What About Healing Stones and Crystals?

stonesTherapeutic stones and crystals form in the earth. Each carries its own vibration. They have been valued for their healing properties for as long as recorded history and have been used for every ailment and condition. In her book The Crystal Bible, Judy Hall says, “Crystals heal holistically. That is to say, they work on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. They realign subtle energies and dissolve dis-ease, getting to the root cause.”

In my nearly three decades of delving into the healing properties of crystals and gemstones, I’ve come across people who believe it just can’t be so. How can a little inanimate object be used for healing?! What hogwash and nonsense! How can you, an educated person, take yourself seriously? But… are they inanimate objects? Are their properties felt by people sensitive enough to detect energy?

Stones and crystals have their own life force and can help shift energies within and around you. I’ve been using them for nearly 30 years and have witnessed the shift they create in others. I’ve felt it in myself and in my surroundings over and over again.

With the wide variety of healing stones and crystals to choose from, any imbalance or situation can be assisted with their use. Two years ago when my beloved 16-year-old cat Calypso died, I buried him with a piece of rose quartz to strengthen the vibration of love around his body. When clients want to access their intuition, I surround them in amethyst. When I’m working with someone who needs to become grounded and centered, I use heavy black stones like hematite or dark smoky quartz.

In my book The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer, I added a short paragraph about stones. It’s not very “medical” or officially sanctioned, but as a holistic healer, I can’t ignore their usefulness even for serious ailments. For example, in the case of breast cancer, I’d begin with clear quartz and black tourmaline to clear old energy, and use my intuitive guidance to proceed from there. I would also consider rose quartz to help heal heart chakra issues, which helps heal old pain that might be a factor in the body’s dis-ease.

If you want to experiment with healing stones and crystals, you can first hold the stone in your hands while visualizing the outcome you desire. Then place the stone on the skin over the area of illness or imbalance, or in an area of your home or office where you want to make a shift. As I write this, I have several stones in front of me. Black tourmaline to absorb the EMFs from this computer, quartz crystal to raise the vibration, Connemara marble from Ireland (to keep the faeries happy), and a botswana agate, known for its ability to help one keep focused, organized, and pay attention to detail.

Many stones need to be cleared after being used for illness or after sitting around awhile. (Use your intuition to decide when its time to clear them. Once you’ve used the stones for a while, they’ll tell you if they need clearing.) Most can be cleared under running water, but some, such as Hematite, can absorb water so they are best cleared in moonlight or by being buried in the earth for a day or so.

Also in my book The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer (which is an excellent resource for holistic healing in general) there is a Resources section with “Books of Interest” for recommendations on how you can learn more about healing with stones and crystals, but if you’re a beginner, I’d start with The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall. Enjoy!

Your Body’s Cells Listen to What You Say

ripple effectImagine a rock dropping into a still body of water that causes ripples outward in all directions. The same thing happens in your body (which is made up of 70% water) but with a thought instead of a rock. Thoughts are forms of energy reverberating into the space around you, including deep within your cellular structure. Your cells listen to what you say or think and respond accordingly, like ripples across a lake. Your cells listen to thoughts and words of other people as well.

One day in the early 1990s I was asked by a friend to accompany her to a Mensa meeting where she was speaking on Parapsychology. I thought she’d give a standard lecture to the high-IQ crowd, but she began the talk by requesting a volunteer from the group. She then “tested” the volunteer’s arm strength by having him hold it firmly out to the side while she pressed on it to see how strongly he could resist her pressure. His arm remained strong and steady. The volunteer was then sent out of the room and out of earshot. The group was instructed to think negative thoughts about the volunteer, even if he was a friend. The volunteer was then brought back into the room. Once again he was asked to hold his arm firmly out to the side and resist the pressure placed on it by my friend. This time he had no strength whatsoever. His arm collapsed down to his side.

Another volunteer was called. After the same routine the volunteer was sent out. But this time, the group was instructed to think the highest, most positive, loving thoughts about the person, how very much she was loved. The volunteer was brought back into the room. What do you suppose happened to her arm as she held it out for testing? It was stronger than it was before.

In these situations, the conscious mind isn’t listening, but your deepest cellular structure is. And because your cells are paying attention, you can speak to them. We all can speak to them. We can speak directly to an area of stagnation or congestion. We can speak to tumors. You can say, “All of my cells work together in harmony for my highest health and longevity. All of my cells communicate effectively with each other for my optimal health and vitality. Any cells not for my highest wellbeing and health leave me now.” Others can say on your behalf, “All of your cells are completely whole, healthy, and working together for your highest health, longevity, and wellbeing.” Your cells are listening.

For more on cellular health and numerous other fascinating topics, read my recent book The Holistic Approach to Breast Cancer: Every Woman’s Guide to Health, Vitality, & Wellbeing.

Detoxify Simply with Dry Skin Brushing

drySince it’s Fall, the season of letting go and releasing, it’s the ideal time to think about a little cleanse before heading into the winter months. Likewise if you’re in Spring in the Southern Hemisphere, you’re also in a perfect situation for some clearing.

We’re always hearing about juice fasting or using certain products to help the body cleanse, but with a simple dry skin brush, you can help your body do what it’s designed to do in the first place: clear out toxins. And even if you do opt for a more complicated cleanse, dry skin brushing will help eliminate the waste and prevent you from feeling poorly as an initial cleansing side effect.

As the largest organ of your body, your skin helps release toxins. Healthy skin eliminates pounds of waste each day (which is another good reason to change your sheets regularly!) however, ingredients in products applied to skin — even chemicals from synthetic fabrics — get absorbed and can block your skin’s ability to keep you healthy.

Skin brushing removes the top layer of dead skin while stimulating your lymphatic system to clear toxins that collect in lymph glands. This is an easy, cost-free way to help your body remove toxins you’re exposed to in daily living. Also, your digestion will improve, the circulation near your skin will improve, and your immune system will be strengthened. As a side bonus, it can help remove cellulite.

Skin brushing requires a natural bristle brush (not synthetic, which can irritate your skin). Find brushes specifically for dry skin brushing at a natural foods store or online. Some brushes are handheld while others have long handles — use whichever you prefer. Begin gently on dry skin at least once per day just before bathing. (Wet skin brushing can pull on your skin and will not remove the dry outer layer of your skin effectively.)

dry brushing womanStarting at the soles of your feet where there are nerve endings, brush in upward strokes toward your heart. Brush your feet, all sides of your calves, thighs, backs of knees, and inner thigh areas. Brush your buttocks, stomach, and outer hip area, always toward your heart. Brush from the palms of your hands over your arms in the direction of your heart. Brush under your arms and gently over your upper chest to the center of your midsection. Brush your shoulders and back. You can gently brush the breasts outward from the nipple on both sides, upward on top, downward below.

Your skin might take some time to get used to being brushed, so be gentle at first. After a couple weeks, wash your skin brush and allow it to dry.

The First Step in Holistic Healing: Listening

body soulOur nation’s epidemic of anxiety, depression, overeating and obesity, addictions, and general discontent is a holistic issue. No amount of pill-taking, no newly formulated prescription drug, is going to solve the problem. Though we seem determined that it will. It won’t.

It will only push the true issue deeper and ultimately cause a rupture somewhere else within the body, or the mind, or in the emotional state. Just as repairing something with scotch tape won’t hold it if the appropriate nuts and bolts are missing.

Until we begin to realize a more holistic approach, one that encompasses the physical body, as well as the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of being human, we’ll continue to see increasing dis-ease of the body, mind, and spirit in the form of mental illness and new physical conditions we’ve yet to hear of. This might be great for the medical community profiting from our collective dis-ease, but it’s not good for you and me.

So how do we begin to make this shift from treating only physical symptoms to repairing the deeper issue? How do we begin to repair the whole person when our entire orientation has been on fixing the obvious presenting problem?

It’s a simple beginning. We begin by listening. How many times have you been truly listened to when you’ve gone to get help for a medical condition? For a nagging physical complaint, for an issue where something doesn’t seem right but no one seems to know what to do about it, or even if you’ve gone to a therapist to help you through a life crisis but you still feel you’re not quite being seen clearly, or fully understood. In these situations, you’re not being truly heard. You’re not being listened to and viewed as a whole being, because we have not valued this.

Are you seen as someone with perhaps decades of life experience behind you? With pain and loss, joy and hope, courage and fear, failures and success, all of which could influence your overall wellbeing? Are you seen as someone with both human connectedness as well as loneliness, both inspiration and discouragement? What do you eat? How do you breathe? How do you move your body? What do you do for fun? Who are the main players in your life? What are you burdened by? Do you expect to feel well? What do you get from being ill or off-balance? (There’s often a payoff…)

The answers to these questions hold an abundance of information as to how we can best heal. When we’re willing to ask these questions of others and answer them for ourselves, we’ll be on our way toward true holistic healing.

What Does “Holistic” Mean Anyway?

holisticSo… what is meant by the term holistic? Derived from the word “whole” it emphasizes the importance of the whole rather than individual parts. In the case of holistic healing, it encompasses your physical body, emotions, mind, and spirit. And in the best of cases, your lifestyle.

In recent years we’ve been hearing more about the mind-body connection and in fact there are many mind-body programs in hospitals and clinics that are very successful. Although I love these mind-body programs, I believe they are avoiding one important element: that of the spirit. The spirit is the activating life force energy within and around each living being. To neglect or ignore this is like trying to put something broken back together without the parts. It’s like trying to repair something with scotch tape rather than with the nuts and bolts it came with.

Although we’re gaining comfort with the idea of a mind-body approach, we seem, as a western civilized society, to be resistant to healing from the level of spirit. We’re even resistant to addressing the emotions as to how they might relate to our ailments, whether physical pain and dis-ease, mental illness, or the varieties of discontent associated with our relationships or lack thereof, our jobs or financial state, and even that feeling of emptiness that comes when you’ve achieved everything you thought would make you happy and fulfilled yet you still feel something is missing.

The missing piece from a holistic approach is the spirit, often ignored in our society, in fact looked upon with suspicion in many cases. It’s not understood clearly and it’s certainly not given value. Perhaps it is too tied in with religious concepts? But it’s time to address the spirit and emotions along with the mind and body, to see each one of you as the whole being that you are.

In my next post, I’ll discuss one important way to begin focusing on the whole, rather than on seemingly separate parts.

The Human Energy Field: Creating Harmonious Flow for Your Body, Mind, & Spirit

energy field interactionScientists are learning more about the subtle energy bodies that move within and around all living things. These energetic bodies or “energy fields” contain information about disharmony in your body, mind, and spirit, also known as dis-ease.

Your unique energy field responds to everything around you including your emotions (and often the emotions of others), environmental pollution, people (and their energy fields), noise, thoughts, and food. If there are imbalances in your body, they can be detected in your energy field before a medical device is able to detect them. Even cancer has its beginning in the energy field before it can be seen on an MRI or X-ray.

A weakness in your energy field can cause your mind to be vulnerable to confusion, your emotions to be unsteady, and your body can be more vulnerable to disease. When I’m working with someone with unsteady emotions, for example, I look at the energy field to see what it’s saying, where energy looks dark or stuck. (And yes, your energy field says a lot. It’s full of messages.)

Ideally, energy flows easily through the body and energy field. When it doesn’t, it’s as if the energy is blocked or stagnant. Areas of stagnation can be thought of like a river whose flow is blocked by old twigs, logs, debris, and garbage. Where the river has less flowing water, slime and muck accumulate. If the river becomes quite stagnant, unhealthy organisms grow. If debris continues to pile up, the river’s natural path has to change. Similarly, the flowing energy pathways through your body can get altered when there is stagnation.

Many subtle energy therapies create a healthy flow again, supporting your body and mind and their ability to balance and heal. Did you know “energy work” can be done at a distance? You don’t have to be in the same room being touched or “operated on” by a healer. For more information about this, see my web page. I’ve worked with thousands of people, bringing body, mind, and spirit into harmonious flow through “energy work:” creating a harmonious flow through the human energy field. If you haven’t tried it, contact me. You’ll be glad you did!

What are Subtle Energies?

subtle energiesThrough science we know that everything is comprised of energy, from the chair you sit on to your own body. When the layers of all physical matter are broken down in minute detail, we find microscopic vibrating particles and space. “Subtle Energy” is associated with this deeper, more refined layer of matter. And “subtle” though it may be, it is hypothesized to be the basis from which all life is sprung. This is also why you might hear it said there is “life” or “energy” in everything around us.

The discoveries that have led scientists into the subtle energy realm have created a branch of physics called Quantum Physics. This is the branch of physics based on quantum theory. Quantum refers to “how much.” It deals with the atomic and subatomic levels. It provides more precise descriptions for phenomena that classical physics can’t explain on the atomic level.

Out of quantum physics has come subtle energy research proving the existence of subtle energy bodies that move within and around all living things. Healers have worked with these subtle energy bodies for thousands of years and clairvoyants are capable of seeing them. Subtle energy therapies have been used for centuries to bring a person’s subtle energies into balance. It has been demonstrated over time that this contributes to deep healing, often getting to the root cause of disease and healing at its source. This is why subtle energy healing, sometimes called “energy medicine,” is worth exploring.

Today in our era of modern science, proof that something is real and valid is expected. Many people want to see the evidence of a theory from studies conducted with rigorous controls and practicality before they consider it valid. While science continues to explore the implication of subtle energies on our world, our lives, and our health, what’s most relevant is that subtle energy therapies are being used successfully and they can work for you.

Use the Earth to Energize Your Body, Mind, & Spirit

on the earthThe earth offers us food, clothing, and shelter, but also offers healing energy to energize and balance us. “Healing energy” from the earth might sound odd, but when we connect deeply with the earth and either imagine, sense, or hold the intention to fill ourselves up with its energy and light, a natural balancing occurs. Anxiety fades, depression lifts, worries and struggles soften, and it’s easier to approach others with more love and compassion. For these benefits and more, see how often you can get your feet on the earth and use its energy to harmonize you.

In Reiki, Qi Gong, and Tai Chi, energy is drawn from the earth, but you don’t have to learn those forms unless you want to. You can do simple processes. It’s important to begin by connecting with the earth. One of the biggest maladies of our modern era is that people are not connected to the earth. This is associated with addictions, fears, and mental and emotional distortions of all sorts. Especially now when we are inundated with technology to further disconnect us, it’s wise to be aware of the life and essence of the planet beneath your feet.

In my work with clients, the first thing I do is connect people to the earth. I do this visually, which is highly effective. You can do it yourself by standing tall on the earth (barefoot is best) and imagine roots extending from your feet, anchoring you deep into the earth. Be perceptive of the energy in the earth beneath you. We have a living, breathing, powerful life force beneath us, yet who takes note? This simple practice is powerful enough to drain away excess emotions, soothing chaos and frazzled nerves.

Another way to connect is to imagine dropping an anchor of light from the base of your spine into the center of the earth. Then, bring bright light up from the earth into your body. Alternatively, sit on the ground, “drop anchor,” and absorb positive earth energy upward into your body. How do you bring light into your body or absorb positive earth energy? Imagine it, intend it, sense it, feel it. In doing so, you’re making it happen.

The Power of Prayer

prayerI have always been interested in the potential of prayer. Did praying work, or is it just a pipe dream of the uninformed and naïve. When I was young, my southern-raised grandmas told me to pray. “To Jesus,” they would say. At night when I attempted a prayer I wondered, should I get down on my knees? Can he see me? Do I need to fold my hands in front of my face? Then I thought, “If everyone is praying and asking for something, how can Jesus keep track? How could he possibly answer all these prayers?” I doubted that he could.

By the time I was in college I had been questioning religion for several years and decided, while taking a course on world religions, that I was a Hindu, and not a Christian at all. Upon further study I decided I was, in fact, not a Hindu, but an atheist. My college years were spent questioning the role of religion in our world, while doubting the existence of God and refuting the relevance of prayer.

Over the next couple of years things happened that renewed my faith. Two of my closest college friends died in the same year, eliminating some of my naiveté and forcing me to reconsider my former disregard of God. I reconciled not with the Protestant God I’d been raised with, but a God who embodies both the masculine and feminine—a powerful energy of creation that suffuses all of life. It is with this view of the Divine that I researched prayer for my doctoral dissertation.

My interest in the power of prayer came on the heels of Dr. Larry Dossey’s research which he compiled in his book Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine. This inspired me to research the effect of meditation, visualization, and prayer on a group of patients in England.

Those who offered their prayers were located in the United States and Canada. The study had statistically significant results, with the patients in the receiving group experiencing the most improvement.

One problem some people have with prayer, with asking the Divine for assistance, is that they won’t be heard. But I believe prayers are heard and answered. Sometimes the answer is not what we thought we wanted. Sometimes the answer is “not now” or “you don’t want that in your life—you just think you do.”

We can trust this answer. We don’t know all the unseen forces at work on our behalf, so we can have faith if the answer is “not now.” Although we want life to be the way we desire, we can’t always understand the higher vision. When we trust unseen forces, we can trust that our prayers have been heard and answered.

In my experience, the most powerful prayer holds the intent, “For the best and highest good of all.” For example, “Please help me to make wise choices, to expand my awareness, and to move forward in joy, for the best and highest good of all.”

6 Ways to Be in Charge of Your Own Emotional Life

puppet womanLast week I wrote about how we can victimize and weaken ourselves by blaming others for hurting our feelings. In fact, taking greater responsibility for our own responses and reactions to what others might say or do is a path to emotional balance and maturity.

Despite what well-meaning people have told you, other people don’t exist to make you happy and they’re not responsible for how you feel. Likewise, you’re not in this life to jump through hoops in order to make others happy. You’re here to keep yourself on your own life path in the healthiest way possible, while harming none. This is not to say you accept abuse or remain in a relationship that isn’t supportive and loving. It just means you don’t allow yourself to be tossed about in stormy seas without a sail.

Here are my basic 6 ways to get in the driver’s seat of your emotional life. If you practice them, you’ll find you won’t be as susceptible to being hurt by off-hand or unfiltered remarks from others.

1. Develop good boundaries. If you’re not sure of what you think, believe, or want, you’ll be prone to being tossed around in someone else’s stormy sea. Be mindful of what emotional “stuff” belongs to you and what belongs to someone else.

2. Be yourself. This is mandatory! You’re here on the planet to be you, not a copy of anyone else.

3. Let go of the expectations of others. This means you get to live your own life and dismiss what others think you should or should not be.

4. Allow yourself to be imperfect. Give yourself some space to be real. Offer the same to everyone in your sphere.

5. Nurture the relationships with people you can trust who accept you as you are and who forgive (or ignore) your human foibles.

6. Free your mind from the judgment that things aren’t the way they’re supposed to be. Have no doubt that all is well and in perfect alignment.

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