How To Eliminate Overwhelm and Frustration When You’re a Busy CEO

Having spent 20 years across various ‘busy’ roles from being medical doctor, senior corporate executive at Pfizer, technology entrepreneur and eventually in the CEO role my 3rd successive company, I’ve engaged with many fellow CEO’s and studied their behaviours in life and work. I found that the successful ones had some common traits and the ‘unsuccessful’ ones had some common traits too.

Success is defined by an individual, but for CEO’s or Political leaders this is also defined by their boss, shareholders, employees, customers or constituents. Nonetheless, CEO’s are constantly under pressure to meet targets, deal with crisis, fulfil multiple obligations and still be expected to lead a ‘healthy and normal’ personal and family life. As CEO’s understand their own ‘BS’ more deeply, they become more self-aware that their very own behaviours can exacerbate their current ‘crisis’. A CEO can be his or her own worst enemy.

Since I began coaching CEO’s over 8 years ago, I have learnt and taught several techniques to help them continue to pursue their careers at higher levels, whilst managing their responsibilities in their personal life. Often they even have difficulty connecting the relationship between the two worlds, which forms part of the problem.

1.   Quit

This is a perfectly legitimate option. For some CEO’s the pressure of the workload and circumstances surrounding their personal life require more time to be focused on the latter or risk causing irreparable damage to their health or family relationships. In such situations, quitting may appear to be the only option.

However, in some cases, this may also be a ‘get out clause’, used as an excuse for being unwilling to acknowledge one’s own mistakes or recognize how their own behaviours have contributed to their current negative circumstances. In these situations, the vicious cycle of frustration is likely to repeat in future roles.

2.   Be More Present

There is an accepted philosophy that ‘anxiety comes from living too much in the future’ and ‘depression comes from thinking too much about the past’. Busy CEO’s tend to be focused on the next thing even before the current task or interpersonal interaction has ended.

The focus is more on the clock, than on the person in-front of them. This gives an illusion of efficiency and speed, only to find later that subordinates haven’t really understood their instructions and made mistakes that need rework. The actual reason was because they weren’t communicated to in a patient and appropriate manner by their CEO.

The science of Mindfulness has now perpetuated the mainstream corporate and healthcare arena with companies like Google implementing programs for its ‘hypertalented, hyperactive’ employees, both young and old. The program has been such a great success that other Fortune 500 companies have adopted similar mindfulness practices with their own CEO’s and executives

3.   Change Your Expectations, Allow Another Reality

Many CEO’s are consummate achievers that have high expectations of themselves and therefore others. Frustration is an emotion that arises when those expectations are not met. For example, when you expect your CFO to complete the budget in 24 hours, but they can’t get it done on time. Or you expect to meet your annual company goals, but you fall short. Or perhaps you expect your password to work on your company and it doesn’t – all these situations give rise to frustrations.

A relief is felt when you change your expectations. I don’t mean lower them, I mean change them. Perhaps your CFO was being more thorough, and would deliver a more robust budget tomorrow. Perhaps falling short of your annual company goals provides you with a better business case to hire more talented staff. Perhaps your password error means your IT security has just been upgraded and you’ve just averted a major cyber-attack on your servers. Once CEO’s change their expectations and allow new realities to emerge, they can come out mentally stronger.

4.   Meditate

There are now hundreds of thousands of forms of meditations from a multitude of cultures. The benefits are espoused in traditional literature as well as modern science, and can help CEO’s manage overwhelm and stress over the long term. The body of evidence on medicine has exploded in recent years and MRI scans now even denser grey matter in the brains of frequent meditators. Personally, I have found the practice life-changing and allowed me to tap into greater creative thinking and problem-solving ability, as well as more focus and concentration. My initial time investment started at 5 minutes a day (on trains, planes and other ‘dead’ times) and I’ve worked upwards from there, to great effect.

5.   Find your Ikigai

The Japanese believe that every human being has a purpose or a higher calling, which they called their Ikigai. The French call it the ‘raison d’etre’ i.e reason to be. Regardless of race, religion, work status or nationality, having a clear purpose in life and connecting with the meaning of your work allows you to see beyond short term frustrations and bad days, and understand how they actually contribute to your personal growth, vision and mission.

CEO’s that connect with their Ikigai in an authentic manner don’t have to fake liking their job; they love their job and it shows. It shows to their employees, it shows to their customers and it shows to their shareholders. It allows them to tap into a deeper sense of fulfilment and commitment, that sees them through their business challenges and personal hardships.

The first step to finding your Ikigai is to simply answer 4 questions as genuinely as possible, and to find the intersection. The 4 questions are:

1.     What do you love doing?
2.     What does world need? (problem to solve)
3.     What can I get paid for? (how to monetize)
4.     What am I good at? (True Strengths)

ikigai-001

The truth is that there are quick and easy solutions for CEO’s to minimize overwhelm and frustration in the short term (days to weeks). However, in order to achieve a higher level of performance in the long term (weeks to months to years), I often advise my clients that behavior change is an active process that requires more effort, but yields much greater more satisfying rewards in life, career and legacy.

What I learnt from my Dad’s quadruple bypass surgery


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It has been somewhat of a tough week for me personally and professionally. On the professional front, last week we ran our first Health Business Masterclass online seminar, and as such there was quite a bit of preparation for the event over the prior weeks.

I had also travelled back to my hometown of Kuala Lumpur so that I could be closer to my dad. He underwent quadruple bypass surgery and at age 68 with multiple other medical conditions such as asthma and diabetes, it was always going to be a challenging procedure.

Thankfully the operation was a success to the degree that it is now 6 days later and he has successfully convinced his surgeons that he can now return home. Despite a lung collapse 2 days post operatively, he has managed to soldier on with great strength and get his breathing back to reasonable state.

I have to admire him for his tenacity.

He did have the best surgeon in the country – Dr Azhari was the surgeon who operated on Malaysia previous Prime Minister Dato Mahathir. This surgeon was not just presented to him, he pushed for it until he got it. He was also treated in the best hospital for people with heart disease, the National Heart Institute (also known as IJN).

He has the best care with his own private room in the Intensive Care ward, the High Dependency Unit which he was moved to later and even had a special room on the General Ward. The food in the hospital was specifically catered for heart patients and the staff were very professional. It was really a top class institution.

But what became obvious to me after 2 days, particularly after his lung collapse, was that I could not really do not much for him. I could come to visit him and try to motivate him as best I can, but even despite my extensive experience of over 15 years in healthcare, I could not breathe for him.

His fastest way to leave was to perform his spirometry exercises and get it back to as close to 1500ml as possible (spirometry is a device you blow into that measures your lung capacity – they suggest you blow into it 10x per hour during your post operative days). He was also required to perform his physiotherapy and start moving around the ward.

There is plenty of scientific evidence to show that the sooner a patient mobilises post cardiac surgery, the better the long term outcomes.

The other aspect was for him to remain calm and composed, despite the pain that he would be undergoing from his wounds. In essence, to stay stress free.

To this end, I could only encourage him to meditate, one of the best practices available to manage stress long term, and again there are numerous studies on Mindfulness Meditation and Transcendental Meditation to indicate such positive effects.

The report from the American Heart Association published on April 2013 concluded that the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique lowers blood pressure and recommends that the TM technique may be considered in clinical practice for the prevention and treatment of hypertension and thereby also lowering risk of heart attack, stroke and death.

Entitled “Beyond Medications and Diet Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association,” the report informed doctors which alternative approaches to lowering blood pressure (BP) have been shown by research to be effective.

Hence despite all the complex science that comes with such a meticulously studied disease and an even more complicated surgery where all four major heart arteries are bypassed, ultimately the mantra for his healing was only 3 things – “Move, Breathe and Meditate”

Move. Breathe. Meditate.

Move (physio), breathe (spirometry), meditate (remove stress).

All of which, I could not do for him. No one could. These were only things he could do to promote his healing.

And then it dawned on me once again, how we have to empower ourselves to achieve our own healing and recovery process. No one else can really help us as much as we can do for ourselves.

To a degree, we chose our doctor or surgeon. Or we choose an alternative path.

We choose our hospital where possible.

And if we don’t get the aspects that we want, we make the best out of what we have. Until we achieve our goal.

One thing was clear that my dad became more interested in the conversation about his recovery when mentioned a date to leave the hospital. He was more focussed when we had a goal.

Oh, and did I mention that after 3 days of being back in KL, I developed a viral illness followed by a bacterial chest infection, and I could not even visit him or help much with his healing process thereafter!

So my learnings from experiencing the healthcare system from a very different perspective, that of a concerned family member was this:

  • No one can make as much of a difference to your own healing journey as you can. And that difference happens before you reach the hospital, and very much more after you leave it.
  • It’s important to set a goal in your recovery, create a positive intention to heal and visualise your recovery. Make that your focus, rather than the pain, the taste of the food or if the nurses appear slow to attend to you. You have more bearing on your outcomes than they do.
  • Mindset is everything. Whilst the technical facilities and skilled staff in specialist centres like the National Heart Institute in KL are amazing, there is a great opportunity for healthcare organisations to have structured positive mindset techniques trained to patients. I believe this is currently a huge opportunity to dramatically increase recovery rates.

My mum is now on the hunt for a home physio that can visit the home and help Dad with the “Move & Breathe” components.

What about you, what was your one key learning from having a close family member be unwell?

Anita Moorjani, author of Dying to be Me

At the recent UPLIFT festival in Byron Bay, I met some of the most world renowned speakers in health, consciousness and spirituality and one of the most friendly and congenial was Anita Moorjani, author of Dying to be Me.

Her book reached the New York Times bestseller list only two weeks after its release in March 2012. She experienced what most people have never thought was possible – she “crossed over” to the other side following a coma due to her end stage cancer.

You see, Anita was suffering from terminal lymphoma for four years and was wheeled hurriedly into hospital one day when she could no longer breathe. She had large cancer lumps all over her body and was given little chance of living by her doctors.

In the hospital she slipped into a coma and what they thought was her last hours. Miraculously, she returned to consciousness 48 hours later, not only feeling better but also had a ‘Near Death Experience’ (NDE), where she left her body and could perceive everything that was going on around her during her coma.

Her depiction was so detailed that doctors could not believe it. Little could they believe that her cancerous lumps disappeared completely after only 4 weeks. This was an outcome she ‘saw’ when on the other side, and from a place of higher consciousness.

In my interview with Anita, I was very interested in whether she thought modern medicine could be done differently to help people heal from cancer as well as other diseases.

Her response was very interesting. Anita was clear that her cancer was exacerbated by her sense of fear. She was constantly living in fear of the disease as she had known people close to her suffer from it. She had an extremely healthy lifestyle and watched her nutrition very carefully, but this did not seem to help.

Anita made it a point to say that emotional health plays a big part in how a disease progresses. I have certainly seen this in a number of latest studies on the relationship of stress with various diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.

She was also very adamant to point out that love is the counter point to fear. When we are in love, we do not feel fear and she also mentioned that in her experience of the afterlife, she felt unconditional love.

If there was anything she would advise people suffering from diseases, is to surround themselves with love and to love themselves, first and foremost. She also advised healthcare professionals to try and incorporate love and better emotional health strategies to help people recover from their illnesses.

I couldn’t agree more.

I’ll be sharing more on my interview with Anita and other speakers from UPLIFT in future. If you could ask Anita one question – what would it be?

Did we just make your doctor collaborate with your trainer?

Wow, I’m bushed! Just last week, I facilitated the biggest exercise in modern medicine and alternative health and wellness since I created Energesse.

In early December, we brought together 22 of the top Health and Wellness Leaders from around the country, into one room. We did it because we were dissatisfied.

Let me elaborate. These were leaders from health food, personal fitness, doctors, alternative health practitioners, 12 CEO’s, some form research foundations, not-for-profits, socially conscious community leaders, entrepreneurs, meditation teachers, health media and PR personalities and so many more. The diversity from different sectors of health and wellbeing was incredible.

However, we were brought together by common goals and values. You see, we were all dissatisfied with the state of play in healthcare today. We all want to help people, and offer the best complement of mind, body, soul offerings, but the services was all segregated and so patients and clients were not getting the best solutions for their health.

I mean wouldn’t you like your doctor to work with your fitness trainer and your meditation teacher to work out what’s best for you?? Would you want them to be able to help you live your best life, in an organised fashion??

The problem for patients and clients was that they were many practitioners and providers out there, but it was hard to tell who was good at their work and who wasn’t. It was hard for a sick patient or unwell client to know what all their options were in conventional medicine and what was available outside of it to help them heal.

Amongst our own organisations, there was much duplication of work, even though many of us were trying to spread the same message – we were just not doing it efficiently.

There was one body in Australia that was championing Integrative Medicine and Holistic health called the Australian Integrative Medicine Association, but few people knew about it. And despite all our networks in the US and worldwide, we didn’t even know of a global body that championed this cause.

Bearing all that in mind, when I called for these CEO’s, founders and thought leaders to come together, they came, and they came in droves. We were overbooked and had to turn senior leaders away, promising that they will be involved in the second part of the collaboration.

It was a fulfilling exercise for everyone who attended. Most of them got a much better understanding of what the real issues are for the community, in trying to access all available healthcare options that exist.

In addition to that, these Health and Wellbeing leaders also connected with other leaders whom they could collaborate with pretty much straight away.

Regardless of the day, the ideas that emerged were very promising. From delivering offerings in groups, to more online services to communicating better with government as well as developing global networks of holistic practitioners to support each other and share leadings.

The future is looking bright. And that future integrates all of our healthcare and wellbeing services to give you the return to normality from your sickness, and the best solutions for your optimal wellness.

Did you have one great moment where your healthcare practitioners worked together to produce a great result for you?

What was the one time you ‘tuned in’ to your body and produced the right result?

Do you know your ‘Yin’ from your ‘Yang’?

In conversation, we often hear about one aspect of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which is “Yin” and “Yang”. For most of my life, I never really knew what that meant, apart from the facts they were the opposites of each other.

In my previous blog, I mention how Yin and Yang are guiding principles of TCM. The reason these terms are well known is that “Yin and Yang” are also principles in Chinese martial arts, natural sciences, and relaxation techniques such as Taijiquan (tai chi), Qigong (Chi Kung), Feng Shui, and I Ching.

They are terms to describe opposite forces that are interconnected and mutually interdependent in nature and the human body. Yin and Yang therefore are metaphorical images used to express these constantly transforming interactions.

Everyone has both Yin and Yang energy in their body’s energy system and energy field. Together they permeate all individual and collective evolution, in particular that of the human body.

The balance of Yin and Yang is required to maintain a healthy life and neither should predominate. Yin energy reflects the feminine, and it has the Chinese symbol of the moon. It represents the cold, earth, water, right, night, darkness, autumn or winter, interior, and deficit.

In the human body, it also refers to blood, body fluids (such as secretion), and substances, such as muscle or body mass. Yin energy is at its fullest at midnight, which makes sense as it is dark and cool.

Yang energy, with the Chinese symbol of the sun, is the masculine facets of nature that are boisterous, bright, and expansive. It represents heaven, fire, left, hardness, day brightness, spring or summer, exterior, heat excess, and ‘Qi energy’, which is the energy activity in the human body. During the day, Yang energy rises to its peak at noon when the earth is at its hottest.

However, we almost never have perfectly balanced Yin and Yang, as they are in a constant state of fluctuation and therefore subject to change. Unlike Western medicine where you are given one diagnosis and generally receive a standard treatment protocol, in Chinese medicine this constant change means that no disease, condition, emotion, treatment or diagnosis remains the same day to day.

Illness is observed when one force greatly exceeds another for a prolonged period of time, e.g. if Yang is in excess and Yin is in deficiency. As mentioned earlier, changes in our thought patterns and emotions can block the healthy flow of Yin or Yang. In today’s often materialistic culture, Chinese medicine practitioners often observe the effects of over-intense Yang (its all about me, me, me!) without the necessary proportional balance of Yin.

When we have an excess of self-driven Yang energy, it narrows our diversity and ignores our wider relationship to society and the environment. If our perceptions are very individualistic, narrow and selfish, we become unaware of the full consequences of our actions.

Such behaviour is often encouraged by a society that promotes ruthless self achievement – the Donald Trump’s, Rupert Murdoch’s and even Adolf Hitler.

There comes a point that no matter how much money you earn and power you obtain, it just never seems enough to satisfy your inner hunger. That unsatisfied emotional desire can lead to fears or anger and if prolonged can lead to physical disease.

Remember that the mind, body and spirit are all connected through energy.

Occasionally, when someone presents with extreme Yin/Yang imbalance and deficiency, he or she may have puzzling presentations to Western trained physicians.  For example, people with Yin energy deficiency frequently have insomnia characterized by waking up early and have difficulty falling asleep again.

An example of Yang deficiency may be a person complaining of chronic fatigue, feeling cold, having difficulty losing weight (due to slower metabolic rate) and/or depression.   Chinese medicine practitioners who see disorders and symptoms secondary to Yin and Yang imbalance are able to treat patients simply by rebalancing these forces.

Western medicine practitioners on the other hand, would take a vastly different approach to the problem and may prescribe a sleeping pill (which on occasion may be addictive) or connect you to a cumbersome sleep apnoea device, amongst other things.

Whilst the latter treatments are perfectly valid, they could be complemented by approaches that consider the underlying energy disruption, and reduce the need for more invasive treatments. Energy medicine approaches are potentially very beneficial in complementing conventional Western treatments.

It was clear to me therefore that Chinese medicine had clearly penetrated the western medical systems, despite that penetration being in its infancy. With the growth’s of China’s population and economic influence worldwide, I have no doubt that this trend will continue in mainstream allopathic healthcare.

Can you share with me one interesting experience with your Yin and Yang?

The Basics of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

I find it fascinating that in today’s world we have more information about every single aspect of life, yet we seem to know less about how to live.

All the ‘chatter’ on the internet has made us closer in so many ways, yet the complexity of information creates a mystery that it is almost too difficult to understand our own bodies, much less its relationship with energy.

One major paradigm that has integrated energy into our body’s state of health and wellbeing is Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been around for over 3000 years and even in that course of time, it has yet to be fully integrated into Western medicine. Whilst most doctors would have heard of Chinese medicine, the basics of how it works would probably shock most of them.

Fundamentally in TCM energy flows through the meridians in perfect balance unless disturbed by internal or external forces that affect 5 key elements of life.

The five key elements are found in nature which is earth, metal, fire, wood and water. Each element is related to an organ, all of which is captured in a overarching 5 phase chart.

Traditional Chinese practitioners also comprehend that emotions affect your energy and thus how your body functions on a day-to-day basis. In the Chinese system, there are 7 main emotions all of which relate to a particular organ and the 5 phase chart.

Organs create an emotion and they also are affected by an emotion.

Organ Emotion
Heart Joy
Liver Anger
Lungs Worry and Sadness
Spleen Thought
Kidneys Fear and Shock

Some emotions also give rise to other emotions, which can make the understanding of this relationship even trickier.

In order to quell emotional problems, Chinese medicine advocates natural solutions such as certain foods, whereby their flavours can boost certain emotions and reduce overstimulated emotions.

I know this may sound very strange but remember this has been observed over thousands of years. I did say it would shock most western healthcare practitioners, didn’t I?

There are several other theories that comprise the entire Traditional Chinese Medicine system but what is apparent is that the energy system is also divided into a three-component where Jing is mainly related to body energy, Chi is related to Mind energy and Shen to spiritual or soul energy.

Within this context, there are 8 guiding principles to help treat the energy imbalances when we are sick or unwell. These 8 principles relate to four pairs of opposing forces.

The first two guiding principles is Internal vs. External. Internal organs are often affected by an emotional issue, whereas external issues often arise from a foreign bug or invasion from outside the body.

The second set of principles is Hot vs. Cold which can give rise to fevers or chills, depending on the condition.

The third set of principles is Full vs. Empty where full often arises from acute conditions while empty often indicates chronic syndromes or some form of deficiency.

The final set of principles is a synthesis of all other categories and is commonly known as Yin vs Yang.

I find it fascinating that none of this was taught to me in medical school, yet it plays a critical role to how we can keep up our performance at work, prevent illness and even help our recovery from disease.

What was your one most memorable experience with Chinese Medicine?

Are you relying on ‘counterfeit’ sources of energy to fuel you?

Although diet is still the primary source of our energy and vitality, a poor diet can obviously affect us negatively as well. Whilst western society seems to be more stringent in standards of food production and packaging, the reality is that consumers today are overwhelmed with the range of colourful choices on each isle of the grocery – we hardly have time to read the product label.

Another contemporary trend rampant in today’s society is the reliance on ‘counterfeit’or fake sources of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, as most people are busy in the daily lives, they often opt for unhealthy foods or energy products which provide short-lived energy fixes that largely rely on glucose, a type of simple carbohydrate.

Additionally I refer to the addictive drinks like coffee, Red Bull, Coca-Cola and alcohol. I have had personal experience being addicted to each one of these drinks at different stages of my life and it is amazing how these addictions are so widespread in modern society.

I certainly don’t mean to make anyone feel guilty; I used to consume three cans of Diet Coke a day in my early career as a busy junior doctor. I even switched my addiction over to regular Coke after I read about the many side-effects of aspartame in Diet Coke.

It was only in 2012 that I not only quit regular Coke, but all sugary drinks – cold turkey. And boy, do I feel better for it.

What made me quit? I felt quite ill one day after what initially seemed like no apparent reason at all. I woke up one morning with nausea and generally feeling rotten (that’s a common medical complaint by the way).

It was during my days as a corporate executive and as I struggled to cope with my daily duties, it was only late that evening when I realised that all I had to drink for the prior 24 hours was Gatorade, artificial juices and other sugary drinks…..…I had not drank a single glass of plain water all day!

This just compounded a frightening memory many years earlier where I woke up one morning with pounding heart palpitations after consuming several Red Bull energy drinks the night before. Needless to say, this episode was the last straw (pardon the pun) and my love-hate relationship with sugary drinks was finally over.

The moral of the story is that we are ingesting some very toxic liquids in our bodies, under the guise of needing them to provide us with energy. The actual reality is that the caffeine or taurine content in these drinks only provide a temporary uplift, before we feel tired again.

Since giving up these drinks, I have never felt more energetic in my life. It really comes down your own self perception of your body and how much you value yourself.

Think about a party, where free alcohol is being served. For those that don’t value their body highly, they consume as much of the free alcohol as possible, in the shortest amount of time. I know because I used to be that person in my 20’s.

However, I thought my behaviour was driven by the desire to have fun, I did not realise that it was also subconsciously driven by low self worth of my body. Nowadays, I value my body more and prioritise my body higher than free alcohol, junk food, etc. Once again, it health of our body is really linked to our emotions and thought patterns about ourselves.

How do you perceive your own body?

Did you know your thoughts can affect water – and your body?

Last week I was interviewed for a documentary called ‘A Vibrational World.’ The documentary seeks to explain how everything we perceive in the universe is energy, including our bodies, and therefore has a vibrational frequency.

I am a strong advocate of this understanding because if we can understand our vibrational body, we can understand elements that keep us happy and well, as well as understand factors that can make us sick.

These negative factors are not always visible, but we can comprehend that vibrational forces from electromagnetism, X-Rays and nuclear radiation can cause damage to our physical bodies.

From a more subtle point of view, our body’s subtle energy field can similarly be affected by the emotional charge of the people around us, or even the local space. Have you ever walked into a building where people are depressed and you can just feel a ‘negative vibe?’ Well, that’s the subtle aspects of how we perceive energy fields and its vibrational frequencies.

According to Reiki expert William Rand, people can make the best use of their life force energies by improving their diet. In order to make use of higher healing energies, the physical body must be capable of holding and channelling these energy frequencies.

The body can therefore achieve a high degree of purification for natural balance. Stimulants, drugs and diet can distort our nervous system and other important organ systems. The body would therefore be hindered from holding more refined frequencies as the nervous system would not be able to channel them.

Although some energy would flow, these are only the lower vibrations which do not hold the full healing potential possible.

The quality and quantity of food you eat is central to your physical and emotional health. The source of food and how it is cooked is just as important as what it contains. Your body and health is a clearly a reflection of what you eat – on this there is no debate.

Your diet affects the energy to heal physically

Another fascinating observation affecting our nutrition comes from experiments by Dr Masaru Emoto from Japan. He took pictures of water molecules using a Magnetic Resonance Analyser (MRA) which he then exposed to prayer, sounds and words.

Initially the MRA pictures showed the water molecules as dark and non-descript, but after an hour of prayer directed at the water, the molecules had transformed into bright hexagonal crystals.

He repeated the experiments and found that positive thoughts and emotions would turn the water molecules into beautiful crystals whilst directing anger or abuse at the molecules would change them into ugly shapes.

Considering that our bodies are 65-70% water and that the food and drink we consume have high concentrations of water, it is a startling discovery of how our energetic vibrations from thoughts and emotions can shape our nutritional intake.

It also makes sense when certain religions advocate prayer before a meal as it channels positive energy into the food; we now have scientific evidence to prove a positive effect. These findings also offer an explanation as to why food made with love always tastes better and feels more nourishing.

Have you got an opinion on whether your thoughts can affect your diet?

How to choose an alternative health practitioner

I personally know quite a few mainstream and alternative health practitioners now and I find them to be amazing human beings who are generally caring and of high integrity. As complementary and alternative therapies are often new areas for many people, here are some general tips on how to select a practitioner of any kind, whether it be an acupuncturist, ayurvedic practitioner or massage therapist that is a good fit for you. Some of these tips apply to any conventional medicine or allied health professional as well:

  1. Word of Mouth – A referral is often the best way of understanding the practitioner’s methods, particularly when they have you have witnessed results in your friend, family member or someone you trust.  When you seek a practitioner, they should ask you for your reasons for seeking such treatment and in some cases, or check that you have consulted your GP. We are all different and so not everyone gets the same results in the exactly the same way so while referral is good, don’t expect exactly the same approach for your individual situation.
  2. Energy technique (e.g. Emotional Freedom technique, Reiki, Healing Touch) – If you have preference for a certain technique, then naturally you would seek a practitioner skilled in that particular method.  However, a study by Assay & Lambert on counselling has shown that a person’s improvement after a session is 40% due to the motivation and commitment of client and 35% due to their relationship with the practitioners. The actual counselling technique used affected only 15% of the outcome. Hence, while it is not directly related to energy practices, it does provide clues as to how much you bring to the table in any form of therapy. Nonetheless, feel free to experiment and ask your practitioner to explain their technique to you. Don’t worry if it can’t be explained very clearly the first time as some techniques can be a very experiential process. Results speak for themselves.
  3. Physical Contact: Ask if they work with your hands on the body, or in your energy field, or both? (If they do hands-on work, they may require a qualification or license, depending on your country, in which case you should ask them about this.
  4. Delivery: It is good to know the duration of sessions, how many sessions you expect to have and if you will be seated or lying down. This helps with your own comfort and preparation, but note that the length of any therapy varies greatly depending on the issue you are experiencing and the possible outcome you desire.
  5. Training, qualifications & experience:Whilst many alternative health practitioners are formally trained in recognised schools, there are a rare few that are learned their skills from more informal means such as apprenticeships. It’s fine to ask how they have learned their skill and how long they have been practising for. It’s also worthwhile asking if they have qualifications in other areas such as counselling, psychology conventional medicine and if they incorporate it.
  6. Attitude & Compatibility: It is important for the practitioner to understand your needs. A shared goal with your practitioner when starting treatment is important if you are to receive the benefits you want. A grounded practitioner will encourage you to seek and follow the advice of your regular (conventional) medical/psychological practitioner and should not make recommendations outside of her/his area of expertise. They should be able to competently answer your questions without getting defensive.You may choose to inform your regular doctor that you are receiving a complementary therapy such as energy coaching. In addition, ensure that your practitioner is willing to collaborate with your medical professional on your overall health. Your practitioner should not make unrealistic claims or promises to heal you of life-threatening illnesses or conditions, especially in a short period of time. Ultimately, you should feel comfortable and relaxed in their presence and they would not pressure you to make return visits. However, it is good practice torecommend a treatment plan for the sessions and advise on follow up. You should still be allowed to make the final decision.
  7. Informed Consent: The practitioner should provide you with all the necessary information and seek your consent before treating you. Some have booking forms as part of their practice, which includes disclaimers and/ or Terms and Conditions, which are reasonable requests and worth understanding.
  8. Location: If your session is in-person (as opposed to over the phone or internet), ensure they have a clean and comfortable space, whether it is their home or office.
  9. Fees: The right price is whatever you are willing to pay in return for the value you receive. It is OK to compare prices, and like any service, you may occasionally pay more for more experienced or qualified professionals. In some cases there may be a first free introduction so you have a chance to meet the practitioner and ask questions before proceeding with paid sessions.

Which of these tips was most relevant for you?

A movie that changed how I saw my body

You are probably aware that my personal journey into energy medicine and healing is relatively new, I made the discovery of the body’s energy system only in mid 2012. Yet, I gained amazing clarity toward my higher calling, and despite being a ‘high achiever’ personality all my life, I now have greater fulfilment in what I do.

Nonetheless, the transformation can be confusing, as you try to rationalise all these new insights, with what you thought to be ‘true’ in the past. From my perspective, it is OK to BELIEVE in something, but I also needed some FACTS to help justify my new BELIEFS. I needed to see the science!

Whilst trawling through all the scientific literature behind energy therapies, I came across many trials, research institutions, ‘gurus’ and books explaining the scientific basis behind energy medicine and healing. Methods such as Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping), Thought Field Therapy, Reiki are becoming more mainstream, evolving into terms like ‘Energy Anatomy’ and ‘Energy Psychology’.

One form of energy therapy, which everyone has heard of, is Acupuncture, which now has a widespread body of evidence so clear that Western medical practitioners use it to treat lower back pain in Emergency Departments and General Practice – Hallelujah!

We could not imagine this to be the case 10 years ago, yet things have changed because Western science has caught up. A similar scenario is occurring with Energy Coaching and Healing, as the science in this area is growing rapidly, there is a lot to cover!

However, in my good fortune, whilst reviewing all these clinical papers, scientific journals and books, all of which go into quite a level of detail, I came across A MOVIE that explained EVERYTHING in one place! It is called the Living Matrix was probably the most rewarding discovery for me a number of reasons:

  1. It was a feature length movie, and I love movies (don’t we all)!
  2. It had interviewed the top scientists around the world in Biophysics, Cell Biology, Quantum Physics, Medicine, Energy Healers which presented the concept of bioenergy fields and healing in a holistic context.
  3. It was viewable on Vimeo for free (woohoo!), which is licensed through Creative Commons -, while the DVD can be purchased from the Living Matrix website.
  4. It has high production values – it has strong visuals and animations, well directed and edited. It must have had a decent budget.
  5. Whilst it is a little science-heavy, most people would be able to understand the gist of the research and there are some fascinating experiments, particularly around the role of the heart in our energy fields.

Needless to say, this movie was one of the key answers I was looking for –  it does point you in the direction of which centers are leading the research in this area around the world, and how far the science has come. It also shows you case studies for the healing effects of your body’s own subtle energy.

This is not suprising, when you look at the high rates of satisfaction from many practitioners of Pranic Healing, Reiki, etc and how quickly those practices have grown. I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the future of medicine in the next decade lies in the understanding of the Energy System, which is why I created Energesse to help that process along.

Bioenergy therapy and Energy Medicine certainly has it skeptics, but my strong view is that this is changing thanks to the vast numbers of people around the world that have been gaining benefit over the years – and as is the case now, Western science is catching up.

These are exciting developments, transforming lives everywhere and it is our duty to be able to view such therapies with an open mind as well as to continue to ask the important questions about how we can build on this work, for the good of all.

I look forward to the future of scientific discoveries in this area and will continue to dissect the theories, practices and developments in future blogs.

Do you think there is enough awareness of our body’s energy system? I’d like to hear your opinion.