PRINCIPLES OF ENERGY MEDICINEDonna Eden and David Feinstein, Ph.D.
Energy Medicine recognizes energy as a vital, living, moving force that determines much about health and happiness. In Energy Medicine, energy is the medicine, and energy is also the patient. You heal the body by activating its natural healing energies; you also heal the body by restoring energies that have become weak, disturbed, or out of balance. Energy Medicine is both a complement to other medical care approaches and a complete system for self-care and self-help. It can help address physical illness and emotional or mental disorders, and can also promote high-level wellness and peak performance.
The essential principles of Energy Medicine include:
Energiesboth electromagnetic energies and more subtle energiesform the dynamic infrastructure of the physical body.
The health of those energiesin terms of flow, balance, and harmonyis reflected in the health of the body.
Conversely, when the body is not healthy, corresponding disturbances in its energies can be identified and balanced.
To overcome illness and maintain vibrant health, the body needs its energies to:
Move and have space to continue to moveenergies may become blocked due to toxins, muscular or other constriction, prolonged stress, or interference from other energies.
Move in specific patternsgenerally in harmony with the physical structures and functions that the energies animate and support. “Flow follows function.”
Crossoverat all levels, from the microlevel of the double helix of DNA, extending to the macrolevel where the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and the right side to the left.
Maintain a balance with other energiesthe energies may lose their natural balance due to prolonged stress or other conditions that keep specific energy systems in a survival mode.
- Flow, balance, and harmony can be non-invasively restored and maintained within an energy system by:
Tapping, massaging, pinching, twisting,
Focused use of the mind to move specific energies.
or connecting specific energy points on the skin.
or swirling the hand over the skin along specific energy pathways.
or postures designed for specific energetic effects.
Surrounding an area with healing energies (one persons energies impacts anothers).
THE NINE PRIMARY ENERGY SYSTEMS
The bodys energy anatomy is as complex and multi-layered as its physical anatomy. I work with nine primary, interrelated energy systems. While I have seen the bodys energies all my life, the functions of each of these systems became increasingly clear to me as I started to help others with their healing.
I also found that each of these systems is identified and spoken of in the healing tradition of at least one other culture. Some are widely known, such as the meridians, the chakras, and the aura. Other energy systems have not been as widely recognized.
The nine primary energy systems regularly addressed in Eden Energy Medicine include:
Meridians Radiant Circuits Five Rhythms Chakras Triple Warmer Electrics Aura Celtic Weave Basic GridMeridians: The meridians are energy pathways that serve as the bodys energy “bloodstream.” Each meridian runs both along the surface of the skin, where its flow can be most readily influenced, and deep into the body, where it brings the energy to at least one or more organs or physiological systems. Meridians bridge mind, body, and spirit.
The 14 meridians include 12 connected segments (often named after one of the primary organs they govern) and two energy pathways called Central and Governing. The 12 meridian segments are, ultimately, a single complex pathway bringing energy to the bodys organs, muscles, and cells. The meridians look to me like a network of colorful streaming ribbons throughout the body.
Chakras: Situated along the spine are seven major chakras (additional “minor chakras” can also be found throughout the body). The chakras are like pools or swirling disks of energy that bathe and fuel the organs in their proximity. They govern the endocrine system and carry information about the persons history. They also encode and process physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual experiences. Each major chakra has seven layers, with its deepest layers reaching almost into the Basic Grid (see p.13) and its outermost layers touching into the aura.
Aura: Like the Earths atmosphere, the aura surrounds and envelops the body. It is the bodys outermost energy system, composed of seven layers or “nested auric fields” (think of Russian dolls) and seven concentric bands from the bottom to the top of the body. Each layer and each band serves a different functionbut ultimately the aura acts as:
a filter to protect the body from toxic or disruptive energies, and
an antenna bringing in beneficial energies.
The aura processes necessary nutrients from the environment, such as sunlight, and helps harmonize you within the magnetic field of the Earth. The proper functioning of the aura greatly impacts physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Radiant Circuits: The Radiant Circuits (called the Strange Flows or Extraordinary Vessels in ancient Chinese medicine) are subtle energy flows that support and assist all other energy systems, especially the meridians. Highly responsive to thoughts and emotions, they fuel joy and other positive feelings. Stimulating the Radiant Circuits can activate inner joy as well as the inner physician, which then continues to do the work of inner healing and balancing.
The Radiant Circuits are more ancient (in terms of evolution) than the meridians, and are not confined to fixed pathways like meridians. Instead, they move instantly where needed with a radiant glow that attracts vital energies from the environment and activates healing from within.
Triple Warmer: Triple Warmer is both a meridian and a Radiant Circuit, but it also plays so many other roles that I often speak of it as a separate and independent energy system. Specifically, it governs the immune system, the fight-flight-or-freeze response, and the bodys survival habits.
As a meridian, Triple Warmer energy follows its pathway, but the flow varies tremendously. Sometimes it has a thick, slow, sludgy movement and sometimes it shoots forward with great bursts of hot energy. Triple Warmer usually looks reddish-brown to me, sometimes with a yellow spark at times of great bursts.
As a Radiant Circuit, its energies can go anywhere in the body, and it is capable of siphoning energy from any of the bodys meridians (except Heart) if it needs their energies. As the guardian of the bodys habits, it allows the person to go into “automatic pilot” mode for routine processes. It also plays a gate keeping role, directing the immune system regarding what to assimilate and what to block or fight.
Celtic Weave: This energy system is similar to the weave of a cloth or basket that helps create a container for all your bodys energies. It is also like connective tissue that extends throughout your energy body.
Whereas meridians can be compared to streams and the chakras to pools, the Celtic Weave is comparable to a web. It draws all of our energy systems together into a network of communication through a criss-crossing dance of large and small figure 8s and sometimes other geometrical shapes, as well.
Crossover patterns found in the Celtic Weave reflect basic forms found in nature. The healthier the body and its energies, the more prominent the Celtic Weave will be. Strengthening the Celtic Weave is a good way to end any healing session. It reinforces and “locks in” the gains.
The Five Rhythms: Moving through all of the bodys energies is a complex set of pulses called the Five Elements or Five Seasons or Five Rhythms. These are underlying energy patterns that flow through and leave their imprint on all of the other energy systems. The Five Rhythm Model, based on ancient Chinese medicine, reflects the rhythmic pulse of all life that influences human events and cycles. Each meridian vibrates according to one of these Five Rhythms or Elementsrepresented by the metaphors of Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal. The Five Rhythms provide a lens for understanding and working with chronic health issues, behavioral patterns, and emotional challenges.
The Electrics: The Electrics, like the Celtic Weave and the Five Rhythms, is a system that acts on all the other energy systems. Thats because the Electrics are comprised of the electrical dimension of each of the other energy systemsfrom the Aura down to the Basic Grid. The Electrics help to charge and connect the cells, organs, and other energy systems at an electrical level and both affect, and are affected by, the nervous system and the heart. Electrical energy is the densest and most easily measured of the bodys energies.
The Basic Grid: Embedded throughout the body is a matrix or grid pattern. Dense and slow-moving, it is the foundation of the other energy systems and the innermost energy of them all. Just as the skeletal system provides the bodys basic structure, the Grid provides the basic structure for the bodys energy systems. It also directly supports the bones. If there is a break in the Grid, people cannot fully thrive and will have a difficult time mustering their energies or healing completely, physically or emotionally. If the Grid is healthy and strong, all the bodys energies are supported.
Reference: Energy Medicine (Revised) by Donna Eden
New York: Tarcher/Penguin, 2008
From the “Handout Bank” of the Energy Medicine Institute