I've been intending to write about this topic for a while as it's one that is near and dear to my heart. I know for some people it will be a little "out there", but that's okay. These are techniques that for me have been life-changing, and I'm so grateful to have found them.
I love energy medicine for a lot of reasons; many of these techniques are quite simple to learn and use, they're non-invasive, gentle and effective, they're non-polluting (you're working directly with your body's own energy systems, there are no external inputs required) and, since all you need to do them is your hands, you have access to them 24-7, no matter what you forgot to pack in your purse!
A few disclaimers before I go on: this is a really huge topic and I'm just scratching the surface in this post. I'm going to recommend some of my favourite resources so you can explore these techniques in much greater depth if you're interested. I'm not a licensed health care professional, just a mom who is passionate about natural healing techniques. Obviously, you need to use common sense with these methods, just as you would with any others - always seek the advice of a qualified health professional when needed.
Now that I've got that out of the way, on to the interesting part...
"Energy medicine" encompasses a variety of techniques that work directly with the body's energy systems, such as meridians and chakras. If you've ever had acupuncture, that's an example of a treatment that is based on working with the meridian system. While acupuncture requires needles, there are many other energy methods that require only the use of your hands working directly on the surface of the body.
1. Acupressure: Michael Reed Gach, the author of Acupressure's Potent Points, describes acupressure as "an ancient healing art that uses the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body's natural self-curative abilities". Think acupuncture without the needles. I have used acupressure with great results for a number of different issues. Last summer, my son was having a lot of trouble with swimmer's ear. It started out as a minor aggravation, but got to the point that one afternoon he was nearly in tears about it (and he's a tough kid, so if he's complaining, it's really bothering him). I decided to try the acupressure treatment for earache to see if that would bring him any relief. I was pretty shocked when, about 3/4 of the way through the recommended sequence, he looked at me with a startled expression and told me the pain was completely gone, and that he'd felt a release of the fluid pressure in his ears. I expected we'd have to do this treatment regularly, but in fact he never complained of the problem again for the rest of the summer! That was probably the most dramatic experience I've had with acupressure, but I've had good results using it for nosebleeds, headaches, nausea/motion sickness, heartburn, and pain and swelling from a foot injury. The techniques are very simple, so if you have a kid who is prone to nosebleeds or motion sickness, you can teach them the specific points to use and they can easily do it on their own to help themselves. Gach's book is a fantastic resource (I snagged a copy for under a buck at a church rummage sale!). There is also a lot of information to be found at acupressure.com, and you can sign up for a free monthly newsletter there as well.
2. EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques): Similar to acupressure, EFT works with the body's meridian system (it's sometimes referred to as "meridian tapping"). This simple technique involves tapping on a specific sequence of meridian points on the hands, face and upper body while saying specific phrases related to the issue at hand. It can be used to help with a wide variety of issues, both physical and emotional. Once again, the basic method is easy enough that a child can easily be taught how to use it on their own. If you have a kid who's prone to anxiety or has been through some type of traumatic event, I can't recommend this technique highly enough! (Of course, it's just as effective for adults). You can find a mountain of free information about this method at eftuniverse.com; go directly here to sign up for their free newsletter and/or download the free manual outlining the basics of this technique. You can also purchase a more detailed EFT Manual by Gary Craig on Amazon, or check out the DVD Try it On Everything, a documentary describing the experiences of several people using this technique to address serious issues like chronic pain and PTSD.
3. Advanced Energy Medicine Techniques: Acupressure and EFT are two wonderful, accessible ways to get started using energy medicine techniques, however, there is much more to energy medicine than just these two methods. If you are interested in exploring this topic in more depth, I would suggest checking out Donna Eden's book, Energy Medicine. It is NOT by any means a light read; this is a book packed full of much detailed information about the body's energy systems and a wide variety of energy medicine techniques. She also has another book specifically on women's health issues, Energy Medicine for Women. My library has both of these books, so you might want to check and see if yours does, too.You can go here to watch Donna demonstrate her Daily 5 Minute Energy Routine, which is a quick daily "tune up" for the body's energy systems.
The books recommended above:
(Disclaimer: all the links to resources are Amazon affiliate links; if you purchase anything from Amazon after clicking through, I will receive a commission that's a small percentage of your total purchase. As usual, I always recommend you check out the resources at your local library first!)
If you decide to give any of these methods a try, I'd love to hear about your experiences with them.