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Dealing with emotional vampires? Here’s how to defend your energy


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Jill Blakeway, DACM, is basically the Buffy the Vampire Slayer of energy medicine. She’s figured out a powerful way to protect herself from the emotional fatigue that sometimes comes from dealing with difficult people—no garlic or wooden stakes required. Read on for three simple tips from the Well+Good Council member.

Ever had the experience of walking into a room and knowing, somehow, that an argument just took place? Or that two people stopped kissing seconds before? That’s because you picked up on a change in the energy field.

We’re all swimming in a sea of emotional energies put out there by ourselves and others, and that can influence us in ways good and bad. Early in my career as an acupuncturist, I had to learn how to protect my own energy field so that I could help as many people as possible without becoming drained. It’s a practice I like to think of as energetic self-defense.

I introduce my patients to the concept through a three-step visualization that can help deflect any negative energy directed at them, or that’s just in the air. It may sound heady, but it’s actually quite simple and powerful.

Here’s a beginner’s guide to defending your energy.

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Graphics: Abby Maker for Well+Good

Step 1: Ground yourself

Stand with your back straight and your knees slightly bent. This is often called the horse stance in Asian martial arts, and it allows energy to flow freely.

Imagine that there’s a heavy chain attached to your sacrum—the triangular-shaped bone at the base of your spine—that’s also anchored deep inside the earth. Let it make you feel grounded.

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Step 2: Connect with your body

Imagine that there’s a bubble over your head filled with your own light. Breathe slowly and deeply. Allow that light to flow into the crown of your head and then permeate your whole body.

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Step 3: Protect yourself

Visualize this same light surrounding you. I usually see it as an egg of white, sparkling light that starts at my feet and seals itself above my head.

I’ll never forget treating a vulnerable patient with an autoimmune disorder and fertility problems who shared that she had suffered some childhood trauma. She felt somehow permeable to me, both immune-wise and interpersonally, so during her treatment I imagined her wrapped in a beautiful blanket of protective white light.

I left her alone for 30 minutes, and when I returned to the room she was dumbfounded. “It was so weird,” she told me. “I opened my eyes at one point, and it looked like I was surrounded by white light!” I never told her about my visualization, but it felt like such a powerful example of energy defense at work.

Dr. Jill Blakeway, DACM, is a practitioner and teacher of Chinese Medicine and the founder and clinic director of the YinOva Center in New York City.

Jill is the author of Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility and Sex Again: Recharging Your Libido. She’s currently writing her third book, about energy healing, for Harper Collins.

What should Jill write about next? Send your questions and suggestions to [email protected]