I’m a firm believer in the power of the human body to heal itself of minor aches and ills brought about through the various stresses of daily life.
Ever since I began experiencing persistent headaches in my teenage years I sought out alternative ways to relieve my pain which introduced me to the work of Betty Shine and her Mind Medicine Room.
I learnt that many of the minor ills we experience are brought on by ourselves because our energies are off-synch or not flowing correctly.
What the body creates, it can also heal and visualisation exercises balanced with mindful awareness can alleviate many problems that we would otherwise treat with a foreign drug.
My interest in alternative methods of healing and accessing the pharmacy that is our own body grew while travelling through South America. I experienced enormous stress on occasion and travel sickness or pain ranging from mild discomfort to agony (see breaking my wrist on Death Road) but I was able to temper the force of this feeling by using techniques like conscious breathing and becoming curious about the pain and not letting it control me.
The Ayahuasca experience in a Peruvian jungle also enforced what I believed to be a portal to an alternative reality where mind/body are intrinsically linked which helped further my interest in the subject.
Periodically I check out www.seminars.ie, a website that promotes upcoming talks from authors and public speakers from the field of alternative health or media. I had the pleasure of attending one such seminar some two years ago where NLP co-founder Dr. Richard Bandler presented which I document here. As luck/fate/timing would have it, there was one such speaker appearing this weekend.
The author was Donna Eden who is described as a clairvoyant, healer and best-selling author of works in the growing field of Energy Medicine. Donna is doing a circuit of Ireland and the U.K. with her psychologist husband David Feinstein who also shared MC duties. To quote from her own site, she has “…for more than 35 years…been teaching people how to work with the body’s energy systems to reclaim their health and natural vitality.”
Friday night would provide an intro to the world of energy healing offering tips to reduce stress, anxiety as well as simple techniques to remove energy blocks. There was a Saturday workshop throughout the day which built on those techniques and went into more detail in a very hands-on, practical way however being new to Donna’s work and this field, I decided the introduction would be sufficient.
The introductory session lasted 3 1/2 hours and I was accompanied by my sister who also shares an interest in the bodies ability to heal itself. In a room full of 100 people in the O’Callaghan Alexander hotel in Dublin City Centre, we were without doubt the youngest people there by some distance. By my estimate I was probably one of only 6 or 7 men in the room and the huge majority would have been older women in their fifties and sixties, some of whom clearly battled various health problems.
Throughout the course of the evening, Donna regaled us with some personal anecdotes and illustrated examples of conditions that affected many of those present, regularly inviting audience members onto the stage to demonstrate ‘scrambled’ energy patterns in her enthusiastic and light hearted manner.
Her primary way to elicit someone’s energy field was to have that person stand facing her while holding out an arm to one side, which Donna pushed down on to gauge how ‘strong’ their energy was.
Diagnosis made, Donna would then prescribe specific actions to either unscramble or align energy around that person’s meridian lines to synch and flow in the right direction again. The entire room were encouraged to participate in these exercises which we did under the stewardship of the TA’s (Teaching Assistants) that lined the wings of the long room mirroring Donna’s actions on stage and pointing out specifically the various areas of the body to involve.
At times her husband David Feinstein chipped in. Very much the ‘voice of reason’ and ‘left brain to Donna’s creative right brain’ David put things into a more scientific context to marry the principles into a more logical format for those analytical or perhaps sceptical among us, for example describing how trace elements of the metal ‘magnetite‘ could be found in animals. This acted as a magnet aligning with the Earth’s magnetic field and assisted direction evidenced by Pigeons and their remarkable ability to home in on their target many miles away.
Tatiana, Donna’s daughter also helped with some of the exercises and at the end had everyone dancing on their feet with the Energy Dance designed to bring more love into your heart chakra ending the night on a fun note.
– It was nice to have some takeaway exercises to implement immediately into my life.
– The interactive format was great with audience members able to try the exercises in real time.
– Donna encouraged an open platform throughout fielding questions that came her way over the course of the night
– The speakers came across as very genuine and sincere in their intention. There was a lot of warmth and love in the room which was palpable.
– After over-riding some initial self-consciousness I felt physically better after performing the exercises.
– Each attendee received a really useful 35 page illustrated booklet with techniques and explanation of the bodies energy pathways.
– The energy tests of pushing down on someone’s arm to gauge if they were ‘strong or weak’, ‘cured or scrambled’ seemed not only unscientific but incredibly easy to manipulate to justify a point.
– The placebo effect of getting people to suddenly stand up (after sitting down for 30 minutes), shaking your limbs, gentle stretching and taking deep mindful breaths will certainly make you feel better, but can that really be ascribed to unblocking your energy channels?
A nod to my childhood hero Agent Fox Mulder in the X-Files, and the poster in his office of a UFO and the words below it ‘I WANT TO BELIEVE‘, I do think there is something beyond our physical plane in this Universe and that our bodies are composed of energy that can be manipulated and influenced by the environment.
Saying that, I don’t believe everything I hear and believe it’s healthy to have some degree of scepticism lest you fall prey to the next charmed salesperson peddling new age potions that are absolutely pointless, and at worse bloody dangerous.
Do I believe that is the case here? That Donna is hoodwinking hundreds of people as she continued her tour in the UK and beyond flogging her books, DVD’s and various courses to an unsuspecting public?
No. I don’t.
At least, not from the brief introduction I experienced. Many of the attendees present had seen her before and waxed lyrical about how they had received healing and removed obstacles from their own life, whether physical or mental.
At the end of the day, if she is helping people, promoting the message of love and connecting with others through touch and compassion then that’s OK with me. I’d just be a little wary about why I’d need to pay £140 for a weekend to experience such insights.