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When I first recovered from ME/CFS, I wanted everybody to experience the same euphoria as I did, the same delight in having a healthy life back.
I wanted to tell the world about how powerful Eden Energy Medicine was. My thinking at that time was very simple: have Eden Energy Medicine sessions and you’ll recover. If you’ve landed on this page and have no idea what Eden Energy Medicine is, have a look here!
But when I started to write about what I’d done to recover, I began – over a couple of years! – to see that my recovery wasn’t simple at all, it was mind-blowing complex: a culmination of many, many steps, of many, many inner and outer changes. A thousand-piece jigsaw. A interwoven web. A inner and outer journey.
How did Eden Energy Medicine (EEM) fit into that jigsaw? Had being supported by that interconnected web made a difference to the effectiveness of Eden Energy Medicine?
I knew EEM hadn’t just helped me to recover, I also knew that it had helped many, many people (some of who had gone on to be practitioners) to recover from ME/CFS too. But I also knew that occasionally EEM sessions had helped someone but they hadn’t recovered. What did that mean?
This question has been rolling around in my head for a year or so now.
What is happening that some people are helped by EEM, and some aren’t?
Sometimes, the question in my head becomes broader ‘Why do the ME/CFS brain retraining programmes help some people but not others?’.
It seems to me a really important question. Are there subtleties in how somebody approaches EEM that make a difference to somebody’s chance of recovery?
Would I have recovered if I’d had EEM sessions five years earlier? (I don’t know).
This blog post is my attempt of opening up a discussion about what role do you, as an client, have in giving EEM the best chance.
I’d love to hear your viewpoint and I’m sure others would too. Use the comment button at the end to do this. If you don’t want your comments to be public, I’d still love to hear from you, please contact me here.
And if you’ve had EEM sessions and they only helped a little, you might want to try filling in this reflection sheet, download it here. If you feel on edge when you think about those sessions that didn’t work, my blog post It can be traumatic having a failed treatment. Here’s what to do if you feel this way. may help you feel a little better.
So, here’s my take on the six key aspects to get right:
- Make sure EEM is the best option for you.
- Don’t do it by yourself.
- Choose the right practitioner for you.
- See having EEM sessions as a journey.
- Don’t give your responsibility away.
- Create a healing environment.
What is so interesting about those six points is that earlier on in my ME/CFS journey I don’t think I would have done these points – or only half-heartedly.
I wouldn’t have done these actions if I hadn’t spent time focusing on loving myself more (mainly through having counselling). Would I have recovered without following these points? I don’t know.
My new level of self-belief meant that I felt it was worth while spending money on me rather than doing EEM by myself; my increased confidence meant I didn’t feel I had to go with the first practitioner I spoke to; my higher level of self-worth meant I didn’t feel ‘It’s got to work in four or five sessions’; my burgeoning self-value meant I felt responsible for my health; my increasing self-esteem meant self-care (aka creating a healing environment) was so much easier.
If as you read through this post, you think ‘I couldn’t do that…That sounds too tricky’ it may be your self-esteem talking. Perhaps, the next step on your journey needs to include looking at what you can do to start loving yourself more.
It would be much nicer if these chronic illness journeys didn’t mean we had to look inside ourselves – something many of us are reluctant to do – but, unfortunately, they don’t.
Plus, there is a strong link between chronic illness and trauma, and trauma affects our body and mind, often our self-esteem and our behaviours. Eden Energy Medicine does help with trauma on an energetic level but from my experience benefits from a multi-faceted approach ie don’t rely on EEM as your only approach to healing your trauma. If you think trauma (with a little ‘t’) may be a factor in your illness, sign up to my email list as I’m going to be writing more about this very important topic in the next few months.
I’ve finished digressing, let’s get back to where we were!
It’s been really hard to reduce what I want to say down to six aspects – there’s a lot of detail in each one of them – so let’s dive in as I explain each aspect in more detail.
Remember, each of us needs to chart our own path to recovery (or living better with a chronic illness) so use my suggestions as a starting point, perhaps asking yourself ‘What can I learn from this?’
Make sure EEM is the best option for you.
I was in the middle of writing this piece when Raelan Agle published an interview with Dan Neuffer of CFS Unravelled. Off I headed to YouTube to hear what Dan had to say about the question I’d submitted ‘How can someone give brain retraining the best chance?’
Dan’s reply was so succinct and powerful: ‘By being fully committed’. He goes on to talk about why he offers several free videos for his programme, about how he wants people to watch those videos asking themselves the question ‘Is this right for me?’
So, although EEM is very different from the brain retraining programmes such as Dan’s ANS Rewire, the same approach and questions are key. When I had my EEM sessions, I’d known about EEM for over a decade, I’d read Donna Eden’s book and I liked the whole concept: the only thing that had been holding me back was the belief it could help. Have a look at my story I would have paid ten thousand pounds. where I talk about how a blog post by Prune Harris gave me the confidence to give EEM a go.
So, how can you decide whether EEM is right for you?
- Read one of Donna’s books.
- Try out some of the free videos online.
- Start doing the daily energy routine.
- Try this one-hour course.
- Read more of my blog posts (about EEM).
Explore all the free resources ‘is this right for me?’. If you’re still trying to choose between two options, consider doing a choice meditation. I talk about choice meditations – and give a script and an audio link – here.
Don’t do it yourself.
I got Donna Eden’s book ‘Energy Medicine’ in the first couple of years of having ME/CFS. I loved the book, I loved the idea we could do something about our health, I loved all the exercises. I even started doing the Daily Energy Routine (for a little while) but when I didn’t see any change I gave up.
I wasn’t very persistent in those days…if I’d been more persistent would it have made a difference? I thought for ages it would have…until I realised a book is a book. Why was I expecting Donna’s book (or video) to help cure me when I wouldn’t expect a sports injury or a reflexology book to do that?
A sports injury book is to help give me an idea of what the problem is so I can have a good discussion with a physio or I can help myself before a problem gets too acute or chronic.
A reflexology book is to help me on minor – non-chronic, not acute – illnesses and maybe a little bit of stress relief.
Eden Energy Medicine is a fantastic, powerful healing modality and I’ve had great success with minor issues using YouTube videos BUT if you have a chronic illness that means your body has some deep-rooted unhealthy patterns.
The many EEM videos may help you a little but seeing a practitioner will be so, so much more powerful.
Yes, occasionally there’s people in the EEM Facebook groups who have helped themselves (without training to be a practitioner) but it is only very occasionally.
It is also a difficult route. To me, a chronic illness means complex unhealthy patterns in your body – that’s why your body isn’t recovering by yourself – and that means you need to be really with it to get a self-directed route right.
Something that is very difficult with brain fog or where stress is an issue.
Unfortunately, this does mean you need to spend some pennies but, at the moment, I don’t think it is possible to recover from ME/CFS without spending any money.
Sometimes wanting to do it yourself can be a trust issue (as well as a self-belief issue as I talked about earlier). Does that apply to you? (Sorry….I keep asking those difficult questions!)
Having said all this😊 , it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth doing some Eden Energy Medicine exercises at home (such as the daily energy routine); d-i-y Eden Energy medicine can still benefit and support your recovery, just, perhaps, to a lesser extent.
Choose the right practitioner for you.
When I first set out on my health journey, I would go to a physio somebody had recommended or I’d pick the reflexologist who was most local to me, often only checking the price before I arranged my first appointment.
When I decided to have Eden Energy Medicine sessions my approach was very different. I contacted four different practitioners and asked them questions about how they could help me, and carefully read their response (I wasn’t up to phone calls at the time) before choosing who I wanted to see.
I’d changed from a passive ‘buyer’ to a proactive one. Such a difference.
You’re going on a journey with a practitioner and it really, really helps if you are a good match. I can’t do justice to ‘Choosing the right practitioner for you’ here so have a look at my accompanying blog post Six steps to help choose the best health practitioner for you. where I talk you through the steps that will give you confidence in the decision you’ve made. The ‘Choosing the right practitioner for you’ is part of a mini-series, have a look at the bottom of this post for links to the series.
See Eden Energy Medicine sessions as part of your journey.
We’re not really used to going on difficult journeys these days: we get into the car or the train and ten hours later, we’re where we want to be.
But any recovery or any improvement from a chronic illness isn’t like that, there’s no ‘Do this…and you’ll get that’.
Instead, it’s like a tale from many years ago where every journey was unknown and – potentially – difficult. It’s a journey where you learn about what helps your body and what doesn’t, a journey where you learn about yourself: what do you do that helps and what do you that hinders.
If we think along the lines ‘I’ll just have four EEM sessions and then I’ll be done’ we’re doing ourselves and our illness an injustice. If instead we see it as a journey, we have the potential to:
- Be more persistent.
- Let go of wanting a miracle cure.
- Be happy to ask ourselves and our practitioner the difficult questions.
- Let go of having a time scale of when we want to see big results.
- Be comfortable waiting until we can do EEM sessions justice.
- Be willing to move onto a practitioner who suits us better if we’ve made the wrong initial choice.
- Be willing to follow the rhythm of our bodies and have sessions at the right interval.
- Be willing to listen to our body.
- See ourselves as responsible for the direction of our journey.
- Continue with your journey from surviving to thriving after most people would say you were recovered.
Don’t give your responsibility away.
One of the biggest differences in my last six months of having ME/CFS was that I felt managing and improving my health was up to me. Nobody else.
This changed how I talked to the doctor and it changed how I approached my Eden Energy Medicine sessions.
Instead of thinking ‘the doctor knows best’, I thought ‘I can use the doctor to help me with this…but she doesn’t have the knowledge (or freedom) to help me with that’.
It was as if I’d become the CEO of my own well-being (a phrase used by Kris Carr). Now I saw myself the boss of my own health but like a good CEO (or a good captain of a ship), I listened to the people who worked for me, questioned when I needed to, trusted them to do the job they were an expert in but made my own decisions.
For Eden Energy Medicine sessions this meant:
- I tracked my progress.
- I made sure I had some knowledge of EEM (but didn’t try to be an expert).
- I used all the techniques I’d learnt over the years to be consistent about my homework.
- I built up a good relationship with my practitioner where I could ask the questions I needed to ask, and I had the confidence to speak out when things weren’t right for me.
- I recognised how my difficulty in communicating caused by both brain fog and past poor experiences might affect my sessions and took action accordingly.
(You might want to digress to my blog post How do I know whether my Eden Energy Medicine sessions are helping? Here’s three suggestions. at this point!)
One of the strong indicators of low self-esteem is giving the responsibility of your health away (into the ether if nowhere else!).
If you feel your self-confidence is affecting the Eden Energy Medicine sessions you’re having at the present or has affected sessions in the past, here are a couple of suggestions:
Admit to your practitioner that your low self-esteem may be affecting you asking questions or saying when you’re uncomfortable, and agree a way (such as by email) that you can raise issues.
If you’re looking back to previous experiences and thinking I got that all wrong, try reminding yourself you did the best you knew how in the circumstances and with what was going on for you. This is a journey you’re on, a journey of learning, not of getting everything right.
Create a healing environment.
Eden Energy Medicine is incredibly powerful but why not have your broken-down car pointing up a shallow hill rather than Mount Everest? It will be much easier for it to get going.
One of the reasons I think I recovered so remarkably quickly was because I gave my body the best chance by being in a healing state as much as possible.
(When I first realised I felt different, we had just completed a deeply, relaxing and rejuvenating holiday. I talk about what my holidays were like here: Now THAT’S what I call a holiday. Fifteen suggestions for a deeply relaxing and restorative ME/CFS break. )
Creating a healing environment is a very, very big topic so I’ve just picked out some key points that are especially relevant to when you’re having sessions. Here they are:
- Manage your energy levels and stress levels.
- Don’t compare yourself to others: ‘They recovered after four sessions’. We are all unique.
- Hold the outcome lightly. Have a look at my blog post How a simple plan was a game changer for my ME/CFS, and how to create your own. for more on this
- Visualise your EEM sessions helping you. I loved relaxing and seeing Donna Eden in my energy control room adjusting all the dials!
- Do your EEM exercises in a relaxed way.
- Relax before and after every session. Irene Lyon suggests an hour in this video.
- Have your sessions at the right interval for you: the most relaxing interval.
- Trust the process and your practitioner. And if you don’t do something about it.
So, let’s recap. Eden Energy Medicine is a very powerful complementary therapy but we can help it be even more powerful by taking six steps:
- Making sure EEM is the best option for you.
- Not doing it by yourself.
- Choosing the right practitioner for you.
- Seeing having EEM sessions as a journey.
- Holding onto your responsibility.
- Creating a healing environment.
I hope this helps you as you take the step of having EEM sessions and in your journey of improving your health.
Would love to hear your thoughts 🙂. Please comment below!
Many thanks to Rachel Jacobson and Deb Smith (both EEM-CLP practitioners) for taking the time to talk to me/ email me about EEM from your experience of working with clients over many years: your comments have helped inform and make this post better. Thank you!
The opinions and views in this blog post are all mine, rather than Innersource’s or anybody else connected with the Eden Method.
Choosing a practitioner mini-series:
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