Energy Medicine – The Future of Well-Being: Local Health Practitioners Turn to a New Model for Healing
Oct 31, 2012 07:24PM
● By Linda Sechrist
In certain areas of expertise that require scientific evidence to prove efficacy before there is widespread public acceptance, progress is often slow. This is particularly true in the field of energy medicine, explored by NASA physicist, energy healer and teacher Barbara Brennan, in her 1988 book, Hands of Light: A Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field, and in 1998 by another healer and teacher, Donna Eden, whose second edition of Energy Medicine: Balancing Your Body’s Energies for Optimal Health, Joy and Vitality, was recently released.
Ignoring naysayers and skeptics and eschewing scientific proof for what they intuitively knew and could see, these women have devoted more than 25 years of their lives to exploring the human energy field. Brennan established the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, in South Florida, and Eden created the Energy Medicine University, in Sausalito, California, to advance the field by educating and training thousands of individuals that now practice various forms of energy therapies personally or professionally.
Emerging Research in Bioenergetics
During the last 10 years, documented research has been devoted to the science of bioenergetics—the study of the flow and transformation of energy between living organisms and their environment. It provides evidence and explanations that may give energy medicine the credence needed to convert it from a little-known modality within alternative health care practices into a conventional form of medicine, similar to the way acupuncture and massage have become respected enhancements to the healing process.
Academic scientist and author James Oschman, Ph.D., who has conducted research in bioenergetics and other related disciplines, explores the basis of energetic exchanges that take place in complementary and alternative therapies in his book, Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis. He says there is now enough high-quality research reported in leading peer-reviewed biomedical journals to show even the most committed skeptics that energy medicine is not a New Age delusion or hallucination. Oschman also lends supportive comments in the forward of Linnie Thomas’ book, The Encyclopedia of Energy Medicine, which describes in detail 60-plus energy therapies and modalities that have emerged since 1987.
Healing Modalities in Practice
One well-known modality is Reiki, which is not only offered in more than 800 American hospitals, but also features in psychological models of medicine. At Monarch Therapy, in Naples, owner and licensed clinical social worker Kimberly Rodgers partners with skilled Reiki masters Carrie Sopko and Sumari Porter to offer their services to her clients. Sopko is also a Transformational Breath facilitator and Porter specializes in Transformational Resonance Healing.
“Talk therapy isn’t generally enough for everyone,” says Rodgers. “With clients who are open to exploring the mind-body-spirit connection for healing the whole person, it is beneficial to work through emotional issues via a somatic connection. This lets them relate to the area of their body where they are holding on and storing the energy of their past emotions and traumas.”
Alvina Quatrano, owner of Holistic Healing Arts, in Naples, agrees with Rogers that one healing modality may not be adequate. Quatrano’s healing toolbox includes Reiki, reflexology, craniosacral therapy, Trager Approach and massage, as well as Soul Lightening Acupressure and Zero Balancing. She also teaches these therapies.
Quatrano explains that soul lightening acupressure is a heart- and consciousness-centered integrating therapy that incorporates Jin Shin Jytsu (a two-point holding touch) with Zero Balancing (an “interface” touch style) and psychotherapy (process) to offer numerous “recipes”, or protocols for putting an individual’s health into their own hands.
“It is very deep work that accesses our own deep reserves of energy that might be stagnant, obstructed or simply asleep. The finger is used as a fulcrum into acupressure points which fall along superficial meridians (energy pathways) of the body, but are selected as access points for deeper meridians that have no access points of their own,” says Quatrano, who indicates that this reliable tool is useful for staving off the onset of a cold or flu. “It’s helpful to have it when traveling, because it can bring down fevers and generally help bring the body, mind, spirit, soul into harmony,” she advises.
The Mind-Body-Spirit Connection
Maria Hubbuch also has experience with Reiki and two other energy modalities: esoteric healing and ThetaHealing, which is a therapeutic self-help guide to develop the ability to change physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. “The belief and feeling work in ThetaHealing empowers people with the ability to remove and replace negative emotions, feelings and thoughts with beneficial ones that influence the body in creating optimal health,” says Hubbuch. The process, which focuses on thought and prayer, teaches individuals how to use their natural intuition and rely upon the unconditional love of the Creator of All That Is to help bring about a spontaneous physical and emotional healing.
Esoteric healing works within the seven major centers (chakras) of the body’s bioenergy field, where the root cause of disease is believed to be located. Each chakra corresponds to related nerve centers, endocrine glands, internal organ systems and the circulatory system. Through her training, Karen Beatty, a licensed massage therapist and esoteric healing practitioner, has learned to help clients connect with the energy of their essence so they can live a soul-infused life.
Beatty began studying energy medicine for self-healing purposes, became intrigued and went on to become a Reiki master. A Realtor by profession, her energy toolbox includes completion of seven of the eight levels of esoteric healing, three levels of Dr. Eric Pearl’s Reconnective Healing and 30 years of experience as an eclectic therapeutic bodyworker and craniosacral practitioner.
She is also a certified Access Bars Consciousness facilitator/teacher and offers monthly classes in Naples and Sarasota. This energetic process accesses 32 points on the head that hold the energetic charge of all the thoughts, ideas, attitudes, decisions and beliefs that an individual has ever had. The practitioner’s gentle touch of just one bar can clear away preconceived points of view about what is or is not possible in life. “When you change the energy, you change how that part of your life shows up,” says Beatty.
An Exercise in Receiving
Janice Jackson, a Reiki master and licensed therapeutic massage therapist in Naples, is also an Access Bars practitioner and teacher. “This is the most simple and easy way to change your energy,” says Jackson, who laid her foundation for energy healing with Reiki and then moved on to a three-year study of Core Star Energy Healing, which is similar to Brennan’s healing work. Jackson notes that when clients get off her table, they often report feeling as though they have been nurtured and experienced the best relaxation massage of their life. “While it’s not a massage, it is an exercise in receiving. Having the 32 points on your head gently touched, effortlessly and easily, releases anything that doesn't allow you to receive,” Jackson explains.
Lee County Reiki masters Neil and Karen Kagan know without a doubt that Reiki works. When their oldest son was diagnosed with a rare liver disease in infancy, he was scheduled for surgical removal of his gallbladder and ducts at 3 months and for a liver transplant at 10 months. The Kagans became Level I Reiki practitioners before their son’s first surgery and had reached Level II by his transplant, so that they could do distance healing. “Our son is now a junior in high school,” say the Kagans, who have offered a free monthly Reiki night for the past 14 years at the Health & Harmony Center, in Fort Myers.
“Dr. Mehmet Oz informed his TV audience that for years he had incorporated Reiki into his open-heart surgeries through the assistance of a Reiki master,” says Neil, who has also been a practitioner of Tai chi and qigong for 25 years.
Silvia Casabianca, a licensed mental health counselor and owner of Eyes Wide Open Holistic Center, in Bonita Springs, has also been practicing Reiki and qigong for more than 20 years. “In Reiki, you are a channel, an instrument of universal energy; and in qigong, you have to work to cultivate qi [the body’s life-force] through breathing, the environment and food, as well as practices and exercises that increase it,” says the licensed massage therapist and Reiki master. A medical background and experience in anatomy and physiology are helpful in her Reiki and medical qigong practice. Qigong is said to be the oldest therapeutic modality of traditional Chinese medicine,and this comprehensive system of health care addresses the root cause of symptoms or disease, and treats the client as a whole.
Susan DeFlavis, another medical qigong practitioner, also draws upon her ability to sense and manipulate energy developed through dedicated study and self-cultivation of qi. The Bonita Springs resident uses qi emission and teaches medical qigong exercises and meditations to restore health and wellness.
DeFlavis also teaches pan gu shengong, a form of qigong, and notes that in China, medical qigong is used in hospitals. “Depending upon the illness, you can be assigned to a particular room where you are told to practice a particular qigong exercise for eight hours a day, until your illness disappears,” she says.
Achieving Optimal Well-Being
That “prescription” barely raises eyebrows in the East, where qigong has been practiced for centuries, but energy healing did not find its first crack in the wall of conventional Western medicine until 1980, when Janet Mentgen, a registered nurse and the founder of Healing Touch energy therapy, began introducing nurses to a clinical model that deepens and expands the connection between nurse and patient. In 1990, her certificate program was sponsored through the American Holistic Nurses Association.
Donald Epstein, a doctor of chiropractic and author of The 12 Stages of Healing: A Network Approach to Wholeness and Healing Myths, Healing Magic, proposes a model of energetic medicine—reorganizational healing—that emphasizes self-awareness and personal will to change and achieve optimal mental and physical health. Epstein perceives five energetic intelligences of the body associated with states of consciousness and explains that reorganizational healing helps individuals create a map to self-assess and draw upon their strengths to create sustainable change.
The paradigm provides tools that Dr. Michele Pelletiere, owner of Pelletiere Family Healing Center, in Bonita Springs, offers to clients interested in accessing their inner energetic resources through Epstein’s Triad of Change (perception, behavior and structure), to help transform their mental, emotional and physical health.
Epstein’s Triad reminds us that we live in a time of profound and revolutionary change. Scientific evidence from contemporary physicists and biologists confirms that our sensory experience of the world is extremely limited. As we delve beyond conventional models of healing, we realize that some concepts cannot be easily defined in words, and that our language is limited by our dimension. From the perspective of energy healing, we may need to become familiar with terms such as nature’s drive for wholeness, resonance, a new band of frequencies, restructuring DNA, local fields and the non-local field, encoding, entrainment, strings, strands, attunement, evolutionary healing and vibration. Perhaps we even need to redefine the word “healing”.
As suggested by Dr. Eric Pearl in his book, The Reconnection: Heal Others, Heal Yourself, healing is about more than the alleviation of symptoms, diseases, infirmities and other noticeable hindrances to full functioning. Healing is also the restoration of the person to spiritual wholeness. In essence, Pearl emphasizes that healing is the release or removal of a block or interference that has kept us separated from the perfection of the universe. His model includes the evolutionary restructuring of our DNA and our reconnection to the universe on a new level.
Like energy medicine, this reconnection promotes flow, balance and transformation. Reconciling intuition and experience with science and knowledge can help us reach a new level of understanding that not only includes the body as an energetic system, but also assumes a mantle of power and responsibility for it.
Barbara Brennan School of Healing, BarbaraBrennan.com.
Energy Medicine University, EnergyMedicineUniversity.org.
Kimberly Rodgers, Monarch Therapy, 4500 Executive Dr., Ste. 100, Naples; 239-325-9210. MonarchTherapy.com.
Alvina Quatrano, Holistic Healing Arts, 3323 Olympic Dr., Ste. 722, Naples; 732-266-5276. HolisticHealingArts.info.
Maria Hubbuch, 239-910-6576.
Karen L. Beatty, Downing-Frye Realty, Inc., Naples; 239-269-7788.
Janice Jackson, 5051 Castello Drive, Ste. 226, Naples; 239-272-8539. MassageNaplesFL.com.
Susan DeFlavis; 239-340-1036.
Michele Pelletiere, D.C., Pelletiere Family Healing Center, 9138 Bonita Beach Rd., Bonita Springs; 239-949-1222.