Thursday, September 24, 2009

Positive Energy/ Dr. Judith Orloff


by Judith Orloff,

Are you forever in a rush, staving off exhaustion? Are you desperately overcommitted, afraid to say “no”? Do you have fang marks from being bled dry by energy vampires? Does the onslaught of violence in the news leave you drained?

A hidden energy crisis threatens our world. Our high tech, volatile society thrusts many of us into chronic physical, emotional, and spiritual depletion. With information overload, we sink into techno-despair, the burnout of being enslaved by beepers, email, faxes, and phones. Meanwhile, geopolitical realities grind us down. We’re confronted with hostile forces on a global scale. No surprise: our energy suffers. Most alarming, we come to tolerate tired, joyless states as normal. We must shift this socially condoned pattern of madness, no matter what external threats are looming. Using extraordinary solutions to liberate energy, I’ll show you how to alleviate tensions that can do us in and design a life that nurtures.

In this book I want to introduce you to Energy Psychiatry, a term I’ve coined to describe a new kind of psychotherapy I practice which addresses the subtle energetic underpinnings of health and behavior. It’s a subspecialty of Energy Medicine, which views our bodies and spirits as manifestations of subtle energies, what indigenous cross-cultural healing traditions revere as life force--a concept that’s missing in mainstream health care. This is a travesty: there’s no way to fully grasp who we humans are without it. Energy Psychiatry mixes traditional medicine with how the mysteries of our life force functions in everyday ways. It distills a broad body of knowledge about subtle energy, and specifically applies it to psychiatry, an increasingly prescription-dependent field that could use a little re-invention. All the healing arts can benefit from my approach too.

As a board certified psychiatrist and Assistant Clinical Professor at UCLA with twenty years in practice, I now believe that the most profound transformations can only take place on an energetic level. I’ve met a slew of people who’ve spent lots of time and money in intellectually-oriented therapies hoping that rational insights alone can bring the joy they seek. It’s true, the mind will set you on the path, and the depth of emotional healing can be phenomenal. However, as much as I encourage and work with both, my approach coordinates them with a conscious rebuilding of subtle energies--learning to wield the raw power of your life force itself.

My style has never been to play it safe just to satisfy some status quo. To offer my patients all that’s in me, I’ve pushed the envelope of what a physician can be. Along with my conventional training I’m also an intuitive (from a long line of intuitives--including my grandmother, mother and aunts, including Aunt Bertha, the Tarot-toting undertaker.) That is, in Energy Psychiatry I integrate non-linear messages from images, knowings, and reading energy fields to help patients--a potent alchemy strengthening my practice of medicine. (My struggle to blend intuition with the academic world of science is described in my books Intuitive Healing and Second Sight). What I do isn’t just a job. It’s my life’s passion. I consider sessions with patients sacred time. For fifty minutes, each one becomes my world; my attention is total. With all systems on “go” I listen to what they say, and what they don’t say. It’s exhilarating to track my patients with both intellect and intuition, to function as a finely tuned instrument, a medium offering surprise prescriptions to what often seems unsolvable.

The problem is, we physicians weren’t taught the full story about energy in medical school. I’ve always been incorrigibly curious with a rebellious streak, have no qualms rejecting what doesn’t ring true. (Like my female predecessors, I shot out of the womb stubborn and strong!) No wonder that as a student the conventional dull take on energy never jibed for me. Professors, who looked bored themselves, taught that energy was like gasoline: we fuel up with a healthy diet, sleep, and exercise, then set out to face the world. (Even these basics were mentioned as a tag on to the “hard core” sciences.) Our energy level is gauged by how much we accomplish. As deeply grateful as I am for my medical education--I consider it Mystery school training--I’ve come to realize the traditional model that’s still touted, is stuck in the Dark Ages. It grasps energy only in its crudest form. To plug into a far vaster source we must also draw on the dormant, subtler energies that lie beneath. In most people they remain only potential.

This book is a call to activism, an imperative to claim your vitality using the methods of Energy Psychiatry I’ll share. It’s dedicated to people under stress who may have low energy or only so much to give. You’ll find it pivotal if you’re a workaholic, if you have a job that devours every last minute, or if you’re a parent balancing family and career. You’ll sigh with relief, suddenly finding answers to “psychosomatic” symptoms such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, depression, and anxiety. The book is also for those inundated by the upheaval of our times, struggling to keep themselves together. You’ll learn ways to protect yourself from draining people, and also how to counter feelings of helplessness or doom about societal tumult. Further, you’ll benefit if you feel good but want to feel better. All of us can soar with higher energy.

We live in a world of violence, selfishness, an erratic economy, and scary diseases--as well as a world of love, miracles, and healing. All this affects our energy, while ours affects people around us. We are part of great swirling invisible energy fields, positive and negative, that shape personal and planetary health. The formula for expanding energy you’ll apply is to both build the positive and turn negativity around--a calculated tact requisite for our peace of mind and our survival. In the words of Helen Keller, “To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”


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