Over the years, I have seen many systems for ascertaining what a 'patient' should or shouldn't take by way of herbs and supplements. Certainly the least effective has been some health professional 'guessing' at you based on some study done on someone other than yourself. We are such very complex creatures, surely those rats that were studied just aren't chemically, hormonally, age-wise, diet-wise or astrologically where I am right at this moment. I'm being facetious to make a point. And health-professionals aside, more folks are probably self-'medicating' (or self-herballing, or self-vitaminizing) badly by taking just EVERYTHING that they read about.
I have had a number of alternative health professionals use various techniques to figure out what I should be taking, often using kinesiology, ie. muscle-testing. This usually involved my lying on a chiropractic table with one arm raised. The substance in question was either held in the other hand or placed upon my abdomen and the chiropractor would attempt to push my arm down. Truly, when something was put in contact with my body that said body didn't want to HEAR about, there was no way I could keep my arm up. But other than the obvious, I had a hard time feeling the difference between yes's and no's at times. So I trusted that the person DOING the test could tell. I have never been any good at doing kinesiology on myself or anyone else.
One stand-in chiropractor, many years ago, actually piled capsules of something or other on my navel and by testing repeatedly came up with the NUMBER of capsules I needed to take. I had a LITTLE trouble with that one.
So. A number of years ago, I attended The Green Nations Gathering, a gathering of more herbalists and students in one place than I have EVER seen. I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop given by Hart Brent who is not only a gifted herbalist, but a brilliant bio-chemist as well. She had been 'gifted' with not only her dog, but herself and her entire family coming down with Erlichiosis, the far more virulent of the tick-borne diseases. From that horrifying experience she developed an unbelievably complex but extremely effective means of dealing with chronic Erlichiosis. I have the utmost admiration for her.
Within this workshop, she showed us her method of self-testing and surprised us all by saying that in spite of all her research and knowledge, she will give NOTHING to any of her patients unless they self-test. To see her own page on this techinque, which she calls Energy Scanning, click HERE
The longer I have worked with this technique, the more amazing it becomes. Aside from the fact that it is absolutely accurate for that individual at that particular time, perhaps more importantly, it puts the power back into the hands of the individual.
Below are a series of photographs to help illustrate this technique. Simply put, you hold the substance in question in the hand you write with, holding it in front of your forehead. You should be standing steadily with your feet apart, take a breath, bring your awareness OUT of your head and down to your GUT where your real WISDOM resides, and close your eyes.
Now. You pass the bottle of 'whatever' relatively slowly down in front of your body until it is in front of your lower abdomen (those of you who read Chakra-eze, know what we just did here) Stand there with it for a bit and you will feel your body respond.
A great way to teach someone this technique is to leave them right there and not tell them what to expect. A strong positive or negative response will have them suddenly opening their eyes very WIDE as it is quite unmistakable. If you're having a problem FEELING the response, you may want to unlock your knees.......
REMEMBER: The question we’re asking ourselves here is
“CAN MY BODY *USE* THIS RIGHT NOW?”
Not “Is this GOOD?”
A strong positive response causes your body to PULL forward,
a strong negative - to PUSH back.
(Although I have heard of responses that are more 'buzzing' or 'vibrating' than actually 'swaying' back or forth.)
There are two different kinds of 'neutrals'.
One is to stand completely still. No pull forward OR backwards. = “got it covered, don’t NEED this”.
The other is to keep wavering forward and back over and over which can mean:
right herb/wrong form (maybe you need an infusion, not a tincture)
OR too many ingredients
OR we might be able to use this when you finish taking something else
OR that’s enough for today, you already took some,
OR try a similar herb (like another relaxant or another immune ally)
The first time most people try this they're worried about it 'WORKING' and are usually predicting results. The more comfortable you become, the more quickly you feel your own response. A lot of folks get a false 'initial' response, especially if they know what the substance is they're holding. They may initially pull forward, come back to center a second, and THEN the actual response is solid.
It also helps tremendously to not know what’s in the bottle. That puts you into OBSERVER mode, and it’s much easier
You will often get conflicting responses from something that has a large number of different ingredients, or even just two ingredients if your body can use one but not the other. Whenever possible, try to test things singly. You can also test to see if two things can be taken together by testing them each singly first and then hold them together.
The next obvious question is how we know we're testing for what's IN the bottle and not what the BOTTLE is made of. Now really. If you were to get a negative on every single thing you test in a standard tincture dropper-bottle, I WOULD test with an empty bottle and see what you get. You may be so SEVERELY allergic to the rubber cap or the alcohol itself that nothing else will test accurately.
And you CAN use this technique to test for food allergies too. I use it often as I have an allergy to nuts and there are things, like cheesecake, that sometimes has almond extract in it and sometimes not. I don't always have an ingredient label to check.
One of the greatest places to check this technique out is with the common cold. Think about it. Is your cold the same at the beginning as at the end? Do you need the same 'medicines' all the way through? Don't THINK so. You may need a decongestant at the beginning, an expectorant if it gets down into your lungs, and
a cough suppressant at the end where you just can't remember HOW to QUIT coughing!
It is also extremely valuable to monitor just how long you need to keep taking something. You may test strongly positive for something, but that doesn't mean you need to take it forever. Keep testing every couple of days. You may begin to get a neutral and perhaps, eventually a negative. That's it. Say thank you and move on.
This technique is so simple it may indeed seem silly, but with some practice it becomes second nature.
If you’d like to see this ‘in action’ it is included in my free Online Herbal Allies class
There is quite a bit of healing in the concept of "I know what I need".
Of course you do.
**if you have questions or comments on this article, do EMAIL me and I'll consolidate the responses in a feedback section.
Be well, Lady B