Energetics is Everything

Albert Einstein stated: “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it.” I won't disagree, but I contend the other side is true also: Energetics is everything! Simply put, every person, plant, animal, and object on earth is made up of a constant, natural flow and pattern of energy, unique to each one of them.

Think about it. Do you remember a time someone walked into a room and you could feel the mood of the room change for the better or for the worse? Has there been a time when being around a particular person made you feel agitated or drained? That’s energy and energetics.

Many of us herbalists contend that the balance of one’s own energetics determines one’s wellbeing. Every person’s energy involves their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energetics. To be in good health, all must be in balance. What is fascinating to me is that every person’s pattern of energy is unique to that person.

When your energy is blocked, or is moving in the wrong direction, or is too fast/slow or too hot/cold or too wet/dry or… you fall out of balance and your health suffers. Illness is often about an unbalanced pattern of energy and if the natural flow can be restored, you can get back into health. However, the longer the imbalance persists, the longer it will take for balance (health) to be restored. In short, balanced energetics = good health. Imbalanced energetics = poor health.

What can you do about this? First of all, pay attention to how you feel physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually when you are in balance — when you have energy and when you feel at your best. When you sense that faltering, you will recognize that you are out of balance and can correct it sooner. Understanding your energy patterns will result in more profound and longer lasting health.

Rebalancing comes from realizing that your unique energetics are affected by the energetics of every single thing around you. That includes plants that can be used medicinally. Understanding what various herbs have to offer with their unique energetics (warm/cool, dry/moist, stagnant/active) will provide the tools for maintaining or restoring your balance and health. The key to herbalism is to identify what energy is out of balance, and use the appropriate plants to assist the body in restoring optimal balance and health.

The effective approach depends on whether the illness (imbalance) is acute or chronic. Acute illness typically comes on suddenly and can hit pretty hard. Often, it begins with fever (heat), some sort of infection or invasion, could be either on the moist or dry side, and you would choose herbs specifically for those indications, doing so as you notice the shift. Not dealt with, acute illnesses can become chronic and go much deeper and be more difficult to address. Oftentimes, a person’s energetics/personality can change with chronic illness.

Plants have unique energetics. Some have a calming effect while others stimulate. Some are warming and others are cooling. Some relieve congestion. Some work primarily in specific body systems — digestive, respiratory, or cardiovascular. Others offer more general support.

If you doubt the energetics of plants, consider the stimulating effects of coffee as compared to chamomile’s well documented soothing qualities. Interestingly, I typically feel unsettled and jittery when I drink chamomile tea. As I said earlier, each person’s energetics are unique to that person and no one herb addresses the same ailment in every person. Knowing the energetics of the plants will provide a better understanding of what plant to use and its effectiveness with the identified imbalance.

What is the ultimate goal? To assist your body in returning to balanced energetics, so that your body can maintain that balance with only occasional herbal support if needed. That’s a basic difference between the approaches of modern medicine and that of herbal medicine. Modern medicine often focuses on alleviating symptoms — such as pain or acid reflux or headache — without addressing what caused it.

Healing based on energetics is not a new concept. It has a long history, and there are well-known, documented ancient healing practices based on energetics. Most of the focus is on prevention — that is, keeping yourself in balance and using your energetics to stay healthy. Sounds pretty sensible to me!

Keep in mind, however, that herbal medicine cannot fix poor lifestyle choices. (See my January 12 post titled You’ve Got This, for my thoughts on that.) If you’ve attended any of my presentations or classes you have also heard me say that I see my physician regularly, take necessary prescription medication, and get all my immunizations. I am not trying to replace modern medicine with herbal medicine. However, I am hoping to reduce the times it is needed by balancing my energetics through use of medicinal plants.

Have I piqued your interest in energetics? For more information, listen to this 30-minute presentation by Karyn Sanders on The Herbal Highway, 2/15/22. She is a founder of Blue Otter School of Herbal Medicine in California and co-host of The Herbal Highway, a live radio show that has aired weekly since 1997. Much of what I have presented here is based on her presentation; it was that good.