Thursday, July 15, 2010

Here in the Dark

"The light is better in our conscious minds, but we must look for healing in the dark unconscious." - Bernie Siegel, Love, Medicine, and Miracles

Driving home from yesterday's NAET treatment, I was having my usual wrestling match with faith.

I want to believe this will work. I need to believe it will work. But I struggle, because I don't understand how it works. NAET operates in a realm I cannot see, touch, or grasp with logic: the subconscious mind.

On the other hand, it just occurred to me that I have no idea how the medications prescribed for me by MDs work, either. I can't see or touch things like histamine, dopamine, or hormones. I take it all on faith and swallow the pills. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don't.

Yesterday I watched a Jon Stewart interview with Marilynne Robinson regarding her book, Absence of Mind. Her thesis is complex, but it has to do with the (false, in her mind) dichotomy of science vs. religion. At the end of the interview, deliberately misinterpreting her thesis for comic effect, Jon Stewart asked, "Quickly, before we go ... Who's right?" She considered for a mere half-second before replying. "Well, I am."

It was admirably quick, clever and funny. It also struck me as right on the money with regard to healing. Whether a treatment plan is based on Western science, Eastern philosophy, or blind faith, the bottom line is: What is the effect on my body? Does it work for me?

I'll tell you what I know so far about NAET, what I can observe with my conscious mind. During the testing phase, I hold glass vials containing various substances in one hand, while Will presses down on my other arm.

Resist, he says.

Sometimes, the arm stays strong. Sometimes, the muscle seems to weaken dramatically, suddenly, and my arm drops to my side. When that happens, Will makes a note of my allergy to that substance, to be treated later. We move on to the next item, both of us briskly rubbing our hands together to clear the negative energy before continuing.

He also uses muscle testing to gather other information from my subconscious. Has a treated allergen cleared completely? Am I strong enough to tolerate another treatment today? Which allergy should be treated next?

I then hold the allergen I'm being treated for that day, while Will works on acupressure points along my spine to clear blocked energy. He moves his hands across my face, interacting with the brain in a way I do not pretend to understand. Then he places acupuncture needles for a balancing treatment, and I rest. (This is my favorite part. Resting, I "get.")

Some days, I confess, it all feels like a big test. How far "out" are you willing to go to get well? How much are you willing to trust and accept?

But I know that is the conscious mind talking. Mired as it is in logic, and its fear of the unfamiliar, of things it cannot control or understand.

Resist, it says.

Sometimes my faith holds strong. Other times it weakens, and my resolve drops. What can I do? I make a note of it, and move on.


  1. I'm most curious about the efficacy of NAET. If it works for you then you should be doing it - even if it's only the placebo effect (shhh! the placebo effect is powerful).

    Any good MD will tell you that the patient heals herself and their job is to set the stage for success. Same goes for any healthcare provider.

    The use of the term 'energy' as you've described it in NAET and acupuncture is misguided and unfortunate. I think it would take a couple sentences to describe what they're talking about & they need a shorthand word for that. 'Energy' isn't it.

  2. If you believe in it and it cures you, no one can argue - most of all, I am happy for you.

    What you have so elegantly described here seems to be somewhat unverifiable except by the results you yourself perceive. My advice? Hold on to your wallet. Continue to believe - trust, but verify. But much of what is being delivered seems to be philosophical in nature.

    Speaking of which, the Buddhists provide an angle that would be well-considered for anyone who grows old. Life is filled with pain. Our expectation that there should be no pain in life can double or triple the sting. Accepting life as it is, with the discomforts factored in, can foster peace within and happiness with others. Manage your expectations well.

    This is worth considering as your journey winds on. You might tire of the treatments. Then would be the time to consider what knowledge has been gained and how to use it pragmatically to truly enjoy the rest of your life with those around you.

    Lots of love,

    Uncle Doug