By Tiffany Hunter, PhD
Published by Common Ground in the November 2015 issue
Kate’s expression was all too familiar to me. While she sat and listed off the remedies and practitioners she’d sought for help with her migraines, I was reminded of how many times I’d seen that look before. It spoke of an exhaustion that comes from too many cycles of hope followed by failure, and the sincere confusion of someone who’s doing everything right according to everything she knows and still not getting what she needs. Kate is not alone. This is a common experience shared by many who come to the energy medicine clinic I cofounded in Marin County, California. And they’re right. They’ve seen the right doctors, had the right tests, are committed to living a healthy and balanced lifestyle, and yet they still don’t have relief. The reason why is that they are not looking at the possibility that the problem or imbalance lies outside of the physical body. The solution many are looking for lies with the state of their energy health.
Our energy health is a product of the strength and balance of the energy systems and energy organs in our body. Most people may be familiar with the terms used to describe these but few understand the impact each has on our general health. A chakra is one example of the many energy organs within the human body. When viewed together, they are an energy system. Meridian lines, known by most as the system their acupuncturist works on to provide greater balance and strength, is another example of an energy system. And there are more.
Energy medicine is the branch of healthcare dedicated to taking care of these systems and ensuring their health. It also ensures they are well integrated and well balanced with all systems in the body, such as our circulatory, respiratory, and central nervous systems.
What is generally accepted or known within all communities and paradigms is that our mind, body, and energy are interconnected. Any unaddressed imbalance in one will usually lead toward imbalances in another. What is not as widely accepted, at least not yet, is the fact that if the original imbalance is in our energy system, any treatments focused on our physical or mental systems will not give us permanent solutions. Instead we begin chasing systems, which is tiring to body and mind, and often leaves the afflicted worrying if something is wrong with them because what seems to work for others is not working for them.
Energy medicine offers a more integrated approach by considering how the health, balance, and consistency of our energy health affects our overall health. It’s often the missing piece. Kate could not find solutions because she was missing a piece to the puzzle. All her considerable efforts were focused on her physical and mental systems, and none were looking at the state of her energy health. She clearly had symptoms in her physical body, but the original imbalance was in her energy. Without understanding that, and how those systems work together, she could not find a permanent solution.
In Kate’s case, getting rid of her migraines permanently meant identifying that the original imbalance was in an energy organ designed to filter the energy vibrations around her but which was not functioning adequately. As a result of that dysfunction, she was inappropriately porous to energy in her environment. Once the original energy imbalance was remedied, the pain that was created as a consequence could also be remedied. Kate found relief in two sessions and was migraine free in seven.
Hospitals and other medical establishments throughout the country are increasingly acknowledging energy medicine techniques such as Reiki. The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at UCSF is the result of a medical community acknowledging that sometimes more is required in human care then originally thought. They’re taking the very practical approach of, “We don’t always know how this works or why, but we do know we need something more than our expertise provides, and energy medicine gets results.” In many facilities the physicians are getting trained themselves. It’s working.
While energy medicine is not necessarily a new field, it is receiving recognition that makes it new to many that have historically taken a more conventional approach to their health. In the Bay Area there are many options to choose from, but navigating those can be a challenge. However, there are guidelines and best practices to follow in your search for more information.
Allow yourself to be more.
Humans are complex beings that are made up of known and unknown parts. We know about dental hygiene, the effects of a well-balanced diet, and the function of our liver, but information on the state of our energy organs and systems is more opaque. But to insist they don’t exist and do not play a part in our health and how we feel is to force a superficiality onto who we are that hurts us. We must remain discerning, but we must also accept that we are far more than we currently understand.
Know your practitioner’s viewpoint.
All energy medicine practitioners are energy healers, but not all energy healers are energy medicine practitioners. This is because some energy healers work within a spiritual tradition, and their understanding of the energy organs and systems is part of that tradition. This is not true of energy medicine practitioners who view the energetic systems and organs as part of human anatomy and therefore unrelated to personal belief or faith. By understanding this you can decide for yourself which is more compatible with your goals and personal preferences.
Let your experience dictate the path.
We are not yet in a time when we have sufficiently validated instruments for diagnosis or outcome evaluation. Nor do we have energy medicine licensing accountability that is nationally recognized or comprehensible by the general public. Rely instead on the most powerful measure of effectiveness there is: Do you feel better? Don’t worry about why, or how, or try to figure out the process. Stay focused on yourself and your pain. Your finding a permanent and complete result in a timely manner is what matters.
Different tools for different jobs.
Just as you would not seek out a dentist for your bad back, recognize that different situations require different expertise, and there are many situations where the energy systems and related organs are the place to search for a solution. Clearly, in cases where nothing else is working but also in situations where energy health is dictating the person’s overall well-being.
Sleep disorders are a common example of this, as it is the interaction between the physical act of sleeping and the energy recuperation that takes place during sleep that dictates the quality of rest and restoration achieved. The release of trauma is another, where it is the energetic charge associated with the traumatic event that is causing the symptoms and must be released from the energy system specifically. Once this has occurred, the mind and body’s ability to recuperate comes with greater ease.
Although it’s frustrating to discover you’ve been trying to use a hammer for a job that requires a screwdriver, the first step is recognizing you may be using the wrong tool to get the job done. However, once we see what’s happening and realize we have other options and other tools at our disposal, we can try again. So next time, with the screwdriver in hand, we can start to see the clouds of confusion and pain part, revealing our freedom and ease. Kate’s relief was profound, and so it should be. The goal is that no one is resigned to a life of pain or unfulfilled potential because they feel they’ve failed or don’t know where to go. Not when energy medicine can be part of our healthcare plan, offering us solutions that are simple, straightforward, and effective.
Tiffany Hunter, PhD, is cofounder and clinic director at Healing for People, an energy medicine clinic in Marin County. HealingForPeople.com