HAVE YOU MET ENERGY
Posted September 23, 2021
Did you know that Energy Psychology is a derivative of Energy Medicine? Energy Medicine works with at least nine major energy systems. In contrast, Energy Psychology modalities generally focus on only one of these systems. These may be the chakras, the aura, or most frequently, the meridians (by tapping on or otherwise stimulating the acupuncture points that are distributed along the meridian lines).
Energy Psychology draws from a narrow range of Energy Medicine techniques and applies them to psychological and spiritual issues. Research shows that it is very good at this, with clinical outcomes that are notable for their power, speed, and durability.
A way to think about the relationship between Energy Medicine and Energy Psychology is to look at the relationship between conventional medicine and conventional psychiatry. Psychiatry draws from conventional medicine, using only a small range of the tools available for treating health issues, and it focuses what it does use on mental health issues. In this sense, psychiatry is a derivative of conventional medicine. In a parallel way, Energy Psychology is a derivative of Energy Medicine.
So Energy Medicine, whose roots extend back thousands of years, is the “mother” of Energy Psychology. The glaring difference with psychiatry is, of course, that psychiatrists have gone through four years of medical school, including hands-on clinical “rotations” in eight of the major medical specialties before entering their three-year intensive residency in psychiatry. Many Energy Psychology practitioners, on the other hand, may have never taken a single course in energy medicine.
This article offers Energy Psychology practitioners and others who might be less schooled in Energy Medicine a glimpse into the development of one of the most widely-known and highly-respected contemporary forms of Energy Medicine, Eden Energy Medicine, based on the work of Donna Eden, an ACEP Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. It then delves into the controversial question of whether subtle energies that science hasn’t been able to measure or even detect—Iike the “life force,” “chi,” or “prana”—can be accessed for health and healing, and whether they even, in fact, exist.
THE BIRTH OF EDEN ENERGY MEDICINE
For as long as she can remember, Donna Eden has sensed and literally seen the body’s energies. Meanwhile, in 1959, at age 16, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. While she was never entirely confined to a wheelchair, she was often unable to walk. Then, at age 27, she had a heart attack. Her organs were breaking down, and she was told by several doctors that the damage to her body was progressive and irreversible and that she should “get her affairs in order.”
Faced with rapidly deteriorating health and a bleak prognosis, but determined to raise her two young daughters, Donna focused all of her intuitive understanding of the body’s energies on her illness. One of her first discoveries involved shifting the energy flow in her legs by engaging their energies with her hands. She also experimented with other methods like making passes over her skin to move the energies and circling her hand over certain spots.
After about 6 months of daily, intensive experimenting to move and balance her body’s energies, Donna could consistently walk well, and after 2 years, she was relatively symptom-free. By her mid-thirties, Donna’s MS symptoms had completely subsided, and she has remained symptom-free for the past forty years.
After her recovery, Donna realized that she had learned a great deal during her healing, including ways to accelerate the process, and it became her life’s mission to share her methods, particularly with those suffering from serious illnesses that hadn’t responded to conventional treatments.
In 1977, Donna began offering one-on-one sessions with people. As her evolving methods took form in her mind, she began teaching classes, which more than 100,000 people have attended in-person over the years, along with a much larger on-line following.
As Donna began to train other practitioners in her approach, it became clear that they were also able to achieve encouraging outcomes with people facing challenging health conditions. This affirmed that the effects were due to the method rather than being confined to any special abilities specific to Donna.
With her husband, psychologist David Feinstein, Donna has developed one of the largest and most highly-regarded programs teaching Energy Medicine. To date, more than 1600 certified EEM practitioners are every week working with thousands of clients throughout the world.
AN ONGOING CONTROVERSY
The energies Donna sees and senses have been described in many time-honored healing and spiritual traditions, such as acupuncture, yoga, Qi Gong, and Ayurvedic medicine. Meanwhile, ongoing, heated controversy can be found within the medical community about the nature or even existence of these “subtle energies.” Growing numbers of medical professionals are, however, showing interest in this invisible dimension of the physical universe which is believed to support health and, when out of balance, underlie illness.
A landmark study entitled Subtle Energy & Biofield Healing: Evidence, Practice, and Future Directions, estimates that approximately 174,000 healthcare professionals in the US work with interventions that impact the body’s subtle energies, and over 16 million people seek the benefits of this approach.
The line between Energy Medicine and Energy Psychology is also being crossed. In a 2012 survey of 115 Energy Psychology practitioners conducted by the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, a staggering 76 percent of the practitioners identified “Eden Energy Medicine” (EEM) as one of their top three modalities, even though it doesn’t focus specifically on mental health issues.
The primary reason for this popularity is that, even though no clinical trials evaluating EEM have been published (yet!), people find that it works. Reports of increased vitality and a sense of well-being among those who consistently use the techniques seem almost universal. Hundreds of cases where people overcame severe health conditions such as Lyme disease, sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), and even cancer have been attributed primarily to EEM.
CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE AND SUBTLE ENERGY
Conventional medicine and Energy Medicine both recognize that the basic structure of life is composed of atomic particles with continuously changing energies. This healing process correlates with changes in the body’s energies at multiple levels, ranging from the behavior of ions entering and leaving cell membranes to electrical impulses in the nervous system to the electromagnetic fields that surround every organ.
The case for establishing subtle energy within scientific discussion rests on identifying verifiable energies that are not part of the electromagnetic spectrum that can be detected by medical instruments such as the electrocardiogram (ECG). The stakes are high. If subtle energies that can’t be measured by existing medical devices play a significant role in health, this would require that the prevailing medical paradigm undergo a major update. Here are six qualities of subtle energies that cannot be explained based on what is currently known about the electromagnetic spectrum and some of the evidence for each.
SIX QUALITIES OF SUBTLE ENERGIES
Quality #1: Subtle Energies Can Exist Without the Biological Structures They Support
More than a million people in the US—over 80% of individuals who have lost a limb –describe phantom-limb pain, yet the tissue, cells, and pain receptors are absent. Conventional medicine typically but inadequately ascribes this phenomenon to reactivated memories from the brain’s sensory cortex. From the perspective of Energy Medicine, if not common sense, the most reasonable explanation is the presence of an energy field around the lost limb.
In Kirlian photography, also known as corona discharge imaging, an object is placed on a photographic plate connected to a high-voltage source. An image is produced from the light emitted by the interaction of the electricity that was applied to whatever was on the photographic plate. A phenomenon known as the phantom leaf effect occurs when a part of a leaf is cut away and placed on the photographic plate. The Kirlian image shows the entire leaf! This suggests that the Kirlian image reflects not only the physical structure but an energy field that persists even in the area of the leaf’s missing part. Donna has successfully relieved phantom-limb pain with individuals who suffered with it for years based on interventions that alleviate disturbances in the energy field where the limb had been.
Quality #2: Subtle Energies Can Change Physical Structures and Events
The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) program, which operated for nearly 30 years, studied the interaction of human consciousness and sensitive physical devices. In hundreds of experiments, the investigators demonstrated that when a group of people, such as a crowd at a football game, is focused on the same event, mechanical devices such as random number generators are affected.
While these effects are minimal, they are statistically significant. Even more striking is the fact that such devices have responded to events happening hundreds of miles away, as reported by the PEAR affiliate known as the Global Consciousness Project. Known properties of the electromagnetic spectrum don’t explain such effects. Yet, some force or resonance has to be at play, and the most plausible guess is that some form of subtle energy is involved.
Quality #3: Subtle Energies Can Hold Memories and Information
Energy Medicine practitioners often stumble upon detailed information about a person’s history that seems to be stored in the body’s energy system. While working with the heart chakra of a morose 36-year-old-woman, Donna told her, “I feel I am looking out at the world from the age of about 7, and I have just lost someone I love dearly. It’s not a parent, yet my grief is too much to bear. My heart is closing down.”
The woman’s startled and tearful response was, “that’s when Robert, my older brother, was accidentally shot by a neighbor boy who was playing with his father’s gun. He died 2 days later.” Donna literally saw the information coming to her in the energy of the woman’s heart chakra.
Quality #4: Subtle Energies Can Make Intelligent Choices
The body makes intelligent choices independent of conscious volition. For instance, the body “knows” how to heal a wound. When the body sustains a wound, an electrical field is formed around the injury. The field organizes the activity in cells and groups of cells. At the same time, electrical currents connecting enormous numbers of cells are produced, acting upon the body to stimulate growth and repair.
The electrical field generated at the site of the wound remains until the repair is complete, attracting mobile skin cells, white blood cells, and fibroblasts that close and heal the wound. Finally, as the tissue heals, the electrical current changes and “feeds back information on the progress of repair to surrounding tissues.”
Quality #5: Subtle Energies Can Create Energetic Blueprints
Energy fields have been shown to direct physiological development as far back as the early 1900s. This was vividly demonstrated in the 1930s by Harold Burr, a neuroanatomist at the Yale School of Medicine. Burr built vacuum-tube voltmeters to detect microvolt differentials. Because measurements could be taken without electrodes touching the skin, Burr reasoned that he was detecting a field phenomenon.
In one of his most well-known experiments, Burr measured the electrical field around an unfertilized salamander egg and found that the electrical field was shaped like a mature salamander, as if the blueprint for the adult was already there in the egg’s energy field. The electrical axis that would later be aligned with the brain and spinal cord were already present in the unfertilized egg!
Quality #6: Subtle Energies Can Support the Diagnosis and Treatment of Health Conditions Over A Distance.
“Medically intuitives” claim to be able to diagnose health conditions with no physical proximity to the individual. To test this, neurosurgeon Norm Shealy provided a medical intuitive, Carolyn Myss, with the names and birthdates of patients he had diagnosed. Although Myss had no contact with the patients and had no other information, her clairvoyant diagnoses matched Shealy’s medical diagnoses in 93% of the cases.
Extraordinary cases of distant healing have also been reported. For instance, Jixing Li, a Qi Gong master in Northern California, was able to direct energies to kill cancer cells in a petri dish in a lab at Pennsylvania State University 3000 miles away. In contrast, cancer cells in untargeted petri dishes just inches away remained unaffected.
Coming to a Clinic Near You (Eventually): Energy-Informed Medicine
Energy Medicine is both a self-care approach and a clinical modality that focuses on the body’s energy systems. Practitioners work with energy systems that are connected to electromagnetic fields but also demonstrate properties of subtle energies that haven’t been found on the electromagnetic spectrum.
As Christiane Northrup, MD, said in her foreword to Donna’s second book, Energy Medicine for Women: “In the medicine of the future, as I envision it, working with the patient’s energy field will be the first intervention. Surgery will be a last resort. Drugs will be a last resort. They will still have their place, but shifting the energy patterns that caused the disease will be the first line of treatment. And before that, teaching people how to keep their energies in healthy patterns will be as much a part of physical hygiene as flossing or exercise.”
Donna has worked with tens of thousands of individuals in classes and followed the progress of the hundreds of certified EEM practitioners. Evidence is growing that embracing a subtle energy framework is the future of health care. As Dr. Mehmet Oz famously put it on Oprah’s TV program: "Energy Medicine is the next frontier in medicine."
This article is based on a more encompassing paper: Development of a Healthcare Approach Focusing on Subtle Energies: The Case of Eden Energy Medicine. The full paper was published in the journal Advances in Mind-Body Medicine. It includes detailed, fascinating case histories drawn from Eden Energy Medicine and shows how energy methods promote the body’s healing process. The paper is available as a free download.
If you have thoughts, ideas, insights, or experiences you’d like to share about this article or the full paper, please comment below. David Feinstein will regularly review the comments and reply to those that move the discussion forward.
Next month’s article will address the use of Energy Psychology in the treatment of addictions. The leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. involves the use of addictive substances such as alcohol, opiates, and tobacco. Energy Psychology can help!
When making a comment below, please enter the name you would like displayed. Your email will only be used to send you notifications if someone replies to your comment or if you subscribe to receive updates when someone else comments on this article.