Trying energy work for the first time means entering into a different type of health care experience. What happens and how it happens is diverse and individualistic. For example, we know what to expect when we see a medical doctor, dentist, chiropractor, or a naturopath. We have context and personal experience which gives us a certain comfort level. We have a general idea of where the appointment is going and what the outcome will be. Working with an energy work practitioner, however, is different. This creates an unknown that makes people nervous. What happens and how it happens will not be what you expect.
I know that is what happened to me. The first time I ever witnessed an energy session I was incredulous and almost walked out. Yet, when I finally got up onto the massage table to experience my first session I was transformed. I had never before ever experienced something so completely different.
In a good way.
For the past eighteen years of my practice, I have worked hard to help educate the public on what energy work is and what it is not. I have written two books for that reason. Energy work, in a nutshell, works like this. There is an energy field around the human body. It is called an aura. We know that it exists because we can take pictures of it now. We know that if you have blocks in your energy field you can develop symptoms or issues physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. Energy work practitioners have been trained to find out where the blocks are in a person’s energy field and then gently help the energy field to release the blocks. Once the block is removed the body is able to work on healing itself. Compare this to the analogy cleaning of out an infected wound. When the wound is infected the body struggles to heal it. Clean the wound out and healing happens very rapidly. The obstacle of infection has been removed and the body knows just what to do.
Sounds simple enough, right?
There are hundred’s examples of how energy work works but I would like to share a story of one man’s journey. It is my hope that it will give you context and demonstrate just how different it can be. It is one thing to describe an energy work session and it is another to understand how that applies to an individual’s health problem. For that reason, I have decided to post a series of short stories detailing other people’s journeys when they worked with me. The stories are being told with their permission. All of the identifying information has been changed to protect the client’s identity.
Jacob’s Journey - Terminal Lung Cancer
When he arrived for his first session he sat down and slowly looked around the treatment room without saying a word. Then he turned, looked directly at me and said: “I have six months left to live.” It was said in a tone of voice that was very matter of fact. That was my introduction to Jacob.
“I don’t know what you do, and I don’t believe in it at any rate, but my daughter says you helped her and that is good enough for me,” Jacob said.
Straight to the point, no holds barred, no beating around the bush. The man meant business. I was impressed.
Jacob explained to me that he was dying of lung cancer. His cancer had been discovered by a cardiologist during a stress test a year earlier. It took quite a while to get an appointment to see an oncologist after that. When he finally saw one and they did a biopsy, the tumour was classified as a Stage 4 cancer. By the time of this diagnosis, it had already spread through his lungs to his lymph nodes. He had been a pack a day smoker for most of his adult life until his younger brother almost died of a heart attack. The doctor who attended his brother at the hospital told Jacob that the same thing would happen to him if he didn’t quit smoking, so he did. Cold turkey, just like that. It made him really sick for a while, but he was a determined man, so he waited it out and hasn’t smoked since. He was also taking medication for his high blood pressure as well as, cholesterol medication.
When Jacob was first given the diagnosis of lung cancer and told that he only had six to eight months left to live the doctors explained to him that he could have chemotherapy and that would give him a few extra months. He turned them down. He didn’t feel it was worth the pain for a few extra months. A year later his wife managed to coax him into trying the chemo, but he was so sick after one treatment that he refused to go back for the rest of the treatments. Then his wife convinced him to try radiation treatments. Which he did but didn’t care for how those made him feel either, so he stopped those too.
Jacob just shrugged his shoulders and said, “They told me I have six to eight months left. I am still here a year later. - Doctors, what do they know?”
“They make me mad,” he said.
“They tell me to do chemo and radiation and it will only give me a few extra months. Well, I tried that and all that happened was I got really sick. Why should I make myself sicker for a few extra months?” he said angrily.
Jacob told me he wanted a cure. He expected a cure. The medical system could only provide options that might extend his life for a short time. As far as he was concerned it also didn’t help matters that when he did see the specialist for follow-ups the doctor would spend the entire appointment only updating him on his tests and size of the tumour.
He told me that only him feel even angrier. I couldn't help wondering if it also made him feel powerless. He wanted to talk about alternatives, what other things he could try. He wanted to know about options outside of chemo and radiation. But the medical system had set protocols and he didn’t agree with them because they only made him feel even sicker than he already was.
He wanted to know if I could help. I explained to Jacob that after years of being in private practice and through my own personal experiences receiving energy work from other healers I have relied on a benchmark that any client can use. I told him to have confidence in the fact that he would know in four to six sessions if energy work that is being offered to him was the right fit for him and being of assistance.
“It is important to feel comfortable with the process and with me, as the practitioner,” I said.
I always tell any potential client that they will know soon enough if energy work is right for them. I am not implying here that their issue can be resolved in four to six sessions. I merely state up front what I know to be a fact for my practice and from years of personal experience of providing thousands of energy balancing sessions. Each person needs to decide if this is right for them. It is their choice, clear and simple. If they choose not to continue, no apology or explanation required, just don’t make any more appointments. Everyone has free will.
Jacob indicated that he appreciated the candor.
I asked Jacob why he came to see me. He said, “I cough all the time. It keeps me up at night. I am not in much pain, but the coughing really gets to me. My daughter says maybe you can help with that.” I just smiled and told him he would know soon enough. I again said that he would know in four to six sessions if the energy work was being of assistance to him. If not, then don’t continue with the sessions.
I said, “You can say you tried it and it didn’t work for you and you can just discontinue your appointments.”
He smiled, he liked that. His daughter was paying for his sessions and he didn’t want to waste her money on something that was a fool’s game, he explained. I nodded in agreement. We understood each other completely. Jacob was black and white. There were no shades of grey and there was no room for debate. He was a man of few words, spoke directly to the point and called a spade a spade.
Yeah, you could say I really liked Jacob.
Mentally I said to myself, “We were either going to see this go somewhere or not in pretty short order.” “There is nothing wrong with that in my personal opinion,” I thought.
Before we began his first session I asked Jacob to tell me about his childhood.
He said, ‘Didn’t have one.”
Jacob grew up in Holland during World War II. He was six years old when the Germans first rolled into his village. Everyone was afraid. It wasn’t long before it got harder and harder to get food. His dad joined the resistance and was gone most of the time. His mother was left to fend for the family. There were four children, all under the age of age six, Jacob being the oldest.
“The war was hard. Everybody was hungry. Lots of people starved to death. There wasn’t much you could do about it. You just did what you could,” Jacob explained.
“After the war was over and my dad came home things weren’t much better, so my parents decided to emigrate to Canada in the mid-fifties. There were seven of us kids by then. They came over here with nothing. We had nothing but a chance to make things better. We did all right. Everybody worked hard. Nothing wrong with a hard day’s work,” Jacob said as he crossed his arms over his chest and gave me a hard look.
I explained to Jacob what would happen in his sessions. First, I explained to him that he had an energy field around his body called an aura. I could see it and had been trained to find out if there were blocks in his energy field. I told him blocks can cause illness at the physical, mental and emotional levels. Once we located a block, I would find out why it was there, and we would then work together to release it. I further explained, “I see myself as a guide on your healing journey. I walk beside you on your healing path. I don’t push or pull. We do not do anything that your mind cannot handle nor what your body will not accept.”
I said, “I can read your energy and not your mind. So, you don’t have to worry about that, but it also means that I will ask you a series of questions to make sure we are in the right place. The body speaks in very simplistic language and sometimes we have to work together to find out what the body is trying to say. Once we know that, then we can gently release the blockage.”
I also said, “Just because I can read your energy doesn’t mean I am the expert on you. You are your own expert. I am not a doctor, I cannot prescribe or diagnose.”
“Do you have any questions?” I asked.
“Nope.” He replied curtly.
I then explained that to start the session I would have him lay down on the massage table and that I do touch the body. “If there is any fear about being touched, this would be a really good time to let me know.”
“Do you have a phobia or fear about being touched anywhere?” I asked.
“Nope,” He replied flat out.
“Ok, let’s get started then, shall we?” I said.
Jacob got up and laid down on the massage table. When I connected to his energy field my intuitive senses were immediately drawn to an area in his chest that felt heavy and struggling for breath. Intuitively I could “see” in his energy field that there were two places in his lungs where the energy wasn’t flowing properly. Both of these energy blockages lay in the upper quadrants of both of his lungs, one on the right lung and the other on the left lung.
When I connected to the energy blockages in the upper quadrant of his lungs a movie opened up in my mind’s eye. In this movie, I could see a very small boy who looked to be about the age of eleven. He seemed to be suffering, emotionally. He looked confused, lost and didn’t know what to do.” The movie stopped.
I relayed this information to Jacob and I asked him, “What was happening in your life around the age of eleven?”
He said, “I was eleven when the war came to an end. I had to learn how to be a kid again. That wasn’t easy.”
Intuitively I was directed to infuse a flower essence directly into his lungs. The essence I used was a Raven essence called “Living Cross.” As I infused the essence into his lungs, Jacob said again, more to himself than to me, “I didn’t know how,” and he started to silently cry at the memory of it all, the tears rolling down his eyes and onto the pillow. He was embarrassed by this display of emotion and turned his head away from me.
After he settled from the emotional release I read him the passage from the book of Raven essences. It said, “this essence gives us a living energetic reference, in our bodies, for nature’s co-creation template – the cross. Historically associated with suffering and death, the cross has also been a symbol of integration and wholeness, an intersection between two worlds.”
He seemed surprised that something as simple as an essence could make him feel that emotional. I responded that it was common to have an emotional release like that after using one of these essences. I went on to explain that these flower essences help the body to shift gently and release the emotions that have been buried so deeply by our life experiences. He just nodded his head and closed his eyes.
I was then intuitively directed by his body to further balance his field using a technique called, Laterality. This balancing technique helps to bring a person’s entire energy field back into overall harmony and is very grounding. Laterality also balances the brain’s speech centre, memory circuits, right and left-brain energy pathways, the kidney meridian. It also brings the outer reaches of the aura called the astral, holographic and subtle bodies back into harmony and alignment with the physical and etheric energy body. In a nutshell, doing laterality helps to get all your ducks lined up in a row so that your body can release energy blockages a little more easily.
At this point, his body indicated that it was full energetically. This meant that we now had to close the session. After I closed the session I asked Jacob to sit up slowly and to be careful not to move too fast because he might be a little light headed. Instead, Jacob sat up quickly and had to grab onto the edge of the table to steady himself. He looked a little stunned by that. I then said, “When you are ready, go back to the chair and we will talk for a minute before you leave.” He just nodded his head and slowly got down from the massage table and carefully walked over to the chair to sit down.
After we were both seated I explained to Jacob what I had found during his session. I also reiterated what we did in the session with the essence and laterality. Then I said, “Jacob you are either going to feel really tired or really jazzed. If you are tired you need to rest and please make sure you rest, don’t push through the fatigue, it will only make you feel sick.” He just nodded his head and didn’t say anything.
“If you are feeling pretty jazzed and energized then please keep it in perspective. Sometimes people feel pretty full of energy when they leave, and they think they can go home, repaint the living room and have a dinner party all in the same day. Just keep things in perspective, ok?” I said.
He just nodded his head, again and said nothing.
“Be careful driving home. Just be aware of what you are doing and be clear about where you are going. You may feel a little light headed for a day or two,” I said. I went on to explain that he may also have an emotional release and if he did, he needed to let himself go there. I also explained that he may feel like he is a little achy or feel flu-like but that will pass in about 24 – 48 hours.
Jacob said, “OK.”
“Do you have any questions?” I asked.
“No. Are we done now?” he asked.
“Yes, we are,” I replied.
Jacob got up and left the room to go home.
The next day I received an email from Jacob’s daughter. She said, “I have to say my dad seems to embrace that work you are doing with him. He said he felt better after yesterday’s sessions with you and felt like he wasn’t so out of breath when came down the stairs. Thanks so much for all this. It has brought us all some comfort.”
At his next session, I explained to Jacob that now that we have done the initial session, from now on each subsequent session would be a lot faster. I said, “You will be on the table anywhere from five minutes to twenty minutes depending on how much your body can handle. We will start out every session the same way. I will ask you how you have been since I saw you last and you let me know whether it was good or bad or no change. Don’t worry about my feelings just tell me how it is.
“Ok,” he said.
Jacob told me that he was breathing more easily, and he could walk up the stairs with more ease.
“That’s great,” I said
“Ok,” he said, and with that, he stood up and went over to the table and lay down.
I chuckled to myself and said, “Guess it is time to get started.”
I connected to Jacob’s auric field energetically and immediately his body shifted my focus to his lungs and the two energy centres in the upper right and left quadrants of his chest where we had worked in his first session. Once again, a movie opened up in my mind’s eye. It showed me the image of a young child who looked frail and thin. There was a steeled determination on his face as he laboured to peddle a bicycle far too large for him, down a country road all alone. His tiny malnourished body braced against the cold you could hear the wind howling over the barren fields that stretched out for miles before him. I could feel how the winter winds were cutting through his threadbare coat. I shuddered with the cold I felt as I watched the movie in my mind’s eye. With that, I also sensed the deep loneliness and isolation he felt being out there in the countryside all alone. The movie stopped.
I relayed this information to Jacob and asked him if he knew what this was referring too. Jacob just nodded quietly and didn’t speak for a few moments. You could sense he was travelling back in time inside his memories. I just waited.
“We were starving. There wasn’t any food. We were really poor and couldn’t afford much, even with the black market there wasn’t enough. My mom had an uncle who had a farm about 12 miles outside of the village. I was the oldest. It was my responsibility to go out to the farm and get food and bring it back to our family,” Jacob said with some pride.
To get to his uncle’s farm he took his father’s bike. It was too big for him, so he made blocks for the pedals. Then he could sit on the bike and still reach the handlebars. Every single day, for five years all throughout the war, Jacob cycled 12 miles out to his Uncle’s farm and then 12 miles back to his village carrying food back for his mother and siblings. He was six years old.
I was stunned. Jacob told me, “The Germans guarded all the roads. You couldn’t go anywhere without papers. But the soldiers didn’t bother the children. They left them alone. That was a blessing. That is how all us kids got outside of the village. There were a lot of us. We had to use different routes and we made sure that we didn’t all leave at the same time otherwise the soldiers would have suspected something.”
For Jacob’s family, his mother’s uncle was really their only source of food. Since the Germans didn’t check what the children were doing or where they were going and never asked for their papers, some of the children, as well as ferrying food back into the village from surrounding farms, also became couriers for the resistance. Unbeknownst to most was the fact that hidden amongst the parcels of food, tucked into his pockets, were also messages for the resistance fighters hiding in and around the village. He never told his mother.
“If you got caught with messages like that, they shot you. Right then and there,” he said.
“But I never missed a day,” he said with pride. “Never got caught.”
Jacob continued and said, “Every day I rode that bike twenty-four miles round trip. My mother sewed pockets inside my coat, so I could hide food. She told me that if I ran into any German soldiers all I had to do was drop my coat in the ditch and then they couldn’t arrest me. I never had to do that though. The Germans didn’t really care about us kids, they were too busy looking for resistance fighters. But you still had to be careful.”
After his session was done Jacob told me it was hard coming into the office in person and he wondered what could be done about it. I explained to him that we could work together by distance over the phone if he liked. He thought that was kind of funny but wanted to give a try. He didn’t care for the drive so much.
I explained to Jacob that when we do energy work using the distance method, the healing session would follow a different protocol. I explained that with distance work the client calls in at their appointment time. I will ask how they have been since our last session and how can I be of service on this day. After I have recorded the update, I then ask for verbal permission to connect to their energy field. Once I have that permission I am able to bring them into the room energetically.
Distance work is possible because the aura surrounding our bodies is pure energy. In healing work, we know that form follows thought. For example, think of praying for someone. When we pray for a person we are in actuality sending our loving thoughts to that person in the hopes that it will help them with their healing. Distance energy work is a type of prayer but done in a different way. Instead of sending a prayer, we bring the person to us energetically and then work with their energy field to help release the blocks. After the block has been released we then return their energy back to the person we are connected with. Another way of looking at it is to think about Star Trek and the transporter they used to move people down to the planet surface. In energy work, we do the same sort of thing. Once I have the client’s permission, this gives me their location and I know where to focus in order to beam them in. We then key in the location and transport their energy into the healing room. Next, we balance the energy field and release the blocks. When the session is complete we reverse the process and transport their energy back to their body’s physical location.
When I have verbal or written permission to do energy work by distance with a client, I watch how their energy enters the room energetically once I am connected. How they enter the room can give me a lot of information about what is happening in their energy field. The images are often very symbolic of what their body wisdom and energy is already preparing for the healing session. It will show me through images and symbols where I need to focus to assist with their healing at that moment in time.
Jacob would call in once a week for distance sessions. We worked together, over the phone for the remainder of all of his energy work sessions over the next two years.
At his next session as we talked on the phone his body, again working in relation to his lungs specifically requested that we work with his constant cough. In relation to the cough, his body indicated that there was a trauma that occurred around the age of seven. His lungs looked really wet around that age. I asked him if he remembered anything in particular that happened at age seven, give or take a year or two. Jacob just paused and said, “How can you know that?”
“Know what?” I asked
“How could you know that my lungs got wet when I was seven?” Jacob wanted to know.
“Well, Jacob,” I explained, your body is telling me that. Do you remember anything?”
Jacob went into a mild coughing fit and once he got his breath back, he said, “Yeah, I was riding back from my uncle’s farm and a car with some German soldiers and a general sitting in the back came up suddenly behind me and they ran me off the road. I could hear them laughing as I fell into a ditch filled with water. When they bumped me, it must have knocked me out because next thing I knew I was laying face down in the water. I coughed up a lot of water. I was lucky, I almost drowned.”
“It was in the late fall and it was pretty cold. I was soaking wet and shivering from the cold, but I got home ok. I didn’t lose any of the food, but I got sick after that. I still went out the next day for more food. No time to be sick,” he said.
At this point, I cleared his body energy of the memory of being knocked over, cleared his lungs of the memory of the ditch water and cleared a latent infection that still seemed to be present energetically in his lungs.
I told Jacob, “I think you had pneumonia after that, Jacob.”
“Yeah, I was pretty sick all that winter but there was nobody else old enough to get food for the family, so I had to go,” he said. “I got better once the spring came, so it worked out all right.”
“All righty then,” I thought to myself. “A seven-year-old kid gets knocked off his bike and into a ditch, nearly drowns and he just brushes it off like it was all in a day’s work.”
“Jacob was obviously a very tenacious and determined kid,” I thought to myself.
At the next session, he said that he was a little exhausted. He had been out shovelling snow the day before and felt he overdid it but still felt that for the most part, he wasn’t doing too badly. He told me that his breathing was better and his coughing was on and off.
Personally, I thought, “Wow, not too bad for a guy who has terminal lung cancer. He is seventy-three years old and he is out shovelling all that snow in the middle of winter. Good for him.” (It had been a particularly harsh snow storm in our part of the country the day before.)
Then Jacob said, “Sometimes the coughing is really bad, but not all the time.”
At this point, we worked with his energy field that related to his lungs. I focused on the coughing spells. His body’s energy field showed me a deep-seated fear that Jacob had developed about his dad. I got the sense that it was a lingering childhood fear that his dad would never come home. I asked Jacob how he felt about his dad before I started to release the blockage it was creating in his lung tissue.
Jacob responded, “Every day I thought about him and wondered if he was ok. We were so afraid he wasn’t going to survive. I was so afraid I would never see him again.”
After this fear about his father was released from Jacob’ energy field, I wasn’t in the least surprised when the body shifted into another emotional memory. This energy blockage was also sitting in his lungs. When I connected to this trapped energy I got the impression of a five-year-old and there was an emotional statement that said, “Fear of surviving.” I asked Jacob if that meant anything to him?
“Yeah, we all knew the war was coming. Everybody was talking about it, getting ready for it. When I lay in bed at night I could hear my parents talking. They would be worried about how they were going to make it through the war. My mom would cry sometimes. I think my dad was trying to let her know that he was going to fight, and she was worried. I couldn’t hear everything, but I was scared about what it meant to stay alive,” he said.
Jacob stopped for a moment. You could hear his breathing getting laboured on the other end of the line. I sensed intuitively how hard it was for him to remember this. In the silence on the phone line, I held space for him and noted to myself how his lungs looked so greyish white energetically to my mind’s eye. This type of energy is an indication of the level of deep-seated fear that he held here in his lungs. In Chinese medicine, the lungs are seen as the organ that holds grief. I could tell Jacob was holding onto a lot of grief around surviving the war. And I wondered about all the children who suffer through war. It made me feel sad.
As I worked with the energy trapped around his lungs and the deep-seated grief held there, Jacob wasn’t saying anything, he was just waiting on the other end of the line while I cleared the grief that was being presented for release. That is when I got the first hint of something deeper sitting there in the lungs. It was just a quick flash. And with that flash, I felt something energetically whiz over my head and I could sense the smell of gunpowder in the air. It was a very visceral experience. I instinctively ducked.
A little surprised, I told him what had just occurred. “Jacob, I suddenly smell gunpowder and felt something whiz by my head”
“What?” he replied.
“As I am working with your lungs I felt something whiz over my head and I can smell gunpowder,” I explained.
“Do you know what that is about?” I asked.
“NO!” Jacob angrily replied, “I don’t know anything about a gun.”
Wow! I thought to myself. I didn’t ask about a gun, I asked about the smell of gunpowder. His rage was palatable. I left it alone and didn’t push it. He was really upset and you could hear it in his breathing over the phone. It was hard and laboured. He, on the other hand, was completely silent.
Then suddenly his energy shifted before me. In a flash, his body’s energy field closed down. It felt like a door suddenly slammed in my face. It caught me off guard momentarily, but I recognized it for what it was. He had enough. His mind couldn’t cope with whatever that memory was.
The body won’t do anything that the mind can’t handle or won’t accept. When that happens you close the session. If the body doesn’t allow access you don’t force it. You honour the process and close. So I did.
It all happened so abruptly, and I could tell Jacob was really upset by the way he was breathing on the other end of the line. We had hit a nerve and he wasn’t ready to talk about it. I waited. When it felt right I gently asked him if he had any questions. “No. Are we done?” he said.
“Yes,” I replied.
Jacob hung up the phone rather abruptly.
“Well,” I thought to myself, “Guess that will be the last I hear from Jacob.”
Jacob had come a long way in a short period trying energy work. A skeptic in the beginning, he was becoming a believer. Although most of his sessions where a challenge for him due to some pretty painful memories stemming from his childhood during the war, he didn’t lack the courage to face them. He had more energy, was coughing less, and was able to do more around the house so he didn’t feel so useless. We were developing an understanding of each other and even though he pushed for answers he understood that there was only so much I could offer him as we worked through the trauma.
You could only imagine my surprise when I saw his name on my day sheet a week later. I honestly thought we were done.
“This is going to be interesting,” I thought to myself.
Jacob had come a long way over the last year. Over the course of his sessions, we had settled into a familiar routine. At the beginning of each new distance session, we would always start off the same way. I would ask Jacob if he felt better, worse or if there was no change in his condition. His responses were always delivered in the same way. Direct to the point, no holds barred. Sometimes he would be so angry and at other times quiet and introspective. Any improvement was treated with the same level of skepticism. He was quite honest about being afraid to get his hopes up too much. Overall, he felt he was sleeping better. He felt it was because he had to finally concede to sleeping in an easy chair in order to keep his head and chest elevated. He had very little pain otherwise. He still expected a miracle and sometimes got very impatient with me. He would always ask me why he wasn’t better yet.
It was a question I couldn’t answer. I would explain to him all I could do was walk beside him on his journey. Each piece of the story we uncovered was an important part of what his body showing us it needed. I could not promise or predict healing. I could only be of assistance. That was my role. To listen, find the blocks, and release them. The rest of the journey was up to him, his body and his soul path. We both understood that neither one of us could predict or understand what a soul was looking to learn in his lifetime. Being a religious man, he understood that. He didn’t like it, but he accepted it. I could tell he was frustrated with me, the work and the progress he had made. He expected more. He wanted a miracle and it was taking too long to get there. So, it was no surprise on my part when I felt that after his last session I doubted very much I would ever hear from him again. His anger was that deep.
Much to my surprise a few days later Jacob’s name appeared on my day sheet. “Well, this will be interesting,” I thought to myself. “He is either going to continue or he is going to give me the benefit of his opinion and tell me we are done.” That didn’t stop me, however, from wondering what he was so afraid of and what was it about that smell of gunpowder that had him so angry and frightened. I was curious but didn’t push. I honoured his journey and did as I was trained to do, which was to listen and follow.
At the appointed time Jacob called. At first, he acted like nothing had happened in our last session and I didn’t ask. He gave me permission to connect to his energy field and we continued to work with his lung cancer and follow where the body led. The body indicated that it needed to do more work around at the age of eight. After his near drowning in the ditch, Jacob had suffered from repeated lung infections during the war.
This, I explained to him was probably the result of his falling into the ditch and getting pneumonia. His body never had a chance to fully recover. It was the war and there were no antibiotics to help a little kid recover from reoccurring lung infections. He agreed that it made sense to him. We continued to work with his body clearing this old, deeply seated memory of the infection in his lung tissue.
I have found that the body never forgets and sometimes it holds onto the memory of an infection a little too much, so we help it to release that memory and let it go. Otherwise, the body continues to look for a way to fight an infection that isn’t really there anymore.
Jacob said later that he didn’t think his cough was improving at all, but he did notice that he was sleeping more and feeling more rested. What that indicated to me was that he was able to fall asleep because his cough wasn’t waking him up. This meant he was getting the rest he needed to help with the healing. He didn’t think much of my explanation, but at the same time, it didn’t matter. He was glad he could feel more rested. He told me that he had seen the oncologist and they had done another scan. He hoped to find out in a week or two what the results were.
By this time, we had been working together, over the phone, for a month and we were both quite curious to see what the scan would show. When Jacob called in for his next session a week later he told me that he had gotten the results back from his scan. He told me, “Well the scan said the tumour is still there. My brain is clear, so the cancer hasn’t spread, and the doctor says that the tumour is not curable.”
“Ok,” I said. “Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better.”
Jacob kind of huffed on the phone and said, “Well, I feel about the same and there is no change in my cough.” He sounded irritated and impatient.
“Do you want to continue, Jacob?” I asked.
There was a pause. Finally, he said, “Yeah, let’s keep going.”
After I received permission to connect to his field and he came into the room energetically I could sense the body drawing my attention to the cough. It was deep and constant. You could see intuitively how irritated the lungs were. In my mind’s eye, the tissues looked red, raw and sore. Focusing on the cough, the body shifted my attention to an emotional overlay. An emotional overlay is like wearing somebody else’s energy like a coat. Sometimes we don’t realize that we have taken on a coat of energy from someone else because we love and care for them. This overlay was from his dad.
When I connected energetically to the overlay from his dad I heard the words, “Oh my God!” It was said with a sense of panic and then I saw the year 1953 flash in front of my eyes.
I relayed this information to Jacob and asked him if he knew what it was in reference to.
Jacob said, “Yeah, my dad got really sick. He developed an infection behind his ear. It almost killed him.”
“It really scared me. I thought here we get through the war and my dad almost dies from an infection,” he said.
At this point, I found another overlay from his mother in relation to the same incident. This overlay from his mother was also fear of losing her husband. I cleared this overlay as well and after it had lifted, his body settled and closed down. This meant that his energy field needed time to incorporate the shifts now that those blocks had been removed. In other words, it needed time to rest. Honouring the body’s need to rest we closed the session. This session was very short as it only lasted a few minutes, but by this time Jacob was comfortable with the process. He said he would talk to me later as he had booked two sessions that day.
Clients can book more than one session in a day, to a maximum of four. The body only needs an hour between sessions to rest and then be ready for the next session. Jacob rarely did two sessions a week. I was surprised he had booked another session that day especially after the prior emotional reaction he had with regards to the session involving the smell of gunpowder.
A few hours later Jacob called in again at his appointment time. Again, when he arrived energetically for his session his body presented with the same image of lungs inflamed, raw, red and the constant cough. We again went into the session focused on “coughing.” At that moment I felt this overwhelming rush of grief and emotion wash over me like a huge wave in the ocean. It almost knocked me over. I could sense his body gasping for air and was directed to infuse him with an herbal essence to help with the release of the blockage.
As I infused the essence I suddenly heard, “I am so sorry!” It was said with such deep grief and sobbing. “I am SO SORRY!!!!” it was said again with great emotional emphasis to the point of almost screaming. I had to pause for a moment. The grief I was sensing from his body was absolutely gut-wrenching. I needed a moment to allow this wave of grief pass over, so I could remain grounded and clear about what was happening in his field.
After I regained my composure and I explained to Jacob what I was sensing and feeling, he got really quiet on the phone. I could barely hear him breathe. Just this dead silence, no hint of a cough. After this long silence that seemed to last forever, I asked Jacob, “Are you ok?”
“Yep,” he said.
“Are you ok to continue? I asked.
“Yep,” he said.
Energetically I reconnected to the wave of deep grief and asked the body for more detail. The age of eleven came forward intuitively. Then a movie opened up in my mind’s eye. In this movie, I “saw” a very skinny little boy standing in a village square with a bunch of men. You could smell the fear and sense the anxiety. It was nauseating. The movie closed.
I asked Jacob, “Do you know what that is about?”
“No, I don’t remember," he said curtly.
“Ok, but there is a lot of grief over this and it is choking you energetically. If you don’t remember or it is too painful to remember, what I can do is give you some homework to help you deal with the energy of it. Are you ok with that?” I asked.
“Yeah, I am ok with that,” he said.
I asked Jacob to spend a little time every day just remembering that story of being that skinny little boy standing in a village square and imagine looking at him with love and say to him, “I am sorry. I love you.”
Are you ok with that?” I asked again.
“Yeah, ok,” Jacob replied.
He was silent for a while. You could sense the emotional struggle he was having. Jacob then said he didn’t know if he could continue the sessions. I told him I understood, and he was under no obligation to continue. It was whatever he chose to do. “Ok,” was all he said, yet his breathing eased up a little on the other end of the phone.
I was keenly aware of the fact that a very deep emotional wound had come to the surface and Jacob was struggling with the memory of it. Jacob couldn’t get off the phone fast enough after that. He abruptly said goodbye and hung up.
The next day his daughter emailed me to express her concern that maybe her Dad wasn’t going to continue. It worried her and her family because they could see the positive effects that the sessions were having on him. She said that the sessions seem to make it easier for him to cope. He was also more relaxed and peaceful.
I responded, “Yes, your father sounded disappointed after his last session. There is a lot of emotional stuff coming up and he doesn't think it is really that important. Unfortunately, it is. When we start to get to the core of what is happening with the cancer, it can be really emotional. If your father isn’t used to that or feels he shouldn’t have to do it, it will be really, really hard for him. He will probably say "forget it".
“Energy work, especially around cancer is not for the faint of heart. Unfortunately, a lot of people, who have been told they are terminal, believe their doctors and as a result that have a hard time believing anything else that comes along. They see alternatives as a waste of time and money.
He has got some thinking to do. I gave him homework. I don’t think he understands how to do it and won’t ask for help, although I did try to explain how to do it. I can only walk beside him. Energetically his lungs look like there is more flow. But then again, I can only see what the body will allow me to see. You could tell your Dad about the musician Ronny Hawkins and how a young healer by the name of Adamhelped Ronnie to heal of cancer. I use a lot of the same techniques.
I explained to her that I could only walk beside him and that I couldn’t make any promises. I can’t make your father want to live. There are only two ways this will turn out. He will die peacefully, or he will get better. It has to be his choice.”
At his next session, Jacob told me that there wasn’t any change in his coughing and that he had started on morphine which really helped. He also told me that he had decided to try radiation treatments again, and they would start in a few days. The radiologist had found more tumours on his lungs and in his lymphatic system. He told me that he was scheduled for fourteen radiation treatments.
I worked with Jacob after each radiation session for the next month. Overall Jacob did quite well with the radiation treatments and he found that they were really helping to reduce the coughing. He also noted that he wasn’t having any reactions to radiation like he did the first time he tried it the previous year. That pleased him.
In my experience after conducting thousands of healing sessions, I have found that energy work helps to minimize the side effects of radiation or chemotherapy. Jacob was another example of that.
Six weeks later he happily reported that he had a lot more energy and the cough was pretty much gone. He was feeling pretty positive and was looking forward to his follow up session with the oncologist next month now that the radiation treatments were over. He did have an episode earlier that week where he had a dizzy spell that lasted most of the day and that concerned him because he was afraid of cancer spreading to his brain. I told him to be sure to talk to his oncologist about this and maybe it would be a good idea to call his doctor’s office to get an earlier appointment to discuss his concerns.
“Better to address your concerns sooner than later,” I said. He agreed.
After his meeting with the oncologist, Jacob reported that the doctor had shown him his scans before and after the radiation treatments. The scan showed that the tumour was 80% gone. Jacob was very pleased. He also told me that he had been listening to a Dutch radio program and they were discussing the work the Russians were doing with auras and energy work using a technique called Gas Distribution Visualization or GDV. That made him feel a little more comfortable about the work he was doing with me. He liked the fact that it gave him some context and that what we were doing wasn’t so weird after all.
I just smiled to myself at the other end of the phone.
As a result, Jacob decided he wanted to continue his weekly sessions. A month later Jacob reported at the beginning of his session that he was feeling out of breath again and he was worried. He also told me that the doctor did a bone scan to see how he was doing and other than a little arthritis his bones were clear. He further added, “I asked my cancer doctor what we do now? And you know what he said to me? He said we do nothing. We wait till the cancer gets worse again.”
Jacob said, “That made me so mad. Nothing he says to me – NOTHING. That’s it. I am done with them. They only want to do more chemo or radiation. I am supposed to sit here and wait for everything to get worse.”
“I give up with doctors,” he said.
“Now I only work with you,” he added.
I didn’t say anything. I had been here before, many times, with clients. They get frustrated and angry with the medical system. They begin to feel that any options they are offered only make them feel sicker. I knew that eventually Jacob would have to continue to see his doctor because I am not a doctor. I can only walk beside a person on their healing journey. I always remain cognizant of the fact that I can only help where I am directed, and I can only go as deep as a client is willing to go. In a situation such as this, I know energy work offers relief from symptoms and makes the illness more tolerable and easier to manage. It was obvious to me that this wouldn’t be the last time we had this conversation and that eventually, Jacob would go back to his doctor. This wasn’t the right time to bring it up. He needed some time to process all the information and calm down.
Within a few months, Jacob’ health began to deteriorate again. And as I predicted Jacob reluctantly went back to the doctor, who again offered more chemo. Jacob said, “Why should I do more chemo! It didn’t help. The cancer is back.” We discussed his options with various complementary and integrative healthcare which works in harmony with what the medical system has to offer. However, Jacob was adamant about staying with the energy work, so I dropped it and we continued with the session.
One thing I noticed with his sessions was when Jacob was really angry how quickly the body would go back to that movie like the image of the little boy standing in a square, looking terrified and lost. The smell of gunpowder would hang in the air every time the image came up. Again, Jacob wouldn’t discuss it when I brought it up. However, this time in his session, when it came up he didn’t shut the session down energetically either, which I found interesting.
As I worked with his energy field in relation to this memory he wouldn’t discuss, I was shown an image in my mind’s eye of a little boy about the age of six. This little boy looked out over the fields and then slowly turned towards me, looked at me and said, “I have to keep their secrets. Be careful what you say.”
I asked Jacob if he knew what those statements meant.
“Yeah, I know,” he said.
“What is it in reference to?” I asked.
Jacob replied, “I was a courier for the resistance sometimes. I never told anyone. I had to keep the information safe. I had to keep them safe. I had to keep my family safe. If you don’t talk nobody gets hurt.”
As this information was revealed I could intuitively see his lungs open up energetically and began to flow and drain fear. As this occurred I explained to Jacob what was happening inside his lungs. Jacob remained silent on the phone. He said nothing, but he didn’t shut down energetically either. I just continued to assist his energy field with the drainage of fear energy from his lungs.
“We were making some progress, I thought to myself, a little bit at a time.”
After the session was over I asked Jacob if he had any questions.
“No,” was the terse reply and he hung up the phone.
I wasn’t the least surprised when I didn’t hear from Jacob again for over a month. He always got very testy whenever I touched on the story of the little boy in the square.
When Jacob did contact me, he told me he had been sick and that the doctors had to put a drain in his lungs. They took off three liters of fluid from his lungs he told me. Then he said, “My blood pressure dropped so they kept me overnight.” “Later,” he said, “they told me they had taken too much fluid off too fast and that is why my blood pressure dropped.” He made it quite clear that he wasn’t in the least impressed with what happened at the hospital.
A few weeks later he developed an infection as a result of the drainage tube in his chest.
“They had to take the tube out early,” he said with some disgust in his voice.
We continued to work with his lungs as before and again in this session the emotional statement of “having to keep secrets” came up. At this point, he was willing to work with this emotional statement. I asked for and received permission from his body’s energy field to assist with the healing from the infection. The following week he happily reported that he was feeling much better and he seemed to be in much better spirits emotionally even joking around with me a little bit.
This whole process was a roller coaster for him and his family and I knew that. Every session held a different emotional charge for him. He was really struggling with his cancer and all the emotional issues that were surfacing as a result of his journey.
A short time later I received this email from his daughter explaining what was happening with her Dad.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve (his daughter) been in contact. I just wanted to get some feedback from you on my dad’s health. He seems to be doing a lot better than last week when they think he might have had pneumonia. He still sleeps a lot, but his spirit seems a bit better this week. It has been an emotional roller coaster. Just looking for your insight/perspective if you have a chance to drop me a note.”
I explained to her again that I could only follow her Dad on his healing journey and that he was having a really hard time dealing with the underlying emotions regarding his lung cancer. “He is on an emotional roller coaster and he doesn’t know how to deal with his emotions,” I explained. I was aware of how tough it was on him because of his health issues. And I understood how hard it was on his family because he was telling them little of what was going on with him emotionally. (I knew this because of the discrepancy between what he told me and what his daughter told me.) He would just get grumpy with me if I asked too many questions and shut sessions down if it got to close to the truth. There was little I could do about it but honour his process, I explained to her.
His daughter wrote back to say she understood.
Jacob and I continued our weekly sessions and almost a year to the day from our first meeting Jacob told me about a follow-up appointment he had with this oncologist just the other day. He said, “The doctor is quite surprised that I am doing so well, and that the tumour isn’t really getting any bigger.” Jacob just chuckled.
For the next year, Jacob and I continued to work together over the phone energetically doing distance work. Sometimes the sessions were short and sometimes they were long. All of the work we did together focused on his lung cancer and helping him keep things under control. The energy work managed the coughing, kept his energy levels up, and was helping him stay pretty much pain-free. He had good weeks and bad weeks. Sometimes he would be very short with me and demand to know why this or that didn’t help. Other times he could be quite gentle and sweet.
Slowly we made progress releasing submerged childhood traumas from World War II. Every once in a while, that gentle man buried deep down inside would peep its head up out of that tough, survivor, exterior. Sometimes he would be a little chatty when he called in and other times he would only give me one-word answers and we would get to work right away. He always ended every call with a thank you and “yeah, I will talk to you next week.”
The smell of gunpowder filled the room whenever we worked together. It became the norm just as every few weeks the movie of that skinny little boy standing in the village square at the age of eleven would open up in my mind's eye. Sometimes Jacob would say he didn’t remember or he would abruptly change the subject. Other times his energy field would shut down completely energetically. It was like watching a turtle suddenly pull in tight. When that happened, the session would be over, and we would close. After a while, because we had developed a certain rapport of understanding, I would gently, on a rare occasion jokingly say, “Oh, there he is again Jacob. Do you think you can remember today?”
Jacob always said the same thing, “Nope, don’t remember,” and we would move on. I didn’t push it, but that little boy was always there somewhere in the outer reaches of his energy field, waiting to be heard. I was grateful that we had reached the point where he wasn’t shutting down so quickly when I brought it up. It was a small step but a critical one, I felt.
He told me one day everybody was surprised he was doing so well, including his doctors. During this time period, his daughter would often write and ask for clarity around this or that. Sometimes I would make some suggestions regarding his diet, possible supplements or gentle breathing exercises he could try. Jacob approved of the correspondence and had given his consent. He knew he was stubborn and he knew that sometimes it would take his wife or daughter a little time to convince him that a little change here and there wasn’t going to be so bad. Jacob was very set in his ways and I honoured that, but it didn’t mean that I or his family didn’t try to find other subtle ways to help him either.
Then one day I received an email from his daughter telling me that Jacob had passed away peacefully. She said, “I just wanted to let you know that dad passed away this morning. We were all with him. He was very peaceful. Thank you so much for the gentle care you have given my dad over the last three years. I know you were a comfort to him.”
I sat down and cried.
I know I am not supposed to be attached to outcome but when you work with someone like this, over a long period of time, you start to have a window into that person’s soul journey. Deep down, under that tough, crusty exterior was a man who really cared about his family, his community and doing what was right. He was a survivor. He had a lot of love buried deep down in his soul and it burned with determination and courage. He was fiercely proud of his children. I had a deep respect for him and wished him safe passage into God’s loving embrace.
A few months later his daughter got in touch and asked me if I would be open to meeting with her and her mom to talk about dad. I had never met Jacob’s wife and was concerned that maybe sharing what had happened in his sessions might be too much for her. I was concerned that it was too soon after his passing to have this conversation with her. I sat in prayer and received reassurance that was important to meet with them. We agreed to meet for coffee at a local bistro.
As I walked into the room I could see Jacob’s daughter, who I knew personally, sitting with her mother at a small table by the window. I paused for a moment to feel them out energetically. I wanted to be sure that they were both ready to hear what happened in his sessions. I was again reassurance that it would be ok.
After introductions we ordered coffee and I waited. Jacob’s daughter told me that their dad had never really told them anything about the work he was doing with me. That didn’t surprise me. Jacob was a man of few words. She went on to say that they noticed he always did so well after each session. “He was always so much more peaceful after he talked to you,” she said.
I laughed. I said, “Well, that is good to hear because sometimes he had absolutely no problem telling me what he thought about the work.” We all laughed knowingly. Jacob was just being Jacob.
I told them about the work we did around his childhood and the effect the war had on him. Most of it they did not know anything about, they said, which didn’t really surprise. I often find in the work that I do that people who have been through a war experience just can’t bear to talk about what they witnessed or survived. We are now aware that is part of what is termed “post-traumatic stress” syndrome.
As we chatted about Jacob and his sessions I told them that there was one curious little story that came up all the time and Jacob just wouldn’t go there. It didn’t matter how his body presented it or showed it to me. Jacob would always say he didn’t remember.
“But you know, deep down, I think he did,” I said. “He was just afraid to go there.”
His wife said, “Oh?” “What story was that?”
“Well,” I said, “It was always the same image. I see a little boy about maybe 10 or 11, skinny, not very tall, looking scared, and he is standing in a village square with a bunch of other men.”
"Whenever I would tell him what I saw in that mind movie, he always said, he didn’t remember."
His wife became silent for a moment, looked down at her coffee and said very quietly:
“I know the story. He told me about it three days before he died. He kept it to himself all these years. He said he could never bear talking about it.”
She said, “During the war, while his father was away fighting in the resistance there was an older man who was their neighbour and he took Jacob under his wing. Jacob adored him. He was like a second father to him. Towards the end of the war, a German soldier who was posted to the village was killed. The Germans always retaliated against a village when something like that happened.
On this particular day after this soldier was killed, the Germans rounded up all the men and boys in the village. They lined them up in the square in a straight line. The commander walked up and down the line demanding an answer. Everyone stayed silent. Everyone in the village was involved in the resistance or the black market or they were hiding someone. Everyone, including the children, held those secrets.
Finally, the German commander had had enough so he stood in front of that line of men and boys all standing side by side and randomly shot a few of the men. Jacob’s second father was one of them. He dropped dead to the ground right at Jacob’s his feet.
Jacob had felt the bullet pass by him. He remembered the smell of the gunpowder and then looking down at the ground and seeing the man he loved, relied on, crumpled at his feet. The one person who had been there for him all through the horror of war was lying there dead at his feet. He couldn’t believe it. Jacob told me he never felt the same after that.”
We just sat there for a moment, pondering that. I remember wondering about what would have happened with his lung cancer if he had been able to talk about that tragedy. I think we were all thinking the same thing.
“That explains a lot,” I said finally.
“What do you mean?” his daughter asked.
“Well, the lungs are all about grief. I knew he was grieving something deeply. We talked so much about his experiences during the war; the daily physical struggle of riding his father’s bike out into the countryside to get food for his family; having to endure the fear of getting caught. Then, there is the struggle of surviving when so many didn’t. It really explains why he was so black and white about so many things don’t you think? How do you see shades of grey when you spend some of the most formative years of your life having to face life or death every single day? Life becomes very black and white,” I said.
We all nodded our heads in agreement. It explained so much.
I am glad we met to talk about Jacob and share our experiences. I know it gave me context for what I was sensing and feeling in his sessions. It validated that the image of that little boy was real, and I wasn’t making it all up in my mind’s eye. That can be a problem for energy work practitioners. Trusting the images and stories that come up in your mind’s eye.
I believe that it also gave his wife and daughter the closure they were looking for. Energy work can be such a mystery for family members. They are often not in the room during a healing session with their loved one. It is quite common for the person who is on the receiving end of a healing session to have difficulty explaining what happened because the work was at such a deep emotional level for them. Despite all our communication skills, we all still have a tough time explaining our personal experiences to one another because we are always looking for context or concrete proof as validation. That is just not possible with energy work to be honest. The only proof you are going to get is anecdotal evidence or knowing that what you experienced was real for you. How do you explain the feeling of love to someone? How you feel a rainbow is not the way I will feel a rainbow and yet both experiences are valid. Some things just are.
Jacob’s journey with terminal lung cancer is a reminder that energy work can be of service, but it can’t predict outcomes. Jacob lived three years longer than expected. He covered a lot of emotional territory in that time. Time he and his family were grateful to have. We are all souls on a human journey. Energy work isn’t the be all and the end all, but it does help. I see that every day. Jacob was finally able to pass over in peace and maybe that was all his soul needed in the end.
 Following Body Wisdom and The Intuitive Dance by Atherton Drenth. www.athertondrenth.ca
Raven Essences – a Love Affair with Nature. The Nature Series essences. Raven Essences. 2003.
“Dreamhealer” Adam. Hampton Roads Publishing. 2003.
Gas Distribution Visualization or GDV.
Atherton Drenth is the author of Intuitive Dance. Building, Protecting & Cleari