Healing Without Words: Exploring the Power of Energy and Images

Have you ever had one of those epiphany moments?

You know, those moments when it seems as though there’s been some sort of divine intervention, a spectacular coincidence, a chain of incredible events evolving from a chance encounter or perhaps an illuminating life changing moment of revelation?

I have experienced one of these moments; a deeply powerful realisation that something (I didn’t know what) transcended everything I knew and that I’d ever known in my conscious awareness. It really did change my life.

I was seventeen and had been battling anorexia for three years; anorexia was a reaction to some difficult experiences in my early teens. Words cannot describe the depth of despair that this disorder wreaked in my head. It’s a disorder that torments the mind of the sufferer and the thought of ending that wretched, miserable existence often seemed like a very tempting option.

But, on a normal Saturday evening back in May 1994, everything changed . . . for the better!

Until this point, no doctor, no psychiatrist, no counsellor or no therapeutic intervention had managed to help. I can’t explain adequately enough how pointless it seemed to spew out the same meaningless drivel to someone who simply could not connect with my inner anguish.

I was given tablets to stimulate my appetite. Really??? Why that was considered appropriate for someone who feared everything to do with eating, I do not know! I have no recollection of what was said in therapy sessions and the only thing I can say with any degree of certainty was that nothing improved. Absolutely nothing!!!

However, on this particular Saturday night back in 1994, some music, written by a composer who had departed this earth over two hundred years previously, weaved its magic in my troubled mind.

The conductor walked out to take his bow to rapturous applause, silence . . . and the music began.

Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro was unleashed.

Now, without going into why I love this music so much, I’ll just say that Act I unfolded, the story took shape (I was an opera noob  – noob is a term my young son uses which I think means a complete beginner), I enjoyed the comical elements and, of course, the music which brilliantly characterised and mimicked the emotions of this farcical day.

Act II, however, was a completely different kettle of fish. Countess Almaviva mourns the lost love of her husband who has been wooing her maid. “Give me back my love or I’d rather die” she laments although quite quickly, her forlorn character morphs into one of courage, feistiness and dignity.

During this forty minute act it was as though I was looking into a mirror of emotions, the music reflecting back to me the sadness that was etched so deeply in my core. This depth of understanding that was now echoing through my crippled mind still astounds me to this day. How did the music know how I was feeling?

It has been my quest to try and understand this, dare I say it, miraculous experience ever since.

Twenty-seven years later . . . and I may have found the answer . . .

I do believe that, as we progress through life, we are unconsciously drawn towards the things that give us meaning and this was certainly the case with my recent undertaking of a Diploma in Integrated Energy Techniques.

And it was precisely because of the connection with something beyond physical reality as we know it that I recognised the similarities between the core essence of this therapy and my rather unconventional, other-worldly healing experience back in 1994.

So what is Integrated Energy Technique (IET) and how does it work?

I could begin to explain the concept of IET but I think I’d convey its power much more effectively if I wrote about why I believe it is such a freeing and insightful form of therapy, how it helps to gain a much wider perspective and how it promotes a deep sense of healing.

IET goes way beyond words. It works on an entirely different level, one of its core beliefs being that everything is energy. Ultimately, we are feeling and visual beings. We feel something before we think it. Emotions are quite literally, energy in motion. Pictures evoke feelings. They have the ability to convey abstract and complex concepts. So to move away from words and allow the energy of our unconscious minds to explore, without limitation, beyond time and space is immensely powerful and the results are quite astounding.

Another premise of IET is that there is a part of us that knows more than we know; that the unconscious mind has the ability to connect with a greater wisdom beyond our conscious awareness. Now, this could indeed be metaphorical in nature . . . or not! In reality, it doesn’t really matter. The intention behind this therapy is to allow the unconscious mind the freedom to go wherever it needs to go to shed light, meaning or wisdom on to a situation. The boundaries and limitations of words, beliefs, preconceived idea and assumptions become redundant. We can think of it as a transderivational search; not just looking back through our memory store to find references to current issues but to search metaphorically through time and space.

So what might come up?

You’d be surprised!

In my first practical experience of IET, I was lucky enough to be a guinea pig for Sue Beer, the tutor extraordinaire who, along with Emma Roberts, is the brains behind IET. Both Sue and Emma are very experienced and knowledgeable therapists and tutors who run the EFT Centre in London.

I chose to work with a feeling that rears its ugly head from time to time, rather like a little internal battle of thoughts and beliefs.

Having established where this inner battle manifests in my body (working with the feeling), I was set free (metaphorically speaking) to explore wherever my mind took me to find some relevance to this feeling.

I’m quite a straight forward subject so I easily whooshed off, breaking down the barriers of time and space, until I came upon an image of a medieval scene in which a bloody battle was taking place. Knights on horseback rode gallantly towards the enemy, swords crashed, shields were raised, and legs, arms and horses merged to look like a heaving plate of violent spaghetti. There was, however, a very clear message attached to this scene. This bloody battle had no triggering event or justifiable reason. It was nonsensical and not dissimilar from a scene one might read about in the mad world of Alice in Wonderland.

And guess what? Perhaps this is what’s happening with my inner battle.

When that realisation hit home, I understood that I no longer needed to take any notice of my internal clash of thoughts and beliefs. I could see them in a whole new light and felt remarkable unaffected by them. Do I need to know why they started in the first place? Not really. I’ve put them in their place now with the knowledge that they’re not relevant any more.

So, you see, my mind worked metaphorically. It knew something more than what I consciously know and it fed back to me exactly what I needed in order to move away from that internal battle. I didn’t need words; I didn’t need to understand why or how this battle came to be.

And perhaps, that is what happened back in 1994 when I experienced a profound sense of healing through the sound energy of Mozart’s music. Whatever happened in my mind, what I heard changed, beyond doubt, my life perspective. Was it simply metaphorical or was it a divine intervention? Who knows . . .

I hope that, in this blog, I’ve introduced you to a form of therapy that goes beyond the traditional methods; a form of therapy that combines, so beautifully, the more spiritual practices, particularly those of Eastern Philosophies, with the ever expanding research of therapeutics and neuroscience.

Anna Ritchie is a GHR-Reg Clinical Hypnotherapist and creator of Cracking the Snacking Code, a powerful hypnosis recording to help you eat more mindfully and embrace a healthier relationship with food. Click HERE for more info.

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Musings of a Middle-aged Therapist

Having escaped the higgledy-piggledy life of a musician and embraced the more reflective life of a therapist, I’ve had the time and space to muse on the things happening around me.

Today, my musings have drawn out my fuddy-duddy side, or at least that’s how I’m interpreting it in a slightly amused way.

I’ve been doing the school run with my young son for the past year and increasingly, I’ve found myself having an inner debate about the length of school skirts. I have to confess that I’m quite shocked at how little of the school skirt is left. Now, before I continue, I want to state that how people choose to dress doesn’t concern me at all; I’m a staunch advocate of freedom of expression and freedom of speech. I think that my thoughts are driven more by a tendency to ask WHY! WHY do young girls feel the need to shorten their skirts until they’re barely there and, are they not bothered that it’s freezing at the moment?

This particular inner debate was reignited this morning as I was walking back home after the school drop-off. In front of me, in the local park, were two secondary school age girls both wearing skirts that were so short, I found myself wondering if hot pants might perhaps have been a more suitable alternative? As it’s not an uncommon sight in my local area, I had to conclude that it’s a desired way to dress.

So, why am I writing about this? I keep asking myself this question.

The answer, I’ve decided, is that it’s the WHY that bothers me.

I’ve arrived at the conclusion that there are two possible explanations (or perhaps a combination of both) for the barely visible school skirt. Either girls are becoming increasingly more confident in themselves and displaying, in part through the way they dress, a self-assured, innate feeling of inner strength or, there is an underlying, unspoken societal belief that self-respect and self-worth are bound up with a sexualised image.

If the former was true then I’d be delighted. I cannot shake from my mind, however, that the latter has far more influence and gravity.

Of course, it’s human nature to want to be liked and socially accepted but I would argue that seeking the approval of our peers rarely takes on more importance than in those formative teenage years. These are years full of exploration and experimentation which I believe are essential for helping children transition into healthy, well-balanced adults. As an adult society, however, I believe that we have a duty to provide the scaffolding around our young people.

I’m veering off course slightly but I feel compelled to question our sense of responsibility as a society when it comes to allowing our children to be children without piling on adult baggage. I don’t have to look far to see really warped images and depictions of people and life that confuse superficial beauty with self-worth, riches with success and sex with love. I could go on.

Again, I have to ask why?

Of course, it’s about money. Desirability sells.

But I suspect there’s something more sinister going on.

Why are young girls feeling that they have to (almost) bare all? What’s driving this? I believe that despite women having more rights, there is still an unspoken, underlying rhetoric underpinning our society that depicts women as sex objects. For all the progress that, on the surface, has been made, I do not believe that, as a society, our deepest core beliefs have changed enough.

So, there you have it, my school-run musings triggered by middle age and the mystery of the disappearing skirt.

Missing your mojo? Has the pandemic made you question what you’re doing and where you’re going?

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