For many people who have journeyed through complex trauma or PTSD, the final part of the recovery is usually spiritual.
Donna Eden is the founder of Eden Energy Medicine and travels the world teaching people how to heal their energy systems; to restore natural energies that have become weakened, out of balance or blocked.
This is a skill modern generations have lost touch with. But humans have been practicing energy medicine for millennia. Think about it for a moment: Jesus used his hands to heal the weary and ailing, the Chinese have their ancient practice of acupuncture, and the Indians promote ‘Ayurveda’ with its emphasis on holistic (‘whole-body’) healing systems. Even Shakespeare believed in it: “Our energies oft in ourselves do lie,” said Helena in ‘All’s Well that Ends Well.’
Donna’s work is based on the premise of an ‘energy body,’ made up of meridians, chakras, and auras. Each system can drastically impact your life – for better or worse.
1/ Meridians are energy pathways in the body along which all the acupuncture points are positioned. Sometimes the meridians run backwards and this can cause fatigue, illness, negativity, and more. It is necessary to correct the pathways through exercises so they flow in the right direction.
2/ Chakras are the wheels of energy in the body. There are seven main chakras, which align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head.
3/ An aura is the atmosphere around the body. A person’s aura can be vast or diminished. You know how you just sense a particular feeling or vibe from someone? That person might make you a bit anxious or completely chill you out? Well, a lot of that has to do with their aura.
But what has all this got to do with trauma? Simply that you can include energy medicine in your healing tool box, particularly when scientific methods (such as cognitive therapy) may not be working.
For example, your child may have difficulty staying in his thinking (cognitive) brain, he may have fears or phobias, struggle to relax / calm, or feel “stuck in mud” in the morning. Each these symptoms can be improved through simple exercises.
For the latter problem, Donna suggests a short routine on waking for bringing energy back into the body. You can do all three or just one. It’s up to you!
- Put your third finger of one hand in your belly button and pull up, put the third finger from the other hand on your ‘third eye’ position and pull it up. Close your eyes and breathe. This helps your energy systems connect and align.
- Take one hand and put it on the opposite shoulder, press down and drag the arm to the hip. Repeat with the opposite side. This cross-over technique helps to connect both sides of the brain, enabling you to be rational and spontaneous, analytical and creative.
- Take your finger and put into the tip of the collarbone. Tap with pressure into the dip. This is called K27 and helps to invigorate the body (give you a boost!).
From a trauma perspective, possibly the most important energy system we need to know about is the Triple Warmer Meridian.
This energy system goes back to evolution. It governs the flight-fight-freeze response. Children affected by developmental or complex trauma carry too much stress (adrenaline and cortisol) in their body. If you don’t complete the survival response (fight-flight-freeze), these chemicals get stored.
When Triple Warmer becomes over-active in your body, it sucks energy from different places. Have you heard professionals talking about serious disease and conditions associated with trauma? Dr. Gabor Mate has written a book, ‘When the Body Says No – Cost of Hidden Stress’, which essentially highlights the link between unresolved trauma and the onset of disease.
Did you know every time you have any stress, including an operation or procedure, Triple Warmer turns on? Therefore, it is important that the energies get back into alignment.
There is an easy way to get energy back from Triple Warmer:
- Flatten the fingers and place them on your eyes (fingers pointing toward each other), then slide your hands to the temples. Place pressure here, take a breath (in through nose, out through mouth), then push the fingers above your ears. On the outbreath take the fingers down to hang on your shoulders. Breathe in and out, then drop your hands from your shoulders to the heart. This gives a message to your body that you are safe.
Somatic Experiencing expert, Peter Levine, has a similar ‘containment’ technique, whereby you cross your right arm to left shoulder, then put your left hand on your right arm.
Other exercises that may be useful:
Insomnia: A calming exercise called ‘Heaven and Earth’ can be beneficial. Place your hands on your thighs and take a deep breath. Bring your hands around and up into a prayerful position, then take one arm high (like an Egyptian pose), and then do the other side. Repeat three times, let the body hang, and bring your arms to the heart.
Bedwetting: Some children need to release energy in the nervous system so that it is not released out through the bladder. The ‘Wayne Cook Posture’ is a seated pose that brings instant calm to the nervous system. Sit in a chair with the right ankle resting on the left knee. Place the left hand on the right ankle, and with the right hand reach over and clasp the bottom of the right foot. Holding this position breathe in and out for a minute or two. Repeat on the opposite side.
Dysregulation: A simple exercise can help bring the energy back from the primal brain to the frontal cortex (thinking brain). Put one hand on your forehead and your other hand on the back of your head. Hold and feel the energy return to the front (and notice how your spine and head immediately reset to a higher point).
Stress and anxiety: When stressed or anxious you lose a lot of blood from your brain (about 80%), which goes to your body for flight or flight response. These exercises bring the blood back to the right places.
- Place both hands on the forehead (fingers meeting), with thumbs at the bottom of your eye socket. Close your eyes and pull the hands apart (it’s a little like opening curtains). Repeat several times. This interrupts the fight or flight response.
- Lift your arms above your head and throw them down while blowing air out your mouth. Then start at your feet and pretend that you are zipping yourself up, stopping at the mouth. Then reach up high and relax.
Fear: When confronted with something frightening, take your fingers and put them between fourth and fifth fingers, where the hand begins, and tap. If you can visualize your fear at the same time, it is more effective.
Ungrounded: A simple technique to become grounded is to run a spoon up and down your foot. It needs to be stainless steel. You can also use it up the spine. If you use this at night on your foot or spine, you will sleep better.
Metabolizing: Find the position on side under the ribs and tap. This helps with food metabolizing as well as thought metabolizing.
Immune deficit: Tapping your thymus gland (located mid chest, above breast) can help with strengthening the immune system. K27 is also an immune boosting exercise.
Compassion fatigue: If you are finding during your day that you are taking too much on, try the ‘Heaven and Earth’ exercise above.
Feeling disconnected with a person: With your fingers make a (horizontal) figure-eight in front of you. This is a way of “hooking-up.”
Lastly, if you or your child is struggling with negativity, Donna has an exercise to encourage positive thoughts / memories. Simply place your fingers on your forehead (fingers meeting) and sit with it for a bit. You will find that this shuts the Triple Warmer off and good memories will flow. This is a great way to start the day before getting out of bed.
To learn more about energy medicine, visit http://www.edenenergymedicine.com.
(c) Felicia Stewart, 2019