by Terry Chriswell
For more than four decades, Donna Eden has been teaching people to direct their energies for health and happiness, developing a system that has come to be known as “Eden Energy Medicine” (EEM). EEM is a simple practice that works with energy as a vital, living, moving force at the foundation of well-being. Since childhood, Donna has been able to clairvoyantly “see” the flow of energy in the body and has helped hundreds of thousands of people live more vitally by activating this natural healing ability, restoring energies that have become weak, disturbed, or out of balance. EEM addresses physical illness, emotional and mental disorders, and promotes high-level wellness, peak performance, and joyful living. Some 1,400 practitioners are certified in EEM, teaching classes and providing healing services around the world, many in mainstream health settings. Donna’s 2008 book, Energy Medicine, is the classic in its field, available in 19 languages and the textbook in hundreds of healing classes.
You started using healing energies because you needed to heal yourself. Tell us more about that.
I had a series of health challenges as a child, including contracting tuberculous when I was three and multiple sclerosis in my teens. The MS grew worse until my organs were breaking down. I had a heart attack when I was 27 and was told by my late 20s by several doctors that there was nothing more they could do to keep the illness from progressing, so I needed to get my affairs in order. But I had two daughters by then and I was determined not to leave them. I had the good fortune of being able to figure out how to work with the energies in my body to turn my M.S. around. It took a few years of experimentation and dogged determination, but in the process, I learned a great tell about how to work with the body as an energy system. I then became impassioned to bring what I had learned to others suffering with difficult health challenges. That is how my work began.
What is the difference between EEM and other energy healing modalities like reiki?
While it had never occurred to me to use it in a healing context until my own do-or-die health crisis, I have always had the ability to see the energies that surround and move through the body. My mother had that ability, and it seemed quite normal and natural to me. It was only after I was working with other people in a healing context that I began to study other healing systems and I learned that the energies that move up and down the body were called “meridians” by ancient Chinese physicians. The circles of energies that spiral over various parts of the body were called “chakras” in age-old Vedic texts. The energies that surround the body are referred to in various systems, including in Christian writings, as the “aura.” I realized that I was working primarily with nine major energy systems and each had been recognized by one healing or spiritual system or another. Working with an understanding of each of these systems gives a health care practitioner a great advantage in facilitating the healing process, and that is what we teach our practitioners.
Another feature of my approach is that I had to figure out a way that people who can’t “see” energy can still work with it effectively. For this, I borrowed muscle-based energy testing from Applied Kinesiology and Touch for Health, and this has become central in how our practitioners assess the body’s energy systems and determine where to work. I think these are the primary distinctions of my approach.
Our feature for May’s Women’s Health issue is “Choose Natural Care First.” Where do you think energy medicine falls when choosing natural care?
I had the great honor of having Christiane Northrup, M.D. write the foreword to my second book, Energy Medicine for Women. In that foreword, I think she summed up the answer to that question as well as I’ve ever seen it. She said “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.”
Speaking of that book, how is energy medicine different for women?
Because women are designed to birth babies, we have monthly cycles that activate bewildering biochemical processes. We are engineered to grow a new being inside of us and bring it into the world after it has already grown too large to allow that to be done comfortably. We are wired to nurture. All of this needs to be orchestrated, and it is first orchestrated in our energies. Monthly cycles follow energy. Change-of-life stages follow energy. Hormones production follows energy. Emotions follow energy. By working at the level of the body’s energies, we have a fast-track into all of the biological processes behind “I am women, hear me roar.”
What would you say to someone who doesn’t believe in energy because they can’t see it? Someone who only believes in Western medicine?
More power to you! But observe your world with an open mind. I don’t argue. I demonstrate.
Where is the best place to start for someone who has never worked with their energy?
The best way to really get into it is to take a class. On our website (LearnEnergyMedicine.com) there is a tab called, “Classes and More.” There you will find all our classes around the world. Also on that site are tons of free resources, access to a free monthly e-letter, health Q&A’s, and a free handout bank with over 60 articles and tips about specific ailments and health challenges. We are very active on Facebook at “Eden Energy Medicine Programs,” and we have more than 200 free videos on YouTube. I am also really pleased with the 8-week online course Mindvalley created with me to introduce people to my work. It goes into surprising depth and you can take the course from the comfort of your own home.
What do you see as the future of energy medicine and natural healing?
I see energy medicine and conventional medicine working hand-in-hand one day, as equal partners.
For more information and to learn about training and upcoming events featuring Eden, visit LearnEnergyMedicine.com.
For local Eden Energy Medicine, contaact Ruth Ann Smallley of Vibrant Energies, in Delmar, at 518-506-2914 or at Vibrant-Energies.com
Terry Chriswell is the publisher of Natural Awakenings magazine in Denver, Colorado.