Former Ashlander returns to train energy practitioners

Since human beings are made mostly of energy, we can learn how to cultivate our internal energy systems to find healing and happiness with simple and seemingly magical hands-on movements, says author and "energy medicine" creator Donna Eden.

A former longtime Ashlander, Eden trains practitioners and teaches her process around the world, returning to Ashland twice a year. She will teach "Energy Medicine: Simple Tools for Restoring Health and Vitality" at 6:30 p.m. on two Mondays, Dec. 6 and 13, at CultureWorks, 310 Oak St., Ashland.

Eden developed her system after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in her 20s and given a few years to live, she says. She built on existing systems such as Touch for Health and muscle testing to make herself healthy, soon discovering an array of techniques that she believes we evolved with and knew before modern medicine.

What does energy medicine look like? Eden directs you, if you feel stressed and mentally scrambled, to put your middle fingers on your navel and forehead, then draw them together above your head.

"It hooks up the central and governing meridians (energy pathways seen in acupuncture)," she says. "Eight of 10 people are not hooked up most of the time. That's prevalent in our culture. We live in our heads, so the energy stops there."

"Hook up" means to get your energy flowing in your meridians, Eden adds, and that can be done with a five-minute set of exercises tracing meridians and holding acupuncture and lymphatic "points" on the body, thus helping shed toxins, increase immunity and boost vitality.

For instance, when we get shocked or distressed, we often put a hand on our forehead, she notes. This is "the best thing we can do and we should leave the hand there and take several deep breaths," she says. "Shock and stress send blood from the forebrain to organs for fight-or-flight and this brings it back."

Eden and her partner, psychologist David Feinstein, ask students to do muscle testing "to find where the energy isn't working."

Muscle testing is the simple process of having you hold your arm out horizontally, then letting the energy medicine practitioner push down on it, while tracing various meridians or points, using verbal suggestions or asking you to hold certain foods that your body may not like. If you can resist the push, that meridian or food is OK; if not, she says, you know where to focus the work.

Energy medicine presents a hoop for the Western mind to jump through, since it's invisible and can't be studied under a microscope. But "energy is absolutely your best medicine," Eden says. "Our ancestors used it to keep themselves alive. Einstein was right when he said energy is all there is. We're not solid; we have streams of energy in us that evolved with us and our bodies know how to heal us and are far more intelligent than the mind."

Our natural wisdom about using our energy to be healthy has been overcome by the complexities, stress and toxins of modern life, she says, adding that she hopes to use energy medicine to "empower as many people as I can because we all have amazing healing abilities in us and can rely on ourselves to be more happy and alive."

"The world is no longer the natural world we evolved in and we have to find and use the energy medicine that is our birthright. We have to evolve faster now," she says.

Eden says she used energy medicine to overcome her dyslexia and volunteers to help schoolchildren do the same.

"It's not about who's smart. It's about unscrambling energy fields," she says. "If you move the energy, you can think again."

Eden and Feinsten are writing a book called "Energies of Love" that aims to help soured relationships get back on track after lovers have "gotten on different wavelengths."

Energy medicine practitioners can take two- or four-year trainings in Arizona, with the first year offered in Ashland. Those interested may contact Debra Hurt Burchard at 541-482-1800. Eden may be viewed doing energy medicine on YouTube.

Eden's workshop is $25. Tickets are available at (search "energy medicine") or $30 at the door. A book signing will follow at 9:30 p.m.

John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. E-mail him at

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