What Your Doctor Never Told You About Chronic Pain

Chronic PainFor years I suffered from chronic pain that I believed began when my shoulder was injured playing football in high school. As I got older the pain increased and kept me from getting a good night’s sleep and being able to do the things I needed to do both at home and work. I tried everything I thought might help—drugs, exercise, and Chiropractors. When I was considering surgery as a last resort, I learned the real cause of chronic pain. If you suffer from back pain, neck pain, headaches, migraines, or pain anywhere in your body, you are not alone.

Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. The chart below depicts the number of chronic pain sufferers compared to other major health conditions.

 

Condition

Number of Sufferers Source
Chronic Pain 116 million people Institute of Medicine of The National Academies
Diabetes 25.8 million people

(diagnosed and estimated undiagnosed)

American Diabetes Association
Coronary Heart Disease

(includes heart attack and chest pain)

Stroke

16.3 million people

 

7.0 million people

American Heart Association
Cancer 11.7 million people American Cancer Society

 “Pain is the classic example of a double-edged sword,” says journalist John Scott. “It’s a very clever system for warning us that something is wrong with the body—think of it as the dog that barks in the night to warn you of a robber entering your home. But once you have the message, you want the dog to stop barking. Except pain does not come with an on/off switch. Like a dog that lacks training, it will not obey your commands. If the cause of the pain is an accidental injury, it will most likely heal and the pain will fade of its own accord. But if the pain persists, you have to make an emotional adjustment.” [Read more…]

10 Ways Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT or Tapping) Work to Heal Trauma and Other Stresses of Life

When we think of people healing from trauma we often picture people dealing with the effects of natural disasters, soldiers returning from battle, or people recovering from childhood violence or sexual abuse. But stress and trauma impact many more of us than most people recognize and Emotional Freedom Techniques, also known as EFT or Tapping, can be of tremendous help.

According to David Feinstein, Ph.D., one of the experts in the field of the emerging field of Energy Psychology, “Variations of this strategy also appear to shift, for the person’s benefit, the brain’s coding of irrational anger, jealousy, guilt, shame, unremitting grief, compulsive behaviors, phobias, PTSD, depression, addictions, and chronic pain.  International disaster relief teams have been applying it in the aftermath of warfare, ethnic cleansing, tsunamis, and earthquakes.  The method has also been shown to promote peak performance, alter self-defeating behavioral patterns, and help in attaining personal goals.”

I first discovered EFT many years ago when I was dealing with the chronic pain from a shoulder injury. I was reluctant to use drugs and resisted my doctor’s wishes to use surgery to fix the shoulder. I found that EFT didn’t just help with the pain; it eliminated the pain all together. I also used it with my clients to help with everything from arthritis to depression. [Read more…]

What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Pain Relief

If you suffer from chronic pain, you’re not alone.  We all know that pain can impact our lives and we’ve all suffered from back pain, neck pain, headaches,or pain in our joints.  But few of us realize how many other people suffer and the real causes of chronic pain.

According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. The chart below depicts the number of chronic pain sufferers compared to other major health conditions.

Condition

Number of Sufferers Source
Chronic Pain 100 million Americans Institute of Medicine of The National Academies
Diabetes 25.8 million Americans
(diagnosed and estimated undiagnosed)
American Diabetes Association
Coronary Heart Disease

Stroke

16.3 million Americans7.0 million Americans American Heart Association
Cancer 11.9 million Americans American Cancer Society

While acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury and the need to get yourself out of harm’s way, chronic pain is quite different. Chronic pain persists.  It’s like a watch-dog that continues barking when there is no intruder.  It just goes on and on without relief.  There may have been an initial mishap — sprained back, serious infection, or physical injury.  But pain continues or returns even after the initial problem has been healed.

[Read more…]

Energy Medicine Goes Mainstream

I just returned from the First International Conference on Eden Energy Medicine.  I presented a workshop titled:  Save the Males: Using Energy Therapies to Heal 7 Critical Problems Men Face Today and had the pleasure of joining other health-care providers and scientists as we explored the emerging field of Energy Medicine.  The conference was organized to two of the pioneers in the field, Donna Eden and David  Feinstein.


Energy Psychology with David Feinstein  

Candace Pert, the neuroscientist who was one of the discoverers of the brain’s opiate receptors, remembers David Feinstein when she was working at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in the 1970s.  “Dr. Feinstein was there conducting research on psychotherapeutic innovations.”

Thirty years later Feinstein has turned to the intersection of psychotherapy and energy medicine.  Recently he led a team of twenty-seven health and mental-health professionals to bring the new tools of energy psychology to psychotherapists.

His research demonstrated that energy psychology builds upon conventional psychotherapies.  It works within the context of established psychological principles such as the key role of early experiences in shaping our current emotional and behavioral patterns.

“But energy psychology,” he says, “also has a special card in its deck.”  Stimulating energy points on the skin, paired with specified mental activities, can instantly shift your brain’s electrochemistry to:

  • Help overcome unwanted emotions such as fear, guilt, shame, jealousy and anger,
  • Help change unwanted habits and behavior, and
  • Enhance your abilities to love, succeed, and enjoy life.

 Energy Medicine with Donna Eden 

David Feinstein was a research scientist and, at first, was very skeptical of the claims of energy medicine.  Gradually he gained a new perspective.  Here’s how he describes what happened.  “My personal voyage into the perspective reflected here occurred over many years and with much resistance.  I happened to marry a woman, Donna Eden, who was destined to become one of the world’s most renowned natural healers.  For the first nineteen years or so of our relationship, I did not know what to make of here work.”

I know how he felt.  I had a similar experience when I met my wife, Carlin.  She two is a natural healer and “sees” energy changes in the auras of her clients.   It also took me a long time to recognize the value of these “unusual” techniques.  But the more you learn, them more sense it makes.

Here’s what Donna Eden says on her webpage describing her findings.

  • Energy medicine is the oldest, safest, most organic, most accessible, and most affordable medicine there is.
  • It teaches you how to participate more fully and knowledgeably in your own healing, health, and well-being.
  • It is both an empowering system for self-help and a powerful tool in the hands of competent health care practitioner.

 World-Renowned Scientists Attend Conference

A number of the world’s top scientists attended the conference including Candace Pert, author of Molecules of Emotion, Clint Ober, co-author of Earthing:  The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?, Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief, and James Oschman, author of Energy Medicine:  The Scientific Basis. 

Dr.  Oschman shared research information showing that a new milestone in medicine is upon us, harnessing the diagnostic and therapeutic use of energy. This new technology which is entering mainstream medical use stimulates the repair and regeneration of one or more tissues.  He sees energy medicine as the wave of the future.

Bruce Lipton reminded us that genetics does not control our destiny, but our beliefs can influence the way in which our genes or turned on or turned off.  It offers us hope that we have more control over our health and well-being than we ever thought possible.

Clint Ober demonstrated that the Earth emits an electronic field and that getting ourselves re-connected and grounded can have amazing health benefits including reducing stress, helping us sleep better, and eliminate inflammation which is found to be at the core of much of our acute and chronic illness.

Candace Pert is a neuroscientist whose extraordinary career began with her 1972 discovery of the opiate receptor.  Pert empowered us to understand ourselves, our feelings, and connection between our minds and our bodies, showing that we are actually a unified “bodymind” which allows us control over our future health that we didn’t know was possible.

I’m excited to part of this emerging new field and invite you to learn more and share your ideas and questions.  Learn more about energy medicine and what your doctor may not be telling you.

What has been your experience with energy medicine?  What doubts and fears have you had to face?  What kind of results are you finding?

Image Credit

 

 

 

 

Male Menopause and Energy Medicine: Healing the Stresses of Mid-Life Men

When my book Male Menopause was first published in 1997, most people had never heard of “male menopause,” also known by the more scientific term “andropause.” But I knew the impact on family members who loved these men. Common symptoms of male menopause, including erectile dysfunction, loss of sexual desire, irritability, weight gain, and low energy, impact the men as well as their families. More men and women are recognizing that male menopause is real. It affects all men as they move through their forties (though it can start as early as thirty or as late as fifty-five). We can now do a lot to prevent and treat the problems associated with this major change of life.

While many in the mainstream medical community still question whether men go through a hormonally based change of life, increasing numbers of health care professionals are convinced as they study the research.

  • Marc R. Blackman, MD, former chief of endocrinology and metabolism at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, says, “The male menopause is a real phenomenon, and it does similar things to men as menopause does to women, although less commonly and to a lesser extent.”
  • Ronald Klatz, MD, DO, president of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine says, “One of the best-kept secrets is that men go through a male form of menopause called andropause.”
  • Robert S. Tan, MD, fellow of the American Geriatrics Society and pioneer researcher, says, “The andropause is the time in a man’s life when the hormones naturally decline. Mosby’s Medical Dictionary defines the andropause as “a change of life for males that may be expressed in terms of career change, divorce, or reordering of life. It is associated with a decline in androgen levels that occur in men during their late forties or early fifties.”
  • Theresa Crenshaw, MD, expert on male and female hormones and author of The Alchemy of Love and Lust, says, “In the case of male menopause, we are still in the Dark Ages. Men have fewer guideposts to help them today than women had a generation ago. Only recently have we begun to understand the biochemistry of these events, tilting the scales toward a physiological explanation.”
  • Author Gail Sheehy says, “If menopause is the silent passage, male menopause is the unspeakable passage. It is fraught with secrecy, shame, and denial. It is much more fundamental than the ending of the fertile period of a woman’s life, because it strikes at the core of what it is to be a man.”

My colleague, Malcolm Carruthers, MD, one of the world’s experts on the male change of life captures the essence of what men go through: “Andropause is a critical health concern for men and the women who love them. It’s often insidious onset can be at any time from the age of thirty onward, though typically it is in the fifties. One of the reasons it’s often missed is that it is usually more gradual in onset than the menopause in the female, although it is more severe in its long-term consequences. It is a crisis of vitality just as much as virility, even though it’s most obvious sign is loss both of interest in sex and of erectile power.”

Energy Medicine at Mid-life

In my recent book, MenAlive:  Stop Killer Stress with Simple Energy Healing Tools, I describe four simple tools you can learn to use to relieve stress during the male mid-life:

  • Attachment Love
  • Heart Coherence
  • Earthing
  • Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT or Tapping)

For more complete details on these tools please read the Four Energy Healing Secrets Your Doctor Hopes You’ll Never Learn.

In the meantime, here’s a simple Attachment Love Technique.   Close your eyes and take a number of deep breaths. Slowly let them out. Remind yourself that you are dependent on your partner and your partner is dependent on you to meet your needs for safety, security, and love. Recall a memory in which you felt deep love and affection for your partner. Imagine that you enclose them in your arms and whisper in their ear, “I love you deeply, and I am here for you.” Now recall a time when your partner reached out to you when you needed them. Imagine your partner enclosing you in their arms and whispering in your ear, “I love you deeply, and I am here for you.”

Let yourself feel the warmth and gratitude of feeling cared for and loved. If you don’t have a partner, imagine a partner you might like to have and feel yourself being held and holding a partner. Or think of a time in your life when you felt love for someone else. It could be an old lover or friend or even a child. Imagine holding them, seeing them, and feeling them. Or think of a time when you were loved, cared for, and protected. Let yourself be filled with the light of unconditional love.

Another energy healing tool that I often use is the HeartMath quick coherence technique. Close your eyes and take a number of deep breathes and let yourself relax. Focus your attention on the area around your heart. Breathe deeply but normally and feel as if your breath is coming in and going out through your heart area. As you maintain your heart focus and heart breathing, activate a positive feeling. Remember a time when you felt strong and sure of yourself, a time when your partner or someone important in your life let you know what a good man you were. Hold that thought as you continue to imagine your breath coming in and out of your heart area.

I’m always amazed that shifting my internal energy from a state of anger, agitation, hurt, or shame to one of joy, peace, and self-acceptance can turn things around when they seem out of control. Midlife, like adolescence, is a difficult time for most of us. Using these energy healing tools can make our midlife passage smoother and more joyful.

If you found this post to be of value let me recommend Male Menopause and How It Impacts the Family.  You can also sign up to receive my comprehensive eBook on Male Menopause.

Photo Credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/haroldoferrary/

MenAlive Updates

Friends,

I’m excited to be sharing my recent book, MenAlive:  Stop Killer Stress with Simple Energy Healing Tools, with you.

In the book I describe the ways in which stress contributes to many problems men, and the women who love them, face today including:  Depression, chronic pain, male menopause, and irritable male syndrome.  I describe four energy healing tools that you can learn to use to heal these and other problems.  The four tools I have found most effective are Earthing, Heart Coherence, Attachment Love, and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).

The field is changing rapidly and I want to keep you updated on the latest information.  Here I’ll be posting new findings that you can put into practice.  Its also where you can share your own experiences.

A comprehensive review of the health implications of Earthing has been published in The Journal of Environmental and Public Health.  You can read it here:

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2012/291541/

I’ll be posting other information on this emerging field of Energy Healing.  Stay tuned.

Jed

 

 

The Four Hidden Energy Healing Secrets Your Doctor Hopes You’ll Never Learn

I went to medical school at U.C. San Francisco to fulfill my dream to help people.  When my father tried to commit suicide when I was five years old, it started me on a path to understand the human mind, why we suffer, get sick, and more importantly, how we can heal.  But I found that medical school focused more on body parts than the whole human being and left out a whole lot about how we can prevent illness and cure the many problems facing humans during these stressful times.  I dropped out of medical school and went on to get my master’s degree in social work and PhD in International Health.

I first heard about Energy Medicine from Dr. Mehmet Oz in 2000 when I was writing my book The Whole Man Program: Reinvigorating Your Body, Mind, and Spirit After 40. Dr. Oz was one of the top heart surgeons in the world, working at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia Medical Center. I wanted to find someone with the best scientific credentials to help me better understand heart disease so I could help other men. Dr. Oz was a wonderful resource. He is still one of the best surgeons in the world, but he has since expanded his view of what constitutes good medicine.

Dr. Oz is now advocating a kind of medicine that does not require a scalpel. In 2007, Dr. Oz rocked the health world by proclaiming to a worldwide television audience on the largest stage in the world, The Oprah Show, that we are entering a new era of medicine.

“We’re beginning now to understand things that we know in our hearts were true but could not measure. As we get better at understanding how little we know about the body, we begin to realize that the next big frontier in medicine is energy medicine. It’s not the mechanistic parts of the joints moving. It’s not the chemistry of our bodies. It’s understanding, for the first time, how energy influences how we feel.”Dr. Mehmet Oz, November 20, 2007, The Oprah Show

The Encyclopedia of Energy Medicine by Linnie Thomas, with a foreword by James L. Oschman, PhD, author of Energy Medicine:  The Scientific Basis, lists more than 65 different approaches.  I have found four that are simple to learn, easy to practice, and scientifically sound and can help people effectively alleviate stress which is at the root of most of our medical problems.  Most doctors and other health-care practitioners don’t know about these practices.  Since they are easy to learn and inexpensive, they aren’t likely to tell you about them.

Practice #1: Earthing

For millions of years, our ancestors moved across the landscape either barefoot or in moccasins made from the hides of animals. The women walked to gather food. The men walked to find animals for food. We slept connected to the Earth. But in modern times we’ve begun wearing rubber-soled shoes that keep us insulated from the healing energies of the Earth.

According to cardiologist Stephen Sinatra, MD, coauthor of the book Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?, “Earthing involves coupling your body to the Earth’s eternal and gentle surface energies. It means walking barefoot outside and/or sitting, working, or sleeping inside while connected to a conductive device that delivers the natural healing energy of the Earth into your body.”

In some ways, all the major problems we face today—from global warming to peak oil, from obesity to depression, from joblessness to the increase of divorce—could be helped if we were able to re-establish our connection to the Earth. Social psychologist Sam Keen put it simply: “The radical vision of the future rests on the belief that the logic that determines either our survival or our destruction is simple:

1.         The new human vocation is to heal the Earth.

2.         We can only heal what we love.

3.         We can only love what we know.

4.         We can only know what we touch.”

Practice #2: Heart Coherence 

Heart disease is still the major killer of men and women.  Millions of us are taking medications to treat or prevent heart disease. And once again, there is another choice to consider. According to David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, author of The Instinct to Heal: Curing Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Without Drugs and Without Talk Therapy, there is an intimate connection between the heart and the emotion centers in the brain, and by learning methods that produce heart coherence, we can not only protect our hearts but the rest of the human body as well.

The Institute of HeartMath, founded in 1991 by stress researcher Doc Childre, has been doing cutting-edge research on heart coherence under the leadership of research director Rollin McCraty, PhD. Researchers found that people could maintain extended periods of physiological coherence by actively generating positive emotions.

Practice #3: Attachment Love 

Attachment love is the energy essence of a successful relationship. Attachment love is based on the latest scientific findings that show we are emotionally attached to and dependent on our partner in much the same way that a child is on a parent for nurturing, soothing, and protection. Most of us understand that children need a secure attachment to their parents in order to grow up be healthy and happy. But many of us believe that we outgrow these dependency needs when we become adults. Men, in particular, are taught that maturity means “standing on our own two feet” and not needing others in order to fulfill our needs

Learning how to develop and maintain a deep attachment to a spouse or partner allows us to overcome our isolation, reduce our levels of stress, and keep our love lives growing more fully as we age.

Even practitioners who are familiar with the field of energy healing may be surprised that I view “attachment love” as an essential tool for keeping stress from killing us. But I’ve found it to be essential. Without love, we are lost, and without being securely attached to our mate, love can easily die.

Practice #4: Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

EFT is a powerful new discovery that combines two well-established sciences so you can benefit from both at the same time:

1.         Mind/body medicine

2.         Acupuncture (without needles)

I learned about emotional freedom techniques (EFT) when an acupuncturist I had gone to for shoulder pain told me about EFT. I wanted help in the worst way, but I couldn’t tolerate the needles. She assured me they wouldn’t hurt (and in fact, they didn’t hurt), but I still got light-headed and nearly passed out. I faint at the sight of blood and needles. You can fully understand why I dropped out of medical school.

I was immediately drawn to EFT because the founder, Gary Craig, was a hands-on kind of guy. He says, “I am neither a psychologist nor a licensed therapist. Rather, I am a Stanford engineering graduate.” EFT has been found to be effective in treating physical as well as emotional problems.

To learn more about these practices, drop me an e-mail Jed@MenAlive.com and I’ll send you a more detailed description of each of these four practices and how you can learn to use them.  My book on energy medicine for men, MenAlive:  Stop Killer Stress with Simple Energy Healing Tools.

Photo Credit:  Boz Bros Creative Commons