About a year and a half ago, Peter Yi, an oncologist trained at Cornell, Harvard, and Sloan-Kettering, did something completely outside the box of Western medicine. On the recommendation of one of his patients he made an appointment with energy medicine practitioners Diana Warren and Geoffrey White of Energy for Healing in Kingston.
For several years Yi’s patient, Janet Lasley, of Lasley Brahaney Architecture and Construction at 860 State Road (Route 206), who suffers from a rare form of cancer called leiomyosarcoma, had been singing the praises of Warren and White, who work with Lasley on a weekly basis. In U.S. 1’s February 13, 2008, profile of Lasley, she said: “They have been crucial. They teach my body to use its own immune system, so they do a lot of work with body flow, getting meridians lined up and connected so your own cells can attack cancers. They have strengthened my liver — I had 60 percent of my liver removed — which in turn strengthens the blood.”
“When Janet told me about Diana and Geoff, I was very curious,” says Yi, who has practiced oncology at Princeton Medical Group for 20 years. “She told me how they had been focusing on the part of her body that’s been very weak and causing the problem, the liver. She said she felt that energy was leaving her liver and that the energy medicine put energy back into the liver. I thought, if it works for Janet, maybe it would work for others. I was intrigued that she was doing so well. I thought that maybe there is something here that I’m not familiar with. As a practicing oncologist you learn a lot from your patients: that’s why we call it a practice.”
At Yi’s appointment with White and Warren, he says, “They quantitatively measured the energy levels through different parts of my body. I had never seen that. It makes you wonder if there are certain aspects (of complementary medicine) that obviously I’m not familiar with but that are effective. Diana and Geoff were very professional. They were healers. It was a very positive experience.”
Warren and White trained with Donna Eden, a prominent energy medicine healer for more than 30 years, who has trained some 80,000 people worldwide, both laypeople and professionals, including more than 300 certified practitioners, how to engage their own energies for greater health. She is the author of two books, “Energy Medicine” (revised 2008, Tarcher), named self-help book of the year in 2008 by U.S. Book News, and “Energy Medicine for Women.” On Friday and Saturday, March 5 and 6, Eden is coming to New Jersey for the first time to hold a two-part workshop at the Doubletree Hotel in Mt. Laurel, just 40 minutes from Princeton. Warren and White have been invited by Eden to serve as teaching assistants during the workshops.
“There isn’t any scientific means that I could use to verify it with, but I’m open to the idea that there may be something there that we should look into,” says Yi. “With Janet’s continued success I have referred a few patients to Diana and Geoff, patients who are on chemo and who are open to complementary care and interested in trying it. It opens up more possibilities. These patients who have done energy medicine say they say they feel very relaxed, and they feel that they are doing something positive about their cancer treatment, and that they are hoping for the synergistic effect of the mind-body connection during chemo. If a patient feels there is some positive energy that could be used together (with Western medicine), and it helps them, that is good. There is no harm. You have to be open and receptive. If you go in with a pessimistic approach, it would probably not work.”
One of the patients Yi referred to Diana Warren was Barbara Clarke, first VP, wealth management, of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney on Lenox Drive. Clarke, who also is a certified divorce financial analyst, was featured in U.S. 1’s October 14, 2009, cover story, “A Kinder, Gentler Kind of Divorce.” Like Yi, Clarke was initially skeptical about energy medicine — but that didn’t last long. “I realized right away that I didn’t understand what Diana was all about, but that if she was as talented as Dr. Yi claimed, then I needed to suspend disbelief, surrender myself to her ministrations, and follow her protocol — without resistance. I’ve been seeing her every other week (for eight months), and I can assure you that this energy work has become a powerful ally in my life.
“What she does is very hard to articulate in a way that fits with our standard way of understanding things,” continues Clarke, “but I’ve sent a number of people to her. Although everyone has had an experience that was different, the common denominator was that they said, ‘I can’t really explain it but I feel different in a good way.’ When you suspend disbelief, good things happen. I would not want to stop seeing her even if I never had any complaints and felt well. I really think the work that she does enhances health and well-being. You’re either a force for good in the world, or you’re not, and Diana is.”
Yi says he is more open to complementary medicine because he grew up in South Korea. “As a kid my grandmother took me to the acupuncture master for allergies and some knee problems due to an athletic injury. It helped. I also had herbal medicine in South Korea. Now both my wife and I get acupuncture, and I refer my patients to an acupuncturist in town. At medical school I had no exposure to Eastern medicine. But now Sloan-Kettering has a department of complementary medicine that has studied the positive effects of acupuncture on nausea in chemo patients, and the complementary medicine department at Harvard is doing research on how you can control blood pressures through meditation without medication. If we could do that, why take a medication?”
According to Eden, “Energy medicine is the science and art of optimizing your energies to help your body and mind function at their best. It is based on the understanding that any physical, mental, or behavioral problem has a counterpart in the body’s energies and can be treated at that level. Every conceivable health problem, psychological challenge, or dysfunctional habit can be improved if not overcome by intelligently shifting the energies in the body that are maintaining that condition. And in the process, you become more consciously involved in the deepest workings of your physical body, a journey that extends down to your soul. Controlling your chemistry by managing your energies is the fast track for helping your body evolve and adapt to the challenges of the 21st century.”
Energy medicine is considered a simple practice that works by activating the body’s natural healing energies and by restoring energies that have become weak, disturbed, or out of balance. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Laureate in Medicine, has been quoted as saying, “In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy.”
According to Eden’s book “Energy Medicine,” in order for the body to stay healthy, energy — which is understood as the “life force” that feeds each organ and body system — has to move and have space to continue to move. Energies may become blocked or imbalanced due to toxins, stress, or interference from other energies. Energy medicine draws upon healing practices such as acupuncture, qi gong, yoga, and kinesiology to restore or rebalance the body’s energies through non-invasive techniques such as tapping, massaging, pinching, twisting, or connecting specific energy points on the skin; tracing or swirling the hand over the skin along specific energy pathways; and exercises, postures, and focused use of the mind to move specific energies. Individuals can do it on their own or with a trained practitioner.
“People experience a change, something shifts that is very palpable to them,” says Geoffrey White, a Princeton native who has been practicing energy medicine since 2002, training first with Joseph Pinter, a holistic practitioner and naturopath whose practice, Biomega, is located at 60 Mt. Lucas Road, and then with Donna Eden. White is also a licensed clinical social worker (Rutgers, 1992), with a private practice, Cranbury Therapy, in Cranbury. He sees energy medicine clients two to three days a week. His partner, Diana Warren, is also a CMT (certified massage therapist).
White can recount innumerable examples of how energy medicine has helped his and Warren’s clients. “One recent client, a student at the College of New Jersey and a former dancer, had chronic back pain due to an injury that happened when she was 12. She had been taking Advil four times a day for years to deal with the pain and was scheduled for a back surgery consultation this past December. Donna (Eden) has a low back pain protocol, and Diana did that in this client’s first session, and she had a 60 percent reduction of pain. Pain is too much energy so you take the energy away. After the second session the client stopped taking Advil, didn’t do the surgery, and has gone back to dancing. She is not taking any pain medication. She comes to us weekly. Energy runs in patterns and habits, so for seven years her body has been in the habit of low back pain, and you can’t change that in three months. Her body has to reorganize with that new information.”
Another client, a man in his 80s, was brought in by his daughter. White says this man was skeptical at first, “but he found us credible, and he thought the things we explained made sense. We did a basic evaluation and corrected the things that were out of balance and explained the things that we were doing. He came back the next week and said, ‘I still don’t quite get this but for the last 10 years I’ve been taking a 5 p.m. nap, and instead I’m now out splitting wood. I feel great.’”
A particularly remarkable story is one White tells about a female client who has had MS for 20 years. “Her daughter brought her in, and she had her initial session with us. Then they went across the street to Main Street (bakery). She needed to use the restroom, which is on the second floor. At the top of the stairs, about to come back down, she stopped. She realized she had walked up the stairs like a normal person, where she had been going up the stairs one at a time for so long. She didn’t realize it until she started to come down. Now she’s been out golfing and all kinds of other things.
“I think the thing that’s kind of odd for me is that we hear these stories and we say, ‘Oh, wow, that’s so miraculous,’ but really if you think about it, it’s mostly energy anyway; it’s only a miracle in the context of our limited thinking. Or if your doctor says, ‘You’re going to be in pain for the rest of your life,’ and then after a couple of energy medicine sessions you have no pain, you might think, ‘That’s amazing.’ You have to think differently with energy medicine.”
Experience the Power of Energy Medicine, introductory seminar, Friday, March 5, 7 to 10 p.m., and interactive all-day workshop Saturday, March 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Doubletree Hotel, 515 Fellowship Road North, Mt. Laurel. World-renowned energy medicine healer Donna Eden and energy psychologist David Feinstein, Ph.D. Friday introductory seminar only, $45; Saturday all-day workshop, $129 (includes Friday evening; you must attend Friday evening to attend Saturday). Diana Warren and Geoffrey White of Energy for Healing, Kingston Wellness Center, 4426 Route 27, Kingston (www.energyforhealing.com, 609-468-1286 or 609-937-7682) will serve as teaching assistants. For information on Donna Eden visit www.innersource.net. Register. 856-470-1399 or www.readytotransform.com.