Energy Medicine Morning Ritual

Should you consider an energy medicine morning ritual? Good question. Here are my thoughts on that.

There are a lot of holistic and alternative techniques out there. Some are very valuable, some not so much, and, regrettably, others are downright fraudulent.

Personally, I aim to balance an open-minded attitude with a solid dose of healthy skepticism. It’s not always an easy balance to attain.

Energy Medicine encompasses a wide range of beliefs and teachings.

You’ve probably heard of the concept of Chi (life force) from Chinese medicine.

Or perhaps you’re familiar with the concept of chakras.

These are examples of aspects of energy medicine. There are lots more.

Are these valid, true concepts? Do they really describe energies that adepts are able to sense? Or are they woo-woo foolishness and wishful thinking?

I don’t have a solid answer to those questions, but I am inclined to accept that there are energies involved in wellness that Western medicine doesn’t recognize.

Still, it’s true that no one is ever seen or measured Chi, for example.

However, that may mean simply that we don’t have the proper instruments to recognize Chi.

If you look for x-rays with a telescope, you’re not going to find them.

So lacking proof, what should we do?

Here’s a question I use to help me decide about beliefs: “If I acted as if this belief was true, how would it affect my life? Would I be a better person or a worse person? Would my behavior improve or deteriorate? Would I be putting myself or others at some sort of risk?”

Using that criteria, here is an example of a belief I choose to hold as true: “People are doing the best they can with the resources they have.”

I don’t really know if that’s absolutely true or not.

However, if I act as if it is I find myself going through life with much more compassion.

I’m willing to believe that nobody chooses to be a jerk and that if we knew their life story we could understand where their poor behavior came from.

BTW -that doesn’t mean we condone inappropriate behavior. We can detest the sin while feeling compassion for the sinner.

Another criterion I like to use is the source of the teaching and whether or not someone promoted may have an ulterior motive.

If something has a long history in some healing tradition or another, I tend to treat it respectfully.

On the other hand, if something is being promoted with a big sales push and little solid evidence, the dial on my skepticism meter gets turned way up.

How does this relate to Energy Medicine?

Well, many traditions allude to various forms of life force and energies.

There does seem to be something that healers and mystics across multiple cultures have sensed. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence. Or perhaps there really is something there.

Additionally, Western science is beginning to recognize some very crude forms of what could be considered energy medicine.

For example, your beating heart sends a very powerful electromagnetic force throughout your body with every beat. The pattern of those beats contain information. We are beginning to recognize that these electromagnetic waves communicate that information to every cell in your body at the speed of light.

Those energies have always been there, but we’ve never paid much attention to any possible function.

Not only that, these electromagnetic waves radiate out from your body to others. It’s possible to detect traces of one person’s heartbeat pattern in another person’s EEG (brainwave) pattern, even if there is no direct contact between them!

We can expect to see a lot more research along these lines in the coming years.

On the ulterior motive side, many of the techniques evoked to manipulate energy are free or very low cost. They also are generally safe. There doesn’t seem to be much downside.

Additionally, many have proven benefits beyond any theoretical effect on your energy fields.

A good example of this is meditation. Multiple scientific studies demonstrate profound health benefits from a regular practice of meditation.

Even more profoundly, new dynamic brain scanning techniques show that meditation changes the actual physical structure of the brain.

I think you can tell I’m leaning toward accepting at least the possibility that energetic factors influence our health and well-being.

As part of that, I’ve incorporated an energy medicine ritual into my morning routine.

One of the people whose work I follow is Donna Eden.

Donna claims to be able to see or sense nine separate energy systems that are active in all of us. She also has developed routines to help clear and reorganize blocked or confused energies.

Is this really true? I don’t know. I do know that people who work with her appear to achieve great results. Maybe it’s a powerful placebo effect, or maybe she really is straightening out energies. Either way, people get good results.

One of the things he recommends is an energy clearing routine to do once or twice a day. Sort of the energetic equivalent of brushing your teeth.

I’ve started doing it every morning. If nothing else, it’s a general stretching get-moving-in-the-morning routine. I like to do this, then some gentle calisthenics followed by a 12-minute meditation (I listen to a binaural recording time for 12 minutes).

I enjoy this morning routine and I think it helps me get my days off to a good start. There’s certainly is no downside to it.

I suggest you give it a try and see how you respond.

In this video, Donna leads you through one version of her energy clearing/balancing routine. If nothing else, I think you agree that she herself radiates a positive, joyful energy. Have fun trying it!


Suspension Straps and Travel

Picture of the Oregon coastLast spring, Jackie and I rented a place on the Oregon coast.

We wanted to stay active while we were there and do more than walk the beach so we brought along our suspension straps.

One of the advantages of suspension straps is that they are both highly versatile – you can get a full body workout using them – and also quite portable.

Most straps come with an anchor that you can throw over the top of a door, then close the door to lock it in place.

As it turned out, we didn’t need to. There were beams across the living room in the rental home. We hung the straps from them.

During our stay we noticed that with the straps just hanging there, we tended to grab them and do a few movements several times throughout the day.

I mean, you’re walking by the straps so why not grab them and do few I-Y-T moves or curtsy lunges or deep knee bends? It was easy.

Suspension straps in living roomWe liked it so much that when we got home I bolted an anchor to our living room ceiling so we could hang the straps there.

Since then, I find myself using them for a few minutes several times every day. It’s been a nice addition to my routines.

As you know, exercise is important. But not just exercise in defined workouts. It’s important to move frequently. Having the straps handy makes it easy to do that.

Some days I do a full 20 to 40 minute workout on the straps. The biggest change, though, has been getting in the habit of using them briefly several times a day every day. It’s a nice way to stay active and move in several different ways.

There are a couple other things I like about straps.

For one thing, you can do a lot of different exercises with only one piece of equipment – the straps. And that piece of equipment isn’t all that expensive.

Yes, the TRX brand will set you back $175 or more. However, if you search YouTube you’ll find a lot of instructional videos on how to make your own set using nylon hold-down straps and PVC tubing.

I thought about going that route but then I found straps on Amazon for less than $50.

Another thing I like is that using suspension straps is very scalable and very safe.

By scalable, I mean that it’s very easy to adjust the difficulty of the workouts to match your fitness and strength levels.

It’s safe because it’s low impact and encourages training muscle groups to work in a coordinated fashion.

So if you haven’t done it already, give suspension training a try. It makes it easy to keep moving and is a a nice addition to any fitness routine. See if it works for you.
When I do a full suspension strap workout, here’s the follow-along program I use. It provides good instruction on form as well as lots of full workout videos at all levels of intensity: beginner, intermediate and advanced.