Credit: Deb Allen
Brittany Legacy demonstrates “The Crown Pull,” which is said to energize and send toxins from the body’s waste removal system and clear stagnant energies from the body.
A medical practice that combines modern and ancient traditions also relies on your body’s ability to heal itself.
It’s called Energy Medicine and is described by the Ashland-based Energy Medicine Institute as “both a complement to other approaches to medical care and a complete system for self-care and self-help. It can address physical illness and emotional or mental disorders and can also promote high-level wellness and peak performance.”
The body heals by activating its natural healing energies, using techniques from healing traditions such as acupuncture, yoga, kinesiology, and qi gong. “Flow, balance and harmony can be non-invasively restored and maintained within an energy system by tapping, massaging, pinching or connecting specific energy points (acupoints) on the skin,” defines the Energy Medicine Institute on its website, EnergyMed.org.
Other methods for healing include tracing or swirling the hand over the skin along specific energy pathways, through exercises or postures designed for specific energetic effects, by focused use of the mind to move specific energies and by surrounding an area with healing energies.
Energy Medicine practitioner Brittany Legacy teaches classes on the healing practice and works individually with clients in her Eugene office located at 1280 Pearl Street.
She bases her techniques on those taught by Energy Medicine pioneer Donna Eden, a spokesperson and instructor who has taught worldwide on the subject for more than two decades. Eden has written a number of books and has developed an Energy Medicine Certification Program.
Eden studied energy systems from all over the world, extracting what she saw as the pearls of different cultures. Some of these sources, such as Chinese medicine and the meridian system, offer components that are quite ancient.
“It’s as old as the hills, or older,” Legacy says.” Energy Medicine was probably used to create the hills.”
It’s a struggle to describe Energy Medicine overall because “it’s so contextual and individual,” she adds. “And that’s what I like about it. It’s different for every single person and the way that they interface with it.”
Hearing the concepts of Energy Medicine provided insight and explanation into Legacy’s own life.
At age 4, Legacy began contracting the Epstein-Barr virus that causes mononucleosis. Her health went through up-and-down cycles about every six months. She excelled in academics and athletics, but there were times she’d feel like she was about to lose it all. Surprisingly, she then would make a comeback.
In time, the periods between illnesses grew shorter. But at age 18 she was diagnosed with narcolepsy, which she explains has been reclassified from being a neurological and sleeping disorder to being an autoimmune disorder. She found it extremely difficult to function – not knowing whether she would be on time for work or be able to stay awake while there. She also wondered what other type of illness she would be susceptible to. The state of North Carolina classified Legacy as severely disabled. And her dreams of college disappeared.
“So, I got to the point where I just had to learn how to survive and figure out what was real to me,” Legacy says. “And that’s when I decided on massage school.”
During and after massage school, Legacy worked for a chiropractor and the experience was a perfect fit. She was able to work part-time and began engaging with a whole different subset of culture – people who touch and interact on a very different level, who took time for naps and relaxation. By age 21, Legacy’s narcolepsy symptoms disappeared.
After practicing massage therapy, Legacy decided to stay home a few years with her daughter. She looks back and views the whole process of pregnancy, home birth and breast-feeding as contributing to her energy training. When Legacy was introduced to Eden’s teaching on Energy Medicine she enrolled in the training because she felt Eden validated what she already had experienced.
Legacy sees her practice as a way of giving tools to people which “help show them what they already know.” She loves the flexibility of being able to use what she’s learned to accommodate each client individually.
“A lot of what energy medicine is is helping the body return to core alignment in order to be able to adapt to the many, many changes that have become our world,” she says. “The core piece of energy medicine is not about the cure, or the one thing. This is about how every experience and moment we have is a form of medicine, and it’s about how we interact with it that makes it either a toxin or a medicine for us.”