Magical Conception, Effortless Pregnancy: Aligning with Energy and Allowing Life to Flow

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Chiasson as a student as well as a colleague at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Upon graduation from that training, she joined our faculty as an assistant clinical profes- sor of medicine, in charge of introducing medicine of the future to the medical students and residents who come to us. Her specialty interests are energy healing, meditation, and healing ceremony. Professional and academic credentials do not fully convey all that Dr. Chiasson offers. I know her to be a doctor of tremendous compassion, vivacity, and good humor. She approaches healing with a spirit of reverent joy and incisive inquiry.

Drawing upon years of personal exploration of healing traditions in North and South America, she continues to deepen her understanding of the mys- teries of healing and the human experience. Furthermore, she is a wonderful storyteller who delights in the spontaneous discoveries that can occur in the midst of simple human interaction.

It is not uncommon to walk away from a talk by Dr. As I continue to teach and refine Integrative Medicine, I remain firmly enthusiastic about the work of practioners like Dr. Ann Marie Chiasson. Not only is she deepening our awareness of the possibili- ties of energy healing, she is empowering individuals with the means to listen to the deep wisdom of their own bodies. She is also adept at discussing the interface of energy healing with conventional medi- cine. I consider this book an excellent guide for anyone interested in exploring energy as a means of maintaining healthy, dynamic living.

You will learn energy practices that are helpful, and more fundamentally, you will learn to read reality from the level of energy. By reading reality at this level, you can drop into multiple layers of body information through what you sense, feel, see, and even hear about energy, and you can become adept at moving energy in your body and in your environment.

I began to learn energy healing before I even conceived that I might go to medical school. I had met a hands-on healer and took her energy healing class. I began to practice energy healing in my spare time. Years later, when I entered medical school, I was curious about how the energetic body interacted with the physical body and how the paradigm of energy healing would fit into what I would learn in conventional medicine.

How would these two systems work together? Much to my surprise, none of the healers or physicians I encountered shared my view, nor do most of them now. In addition, I had a medical condition that was causing chronic pain. While I was in residency, I had surgery for the problem, but the pain persisted even though there was no longer a medical reason for it.

My doctor hinted that depression was the underlying cause. I knew that there was another paradigm that explained the pain and could lead me out of it. I knew from energy healing that the residual pain was located at the level of the energy body. I began to deepen my study of energy healing, visiting healers and shamans from around the world. By the time I was finally pain free, I had become hooked on what energy healers were teaching me. Through this healing process I came to realize that our current approach to energy healing, energy modalities, and other healing paradigms including conventional medicine is too fractured.

We focus on how to do techniques. We focus on the differences, or divergences, between the healing paradigms. While this approach has brought many wonderful advances in the last two hundred years, to make the next leap in our experience of healing, we must go much deeper, to the common root of all our healing paradigms. The one thing all the healing modalities have in common, at the deepest layer, is the body—at both the physical and energetic level.

While this may seem obvious, the implications are profound. The body is the source of the wisdom and information, but how do we harvest this knowledge? We learn to read reality and the body from the level of energy. Once we can begin to read reality at this level, all the different paradigms begin to make sense in a larger, fuller perspective. The different forms of healing begin to partner with each other with ease. Healing is no longer about using one technique for one problem and another technique for another; it is about learning how to read our own body to get the help we need to bring it back into balance.

I call this body-mind medicine. The body informs the mind of what is happening. We use the body as our tool, and the mind can formulate the questions and answers from the information the body provides. Allowing the body to inform the mind is a natural process, yet through the shift over the past hundreds of years into developing our rational mind and rational processes, some of the connections from the body into the mind, and between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, have been dampened or overridden.

This body-mind perspec- tive is about opening the aperture of our awareness to allow more information from the energy body to come into play in our lives, in how we view our world which informs our reality , and in healing. In this book, I will discuss the reality of energy by exploring the unified field and the shamanic field. It is through this exploration that the convergence happens. Reading or seeing reality from the level of energy is not learning the notes to a song; it is learning what the music is and how to make the music.

I want to stress that learning and using energy healing is not about belief. I do not have to believe in electricity for the lights in my house to turn on. Nature lives by the rules of energy. We do too, although we are not always aware of it, and some of us are rarely aware of it. My awareness of the pregnancy had little role; the baby was growing whether or not I was paying attention.

Energy healing is about opening the aperture of how we see, feel, and experience the world. Energy moves in the body and in our environment all the time. We each have a natural ability to read it and work with it, although individual skillfulness varies. I will induct you into this radically different way of reading your reality by introducing both structured and unstructured information. We need structured information to build the scaffolding of a new topic being learned.

We also need unstructured information, such as experience, to make the information come alive and shift into knowledge. Add years of knowledge with more experience, and one tumbles into wisdom. Experience is the best form of unstructured information, so I encourage you to do the exercises in this book until you are adept at each one. Training in energy healing from this perspective takes time.

I encourage you to give yourself nine months before you look back to assess what has shifted in your health, heal- ing, and life. I will introduce you to multiple paradigms of energy healing so you can begin to see what is underlying the energy perspective. You can use the one that suits you best or explore all the paradigms.

It does not matter how you view energy healing at first. It only matters that you continue to explore what is happening in your body. This is how you will be able to harvest what is happening from the level of energy for yourself. I also use multiple stories to convey information or my experi- ence of becoming aware of certain aspects of energy healing.

While these may seem like digressions, I include them to give you a map similar to an experience. Stories carry energy and pattern; it is the energy and pattern within the story that allows the listener or reader to glean a secondhand experience from the story. Providing this experiential map is the function of myth, stories, and more recently, movies, in cultures throughout the world.

The pattern of an experience can be conferred through a story, as if one has had the experience itself. Even conven- tional medicine is now embracing the power of story in the healing process; this new aspect of medicine is called narrative medicine. In an effort to give you a better ability to read energy and pattern in the energy healing process, I include stories from my experiences at different stages of my own exploration.

We can also talk about structured and unstructured information as rational and nonrational information and even as right- and left- hemisphere brain activity. Rational thought and didactic learning occur mostly in the left hemisphere, and nonrational learning and nonrational abilities occur mostly in the right hemisphere. Energy healing and most of the skills used to sense, see, feel, and read energy are housed in the nonrational area of the brain. Reading reality from the level of energy involves skills that depend on the experiential, nonrational right side of the brain.

If you have never worked with energy, then learning to read energy and to engage in energy healing are like learning to speak a foreign language. The more you strive or struggle to understand this material, the more you are using the rational process instead of the experiential process. Instead, I encourage you to let your world tilt, to use the practices, and to watch what happens.

The book may bring up as many new questions as it does answers. If this happens, it means you are well on your way to learning this new language. Expect to be shifted by what you learn. Likely, you will feel more a part of the natural world again. You will fall back into sync with the naturalness of what is going on within you and around you, and your sense of being separate from the natural world will disappear.

It is our access to this wisdom that governs how we work with the physical body and energy body. As you work with the practices in this book, I suggest you use the tech- niques rigorously just as they are described for a few months in order to harvest what each practice is offering. However, once you begin to experience the body at the level of energy, you may find variations or new practices that are offered up by the wisdom of your body. I encourage you to allow your body and the energy within your body and the natural world around you to become your primary teachers and guides.

I will give you a unified view of a few of these various systems, so you can see how they are inter- related, as I do. Energy medicine was commonly used in the West as late as the s, most notably by Franz Mesmer, a nineteenth-century physician who was the father of hypnosis and whose name is the root of the word mesmerize. We are now in an integration phase; we are able to harvest the wisdoms of other paradigms of healing and integrate them into our current views and therapies.

We see that medicine is an art and that many of these older paradigms— including energy healing, traditional Chinese medicine, ayurvedic medicine, mind-body medicine which dates back to the ancient Greek temples of Asclepius , and herbal or botanical medicine—are of value in treating certain illnesses. Energy therapies and tech- niques can help with disease prevention and general wellness—and with conditions where conventional medicine is insufficient, such as chronic pain, chronic disease, and healing from deep psychological or physical trauma.

We are beginning to see an integration of many different paradigms and can explore which technique works best for which disease or combination of symptoms. Instead, these terms are currently applied to healing techniques that fall within the putative fields that NCCAM describes. It is difficult to research the energy field of the body, although some research is appearing.

There is reproducible, fair data showing that energy healing can decrease pain and the use of pain medication. We can also measure the effect an energy healer has on plants and animals. The Energy Body Energy healing, or energy medicine, is based on the ancient concept that there is a vital force, an underlying flow of energy, both within the physical body and extending from it. I like to think of the physical body as a plant and the energy body as the soil in which the plant grows. While factors other than the soil such as trauma, freezing temperatures, or poor sunlight might impact the health of the plant, the overall homeostasis and growth of the plant relies on the soil.

The flow of energy through the subtle body can be compared to the flow of water through a river and its tributaries. If a dam is built along the river an energy block forms or a huge rain dumps extra water into the river there is an enormous influx of energy , the water will overflow to create new streams. If there is a paucity of water energy , the smaller, shallower tributaries will dry up. Our goal in energy healing is to keep the water the energy flowing smoothly throughout the system by clearing the main riverway and the tributaries and dredging any silt that builds up, so to speak.

What is the anatomy of the energy body? In Western culture today, the most commonly known paradigms are from traditional Chinese medicine TCM , which includes the dan tiens and meridians; the chakra system and aura from India; and the matrix described in several shamanic traditions. These systems have all been written about extensively elsewhere; I will give a brief overview of each, and the references can give you more extensive material. The Dan Tiens and Meridians Traditional Chinese medicine is the most complexly mapped system of energy to date.

The ancient texts written about TCM go back five thousand years and describe techniques still employed today: herbal medicines, acupuncture, breath, movement, and energy techniques to restore the energy, or chi qi , balance in the body. In TCM, there are three primary energy centers, called the dan tiens figure 1.

The lower dan tien is what regulates or controls the overall energy or vitality of the body. The middle dan tien is responsible for the heart, thymus, throat, and the emotional body; the upper dan tien is responsible for the head and brain and the spiritual body. They communicate with each other and with the organs of the body, as well as with the meridians see figure 2 , to influence and affect the function of the body. In addition, each organ in the body has an energy that communi- cates with and influences the other organs in the body.

For example, the liver can overpower the spleen, or the spleen can affect the heart. Outside the dan tiens and organs, right under the skin, is the meridian system, a series of linear energy channels throughout the body figure 2. This meridian system is what acupuncture, acu- pressure, and many of the body-tapping techniques presented in this book work on.

MARIA MAGDALENA IN MY HEART

The Upanishads were the first written texts of Indian philosophy that described the origins of health. How these main vortices rotate and how they communicate their energy flow with each other controls the health of the body. Each of these chakras has a function and an effect on the body. They affect organ function through a healthy energy flow or lack of flow.

For example, at the level of energy, the first chakra is one of the gates, or connection points, to the larger energy field around us see chapter 2. It connects to and communicates with the larger energy field around us, interpreting the energy from the larger field. To whatever extent this chakra is communicating with the energy field around the body is the extent to which we are grounded. In chapter 6, we will discuss the functions of the other chakras and how the chakras work in concert. The Aura Connected with the chakra system and also originating from the Hindu tradition, the aura is the aspect of our energy body that radi- ates out from the physical body and is in constant communication with everything around it figure 4.

When you stand close enough to others, you are within their auric field, and they are within yours. The Hindu tradition delineates layers of the aura called kosas. This is a more complex topic than the scope of this book, yet I bring it up here because you may bump into this energy wisdom as you use the material I present in this book. The Matrix Oral healing traditions, both in the shamanic traditions and in aboriginal cultures, describe a matrix of energy that is like a grid within the body.

This matrix is similar to the Chinese meridian system, yet it is located deeper in the body and is a three-dimensional web of energy made up of very fine filaments of energy figure 5. The matrix paradigm is becoming more popular in Western culture with the advent of energy techniques that work with it. In the Mexican shamanic, or nagual, view, the entire universe is seen as a matrix of filaments of energy. We will explore the assemblage point more in chapter 2.

The communication between our body and the energy field around us is constant. Our energy bodies are not separate from the energy flowing in the world around us and energy of other living things in the energy field around us. All the energy healing traditions describe the same thing, though each paradigm defines this connection differently. The Three-Dimensional Energy Body Different healers perceive, see, and describe the energy body differ- ently, according to how they were trained. It was as if I could sense or see only the system I was learning at the time.

I approach new modalities as an open-minded skeptic, so at one stage of my journey I began to wonder if I was feeling and sensing in my hands and body because of a brain signal stemming only from my belief from what I was learning at the moment i. Later, I experienced another phenomenon: I began to perceive pathways in the body that I knew nothing about.

I felt confused as I noticed energy channels that crossed the body and ran up and down in ways that were different than the systems I was familiar with. At that point, I noted how all of these energy anatomies worked together, in the same way the systems of the body—skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, and so on—work together. I believe healers perceive the energy body according to the training they have had; their training teaches them to pitch their attention to the specific anatomy or layer of the energy body their modality works with.

Western medical specialists do the same thing, seeing the body through the system they are working with. A cardiologist focuses on the heart and cardiovascular system, but she or he does not look for broken bones. Energy healers have the same partitions; they see the body and treat it from the level of the energy body they were trained in. How we are taught healing affects both how we see and hold the healing and how we perceive the energy field.

This is a key Figure 6: A composite view of the different energy anatomies: At the deepest layer are the dan tiens. Moving outward, there are the chakras, then the matrix, and finally, right under the skin, the meridians. The aura is outside of and around the physical body. In this composite view of the different energy anatomies, at the deepest layer are the dan tiens. As we move toward the skin, we have the chakras, then the matrix, and finally, right under the skin, the meridians. The aura extends out beyond the body—between twenty and thirty feet or beyond, depending on which layer of the aura we are working with.

Figure 6 shows how I see the composite energy body and the different anatomies working together. I am sure these maps are an unrefined description of what is happening, yet they help structure the way we interact with the energy body. Illness, Trauma, and the Energy Body Ordinarily, illness develops when there is a problem in the energy body.

In the natural history of a disease, the energy body first becomes blocked or unbalanced. Over time, disease develops, and, finally, symptoms appear in the physical body. Major diseases typi- cally appear years after a disruption in the natural flow of energy has begun, depending on the location and severity of the block or imbal- ance see figure 7. A woman came to see me with chronically itchy legs. Her symptoms were so uncomfortable that she had scabbing all over her lower limbs from scratching so much. In her case, first there was an energy block in the legs and hips, so the energy flow was not moving through her legs properly.

Next, she had pathology develop inflammation in the lower limbs , then symptoms of intense itching. She went to a dermatolo- gist, who prescribed steroids. This is usually an effective treatment for this type of neurodermatitis, yet the steroids did not work. A month or so later, she came into my office, and I prescribed a technique called Toe Tapping see chapter 3 for the underlying energy cause. Had I seen her before the dermatologist, I would have prescribed both the steroids and the Toe Tapping, as I use all the modalities that can work with a diagnosis, not only energy heal- ing techniques.

A few years later she returned to my office, as the itching had begun again. I encouraged her to start the Toe Tapping again to move the stagnant energy in her legs, and her symptoms resolved immediately. The key point is that the energy imbalance occurs first, before any symptoms or pathology in most cases of illness and disease. Once the pathology is present, using conventional medicine with all other effective modalities is best, and working with the energy body during the entire process will facilitate healing more quickly.

While disease takes time to develop, pain a symptom that comes from blocked energy can occur right away. In the case of trauma, the energy field is disrupted at the same time as the physical body. After the initial disruption, the symptom, pain, occurs. Then the healing occurs at the level of the energy body simultaneously or before it occurs in the physical body. Residual symptoms occur usually because of a residual energy obstruction or an inadequate physical healing see figure 8. The healing of the physical body and energy body are not sepa- rate; working with the energy flow can speed physical healing and help with restoration of normal physical functioning.

We can see this with the case of a broken bone. The energy field is disrupted at the same time as the bone breaks. As the bone mends, the flow of energy also comes back into alignment as much as possible. Residual symptoms, such as aching after increased activity or with weather changes, can be addressed at the level of the energy body.

Using energy exercises to restore energy flow can alleviate the long-term residual symptoms, if there are any, after the bone has healed. Weaknesses in the immune system leading to infection are also dependent on the energy flow in the body. This is one reason why not everyone in a household may catch the current cold going around, or why some people can fight off penetrating organisms while others become ill.

The body will wall off the infection, and the energy flow will move around the abscess. What Is Healing? While we talk about the energy body and the flow of energy as two different things, they are, in fact, one entity. The energy body is a body of energy in constant flow and movement. We can assist the health of the energy body and the flow of energy by opening energy channels and allowing sluggish or stagnant energy to flow in its natural patterns. Illness, symptoms, and energy blocks all occur in an effort to bring an energy pattern back to its natural flow. It is important to stress that healing is the restoration of the underlying flow in the body.

Healing is the unwinding of energy blocks. Healing is redemption of a wound that has been inflicted or an illness that has appeared. Healing is the movement of the energy body back toward whole- ness, back toward its original pattern, albeit with imperfection or scars and often with change.

This healing process requires a remarkable symphony of factors. With illness, the illness itself can be part of a healing response. The energetically weak area becomes involved in illness, and through the healing of the problem, the energy flow and the physical body return to homeostasis and balance.

The illness is the resolution of the con- flict at the level of energy.

From this perspective, illness is the beginning of healing at the level of the energy body. The body is moving toward healing, so the illness constellates to make up for the chronic or acute energy problem in the body. The idea that illness is serving the healing process is a radically different way of viewing illness, and it will allow for a deep appreciation of the wisdom of the body. The body is clever, amazing, and incredible. The physical site of a disease, pain, or other problem does not always correspond exactly with the blocked spot in the energy body. In the chakra anatomy system, the disease often manifests in an area of the physical body that is one or two chakras away from the energy block.

In fact, it would get worse, and I would gag on the table. Then one week, she worked deeply at my high heart, in my upper chest, between my fourth and fifth chakras, and we both felt the energy pop and move. The block had been in my chest, but the symptoms Figure 9: The physical site of a disease, pain, or other problem does not always match the blocked spot in the energy body.

For instance, pain in the knee or foot often stems from an energy block at the hip. I learned later that the high heart is a place where we work with and store fear; think of how you catch your breath when you are afraid, or how asthma attacks often include anxiety. Perhaps the healer was able to open the blocked flow because I had finally aligned with the huge shift that was coming with having my first child and, thus, I was ready to release my fear about the change.

When energy healers talk about a block or an imbalance, we nor- mally mean a place in the energy body where the flow of energy is sluggish or not moving along at the pace it would in a healthy or unblocked energy body. I like to use the analogy of plumbing in a house. If a pipe has a constriction or buildup inside it, the flow of water through the pipe will not be as brisk as in an unblocked pipe figure Further, pressure will build up behind the constriction in Figure A block in the energy body is like a block in a water pipe.

Constriction or buildup in the pipe the energy body restricts the flow of water energy , causing a backup or overflow behind the block and a paucity in front of it. Energy pathways also get congested, and they overflow.

Order and abundance

We can also use the TCM model of the dan tiens, which we will also explore in chapter 6. Professional and academic credentials do not fully convey all that Dr. We often visited them in their little, beautiful house by the forest. This allows energy to move between parts of the body, from overflow or stagnant areas to low-flow areas. This is just the beginning I'm sure, and rest assured I'll be with you all the way. Broughton Hall Estate, Yorkshire.

We experience this overflow often as heat and inflammation in the physical body. In addition, the block will result in a lower flow of energy farther along the path, because the energy is building up at the block instead of moving through at an unobstructed pace. If we look back at the block of energy in the hip, not only can there be pain in the hip, knee, or ankle, there will also be less energy flowing into the lower abdomen area. This person would likely feel more tired, as his or her core energy would be diminished.

Instead of receiving energy through the right and the left hip, he or she would receive only a strong flow up the unaffected leg. They include external insults, like toxins or bacteria; genetic or hereditary causes; and physical or emotional trauma. Transferring energy, which we can practice with touch, breath, and sound, is actually adding energy into an area. We can add more energy through a low-flow or blocked area, and over time the channel will open.

Removing blocks in the energy body means breaking up blocks and tangles in the matrix, chakras, or dan tiens to help the energy move through them naturally in order to align the energy body as a whole. This allows energy to move between parts of the body, from overflow or stagnant areas to low-flow areas. Except in the case of pain, the difference between transferring energy, moving energy, and opening blocks becomes a bit of an extraneous point, as these three realities are working in a harmonious symphony. The key is to keep the entire energy body clear and open so the energy flowing promotes health and healing.

Pain is the result of blocked energy, and chronic pain indi- cates blocks that have been around for some time. Adding energy into an energy system with multiple energy blocks can cause an increase in pain if you do not move slowly and, at the same time, seek to open the flow in blocked areas. In some ways, energy healing is more about preventing disease and illness than healing them, because working with the energy body allows us to notice and resolve areas of difficulty before disease or illness shows up in the physical body.

Once a disease is pres- ent in the physical body, conventional treatment is often required, although energy healing techniques are usually wonderful adjuncts to conventional treatment. When I first started using energy healing techniques, a friend asked me to work on her. While she lay on the floor, I scanned her aura. I noticed that something was different in the level of the energy body at her lower abdomen. Compared to the energy of the rest of her body, there was a different consistency in her aura in that area.

I remember telling her it felt like I was running my hand over gravel. A few months later, she called me from the hospital. She had gone to the emergency room with pain in her lower left abdomen.

As my friend had a larger build, she had not been able to feel a bump or fullness in her abdomen up to that point. After her surgery to remove the tumor, as she was recovering in the hospital, I visited her and did more energy healing work on her every day. She later told me that she had recovered and was able to leave the hospital faster than her medical team had expected.

They were surprised by how soon they could let her go home. Not only did the energy field inform me where her problem was initially, but the energy healing in the hospital also helped with her recovery—with clearing the anesthetic used in the surgery, with wound healing, and with get- ting her up and around.

Energy can be moved in the energy body through movement, touch, sound and vibration, the breath, electricity or current, light, and magnets. Even wind, rain, or sunlight can move energy in our bodies, the same way they move energy in our environment. Try this: stand in a strong wind and notice how you feel afterwards—more clear and more energized.

You may do the same with rain or sun. Even standing next to a tree may begin to move energy in your body. Pets are the best example of how natural forces can affect our energy. It is well documented that pets have a healing effect on us; it is the effect of their energy field, and the power of energy transfer through touch, that results in this healing shift. In this book, we will explore movement, hands-on healing, sound, and breath as means of moving energy.

Moving the physical body promotes energy flow throughout the energy body, and it enhances energy flow throughout the entire energy body, not just one area. Rigorous exercise is a means of moving energy, but even small movements can have a profound impact as the area being moved impacts the flow in the rest of the body. Many of the energy healing techniques I use and include in this book make use of movement.

While our entire body can be used to move energy, our hands are very sensitive and have more nerve endings than most other parts of the body. Our hands also run a small amount of measureable current and can transfer energy into the body with ease. It works on our own bodies and on the bodies of others we touch. We will also focus our attention on tapping techniques that move energy through mechanical vibration and small movements. I also love using a handheld massager, which moves energy very quickly and breaks up energy blocks the same way it breaks up tension or a knot in a muscle.

Sound moves energy through sound waves and mechanical vibration. Rattles, for example, are used in many healing traditions. Both the sound and the vibration they produce rapidly and effectively break up stagnant energy. Finally, focused breath can move energy within the energy body in a profound way, as it is using both attention and awareness. We will explore multiple breathing techniques in chapter 5. Several of the techniques described in this book use specific breathing patterns to move energy in particular ways. The Benefits of Energy Healing Energy healing means keeping the energy body as clear as possible and the energy flowing through it in a healthy way.

A healthy energy body will promote health, increase your vitality, and also help prevent disease and illness from developing. If you are already healthy, then using energy healing techniques to restore and maintain energetic balance will enable you to see what is occurring in your energy body as you become more aware of the energy flow. If you have had surgery or are ill or injured, working with your energy body can help you speed up healing in your physical body.

If you are expe- riencing pain or a chronic illness, you will notice that using energy healing on yourself over time will begin to move blocks in your body and begin your journey back to energy balance and adaptation. Here is the way I see health and healing happening in the energy healing paradigm: first we need to open the body and ground it, then we can clear it of old and recent blocks, and finally we can go in and do specific repair work.

This is the model that the practices in this book are based on. Many energy healing techniques act as adaptogens with the body. The concept of an adaptogen is not commonly held in our culture, yet it is well described and used in botanical medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. For example, if the body has moved into the extreme of low blood pressure, an adaptogen would increase blood pressure, yet the same adaptogen would decrease blood pressure in someone with blood pressure that is too high.

The same herb or therapy, used on both low and high blood pressure, would result in a person having a more normal or healthy blood pressure. In energy healing, the same technique can often increase energy in a part of the body where energy is low and decrease it in another area where energy is too high. One of the most important ways energy healing enhances our health is by decreasing anxiety. We know that the relaxation benefits of energy healing have an impact on health.

In the s, Dr. It is now becoming apparent in conventional medicine that most or all disease starts as inflammation, and the autonomic nervous system affects the overall inflammation in the body. This means that tend- ing to inflammation and to the nervous system, as energy healing techniques do, may be an important way to keep the body healing itself and to prevent disease.

The depth of the effect of energy modalities may also explain why energy balance is so important in many paradigms of health and healing, yet so difficult to research. It may be involved in the earliest stages of illness and disease and too early to detect with our outcomes-based research. The Body Moves toward Self-Healing As explained earlier, healing can be defined as our body moving back toward its original pattern of wholeness.

The body is constantly bringing itself back to homeostasis balance and wholeness by heal- ing, detoxifying, and adapting. We often take it for granted that the body moves naturally toward self-healing. Think of any cut or blister you have had. It naturally healed over the period of a few days, and the process involved a remarkable symphony of factors.

We help both the energy body and our physical body to heal by opening energy channels and allowing sluggish or stagnant energy to flow in its natural patterns. I began to notice how the body moves back to homeostasis after I began to delve deeply into energy healing work. As I practiced energy healing techniques regularly, I became balanced and healthy.

The long-term energy blocks that had caused my chronic pain disap- peared, and my body would respond and react energetically as it was meant to, healing itself quickly and efficiently. I still pulled muscles or injured myself or became ill at times, yet if I worked with the energy body, healing could move along very quickly—and it still does. I first saw that the energy healing practices were really working when I pulled a muscle slightly one day in the course of running around after my two toddlers. I had a sore neck and shoulder, like I was beginning to get a crick in my neck. I could still turn my head, yet there was a noticeable sensation in my neck and shoulder.

That evening, when I crawled into bed, I lay on my back and placed my hands over my thighs to balance the flow in my energy body. Then I relaxed, dropped my hands to my side, and began to drift off to sleep. When I was almost asleep, I heard a slight buzz in my right ear, and my right arm began to shake and lift off the bed, almost as if it were having a spasm.

My arm twitched up, off the bed, and back down. After about ten seconds, both the movement and the buzzing stopped, and I noticed my neck and shoulder were no longer sore or tight. The blocked energy had discharged itself and cleared the path; the muscle relaxed. All the wonderful women that were there and shared their stories, you inspired me so much.

Thanks so much to Eleven Healing and ookushana for creating such a warm, welcoming and safe space that allowed so many people to open up the way they did. There is absolutely nothing but positivity to take away from others who open their heart to you. Connecting with a group of beautiful like minded souls was incredible. Every female should do something like this. I've tried to put into words how totally humbled by the strength and power of the women in that room last night.

Josie and Felicity held the space so beautifully and it was really an evening of opening, surrendering, receiving and letting go. I felt truly nurtured and held. I was blown away by what can happen when a group of individuals come together to share and be vulnerable. Truly grateful for the experience that was last night. Friday 8th March - Monday 11th March. Broughton Hall Estate, Yorkshire. The womb, possibly the least talked about organ, yet one of the most powerful.

One which bridges heaven and earth, spirit and matter. One which connects us to our wisdom, passion and pleasure. It is our power centre. The seat of our intuition. The garden of our creativity. It is divine. It is sacred. Not only does this sacred space within us have the ability to birth new life, but this magical portal can create and birth our dreams and manifestations into reality. As women, we can carry pain, ancestral trauma, conditioning, fear, shame and guilt within our womb space for many years or even lifetimes.

These blockages sit within us, suppressing our natural energy flow, our true feminine nature, our innocence, our freedom to be ourselves and shine our light out into the world. Many ancient traditions understood and honoured the creative power that lies within the womb, yet it seems we have become disconnected from that knowledge.

Today, we rarely pay much attention to our womb other than when we experience pain, physical issues or until we come to need it. This is through no fault of our own but simply a lack of education from the knowledge which has slowly dissipated through generations. However, we are being called to remember the ancient wisdom that lies within our very own body, our temple. The womb holds the key to activate and reawaken us to our deep feminine power. Join Josie Eleven Healing and Felicity ookushana for this empowering and transformational healing journey to reawaken and purify our womb space, using an abundance of gentle yet powerful healing modalities.

We will spend 3 immersive days within the beautiful estate of Broughton Hall which is abundant in nature. You will be lovingly held and supported with gentleness as we delve deep into our sacred womb space. NOW is the time to remember your truth and reclaim your power. Together we will RISE. This will be a reminder of true sisterhood. Feeling safe and supported to be yourself and express your truth. A remembrance of the magic that lies within YOU. Reconnecting to your womb, heart, body and soul on all levels. Releasing blockages, pains and attachments weighing you down, and in turn creating space to invite new opportunities into your life, in the form of sacred relationships, dreams and all your heart desires.

We invite you to join us on this heart opening journey to reconnect to your womb, to the womb of the Divine Mother, from whom all life is created. You will be guided to form a deeper connection to yourself, your intuition, your light. Bringing forth greater acceptance and love for yourself and others. The shifts will continue to flow out into all areas your life.

A transformative weekend of healing, connection and self-exploration to feed the senses and create positive shifts in mind, body and spirit. You will be guided through sacred rituals including ceremonial cacao, ecstatic dance, intention setting, fire circles, satsang, meditation, singing, energy healing, movement, light language, sound healing and creative expression. You will be nurtured on every level with wholesome, vegan food focused on bringing warmth and nourishment to your womb.

There will be space to allow your healing process to integrate including free time, nature walks and a relaxing morning in Avalon Wellness Centre with use of the luxury clear pool, hydro-massage pool, sauna and steam room. Avalon is a unique building created for the purpose of exploring personal evolution. A state of the art facility to serve the inner voyage of mind, body and spirit. Situated within the idyllic acre estate of Broughton Hall on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales acting as a Sanctuary for wellbeing and earth connection.

A perfect synergy for stillness, healing and peace within the whirlwind of modern life. Eden Cottage 6 bedrooms, sleeping Retreat guides will be staying in Eden Cottage which is where all meals will be served and some ceremonies will be held. Please let us know if you have a preference. Please note, this will be on a first come, first serve basis. There are 3 private single rooms and 2 private double rooms available.

We are more than happy to offer a payment plan split over months if this helps to make this more affordable for you so please get in touch to discuss options. Please note, cancellation must be made by Friday 8th February Please contact Josie or Felicity if you would like to book your space or discuss any queries at all.

Josie Ross josie elevenhealing. Felicity Weston hello ookushana. We will discuss this connection at the level of nature later in this book. It felt as if a bee were trapped inside my body. I paid close attention. What was this? Two friends I was with noticed the vibration, too. Some connection had opened in my body. It was like an inner motor. I knew it was a connection through to the uni- fied field of energy through the root chakra—connection at the level of the shamanic field.

After this experience, my sensitivity to the entire unified field of energy heightened dramatically; it was as if I were living with all my faculties for the first time. I was amazed. I had somehow been recon- nected with the web of energy that the entire world was feeding on, living on—or maybe not reconnected, but connected a new, different way. For example, I began to notice birds flying by—notice them not with my eyes or ears, but with my energy body. With my eyes closed, I would feel a movement above me and then notice the bird.

People walking far away caused energy disturbances I felt in the energy of my body. All of a sudden, minute energy movements—not just the mental, audi- tory, and visual cues life gives us—became my information. With practice, I could accurately differentiate what things were causing the movements I was sensing. Right or wrong, the reconnection to the shamanic field began to shift my life significantly.

I quickly realized and understood the indigenous wisdom that our energy is not ours; it does not belong to us. I began to live my life in alignment with this overall energy flow, and life became easier—so much easier. My issue was that I was not connected to the mind.

I did not understand the rational-mind perspective. It frightens them because a mind that is not in communication with the body and its energy field seems, in some ways, to be lying. I immediately understood what she meant. Yet as irrational as their actions may seem, they are in accord with the larger energy field. The mind and the body are both worthwhile ways of connecting with the unified energy field. Most people have not trained the mind to be connected either to the unified energy field or to the body and its energy field, so their mind is usually off running wild on its own.

Those who follow more mind-full traditions connect to the unified energy field through the mind alone and ignore the information coming from the body. As a result, these people are often connected only through the upper aspects of their body to the unified energy field. For example, they might be able to communicate through what they call angels, to channel spiritual information, or to read the eternal energetic archive of souls known as the Akashic Records; however, they might still be disconnected from temporality, the physical, nature, or the earth—and all the energies these lower aspects of the unified energy field provide.

Reading reality at the level of energy requires reading energy through the body. The body is what is connected to the natural world and temporality. It is possible to connect to the unified field through the upper aspects and the lower parts of our energy body at the same time. Add in connecting through the heart simultaneously, and you are on the fast track to awakening. The differences in how we connect into the unified field of energy create the dichotomy we see today between traditions.

It is the mind- body split, the scientific-indigenous split, some of the yin-yang split, and maybe, in fact, the split between the right and left sides of the brain. Most of us have a penchant for one connection or the other, yet we are all connected in both ways to some extent. I believe that, collectively, we are coming into an integration, into the ability to connect at the mind, the body, and the heart.

With training, the mind can serve the process of connecting to the body and shamanic field; if untrained, the mind can get in the way. I like to use the example of surfing. We are out on our surfboard in life. The water is the shamanic field of energy, and the waves are the experiences and events that come to us in life. A big wave of energy comes, in the form of an event or experience. We have a choice to surf it or not. If we see the wave of energy coming, we can ride it to the best of our ability until the water becomes calm again.

We may still crash, but if we do, we then have a choice: get back on the board and surf, or sit in the water wondering what happened. We are always surfing these energy waves, both in our personal lives and in the collective energy of the shamanic and uni- fied energy fields. Most people who come through my door do not have a problem understanding the mind and working from that. However, they are often working from a mind that is not strongly connected to the shamanic field or the unified energy field; instead, it is connected only to their own energy field.

The aperture that allows awareness to come in is too small. In these cases, people are living their lives from a set of ideas about how life should be. There is a lot of disappointment in this disconnected reality. Once we connect our personal energy field to the unified field of awareness, then we begin to float downstream, to flow with the current of our life. We begin to have new abilities, new access to awarenesses, and we are capable of action that is outside our old range of possibility.

We can pitch our awareness to the larger field of energy around us, and it augments our perspective on life and healing. I am not dismissing the mind here. I think the last five hundred years of rational thought have brought wondrous advances to life. I also think that we have become over-domesticated in many ways.

We know from research that animals respond to information out- side our normal awareness. During the Southeast Asia tsunami of , many animals moved out of the affected area before the wave hit. Cats in Los Angeles disappear before earthquakes at a predict- ably high rate.

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I think the same is true for us. In some ways we have become over- domesticated like the zoo animals—no longer able to instinctively respond to seismic vibrations or information from the natural world. Although we may have closed ourselves off to these signals, it is impossible for us to be disconnected from the shamanic field. Because we cannot ever totally lose that connection, it is possible for us to reopen our awareness of it. Reopening Our Connections When I experienced the buzzing in my pelvis, I knew that I was connecting to the unified energy field with my root chakra.

Since then, I have come to realize that it is possible to connect to the unified field of energy through any chakra or dan tien. Staying con- nected to the energy of the mind via the upper dan tien and upper chakras , the heart via the middle dan tien or heart chakra , and body the lower dan tien or lower chakras can lead us to differ- ent experiences of the present moment, because each connects us to a different aspect of the unified energy field.

As we explore the heart center later in the book, you will experience being connected to the unified energy field through the heart, which is also part of its own collective energy field. It is also possible to be connected to the unified energy field through multiple energy centers in the body at once and, thus, hold two or three or more states of awareness and connection at once. Doing so takes time and practice, and it is an art.

To develop this skill of staying connected, I spent two years lis- tening to my body more than my head. When I had a choice of what to do, I did what enlivened my lower dan tien. Having followed the call of my mind for the better part of thirty-seven years, I decided to follow the call from my lower dan tien all day long—every time I had to choose between different possibilities. What I found was surprising—and that is probably no surprise. Often in the mornings when I awoke, my body was not aligned with the plans I had made for that day, and that difference proved to be a challenge.

Once, my husband and I had planned a day together. I was excited for the rare time away from the children, alone with my husband. Make something creative. Perhaps our bodies had already mutually decided what was going to happen. Perhaps I was responding to his body-fullness, or he was already aligned with mine. So we spent our morning in our own activities.

I went to the pot- tery studio and began to work with the clay, letting my hands guide the work without any thought to what I was making. I was surprised when I created a sculpture of a woman kneeling, giving birth to a baby. Stunned, I admired her. Four days later, I became pregnant, against many odds. I had used plenty of contraception—in fact, more than usual. The mystery occurred anyway. The sculpture had provided the map, so when I saw the positive preg- nancy test a few weeks later, I knew I had been forewarned and was ready. I think my body was connected to the future and to its own desires, despite the fact that my husband and I thought we had com- pleted our family.

The sculpture presaged joy, and I was aligned to our next journey through the body. When we connect to the unified energy field through the body, it is easy to sense what is coming. We are comfortable letting what sparks us and the pull of the uni- fied energy field run the show—not our mind or our ideas or the minds or ideas of others. I feel that when we are aligned, we get a sense of what is coming and align our energies with it, which then means we now want it. I manifested it! I think we do not actually manifest everything; instead, we are able to sense what is coming into our lives and align with it.

When the thing or event occurs, we may feel as if we made it happen, we manifested it, or we got what we wanted, but what we really did is connect with what is already happening and what is due to come. Desire does play a crucial role, as our desire can stimulate the flow of energy to flow toward us. In this sense, we are involved in manifestation. Yet our desire is for life, healing, or vitality, not a new car or more money, for example. Manifestation, then, is actually the ability to be available to the information of the unified energy field, and the shamanic field specifically; to respond to what quickens us through our energy centers; and to be open to whatever is about to occur.

The deity of the Seri Indians is the pelican, and historically the Seris made their clothes from pelican skins and feathers. When I asked Lydia how she connects to the sha- manic energy field for healing work, she said she connects through the birds. Lydia and a few women from her tribe joined us. One of our participants asked Lydia for a healing.

Lydia sat down, shook the rattle in her hand, and sang a song to the birds. We were on the second floor of a house, and there was a balcony outside. When she finished, the birds flew away. Birds live within the natural world or shamanic field, and Lydia was able to connect specifically to the bird energy because she was part of a culture or healing tradition that revered birds. Our Western minds do not always see or understand. When Lydia had finished her song, she nodded to me; the healing was done. Our client was lying on the floor and looked confused.

When would the healing occur? We must see a healing to feel it has been done. Could you go over to our client here and use your hands to do a healing on her as well? She walked over to this young woman and ran her hands over her body for a few minutes. Then she nodded again. I thanked her and so did the client, who immediately relaxed and smiled. My grandmother once told me a story about holding my aunt Betsy, a newborn, in her arms. My grandfa- ther was making a repair on the roof, and she was standing outside under the roof where he was working.

All of this happened at the same instant she stepped back. The vibration comes in and is filtered through the assemblage points or chakras or filters that it activates. How we ask ourselves the question about connection to the invis- ible forms our experience.

Recognizing how we translate the energy of the unified and shamanic fields inside ourselves—as a voice, movement, or impulse—is the trick to beginning to read the fields. It allows us to make sense of little cues and actions that seemingly make no sense. I believe we use our religions, beliefs, and traditions as structures for understanding what I call our primary awareness, which is active all the time. For example, when I am in a new place, the images I receive are often aligned with that culture, even if I do not know about that culture.

I think this happens because the images are not separate from the land that culture is based in. If I am listening to the land, it can gift up the images harvested by those who live there. If I limit my hearing to only my tradition, all the vibrations I receive are translated into the images and understandings of that tradition. When we begin to really listen to the unified field of energy, many new dimensions of it open up. Realizing how we currently translate energetic, vibrational information is key to beginning to track the entire unified field and energy. Opening and connecting to the larger unified energy field allows us to feel and connect into vitality, awareness, and heal- ing.

Life still happens; we still get sick, injured, or exhausted. Yet if we keep our personal energy field open to the vitality of the energy in the lower body, and if we clear previous blocks and continue to work with the energy, life will lead us to that which we need next. Physical healing is augmented, and certainly we can have more health and vitality. I have seen people stay connected to energy and vitality even as they make their last transition into death.

Reading the unified energy field is a skill and a wondrous advan- tage that helps us enjoy life. I think everyone can learn to read and listen to it, regardless of whether she or he has the desire, capacity, or calling to be a shaman or healer. Reading the field includes knowing that the energy in it is conscious. It is awareness; it is awake.

The uni- fied energy field cannot make a mistake; only our interpretation of it can be off. Reading the field is what is required to deeply explore energy, energy healing, and body awakening, and the body is the best energy reader we have. Toward the end of this book, we will explore how to begin reading the field.

We will start by more fully opening and clearing the lower energy centers of the body—the legs, first chakra, second chakra, and lower dan tien—and connecting to the unified energy field through these centers. Gathering Energy In my medical practice, I have people in their late forties or fifties coming into the office and complaining of chronic exhaustion for the first time in their lives. They are perplexed about why they no longer have the energy and vitality they had when they were younger. It is dependent on how connected we are to the energy field of the earth. Each of us is born with a yolk sac of energy that life gifts to us, but by midlife we have used up this energy.

So after the age of forty or so, we must gather energy into our personal energy fields each day. Fortunately, we are part of and, therefore, in constant connection with the energy field of the earth, so we can gather energy from it for ourselves. The part of our energy anatomy that connects us to this larger field is the lower dan tien or lower chakra centers, in the lower part of the body. Once we tap into the larger energy field of the earth, we feel enlivened and vital; when we are closed off from it because of blocks in our lower energy bodies, we feel tired.

Staying vital, creative, responsive, and connected to the energy of the earth starts with keep- ing the lower energy centers and the channels in the legs and hips open to gather energy and to support and hold the energy we have gathered. The second exercise in this chapter, Full-Body Tapping, is specifi- cally designed to help us gather energy from the earth to stimulate and awaken the body. Grounding Grounding the body means strengthening our connection between our root chakra or lower dan tien and the shamanic field.

Doing so balances the energy flow between the body and the head, ensuring that the bulk of the energy is centered in the body. Grounding the physical body is enormously helpful. Grounding means focusing on the core of our energy body in the lower dan tien and having the legs and hips open to the flow of the energy from the earth. In our culture, many of us carry the bulk of our energy in our heads, not in our bodies.

On the physical level, keeping most of our energy centered upward, in the upper energy centers, can lead to an imbalance of the autonomic nervous system, producing anxiety and an overreactive sympathetic nervous system. Our culture reveres the mind, and as a whole, we have our energy focused higher in the body—more so than the Seri Indians in Mexico, for example. Whether this imbalance is caused by stress or is an inadequate response to stress, I do not know. What I do know is that this upward shift of energy is heightened by trauma, such as an accident, an ill- ness, a surgery, a fearful or frightening occurrence, or even just bad news.

What we often do in these situations is pull the energy of the pain, trouble, or trauma to our head and think about it in an attempt to solve it, to soften our feelings about it, to help ourselves in the moment, or to prevent it from happening again. Shifting the energy of the experience upward and away from the lower portion of the physical body pulls us out of balance at the level of the energy body, resulting in ungroundedness or asustado. I see this condition in clients who have gone through a difficult time, become hurt or sick, or experienced a shock- ing or painful event.

In response, their energy body has pulled up and away from the lower portion of the physical body. The resulting situa- tion resembles depression. These people experience a generalized low level of energy. After my third child was born, I was wildly ungrounded. I had just undergone a C-section, and a week later, my other two children were in a minor auto accident.

I was a mess; I could not make a decision, I cried frequently, and I felt very depressed. I wondered if I was experiencing postpartum depression and whether the root of postpartum depression was being ungrounded or unbalanced. I had planned a healing journey to Mexico for myself and my two- month-old baby. I could not decide whether to go, nor could I even pack for the trip.

It was as if I were paralyzed from inside. I could not even decide what type of milk to buy at the grocery store. In the middle of the healing ses- sion, I felt and heard a clunk in my lower pelvis. My energy became regrounded and returned to alignment. Within the hour, I was fully in the moment. I could make decisions, was aligned with being on the journey, and felt I was back to myself. That was my first embodied experience with this depth of being ungrounded.

I believe this asustado has happened to me many times and continues to happen in my life in smaller ways, yet that particu- lar asustado experience was a teacher. Since then, I have had clients who have described feeling the same clunk during a healing session without knowing about the energy body or about being ungrounded. I see symptoms of asustado in our culture on a large scale.

Using these exercises to bring the physical body back into alignment with the energy body can almost immediately alleviate the symptoms of asustado. If the symptoms have been present for a long time, more prolonged grounding exercises may be needed. For example, if someone had a car accident five years before and has experienced low-level depres- sion since, it may take six months of working with the exercises to fully reground the body. We can use the body to train ourselves to stop pulling everything up to the head and experience the event that has caused the fright or shock.

Toe tapping also helps balance the energy between the body and head, while it dramatically stimulates energy flow in the legs, allowing you to become connected to the larger energy field of the earth. Toe tapping affects many aspects of health. From a traditional Chinese medicine point of view, it stimulates the spleen, liver, and stomach channels; these are the energy meridians that are respon- sible for overall energy flow, vitality, and blood flow. It is useful for helping restless leg syndrome, insomnia, and neu- ropathic pain.

Because it is so grounding, it is also remarkable for treating anxiety. Toe tapping is an adaptogen that will get the body back into balance. This exercise can energize you when energy is low and relax you when you are wired or anxious. It will get your energy going for the day and help you fall asleep at night. Before You Start You will need to find a comfortable place on the floor. If you have back problems, you can do this exercise lying on a bed or a couch. Do not do this exercise if you have had a recent knee or hip replacement or if you are pregnant.

There are meridian points in the legs and hips that can stimulate labor, so pregnant women should wait until after birth to do the exercise or use the massager. There will be other exercises in this book that will safely open your legs and hips if you are pregnant. If you have had injuries in the legs and pelvis, you may notice some pain or discomfort. If you do, you can continue the exercise and work through it.

Figure 12c: Rotate your legs inward and outward from the hips, letting momentum keep the movement going. Just about everyone will notice some pain in the big toes and a little burning in their thighs. This effect is normal; just work through it, and it will diminish in the first few minutes of the practice.

The Practice The key to this exercise is that the legs rotate from the hips, much like windshield wipers on a car. Find a comfortable place on the floor or your bed. Lie flat on your back. Allow your hips and legs to rest easily, hips loose and feet apart. Rotate or rock your legs and feet, in and out from your hips, leaving your heels in one place on the floor. If you notice your heels slipping, wear socks or put a yoga mat under your feet to keep them from slipping side to side.

Now roll your legs, first tapping your big toes together and then letting your legs and feet roll back out. Keep your legs straight. Make sure that you are rotating your legs from the hips, not just from the ankles. Begin to tap your big toes together quickly. See figures 12a, 12b, and 12c. The faster you tap, the easier it will be to do this exercise, because you will be using momentum from the previous tap as well as the rotator muscles in your hips and thighs. Any discomfort in your toes and thighs will pass in a few minutes. Close your eyes and relax. Listening to fast, rhythmic music helps, because you can tap to the beat.

Continue the tapping for five minutes at first, then work up to longer periods. I like doing this exercise for twenty minutes or longer, depending on how much time I have. Once you stop, rest on your back. Notice how you feel and relax in this position for a moment. Where is your awareness in your body at this moment? Become aware of how you feel in your feet, legs, pelvis, torso, arms, hands, chest, and head.

When to Use Toe Tapping Use this exercise daily in the morning to open the energy flow in the lower portion of your body. This practice deepens and shifts the energy body with time; you will become quite comfortable with it. Give it at least a month. Do not be surprised if you fall in love with it once you get the rhythm of it. I consider this exercise one of the mainstays of an anxiety- treatment program.

It affects the flow of energy in the body as well as the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for our fight-or-flight response—the part of the nervous system that causes anxiety and panic. I began to have anxiety, I tapped, and it went away! When anxiety begins, the autonomic nervous system fires, and you are then in a state of anxiety. The anxiety is hard to shift, and you just have to go along for the ride.

However, if you use a practice like this when you are not anxious, the body will get used to the balance the practice provides. After time, the body will cue you to toe tap when anxiety begins, but you have to practice it for at least a month. With time, the body begins rebalancing, and it will point you toward rebalancing when needed. Remember, the body moves toward wholeness and healing; once you get these pathways started, the body will begin to long for the work when it is needed.

If you do the exercise enough when it is easy, it will become a natural response when you need it. This next exercise, Full-Body Tapping, brings energy up from the earth to the energy reservoir in the lower dan tien, in the abdomen, and moves it from there to stimulate and awaken the body. Energy blocks begin to dissolve as we tap in specific areas of the body.

The practice starts with tapping on the lower dan tien to build energy for the day. You can do this practice fifteen minutes or longer, even up to an hour. Today there are multiple popular techniques for tapping on spe- cific points on the body. These are wonderful, yet I prefer tapping on the whole body. I have seen this exercise move energy in the sinuses, shoulders, legs, and even in the abdomen. It helps with physical and emotional blockages.

It is wonderful, and you will quickly learn where you need to do more tapping. Before You Begin If you are pregnant, skip the belly-tapping portion of this exercise. If you have pain in the knees, sway from side to side instead of bounc- ing up and down. If you cannot tap on all areas because of a physical disability, use a handheld massager.

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At the end of this exercise, we will tap on the back. If you do not have someone who can do this for you, use a handheld massager. The Practice Do this exercise standing. You may keep your feet a bit farther apart than your normal stance for balance. We start with the second chakra and lower dan tien, above the pubic bone and below the navel, right on the bladder figure 13a.

Make soft fists and tap on this area while you bounce gently with your knees to pump energy up through your legs. This can be a small motion as long as you move up and down. Breathe into your lower abdominal area while you work here. Pick a spot on the floor and focus your eyes on it to help keep the awareness in your body. Tap here for two to three min- utes. Next tap around your abdomen, following in a clockwise circular path, for another minute.

Then stand still and see whether you can feel the energy that has gathered for the day. It may feel like a swirling or heat. Resume bouncing and move your hands to the lung area and tap the entire chest area with the hands or fingertips figure 13b. Try using your fingertips, your whole hands, or your fists to see which works best. Remember to be gentle with yourself in the beginning. Now tap on your left armpit with your palm. Tapping on the armpits is important for easing depression and relieving problems in the shoulder, arm, wrist, and hand. Continue by tapping down the left arm.

Move down the arm slowly, and spend a little extra time anywhere you notice discomfort. When you reach the left hand, clap your hands together briefly. This will stimulate all the energy points in the hands. Then tap back up the left arm, visiting any places you did not tap on the way down. I tap down one side of the arm and hand and back up the other. Do the same with your right arm, beginning at the armpit and then working down and back up the right arm.

Using both hands, tap the back of the neck and shoulders with your fingertips. This is a spot where many people carry stress, so tapping here is helpful for neck and arm problems and headaches. Tap up the back of the head, over the crown, and then on the sides of the head.

If you have sinus problems, spend extra time over your cheeks and forehead. Move to the jaw and tap. This is a wonderful way to move energy in your jaw if you have temporomandibular joint TMJ pain. Tap down the front of the neck to the top of the chest. Now move to the hips. With your fists, tap on the front of the hips where the legs meet the body.

Tap on both the right and the left hip at the same time. I think these points are very important.

They are the gates where the energy we gather from the earth enters the upper body, and tapping on them is important for treating leg pain, hip problems, restless leg syndrome, leg edema, vascular blood-flow problems in the legs, and overall energy flow. Move to the sacrum or tailbone.

The sacrum is another important gate in the energy body, and it needs to be cleared often. Tapping on the sacrum is important if you have any kind of back pain. Move to tapping on the buttocks. We sit so frequently that this area often needs energy movement. Pause for a moment and stand still.

Start with the left leg; with both hands open, tap down your left leg. On the way back up the leg, visit any places you did not tap on the way down. I like to tap the front and outside of the leg on the way down and the back and inside on the way up. Spend extra time on the outer portion of the thighs if you are tight there. Pain is an indication of blocked energy, so tap more on any place with discomfort.

Move to the right leg and tap down and back up in the same pattern. When you have finished the right leg, stop tapping, stand up, and close your eyes. Check in with your body. How does your body feel? Is there any area that needs more work? If so, spend time tapping wherever you feel you need more work. Finally, your back needs to be cleared. Have another person tap in the center of your back, between the shoulder blades.