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Foreward to Energy Medicine for Women by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

EM_For-WomenEnergy Medicine for Women

Foreword by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

I began experimenting with energy medicine in my gynecological practice many years ago, using it when I had to perform invasive office procedures such as endometrial biopsies, the removal of IUDs, or tests that involved injecting dye into the uterus. I sensed how disruptive these routine procedures were to the body’s natural energy fields, so as the final part of the treatment, I would have my patient lie down and I would move my hands in long passes above her body. Something in this simple act seemed to help restabilize the body’s energy fields. Many women would report immediate relief of pain or cramps, pleasurable tingling sensations in the areas that had been traumatized, or a deepening calm throughout their bodies.

While about as simple a technique as exists, it was pleasant, non-invasive, and effective. Now, even as the field of hands-on energy medicine has developed far more sophisticated procedures than my early experiments, the approach has retained these basic qualities: simple, pleasant, non-invasive. But don’t be fooled. Your hands hold powerful medicine—"energy medicine"—that beyond just soothing the body after an invasive procedure is able in itself to prevent or help overcome challenging illnesses.

Energy medicine is moving into our health care system quickly, powerfully, and none too soon. We have as a society come to the end of our journey in Newtonian medicine, a perspective that looks at the body more like a bag of organs and bones than a miracle of animation; that focuses on illness rather than optimizing health; and that often futilely seeks to identify simple cause-and-effect relationships rather than to grasp how body, mind, and spirit are profoundly interrelated. We have as a result built a medical system based on drugs and surgery that usually doesn’t become meaningfully involved in health care until after the person is already sick. We are like a river patrol that sends power boats out into the rapids to rescue people who are drowning rather than going upstream and figuring out how to keep them from falling into the rapids in the first place.

We can’t go much further with this model. It isn’t working, as Michael Moore’s documentary, Sicko, makes abundantly and compassionately clear. The old paradigm is breaking down before our eyes. But we also see the emergence of a new paradigm and, happily, one whose ancient roots have withstood the test of time. The new paradigm, as this book beautifully articulates, addresses biological processes at their energetic foundation; gives rise to methods that are precise, practical, rapid, and non-invasive; optimizes health as well as countering illness; empowers the person with effective methods for back-home self-care; and integrates body, mind, and spirit.

But perhaps the best news about energy medicine is that even though many leading edge thinkers in health care believe it to be the medicine of the future, it is available today. You don’t have to wait. So what if it’s not yet in your town! So what if it’s not yet in your hospital! So what if your doctor doesn’t yet believe in it! You can learn the basics from the book you are reading. And you can use it with any medical regimen you are currently on. Any regimen! A beauty of energy medicine is that it won’t interfere. There are no side effects whatsoever. So why wouldn’t you try it? There is nothing to lose!

This book is a wonderful introduction to energy medicine.  It distills the experiences of one of the field's most joyous and effective pioneers into a heartful, user-friendly, enormously practical guide. I agreed to write this foreword before I met Donna Eden or had a chance to see her work. While I review many well-written books that provide good information, there is a deeper ring of truth that is precious and rare. This book sang with it. When I finally had the pleasure of meeting Donna, it was evident that the compassion and wisdom I felt in her book reflect the integrity in the being of its author. Incredibly youthful in her sixty-fifth year, Donna is her own best advertisement. She is ebullient with energy. And she is very very fun to be around.

Writing this foreword is part of a full circle in my relationship with energy medicine. I have always recognized the importance of the body’s energies in my medical practice. I intuitively understood the influence of my patients’ thoughts, fears, desires, relationships, family history, jobs, diet, use of exercise, and overall lifestyle on their body’s energies and the powerful impact of those energies on their health and their illnesses. But this fundamental dimension of health care isn’t taught in medical schools, and as I began to speak with my colleagues about its importance, I felt like the proverbial voice in the wilderness. In the early part of my career, I didn’t think this perspective would be accepted during my lifetime. But now, with the embrace of these ideas reflected in many arenas, including in my own life—from having my books on the New York Times best-seller list to multiple appearances on Oprah—I have clearcut, measurable evidence that a broad population is ready to hear about the principles that have guided my work. And the medical community is listening as well.

The world is in fact changing faster than most of us imagined could be possible even a decade ago. While many of the changes are shaking us down to our foundations, a hopeful landscape is also emerging. Energy medicine is one of its contours. It is not just the latest fad in alternative health care. It is a fundamentally new way of grasping who we are. During this precarious time in our history, as you will read in Donna’s introduction, "a book about the energies that animate a woman’s body is obliged to mainline you into a deeper connection with the archetypal feminine principle that must be re-embraced if our species is to survive. . . . The archetypal feminine is not just a set of ideas and values somewhere out in the ethers. It is coded, yes, in your energies, but also in your genes, your hormones, and in the actions they cause you to take. [At their core] our feminine instincts are toward love, cooperation, justice, compassion, family, nature, and peace." Energy medicine brings these values into health care, and it is not just for women or just for healers. Every mother, father, teacher, policeman, and politician needs to become a quick-study in energy medicine to better cope with the challenges we all face in today’s world.

Women, however, are innately sensitive to energy in a way that is different from most men. We are more multimodal in the ways our brains are constructed. We are also the healers of our families. When women are healthy and happy, their families are healthy and happy. So you aren’t reading this book just for yourself. You are also reading it for the better mother, wife, sister, and leader you will become.

I want to emphasize and comment on a few of my favorite concepts from the book. It is absolutely lovely the way Donna conveys that when she is with a client, she starts by seeing beyond the person’s energy blockages to the radiant soul that is inside each of us. This leads to health care where there is no judgment, no blame, no shaming, no guilt, no sense of doing it wrong. There is simply the instruction: "This is how you heal." When your healer sees you this truly and deeply, you experience the radiant self that is within you. The book gives you a vicarious sense that attunes you to your own radiant self.

A second major concept in this book is the basic premise of energy medicine, which is that Einstein was right – energy is all there is. The physical world is nothing but a slower vibration of energy. Energy is the prime mover of all we see and know. This understanding opens you to a new way of taking charge of your health. You change the energy and, over time, your body has to respond. This is an enormously empowering idea. It flies in the face of conventional wisdom where we believe that treating illness requires something from the outside, such as a drug or a surgical procedure. Energy healing is an inside job. As you begin to do the exercises in this book, you will feel a difference as the energy begins to shift within you. But you don’t need to believe me. See for yourself. As you start to use these methods, you will have irrefutable evidence that they work. And from these experiences, you will develop a rock solid knowledge about the central role of your body’s energies. I was impressed when Donna told me about being alerted to a discussion on a cystic fibrosis blog. Double lung-transplant patients were figuring out together how to use energy techniques (based on Donna’s first book, Energy Medicine) and sharing their successes. So no matter what the concerns that caused you to pick up this book – whether PMS, menstrual cramps, infertility, premature ovarian failure, menopausal symptoms—there is something here for every woman on the planet.

A third concept that I find compelling is the notion of using energy medicine to "evolve your body." Because our bodies evolved for a world that no longer exists, our adaptations are often imperfect compromises, and we can teach our bodies to adapt more effectively. This is a radical idea. Most people’s sense of what is possible for them is tied to the prevailing notion called genetic determinism: "This is what runs in my family." "I am who I am because of my genes." But what we are discovering is that the same DNA can express itself in multiple ways. Your genes respond to the environment, and your body’s energies are the first tier of that environment. Energy medicine shows you how to help those energies evolve, and when you do, your physical body will follow. An illuminating example from the book is that when Donna got her own spleen meridian into a better balance while addressing a serious health condition, she spontaneously lost 17 excess pounds without changing her diet. That you can evolve your body is a new and enormously exciting concept, and beyond merely offering the concept, energy medicine gives you a way to use it.

Energy Medicine for Women is extremely well-documented. We now have the ability to measure the energy fields it discusses with scientific instruments. For the first time in human history, in fact, it is possible to scientifically establish that the Chinese physicians who intuitively mapped the acupuncture meridians thousands of years ago were right! Of course you don’t need scientific instruments to use the techniques taught in this book or to feel their effects on your own body, but the scientific documentation builds a bridge between worlds that makes the book much easier for a medical school or a nurse or a doctor to use.

Hands-on energy medicine techniques are already starting to be used in conventional health care settings. Some hospitals routinely give patients an opportunity to have their energy fields balanced prior to and following surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or other invasive procedures. It diminishes the shock to the body, hastens healing, and ameliorates many adverse effects, from pain to nausea to hair loss. In the medicine of the future, as I envision it, working with the patient’s energy field will be the first intervention. Surgery will be a last resort. Drugs will be a last resort. They will still have their place, but shifting the energy patterns that caused the disease will be the first line of treatment. And before that, teaching people how to keep their energies in healthy patterns will be as much a part of physical hygiene as flossing or exercise.

It is significant that this book is directed toward women. The group with the most money and the most clout on the planet right now are baby boom women in Western nations. And no group is more primed for changing established health practices. None of us wants to age the way we’ve seen our mothers age. And because we were the generation that said, "Don’t trust anyone over 30," we don’t take the previous generation’s practices on faith. We also came out of the women’s liberation movement, where we cultivated the idea that we could reinvent every stage of life we go through. We in fact have a knee-jerk reaction to the messages we’ve gotten about how one ages: "No thank you. That’s not about me. I won’t do it that way." Energy medicine gives women tools they can use to reinvent themselves and what is possible for them, not only as they age, but also with their physical appearance, their vitality, and their physical health. And it gives new credence to the vision of "dying young as late as possible."

Being able to sense energy and work with energy is our native human territory. We are born with this ability, and people in indigenous cultures retain it. In technological cultures, however, where sensing the subtle energies of the body and the environment is not mentioned or cultivated, this ability has usually atrophied by the age of two. This needn’t be the case. If infants are nurtured to see and feel the energy they are born knowing, they will retain this ability. And it is an enormously practical skill that will serve as a significant part of their inner guidance system. Fortunately, even if your natural ability to sense energy wasn’t cultivated, you can learn how to work consciously with the body’s energies, and this is very empowering. Donna, who literally sees subtle energies, has made a career of empowering people who don’t see them to work with them effectively nonetheless.

And the implications are major. Not only can you improve your own health by using energy medicine to uplift the energies in your body, uplifting the energies in your body effects and uplifts the entire planet.

- January 2008, Sanoviv