Energy Medicine Goes to Washington by Helen McConnell

Helen McConnell“Many of us have given up on the political process as a hopeless boondoggle of toxic energy…”

The quote is from the 2013 ACEP Conference Handbook, describing the Invited Presentation entitled “The Energetics of Healthy Politics,” and pretty much summing up my own feelings about politics.

The Conference literature went on to say “Learn how, as a collection of citizen energy healers, we can educate our representatives about the power of energy psychology to enhance individual and social health and well-being.”

Following my intuition as a means of selecting which sessions to attend, I found myself in a most enlightening session led by attorney Jim Turner, who has been involved in Washington politics for over 40 years. Turner was one of the original Nader’s Raiders and later was instrumental in the passage of the Organic Food Act of 1990, which authorized the Federal Government to establish minimum requirements for Organic Certification, making it illegal to label foods as “Organic” unless they meet strict standards. He is the author of the book “Voice of the People: The Transpartisan Imperative in American Life,” which he co-authored with A. Lawrence Chickering. Turner is “liberal,” while Chickering is “conservative.”

I live in Portland, Oregon – a city where everything we do is a political statement of sorts. We have curbside recycling and composting, we grow organic vegetables, instead of grass, in our urban front yards, while keeping chickens, goats, and hives of bees in our urban backyards. We drink locally brewed beers, host a Farmer’s Market in nearly every neighborhood, and eat food that is grown close to home. We are a bike-centric community, with an amazing public transportation system. We are GLTB-friendly, and we ARE the characters in Portlandia. I, personally, am working on a project to take Energy Medicine to the rural communities of Oregon, to facilitate healing of individuals and communities, and to revitalize sustainable local economies.

And I’d all but given up on National politics. What impact could I possibly have on the system? I had decided that perhaps the best I could do would be to heal myself, and facilitate the healing of as many people as possible during my life. But Jim Turner spoke my language. He talked about “healing the body politic” in Washington. He spoke of a Transpartisan system – like what this country’s founding fathers had in mind – in which elected officials discuss and vote on what is best for the whole, rather than [just] what will get them re-elected. He also spoke of connecting with our elected officials, and offering to be of service to them, since over 50% of most constituents use Integrative and Alternative Medicine. We, as Energy Healers, can offer insight, information, and collaboration to and between, our elected officials and our peers.

Turner is the founder of Voice for, an organization whose Mission is: “To advance the well-being of humanity by ensuring that producers, practitioners, and consumers of natural healing and wellness services and products (including Complementary and Alternative Medicine) have meaningful participation in the development of public policy, through educating policy makers and the general public and promoting the rights of individual consumers and their families to information, access, redress and choice.”

I was interested in what he was saying, and how he was saying it. There was no talk of “us against them,” or “anti-” anything. Instead, he spoke of standing up for, and educating about, what we are “for.”  He talked about how Integrative Medicine is cost-effective and really works, and how it should be included in any affordable health care legislation. Then he said that if any of us wanted to go to Capitol Hill and meet with our own Congressional Representative’s aids, that he and his assistant would train us in how to have that conversation, would arrange the meeting, and would even transport us there. Whether or not I want to be involved in National politics, I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to create a connection that might be helpful to Energy Medicine, and to my project back at home. So I signed up.

Monday morning, I and several other ACEP members attended the training. We were briefed on Voice for Hope, as well as how to have a conversation with a Congressional aide, and what we might expect when we got to Capitol Hill. Then we piled into a van, and off we went. I really didn’t know what I was going to say, but I decided I would speak from the heart and offer to be of service.

Our group gathered for lunch in the basement of the building. My appointment with Earl Blumenauer’s office had been arranged for 1:30 – the first appointment of the group. Jim Turner’s assistant, Denise Lewis Premschak, accompanied me – they didn’t want any of us to feel alone in our mission.

We arrived and were greeted by Paul Balmer – the Congressman’s aide with whom I had the appointment. He was a [very] young man from Portland – from my own neighborhood. He was attentive, and spent nearly 30 minutes with us. I admit, I did most of the talking, but he seemed interested in the topic of healing, and Energy Medicine. I told him about ACEP, and about Voice for HOPE. I told him about EFT and the Iraqi Vets Project, and promised to send him a link to the video. I even told him about my own “Revitalize Oregon” project. I told him that we were there to be of service, and gave him my contact information. I also asked for a connection in the Congressman’s Portland Office, which he readily gave me. It was time to leave. Paul promised to pass the information along to the Congressman. We thanked him for all the work they do, and for his time, and we promised to be in touch.

In the hallway outside, Denise congratulated me on a “great job.” I have to say, it was pretty cool to talk about something I’m so passionate about, with someone who might actually use the information for the greater good.

I have since had time to reflect on the importance of this dialogue between ACEP members and other Energy Healers, and policy makers. I hope that ACEP will create a committee or group to make that happen. (Yes, I’m volunteering to be of service.)

When I returned home, I emailed Paul, to thank him again, and to send the link to the EFT/Vets video. He responded with a promise to watch the video, and added “You’ll be happy to know that last week the Congressman [Earl Blumenauer] introduced an amendment to the appropriations bill that funds the VA that directs the VA to identify barriers for veterans trying to access complementary and alternative medicine—aiming to make access to alternative medicine easier.”

We are all busy people – running our practices, and writing books, and attending conferences. But if you knew it would make a difference in Energy Medicine and in the health of the people, would you be willing to spend the equivalent of an hour a month to create a connection with your elected officials? I challenge you to devote this much time to the bigger picture.

Helen McConnell is a Life Coach, Speaker, and EFT Practitioner and is the founder of She is based in Portland, OR.

ACEP Executive Director, Dr. Robert Schwarz, shares his thoughts on his 2012 HOPE on the Hill experience in the YouTube video below. Enjoy!

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