Sunday, June 19, 2011

Overcoming Overwhelm with Energy Medicine

Dona Eden showing her

Energy Medicine Exercises:



Overwhelm is everywhere: whether in Rwanda, Australia, or here, and those of us who have more highly tuned neurological and energy systems are especially good at feeling it (do the checklist below to see if you might be what is called an empath). But I have been noticing that I actually feel more overwhelmed here in the U.S. than in Africa where the lack of creature comforts causes almost constant physical stress. There are many reasons for greater overwhelm here including my partial shift back into the mind-set of accomplishment and deadlines. However, I remember that in Rwanda I expected to have difficult energies around me, and I did my favorite Energy Medicine exercises to protect and realign my energy frequently during the day and evening. We taught the Project LIGHT students Dona Eden’s Energy Medicine Daily Routine and did it every morning. They looked forward to it and reminded us if we forgot. I’ve picked two techniques that are easy and effective in bringing that scattered, ready to scream, feeling back to relief and focus: Cook’s Hook Up and Zip Up.

For all Energy Medicine exercises, breathe slowly in your nose and out your mouth. Step One on the Zip Up card shows the “thump” that is always to be done first, as it assists our primary energy meridians (the ones used in acupuncture) to run in the correct direction (they can go backwards after stress). That allows all the other exercises to do what they are intended to do.

1. To find the spot to thump, touch the collarbone points that protrude the most, close to the center, then move your fingers below the bone and slightly further apart to find the indentations or hollows on both sides at the top of breastbone. Tap vigorously for at least five slow breaths.

2. For Cook’s Hook Up cross your left ankle over your right. Then extend your left hand straight in front with your palm turned out to the side and cross your right hand over your left wrist with your palm facing the left palm. Clasp your fingers, and then bend your fist down and under and up to your chest. Take four slow breaths and then release your hands downward with a flourish and a strong exhale. This exercise is intended to focus your mind, bring out your best skills, and calm overwhelm.

3. For Zip Up stand up and drop both hands straight down in front of you, close together and with palms facing your body, about one or two inches from your body. Take a deep breath in as you slowly and carefully bring your slightly cupped hands up the front of your body to just below your lower lip. Twist your fingers as if you are turning a key in a lock at your lip. Continue moving your hands up, joyfully spreading them into the sky. Circle your hands back down and repeat at least three times. This integrates and seals in your energy system as you are tracing the Central Meridian. It has been shown to protect a person from negative thoughts and energies sent from others, and can help you distance yourself from the chaotic energy in public places.

As with all methods that are intended to realign and change habits, the more often and consistently you do these exercises, the greater the effect. I have been known to duck into the Ladies’ Room for a quick Zip Up after an encounter with disagreeable energy. I can’t think of a time when it hasn’t helped me even though the energy outside didn’t change.

I promised you a checklist to see if you might call yourself an empath, so here it is. You might also want to check out the classes being offered at QuietStar about how to manage and care for a more sensitive body-mind-energy system at

“ARE YOU AN EMPATH?” Created by Elaina Geltner and Robin Klickstein

1. Does it seem like you feel everyone else’s “stuff”?
Do world events (especially tragedies) send you into a tailspin?
Do you often wonder where “your” feelings are coming from?
Not sure about: “What’s mine, what isn’t mine.
5. Do your feelings make no sense sometimes? (Am I crazy or am I an Empath?)
Do you feel more than other people?
Do family gatherings leave you feeling overwhelmed and discombobulated?
8. Do you find yourself spaced-out after being in a crowded store or big event?
9. Do people tell you that you are too sensitive?
Do you sometimes have food cravings or impulses to behave strangely that don’t seem connected to what you are experiencing?

If you answered Yes to more than 5, it’s pretty likely you are an empath.

Stay tuned for more musings about the Rwanda experience and more insights about the lessons it presented to me, and those for all of us on the planet.

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