learn About Sessions with Jim


  1. lovely post, helped me a lot. Thank you :) and Namaste from India.

  2. I enjoyed your video post. I have found many answers here. I would love an afternoon just chatting. I feel your easy to connect with. Thank you.

    1. You're welcome. I'm glad that my blog and my videos can help you!

  3. Hi
    Loved the post...understand it fully. I have been going through the process of awakening for nearly 7 years but only just found out what it was ! Amazing ....great knowledge...thank you so much. Cant wait to share it 👌

  4. Thanks so much for this post! A couple years ago, after a period of consistent meditation, I started getting powerful, involuntary jerks in my body whenever I sat to meditate. Those jerks would continue to appear for several weeks in a row. I didn't know what to do about them and found no helpful information, so I just stopped meditating believing that the jerks would never go away as long as I continued to meditate. Recently, I've tried picking up a meditation habit again, and the jerks have returned. This time, I did more digging online hoping to find some guidance and stumbled upon your site. The advice about "looking for the epicenter" is something I just tried in my meditation session this morning and already I've noticed how finding that epicenter and relaxing into it has lessened the severity of the jerks. I feel a renewed motivation to practice now :)

    1. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing, and I am glad that this simple technique is already helping you find some of these hidden "knots" in your space. Keep going with it!

    2. Its been a long painfull journey since childhood and at this point i have found you while searching things in google and subscribed your news letter. Understood another type of self avoidance, cause of painful sensation and involuntary jerk and movement of body. Thanks. Wish you had been in India.

    3. You're welcome. I can't be everywhere, but fortunately, the Internet lets my work reach people in places where I might not be. :)

  5. Thank you going through the same.

  6. I have been experiencing these spasms specifically at the sacral or solar plexus centers for the last 6years (when I started doing energy work), but these spasms would only occur in moments of mediation, acupuncture, or osteopathy treatments (holistic therapies only). It would only be in moments of deep peace, quiet, or typically solitude. Freaked me out initially, as well as my practitioners, until I sought out answers and stumbled upon your post today. Now it all makes sense. Now that I know what to do with it, I can work on consciously healing it and move towards it instead of shutting it down out of fear. Thank you.

    1. I'm glad this can help. Shutting things down typically requires tension, and that makes things really physically and emotionally uncomfortable. Relaxing into things is how we listen to what is going on within and allow it to flow through.

  7. I've been experiencing jerks and twitches as I remember old memories and their emotions such as blame and guilt. They aren't severe, but constant. They don't worry me and I feel that each jerk helps release the negative emotion. I don't feel like it's a block - I'm freely experiencing the emotions, not identifying with them. Is it possible that the jerks are helping, not hindering? Thankyou :)

    1. i feel the same way as you; they are meant to jerk & massage one into oneness, that´s how i feel about them.

  8. Thanks Jim. I had a period of about a year and a half with involuntary and quite violent muscle movements during meditation. Eventually I realised that there was a particular point on my spine which, when I focused on it, caused my body to practically go haywire. Very strange for someone with no spiritual or religious background like myself, and I was glad I had the privacy of my bedroom to let this stuff play out. Eventually, I suppose I lost interest in that energetic movement or something, and it didn't happen again

    1. Relaxation is key to allow things to resolve themselves. Energy works best when we don't try to manipulate it. Glad things have settled for you, Shazbut.

  9. Thanks so much for this information. In the past I have experienced minor twitches and vibrations in my head when I meditate. I recently started to deepen my meditation practice and the movements have become much more intense. I can feel energy moving throughout my face that gets so strong that it causes tense contractions of muscles that force my lips and nose up, my eyes squint, cheeks tremble and forehead creases up. At first it scared me but then I relaxed into it and just let it happen. Now it starts up just as soon as I begin to meditate and it gets more intense each time. It's good to know that this is somewhat normal.

    1. You're welcome. Keep surrendering. If there is an old energy or idea or emotion that needs to express itself, breathe and relax into it.


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