The Truth About the Elephant – What Is Energy Healing?

My teacher, Deborah Kerbow, once looked at our class and said something to the effect of, “I won’t lie, I’m a little jealous of you guys. When I started doing healing work in the 70’s I had to be careful who I told. Some people were cruel. But you guys can basically tell anybody! Even if they don’t get it at least they won’t spit on you!”

Thankfully, she’s right. We live in a unique time when spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle did a weeklong series of interviews on Oprah and tough talking medical intuitive Carolyn Myss has had multiple bestselling books. As an energy worker the Google ad bar alongside my inbox is a solid list of people advertising different forms of energy work. But are they really all that different? And what are they all doing? What is energy healing?

I’m not supposed to say this, but the truth is I don’t do anything in energy work that you don’t do in your daily life. You hug someone you love (probably not enough) and are transformed by your embrace, you connect with people over great distances via phone and email, you have access to vast amounts of information through the internet and you experience the ‘vibe’ of places you go. At times you may know who’s calling on the phone before you pick it up, you’ve had intuitive and coincidental experiences you can’t explain, you’ve had good days where everything seems to line up right, you know how someone’s feeling when they walk in the house, you’ve prayed or ‘sent’ well-wishes to someone in need and more. These and dozens of other examples are energetic connections at work every day. They’re normal enough that most people know what I’m talking about, yet odd enough that we recognize something special is at work.

I’ve made it my life’s work to notice and think about these things. When I hear about doctors having insightful dreams about patients something in me perks up. When I was studying psychology in college I saw how strong the placebo effect was compared to psychoactive medications and realized there’s a lot more going on here than meets the eye. When I hear stories of cancer that spontaneously disappears before surgery I take notes. Two of my teachers were involved in exactly this kind of incident.

More than a decade ago I was getting ready to enroll at Wakepoint School for Energy Healing in Colorado. I had already had a life changing experience at the hands of a healer, Talia and was pouring over Barbara Brennan’s groundbreaking work, Hands of Light. My father, ever the open-minded skeptic, took me to a heavy-hitting policy conference at The American Academy for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC. Hoping, I think, to talk some sense into me we attended a panel discussion on Alternative and Complementary medicines. Each panelist in turn had a chance to present their perspective and by the end all of them, had basically agreed: there is a raft of documented cases of healings, cures and spontaneous remissions that are quite simply impossible according to the Western medical worldview. ‘Alternative’ practices have something that western medicine is missing and should be brought to the fore and studied. The only naysayer respectfully suggested we not do anything too rash. My father summed it with the comment, “Well, they thought Galileo was crazy.”

Energy healing at its simplest is akin to passive meditation. This is very much the state of mind I go into during an energy session. In a similar way, those of you familiar with Thai massage know it is sometimes compared to passive yoga. The therapist moves around the recipient and physically stretches their body to release their stored tensions. At energy work’s most basic level I connect to the energy in your field and allow you to get a recharge through me. Most clients experience this as their mind and body relaxing. They begin to notice more of their inner world and their thoughts have a chance to process themselves more fluidly.

Visually sensitive people see colors, physically sensitive people feel warm or electric sensations, others may hear music and some will have ‘a ha’ moments or flashes of insight. If this is how your session is going I’ll work my way through a series of charge points on your body and you’ll leave feeling relaxed, energized, recentered and grounded, or perhaps lighter on your feet and more peaceful. Each session is very individual, but you will get exactly what YOU need.

Many clients have specific issues they’re dealing with and know from experience that energy work is an effective way to address them. Others aren’t having much luck with other treatments and are willing to try something new. In this case our work goes deeper. Places that need extra attention show up as unusual heat or cold under my hands, discomfort in your body, troubled thoughts or painful emotions rising almost out of nowhere. I follow my intuition and we’ll both follow your internal process. We’ll take extra time and directly focus energy at these places and help them release. Releases are often accompanied by sighs, deep exhales, or tears.

If you’ve been through something traumatic at any point in your life and you’ve been storing unprocessed pain there may be anger, fear or rage that still needs to be felt and we’ll give you the time to feel it. It’s miraculous what you may be carrying around. There are many different healing styles out there but few are trained to work with energies in this way. I feel lucky to be able to offer you this chance through energy work.

Often we don’t realize that difficulties in our sleep, health, work, finances or relationships today stem directly from past experiences. This just isn’t how we’re programmed to think, but this is exactly how we are. If the hidden trauma is significant you will eventually experience a more significant emotional or nervous breakdown, an acute illness or even an accident or injury. This is all to give you another opportunity to process the pain. Many of my clients are seeking relief from emotional and physical abuse from family members, rape and sexual abuse, old or recent injuries and surgeries, ongoing or acute illnesses, unfinished business in finished relationships and even traumatic birth experiences. Like seeing a counselor it can be wonderful to just get things out in the open in a session, but unlike a counselor, energy work can help to clear damage and restore your energies to health. This sometimes takes multiple sessions over a period of time. Other times I recommend that clients continue to see a therapist or get regular bodywork to help the process.

I get more questions about distance (or remote) energy healing than anything else I do. Believe me, early on it took me a couple of sessions to really feel confident, but I have no doubts anymore. I use your full name, the sound of your voice (not always necessary) and a picture of you to get connected, the same as when you talk to a friend or loved one on the phone. Then it’s all about the energy. I look at it like this: only the physical body is in 3-dimensions, subject to the limitations of distance and time. Physicists point out that on the subatomic level even matter is continually popping in and out of existence. Have you seen the movie “What the *Bleep* Do We Know?” It was made right here in Portland, OR and it has some great explanations. Healing energy – much of the energy in our daily experiences, in fact – comes from outside our little 3-dimensional bubble. Near or far, there you are.

There’s another thing I’m not supposed to say in an article where I should be blowing my own horn: All health and healing professions are working on the same elephant. It’s from an old story I run into a lot, it goes something like this: five blind monks are gathered around an elephant. Each touches the enormous beast with his hands and arrives at a different conclusion. “It’s like a snake,” proclaims the one at its trunk. “No, it’s like a tree trunk,” observes the one at its leg. “Nonsense, it’s like a sheet of paper,” argues the one by an ear. “Amazing, it’s like a wall!” shouts the one at the elephant’s side. “You’re all wrong,” concludes the monk at the animal’s rear, “an elephant is like a rope.” Human health is exactly the same thing. All roads lead to Rome and everyone must follow their own path.

I grew up in a house saturated with theoretical physics, abstract mathematics, music and therapeutic psychology, so my career as a musician and an energy worker was almost unavoidable. Believe me, I tried! In some ways my full-time music career, though successful, was an attempt to make use of my skills and sensitivities in a more ‘normal’ way. Meanwhile my appetite for understanding persisted. Over the past twenty years I have studied or received more than two dozen different treatment and therapeutic styles that improve people’s health including eastern and western medicines, homeopathy, naturopathy, physical therapy, chiropractic, art therapy, talk therapy, Reiki and much more. Each new experience solidifies my conviction that we are all walking around the same elephant.

So where does energy work fit in to all this? Energy healing is at the extreme fringe, and rightfully so. By my own admission, what I have experienced in my training and what happens with clients on a daily basis borders on unbelievable. If there’s one thing I know it’s this: energy work can change your energy, change your health and change your life.

Ultimately your healing is in your hands. Your life is guiding you through circumstances and choices to learn, heal, give, receive and grow. Every setback is an opportunity, every wound is a gift. Things are working in your favor just like reading these words at exactly this time. I believe it because I know it’s true.

Science | Should the NHS fund alternative medicine? | LS

 Added on November 4, 2013  LS Web Editor   , , , , ,

Science | Should the NHS fund alternative medicine?

Science | Should the NHS fund alternative medicine?

Firstly, I want to point out what I mean by alternative medicine. The definition of it is: any practice that is put forward as having the healing effects of medicine but is not based on evidence gathered using the scientific method. Examples include but are not exclusive to: Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Ayurvedic Medicine, Naturopathy and many more. You could quite feasibly make up your own brand of alternative medicine tomorrow if you chose to.

I want to illustrate a few undeniable facts to set the scene for alternative medicine; Homeopathy normally comes in for the largest amount of criticism due in part to the levels of dilutions involved. Homeopathy is the concept that like cures like and that this effect becomes stronger at a greater dilution, it relies on the as of yet unproven belief that water has memory. A standard homeopathic remedy is 30C; this is an enormous level of dilution and needs to be given some context. If I was to drop a grain of salt into a full bath it would not be dilute enough, perhaps a pond or a lake? No not dilute enough, in fact the entire volume of water on our planet wouldn’t even cover it.

There is not an atom of active ingredient in any standard homeopathic remedies, just the ‘memory’ of one. If you are still not convinced, then ask yourself why and how do homeopathic remedies not have memory for the gallons of sewage they have passed through as well as the intended ‘medicine’?

What’s the harm though of alternative medicine if it is an effective placebo? A great deal is the short answer. Alternative medicine is often used in the place of conventional medicine and not alongside it as in complementary medicine. Recent examples of this have been the promotion of homeopathic anti-malarial kits in place of genuine anti-malarial medication. Individuals die as a result of this promotion and the NHS endorsement of pseudo science is a very dangerous development for patient’s health.

Another fundamental problem with alternative medicine is the lack of regulation, only two branches have their own governing body and the treatments they preach do not have to undergo any testing. This means side effects are unknown; furthermore it’s not even tested to see if it actually works. Wasting NHS resources on anecdotal evidence is unwise and a public injustice. Supporting this field with public money takes funding away from real medicine; that can be genuinely proven to work. It is only a very minor proportion of the NHS budget but takes money away from life saving treatments such as Herceptin for breast cancer patients. Giving it credibility will only fuel the market of deception it occupies and drain time and resources from interventions that may enhance healthcare in the future.

There is no place within the hierarchy of our healthcare service for ardent supporters of alternative medicine such as HRH Prince of Wales or our very own Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt. If alternative medicine works for you then that is brilliant. But you should not expect the taxpayers to foot the bill for something that cannot be proven and can be actively disproven to be effective. If you are in dispute of this fact then you are also in dispute of the effectiveness of any modern medicine as they undergo the same process of evaluation.

Not enough people with common sense or basic scientific knowledge are willing to stand up against this tyranny of ignorance, but hopefully with education this will change.

Jonathan Derrick 

People value both complementary and conventional medicine

27Oct

(NewsFix) A survey shows that people who use complementary medicine are not dissatisfied with the traditional approach.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), which includes acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal remedies and massage, is used by an increasing number of people. Researchers at the Centre for Alternative Medicine Research and Education at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in the US surveyed 831 CAM users and found that most people were also still seeing a traditional doctor.

It seemed that the combination of CAM and traditional medicine was seen as more effective than either used alone. CAM was seen as helpful for headache, back and neck conditions, while the conventional approach was preferred for high blood pressure.

But most of those surveyed did not tell their doctor about their use of CAM. The most common reason for this was that they didn’t think the doctor needed to know, or that the doctor didn’t ask about it. One third said it was not the doctor’s business and 20 per cent thought the doctor wouldn’t understand. Only 14 per cent were afraid their physician would disapprove.

The survey suggests that patients no longer see their physician as their sole health care provider. He or she is, rather, one of a team. The other members of the team could include acupuncturists, herbalists and so on. What seems strange is that it’s rare for any members of this team to communicate with one another!

How to find a complementary medical provider

When the time comes to find a traditional doctor, many people find the process to be relatively easy. Some doctors may be recommended by a friend, while others opt for a physician that has been treating their families for years. Certain health management and insurance plans may dictate certain “in-plan” providers, searchable by a particular location and practice. Finding an alternative medical provider, or one who specializes in complementary medicine, may not be as simple.

Practitioners who provide complementary and alternative medicine, known as CAM, are those who specialize in chiropractics, naturopathy, acupuncture and herbal remedies. Millions of people now see CAM providers in addition to their standard physicians. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that at least 40 percent of adults and 12 percent of children have used a CAM provider.

Complementary and alternative medicine is made up of a diverse set of therapies and healing philosophies. While traditional doctors may treat illnesses, many CAM providers are employing techniques to prevent illnesses in the first place. Dissatisfaction with traditional medicine has led many people to seek the help of CAM providers. In fact, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the majority of alternative medicine users appear to be doing so largely because “they find these healthcare alternatives to be more congruent with their own values, beliefs and philosophical orientations toward health and life.”

Men and women can find a CAM provider is several ways.

• Start with your doctor or another health care provider, who may offer a referral, particularly if this doctor is in favor of traditional medicine working in conjunction with alternative therapies.

• Some regional medical centers and hospitals may have CAM practitioners on staff. You can seek information from such organizations by calling them directly or going online to see a listing of staff.

• There are a number of professional organizations for CAM providers. An online search may yield various organizations that offer regional referrals.

• Contact state, provincial or municipal regulatory licensing boards for health care professionals. Health departments and boards may have information on nearby practitioners.

• To meet the rising demand for complementary and alternative care services, many health insurance plans have options for you to access these services. However, many plans provide only limited coverage for many CAM services.

• Referrals from friends and family members may yield the name of an effective local CAM practitioner.

Individuals should keep in mind that unless CAM services are covered by insurance, it is very likely that all expenses will be out-of-pocket. When searching for a specialist, be sure to find one who is qualified and verify his or her training, certifications and licensing before beginning any treatment.

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BREAST CANCER AWARENESS: Yoga offers outlet for stress of …

By Erin Weaver
erweaver@montgomerynews.com

Jessica D’Angelo, owner of Shine Yoga studio in Perkasie, holds a yoga pose. Photo courtesy of Jessica D’Angelo

View and purchase photos

The daunting task of treating breast cancer with harsh physical measures like surgery and chemotherapy can make alternative medicine appealing to those hoping for a gentler approach to treatment.

However, there is a key distinction between alternative medical options and complementary treatment for breast cancer.

Complementary treatment is, as the name implies, a complement to standard treatments for breast cancer. These standard treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy and radiation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Alternative medicine is used in place of standard treatments; most alternative treatments are untested and often discouraged by health care professionals. The National Cancer Institute says that alternative treatment providers may make promising claims about their alternative medicine, but most treatments are not proven to be more effective. Studies are underway, however, to learn more about atypical treatments.

The CDC makes it clear that the safest route is to consult a doctor before trying alternative medicine. The most common alternative treatment for cancer is acupuncture, which involves puncturing the skin with needles.

While the NCI found in one study that some women with breast cancer and experiencing joint pain found relief through acupuncture, there is little scientific support to suggest it can cure breast cancer.

While alternative medicine is often advised against, complementary medicine has been found as a viable option for coping with the side effects of breast cancer treatment, especially emotional stress and physical discomfort.

Yoga and meditation have been found to help women cope with cancer by providing a relaxing outlet for frustrations and stress. Jessica D’Angelo, owner of Shine Yoga studio in Perkasie, said that she has had yogis diagnosed with several different kinds of cancer, and many of them have found comfort in yoga.

“I’ve had a lot of cancer survivors and cancer patients say they find yoga to be such a complement to what they’ve been prescribed,” she said.

D’Angelo, like many oncologists, does not advice using yoga instead of standard treatments, but rather as an addition to help deal with the diagnosis and treatment side effects. Continued…

“I’m very against alternative medicine,” she said. “We’d never recommend that here. But for anyone that wants to keep their spirits up while dealing with cancer, yoga is a great way to do that. Yoga maintains and conditions the body’s stamina during treatment.”

Chemotherapy and radiation can take a significant toll on the body, leaving patients exhausted and feeling ill with severe side effects.

“Yoga combines light exercise, meditation and a general feeling of well-being,” D’Angelo said. “It’s a powerful thing to help facilitate someone’s healing.”

Although yoga is not a painkiller, D’Angelo said she finds that, conceptually speaking, it works in a similar way.

“Painkillers help your body relax, and when your body is relaxed, it can rest. And when your body is resting, it can heal itself,” she said. “Yoga is the same way — yoga helps your body relax and rest, which opens your body to healing.”

Meditation in yoga can also provide emotional healing. After leaving a yoga class, D’Angelo said her students feel more relaxed and optimistic.

“Meditation in yoga requires focusing on the positive, and letting negativity go. Doctors talk about your sickness — in a yoga class, we talk about your health,” she said. “When you focus on the positive aspect of your health and well-being, that feeling grows exponentially.”

According to D’Angelo, the light exercise, meditation and relaxation that comes with yoga allows the body to rejuvenate.

“Chemotherapy goes into your body, but it needs to come back out,” she said. “Doing yoga helps refresh the body and stimulates the glandular and endocrine systems in the body. But it’s not a cure. Yoga won’t cure you.”

Curing cancer, D’Angelo emphasized, is a much longer and more complicated journey. Continued…

“It takes a village to cure cancer — doctor, consultants, family and friends are all necessary to physical and emotional healing,” she said. “Yoga is just one part of that.”

Follow Erin Weaver on Twitter @ByErinWeaver.

The daunting task of treating breast cancer with harsh physical measures like surgery and chemotherapy can make alternative medicine appealing to those hoping for a gentler approach to treatment.

However, there is a key distinction between alternative medical options and complementary treatment for breast cancer.

Complementary treatment is, as the name implies, a complement to standard treatments for breast cancer. These standard treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy and radiation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Alternative medicine is used in place of standard treatments; most alternative treatments are untested and often discouraged by health care professionals. The National Cancer Institute says that alternative treatment providers may make promising claims about their alternative medicine, but most treatments are not proven to be more effective. Studies are underway, however, to learn more about atypical treatments.

The CDC makes it clear that the safest route is to consult a doctor before trying alternative medicine. The most common alternative treatment for cancer is acupuncture, which involves puncturing the skin with needles.

While the NCI found in one study that some women with breast cancer and experiencing joint pain found relief through acupuncture, there is little scientific support to suggest it can cure breast cancer.

While alternative medicine is often advised against, complementary medicine has been found as a viable option for coping with the side effects of breast cancer treatment, especially emotional stress and physical discomfort.

Yoga and meditation have been found to help women cope with cancer by providing a relaxing outlet for frustrations and stress. Jessica D’Angelo, owner of Shine Yoga studio in Perkasie, said that she has had yogis diagnosed with several different kinds of cancer, and many of them have found comfort in yoga.

“I’ve had a lot of cancer survivors and cancer patients say they find yoga to be such a complement to what they’ve been prescribed,” she said.

D’Angelo, like many oncologists, does not advice using yoga instead of standard treatments, but rather as an addition to help deal with the diagnosis and treatment side effects.

“I’m very against alternative medicine,” she said. “We’d never recommend that here. But for anyone that wants to keep their spirits up while dealing with cancer, yoga is a great way to do that. Yoga maintains and conditions the body’s stamina during treatment.”

Chemotherapy and radiation can take a significant toll on the body, leaving patients exhausted and feeling ill with severe side effects.

“Yoga combines light exercise, meditation and a general feeling of well-being,” D’Angelo said. “It’s a powerful thing to help facilitate someone’s healing.”

Although yoga is not a painkiller, D’Angelo said she finds that, conceptually speaking, it works in a similar way.

“Painkillers help your body relax, and when your body is relaxed, it can rest. And when your body is resting, it can heal itself,” she said. “Yoga is the same way — yoga helps your body relax and rest, which opens your body to healing.”

Meditation in yoga can also provide emotional healing. After leaving a yoga class, D’Angelo said her students feel more relaxed and optimistic.

“Meditation in yoga requires focusing on the positive, and letting negativity go. Doctors talk about your sickness — in a yoga class, we talk about your health,” she said. “When you focus on the positive aspect of your health and well-being, that feeling grows exponentially.”

According to D’Angelo, the light exercise, meditation and relaxation that comes with yoga allows the body to rejuvenate.

“Chemotherapy goes into your body, but it needs to come back out,” she said. “Doing yoga helps refresh the body and stimulates the glandular and endocrine systems in the body. But it’s not a cure. Yoga won’t cure you.”

Curing cancer, D’Angelo emphasized, is a much longer and more complicated journey.

“It takes a village to cure cancer — doctor, consultants, family and friends are all necessary to physical and emotional healing,” she said. “Yoga is just one part of that.”

Follow Erin Weaver on Twitter @ByErinWeaver.