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The last few days, since the beginning of the Jewish New Year, I haven’t been feeling so hot.

After pondering on what’s going on I’ve come to the conclusion that the ‘vibe’ of the planet – or to put it in more spiritual terms, the Divine light that God is sending down to us 24/7 – has speeded up, or cranked up in someway, and my body is having some problems adjusting to it all.

People are energy – souls covered by an energetic mass that’s vibrating at a slower pace, to give it the illusion of being solid matter. That’s not new-age mumbo jumbo, that’s quantum physics.

God sustains every single cell, every single atom, by maintaining it in perpetual motion.

Some people call this the ‘electric charge’ associated with every single atom, cell, object, all the way up to human beings. Others call it the life-force. But whatever you choose to call it, the simple fact is that we are energy in motion, and what keeps us in motion (and consequently, alive) is God.

Since the beginning of the year, I feel as though the ‘light’ God continually sends down to the planet, or energy, or shefa (the Hebrew word for bounty) or blessing, or however you want to refer to it has got so, so much stronger.

Trouble is, if the vessel – i.e. the body – hasn’t been cleaned out enough to receive this extra input, it can cause all sorts of problems, physically and mentally.

What cleans out the body? There’s a few things, but it basically boils down to this:

  • Working on our bad character traits, and uprooting them.
  • Building and maintaining a strong connection to God, via talking to Him in our own words every single day (aka personal prayer, or hitbodedut).

Bad character traits and negative emotions have a huge impact on a person’s mental and physical health. They block the smooth flowing of the energy, or life-force around a person’s body. The cause the body’s energy meridians to back up, blow a fuse, surge unhelpfully or stagnate, all of which leads to physical health issues if not dealt with.

They cause the brain to act and react differently, leading to all sorts of mental issues, personality disorders and suicidal tendencies (amongst many other things.) So if the body is full of negative emotions and bad character traits, that means that energetically-speaking, the body’s electric circuits aren’t functioning properly.

If the amount of ‘charge’ coming down from God then gets amped up – a person is going to start blowing circuits all over the place.

How do we clear out the bad character traits and emotions? First, we recognize that we actually have them (an enormous problem for most people…) Next, we recognize the damage they’re doing, particularly to us, but also to the people we love. Last, we ask God for help to get rid of them – which brings us to the second point, about talking to God regularly.

When you talk to God regularly, you gradually ‘up’ your body’s tolerance to Divine light and you strengthen your soul. When the soul is stronger, it can start to ‘talk down’ to the body more, and make its voice heard. It can steer the body away from the cheesecake, towards the salad bar. It can encourage the body to get a good night’s rest, instead of messing around on Facebook until 2am. And, it can persuade the body that working on things like bad character traits and negative emotions is actually in the body’s best interests, too.

There’s an idea in Judaism that a person’s sins are literally engraved on their bones.

Until we make Teshuva, the ‘bad energy’, or blockages, or problems our sins have created in the world are literally stored in the body, and are the source of our physical aches, pains, and other issues.

Once we make Teshuva, the energy ‘recombines’ into it’s proper order, the body starts to work better again and we feel so much happier and healthier and holier.

God is sending more and more light down to the world. Once I started having all the weird aches and pains the last week, I started exploring what’s going on in my personal prayer, and tried to figure out what’s underneath that pain in my hip, that bad headache, that difficulty breathing. I’ve been getting some amazing insights:

The hip is a bad character trait I ‘inherited’ from an old relative, that I really need to work on uprooting asap.

The breathing issue was connected to me still being angry at someone who hurt me a lot three years’ ago. I had to work on forgiveness, and letting go of this person with love.

The headache is my nervous system going haywire because there are huge things building up in the world. For that, I’ve had to work on my emuna, and also to sedate the bladder meridian and triple warmer meridian points, and to stick lentils in a few places to try and clear the block that’s happening there.

It’s a work in progress, and it’s probably never going to end. But each time I clean off whatever issue arises, I feel so much happier and better. A big reason why people’s bodies wear out in old age is because if we’re not cleaning the sins out of bones, and we’re just adding to them as we go along in life, sooner or later we get to a point where the body can’t cope anymore, and starts to disintegrate.

God is speeding things up right now.

Work that used to take years can now take weeks or even just days and hours.

So, if you’re also feeling more tired, achey, fatigued or stressed than usual, know that it’s because your body, your vessel, is struggling to cope with the extra ‘light’ God is sending to the world. And if you don’t deal with it, it’s only going to get worse!

As a first port of call, pick up a copy of ‘Talk to God and Fix Your Health’, and then use all the ideas and techniques in that book to start clearing out your system across body, mind and soul. Whatever else is going to happen this year, God wants us to get to work on uprooting our bad character traits and negative emotions, and the sooner we start that process, the better and healthier we’ll feel.

You can buy Talk to God and Fix Your Health on Amazon and on The Book Depository

Recently, I experienced something that distu disturbing things I’ve ever experienced was a group ‘spiritual healing’ session that was facilitated by an apparently ‘frum’ person.

I thought I was going to a demo of psychodrama, which is where a traumatized person asks different people to pretend to be their mum and dad, and then re-enacts certain scenarios with these ‘stand-ins’ where they get to speak up, run away, have a voice etc, often for the first time in their lives.

Bessel Van Der Kolk writes about how useful psychodrama can be for adult trauma victims who experienced very painful childhoods, so I wanted to go and hear about this approach first-hand.

That’s what I thought I was going to.

What I actually went to was something way different, and I want to share my experience with you, as I think it sums up how confusing, cloudy and even sinister things can be in the Jewish alternative health world.

I got there a couple of minutes late, when the ‘volunteer’ had already been picked, and people were sitting down in a circle, waiting for the action to begin. The facilitator asked the volunteer to pick stand-ins, who would represent different family members, and to arrange them in the middle of the circle. So far so good.

Then, the facilitator asked each of the ‘actors’ in turn about how they felt about one another, and of course, they all really loved each other, and everything was just fine and dandy.

In fact, things were so fine and dandy that it started to seem a bit pointless to me – I mean, a group of amateur actors aren’t exactly going to start revealing where all the family’s skeletons are buried, a) because they don’t actually know and b) because we all like a happy ending.

But then, as more people were picked to represent different, additional family members, something very weird started to happen.

One of the actors suddenly started to sob uncontrollably. Another one – a beautiful young girl – underwent a character transformation, that took her from being her sweet, innocent, optimistic self to a very cold, bitter and angry older woman.

It could be there were other things happening too, but because the change in the younger woman was so dramatic, I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

Long story short, the original volunteer, who’s family life history was now playing out in full colour in front of about 25 other people, was asked to join the tableau, and to start having conversations with all her ‘ancestors’.

It was clearly a very emotionally-charged event and tears were flowing freely.

But here’s the thing: As I was sitting there watching all this, I suddenly started picking up some very strong ‘feelings’ about the personalities of the ‘characters’ in front of me – and that’s when I started to freak out, because while I’m very good at reading people’s characters when they’re enclothed in a physical body and actually talking to me, I’ve never being able to read the character of some person who died a few decades’ ago, and who I’ve never met.

Afterwards, I was told that at least one of the participants also couldn’t describe what had just occurred, and said that the words she found herself saying were not really coming from her.

There were some powerful, powerful spiritual forces being unleashed in that room – and here’s where things get serious, because IF those powerful spiritual forces are mandated and accepted by orthodox Judaism, well, OK then.

But if they aren’t – then they weren’t coming from a good place. Now, I came late. It could be a prayer was said before I got there, or God was somehow involved by the facilitator in a way that wasn’t at all clear to me, I don’t know. But God wasn’t mentioned at all the whole time I was watching this, not even at the end when the facilitator told the volunteer that she’d just ‘fixed’ all her ancestral hurt and issues.

Really?

Really, you can have a group of people act like your long-dead family, and that ‘fixes’ the problem, spiritually?

Is that a Jewish idea? What about free choice? What about the idea that spiritual tikunnim actually require a lot of effort, a lot of change, and some truly difficult inner work?

I’m not ‘anti’ spiritual short-cuts if they’re coming from a good place, and they work. But this demonstration bothered me on a number of levels. As someone who’s worked very hard on trying to fix a whole bunch of stuff, I know how hard big tikunim can be sometimes – literally, you can spend years working on things and see very little movement.

So the apparent ‘ease’ of the process was problematic to me, as God very rarely works that way. The ‘other-world’ aspects of this process were also very disturbing to me, as I felt on many levels that in some way, the participants were being ‘possessed’ by spiritual forces that were external to them, and I just can’t see how that can be good, or kosher.

I felt terrible for the poor volunteer.

For all the facilitator was congratulating her on ‘fixing’ all her past and family issues, and telling her how wonderful she was going to feel now, if it was me who’d walked right into that very public display of my family’s dirty washing – in front of so many different people – that would be enough to give me a serious case of trauma, all by itself.

And lastly, I felt really bad about the actors. I mean, no-one asked them, or warned them, that they might have some sort of disembodied spirit taking them over for an hour. These things are serious, spiritually-speaking, and we can’t just mess around with them at a whim, or deal with them superficially, or follow the mores of different religions or different ‘experts’ as to what’s really going on and what long-term damage it might do – because they don’t know!

I came out of that ‘healing experience’ extremely confused and disturbed. I came home, told my daughter what I’d just seen, and she involuntarily shuddered and said:

‘Uggh, that sounds a bit like avoda zara to me,’ holy soul that she is.

After thinking about it a lot, and praying about it, and asking God for some clarity and guidance, I think she’s right.

Yes, Western medicine is corrupt, and drugs and surgery literally kill as much as they cure. Yes, a lot of the more alternative, natural treatments are much closer to the Torah ideal of how we should treat mental and physical illness – but not all of them.

As the alternative movement gathers steam in the world generally, and in the Jewish world more specifically, all of us need to really be on guard to check, double-check and check again that the treatments and therapies we’re engaging in really ARE kosher.

Just because someone looks frum, doesn’t mean things are being done in a genuinely frum way.

There’s a huge amount of clarification that’s required, as we inch forward into this more spiritual way of being before Moshiach. So don’t be scared to ask hard questions, to insist on being shown how God is being included in things, and which rabbis have mandated the approach or practices you’re being offered, and lastly, don’t be scared to stand up and walk away, if you have to.

That’s not always easy, but when you’re dealing with matters where the stakes are just so high, sometimes you simply have no other choice.

UPDATE:

Two years later, I happened to bump into the ‘volunteer’ by the grave of Rabbi Meir Baal HaNess In Tiveria. I asked her if she thought the ‘family constellation’ experience had helped her at all, to resolve the issues she’d been experienced. She replied that it hadn’t changed a thing. So, caveat emptor.

A little while ago, I had the privilege of attending one of those ‘women’s entertainment things’ in Jerusalem.

I stopped doing that stuff when I was going through my fanatical frum stage, but the last few months they’ve come back on my radar, and broadly speaking, I usually quite enjoy them.

A friend of mine happened to treat me to this production, and when I showed up at the theatre I found I was seated next to a whole bunch of people who I used to know from the first place I lived in Israel – the place we had to sell up our massive house and leave, because both mine and my husband’s businesses went bust.

Whoah Bessy.

For years, I couldn’t even go back to that place for a visit, as it would inevitably spark off so many feelings of self-loathing and despair

– ie, I would start reliving my last few, incredibly difficult, months there. Now I know that’s a common thing that happens when you went through a very traumatic experience, but for years I was blaming the place itself, the people, everything, really.

But that’s not all: there were also a bunch of people there that I hadn’t seen for years from the second place we lived in, that we had to sell up our massive house and leave because I was having enormous panic attacks and living in fear that terrorists were going to break into my house and murder me, God forbid.

It got so bad, that I still can’t spend more than five minutes in that yishuv, and I’ve never really been back to visit anyone. Bad associations, again.

And then, there were a handful of people there from the last place we had to sell up our massive house and leave, because we ran out of money and were basically going bonkers there.

Whoah Bessy, again.

That’s quite a lot of traumatic situations, difficult memories and overwhelming emotional triggers to deal with in one night. But you know what? God helped me, and I mostly even enjoyed myself.

Until this morning.

I woke up this morning feeling the beginnings of that ‘down’ feeling that if you don’t acknowledge it ASAP and go and find out what’s sparking it off and what you need to do to counter it, can quickly spiral down into the blackest depression.

Luckily, I’ve worked out enough things to quickly recognize the following:

  • Someone or something at the event had made me feel worthless in some way
  • I just had to figure out what was going on, and take it back to God, to side-step the impending depression
  • These things always show up THE DAY AFTER

So after a bit of reflecting on who’d I’d spoken to and what they’d said, I came up with the following:

  • I was still feeling a little guilty about moving my kids around so much, albeit they’ve actually come through it all amazingly, and are far more resilient, confident and mature than most kids their age, as a result. They also find it much easier to just be ‘them’, and to make friends with people who are different, which is a huge gift.

Still, when someone commented that my kids were like ‘army brats’, that still stung enough to make me feel pretty down about my worth as a mother, the morning after.

  • I’m still struggling on some level to accept that us not being in any position to buy a house here – despite having lived here for more than a decade, despite trying to do what God wants – is for my good.

I see Mrs X – and I remember the 5 bedroom house with basement I had next to hers, that she’s still living in, and I’m not. I see Mrs Y – and I remember the garden of my house that I worked on for two years, down the road from the house that she is still living in. I see Mrs W, and I wonder why it is God has let these people stay in the same place for years, while I’m still pinging all over the place like some crazy jukebox game at the age of 42.

And then, that causes me some difficulties with God.

I start to feel like maybe, He doesn’t really care about me; that I’m invisible to Him; that He’s punishing me, for something.

These are not new thoughts. They are the thoughts that I’ve had to work so hard to counter the last few years, and I guess God was just showing me that on some level, there’s still work to do.

What snapped me out of all the impending misery and gloom that was gathering around me was two things (apparently, there’s going to be lots of numbered lists in this post):

  • Saying thank you, even though sometimes it’s a struggle to say thank you. I don’t KNOW why all this stuff is good, but I want to BELIEVE that it is, and that’s enough to turn things around internally.
  • Realising that I’m still suffering from some PTSD from all the traumatic experiences we’ve gone through the last 10 years, and that seeing these people are triggering off old stuff.

Sure, the ‘army brats’ comment was insensitive, but really I reacted so strongly this morning because I started to feel that I was back there again, in those places of complete despair and shame that I had to pass through on the way out my gashmius bubble.

Once I’m done typing, I’m going to do some EFT, or a TAT, or maybe even some EMDR, to start clearing up that residual ikky stuff, and start liking myself again. Because mostly, my life is so good. And I want to be able to remember that even when I’m spending time around a bunch of blasts from the past.

Sarah’s mother brought her to me after Sarah’s school forced her to undergo an evaluation for ADHD. The school psychologist was ‘encouraging’ Sarah’s mother to put her daughter on Ritalin, but Sarah’s mother was completely opposed to the use of drugs for children, and she also didn’t believe the ADHD diagnosis was accurate. After all, even though Sarah was 6 and still couldn’t read, she could sit for hours being read to, or absorbed in a game she was playing with her friends. ADHD just didn’t seem to be the right diagnosis, but in the meantime, Sarah was wandering around the classroom, and was starting to disrupt the class.

So Sarah’s mother knew something was ‘off’, but didn’t know what.

Jewish Energy Medicine is not about diagnosing specific issues, it’s about finding out what’s really going on under the surface, and trying to decode the spiritual messages G-d is continually sending us via our health.

The first thing I did was ask if Sarah had any allergies. Any allergy is always a big red sign that the energy in Spleen meridian is weak, and if Spleen is weak, it’s very hard for a person (in this instance, Sarah) to metabolise the new knowledge and information she was receiving in class.

We hit the jackpot: Sarah had a number of food allergies, and well as severe hayfever. Next, I asked if Sarah had an easy or difficult birth (because traumatic circumstances or shock can wipe out Spleen energy in an instant, making it an up-hill battle for the body to cope with it’s food and environment until it’s restored).

Again, jackpot! Sarah’s mother had been in labour for 28 hours, the birth had been extremely difficult, and Sarah had swallowed a lot of meconium and had been whisked away by the attending doctors as soon as she was born to get it all flushed out.

Next, I asked if Sarah spent a lot of time in front of the big screen, either on the computer or watching TV.

Again, jackpot! Electromagnet energy can potentially be another big disrupter of Spleen energy, as can any other environmental pollutant.

The last question was a bit more sensitive: was the environment in the house usually relaxed and encouraging, or more stressed and a bit critical?

To her credit, Sarah’s mother admitted that she was working full time, and with three small children to care for (Sarah was the oldest), she was usually pretty wound-up and tense when she was home. One of the reasons Sarah watched films every day after school was so her mother could have some space to unwind and make supper (often, something you could just pull out of the freezer and throw in the oven. Sarah’s mother rarely had time to cook much from scratch.)

We started to piece all the bits of the puzzle together, and this is what we got:

Spleen meridian is responsible for being able to learn and assimilate new ideas. I believe that together with Triple Warmer, it’s the main meridian affecting most learning difficulties.

Spleen energy is associated with compassion, and is also weakened by environmental pollutants, shock or trauma, electromagnetic energy, junk food and a negative or stressful emotional environment.

Sarah appeared to be struggling on almost all those fronts. I suggested some standard energy exercises to strengthen Spleen which would definitely help, but it looked like there also had to be some changes in Sarah’s environment. Sarah’s mother left our session with some very big decisions to think about.

As the pressure from the school mounted, she took the plunge and started trying to clean up the family’s eating habits. Next, Sarah’s mother realized that it was impossible to give Sarah the time and attention she really needed unless she cut back her work.

It was a hard decision, but after a lot of consideration, Sarah’s mother went part-time. Now, she had time to take Sarah for weekly sessions with a remedial reading teacher, and within six months, Sarah started to reap the benefits of her mother’s self-sacrifice. Now that she was eating more home cooked food, spending less time in front of the computer, and having a more relaxed home environment and emotionally-available mother, Sarah’s marks had improved so much, she was now near the top of the class, and reading voraciously.

The ‘ADHD’ diagnosis disappeared, and the school stopped pressuring Sarah to take Ritalin.

I love the simplicity of energy medicine. I know I’m not doing the world’s best job of explaining it (yet…) on this blog, but hopefully that will change soon, especially when I get all my diagrams of acupressure points sorted out.

In the meantime, I just wanted to tell you a bit about pulse points.

Acupuncturists usually train for decades, to be able to tell if one of the 12 meridian pulse points is too weak, or too strong, but if you use energy (or muscle) testing, you can literally pick up the basics in an hour.

The 12 pulse points are located on the thumb side of each hand, six on right wrist, and six on the left wrist.

If you press lightly with three fingers, you get the pulses for the external, or ‘yang’ meridians. If you press deeply with the same three fingers, you get the pulses for the internal, or ‘yin’ meridians.

Today, I was feeling really, really low, and I had no idea why. I mean, OKAYYY, times are currently tough in the Levy household. But sadly, it’s been that way for years. If I let that get me down I don’t think I would’ve smiled once the last 12 years…

So something else was going on.

(The last time I felt like this, btw, was a few weeks before the last Gazan war.)

Last time, I literally felt I was going to have a heart-attack for weeks, G-d forbid, for no obvious reason. This time round, thanks to the pulses, I could at least check what meridians were out, and try to figure out how to unblock whatever needed unblocking, or strengthen whatever needed strengthening, before my toes went numb.

I checked, and I got the following information:

Kidney, small intestine, gallbladder and heart were all out.

I vigorously rubbed the associated neurolymphatic points for each meridian, to get the energy going again, and now they all tested strong, except heart.

Ahhh, the heart.

Heart energy gets weakened by heartache and heartbreak. I’d love to tell you that I have no problems in that area, but I’d really be lying. I’ve been trying to deal with a broken heart, for various reasons, for about three years now.

Every time I think I’ve turned the corner with it, I smack straight into a big wall.

But G-d is showing me again, that I have to keep trying to heal my heartbreak, and keep looking for ways to put love out into the world, however difficult that’s been for me recently.

The only thing that’s more spiritually and physically damaging to a person than a broken heart is a heart of stone.

So even though it still feels pretty risky to hope and to love and to try again in any genuine way, that’s really the only way forward. I have to trust G-d that any heartache He throws at me is coming to heal and not to hurt, and to stop worrying so much about ‘what will be’.

That’s quite a tall order.

But I prefer it a million times over to having my toes go numb again.

This is one of those posts that’s so hard to write, but so important to set down, some how. We’d all love to live in a world where people only gave out positive energy, and had good characteristics, and treated us with generosity of spirit, kindness and truth.

Thank G-d, that stuff does still happen.

But as people get more and more disconnected from G-d, and more and more disconnected from that spark of G-d in themselves that’s called the neshama, or soul, the more they’re falling prey to all sorts of serious ‘soul sicknesses’.

Rav Arush writes about soul sickness at length in many of his books, but particularly in the Garden of Healing. There, he spells it out very clearly that the further away a person gets from G-d, and from having emuna, the more soul-sick they’ll be.

He defines ‘soul-sickness’ as all those negative emotions that we all have, like jealousy, angry, worry, arrogance etc; and explains that the more severe soul-sicknesses can show up as diagnoses for severe mental illnesses, including personality disorders.

Secular medicine has no cure for things like personality disorders and schizophrenia. Their best effort is to offer pills to try to drug away the worst symptoms, and if that doesn’t work, their next big suggestion is to stick someone away in an institution for the rest of their lives.

Spiritually, there is a solution, and it’s one that works wonders: learn more emuna. Rav Arush, and I’m sure others too, teach that the more emuna a person has, the more they try to see G-d in their lives, and to include Him, and to talk to Him, the more spiritually-healthy they will be.

When everyone starts following that advice, the world will be a peaceful, amazing, sane beautiful place to live in…but in the meantime, I thought I’d put together some energetic advice on how to deal with the crazy people who can suck all the life and joy out of you, if you’re not careful.

The following things have worked for me, or for others, in some very difficult situations, enabling us to deal with ‘negative people’ without getting angry, sick or crazy themselves (no small achievement!)

Some of them sound weird, but don’t knock it until you try it. None of these things can do you any harm, and they could help you tremendously.

1) Shower

Before and / or after dealing with someone you know is ‘difficult’, take a shower. Nothing washes away negativity like a bit of hot water.

2) Do the ‘G-d is everywhere’ exercise every morning (see below)

3) Carry your invisible umbrella ­- if you know in advance you’re dealing with a difficult person who sucks you dry and exhausts, keep them out of your personal space as much as possible. Put up your ‘invisible umbrella’ to keep people at arm’s length; if they’re trying to hug you, stand to close to you, pat your arm etc, gently move away, so they’re no closer to you than they would be if you were holding an umbrella. If you have to, don’t be scared to police your invisible boundary forcefully. They’ll get the message sooner or later.

4) Try to stand with them on your right-hand side – energetically, we absorb far more on the left-side, and are far more vulnerable from that direction.

5) Cross your arms – many of us do this automatically when we’re around people who are a bit ‘too much’ for us. But energetically, it really does repel negative vibes.

6) Understand what you’re dealing with: and that it’s not your responsibility (or fault) if they’re unhappy and negative. We don’t have to ‘fix’ other people – and even if we want to, we can’t! We are each responsible for our own outlook and happiness, so don’t let a negative person make their problem, your problem. Keep your distance from them, emotionally, and try not to take their griping, unhappiness, rage fits and attempts to control and manipulate you personally. If despite all your efforts, you still get zapped with bad vibes, try the following:

7) ‘Give it back to G-d’ exercise – (see below). And then:

8) Take a bath in baking soda – I know this sounds mega-weird, but in practise is really does help a person feel more grounded, ‘together’ and cleaned-off from all the emotional ‘ick’.

B’hatslacha, and I’m certainly looking forward to a time very soon when we won’t need these exercises any more…

‘G-d is everywhere’ exercise

Rub your hands together, and shake them off.

Rub them together again, and then put them palms facing either side of your ears.

Bring your elbows together in front your face, and then cross your arms over each other, and sweep them out to the side.

Cross your arms over in front of you again, and again sweep out to the side. Do these criss-cross movements in front of you all the way down your body and legs, until you get to the floor.

Have in mind that G-d is protecting you, and keeping you cocooned off in His kindness and light.

When you reach the floor, put your two arms together, kind of like an elephant’s trunk, and make sweeping figure 8 movements around your body, as you come back up from your legs to your head.

Take the ‘Figure 8’ movements up to past your head, then put your two arms together, backs of hands touching, above your head, and then bring them gently down to the sides of your body.

Imagine as you do this, that you are literally in a cocoon of Divine protection.

 

‘Give it back to G-d’ exercise

Rub your hands together and shake them off.

Bring your hands together in front of your chest, palms touching.

Zoom one hand up, palm up, to G-d, and zoom one hand down, palm down, as though kind of ‘leaning’ on the ground.

Stretch.

Now, switch sides – zoom the ‘up’ hand to the ‘down’ position, and vice-versa.

While you’re doing this, have in mind that you are giving whatever you need to back to G-d, to take care of, while retaining whatever experience, learning or ‘good’ you need to keep hold of.

Do this another 2 times on both sides.

Then, bend over with your arms down in front of you, and take 2 deep breaths.

Now, slowly stand up, rolling your arms up your body as you do so. (Imagine you’re rolling a beach ball up your body.)

Take your arms above your head, and bring them down to your sides.

Imagine, as you do this, that G-d is covering you in protective mantle of Divine light.

A couple of days’ ago, I was driving on the motorway on the way to Ramat Bet Shemesh. It was the day after the snow/rain/snow storm in Jerusalem, and the roads were still pretty wet, but I don’t think they were icy.

I came over a hill around 70 km an hour, I turned the wheel left to follow the road round – and the wheel stayed turned to the right, putting me into a direct collision course with the barrier.

Uhoh.

I pumped the brakes (I think – I can’t really remember the logistical details) and the car went into a spin. I was sure I was about to have a crash, but G-d did a big miracle for me, and spun my car around 180 degrees, in the emergency lane by the side of the road.

All this happened at the top of a hill, which meant no-one could see that I’d had an accident until they’d already crashed into me, G-d forbid. As I sat on the hard shoulder waiting for the panic to hit after this massive near-miss, I realised something strange: I actually wasn’t panicking.

Yes, I was breathing a bit hard, and I felt a little bit shaken up, but really, almost nothing.

Bizarre!

What could explain my lack of ‘stress response?’ A minute later, I’d restarted the car, turned it around and was driving on to my appointment in RBS. I know myself pretty well, and especially after the accident I had last year, there is no way that I could have normally acted like that straight after a big skid on a motorway with articulated lorries rushing by.

There are two possible explanations: either, my emuna is now really, really high (which I doubt, because I still screamed blue murder at the kid who didn’t want to go to school today. I don’t think I could have ‘accident’ emuna and not have ‘annoying kid’ emuna, but really, who knows what’s the bigger test sometimes…)

OR

My Triple Warmer is practically comatose, because I’ve been sedating it to death every day for two months.

You’ll recall that Triple Warmer meridian governs the fight or flight response, which is occasionally useful (like if a Hamas terrorist was running after you), but otherwise, not.

I reacted so calmly to my near-miss car accident, even at the time it struck me as bizarre. Instead of my brain freezing, I just started talking to G-d about hoping I wasn’t about to have a bad crash.

Energy medicine is sometimes so gentle, even I sometimes wonder if anything’s really happening. I guess I got something like an answer, when I nearly crashed. You can’t fake your reaction in situations like that, and I really was unnaturally calm.

So it looks like this stuff really does work, in whatever way G-d intends it to.

Of course, the real kudos still go to the Al-mighty, for the tremendous miracle He pulled off for me. I doubt the calm state would have lasted very long if I’d gone down the side of the mountain or been hit side-on by a lorry.

Thanks, G-d! You’re the best.

Around five years’ ago, I had a very stressful period of time, when we were living in a settlement across the Green Line, and my daughter was getting bullied at school, and then getting pretty sick, as a result of the bullying.

It was the time when Arabs were going beserk in Jerusalem with bulldozers, and I can’t tell you how many Arabs in bulldozers were driving around my settlement at that time, building houses.

I’d always had a big ‘scared’ streak, but my fear kept going up and up and up, to the point that I was scared to death of letting my children out of the house, in case they went near an Arab with a bulldozer.

But what really pushed me over the edge, fear-wise, is when my settlement got hit by a spate of burglaries. We all knew it was Arabs; we all secretly worried that if Arabs could break in to steal stuff, they could also break in to do other terrible things, G-d forbid.

Nearly all the burglaries happened on my street. Literally, every few days, we’d hear of some other house being hit, and even though I’d never used Arabs – not even Jihad, the pro-aliya plumber – and I had bars on the windows, I was freaking out.

Long story short, we decided to move, and G-d did a miracle for us and got us out of there within a month of us making the decision to leave. By the time we left, only two houses plus ours hadn’t been burgled, and the whole street was on edge, whether they admitted it or not.

The whole time my fear buttons had been pressed, I was on super-high alert, but generally healthy (not counting the nervous breakdown). When I got to the nice, quiet, civilised new place where I was going to live, I got hit with a number of health issues that I’d never had before.

I was completely exhausted, unable to stay up past 8pm. But I was also waking up a lot in the night, usually with a very dry mouth that wouldn’t go away no matter how much water I drank.

As my energy continued to wane, and other weird symptoms started to flourish, I went to a few alternative health experts to get some advice and help. One told me I had parasites (she was right, I did). One told me I had candida (right again). Another told me I had to start eating much better (ie, lettuce and whole grains). They were all right, and it all helped me feel better.

But I still wasn’t 100%.

One of my friends at the time, a nurse, mentioned that she thought maybe I had adrenal exhaustion. I went to look that up on the internet (which is such a bad idea, but we still feel compelled to do it) and according to everything I read, the only answer for exhausted adrenals was to lie in bed for weeks or months until they got some juice back.

I took it easy for a year (I had no choice) – and I ate healthy and took all the disgusting super-bitter grapefruit extract to kill off all the parasites etc, and finally, I started to feel better.

I’ve just come through another crazy time in my life, and again, I was noticing my mouth was starting to feel pretty dry when I woke up in the morning. Lucky for me, this time round G-d arranged for me to be doing a Women’s Energy Medicine module, and guess what they were talking about: exhausted and burnt-out adrenals.

Apparently, having a dry mouth is one of the warning signs that your adrenals are frying out.

But this time round, I learnt that there are things you can do to recuperate much faster, and get the energy flowing back into exhausted adrenals.

Adrenals are governed by – you guessed it – Triple Warmer meridian, which is a Fire element meridian, according to Chinese 5 element theory. It’s co-meridians on Fire are Heart, Small Intestine and Circulation-X (there should be an ‘se’ before that x, but I so don’t want that word to get picked up by web-bots).

Using the relevant acupressure points, if you strengthen heart; sedate and then strengthen circ-x; and sedate and strengthen TW, you can get your adrenals going again in a matter of days, not weeks.

I’ve been following their advice for a whole DAY, so I’ll let you know what happens. But one thing I can tell you is that my mouth already feels a whole lot less dry, which is a good start. And it certainly beats lying in bed for the next 8 months when I’ve got a book to write…

I was talking to someone a little while ago about the number of people taking SSRIs (what we’ll generically call ‘Prozac’), when they said: “You know, when you told me that half the people in your town were taking Prozac, I really thought you were exaggerating. But yesterday I was talking to one of my neighbours, and they started telling me about what’s going on with the people in my neighbourhood, and half of my village is also on them! The woman I was talking to was a pharmacist, and she told me that as fast as she’s stocking them, people are cleaning them out. It’s an epidemic.”

Since the latest war in Israel, anxiety has become a major problem for a lot of people. It’s easy to understand why: anyone with eyes in their head can see that the threat to Israeli security posed by Gaza and Hamas was only temporarily curtailed. Sooner or later, the rockets will be back, and they may well be joined by other rockets from Hezbolla in Lebanon, and who knows what else from ISIS, currently camped out on the Jordanian, Syrian and Egyptian borders.

And the economy? Pleeze, let’s not talk about the economy. Until now, Israel has escaped most of the ‘down’ experienced by the rest of the world, but the cracks are starting to show. I live in Jerusalem, and businesses are starting to close (including my own, in the Old City). Money is starting to be pretty tight. Banks are starting to pull in their credit in quite an aggressive way.

All of this puts a lot of stress on most people’s nervous systems. As a result, they are more on edge, more likely to fight with their spouses, more likely to have kids acting up and acting out, and finding it harder to unwind, relax and even to sleep.

It’s a vicious spiral down, and many people are struggling to cope, and hoping that drugs like Prozac are the magic panacea that’s going to solve all their problems.

One day soon, I’m going to write a few detailed posts (with citations) showing why SSRIs are dangerous drugs, that usually cause far more problems than they solve. But today, I want to focus on natural alternatives for reducing anxiety, because if more people knew there were other things out there that really worked to reduce their anxiety, they’d probably be less inclined to start trying to drug their problems away.

The first thing you can do if you’re feeling incredibly anxious is to gently hold the neurovascular points on the front of your forehead (the bony bits just above your eyebrows) for a couple of minutes. It’s a very simple technique, but it brings blood back into your forebrain and away from the limbic system, and helps to eliminate the physical ‘stress response’ that causes anxiety.

Just actively bring to mind the thing you’re worrying about, gently hold the front neurovascular points for up to five minutes, and you’ll see that it’s somehow ‘de-compressed’ the problem.

You can still think about the issue or worry, but without the pounding heart, nausea, dry mouth and sense of panic. You can go through all your worries one by one, and defuse them with this technique.

The next thing you can do is use aromatherapy. Put a few drops (up to 6) of sweet marjoram or chamomile (or another ‘sedating’ essential oil) in the bath, soak for 20 minutes and you’ll feel physiologically much calmer and able to deal.

The next thing is to turn off the news. Go ‘news-free’ for a week, and I guarantee you’ll notice a marked difference in your equanimity and peace of mind.

The last thing is to start talking to G-d about what’s bothering you. Drop the mask, and come clean, because the more we try to shove our issues and anxieties under the carpet, the larger they start to loom in our subconscious.

Today, we are all full of worries, fears and anxieties, whether we want to admit that or not. Running away from our problems is not an answer – the anxiety we continue to feel at an unconscious level will simply seep out into myriad health issues, ‘stress’, insomnia and anger.

We need to face our anxieties head-on; we need to be honest about what’s worrying us; we need to put G-d in the picture – and then we need to hold our neurovasculars in the bath for five minutes.

And if we do all those things, we’ll start to feel calmer, happier, and less anxious, and we won’t need the Prozac any more.