Archive for May 28th, 2008

I went away; I learned things; I came back.

Posted on May 28, 2008. Filed under: EFT, Health, Philosophy, Science, Travel |

Here are some notes about the annual Energy Psychology conference I attended recently. That title is a bit of a misnomer. The organization which sponsored the conference is called The Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, or ACEP. “Energy Psychology” is term coined by Dr. Fred Gallo, one of the conference presenters. But, equally, it was about Energy Medicine (from Donna Eden and David Feinstein, another of the conference presenters). The emphasis of the practice of Energy Psychology is often on psychological issues such as stress (it’s had great success with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, for instance); phobias; and things like stage fright and performance issues. But, it is equally effective for physical trauma, disease and chronic conditions. In fact, Gary Craig, the founder of my favorite system did a series of studies on “EFT for Serious Diseases”, and he reported on some of those developments at the conference.

Ah, Gary Craig, developer of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) the method I most often practice! The man is a walking, breathing, living legend, but is so down-to-earth and real, one feels one is just talking to a neighbor. For those of us who’ve taken extensive video-based training with him, it’s like meeting an old friend—who may never have met us. He’s spent hundreds of hours in my home (on video) and he is exactly the same person whether being filmed for a documentary, presenting to a room full of psychologists and doctors, or wandering around the conference center chatting with us casually. Very fun and inspiring.

There were morning and evening lectures for the whole conference of more than 400 participants; and many breakout sessions to choose from, which went into more detail about specific methods. It was inspiring to be with so many fellow energy practitioners from all over the world, particularly as this is a new and emerging field of treatment. At lunch I shared at table with a student from Norway and a tribal chief from Nigeria. This man had been fully trained in several of the methods and was eager to take them back to his country. One presenter from Korea demonstrated how energy methods could be integrated with the traditional medicine of that country.

A couple of questions always come up when I discuss this sort of work. The first is: “If this energy stuff is so great, how come everyone isn’t using it?” —More and more people are using it. It seems to me that since the discovery of germs and penicillin in the West, not to mention the large pharmaceutical investment in healing technologies, that we have not been open to the more natural methods. Also, the concept of having an “energy body” doesn’t really fly with a lot of Western societies, as evidence had, for so long been anecdotal. Many of our grandparents had their favorite folk remedies, but we didn’t really give much attention to why things get “stuck” in our bodies to begin with. I’m here to tell you that there is more and more research and results of research emerging. It’s an exciting time to be in this field.

The basic premise of the energy methods is that trauma, or residue from illness, becomes “coded” into our cellular structure. A strong emotion or physical trauma can put it there. Once there, it can cause all sorts of problems from mild anxiety to life-threatening illness. Drugs and surgery can treat the symptoms, but do not address how the condition got there to begin with.

Surprisingly, Energy Medicine doesn’t necessarily “care” how the condition first got stuck in the cells. It believes, to use Gary Craig’s phrase: “The cause of all negative emotion is a disruption in the body’s energy system.” (“Negative Emotion” includes “Unwanted Physical Conditions.”) The key to relief is getting the energy to flow past and through these blocks, and in addition to talking about and getting clear on which issues need to be addressed, most techniques use some method of redirecting energy flow through the meridian system of the body.

In the course of writing this post I discovered that I’d like to talk about the specifics of Energy Medicine, how I use it, and why I think it works. All of that would make this really long, so I’ll post about those things tomorrow. In the meantime I’ll say that the most exciting part of the conference for me was learning that more and more scientific research is being done in these fields, and that results of the research show consisitency and demonstaratable clinical effects. Devices can now locate meridian points in the body, register when flows are blocked, and again when energy is flowing again. Brain scans show differences before and after treatment. Statistical measurement tools gather data. All of this is tremendously helpful in establishing credibitly with the scientific community, and verifies what many of us have experienced.

A couple of personal disclaimers: I don’t need empirical science to prove things. I know when I feel better, and clients tell me when they do—that’s good enough for me. On the other hand, I’m not a “true believer” in these or any other methods. I use them because I enjoy them, I get results, and that brings me and others more joy. I’m not about to be an cheerleader or evangelist for anything, as I have a predominant belief that we attract to us the tools that fit our experience of the moment. I don’t so much say that “it” works, whatever the “it” of the moment may be; rather that “we” work, and, amazing humans that we are, we find new and amazing aids to improve our adventures. Peace, health and happiness to you!

Tomorrow: My two favorite new tools I got to take home, and why I “think” they work.

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