Interview with Mary Arena
Eden Energy Medicine
Today’s interview is with Eden Energy Medicine Practitioner, Mary Arena. Mary works with both humans and horses and has and eclectic background in Equine studies.
Q: What brought you to this work?
I am a lifelong horse lover and achieved my dream of owning horses when I was in my late thirties. I was fortunate to be introduced to the work of Sally Swift, creator of Centered Riding, and Linda Tellingtion Jones, creator of TTeam and Tellington Touch, about 30 years ago. They introduced me to Feldenkrais and the Alexander technique, as well as martial arts such as T’ai Chi. I learned clicker training from Alexandra Kurland, and started training horses using positive reinforcement. I also apprenticed with a therapeutic riding instructor.
About 15 years ago, one of my horses developed chronic laminitis, a hoof inflammation, associated with metabolic disorders. The veterinary community poorly understands it, and treatment options were limited. This sent me to search further for answers. Horses are very empathic beings, and very sensitive to energy. I studied with Cindy Brody, who developed Cinerge, energy balancing for people and animals and with Linda Kohanov, a pioneer in the field of equine assisted psychotherapy, as well as James Shaw, who developed T’ai Chi for the equestrian. About 10 years ago, I heard about Donna Eden’s work from a therapist who my now ex-husband and I were seeing for couples therapy.
After my divorce, I attended an evening demonstration being given by Donna Eden and her husband, David Feinstein, in Albany. A few weeks later, I attended a weekend workshop with Donna at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck. It was life changing for me. I was aware of energy and had even taught “energy workshops” for horse owners, using T’ai Chi and Tteam exercises to teach body and energetic awareness. But Donna put it all together for me. I knew about energy and but I didn’t have a deep understanding of how it worked and why. She was connecting the dots for me, so I knew I wanted more and signed up for her 2 year certification program, which I completed in March 2015 and officially became a Eden Energy Medicine Practitioner. It has been the most difficult, but the most rewarding thing I have ever done!
A: Yes, I have done EEM with horses.
Equine EEM can help with physical as well as emotional issues. Horses, being prey animals, are very aware of and sensitive to subtle energies. They read body language very well and are very responsive to people’s energies.
I have taught workshops for equestrians, primarily using T’ai Chi as a means to communicate more effectively with their horses, based on James Shaw’s Riding From Within book. This is why horses make such good therapy animals, both for therapeutic riding and equine assisted psychotherapy and learning.
Q: What are some of the reasons people come to your modality?
A: People come to me for a variety of reasons.
Many have chronic issues with pain or inflammation and are looking for ways to tap into their own healing energy to promote well-being and sometimes reduce dependency on drugs. I volunteer at Albany Medical Center where I am often able to help reduce pain and anxiety in the patients there, by balancing their energetic systems. By doing so, we all have a better chance of healing from within, allowing the body to function at an optimal level and use its’ innate wisdom to heal itself.
Q: Who do you work with? What do you love about it?
A: As an Eden Energy Medicine Practitioner, I work with a variety of people, many who are in health care or mental health fields themselves.
The people I work with are generally interested in learning ways to combat stress, anxiety, depression, sometimes chronic conditions, such as allergies, arthritis, diabetes, immune disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc. I love that this work is a partnership where I teach my clients self care techniques which they can do everyday and on an as needed basis to promote their own well-being. I try to empower them to listen to and trust what their body is saying to them and teach them to work in harmony with their body to promote health and well being.
Q: What are some of the benefits that your modality offers?
A: There are many benefits to Energy Medicine.
Some benefits of EEM are: reduced anxiety, ability to cope with stress by re-balancing our own energetic systems. We can learn to better cope with all of the negative energies and environmental toxins that are a part of our modern world. In doing so, our immune systems will remain strong and we will be less subject to illness and deterioration. EEM is a great complement to Western medicine and using them both together can greatly enhance our vitality, strengthen our mental capacities and optimize our health.
Q: Is there something easy that readers can do right now?
A: One of my favorite stress reduction exercises is called the Triple Warmer Smoothie.
The Triple Warmer Smoothie helps to calm Triple Warmer meridian, our body’s protector, which goes into overdrive when we are under stress.
Start by resting your face in your hands, palms at your chin, fingers at your temples, take 2 deep breaths; breathe in deeply and drag your fingers from the temples to above the ears; Exhale while circling your fingers around behind your ears, press down the sides of your neck, and hang your fingers on the back of your shoulders. Pressing into your shoulders, take 2 deep breathes. Slowly drag your fingers over your shoulders to the center of your chest over your heart chakra. Take another deep breathe.