A Square-Peg People Book Review
by by Judith Orloff, M.D.
Dr. Judith Orloff's description of an intuitive empath is: "...a person who's so sensitive that you often unknowingly absorb energy from others and are drained by it."
The book even includes a quiz to help you determine if you are an empath.
Before teaching about the "Prescriptions" in her Positive Energy Program (the subtitle of the book is: "10 Extraordinary Prescriptions For Transforming Fatigue, Stress, & Fear Into Vibrance, Strength & Love") Dr. Orloff describes Energy Psychiatry.
She says that Energy Psychiatry is:
"...a new kind of psychotherapy...that addresses the subtle energetic underpinnings of health and behavior. It's a subspecialty of Energy Medicine, which views our bodies and spirits as manifestations of subtle energies, what indigenous cross-cultural healing traditions revere as life force..."
Dr. Orloff says that some people are "...skeptical or confused about subtle energy...I avoid buzzwords that trigger resistance...For some, chakras sound woo-woo, but when I explain them as energy centers, people are more able to embrace the idea."
Judith Orloff, M.D. is a board-certified psychiatrist. She gives us information on how subtle energy is seen by, and being studied by, several branches of science. She also talks about the fact that many non-Western cultures (and ancient traditions) have had names for - and have studied - subtle energy for much longer than Western science.
The Positive Energy Program incorporates the physical, spiritual and emotional aspects. It uses 10 "Prescriptions" - ranging from #1: "Awaken Intuition and Rejuvenate Yourself" (including an interview with Quincy Jones on intuition) - to # 10: "Create Abundance" (including an interview with Rosa Parks on the power of love).
Each chapters ends with an interview of a well-known figure who describes how the quality in the "Prescription" has worked in their life.
The lessons teach us how to take an active stance in receiving and heightening positive energies, and how to protect ourselves from negative energies. Again, this can be helpful for everyone, but particularly so for an empath, who can be overwhelmed by other people's negative energy.
The biggest gift that this book had for me was normalizing my ability to pick up (and sometimes internalize) other people's moods and feelings. It helped me make sense of the feelings I have had in large, overcrowded areas.
It also helped me understand something about food. She described exactly my "Energy-Defensive Eating" - the way that I often use food to balance negative energy. Dr. Orloff says that "...food is a convenient grounding device." She describes "...three common body-energy types and the foods that balance them."
She offers a plan for finding which foods are energizing - and which are draining. This is different for each person (as a Square-Peg I value that understanding!) And she includes exercises to help people who feel stuck (like myself) in a way of eating that is not helpful.
In addition to the suggestions on eating for positive energy, there are practical helps related to spirituality, sexuality, creativity, laughter and lots more. I used the word "practical" intentionally, the book is full of exercises and recommendations to help you learn what works for YOU.
I like the balance of scientific/fact-based and intuitive/feeling-based information that Dr. Orloff includes in this book. There's an openness to her teaching that respects our individuality (and Square-Pegness!).
One of my Square-Peg traits is that I have never been able to work straight through any program. Even though I've had the book for over a year, I think I've probably only absorbed about one-tenth of the wisdom in it, if that. I like using it as a reference - when I notice energy imbalance I reread sections of the book that relate to what I'm going through and then attempt to make changes.
I'd love to hear from anyone who's read this book and gone straight through the Positive Energy Program - I imagine that they would have an incredible story to tell.
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