While I will not teach charging here, if you are studying Energy Management you should at least know what charging is. Hopefully as you read it will become apparent why it is inappropriate for this article.
Now that I’ve gotten all the warnings and stuff out of the way, let me try to illustrate what charging is. First off, it is one of those techniques where it is ambiguous whether it actually generates energy or brings forward what energy one has available. However, whichever one it is, the effect is massive on an incomparable level, especially in the hands of an adept user. There are two stages to the technique: a “channeling” stage where a mental trigger executes the core part of the technique and energy begins to accumulate, and a “release” stage where the built-up energy is sent rocketing through the user’s body (usually in a somewhat violent manner, it is common to experience involuntary jitters, seizures, and small fits). After the release the user experiences a kind of high as the body attempts to integrate or purge the glut of energy it has been given. While in this state the user may not be able to focus as well, but he/she now has a tremendous amount of available energy. This makes it ideal for physical augmentation, and harder to use for energy manipulation. The duration of the high varies wildly but usually ranges from a couple minutes to an hour. The particular variation of the technique used and the amount of energy produced also determine the duration. With practice if the user chooses they can “calm down” and negate the effects of the high. Multiple failed attempts at charging can leave the user drained, so it is assumed the technique requires some energy to be initially input.
The “channeling” stage mentioned before is started by use of a unique mental trigger, for which I have had trouble finding any close comparison in psionics to describe it to. I’d like to say it’s like tactile visualization for energy manipulation but there’s some subtle but important differences. That said, the main difficulty in learning this technique is figuring out what that trigger feels like. Once learned it’s like riding a bike, users can be taught other techniques of this type with relative ease, however learning it for the first time is immensely difficult for some.
As I just hinted at, there are many different charging techniques. They all in some form use the unique mental trigger mentioned before, but they are all slightly different and some may work better for some people. As a result many users may have their own personal variation that works well for them specifically. Some of the different variations are inherently more powerful than others. This also makes charging both an intermediate and an advanced level technique, as there are “basic” variants, and “advanced” variants. The latter being harder to perform but having much more power.
One important merit of this technique is as long as it is done on a responsible level, slightly overwhelming oneself with the energy from charging causes the body to adapt and increase its capacity. It is by no means an easy road to do this over a long period of time, but this is essentially a faster road than usual to building up one’s psychic capacity. However note from someone that has used this technique for just that, it is not recommended to take this shortcut you have a good reason to. Contrary to some opinions, while there is such a thing as a shortcut, there is almost never such a thing as an *easy* shortcut. Don’t get too panicked however, this kind of application requires either heavy daily use, or use of powerful charging variants on a regular basis. If not used too heavily, people can use this technique without having to worry too much about the long term effects (its possible they may still occur, but not as strongly).
One other massive merit to note is that my experiences suggest that a number of other psychic skill areas can be activated or augmented by use of charging. Particularly sensitivity-related skills seem to heighten: telepathy, empathy, general energy sensitivity, and several other obscure kinds of sensitivity that one might not even notice.
Charging is a double-edged sword, a wonderful one but a double-edged sword none the less. It has massive potential both for short-term and long-term use but in both cases one pays for the incredible yield. Some of the potential long term issues I won’t go into, however I will give some for examples: most of the time it can’t be controlled what abilities will be augmented over the long term, so imagine being stuck with one specific ability augmented to a point far beyond what you are comfortable with. Also eventually too much energy capacity is a bad thing, now imagine becoming an artificial insomniac because one has too much energy on hand to fall asleep.
Anyone that does learn charging from somewhere is strongly encouraged to talk to an experienced psion from time to time to make sure they are not misusing the technique.