What is Energy Medicine?
In energy medicine, energy is the medicine, and you are the practitioner, the one who inhabits the body being cared for.
Energy medicine is safe, natural, and accessible, and it is beginning to change the face of health care. This emerging approach is actually both contemporary and ancient. Numerous cultures describe a matrix of subtle energies that support, shape, and animate the physical body, often displaying intelligence that transcends human knowing. It is called qi or chi in China, prana in the yogic tradition of India and Tibet, ruach in Hebrew, ki in Japan, baraka by the Sufis, wakan by the Lakotas, orenda by the Iroquois, megbe by the Ituri Pygmies, and the Holy Spirit in Christian tradition. According to Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel laureate in medicine: “In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy.”
The term energy medicine is being used in many ways today, ranging from the introduction of ancient shamanic healing practices into modern cultures to the use of powerful electromagnetic and imaging technologies in modern hospitals. It embraces lawful principles and mysteries; routine procedures and artistry; matter and spirit. Energy medicine is the best term I know for describing the growing number of approaches where an understanding of the body as a system of energies is being applied for promoting healing, health, and well-being.
Energy medicine is both a complement to other approaches to medical care and a complete system for self-care and self-help. It can address physical illness and emotional or mental disorders, and can also promote high-level wellness and peak performance. You heal the body by activating its natural healing energies; you also heal the body by restoring energies that have become weak, disturbed, or out of balance. To accomplish this goal, energy medicine utilizes techniques from healing traditions such as acupuncture, yoga, kinesiology, and qi gong. Flow, balance, and harmony can be non-invasively restored and maintained within an energy system by tapping, massaging, pinching, twisting, or connecting specific energy points (acupoints) on the skin; by tracing or swirling the hand over the skin along specific energy pathways; through exercises or postures designed for specific energetic effects; by focused use of the mind to move specific energies; and/or by surrounding an area with healing energies (one person’s energies impacts another’s).
Energy medicine can be used to treat illness and relieve pain; stop the onset of illness as soon as it begins, stimulate immune function, relieve headaches, release stress, improve memory, enhance digestion, relieve arthritis, neck, shoulder, and low back pain, and cope with electromagnetic pollution. By learning simple energy techniques to keep your energies balanced and humming, you can improve your health, sharpen your mind, and increase your joy and vitality.
A Gift For Seeing Energy
I have always had an intimate relationship with the body’s energies. I register them through my senses. I see them as clearly as you see the print on this page, and I feel them in my body, literally vibrating to the energies of others. Early in my career, licensed as a massage therapist so I could legally touch my clients, I would see and feel in people patterns of energy that told me about their physical problems. One of my first clients was a woman with ovarian cancer who came for a session with the hope that I could help her relax her body and prepare it for surgery that was scheduled in five days. She had been told to “get her affairs in order,” as her immune system was so weak that her chances of surviving the surgery were limited. Metastasis was also suspected.
From looking at her energy, I was certain that the cancer had not metastasized. While her energy was dim and collapsed close to her body, the only place looked like cancer to me was in her left ovary. In addition, the texture, vibration and appearance of the energy coming up through her ovary were responsive to my work with her. I could see and feel them shift, and by the end of the session, the pain that had been with her for weeks was gone.
I told her that her body was so responsive to what I had that I wondered about her plan to have surgery. I was concerned that her immune system was indeed too weak, and I was confident that by working with her energy, not only would her immune system be strengthened, but the tumor’s growth could be reversed as well. While I carefully made my statements with the strong disclaimers required to avoid immediate arrest for practicing medicine without a license, she responded with horror to the implication that she cancel surgery. I suggested that she at least postpone the operation for two weeks. She scheduled a session with me for the next day and said she would discuss the surgery with her husband.
That evening, I received a call from her husband. He was outraged and threatening. He called me a quack. He said I was putting his wife’s life in jeopardy by giving her false hope, and he told me I would never have another chance to confuse her like this. He made it clear that she would not be coming back. When I began to respond, he hung up. I called back a short while later. She answered. Talking in hushed tones, she was clearly uncomfortable speaking with me. I said, “Okay, don’t postpone the surgery, but please keep your appointment tomorrow. You don’t have to pay. You have nothing to lose. I believe in what I am saying. In fact, I want you to bring your husband in with you. Find a way!” She did not believe he would come in, but the next day, they both arrived for the appointment, with the offer to see her for free having quelled some of his suspicions that I was a charlatan out to make a buck.
I had her lie down on the massage table. My hope was to find a way to give this traditional and skeptic man, so poignantly fierce in his protection of his wife, an experience of healing energy that his senses could not deny. I could see a dark, dense energy at the site of his wife’s left ovary, and it felt like my hand was moving through a muddy swamp. I asked the husband to place his hand a few inches above the area and begin to circle it, using a motion that tends to draw energy out of the body. To his great surprise, not only could he immediately feel that he was moving against something, within two minutes his hand was pulsing with pain. And to his utter amazement, his wife reported that her pain diminished as his increased.
By the end of the session, she was again pain free, felt better, and looked better. I showed them both, through the use of energy testing that we had been able to direct healing energies from her immune system to the area of her tumor. I taught him a set of procedures to use with her every day. They decided to temporarily postpone the surgery and to ask for further medical tests before rescheduling it. After about ten days of these daily treatments from him and three more sessions with me, she went through additional testing. The tumor was gone.
Anyone Can Learn To Work With Energy
You can learn how to work with the electrical, electromagnetic, and more subtle energies that give your body life. These energies form the foundation of your health. They are your body’s fuel and its atmosphere. You were spawned within Earth’s electromagnetic, gravitational, and nuclear fields. You were raised under the sun’s life-giving rays. Your own energy systems, such as your meridians (your body’s energy pathways), chakras (your body’s energy centers), and aura or biofield (your body’s energy atmosphere), emit electromagnetic energy and light. 2 Energies that are more subtle than we have even known how to measure also dwell within and around you, and they are the key to energy medicine.
Having taught healing classes all over the world, I firmly believe that virtually anyone can learn to influence their energies to improve their health. You can do this! Instinctive knowledge of how to heal themselves was a possession of your ancestors, and it still resides deep within you.
Evolutionary psychologists have shown that survival strategies are passed along in our DNA.3 Healing energies are embedded in your tissues, and healing abilities are coded in your psyche. Carl Jung spoke of the archaic component of the human psyche as the “two-million-year-old man” who lives within each of us.4 Two million years ago, our ancestors, with brains only slightly larger than those of the gorilla, were carrying out many cultural activities. Not only where they “hunting, building shelters, making tools, treating skins, [and] living in base camps,”5 they were also healing one another. For most of humanity’s history, natural healing was the only game in town.
Our ancestors had to depend on themselves entirely for their own and their clan’s survival. They couldn’t go to the local hospital for an antibiotic or a kidney transplant. They were their own authorities, which forced them to be far more finely attuned than we are to subtle energies. They sensed the energy in a potential food, a wild animal, or a diseased compatriot, and they knew how to regulate their own energies to maximize their strength and proficiency. They could not have survived the nasty and brutish world of millions of years ago if they had not intuitively understood what was required to maintain, in a hostile environment, the most complex physical structure that had yet evolved. That your ancestors knew how to heal themselves by working with their energies and that their hard-earned survival strategies are deeply imprinted in your own urges, passions, and reasoning should bolster your confidence in your own latent abilities. You need only knock on the door to arouse the two-million-year-old healer dwelling within you.
How to Release Tension
The face can hold an immense amount of tension. Here are two quick tension-release techniques. (time: 15 seconds each)
1. Place the pads of your fingers against your cheekbones. Push upward hard. Gradually push your fingers along the curve of the cheekbone toward your ears. This brings blood into your face and opens the spaces that had been tense.
2. Lay one hand over your opposite shoulder. Push down and pull your fingers forward over the shoulder. Do three times on each side.
1. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Introduction to a Submolecular Biology (New York: Academic Press, 1960), p. 135
2. David Feinstein and Donna Eden, “Six Pillars of Energy Medicine,” Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 2008, 14(1), 44-54.
3. Jerome H. Barkow, Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby, eds., The Adpated Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Evolution of Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).
4. Cited in Anthony Stevens, The Two-Million-Year-Old Self (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1993. p. 3.
5. Robin, Fox, The Search for Society (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1989), p. 29.
Excerpted from Donna Eden’s Energy Medicine (Revised Edition). New York: Tarcher/Penguin, 2008.
Donna Eden is among the world’s most sought after spokespersons for energy medicine and her abilities as a healer are legendary. Her bestselling book, Energy Medicine, is the authoritative text in its field and her most recent book with husband David Feinstein The Energies of Love. Learn more about her books and classes at Innersource.
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