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Energetic Healing: Part III

Last week, I invited you to think about healing and disease in a different, and maybe unfamiliar way. If you missed that second segment, you can find it here. The message I have been formulating is basically this - there are some sicknesses that will never be cured with modern medicine. No amount of pills or procedures will ever address an illness that stems from an emotional wound. No chemical concoction carefully formulated in a lab will ever possess the power to restore full health to an individual who has been mentally, emotionally, or spiritually traumatized. And yet, that's exactly the empty expectation to which so many people are clinging.

What does this have to do with my 13-year old daughter who bites and rips finger and toe nails?

I suppose I could take her to a physician and insist that she be prescribed medication for what appears to be anxiety. This is a diagnosis that rings familiar to so many, and our society is quick to seek hope in a pill bottle. But I know without a doubt - my daughter isn't physically sick. She's emotionally wounded. She doesn't need medicine. She needs true inner healing.

After the single hypnotherapy session, we noticed some mild improvements in her nail biting behaviors. At the very least, she seemed more conscious of the activity, and would attempt to restrain or distract herself with something else when the temptation surfaced. But not only was this progress short lived, it was soon overshadowed by a more terrifying symptom. Carrie began to get debilitating migraines on a monthly basis, and they reached a critical level of intensity in early December of last year, when she experienced her first (and, to date, only) hemiplegic migraine.

On a Tuesday morning, right in the middle of our homeschool co-op Christmas party, she suddenly began to get visibly agitated and insisted we go home right away. I took her outside to get some fresh air, thinking she was over-reacting about something I'd apparently missed, but the change in environment clearly wasn't helping. She starting awkwardly rubbing her right hand and arm. "Mom, I can't feel anything here!" Her speech got a little choppy, as if she couldn't find the exact words, and she pointed to her mouth, telling me nervously, "My mouth...something's wrong with my mouth. It feels wrong." To the outside observer, it looked like she was experiencing a stroke.

Had it not been for another homeschool mom who witnessed what was happening and recognized the symptoms from her own hemiplegic migraine experiences, I wouldn't have known what was going on or what to do. Long story short, we got her home, where she promptly vomited, and then I got her to bed and darkened the room as much as possible so she could sleep. She stayed in bed all day, finally feeling well enough to come downstairs and eat a light dinner late that evening. The feeling on the right side of her body thankfully returned in full. In the days and weeks that followed, we did the MRI and all that the doctors recommended, but all results came back clear. There was nothing visibly wrong with her. Her brain was fine. She wasn't sick.

At this point, I was certain the migraines and nail biting were connected. Although the symptoms seemed totally unrelated, I heard the foundational message loud and clear - Her body is not at ease. It is trying to communicate that something, deep inside, is not right.

I linked up with a dear friend who lives out west. She and I have completed many of the same certification programs in health and wellness. We share a similar health history of disordered eating and compulsive exercise, and we are both moms, with daughters about the same age. We understand and trust one another. She herself had also experienced hemiplegic migraines, and so had a genuine empathy for Carrie's frightening experience. When I shared with her what was going on and what I was trying remedy-wise, she said, "Oh, Amy - the more I go down these rabbit trails, the more I realize it's not all about nutrition, supplements, and food. It goes so much deeper than that."

She introduced me to a healing modality she had been studying called Emotion Code, and also Body Code. I know I'm about to make some people very uncomfortable here, but let me try to explain as simply as I can. I'm certainly not an expert, but this much I understand. This kind of therapy is based on the core belief that the human body is basically intentionally organized energy. This isn't much of a stretch for me. All life is sustained through the energy of the Sun. Light is energy. Heat is energy. Water is energy. Movement is evidence of energy in motion. We consume food from the earth, which is energy and gives us energy. When we walk into a room of familiar people, we sense a warm, positive energy from some, and a much less inviting kind of energy from others. We often say that words have power - energy - to do either harm or good. I do of course believe what the Bible says - that we are created body, soul, and spirit. Is it a contradiction to say that all three of those are individual yet connected energetic components of the same human body? Or does this energy piece simply tie it all together in a divine and beautifully cohesive way? I suppose that is for you to consider, just as I have taken time to do.

The second assumption of this healing approach is the belief that even events and experiences are also energetic in nature. More importantly, the energy of negative/stressful/traumatic events can become trapped in the body for minutes, days, years, or decades until some kind of work is done to release it. While it is taking space in the body, this negative emotional energy can begin to affect specific cells, organs, tissues, and systems. Over time, negative energy might also begin to travel and impact other areas of the body that were once unaffected. Negative energy can even be passed from one generation to the next, transferring from parent to child. (Did I mention my husband used to be an obsessive nail biter? He isn't anymore! Did I mention I have perfectionist tendencies and have migrated through an assortment of negative coping behaviors since my youth? Is it a surprise that other family members in previous generations share some of these same anxious characteristics? Does anyone escape the frailties and foibles of our own humanity?)

For the sake of time and space, I'll summarize here and say that this friend of mine did some remote Body Code sessions with Carrie. She was aware of the incident discussed during Carrie's earlier hypnotherapy session, and identified and released some trapped emotions from that event. She also dug deeper into another pivotal event from Carrie's toddlerhood that her body remembered, but of which we assumed she had absolutely no cognitive recollection. My friend didn't conjure up this information on her own. I provided it to her plainly, having a feeling that it could be an important piece of this puzzle. This event happened to be a medical situation in which we believed there was only one treatment option for Carrie, and so we followed the advice given by her pediatrician. The doctors assured us that Carrie was so little and would be under anesthesia, and would have no memory of this procedure. We believed them.

But they were wrong.

She remembered, all right, and not having the ability or understanding to process what was going on at her young age, she stuffed those emotions deep in her body, where they began to take hold and generate some powerful negative energy - nervous energy that, I believe, has most recently surfaced and manifested as obsessive nail biting and even migraines.

My friend told me she was able to release many of the trapped emotions in Carrie's body. She named these emotions specifically for us, and all of it made so much sense once we put the details together. But she also said there would likely be need for more work in Carrie's future, as this kind of healing is rarely one-and-done. And I'm seeing that truth play out.

I can tell you without a doubt that there is a difference in my daughter. Less agitation, more peace. Less anxious behavior, more calm. Most notably - a total elimination of the monthly migraines and a remarkable decrease in the nail biting behavior. But this last habit hasn't disappeared completely, especially with her fingernails, and I can understand why some other trapped emotions might not be ready to surface just yet. If she remembers the events we now know she does, I have no doubt her body remembers other things, too. Things from her dad's past; things from mine. Other events, conversations, and family interactions that she would have witnessed and perhaps internalized as a tiny thing. She's a remarkably insightful and observant girl, and has a memory like a steel trap, but this superpower doesn't always work to her benefit it seems. Even so, I can rest in knowing that God desires wholeness for her, and will continue this healing work in her body throughout her life, in His timing and as He sees fit.

In the meantime, I am looking with fresh eyes at my own health struggles, as well as those of people closest to me. Honestly, my little family really doesn't deal with piddly stuff like colds, allergies, and flu bugs anymore. It's not that we never get sick, but it's quite rare and usually mild. And because of that, we now have an opportunity to dig much deeper into our own inner soul sickness - the kind of dis-ease that happens to all who live on this earth and can only be healed by the One who made us and loves us. And in so doing, I hope that we might be able to help others do the same.

My prayer is that those reading this will consider how God might desire to use ordinary people like you and me to accomplish this kind of healing in ourselves and others. If you are hung up on words like "hypnotherapy" and "energy" and "trapped emotions," as I was at first, I pray you and I both might release God from the neat and tidy little box we tend to create for Him - a box we can see and hold and manipulate and explain and fully understand. Would a departure from countless pills and procedures and a return to real human health and connection make him angry, or make Him smile? It's a worthy question worth contemplating.

Modern medicine has its place, and I'm grateful for it, but I do not believe it is the primary way that God works to restore our health. His way is usually the longer, harder way, but it's always the perfect and life-giving way.

Isaiah 46:4 NIV

Even to your old age and gray hairs

I am he, I am he who will sustain you.

I have made you and I will carry you;

I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Here is a key part of Emotion Code shown in visual form. Similar to Traditional Chinese Medicine, practitioners believe that certain emotions are tied to specific organs of the body. I can't tell you how revolutionary this approach was for me personally a few years ago when I was at one of the very lowest points in my health. It wasn't a magic bullet, and I still had a lot of work to do, but this perspective helped me realize that the symptoms I was suffering with were not really medical in nature, but rather - emotional. Think of yourself and people you know who suffer with chronic illness...does this chart ring true in those circumstances?

And here below is my beautiful girl! I pray often that God would restore her to full health and protect and equip her in every way, so that she would be able to use her experiences and her understanding of wellness to accomplish amazing things in the world and in the lives of those she touches in the years to come.

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