I have been slack about keeping up with these posts as I have been very busy at my wilderness home at Ginty Creek. But now that I have given you the building blocks I used towards getting my Energy Body in order, I thought I would let you know my daily routine.
Drink water first
I usually wake at first light, which in these long summer days is around 4:30 am. First thing is to have a drink of warm water (Penny the pendulum advises against cold food and drink as it is bad for the spleen meridian.) Because I have a wood stove and no electricity, I fill a thermos the night before so I do not have to wait for the kettle to heat.
Five Minute Routine
Next I tackle variations of Donna Eden’s Five Minute Routine. I start with the Four Thumps (Well Within’s variation), follow it with Separating Heaven and Earth, Then do the Cross Crawl, The Wayne Cook Posture, The Crown Pull, the Neurovascular Points, and the Zip up. I am sitting on a chair for most of these, and I follow them with a few seated yoga exercises. Then, since I learned about The Tibetan prayer Pose, I add that as well.
Next I feed the birds! Daylight has come and the little guys are lined up waiting for their breakfast.
Figure of Eight Exercise
I follow this with about an hour of yoga, ending with about 10 minutes of the Corpse Pose. But before I go into the full relaxing mode, I have recently added a figure of eight. Both Well Within and Donna Eden recommend a variety of figure of eight exercises, but the pendulum assures me that the the best one for me is to lie on my back, place a hand about four inches above the breast bone, then trace the first half of a dinner-plate-sized circle anticlockwise (ie towards my right side). When I reach the waist I start the a clockwise circle (towards my left side) then cross again at my waist to complete the figure of eight. Penny says I have a partial chi blockage about where my diaphragm is installed and this particular figure of eight is very beneficial to me. I repeat it 100 times.
Dowsing with the pendulum
After the Corpse Pose I perform a lymph massage using the spa brush. Now is the first time I usually dowse with the pendulum. I ask her if there are any other Energy Exercises I need to do. If I am feeling reasonably fit and calm, there aren’t any. If I feel a bit rougher than usual or am bothered by some tension or other, I may have to strengthen or sedate a meridian, or trace the meridians, or perform one of the Five Rhythms, or even do some EFT.
Dowsing for supplements
By now I am really hungry! But before I eat, I dowse with the pendulum to determine which supplements I need to take. I have half a dozen but rarely need to take them all. “Good Morning, Penny,” I say, and the pendulum swings a nice big clockwise circle in reply. I ask Penny permission to quiz her on the supplements then point to each one and see which way she swings. If it is one I have not been using, I also ask the best time to take it: before, during or after the meal? More than once a day? Some days I need three or four supplements, some days only one. The dosages are often less than what is recommended by the manufacturers. All in all the pendulum saves me a lot of money.
Now I can eat! First breakfast is miso soup loaded with vegetables, with a slice of homemade sourdough rye bread, second breakfast about an hour later is something like rice, fruit, nuts, Udo’s oil, and sometimes agave syrup if I feel in need of a sweetener.
Dowsing for Food Sensitivities
During the day I often consult Penny re the food I am eating as what I can happily tolerate may vary. If I eat garlic one day, I might be advised not to do so the next. The pendulum is very much part of my daily routine.
I’d like to say that was me on the cover of that magazine but I am afraid it is not. The cover models always pose so spectacularly – and they look glamorous as well. Moreover, they are stretching their bodies into fantastic shapes – and smiling while they are doing it!
However, I have got a lot out of this magazine. Fortunately my local library has about three years’ worth in storage, although none of them are current. I have been puttering away at yoga for four years now but never did it very intensively until this winter. I live far away from any classes so have learned everything from books and the back numbers of this magazine. I dowse with the pendulum to find out which exercises are most beneficial to me. Recently, I started to have a sorer-than-usual knee. I simply asked Penny which of the exercises was the culprit and soon solved that problem. Yoga Journal has a good website, too: www.yogajournal.com.
Home Practice versus a Class
One surprising article I read recently assumed that most people were too frightened to do a home practice; that they always had to go to a class. In 4 years I have been to one class only, and that one a couple of months ago. The instructor said I was doing not too badly considering I am 63 and have fibromyalgia.
I will never achieve the kind of poses they put on the covers but for yoga that doesn’t matter. Yoga is very much an individual practice and I feel it has helped tremendously to stave off the terrible stiffness of fibromyalgia. I just hope I have the time to do it after I fly into my summer resort, Nuk Tessli. (The ice is still on the lake and I won’t be able to get in for a while.)
I’ve taken out a number of books from the library as well but found only scraps of help in them. Most books devote a page or two to beginners then launch into stuff that is beyond me.
Then I found Easy Does It Yoga by Alice Christensen. The exercises were designed specifically for people with physical disabilities (including age) and I think it absolutely the best book for beginners or people like me with a lifetime’s bad posture. Many exercises can be done while sitting in a chair. Others while lying on a bed.
Early on in my pursuit of energy medicine I was recommended to try a lymph massage. I phoned for an appointment and presented myself at the practitioners one spring morning (still ice in their driveway) and was welcomed and told to sit down in a small but cosy reception room by a short woman with a strong German accent.
I had never had a massage of any kind and was quite startled when a strong wild-looking man with grizzled hair flying in all directions suddenly erupted from behind a curtain and told me to go into a booth and take off my clothes. This was before I had discovered the pendulum. The curtained booth was hung with meridian and reflexology charts and it all looked like mumbo jumbo to me. The man came in and soon his strong fingers were working over my body. I am not sure if it did any good but it was quite pleasant, and I went back a time or two later. But, as with the nutritionist, he lived too far away for me to attend on a regular basis.
After Penny and I met, I found this Utube video on giving yourself a lymph massage. Obviously it is advertising a particular lotion, but the diagrams of the movements are clear especially at the end of the film. I suppose the exercise might work just as well using aromatic oil but in fact I use a spa brush – the kind that looks like a toilet brush. I start with my legs, work up the torso, and then do my arms. I dowse with Penny to make sure I am doing it correctly, and I go through the routine between my exercises and bath every morning. When the brush is new the bristles are a little scratchy but the process is invigorating.
There are many other lymph massage videos, but the ones I have looked at seem to insist on quite different massage movements. This one seems to work for me, though.
I lucked out cruising the web the other day with this great website. It’s called Well Within (their logo is above), it’s put together by two women, Melanie Smith and Pauline McDonald, and – sure – they are trying to sell you DVDs and workshops and so on, but they are offering a great newsletter and a really great free E-Book introducing Energy Medicine.
Their Daily Routine covers 10 exercises instead of D0nna Eden’s six. Eden mentions most of the other exercises in her book: Energy Medicine but not as part of her Five Minute Routine. I mentioned in an earlier post that I already incorporated Separating Heaven and Earth into my Five Minute Routine. Well Within adds this plus The Hookup, Tibetan Prayer Pose, and Weaving Figure Eights. I not going to detail these exercises as they are described so well in the free E-Book. By dowsing with the pendulum I can determine which ones are best to do at any given time.
The Five Rhythms are the last of the exercises that I check on a fairly regular basis to get my Energy Body in order. Donna Eden’s book: Energy Medicine, has a wealth of other information that I don’t use much but might be helpful to others. Pain relief (actually I do use that sometimes). Headaches (which I never get.) PMS (which is a distant memory!) How to get your kid out of bed in the morning!
The Five Rhythms deal with emotional stresses.
Winter/Fear: Blowing out the Candle
Spring/Anger: Expelling the Venom
Summer/Panic: Taking down the Flame
Indian Summer/ Sympathy: Cradling the Baby
Autumn: Grief: Human Touching Divine.
The words used to describe the Five Rhythms are the closest English translation to concepts laid down in oriental medicine and they don’t always convey the true meaning, but it is the best we can do.
Winter/Fear: Blowing out the Candle
Fear includes worry, nervousness and so on, and as I am a major worrywort, I use this a lot (first determining, with Penny’s help, if it is appropriate to do it.) It is also the easiest of the rhythm exercises to describe. Sit on a bed or the floor with your knees bent up and your hands on the outside of the knees, pulling them towards you. Rock back and forth and bring to mind whatever is bothering you. As you exhale, stretch your chin a bit forward and purse your lips as if blowing out a candle. Make a whoooofffff sound with your breath as you do so. Inhale and exhale several times.
I am not going to describe the other exercises here – you will have to read the book!
Measuring the scale.
Eden says you should mentally measure your emotion before and after the exercise on a scale of 1 – 10. I never have a clue how to measure that kind of scale. So I ask Penny. First I say: Is my biggest fear of the moment so and so? Sometimes I am quite surprised – Penny will choose something I had thought was a lesser concern. Having determined what is the most important, I check the scale. If it is high – 6, or sometimes even 8, I inhale and exhale 8 or 10 times. If it is only 4, I finish the exercise sooner. Then I ask Penny if I still have more fear – if so, I check the grade, then do the exercise again until the reading on the scale (according to Penny) is zero. If I am still feeling agitated, I see if there is another fear that needs attention. Or maybe one of the other emotions.
I find it difficult to differentiate between fear and panic. Again, Penny will help. Anger (includes irritation and crankiness) is rare for me in the winter, because I live alone. But when I am dealing with too many people, either on a book tour or at my summer ecotourism business, I may need to diffuse my anger. (This is usually not anger at the people themselves, but anger because I can’t do what I want to do!) Sympathy comes in here as well. People who are too stretched because they feel obliged to deal with others before themselves are helped by this exercise. Occasionally Penny says No to all the other emotions and that leaves me with Grief, but I am usually not sure why. I try and ask if a recent – or even long past – event is stimulating the emotion. Even if I cannot pin it down, I go through the routine anyway.
There are those who maintain that the aura can be photographed. Here is an excellent article talking about it. http://www.skepdic.com/kirlian.html
This may or may not be the case, but the aura is definitely there. I cannot feel it or see it but if it needs attention and I do the repair, I notice the difference in my general feeling of well-being.
Rips in the Aura can be fixed by doing a similar movement to that of boosting Chakras. This time, however, both hands are used together and the circle you make for a couple of minutes is clockwise only. Clockwise means starting the circle at the top and going to the patient’s left side, whether someone is administering to the patient, or the patient is administering to him- or herself. The circles should be about the size of a dinner plate and made by holding the hands about 4” above the patient’s body.
Various writers advocate having a partner Energy Test you to find out where a Rip might be. But good old Penny comes up with the solution in no time. The Aura stretches from a few inches below the feet to a few inches above the head. To find the tear, I place one hand at my feet, hold the pendulum in the other, and slowly move my free hand up the body until the Penny indicates I have got to the right place.
Most people consider Auras to have colours; Donna Eden is one of the people who apparently can see them. They change a lot depending on the person’s health, and I asked Penny what my dominant colour was. It was lavender! I don’t even like lavender either as a colour or a scent! Donna Eden’s Energy Medicine Handout on the net http://www.energymed.org/hbank/handouts/possible_meaning_colors.htm describes a person with a lavender aura as being spiritual or intuitive, neither of which I would consider to be strong attributes of my character. Eden does add, however, that a lavender aura may also indicate that the person is a seeker or a healer. Well I always love to learn, and Penny agrees that this is the main reason for my predominately lavender aura. A smaller reason is because I have the ability to heal – I guess I have been healing myself a lot with Energy Medicine, and with this blog I am in a small way trying to help others take their own path to healing.
Penny and the Chakras.
After boosting up the Meridians (see previous three posts), the next stage in refining your body’s invisible energy systems, is to deal with the Chakras. The above illustration is taken from the K.I.S.S. Guide to Yoga by Shakta Kaur Khalsa. The young man, and the author, definitely smack of the airy fairy, but I have to say I found this book inspiring for a beginner yoga student.
However, the best text I have found describing the function and maintenance of Chakras is once again in Donna Eden‘s Energy Medicine. Eden says that the colours in the KISS Yoga book are not as hard and fast as Khalsa maintains, but they change due to person’s health and other circumstances. Each Chakra is in fact a combination of colours evident in the different, spinning layers. I thought the information in Eden’s book easier to understand than her reference posted on the web. In it, Eden deals only with the Throat Chakra, avowing that it has chambers corresponding to all the others: here is the reference. http://www.energymed.org/hbank/handouts/metab_throat_chakra.htm
To do a maintenance of the Chakras one should lie on one’s back. First rub both hands together and shake them to get rid of excess energy. Then place a hand about 4” above the centre of whichever Chakra you wish to stimulate, and start making counter clockwise circles about the size of a dinner plate for a couple of minutes. After that, shake the hands again and make circles going clockwise for half the time.
It doesn’t matter if you are doing the exercises yourself or if someone is doing them for you, but clockwise and counterclockwise are as if you are facing the patient. In other words, the counterclockwise circles start at the top and go to the patient’s right side first. I am the epitome of the DYI practitioner and to help me remember which way round I am supposed to go, I do the counterclockwise circles with my left hand and the clockwise ones with my right.
At first I tried to do all the Chakras every day, starting from the Root Chakra and working towards the Crown Chakra. But it sure made my arms ache! So I soon simply asked Penny if any Chakras needed attention, if Yes, which one. I used to have to do quite a few when I first started my Energy Medicine journey; I now find that the only time I need to do them is if I am feeling run down or overly tired. Usually, for me, if any Chakras need attention, the Womb Chakra is the only one that needs stimulating. When I had a bowel problem earlier this year, Penny advised spinning the Root Chakra. This doesn’t mean to say that a boost to one of the other Chakras might not be useful at any time, anyway.
There is one other meridian that I use on a daily basis. It is the Spleen Meridian. Like the Triple Warmer Meridian (see previous post) the Spleen Meridian is involved with defending the body against outside invaders. Unlike the aggressive Triple Warmer, though, the Spleen Meridian attempts to pacify the alien. If you feel an infection coming on, strengthening either or both the Spleen and Triple Warmer Meridians is a great thing to do. On the rare occasions that I think I am getting an infection, Penny may tell me to go through these routines three or four times a day.
But I have another use for the Spleen Meridian, one that I did not learn from Donna Eden‘s book, Energy Medicine! For several years I have had a problem with recreational asthma. (I never went to a doctor about it but there is nothing else it can be.) At first it was just a bit of wheezing in the winter but it developed into quite a nasty problem every time I did any kind of heavy exercise, winter or summer. It got so bad I could hardly walk uphill more than ten minutes before I got an attack and at its worst, I would be gasping for hours after the event. Recreational Asthma is basically a stress allergy (and I could certainly pinpoint the stresses that caused it) so I tried sedating the Triple Warmer Meridian as I did for food sensitivities, and various wordings of EFT. Sometimes either or both of these helped a bit but often they did not.
Then I found this rather charming site describing home cures for asthma. http://www.natural-homeremedies.org/homeremedies-asthma.htm. The English is not perfect and the substances used are often Indian so I suspect that is the origin of the writer. Right at the bottom are some non-food suggestions such as: Dust your room often but not with broomstick instead if possible use a vacuum cleaner. As my house is on a small solar power system, I cannot run a vacuum cleaner so I must stay with a broomstick! But there is also advice to wear a scarf over the mouth and I find this helps enormously. It is a major nuisance when it is hot and I am wearing a bugnet as well, but it stops 80% of the severity of the attacks.
One day I asked Penny if there were any Energy Exercises I could use. Various yeses and nos led me to the Spleen Meridian. As soon as I finish any heavy exercise, indoors or out (always wearing a scarf) I strengthen the Spleen Meridian. I do this before I remove the scarf. It has worked wonders.
Here is the diagram for strengthening the spleen meridian from Donna Eden’s site of Acupressure Strengthening and Sedating Points, taken from the web.
I have added outlines to make it more clear. As with the Triple Warmer Meridian, hold the first points for 2 and half – three minutes (breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth) and the second set of points for 1 and half – 2 minutes. Cross the arms over the body as you do so.
Unfortunately, there seems to be some difference in all the illustrations with the location of the second set of points, the ones on the big toe.
My old book showed the second set of points on the inside top of the big toenail and the side of the toe. The diagram on the web shows the second set of points to be at either side of the bottom of the big toenail. Penny told me that neither were right: She said to use the top inside of the big toenail and the bottom outside of the big toe nail. I hope the diagrams are clear. You will have to figure out which is correct for yourself.
Because I can, I do both lots of the second points at once. I cross my arms at the wrist. I find it easy to touch my toes with my legs straight but some might prefer to do each foot separately.