By: Larry Malerba, DO, DHt – In Part I we discussed how some of the energy of a moving car is transferred to the persons in the vehicle after a crash. Thus, we can conceptualize whiplash, for example, as more than just physical trauma since it also manifests as a result of energy becoming locked, so to speak, in the neck muscles of an accident victim. Similarly, the “shock” of the accident can precipitate panic attacks, which can be understood as energy lodged in the emotional body (or astral body) of an individual. These examples were used because they vividly demonstrate a concept that actually applies to all illness, regardless of its origin and regardless of whether it is physical, mental, or emotional.
Everything in the universe is a manifestation of energy, including all things physical and all frequencies along the discernable electromagnetic spectrum. Even thought, emotion, and spiritual forces are vehicles that convey energy. The human bioenergetic field (or life force) can be impacted by any of these energies in overt, subtle, or undetectable ways. Just like the transfer of energy from a car crash, so, too, a hateful statement, a harsh reprimand, or the sudden shock of bad news, for example, can have an energetic impact upon the life force, oftentimes resulting in symptoms and even illness.
If one is willing to take the time to investigate, symptoms and illnesses can often be traced to events that act as energetic triggers. My medical practice is full of such stories, such as rheumatoid arthritis that began after the death of a parent, eczema that erupted after a divorce, asthma that developed after being fired from a job, or panic attacks that came on after being bitten by a dog. These occurrences are not at all unusual; they are run-of-the-mill events that happen all the time. The problem is that we have a medical system that fails to account for this dimension of human experience and that, due to the narrowness of its worldview, has no means of incorporating this information into practical treatment strategies for its patients.
Conventional medicine tries very hard to fit all ailments into its materialistic framework, but doesn’t have the foggiest notion of how to handle the non-physical aspects of illness as illustrated by these examples. The arthritis case described above tends, therefore, to be treated with the same anti-inflammatory drugs that are prescribed in most cases, with little consideration for the underlying grief, as if the body’s symptoms have no connection to one’s emotional or spiritual issues. And although a perceptive doctor may recommend simple talk therapy, such a therapy may not be sufficient to address the energetic dimension of the grief and its impact upon the physical body.
Modern medicine fails to comprehend these connections between body, emotion, thought, and spirit precisely because it denies the existence of the energetic milieu that connects all of these aspects of human life. Did you ever feel sick to your stomach after viewing a gruesome story on the news? Did you ever develop neck tension or a headache after spending time with a person who complains a lot? One could categorize these as psychosomatic symptoms (emotional events leading to physical symptoms), and medicine gives lip service to their existence but, nevertheless, doesn’t really know how to effectively handle them. Successful therapeutic outcomes for situations of this type require a significantly more sophisticated understanding of human health and illness.
Any good holistic medical practitioner looks for and takes into account all possible connections — physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and energetic — and these connections can turn out to be important indicators for the choice of treatment. There are somato-psychic problems, as in the case of a head injury that leads to depression. And there are psycho-psychic ailments, such as panic attacks that occur after witnessing a drowning. I recently saw a young child whose mysteriously sudden onset of fear of suffocating was ultimately traced to his witnessing his grandfather struggling with emphysema. Somato-somatic problems are physical ailments that have physical origins, like arthritis that develops after a knee injury. And, of course, we have the classically understood notion of psycho-somatic illness such as when a child develops stomachaches on first attending school. Conventional medicine refuses to grapple with such phenomena because it is so deeply entrenched in a materialism that it assumes to be the only reality.
When we understand that energy is the common element that connects body, heart, mind, and soul, then we have a conceptual basis upon which to build a truly practical and effective green system of therapeutic intervention. Such a framework allows us to not be surprised when a patient explains that his depressed moods improve when his aching knees get worse, and vice versa. An energetic connection even accounts for ailments that are anatomically unrelated, as in the case of an individual with asthma and constipation. In such a case, these seemingly unrelated ailments should be considered to be one energetic phenomenon that simply manifests in two different physical locations.
A regular physician would likely be puzzled by and may ignore such energetic phenomena because they cannot be explained within the limited framework of conventional medical understanding. But since a green medical perspective understands that everything is, by definition, energetically connected, there is no problem seeing most symptoms as the fluctuating energy of a life force that manifests as different symptoms at different times under different circumstances. Not only that, but symptoms often carry a message and, without doubt, all symptoms must be seen as the life force’s best attempt to heal itself. And if this is true, we must find ways to assist the intentions of the life force rather than combat them. The implications for treatment are profound.
The notion of energy and its role in illness also applies to the issue of heredity. Again, because medicine is so mired in its own beliefs in the physicality of illness, it looks only to material causes for the transference of illness from one generation to the next. Hence, the desperate need to assign genetic causes for many human illnesses. The search for genetic causation gives the illusion that an illness will someday be manipulable with the tools of medical science. I am not denying that some diseases are genetic but the vast majority are not and will never be.
What is not acknowledged is that there can be energetic transference of predispositions toward illness from parent to child. In fact, it is the norm. Any close look at parents, their children, and their comparative body types, personality types, and health histories usually makes the similarities quite apparent. So it is not unexpected that a pregnant mother would give birth to an unhappy child prone to crying fits if the mother recently experienced the death of her father. The good news is that energetically-inherited conditions are malleable and do respond to energy therapies, whereas manipulation of the genetic code is fraught with danger and causes more problems than it solves.
I am not interested in proving the role that energy plays in health and healing by providing conventional mechanistic or reductionist explanations for these phenomena in order to satisfy critics. I take the role of energy for granted in my medical practice and consider it a self-evident truth that derives from years of first hand experience and clinical observation. Nevertheless, investigating the science behind energy healing is a worthy cause and necessary endeavor that should be pursued by those who are so inclined. I am more interested in the practical and successful outcomes that the understanding and proper application of such a worldview can generate for my clients. The proof is in the clinical pudding, not in whether I can successfully persuade an unyielding skeptic.
When we realize that all illness has an energetic component or is the result of energetic influences — or energetic scars, or energy that is stuck and can no longer flow, or energy that is caught in a negative feedback loop — then we begin to see why a surgical or chemical approach may not be enough. It may require treatment with a therapeutic modality that can intervene on a energetic level such as acupuncture, homeopathy, Reiki, yoga, Therapeutic Touch, Ayurveda, spiritual healing, and so on. Energy therapies provide the most effective means to free up blocked energy so that the bioenergetic field of an individual can be restored to a state of balance. Do these therapies replace conventional chemical and physical medicine? No, each situation is unique and may require one or more of these options. But the addition of these energy therapies dramatically expands the options available to us, thus increasing the odds that we will be able to achieve safe and effective results.
Larry Malerba, D.O., The bioenergetic basis of illness (part I), Natural News, October 2011
Robert O. Becker, M.D. and Gary Selden, The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life. Harper Paperbacks, 1998.
Richard Gerber, MD, A Practical Guide to Vibrational Medicine: Energy Healing and Spiritual Transformation. Harper Paperbacks, NY, 2001.
Larry Malerba, D.O., Green Medicine: Challenging the Assumptions of Conventional Health Care. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2010.
Larry Malerba, DO, DHt is a physician and educator whose mission is to build bridges between holistic healing, conventional medicine, and spirituality. He is the author of Metaphysics & Medicine: Restoring Freedom of Thought to the Art and Science of Healing and Green Medicine: Challenging the Assumptions of Conventional Health Care. He writes for Huffington Post, Natural News, and the American Holistic Medical Association. Dr. Malerba is board certified in Homeotherapeutics, is Clinical Assistant Professor at New York Medical College, and past president of the Homeopathic Medical Society of the State of New York. He is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Ireland. Website: SpiritScienceHealing.com