"Unless massive changes are made in the way we relate to the environment—whose pollutants overwhelm the immune system until it begins to treat almost everything as the enemy—autoimmune disease is on the docket as the illness of the future." -Donna Eden This is the second article in a three-part series on Energy Medicine - methods for working with the invisible energies within your body to bring about vibrant health. You will probably want to read part one, Vibrant Health through Energy Medicine, to understand what Energy Medicine is and how it might be able to help you.
Can Energy Medicine help immune-related conditions?
Can Energy Medicine help when the immune system goes ballistic - in allergies, autoimmune conditions, or chemical sensitivity, for example? Yes! Can it be of assistance when the immune system goes into retreat - in immune deficiency syndromes? Yes!
I am writing this article because I am concerned by the dramatic increase in allergies, asthma, and chronic illness in young children, and the explosion of autoimmune disorders in young adults. The incidence of autoimmune disease is now 1:31.
More than anything, I want to communicate: there is hope, there is help. You can find your way to better health as impossible as it may sometimes seem.
Gradually, we are connecting the dots and learning that environmental pollutants play a pivotal role in the onset and/or exacerbation of many cases of immune-related conditions. As remarkable as it is, the immune system is not sufficiently evolved to keep apace with the enormous amount of toxic chemicals, pollutants, and electromagnetic pollution that has flooded the world in the last fifty years.
Add the phenomenal increase in stress levels to the equation and you almost have an epidemic of chronic illness.
Modern medicine is limited in its ability to treat immune-related illnesses. Often, the medications employed are ineffectual or trigger more problems than they solve. What can be done?
Enter Energy Medicine. You can use the conscious mind to support and reprogram the immune system by tracing meridians, holding acupuncture points, and opening energy blocks. You can use the mind itself to direct the energy in your body. And, you can do this on your own at very little cost.
It's no secret that the immune system can be re-programmed. This has been proven through medical research time and again. The techniques offered by Energy Medicine can help you re-program your immune system to operate efficiently but with discrimination.
An Energy Medicine view of the immune system
Fasten your seat belt for a quick tour of the immune system as presented by Energy medicine pioneer, Donna Eden, in her book Energy Medicine, Balancing Your Body’s Energies for Optimal Health, Joy, and Vitality.
According to Donna's approach - which is just one approach to Energy Medicine - the immune system is ruled by two energy systems, which in Chinese medicine are named:
- the triple warmer
- the radiant circuits (the strange flows)
These two systems use vastly different approaches to bring about health in the body. The triple warmer mobilizes the body for war to counter foreign invaders. It can be seen as the equivalent to the fight-or-flight response in Western medicine. The radiant circuits, on the other hand, organize all the systems of your body through harmony and cooperation.
In this approach, auto-immune and immune-deficiency disorders are seen as internalized forms of the fight-or-flight syndrome. In auto-immune disorders - the fight response - the triple warmer attacks one's own body. In immune-deficiency, it goes into retreat.
Allergies, autoimmune conditions, chemical sensitivity: the fight response
The triple warmer then is the system that activates the fight response to foreign invaders. Donna's sense of the triple warmer varies somewhat from the traditional description in Chinese medicine. My own acupuncturist says even after acupuncture school the triple warmer and radiant circuits still remain somewhat of a mystery.
Donna considers the triple warmer to be much more powerful than has been traditionally reported in the literature. Her ability to see the full potential of the triple warmer may be a special gift for this time given the extraordinary environmental factors we face.
Here are three key points about the triple warmer meridian:
- it works in conjunction with the hypothalamus gland in the brain, the instigator of the flight-or-fight response.
- it networks information to all the meridians and the organs they serve - the whole body.
- It drafts energy from any other parts of the body to support its mission, so much so that important systems can become incapacitated.
In short, the effects of an overactive triple warmer are systemic and profound. Because of its connection with the hypothalamus, an overactive triple warmer can keep your body in a state of perpetual alarm. It's connected with all the other meridians and organs and thus can impact any system in your body. In addition, it drains energy from other body systems to support the war effort, causing knock-on effects.
Is it any wonder that people with auto-immune conditions often acquire another or are plagued by co-occurring illnesses?
A key part of working with an overactive immune response is to sedate the Triple Warmer by tracing the meridian and related exercises. In her book, Donna reviews two patient cases - one patient with multiple sclerosis and the other with hay fever - to illustrate how Energy Medicine can help calm an overactive immune system and improve your health and well-being.
Several self-help energy techniques are explained to help you convert your immune system into a helpful, but not hyper-reactive friend. These include the Homolateral Crossover, Sedating Triple Warmer, the Triple Warmer Smoothie, Reprogramming Triple Warmer to Stop Attacking Friendly Forces (allergens), and Easing Emotional Overload. A simple version of Alternate Nostril Breathing is described to counter allergy headaches.
These self-help techniques can be used on your own and some can be performed by a partner. Or you can receive treatments from a practitioner of Energy Medicine.
To begin reprogramming your immune system to stop attacking your body, Donna recommends adjusting your attitude as the first step:
- practice letting go of of self-judgment;
- cultivate compassion for yourself;
- enter into a positive partnership with the body, instead of expressing anger or frustration towards it.
Immune system problems can rarely be corrected quickly. It takes repeated retraining to subdue an overactive immune response, but it is possible.
Bear in mind that while you are trying to subdue your immune system, it is responding to a real threat - an increasingly toxic environment - not an imagined one. Therefore, even if you do not have overt chemical sensitivity, it is equally important to reduce your exposures to toxic chemicals, which are abundantly found in everyday household products, personal care products, and cosmetics. Exposure to toxic chemicals adds an extra burden to your immune system. Understanding your stress patterns and reducing stress will also help to calm the flight-or-fight response.
Immune-deficiency disorders - the flight response
On the other end of the spectrum, the body goes into retreat in the case of immune-deficiency disorders. Six exercises are recommended to strengthen the triple warmer in this case. These involve a 5-minute Daily Energy Routine, stretching, holding specific neuromuscular points and neurolymphatic points, balancing your chakras, and mobilizing the radiant circuits.
That might seem like an overwhelming amount to do in the case of immune-deficiency, but you can start with just one simple technique, with whatever you can manage, get help from a friend, or receive treatments from an Energy Medicine practitioner.
Hope and help
The very nature of hypersensitivities, autoimmune conditions, chemical sensitivity, and immune-deficiency conditions can make them seem impossible to conquer. If anything, I hope this article encourages you and provides some new ideas.
I can't guarantee that this approach will work for everyone, but I know it will work for some. For example, my friend Libby had severe multiple chemical sensitivity and has been steadily improving using techniques from Donna Eden's book along with other mind-body approaches.
Part Three of this series on Energy Medicine, will discuss how to activate your “inner mom” to create more harmony and cooperation among your body energies.
Please be aware that I am not a medical practitioner nor offering medical advice. I am only sharing research and information on approaches that have worked for me. Also, I am not receiving compensation for recommending this book.
Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious! Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always. With love, Sandra