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.

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