Reiki, in case you are unsure what it is, is energy healing. The word Reiki comes from the Japanese word, rei, which means ‘universal life’ and ki, which means ‘energy’.
At its simplest, Reiki is the transfer of life force energy from one person to another in a process that promotes balance and harmony in the spirit, mind, emotions and body, thereby stimulating wellbeing in the recipient.
While I appreciate that this may sound a bit ‘woo-woo’ to some or a bit out there and strange to others, please bear with me. As an energy healer, I am often met with curiosity, fascination and a bit of scepticism when I tell people what I do for a living.
But for millions of years, ‘traditional’ cultures have defined the human body as a ‘wholistic’ energy system with the innate ability to heal itself. From shamanism, which is thought to be one of our oldest spiritual practices, to India’s ancient spiritual tradition that is more than 5,000 years old, people spoke of a universal energy. Called ‘Prana’ in Sanskrit, it is the breath of life that moves through all forms of existence and gives them life.
The Chinese, in the third millennium BC, meanwhile, also referred to the existence of a vital energy that they named Ch’i. All matter is composed of this universal energy, which consists of two complementary forces: yin and yang. When the yin and the yang are in balance, a living system exhibits physical health.
Even in our own culture, spiritual healing has been around for many centuries too.
But let’s start at the beginning. Reiki was first developed as a healing system in Japan early in the last century by Mikao Usui (1865-1926). Usui was a seeker of knowledge and spiritual understanding. He studied history, religion, medicine, psychology, and metaphysics, and broadened his worldview by travelling to Europe and China.
Although he faced many challenges in life, he is said to have met them always with equanimity and perseverance. Students described him as a gentle man who was always smiling.
Spiritual method of healing
Usui was a lifelong follower of Tendai Buddhism and Shinto, but also underwent three years of Zen Buddhist training later in life too. It is believed he first received Reiki energy in 1922 while meditating on Mount Kurama, a mountain sacred to both Buddhist and Shinto practitioners. He is said to have achieved enlightenment, or ‘a state of no fear’ at this time.
Although Usui declared Reiki to be a spiritual method of healing, it is not associated with any single religion. In fact, today it is practised throughout the world by people of many and varied faiths and cultures.
But Reiki is slightly different in nature to the spiritual healing that you may have come across elsewhere – even though both harness life force energies and both depend on a ‘healer’ to serve as a channel. Here are a few of the main differences:
Reiki practitioners undergo special training to learn the various philosophies, techniques and rituals that are part of the practice. Spiritual healers are intuitive healers who heal through their own connection to spirit;
A Reiki practitioner goes through a prescribed process of connecting with the energies, while spiritual healers follow a personal process based on their own experience and how they feel inspired;
Reiki is based on a defined approach, which involves asking a patient to lie or sit down. Spiritual healers do whatever they feel is appropriate in that moment.
As a Reiki energy healer, I strongly believe that all matter is composed of universal life force energy and, when this energy flows uninterruptedly through the body, balance is restored and individuals display physical, emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing.
Indeed, science is finally catching up with what ancient cultures have known for years by uncovering scientific evidence to support these ancient concepts. Quantum physics, for instance, puts forward the idea that human beings have energy fields. As a result, modern technology has developed equipment and techniques to measure the electromagnetic field emanating from the physical body.
Scientist Albert Einstein, meanwhile, was able to prove that all matter, which includes human bodies, are made up of atoms – which are nothing more than interacting fields of energy. In other words, energy healing is not a new age fad – it has stood the test of time and has, in fact, been around for centuries.
Without consciously knowing it, we transmit and absorb energy all the time. When you say someone “feels good to be around”, you are really talking about their vibrational energy. Happy people vibrate on a higher energy frequency, which means you can feel their positivity.
Have you every walked into a room in which a confrontation has taken place only moments before? Did you experience a dense or negative feeling that made you want to leave right away?
Or if have you been on a trip to the beach recently, can you remember how good it made you feel? Air by the coast has a light energy due to the salt it contains, which is a natural energy cleanser. The fact that the air tends to be moving also means it vibrates at a higher frequency and that helps us to feel good.
Another interesting point is that, as humans, we unwittingly use our hands to help either ourselves, or others, all the time. It is a very natural, instinctive thing to do. For example, if you experience back pain, your hands immediately go to touch the affected area. If a child falls over and hurts their knee, you instinctively rub it gently to make it feel better.
The same instinct to touch applies when you meet someone you know and like, and you give them a hug. At work, you may shake someone’s hand or pat them on the back to acknowledge a job well done. Pregnant woman likewise tend to rub their tummies to connect with their babies.
So one way or another, we all enjoy touch, but why? It is because, in using our hands, we transfer energy, which helps us, or someone else, to feel better. It is an instinctive reaction, an innate and inherent ability that we all have.
Reiki then is simply an exchange of energy but of the highest kind – and as it is transferred with positive intention, it intensifies and amplifies the power of touch. This means that Reiki increases balance, harmony and wellbeing emotionally, physically, spiritually and intellectually.
It is a simple, natural and safe method of healing that can be used to complement all other medical or therapeutic techniques, benefitting not only people of all ages but also our four-legged friends.
Debbie Walmsley has been a natural healer all her life, having first discovered the power of healing in her teenage years. She has studied various forms of energy healing, which included spending a month in Peru with a shaman. Debbie is a Reiki practitioner, master hypnotherapist and Three Principles facilitator. She is also a member of the International Alliance of Holistic Therapists and the Complimentary Medical Association.
The Spirit of East Anglia community held its inaugural workshop last week based on the theme of ‘transition’.
The topic seemed an appropriate one as the event was held during the ancient fire festival of Samhain, which traditionally ushered in the Celtic New Year and took place over three days from 31 October until 2 November. A time of transition and letting go, it was, and still is, a time of change from a sunlit, outdoorsy life to a period of dark nights and time spent indoors in the warmth.
The idea is that, as we move from one phase of the season’s wheel to the next, it is an opportune moment to get rid of clutter, to throw out what is no longer useful for us and, as we increasingly move within, to open ourselves up to new possibilities.
So with this in mind, here are our practitioners’ top tips for health and wellbeing based on the presentations and exercises they shared with attendees at the workshop:
Sarah Stollery, kundalini yoga and meditation teacher
Tips to improve your wellbeing:
Wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual: I know it is hard – especially as the days are getting shorter – but if you can start your day with a few minutes of deep breathing or meditation, you will ensure you enter it more consciously and with greater focus on what is truly important. This could be everything from working towards a goal or tackling a challenging project or perhaps just being more heart-centred in your interaction with others;
Long, deep breathing: Many of us have adopted the unconscious habit of breathing incorrectly. But when we take in a deep breath, we suck our abdomens in, forcing our chest and shoulders to rise. In fact, when we breathe correctly, our abdomens should relax outwards slightly as the diaphragm moves down and the lungs fill with air. If you can take a few minutes everyday to ensure you breath correctly, you will feel more alert, energised and at peace. For more information on the ‘how to’s’ and benefits of long, deep breathing, go to https://www.3ho.org/long-deep-breathing;
Stretch and move: We are all well aware of the benefits of exercise, but the difficulty is finding the time and space to do a little bit everyday. But that is key. Little and often is better than seldom for longer. When my yoga students ask me how to start a practice at home, I always encourage them to choose one exercise or stretch they love and one they find challenging and to do both for three minutes each. If you would like a few simple yoga practices to try, check out my warm-up video;
Sing: Singing promotes the natural release of endorphins, improves lung capacity, clears the throat energy centre and can even help with sleep. Singing or chanting a mantra, as we did in the workshop together, is a powerful tool to help create wellbeing. Kundalini yoga teaches us that chanting or singing a mantra employs the technology of naad, or totally balanced universal sound, to produce a state of shuniya, orzero-point consciousness, in the practitioner. If you would like to sing along to the mantra we sang on Thursday, this is a link to the track https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BSKPele2Vo, and here is a link to the practice: https://www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga/mantra/meditation-protection-and-projection-heart;
Tune in to your “heart-brain”: If you do only one thing for yourself every day, make it this. The road to becoming a more heart-centred species has been, and will continue to be, a bumpy one, but we can help effect change by transforming our own consciousness. When each of us takes the time to connect into our heart, we help to re-calibrate the collective operating system of humanity from one of fear and separation to one of love. Here is another lovely meditation for dropping into the heart space at https://www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga/pranayam/pranayam-techniques/meditation-calm-heart.
Juliette Bryant, nutritional consultant, superfood chef and author
Tips for boosting your immune system:
Heal the gut: Kill the bad guys using aged garlic and support the good guys by taking water kefir, sauerkraut and probiotics. Also heal the holes with turmeric latte. Join me on my new, four-week online course, which is starting on Monday 12 November, to learn more;
Take vitamin C: Plant-based vitamin C is easily absorbed by the body and is key to supporting a healthy immune system. I have a great food supplement on my website;
Take vitamin D: More than 900 bodily functions require vitamin D, but it is especially helpful in ensuring a healthy immune system. My favourite is vitamin D3 with K2, which again you can find on my website;
Use CBD oil: Cannabis oil supports the endocannabanoid system, which underpins the whole immune system.
Helen Preston, counsellor and holistic therapist
Tips to improve your mental health:
Do not go it alone: Sharing is often the first step to healing;
Be kind to yourself: Learn to be your own best friend instead of your own worst enemy;
Depression is not about weakness: It has many causes and is often about being too strong for too long;
Grief and loss are part of life: There is no ‘right’ way to grieve but talking can help you make peace with it;
It is often not about making big life-changing choices: It is about consistently making small – almost insignificant – but positive choices for yourself on a daily basis.
Gemma Kennedy, transformational coach
Wheel of Life exercise to help you assess where your life is at:
It can be really useful to take some time each month, or each season, to review where your life is at and where you might like to head towards.
All you need for the Wheel of Life exercise is a pen, paper and a quiet moment to reflect.
Draw a circle and divide it into eight sections, labelling each one with one of the below headings, or others if they feel more appropriate:
Health / Physical Body
In your own time, evaluate each of the headings, scoring them on a scale of one to 10 (with one being very dissatisfied and 10 being very satisfied).
Afterwards, take a look at your answers and see what you notice. Some questions you might like to ask yourself are:
– Why did you give each category the score you did? Why is it not higher/lower?
– What would your ideal score be for each category?
– What score would you like to achieve over the next month/three months /six months/year?
– Which categories do you feel are most important to improve upon or balance?
You might like to keep hold of these scores so that you can check back in with them in future. I find they can be incredibly useful as a reminder of your progress when you feel that not much has changed.
Lisa Glydon, homeopath and natural health advisor
Tips to ensure a healthy immune system:
Boost your oxygen levels: If a cell or organ has plenty of oxygen, it can heal, mend and rejuvenate itself. Lack of oxygen (hypoxia) leads to an acid state, which in turn leads to a toxic state, which in turn leads to dis–ease.
So no matter what the weather this winter, ensure you move and walk around to move the lymph around your body, so it can carry away toxins;
Massage or rub different parts of your body to get the oxygen flowing around it;
Breathe deeply from your abdomen, which will not only help to oxygenate your blood, but also help to relax you by massaging your abdomen – which is the seat of your emotions.
Increase your water levels: Water is essential to life but we often forget to drink it during the winter months. Every cell in your body depends on water. Without it, your blood thickens and your heart and immune system need to work harder.
Drink 1½ – two litres of freshly filtered, rather than tap, water daily to hydrate you throughout the winter. Treat yourself to a filter jug if you do not have one and preferably use glass rather than plastic to drink it out of due to the synthetic hormones in plastic;
Add lemon, lime, honey, molasses, green powders or any other natural foods to flavour your water, or coconut oil if using hot water.
Get more sleep
Sleep is vital for health as it helps to renew, repair and rejuvenate the body while you sleep. Lack of sleep lowers your immune system and can lead to chronic disease. In fact, sleep deprivation is a form of torture.
Apps are a great source for finding online relaxation techniques;
Herbs such as Avena Sativa/Valariana/Passiflora help you to relax and fall asleep but also keep you asleep;
Take magnesium before bedtime as it aids relaxation;
I have a sleep tonic with added homeopathic remedies to aid sleep too.
Ensure your diet is balanced but supplement it with superfoods and supplements
Boost your immune defences by aiding your digestive health as it will help you fight off bacteria, viruses and pathogens. Remember it is not bugs that need to be feared – it is your immune defences that need to be strong.
Foods such as garlic, ginger, lemons, limes, apples, all green vegetables, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, all seeds, molasses, organic cider vinegar, olive and coconut oils, nettle and dandelion teas, baking soda are just a few good foods that will help.
In terms of supplements, vitamin C, B, D, zinc, magnesium, Omega 3 oil and probiotics are my favourites.
Invest in a homeopathic kit
Although homeopathic kits are available from Helios or Ainsworth’s Homeopathic Pharmacies, they no longer send them to UK addresses due to new European Union rules. But I normally stock a few, so you can treat yourself and your family naturally this winter. Homeopathic remedies stimulate your immune system and self-healing mechanisms rather than suppress them, helping to keep your thoughts happy and healthy at the same time.
Anita Ramsden, kinesiologist
Tips to keep your energy levels high:
Wake your self up and switch on your energy: Put one hand on your naval and, with your other hand, rub under your nose and under your bottom lip at the same time. Switch hands and repeat the process.
Put one hand on your navel and, with the other hand, rub just under your collarbone in the two little dips you can feel there about an inch either side of breast bone. Switch hands and repeat.
Put your hand on your naval and with the other hand, rub your coccyx (tailbone). Switch hands and repeat;
Ground yourself: Grab a stainless steel spoon and rub the bottoms of your feet. This connects you to the earth, which helps reduces inflammation and helps you feel more grounded;
Release stress and tension using an emotional stress release technique: Hold your forehead with one hand, and the back of your head where it joins your neck with the other. Think about anything that is causing you stress or you are finding difficult to work out/find a solution to. This technique can be used for both a present and future situation such as a forthcoming job interview, difficult conversation, presentation and the like. Simply hold the points mentioned and take yourself through the situation. Imagine it in as much detail as you can and visualise the best possible outcome. You can also use this technique to defuse stress in the body when thinking of a past issue;
Drink plenty of water: Drink at least two litres a day, but build up to it gradually if you currently do not drink much. Your body consists of 75% water, but you loose a litre a day simply by breathing. So drinking water will make you feel less fatigued and more alert. You will have fewer aches and pains, your skin will look plump and younger and your joints and spine will thank you. In the cold weather, try hot water with lemon, or thyme, or fresh mint instead. Take a glass of water up to bed and drink it when you wake to ensure the first thing you do each morning is let your body know you are nourishing it.
Top five reiki principles to help heal your mind, body, and spirit:
Principle 1 – Just for today, I will not worry
Worry causes stress and anxiety, which leads to imbalances in the mind, body and spirit. So alleviate your stress by trying to view each obstacle in life as an opportunity to learn and grow. Aim to keep both the obstacle and its solution in perspective – and focus the energy you have available on the solution rather than the problem.
Principle 2 – Just for today, I will not be angry
Because we are raised to believe that anger is wrong, dangerous, and unacceptable, from an early age we learn to suppress it, disguising our true feelings in order to survive, gain favour and/or avoid punishment. But if this repressed anger continues into adulthood, as it nearly always does, it can lead to chronic illness and disease.
Our thoughts trigger emotions that show up as physical symptoms in every part of our body. We can lie to others, and we can even lie to ourselves, but our bodies never lie. So just for today, try not to get angry.
Principle 3 – Just for today, I will do my work honestly
Approach your work with the intention of performing it to the best of your ability and with the goal of sharing all your talents with those you interact with. Do not hold anything back because to do so would be to cheat others. It is also cheating yourself to deny that you possess these gifts.
Principle 4 – Just for today, I will be grateful
Pause for a moment on a regular basis to acknowledge and appreciate the many blessings in your life. If you take the time to keep a list of your many blessings, you will be amazed at how many wonderful things there are to give thanks for. Do not just count the fleeting materialistic things. Focus on the things that money cannot buy.
Principle 5 – Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing
In some ways, this is the hardest principle to live by. Yes, it is easy to be kind to people you like and who like you, and it is easy to be kind when it does not cost us anything. The test comes when we are asked to be kind to people we do not care for or who make us feel angry, frightened, threatened and insecure.
But we are not asked to like, love, or condone the actions of others. All we are asked to do is to be kind to all living things when the opportunity presents itself. The greatest barrier to kindness is judging everyone from the standpoint of our own values and beliefs.
Reflecting upon these principles and striving to live within their framework is certain to effect positive change to all areas of your life. And if you fall short, that is fine. Simply try again tomorrow.
So you have made the decision that there is more to life than dieting. But the mixed messages emanating from today’s diet culture are likely to have left you in a quandary over which foods you should actually eat.
For years, you have been told to avoid entire food groups, not to eat after 6pm, or to fast for two days a week. It is impossible to remember a time when your supermarket trolley was not piled high with zero-calorie noodles, meal-replacement bars or cottage cheese.
But what do you really want to eat? What makes your body feel good? By this, I do not mean what makes your body slim. Or what satisfies your hunger with the minimum possible amount of calories.
No, what I am asking about is what food would you like to eat right here and right now if there were no limits. If no foods were designated as either good or bad, what would you choose?
Writing this, I find myself fancying a wild mushroom and parmesan risotto with crunchy garlic bread, a crisp side salad and, seeing as the weather is now feeling suitably autumnal, a delicious plum crumble with custard to follow. Be patient though as there is a point to all of this – it is about exploring the antithesis of dieting.
You may remember a time as a child that involved eating when you were hungry and stopping when you were full. While you may not have been in charge of the food that was available at that point, you may have had a strong understanding of what your body enjoyed – and at times, certain foods may have seemed more appealing than others.
If you are anything like the millions of dieters around the world, it is likely you will have become disconnected from this profoundly important way of nourishing your body. It may have been a result of encouragement from others to finish everything on your plate when you were a child or to have a drink to fill you up when you felt hungry. But whatever the source, such suggestions inevitably lead us to question our body’s instinctive knowledge.
The key principles of intuitive eating are to honour your body’s hunger and fullness, being sure to eat foods that bring you enjoyment while at the same time leaving the negative messages behind. Intuitive eaters might consider whether their bodies are in need of something salty or sweet, crunchy or soft, warm or cold, spicy or mild.
Of course, it is not always possible to eat exactly what we want as there are often time, financial or other constraints. But by returning to this way of eating, you do feel an immense sense of freedom from dieting.
Permission to eat
One of the concerns that people often raise about this approach is the safety of giving ourselves permission to eat whatever we fancy. “Wouldn’t we just live on pizza or ice cream?” they ask.
Founders of the Health at Every Size (HAES) movement, Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramore discuss just this subject in their book ‘Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out and Just Plain Fail to Understand about Weight’. They say: “The idea that you can stop watching your calories and eat what you want, when you want, is so contrary to current ideas that it evokes tremendous fear.”
But one of their studies confirmed that: “Once participants realized they could eat whatever they wanted and were supported in choosing foods they fancied, and in letting food serve many roles, food stopped holding as much power over them.”
Think about it: If you truly knew that you would be able to eat more of a particular food whenever you felt like it, without guilt or judgment, would you still spend so much time thinking about whether to eat it or not?
But it is worth noting that many people experience what anti-diet registered dietician and certified intuitive eating counsellor Christy Harrison calls the “honeymoon phase”. At this stage, they often feel “out of control” or as though they “can’t get enough” of food.
Moreover, exploring their new-found, unconditional permission to eat can last for months or years, particularly for those who have been dieting for a long time. It may feel like a pendulum swinging between eating a great deal and restricting your input again, but this situation will settle down in time, as I have experienced myself.
With regard to the issue of physical health, I do not tend to discuss it much in my work as I believe every body is worthy of respect, regardless of their state of health. But a recent HAES study showed clearly that after two years, those who lived by HAES principles, which include intuitive eating and movement, were markedly healthier, both mentally and physically, than those who continued to diet.
The report stated: “The HAES group sustained improvements in blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein), and depression, among many other health parameters. The typical-diet group, on the other hand, showed initial improvements in all of those parameters (and weight loss), but returned to their starting point within a year. The HAES group improved their self-esteem and reported feeling much better about themselves at the program’s end, whilst the dieters’ self-esteem plummeted.”
Due to its considerable benefits, intuitive eating is unsurprisingly becoming better known as the body- and fat-positive communities spread the word. I really hope it is only a matter of time before more people begin to question the compounded misery that dieting brings, which includes everything from food restriction to binging and the inevitable process of weight cycling (gaining and losing the same weight many times).
The fact that someone felt the need to coin the phrase ‘intuitive eating’ makes it clear just how disconnected many of us have become from our own bodies. But only when we stop relying on diet companies and the media to tell us what to eat and start listening to our own bodies instead will we truly experience life beyond dieting.
Gem Kennedy is a Body Positive activist and transformational coach. Having started her first diet aged 10 and spent many years promising herself that this would be the year to lose weight and start living, a switch flicked in 2017 when she discovered the Body Positive and Fat Activist communities. After training as a transformational coach, she now specialises in coaching and mentoring clients both individually and in groups to help them shed the burden of today’s diet culture and feel confident enough to be in the world exactly as they are, right now.
Autumn is a time to be more mindful of our health as we prepare for the winter ahead. Because just as the leaves on the trees change colour so the cells within our bodies start to shed. This process is needed to enable renewal and ensure eternal balance at the cellular level.
Our body comprises trillions of cells that make up hair and bone, tissues, muscles and vital organs. All of them are constantly striving to keep us healthy, but thousands of old ones die off each day to make room for new ones to be created. It is how the body self-regulates and self-heals. But how we look after these cells is up to us.
The body’s self-healing mechanism is somewhat mystifying, not least because different cultures and disciplines think about it in different ways.
In Chinese medicine, for example, the health of the “whole” system, which comprises body, mind and spirit, depends on the balance of Yin and the Yan – opposites that when brought together create wholeness. Qi, which sounds like ‘chi’ and means “vital energy”, flows through the body and takes the form of five natural elements: metal, wood, water, fire and water.
In Ayurvedic medicine, which is practised in the Indian subcontinent, an individual’s constitution consists of three basic types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha, which are also based on the elements of nature.
While these concepts may seem strange to our Western way of thinking, they are actually derived from disciplines that have withstood the test of thousands of years of practice.
In homeopathy, meanwhile, the idea of self-healing is based not so much on the balance of ‘elemental energies’, but on a patient’s individual energy – their vital force. Although it is not possible to see this vital force under a microscope, you can feel it within you when you are well. When you are not, it expresses itself via the symptoms and conditions you experience.
The subsequent ‘picture’ that a homeopath builds up of a patient is based not just on their symptoms, but also on the history of their ailment, the history of their health and a detailed description of what a ‘normal’ energy flow is for them when well.
Such observations make it possible to study how someone’s energy is expressing itself in terms of their spirit, emotions and physical body, what is causing it to become ‘stuck’ and where – because it is this ‘stuck’ energy that needs healing. It is, in fact, our body is crying out to make us listen so we can help the energy clear and allow it to flow again.
Unblocking stagnant energy
Sadly in the West though, we tend to see this expression of pain as simply an inconvenience and take drugs or other treatments to ‘suppress’ it. While doing so may help temporarily, because the body is always trying to heal itself, any problems will just express themselves elsewhere – and the symptoms may even be worse next time.
The aim of a homeopath, however, is to unblock this stagnant energy by using remedies that stimulate the body’s own means of healing itself – just as acupuncturists use needles to get it flowing again too.
This vital force is both the link, and the chain, between the physical and the subtle bodies of mind, emotions and spirit. It is programmed to work in harmony with the electrical impulses of our central nervous and endocrine systems and the glands that produce our hormones.
These hormones act like chemicals within the body, working as part of our biochemistry. If one hormone is out of balance, the others will be knocked out of balance too as they all need to work together to keep the ‘whole’ well. This harmonious teamwork maintains our equilibrium: A status quo of optimum health.
By way of contrast, allopathy (western medicine) focuses on biochemistry and the immune system as the key ways of maintaining health. The term ‘immune system’ is used to describe the lymphatic system, or waste disposal unit of the body (that is, the leucocytes and lymphocytes, which seek out and destroy invaders such as bacteria and viruses).
While the immune system is a critical element of dealing with dis-ease, it is also extremely limited in its scope. As a result, if it becomes the sole focus for healing, it becomes necessary to use treatment methods that do not rely on the body’s own resources to heal.
For instance, at this time of year, there is a big push for people to have flu vaccines, despite the fact that they contain many toxic ingredients and heavy metals. But such an approach is disrespectful to the body’s own self-healing abilities as it destroys and disrupts them – while making massive profits for the pharmaceutical companies at the same time.
A key problem here is that drugs and surgery only treat the symptoms that manifest in one part of the whole.
Yet many generations ago, the Greek philosopher Plato said: “The cure of the part should not be attempted without the treatment of the whole. No attempt should be made to cure the body without the soul. If the head and body are to be made healthy, you must begin by curing the mind for this is the greatest error of our day in the treatment of the human body, that the physicians first separate the soul from the body.”
The word ‘soul’ today may have religious connotations, but that should not distract us from the serious message in Plato’s words. It could be summarised thus: You cannot treat and cure the body without taking the emotions, mind and spirit into consideration.
What happens during the process of self-healing?
When a dis-ease or unpleasant symptom occurs, homeopaths observe it carefully to see how it feels and how it expresses itself within an individual. Such information is then used to help select a unique natural remedy for them. This remedy will stimulate their body’s vital force so that it can start to heal itself.
Very often the first response will be a discharge. Homeopaths love discharges as they are all about drainage, whether we are talking about mucus, smelly perspiration, skin rashes, a fever, bowel or appetite changes. Depending on what needs to be healed, emotional shifts may follow too. There are often tears or feelings of anger or sadness.
Discharges can be thoroughly messy, but they are always to an individual’s advantage – unless they are simply too profuse and weaken the system, in which case further support is needed. But ultimately whatever the body has to do to get better, it will do – and we, as practitioners, simply encourage that process to take place until things are back in balance again.
The incredible thing is that, even as the body produces these shifts – or healing responses – the individual always starts to feel better in themselves. They always say things like “I’ve got more energy” or “I can think more clearly” or “I’m feeling back to my old self again”.
It is as if the body has been lifted out of its fog and is eradicating all of the things – the shocks, the upsets, the toxicity, the drug side effects – that was holding it back. Here are some examples of how it works:
Headaches can be relieved by nosebleeds, having a bowel movement, urinating more or releasing pent-up emotions, especially tears or anger;
Cystitis may be healed by releasing anger – it is where the old expression ‘pissed off’ comes from. Holding back strong emotions can make our system more acidic, which attracts bacteria to the bladder;
Food poisoning can be cured when the body expunges the problem by means of vomiting and diarrhoea;
Most asthma/eczema sufferers indicate they can breath better if their eczema flares up and exudes matter as the skin, rather than the lungs, acts as a discharge point;
A fever will break following profuse sweating, copious urination or a mucus discharge.
If we were to try to ‘stop’ these natural processes, we would suppress the body’s own healing responses, which as we can see from the discharge situation, is often a powerful reaction. But doing so would push all of that powerful energy back into the body.
Suppression is not good news as it prevents the completion of drainage and contributes to a compromised vital force. But sadly it takes place all too often today when people take antibiotics, analgesics or steroids. As a result, we are seeing more chronic autoimmune diseases and conditions than ever before.
Nonetheless, once people discover their body’s own unique power to heal itself, they tend to become more empowered and aware of how it functions. They become more involved in their own health and less reliant on drugs and other treatments that may hinder their self-healing powers. In fact, they also frequently become less fearful and develop more confidence in their own abilities, even when things get rocky.
Because to truly understand health, we also have to understand the process of healing.
Lisa Glydon has been a qualified homeopathic practitioner since 2007, but she also uses herbs, supplements and Bach/Bush Essences to boost the body’s systems and help remove emotional blockages. She initially trained as a State Registered Nurse in London, specialising in oncology and palliative care, but now treats clients of all ages and with all kinds of conditions. Lisa also runs workshops and provides talks to school children and adult groups about all aspects of healthcare.
The energy field around each and every one of us is an amazing and complex thing. We can feel it, sense it – and some people can even see it.
Have you ever felt that you ‘just really like’ someone after meeting them for the first time? Or perhaps you have said to a friend: “That guy gives me the creeps.” They have neither explicitly said nor done anything to give you this impression, but you just feel it.
We do not have to learn to sense what in quantum mechanics is called our energy field though – we just do it innately. In the words of biologist Bruce Lipton: “Our energy is a communication, and we broadcast who we are out into the field.”
In fact, we are all broadcasting and receiving all the time, and it is our feelings that let us know whether we are a good match for someone else’s energy. We may rationalise the process in our heads, but ultimately it is our feelings that should be trusted. If you really want to know the answer to something, ask your heart the question. Just be still and listen to hear what it has to say.
But most of us are so accustomed to this energy that we often fail to realise we are even reading it. For example, if you walk into a room where people have been arguing, while they may put on a ‘there-is-nothing-going-on-here’ facade, the energy in the room will likely feel a bit awkward. Can you relate to this idea?
Quantum physics, for one, has no trouble in describing the body’s energy field, and Lipton explains the matter very simply. He says that atoms are made out of energy. Atoms band together to form molecules and molecules come together to make cells, which means that cells are made out of energy.
But if you take this thought process through to its logical conclusion, it becomes clear that, as humans are made up of cells, what we actually are, is energy beings.
No wonder then that our feelings are intrinsically important to our health and wellbeing. The more energy you have, the better you will feel and, by the same token, the less energy you have, the worse you will feel. To put another slant on it, some people you spend time with may drag you down or drain you of energy, while others will make you feel uplifted, light-hearted and refreshed.
The energy around our body is referred to as our ‘aura’ and consists of our electromagnetic field or energy body. Some special people such as healer Donna Eden can see people’s energy bodies. She can see their vibrancy as well as the various patterns, colours and holes they contain. In fact, in her classic book ‘Energy Medicine’, she indicates that she recognises people by their energy.
The auric field consists of seven layers of electromagnetic energy. It is our life force and it protects us. It filters, transmits and attracts energy. When we are happy, it is big, bold and strong. But stress in particular can bring it crashing inwards and its ability to protect us becomes more limited. As a result, we are left vulnerable to the energies, or moods, of others. We feel more fragile and less able to simply brush things off.
This means that the more you pay attention to your feelings and gravitate towards people and situations that uplift you, the healthier your aura will become. It will also attract more of the same energy to it, which means you will find yourself surrounded by more positive people. But the same is true in reverse though, of course.
As a kinesiologist, I work with the body’s energy. As much as I would love to, I am not able to see it, but I do feel it. People’s energy to me feels bright, vibrant, crystal clear or sludgy, stuck, murky or heavy. It can also feel wired, jagged, sad or a host of other emotions. I can likewise feel shape, colour and brightness. I sometimes see images or feel physical pain in my own body.
This situation can be hard for others to grasp. On first starting out, one of my now regular clients said: “Well, I will come and see you again for some of your witchery. I don’t understand it, but it does seem to have a positive effect on me.”
I can appreciate people’s uncertainty in a modern age in which most of us rely so much more on science than on intuition. But as Eden says: “With our body comes an intelligence that exceeds understanding and intellect.”
Strangely though, there are a number of unseen energy forces that we choose to accept without question, perhaps because science has legitimised them or we have simply never thought about them in any depth. For instance, what stops us from flying off the planet? Isn’t there just as much “witchery” in gravity as there is in the body having its own energy system?
So many everyday magical things surround us in nature and all of them either require energy to exist or exist because of energy. Think of a seedling bursting out of its casing in the spring and pushing up through the soil. Or the heat from the sun’s energy that warms our planet, which for the most part is unseen – just felt.
So such ideas are not really quite as ‘out there’ as some think. Rather they are simply concepts that have been forgotten in the West, but are now starting to re-emerge and move back into mainstream thought.
Anita Ramsden is a kinesiologist. She is emphatic about affecting positive change and her work encourages wellbeing for mind, body and soul. Anita is also a member of the Kinesiology Federation.