Originally posted February 17, 2014.
Perinatal Therapist Spotlight: Diane Speier, Ph.D.
Please welcome my colleague from across the pond! Dr. Diane Speier, a holistic psychotherapist and birth and postnatal professional to BirthTouch® is guest posting today! Diane is also a birth psychologist, specializing in the psychology of parenthood, the psycho-physiology of birth, postnatal depression and recovering from birth trauma. She has been supporting per and postnatal women all of her professional life.
Diane found and directed The Family Tree Center for Parents in New York, before immigrating to the UK. A certified childbirth educator since 1978, Diane also started attending births as a doula (labor companion) in 1978, and her passion for helping mothers evolved into the Birth and Beyond Doula Service for childbirth and postnatal home care. Diane created The Birth Empowerment Workshop®, a weekend intensive for pregnant couples seeking a multidimensional and holistic approach to birth and parenting. In November 2013, in collaboration with her daughter, Mariel Sands, she created the first postnatal app, called Digital Doula.
Diane, start off by telling us a bit about your holistic way of managing health in your personal and professional life!
Alternative medicine always held resonance for how we managed health in the family and my life. We were introduced to chiropractic in the mid-1970s; I learned about herbal medicine at a feminist women’s health center soon after. I was inducted into Transcendental Meditation (TM) while I was pregnant with my second child in 1976.
As a birth educator, deep abdominal breathing and relaxation were fundamental tools that were taught for managing the pain of labor. In the 1980s I attended a course on complementary therapies developed at The Center for Health in Medicine (at the Residency Program in Social Medicine and the Department of Family Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center).
It introduced me to acupressure and other procedures to deal with a whole host of problems. We invested in the power of crystals. We had a fabulous Chinese acupuncturist who balanced our health in the 1990s (and my youngest son still goes there for care). When Richard Gerber wrote his book, Vibrational Medicine (the original 1988 edition), I just had to buy it. Little did I know it was a prelude to the journey my life would take.
Blending Holistic and Allopathic Therapies
Without rejecting the goodness in allopathic medicine, the resonance of complementary and holistic therapies allowed me to pick and choose which would be the best solution when we had health issues. When my fourth child was born in 1988, homeopathy was the way to go, and the plan was to go down this alternative route for his medical care.
However, Jasper did not vibrate with homeopathic solutions, and despite the prescribed remedies, we couldn’t resolve his persistent ear infections. It was like he was screaming for antibiotics, and when we changed to the traditional path, he responded perfectly to the medication. It was a lesson in how to attune to the correct health strategy, and that it’s not a one size fits all matter. My belief system was not the right course of action in this case.
The age of the internet in the 21st century introduced me to energy medicine through the monthly newsletter of holistic physician, Christiane Northrup, MD. Donna Eden, a pioneer in energy medicine, had written a new book called Energy Medicine for Women, and it was being highlighted in the newsletter; Northrup had written the Foreword.
I missed the original book, Energy Medicine, which Donna had written in 1998 with David Feinstein, who is a leader in the energy psychology field. As someone who has always been dedicated to women’s reproductive health, it seemed like a vital addition to my collection. While reading it I felt a world opening up to me that was both new and familiar. The book covered energy techniques for health and vitality, working with hormones, the menstrual cycle, sexuality and fertility, menopause, and weight management – energy medicine style. I was hooked.
What Is Energy Medicine?
So what is energy medicine? As Donna would say, “it’s the oldest, safest, most organic and accessible medicine there is.” Everything is energy, and this premise is catching fire these days. Just as quantum physics has replaced the old Newtonian model, our awareness of how to utilize energy to heal the body is replacing old models of conventional medicine.
Eden Energy Medicine is comprised of 9 different systems that include: meridians, chakras, radiant circuits, 5 Rhythms (Chinese elements), Triple Warmer, the aura, electrics, Celtic weave, and the basic grid. There are electrical energies in every cell in the body; there are electromagnetic fields created by this electrical activity that can be employed for healing; and there are subtle energies that cannot be measured directly, but are responsive to our intention and attitude.
It is truly a mind/body/spirit modality and the way of the future. Working with energy opens our awareness to the innate capacity for self-healing, how the body uses energy in our daily life, how our emotions affect and are affected by energy patterns, and how we are energetically connected to the environment.
Energy wants to move, and it does it in specific patterns that cross over in figure 8s all around the body. Energy also needs space to move or it can get blocked or constricted, which can lead to illness when the flow is clogged up. How the energies flow, balance and harmonize will be reflected in the health of the body. Being able to take control of our energy flow and healing can be an empowering experience. The beauty of energy medicine is that energies can be re-patterned and this is a non-invasive way to improve health and vitality.
How I Use Energy Medicine in My Life
I use energy medicine in my own life by doing the Daily Energy Routine (DER) nearly every day. This set of movements and postures is designed to help restore the natural circulation and flow of energy throughout the body and the energy field around it. It is an excellent way to recharge my batteries in less than ten minutes. I can feel the difference in my energy flow when I don’t do it now that it’s become such a regular part of my life.
By reinstating an optimal flow of energy, the DER eases ordinary discomforts, acute and chronic illnesses, and mental and emotional distress. It’s also a way of creating a dialog with my body’s energy systems, which leads to a heightened sense of well-being and a stronger energetic core. Some people do the DER in the morning, but I do it before bedtime, knowing that my energies will be balanced and harmonized when I go to sleep.
These days when something doesn’t feel right for me or my family, I ask myself “How can energy medicine help this?”
I’ve learned to use magnets for reducing pain. I’ve learned to trace my meridians to manage jet lag (and I can usually find a place around the back of the airplane where I can do this during the flight). Tracing radiant circuits, which are little pools of positive energy around the body, is good for mood stabilizing. There are also protocols that can send my clients into a state of bliss like the Brazilian toe technique and the Black Pearl Sanctuary.
When I feel stressed I can tame Triple Warmer, the meridian that governs the stress response, by doing certain practices that calms it down. When I want to bump up my immune system I can thump my thymus and trace spleen meridian. Clearing the chakras of stagnant energies can be phenomenally healing and restorative.
Energy healing has become such an integrated part of my life and work that I’m baffled when others don’t seem to grasp the value of it. Here’s a ‘technology’ that has no side effects or toxins, and is safe, but it remains a mystery to the vast majority of humanity. What can’t be seen or heard can’t be trusted by many to heal. I believe that’s changing now.
Eden Energy Medicine started training people to be practitioners in 2006, and people from all over the US and beyond would travel to Phoenix to be trained. When I heard that Donna Eden was planning to come to Cardiff (Wales) for an introductory 5-day training (I live in England), I signed up without hesitation. Donna was magical in her demonstrations of how energy can be used, and we got to practice some of the protocols over the five days.
At the time I felt tentative about my developing skill, so the announcement that they would be starting a training program in the UK for all of Europe was electrifying. The training began in March 2012 and I was one of the trailblazers in studying energy medicine in this part of the world. And what a wonderful and comprehensive training program it is. Over the year we attended four 4-day training weekends, and outstanding faculty members taught us the basics for using energy healing in the Foundations Year of the Eden Energy Medicine 2 year Certification Program.
At the start I was hesitant about my skills, but the cumulative effect of each training class building on what we had done before was empowering. By the time the Foundations Year was complete, I felt confident about using and practicing energy medicine on myself and with friends and family.
I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Donna Eden and David Feinstein when they attended the last training in March 2013. It was surprising to me that the Energy Medicine for Women book had only about eleven pages on pregnancy and birth, and Donna agreed.
We talked about how, with my many years as a birth professional, I could bring energy medicine to the childbearing year with all its practical applications. They were thrilled to hear my proposal, and enthusiastic when I said that it would be included in the book that I am writing now, called The Handbook for the Postnatal Period.
In addition, the postnatal app that was launched in November, Digital Doula, also has this content included in the six Empowering Chapters.
Each chapter includes techniques for managing the many challenges of the postnatal period: the Daily Energy Routine is in the chapter on the fourth trimester; there’s Energy Medicine for Balancing Stress Hormones; Energy Medicine for Breastfeeding; radiant circuits are introduced in the Energy Medicine for Bonding and Attachment chapter; and Energy Medicine for Relationships is part of the nurturing your relationship chapter.
Vivaxis Syndrome – Resolving Incarnating onto the Earth
As part of my training in energy medicine, I learned about a phenomenon called the Vivaxin Syndrome. Vivaxis is a term that refers to the energy that connects a baby’s energy field with the earth at the time of the birth. According to the theory, there is an energetic difference between the environment of the womb and the outside world, and a magnetized field is created around the baby that bridges the transition from womb to external world.
To insure the baby’s safety, and protect it from shock, the Triple Warmer meridian creates this magnetic field that serves as a protective shield for about the first three months. It can save a baby’s life by minimizing birth trauma.
The Vivaxin field has polarities that are independent of the earth’s magnetic field, and is adapted to the baby’s body and moves with it rather than the earth. This magnetic field is designed to disintegrate early in the baby’s life when it is no longer necessary, and if it does not dissolve after the first three months, a Vivaxin Syndrome can develop.
When Triple Warmer detects stress, tension or threats to the infant, it keeps the Vivaxis intact like a bubble of protection through childhood and into adulthood. If there has been a traumatic or difficult birth, the Vivaxis becomes a potent force of protection that remains in place to accommodate the challenges presented by life on earth. When someone has a Vivaxin Syndrome their energies are weakened when they are facing in a particular direction – the direction in which the person was born.
The magnetic direction was set at birth, and when the person faces this direction it can interfere with the body’s other energies, rather than protecting them. I was fascinated to learn about this, after being a birth professional and parenting expert for decades.
Without knowing that it had a name, I’ve observed this energy in young infants who came to my classes and groups over the years and noticed when it dissolved and the baby became more engaged with the environment. There are energetic ways of testing for and dissolving the syndrome, but that’s for another article!
It’s so exciting to be learning and growing with energy medicine. It’s brought a fresh perspective to my work with childbearing families and as a psychotherapist specializing in the perinatal period. It has deepened my appreciation of how the body is designed to heal itself when given a chance to re-pattern the flow of energy. I am thrilled to be starting the Certification year of the training in May, and love the challenge of increasing my knowledge of how energy healing can help my clients and family.
It feels like it’s come full circle and my unconventional approach to health maintenance throughout my life has found a home in energy medicine.
And to be honest, I still giggle sometimes when demonstrating how energy can be turned on and off through energy testing. Whether with family or clients, eyes widen when the person I’m working with sees the effect this has and realizes their own energetic reality. I love being able to make a difference by helping others heal themselves.