Why the Next Big Frontier in Medicine is Energy Medicine: Now You Can Use These Revolutionary Tools to Heal Yourself

I first heard about 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 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

Energy Medicine is powerful.  It can help us heal everything from arthritis to Alzheimer’s.  James Oschman, Ph.D one of the leading scientists in the field and author of Energy Medicine:  The Scientific Basis says that energy medicine “seems to do away with or dramatically improve so many health challenges common in this day and age: insomnia, the chronic pain of multiple diseases and injuries, exhaustion, stress, anxiety, and premature aging.”  

How can Energy Medicine help with so many chronic illnesses? One answer seems to be that it helps reduce inflammation in our bodies. Inflammation is now believed to be the underlying cause of more than eighty chronic illnesses, and more than half of Americans suffer currently from one or more of them. “Inflammation may turn out to be the elusive Holy Grail of medicine—the simple phenomenon that holds the key to sickness and health,” says William Meggs, MD, PhD, in his book The Inflammation Cure: How to Combat the Hidden Factor Behind Heart Disease, Arthritis, Asthma, Diabetes & Other Diseases[Read more…]

Haven’t Got Time for the Pain? Quick and Effective Ways to Deal with Chronic Pain Without Drugs

Haven't got time for the painAccording 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 DiseaseStroke 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.   Common chronic pain complaints include headache, low back pain, and arthritis pain.  [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?

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What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Energy Medicine and Your Health

I drove four hours to see a specialist, waited an hour to see him, and after examining me for one minute he told me he didn’t have any idea why I was losing hearing in one ear and sent me on my way.  I spent half my day trying to get help for a chronic problem that is getting worse and I got nothing in return.  I don’t blame the doctor.  I’m glad he was honest about the limitations of what passes for a health-care system in this country.  Most doctors won’t tell you that they can do little to help with chronic health problems.  But truly, there has to be a better way.  That’s why I wrote the book, MenAlive: Stop Killer Stress with Simple Energy Healing Tools.  As heart-surgeon, Mehmet Oz, M.D. says, “Energy Medicine is the medicine of the future.”

Lynne McTaggart is an investigative journalist and author of numerous books including What Doctors Don’t Tell You:  The Truth About the Dangers of Modern Medicine.  She offers some important insights into the state of our health and what men, and the women who love them, need to do to live long and well.

Three Jumbo Jets Crashing

“I want to emphasize that I am not anti-medicine,” says McTaggart.  “If a building falls on me tomorrow I want the best of jazzy, gee-whizz equipment to glue me back together again. In life-or-death emergencies, high-tech Western medicine is without parallel in the world.  But when it comes to chronic diseases – arthritis, heart disease, even cancer – modern medicine is not doing so well.”

Not long ago, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the official organ of the primary organization representing physicians in the U.S., publicly admitted that illness created by correctly prescribed medication – is the third leading cause of death in America, responsible for a quarter of a million deaths per year.

To put the magnitude of the problem into perspective, as one study also in JAMA, described it some years ago, the death rate from modern medicine in America alone is the “equivalent of three jumbo-jet crashes every two days.”

If any airline maintained this appalling track record, there would be public outcry, Parliamentary and congressional investigation and swift adoption of new laws. When it comes to modern medicine there is not even the airing of debate.

Conspiracy of Silence

“This has largely to do with the fact that modern medicine is not simply a conspiracy of faith but also a conspiracy of silence,” McTaggart continues.   In the medical literature, where many modern treatments are subjected to scrutiny and criticism, doctors carry on a private conversation — by doctors for doctors.

Publicly they will urge you to take your medicine, to have that test or procedure. In the literature, they sometimes admit their failures and in some instances, just throw up their hands or lament the fact that studies that have been spin-doctored by pharmaceutical industry PR.  “I’m also not a doctor basher,” says McTaggart.  “In my view, most doctors are highly competent, extremely hardworking and well-intended.”

The Problem Isn’t The Carpenter. It’s The Tools.

“The first problem is the paradigm itself, the idea that the body is a simple machine that can be repaired by drugs. Modern medicine, as my husband is fond of saying, exists mainly as a drug-delivery mechanism.”

The second failing is that the tools are being supplied by one of the most profitable businesses in the world, where commerce has entirely replaced any shred of moral concern for getting people well.

The solution is a system that emphasizes prevention and alternative treatment for chronic illness.

Like McTaggart, I’m glad we have a system in the U.S. for dealing with acute, catastrophic problems.  When I found I had a rare, life-threatening, adrenal tumor a number of years ago, I was glad I could go to a teaching hospital like U.C. San Francisco and have emergency surgery.  When I discovered I had a large blood clot in my leg, I was thankful for ambulance ride to the hospital to have it removed and the follow-up medications that will keep my blood thin and hopefully avoid problems in the future.

For the few catastrophic problems that we face in our lives, we need this kind of care.  But for the 99 and 44/100% of the rest of our problems we need a health-care system based on wellness and prevention.  Don Ardell, Ph.D. has been advocating for this kind of health-care since the 1970’s.  His first book, a best-seller titled High Level Wellness:  An Alternative to Doctors, Drugs, and Disease, is still one I re-read often.  He’s still going strong and continues to write a regular Wellness Report.

In my book, our health-care system should be about 5% focused on catastrophic care, 40% focused on alternative treatments for chronic care, and 55% focused on wellness.  If that is the case then Dr. Oz’s statement about the future of medicine being energy medicine may prove to be true.

What do you think?

If you enjoyed this post you may like Four Energy Healing Secrets.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/striatic/229529792/sizes/z/in/photostream/

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

 

 

Energy Healing Tool – Attachment Love

I wrote MenAlive to offer specific tools that were easy to learn and use, scientifically sound, and effective in preventing and treating stress that harms us all.  The emerging field of Energy Healing offers many different approaches.  After reviewing the field, I chose to offer four:  Earthing, Heart Coherence, Attachment Love, and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).  If you’d like to learn about the other tools described in the book, send me an e-mail:  Jed@MenAlive.com and put “Energy Tools” in the subject line.

When I first met Sue Johnson she had just completed a tremendous amount of research on Attachment Love and was releasing her new book, Hold Me Tight:  Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love to the public.  The conference was held in Los Angeles and triggered old memories of growing up there.  Like Johnson, my early experiences were colored by the pain and suffering I saw in my family.   My parents rarely fought, but I can still picture my father’s angry eyes and my mother’s shaming whispers to her friends about my father’s inability to make a good living.  Many therapists go into the field to try and understand their own parents, what happened to them, and what is happening to so many families today.

As I developed my therapy skills, it became evident to me that a lot of the problems people come to therapy to address have to do with their relationships with loved ones—a spouse, a parent, a child.  It is clear that couples work is helpful, but working with them had been difficult and not always successful.  Dealing with two people, two sets of hot emotions, and escalating fights, is not for the faint of heart.

Sue Johnson had similar experience, but has found answers that are changing the way we see ourselves, our relationships, and how we can help ourselves and others.  Couples therapy is in the midst of a revolution.  The key element in this revolution is the development of a new science of love and love relationships. As baseball legend Yogi Berra told us, “If you don’t know where you are going, you wind up somewhere else.” Without a clear model of love and the process of connection and disconnection, it is difficult to know how we can heal our past and have the kinds of loving relationships we want in the present.

The most recent scientific studies on love offer surprising understandings.  They tell us that the nature of our emotional attachment with our partner is the foundation for the kind of love we truly long to have—a love that is secure, intimate, and gets better as time goes on.

In their book, Attached:  The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help you Find—and Keep—Love, Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel Heller tell us that “dependency is not a bad word.”   They go on describe the key findings from the new science of love:

  •     Your attachment needs are legitimate.
  •     You shouldn’t feel bad for depending on the person you are closest to—it is part of your genetic makeup.
  •     A relationship, from an attachment perspective, should make you feel more self-confident and give you peace of mind.  If it doesn’t, this is a wake-up call!

This certainly wasn’t what I learned in graduate school when I was studying Freudian theory and being taught t psychotherapy for individuals and couples.  I was taught that maturity means being independent and self-sufficient. If I felt afraid or needed to be held and comforted, I felt I was acting like a baby.  I was sure if I didn’t “act like a man,” I’d have no chance to find a woman who would want me or to hang on to one once I found her.

I now understand that my desire for nurture and connection had been based on science, not sentimentality.  It was one of those life-changing “ah, ha” moments.  My whole life I had been putting myself down whenever I felt I needed love, touch, and nurture.  I told myself, and others told me, that if I acted “needy,” I wasn’t a real man.

  •   “Quit acting like a child.”
  •   “Don’t look so defeated.”
  •   “Man-up!”

These were some of the words that would cut me to the core and enveloped me in shame. I learned early on, as did most men, to keep my feelings locked inside and show the world that I could “take it” like a man without flinching or showing any weakness.       It was truly an experience of emotional freedom to realize there wasn’t something wrong with me.  The real problem isn’t our desire for emotional nurturing and intimacy, it is a culture that denies our real needs and teaches people that to be “normal” is to be distant and independent.

Activating Attachment Love In Your Own Life

In her book, Hold Me Tight:  Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love Johnson tells us how to understand the true nature of love and how we can all express it more fully in our relationships.  In Dr. Johnson’s program the key to a lifetime of good sex and love is “emotional responsiveness.”  The basis of Dr. Johnson’s approach is to teach people the secrets contained in the phrase “How ARE you really?”

  •  A is for Accessibility:  Can I reach you?

This means staying open to your partner even when you have doubts and feel insecure. It often means being willing to struggle to make sense of your emotions so these emotions are not so overwhelming.  You can then step back from disconnection and can tune in to your lover’s attachment cues.

  • R is for Responsiveness:  Can I rely on you to respond to me emotionally?

This means tuning in to your partner and showing that his or her emotions, especially attachment needs and fears, have an impact on you.  It means accepting and placing a priority on the emotional signals your partner conveys and sending clear signals of comfort and caring when your partner needs them.  Sensitive responsiveness always touches us emotionally and calms us on a physical level.

  • E is for Engagement:  Do I know you will value me and stay close?

The dictionary defines engaged as being absorbed, attracted, pulled, captivated, pledged, involved.  Emotional engagement here means the very special kind of attention that we give only to a loved one.  We gaze at them longer, touch them more.  Partners often talk of this as being emotionally present.

True Connection:  Using Your Attachment Love Tool

Thich Nhat Hahn, a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, is an internationally known author, poet, scholar, and peace activist who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr.  His view of love is not based on scientific study, but he offers simple practices that fit well with what Sue Johnson and other attachment clinicians and researchers have found.

In a wonderful little book, True Love:  A Practice for Awakening the Heart, he offers a simple, yet powerful process for expressing the emotional heart connection that can help us express our true love for our partner.  “In Buddism we talk about mantras,” says Hahn.  “A mantra is a magic formula that, once it is uttered, can entirely change a situation, our mind, our body, or a person.  But this magic formula must be spoken in a state of concentration, that is to say, a state in which body and mind are absolutely in a state of unity.”  He offers three love mantras that we can use every day.

  • Mantra #1:  Being present for your loved one.

When you are thinking about your loved one or when you are in their presence you say this simple phrase:  “Dear one, I am really here for you.”  When say this simple phrase when I think of Carlin, I can feel my heart open to her.  It makes us both feel wonderful.  Even when she’s not physically present this works.  “Dear one, I am really here for you.”  Of course we can say these little mantra’s out loud in our own words.  I’ve often said with deep feeling when I see Carlin is hurting, “Hey, babe, I’m really here for you” and give her a hug.

  • Mantra #2:  Recognizing the presence of the other.

When you are really present for a loved one, you have the ability to recognize and “see” your partner in all their beauty.  One of the greatest gifts we can give another person is to recognize and appreciate who they really are.  As Thich Nhat Hanh says, “To love is to be; to be loved is to be recognized by the other.”

When we are loved, we wish the other to recognize our presence.  You must do whatever is necessary to be able to do this.  Take a deep breath in and release it.  Do this several times.  Then say the second mantra:  “Dear one, I know that you are here, and it makes me very happy.”  Again, we can put this in our own words.  I’ve often looked at Carlin with tears in my eyes and told her, “I’m so glad to be married to you.  Having you in my life makes me feel warm and safe.”

  • Mantra #3:  Being there when someone is suffering. 

We’ve all experienced how good it feels when someone is there for us when we’re in physical or emotional pain.  We also know how awful it is when we’re hurting and our partner is not there for us.  I know I’m not a very good patient.  When I’m sick in body, mind, or spirit, I often get irritable and angry.  It isn’t easy for Carlin to be there for me when I’m like that, but that’s when I need her the most.

“When you are living mindfully,” says Hahn, “you know what is happening in your situation in the present moment.  Therefore it is easy for you to notice when the person you love is suffering.”  At such a time you go to him or her, with your body and mind unified, with concentration, and you offer the third mantra.  “Dear one, I know that you are suffering, that is why I am here for you.”  Recently Carlin found out that she had a small breast tumor that was found early and removed.  During the months of testing, preparing, and having the surgery, I repeated this mantra many times.

I’ve expanded on these mantras and use a simple set of Attachment-Love practices that allows us to connect deeply with our needs for love and support in our intimate relationships.  If you have a love partner you can use it deepen your connection.  If you don’t have one, you can imagine the kind of person you would like to be in love with, or to remember a time when you felt intimate and close to another person.  This tool draws on what I’ve learned in my own love life, as well as what I’ve learned from Sue Johnson, Thich Nhat Hahn, and others.

  • Accept that we are deeply dependent on the love of our partner.  

Close your eyes and take in a number of deep breaths.  Slowly let them out.  Allow yourself to feel your emotional need for your loved one.  Say to yourself, “I know you love me and I need your love and support.”  Remember a time when you were deeply and completely loved.  If you don’t remember ever having felt loved so completely, imagine what it would feel like.

  • Remember that our partner is deeply dependent on our love. 

Take in and release a few deep breaths.  Remember that your partner needs your love and support.  Say to yourself, “I love you deeply and know how much you need my love and support.  Remember a time when you allowed yourself to be totally open and loving with your partner.  If you don’t remember ever having been so completely loving, imagine what it would feel like.

  • Allow your partner to respond to you when you are hurting.

Take in a few deep breaths and release them.  Remember that we often need our partner the most when we are hurting inside.  Recall a time when you were feeling scared, hurt, or wounded and your partner responded with warmth and support.  If you don’t remember ever allowing a partner to see your hurts and offer support, imagine what it would feel like.

  • Allow yourself to respond to your partner when she or he is hurting.

Take a number of deep breaths and let them out.  Remember that your partner may need you the most when they are hurting, but their hurt may come across as irritability, anger, or some other emotion that may cause you to become more distant.  Recall a time when you were totally there for your partner when they were hurting or if you haven’t had that experience, imagine what it would feel like.

The Attachment Love Tool is simple and effective, but it isn’t easy to use.  Many of us don’t have a lot of experience being emotionally supportive to our partner.  We often feel inept and so don’t reach out to them.  We may also have a difficult time allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to our partner.

Photo Credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/ngmmemuda/4473916695/in/photostream/lightbox/

Earthing – Stop Killer Stress

I wrote MenAlive to offer specific tools that were easy to learn and use, scientifically sound, and effective in preventing and treating stress that harms us all.  The emerging field of Energy Healing offers many different approaches.  After reviewing the field, I chose to offer four:  Earthing, Heart Coherence, Attachment Love, and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).  In this article I will provide an overview of Earthing.

The basic idea of “Earthing” has been with us for a long time.  Throughout history, humans have strolled, sat, stood, and slept on the ground—the skin of our bodies touching the skin of the Earth—oblivious to the fact that such physical contact transfers natural electrical energy to the body.  Modern lifestyle has disconnected us from the Earth’s energy, making us more vulnerable to stress and illness.

Many health-enhancing discoveries are made by regular people who put two-and-two together and come up with an insight that is obvious and simple, but one had thought of before.  Clint Ober, who “discovered” Earthing, is one of those guys.  He grew up on a farm in the Midwest.  As he remembers his early years he ways he chased cows, baled hay, and spent long summer days walking barefoot up and down long rows of beets and beans pulling weeds.  When he grew up he worked in the cable T.V. field.   He reflected on his years in television and cable and some thoughts began to come together.  “Before there was cable, you commonly had lots of flecks (‘noise,’ we call it) in the TV picture.  Or you had ‘snow’ or lines of all kinds of electromagnetic interference.  In the cable industry, you have to ground and shield the entire cable system in every home to prevent extraneous electromagnetic signals and fields from interfering with the transmission carried through the cable.  That’s how you provide the viewer with a perfect signal and a crisp picture.”

Like many discoveries that revolutionize how we see ourselves and the world, this one was sparked by one of those “aha” experiences that seem to grab our hearts.  “My ‘lightbulb’ went off one day in 1998,” Ober recalls.  “I was sitting on a park bench and watching the passing parade of tourists from all over the world.  At some point, and I don’t know why, my awareness zeroed in on what all these different people were wearing on their feet.  I saw a lot of those running shoes with thick rubber or plastic soles.  I was wearing them as well.  It occurred to me rather innocently that all these people—me included—were insulated from the ground, the electrical surface charge of the Earth beneath our feet.  I started to think about static electricity and wondered if being insulated like that could have some effect on health.”

After years of research he teamed up with cardiologist Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D. and health writer Martin Zucker to write the book, Earthing:  The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? James L. Oschman says that “Earthing seems to do away with or dramatically improve so many health challenges common in this day and age:  Insomnia, the chronic pain of multiple diseases and injuries, exhaustion, stress, anxiety, and premature aging.”

How can Earthing help with so many chronic illnesses?  One answer seems to be that it helps reduce inflammation in our bodies.  Inflammation is now believed to be the underlying cause of more than 80 chronic illnesses, and more than half of Americans suffer currently from one or more of them.  “Inflammation may turn out to be the elusive Holy Grail of medicine—the simple phenomenon that holds the key to sickness and health,” says William Meggs, M.D., Ph.D. of East Carolina University in his book The Inflammation Cure:  How to Combat the Hidden Factor Behind Heart Disease, Arthritis, Asthma, Diabetes & Other Diseases.

Earthing May Be the Original Energy Healing Power Tool 

We live on a planet alive with energy.  Ober, Sinatra, and Zucker describe it as a “six sextillion (that’s a six followed by twenty-one zeroes) metric ton battery that is continually being renewed by solar radiation, lighting, and heat from the molten core at the center.  Just like the Earth, your body is mostly water and minerals, and both are excellent conductors of electrons.  As we move upon the Earth our bodies are able to transfer these electrons from the Earth to our bodies.

Our ancient ancestors knew nothing about the science of how this works, but they had a firm understanding of the importance of being in connection with the Earth.  For them the Earth was sacred.  It was the Mother that brought life to all.  Throughout human history we have tuned into the cycles of Nature for survival and health. Qi (pronounced chee) is a central principle in the long history of Chinese wisdom and is seen as the energy or natural force that fills the universe.  From India’s Vedic tradition the equivalent concept is prana, or “vital force.”

All natural things, plants, animals, and humans, grow and are influenced by the natural cycles of energy coming from the Earth.  Native Americans honored and recognized the importance of being connected to the Earth.  The late Ota Kte (Luther Standing Bear), a writer, educator, and tribal leader from the Lakota Sioux tradition, described our relationship to the Earth this way:  “The old people came literally to love the soil.  They sat on the ground with the feeling of being close to a mothering power.  It was good for the skin to touch the Earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with their bare feet on the sacred Earth.  The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing, and healing.”  It is time we reconnected to the power of Earth.

What is Earthing?

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.

What isn’t Earthing?

You are not in any sense being electrocuted.  In fact, when you “plug in” the Earthing devices into the electrical outlet, you’re only using the ground plug (for those of us not electrically inclined, that’s the fatter prong at the bottom).  So, there’s no electricity at all, just the connection through the ground plug to the earth.  Earthing is among the most natural and safest things you can do.

What happens?

Your body becomes suffused with negative-charged free electrons abundantly present on the surface of the Earth.  Your body immediately equalizes to the same electric energy level, or potential, as the Earth.

What do you feel?

Sometimes you feel, a warm, tingling sensation and often feelings of ease and well-being.

Will you feel better?

Usually, yes, and often rapidly.  The degree of improvement varies from person to person.  The important thing is to make Earthing a long-term addition to your daily routine, and to do it as much as possible so as to gain maximum benefit.  When Earthing is stopped, symptoms tend to slowly return.

What does Earthing do?

Observations and research indicate the following benefits from Earthing.  We expect many more to emerge with ongoing studies.  Earthing:

  • Defuses the cause of inflammation, and improves or eliminates the symptoms of many inflammation-related disorders.
  • Reduces or eliminates chronic pain.
  • Improves sleep in most cases.
  • Increases energy.
  • Lowers stress and promotes calmness in the body by cooling down the nervous system and stress hormones.
  • Normalizes the body’s biological rhythms.
  • Thins blood and improves blood pressure and flow.
  • Relieves muscle tension and headaches.
  • Reduces or eliminates jet lag.
  • Protects the body against potentially health-disturbing environmental electromagnetic fields (EMFs).
  • Accelerates recovery from intense athletic activity.

Look over the list.  Which benefits would you like to have in your life?  If this were a new wonder drug, you’d probably be willing to pay a lot of money to get these benefits.  But as you’ll see, you can have all of this without the cost or side-effects of “miracle drugs.”

Ready to Start Earthing?  Here’s What You Do. 

This may be the simplest Energy Healing tool you can use.  But remember I warned you that even knowing the scientific basis for Earthing, you may fall into the trap of thinking “This is too easy.  It can’t really help with pain or inflammation.”  But hang in there.  Once you’ve tried it and see the results produced you’ll be glad you stayed with it.  You may not be a world-class professional athlete who will do anything to stay in shape, but you know how good it feels to have all your parts working and how miserable you feel when your body is out of whack.

1.  Take your shoes off.

We intuitively knew what was right when we were young.  As soon as we were out of school we took off our shoes and spent the summer barefoot.  Now science validates our youthful wisdom.  The late Dr. William Rossi, a Massachusetts podiatrist, footwear industry historian, scientist, and author said in a 1999 article in Podiatry Management, “A natural gait is biomechanically impossible for any shoe-wearing person.  It took four million years to develop our unique human foot and our consequent distinctive gait, a remarkable feat of bioengineering.  Yet, in only a few thousand years, and with one carelessly designed instrument, our shoes, we have warped the pure anatomical form of human gait, obstructing its engineering efficiency, afflicting it with strains and stresses and denying it its natural grace of form and ease of movement heat to foot.” So, when you can take off your shoes.  You’ll walk better and feel better.

But shoes aren’t only bad for our mechanics.  More importantly our modern rubber-soled shoes, made from petrochemicals, prevent us from receiving the healing energies from the Earth.  “The sole (or plantar surface) of the foot is richly covered with some 1,300 nerve endings per square inch,” Dr. Rossi wrote in a 1997 article in Footwear News.  “That’s more than found on any other part of the body of comparable size.”  Getting our feet back in touch with the Earth may be the simplest and best medicine we can take.

2.  When you wear shoes, wear leather-soled shoes.

“Why are so many nerve endings concentrated there?” asks Dr. Rossi. “To keep us ‘in touch’ with the Earth.  The foot is the vital link between the person and the Earth.  The paws of all animals are equally rich in nerve endings.  The Earth is covered with an electromagnetic layer.  It’s this that creates the sensory response in our feet and in the paws of animals.”

Even if we decide to walk barefoot more, there are times when we need to wear shoes to prevent injury and keep our feet warm.  What can we do?  Get back to wearing leather soled shoes.  Dr. Rossi bemoaned the fact that modern shoe soles have separated us from the energy of the Earth and feeling of the ground, which is so important to our health and well-being.  He wrote, “the bottoms of our footwear are virtually ‘deadened.’  A cross section of a shoe reveals several layers:  outsole, midsole, insole filler material, footbed, cushioning, sockliner.  An almost total blockout of sensory response.”

We forget that prior to World War II most everyone wore shoes with leather soles.  But as cheap oil became available, even shoes were made of oil-based products.  Dr. Sinatra notes that even makers of fancy men’s dress shoes are increasingly switching to rubber, plastic, and other non-conductive material, just as casual and work shoes before them.

I still remember wearing moccasins when I was a kid.  I loved playing cowboys and Indians and much preferred to be the Indian.  I recently bought a pair of sturdy moccasins which I can wear.  It turns out that I stumbled on to the original “earth shoe.”  As Ober, Sinatra, and Zucker say in their book, Earthing, “Leather (processed from hides), a conductive material when moist, has been the traditional source of shoes and sandals.  The original lightweight, softsole, heal-less and simple moccasin—a piece of crudely tanned leather that envelops the foot and is fastened on with rawhide thongs—is possibly the closest we have ever come to an ‘ideal’ shoe.  It dates back more than 14,000 years.”

3.  When you’re at home and work, get “barefoot substitutes.

Another way we can get the health benefits of grounding is by using simple devices that were originally used for research studies on Earthing, but are now available to the public.  They provide inside connectivity to the Earth outside.  They are connected by a wire to a ground rod placed directly in the Earth or plugged into the ground port of a grounded electrical outlet.  They can be utilized during sleep, work, and even while watching TV.

There are Universal chair/desk/mouse/bed/floor mats and pads that can be used interchangeably to fit any setting.  A pad placed on a desktop conducts through your forearms or wrists, on the floor through your feet, and on your chair through your butt.  And on the bed through any part of your body that makes contact with it.  Normal perspiration through layers of clothes, such as a dress, pants, socks, or long sleeves, permits varying degrees of conductivity.  The pad utilizes a metallic fiber mesh and conductors coupled to a wire connected to a grounded outlet in the wall or an outside rod.

I tried it out and it’s pretty nifty.  They include a little test devise that insures that the outlets in the house have a proper ground.  Then you plug into the ground slot.  There’s no connection to the electricity so it’s totally safe.  On their site they have a good description of each product and a question and answer section that tells you what you need to know.  As a special bonus to those in my community, they offer a 5% discount.  Simply type in the word “menalive” when you buy something and you get your discount.  Visit:  http://www.earthing.com/

 

 


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