author atherton drenth

Atherton Drenth

4 July 2018

Jacob’s Journey and The Mystery of Energy Work
Part I

Trying energy work for the first time means entering into a different type of health care experience. What happens and how it happens is diverse and individualistic. For example, we know what to expect when we see a medical doctor, dentist, chiropractor, or a naturopath. We have context and personal experience which gives us a certain comfort level. We have a general idea of where the appointment is going and what the outcome will be. Working with an energy work practitioner, however, is different. This creates an unknown that makes people nervous. What happens and how it happens will not be what you expect.

I know that is what happened to me. The first time I ever witnessed an energy session I was incredulous and almost walked out. Yet, when I finally got up onto the massage table to experience my first session I was transformed. I had never before ever experienced something so completely different.

How different?


In a good way.

For the past eighteen years of my practice I have worked hard to help educate the public on what energy work is and what it is not. I have written two books[1] for that reason. Energy work in a nutshell works like this. There is an energy field around the human body. It is called an aura. We know that it exists because we can take pictures of it now. We know that if you have blocks in your energy field you can develop symptoms or issues physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. Energy work practitioners have been trained to find out where the blocks are in a person’s energy field and then gently help the energy field to release the blocks. Once the block is removed the body is able to work on healing itself. Compare this to the analogy cleaning of out an infected wound. When the wound is infected the body struggles to heal it. Clean the wound out and healing happens very rapidly. The obstacle of infection has been removed and the body knows just what to do.

Sounds simple enough, right?

There are hundred’s examples of how energy work works but I would like to share a story of one man’s journey. It is my hope that it will give you context and demonstrate just how different it can be. It is one thing to describe an energy work session and it is another to understand how that applies to an individual’s health problem. For that reason, I have decided to post a series of short stories detailing other people’s journeys when they worked with me. The stories are being told with their permission. All of the identifying information has been changed to protect the client’s identity.

Jacob’s Journey – Terminal Lung Cancer

When he arrived for his first session he sat down and slowly looked around the treatment room without saying a word. Then he turned, looked directly at me and said: “I have six months left to live.” It was said in a tone of voice that was very matter of fact. That was my introduction to Jacob.

“I don’t know what you do, and I don’t believe in it at any rate, but my daughter says you helped her and that is good enough for me,” Jacob said.

Straight to the point, no holds barred, no beating around the bush. The man meant business. I was impressed.

Jacob explained to me that he was dying of lung cancer. His cancer had been discovered by a cardiologist during a stress test a year earlier. It took quite a while to get an appointment to see an oncologist after that. When he finally saw one and they did a biopsy, the tumour was classified as a Stage 4 cancer. By the time of this diagnosis it had already spread through his lungs to his lymph nodes. He had been a pack a day smoker for most of his adult life until his younger brother almost died of a heart attack. The doctor who attended his brother at the hospital told Jacob that the same thing would happen to him if he didn’t quit smoking, so he did. Cold turkey, just like that.  It made him really sick for a while, but he was a determined man, so he waited it out and hasn’t smoked since. He was also taking medication for his high blood pressure as well as, cholesterol medication.

When Jacob was first given the diagnosis of lung cancer and told that he only had six to eight months left to live the doctors explained to him that he could have chemotherapy and that would give him a few extra months. He turned them down. He didn’t feel it was worth the pain for a few extra months. A year later his wife managed to coax him into trying the chemo, but he was so sick after one treatment that he refused to go back for the rest of the treatments. Then his wife convinced him to try radiation treatments. Which he did but didn’t care for how those made him feel either, so he stopped those too.

Jacob just shrugged his shoulders and said, “They told me I have six to eight months left. I am still here a year later.  –   Doctors, what do they know?”

“They make me mad,” he said.

“They tell me to do chemo and radiation and it will only give me a few extra months. Well, I tried that and all that happened was I got really sick. Why should I make myself sicker for a few extra months?” he said angrily.

Jacob told me he wanted a cure. He expected a cure. The medical system could only provide options that might extend his life for a short time. As far as he was concerned it also didn’t help matters that when he did see the specialist for follow-ups the doctor would spend the entire appointment only updating him on his tests and size of the tumour.

He told me that only him feel even more angry. I couldn’t help wondering if it also made him feel powerless. He wanted to talk about alternatives, what other things he could try. He wanted to know about options outside of chemo and radiation. But the medical system had set protocols and he didn’t agree with them because they only made him feel even more sick than he already was.

He wanted to know if I could help. I explained to Jacob that after years of being in private practice and through my own personal experiences receiving energy work from other healers I have relied on a bench mark that any client can use. I told him to have confidence in the fact that he would know in four to six sessions if energy work that is being offered to him was the right fit for him and being of assistance.

“It is important feel comfortable with the process and the me, the practitioner,” I said.

I always tell any potential client that they will know soon enough if energy work is right for them. I am not implying here that their issue can be resolved in four to six sessions. I merely state up front what I know to be a fact for my practice and from years of personal experience of  providing thousands of energy balancing sessions. Each person needs to decide if this is right for them. It is their choice, clear and simple. If they choose not to continue, no apology or explanation required, just don’t make any more appointments. Everyone has free will.

Jacob indicated that he appreciated the candor.

I asked Jacob why he came to see me. He said, “I cough all the time. It keeps me up at night. I am not in much pain, but the coughing really gets to me. My daughter says maybe you can help with that.” I just smiled and told him he would know soon enough. I again said that he would know in four to six sessions if the energy work was being of assistance to him. If not, then don’t continue with the sessions.

I said, “You can say you tried it and it didn’t work for you and you can just discontinue your appointments.”

He smiled, he liked that. His daughter was paying for his sessions and he didn’t want to waste her money on something that was a fool’s game, he explained. I nodded in agreement. We understood each other completely. Jacob was black and white. There were no shades of grey and there was no room for debate. He was a man of few words, spoke directly to the point and called a spade a spade.

Yeah, you could say I really liked Jacob.

Mentally I said to myself, “We were either going to see this go somewhere or not in pretty short order.” “There is nothing wrong with that in my personal opinion,” I thought.

Before we began his first session I asked Jacob to tell me about his childhood.

He said, ‘Didn’t have one.”

Jacob grew up in Holland during World War II. He was six years old when the Germans first rolled into his village. Everyone was afraid. It wasn’t long before it got harder and harder to get food. His dad joined the resistance and was gone most of the time. His mother was left to fend for the family. There were four children, all under the age of age six, Jacob being the oldest.

“The war was hard. Everybody was hungry. Lots of people starved to death. There wasn’t much you could do about it. You just did what you could,” Jacob explained.

“After the war was over and my dad came home things weren’t much better, so my parents decided to emigrate to Canada in the mid-fifties. There were seven of us kids by then. They came over here with nothing. We had nothing but a chance to make things better. We did all right. Everybody worked hard. Nothing wrong with a hard day’s work,” Jacob said as he crossed his arms over his chest and gave me a hard look.

Message received.

I explained to Jacob what would happen in his sessions. First, I explained to him that he had an energy field around his body called an aura. I could see it and had been trained to find out if there were blocks in his energy field. I told him blocks can cause illness at the physical, mental and emotional levels. Once we located a block, I would find out why it was there, and we would then work together to release it. I further explained, “I see myself as guide on your healing journey. I walk beside you on your healing path. I don’t push or pull. We do not do anything that your mind cannot handle nor what your body will not accept.”

I said, “I can read your energy and not your mind. So, you don’t have to worry about that, but it also means that I will ask you a series of questions to make sure we are in the right place. The body speaks in very simplistic language and sometimes we have to work together to find out what the body is trying to say. Once we know that, then we can gently release the blockage.”

I also said, “Just because I can read your energy doesn’t mean I am the expert on you. You are your own expert. I am not a doctor, I cannot prescribe or diagnose.”

“Do you have any questions?” I asked.

“Nope.” He replied curtly.

I then explained that to start the session I would have him lay down on the massage table and that I do touch the body. “If there is any fear about being touched, this would be a really good time to let me know.”

“Do you have a phobia or fear about being touched anywhere?” I asked.

“Nope,” He replied flat out.

“Ok, let’s get started then, shall we?” I said.

Jacob got up and laid down on the massage table. When I connected to his energy field my intuitive senses were immediately drawn to an area in his chest that felt heavy and struggling for breath. Intuitively I could “see” in his energy field that there were two places in his lungs where the energy wasn’t flowing properly. Both of these energy blockages lay in the upper quadrants of both of his lungs, one on the right lung and the other on the left lung.

When I connected to the energy blockages in the upper quadrant of his lungs a movie opened up in my mind’s eye. In this movie I could see a very small boy who looked to be about the age of eleven.  He seemed to be suffering, emotionally. He looked confused, lost and didn’t know what to do.” The movie stopped.

I relayed this information to Jacob and I asked him, “What was happening in your life around the age of eleven?”

He said, “I was eleven when the war came to an end. I had to learn how to be a kid again. That wasn’t easy.”

Intuitively I was directed to infuse a flower essence directly into his lungs. The essence I used was a Raven essence called “Living Cross.” As I infused the essence into his lungs, Jacob said again, more to himself than to me, “I didn’t know how,” and he started to silently cry at the memory of it all, the tears rolling down his eyes and onto the pillow. He was embarrassed by this display of emotion and turned his head away from me.

After he settled from the emotional release I read him the passage from the book of Raven essences. It said, “this essence gives us a living energetic reference, in our bodies, for nature’s co-creation template – the cross. Historically associated with suffering and death, the cross has also been a symbol of integration and wholeness, an intersection between two worlds.[2]

He seemed surprised that something as simple as an essence could make him feel that emotional. I responded that it was common to have an emotional release like that after using one of these essences. I went on to explain that these flower essences help the body to shift gently and release the emotions that have been buried so deeply by our life experiences. He just nodded his head and closed his eyes.

I was then intuitively directed by his body to further balance his field using a technique called, Laterality. This balancing technique helps to bring a person’s entire energy field back into overall harmony and is very grounding. Laterality also balances the brain’s speech centre, memory circuits, right and left-brain energy pathways, the kidney meridian. It also brings the outer reaches of the aura called the astral, holographic and subtle bodies back into harmony and alignment with the physical and etheric energy body. In a nutshell doing laterality helps to get all your ducks lined up in a row so that your body can release energy blockages a little more easily.

At this point his body indicated that it was full energetically. This meant that we now had to close the session. After I closed the session I asked Jacob to sit up slowly and to be careful not to move too fast because he might be a little light headed. Instead Jacob sat up quickly and had to grab onto the edge of the table to steady himself. He looked a little stunned by that. I then said, “When you are ready, go back to the chair and we will talk for a minute before you leave.” He just nodded his head and slowly got down from the massage table and carefully walked over to the chair to sit down.

After we were both seated I explained to Jacob what I had found during his session. I also reiterated what we did in the session with the essence and laterality. Then I said, “Jacob you are either going to feel really tired or really jazzed. If you are tired you need to rest and please make sure you rest, don’t push through the fatigue, it will only make you feel sick.” He just nodded his head and didn’t say anything.

“If you are feeling pretty jazzed and energized then please keep it in perspective. Sometimes people feel pretty full of energy when they leave, and they think they can go home, repaint the living room and have a dinner party all in the same day. Just keep things in perspective, ok?” I said.

He just nodded his head, again and said nothing.

“Be careful driving home. Just be aware of what you are doing and be clear about where you are going. You may feel a little light headed for a day or two,” I said. I went on to explain that he may also have an emotional release and if he did, he needed to let himself go there. I also explained that he may feel like he is a little achy or feel flu-like but that will pass in about 24 – 48 hours.

Jacob said, “OK.”

“Do you have any questions?” I asked.

“No. Are we done now?” he asked.

“Yes, we are.” I replied.

Jacob got up and left the room to go home.

The next day I received an email from Jacob’s daughter. She said, “I have to say my dad seems to embrace that work you are doing with him. He said he felt better after yesterday’s sessions with you and felt like he wasn’t so out of breath when came down the stairs. Thanks so much for all this. It has brought us all some comfort.”

At his next session I explained to Jacob that now that we have done the initial session, from now on each subsequent session would be a lot faster. I said, “You will be on the table anywhere from five minutes to twenty minutes depending on how much your body can handle. We will start out every session the same way. I will ask you how you have been since I saw you last and you let me know whether it was good or bad or no change. Don’t worry about my feelings just tell me how it is.

“Ok,” he said.

Jacob told me that he was breathing more easily, and he could walk up the stairs with more ease.

“That’s great,” I said

“Ok,” he said, and with that he stood up and went over to the table and lay down.

I chuckled to myself and said, “Guess it is time to get started.”

Jacob’s Journey and The Mystery of Energy Work - Atherton DrenthI connected to Jacob’s auric field energetically and immediately his body shifted my focus to his lungs and the two energy centres in the upper right and left quadrants of his chest where we had worked in his first session. Once again, a movie opened up in my mind’s eye. It showed me the image of a young child who looked frail and thin. There was a steeled determination on his face as he laboured to peddle a bicycle far too large for him, down a country road all alone. His tiny malnourished body braced against the cold you could hear the wind howling over the barren fields that stretched out for miles before him. I could feel how the winter winds were cutting through his threadbare coat. I shuddered with the cold I felt as I watched the movie in my mind’s eye. With that I also sensed the deep loneliness and isolation he felt being out there in the countryside all alone. The movie stopped.

I relayed this information to Jacob and asked him if he knew what this was referring too. Jacob just nodded quietly and didn’t speak for a few moments. You could sense he was travelling back in time inside his memories. I just waited.

“We were starving. There wasn’t any food. We were really poor and couldn’t afford much, even with the black market there wasn’t enough. My mom had an uncle who had a farm about 12 miles outside of the village. I was the oldest. It was my responsibility to go out to the farm and get food and bring it back to our family,” Jacob said with some pride.

To get to his uncle’s farm he took his father’s bike. It was too big for him, so he made blocks for the pedals. Then he could sit on the bike and still reach the handle bars. Every single day, for five years all throughout the war, Jacob cycled 12 miles out to his Uncle’s farm and then 12 miles back to his village carrying food back for his mother and siblings. He was six years old.

I was stunned. Jacob told me, “The Germans guarded all the roads. You couldn’t go anywhere without papers. But the soldiers didn’t bother the children. They left them alone. That was a blessing. That is how all us kids got outside of the village. There were a lot of us. We had to use different routes and we made sure that we didn’t all leave at the same time otherwise the soldiers would have suspected something.”

For Jacob’s family, his mother’s uncle was really their only source of food. Since the Germans didn’t check what the children were doing or where they were going and never asked for their papers, some of the children, as well as ferrying food back into the village from surrounding farms, also became couriers for the resistance. Unbeknownst to most was the fact that hidden amongst the parcels of food, tucked into his pockets, were also messages for the resistance fighters hiding in and around the village. He never told his mother.

“If you got caught with messages like that, they shot you. Right then and there,” he said.

“But I never missed a day,” he said with pride. “Never got caught.”

Jacob continued and said, “Every day I rode that bike twenty-four miles round trip. My mother sewed pockets inside my coat, so I could hide food. She told me that if I ran into any German soldiers all I had to do was drop my coat in the ditch and then they couldn’t arrest me. I never had to do that though. The Germans didn’t really care about us kids, they were too busy looking for resistance fighters. But you still had to be careful.”

After his session was done Jacob told me it was hard coming into the office in person and he wondered what could be done about it. I explained to him that we could work together by distance over the phone if he liked. He thought that was kind of funny but wanted to give a try. He didn’t care for the drive so much.

I explained to Jacob that when we do energy work using the distance method, the healing session would follow a different protocol. I explained that with distance work the client calls in at their appointment time. I will ask how they have been since our last session and how can I be of service on this day. After I have recorded the update, I then ask for verbal permission to connect to their energy field. Once I have that permission I am able to bring them into the room energetically.

Distance work is possible because the aura surrounding our bodies is pure energy. In healing work we know that form follows thought. For example, think of praying for someone. When we pray for a person we are in actuality sending our loving thoughts to that person in the hopes that it will help them with their healing. Distance energy work is a type of prayer but done in a different way. Instead of sending a prayer, we bring the person to us energetically and then work with their energy field to help release the blocks. After the block has been released we then return their energy back to the person we are connected with. Another way of looking at it is to think about Star Trek and the transporter they used to move people down to the planet surface. In energy work we do the same sort of thing. Once I have the client’s permission, this gives me their location and I know where to focus in order to beam them in. We then key in the location and transport their energy the healing room. Next, we balance the energy field and release the blocks. When the session is complete we reverse the process and transport their energy back to their body’s physical location.

When I have verbal or written permission to do energy work by distance with a client, I watch how their energy enters the room energetically once I am connected. How they enter the room can give me a lot of information about what is happening in their energy field. The images are often very symbolic of what their body wisdom and energy is already preparing for the healing session. It will show me through images and symbols where I need to focus to assist with their healing at that moment in time.

Jacob would call in once a week for distance sessions. We worked together, over the phone for the remainder of all of his energy work sessions over the next two years.

At his next session as we talked on the phone his body, again working in relation to his lungs specifically requested that we work with his constant cough. In relation to the cough, his body indicated that there was a trauma that occurred around the age of seven. His lungs looked really wet around that age. I asked him if he remembered anything in particular that happened at age seven, give or take a year or two. Jacob just paused and said, “How can you know that?”

“Know what?” I asked

“How could you know that my lungs got wet when I was seven?” Jacob wanted to know.

“Well, Jacob,” I explained, your body is telling me that. Do you remember anything?”

Jacob went into a mild coughing fit and once he got his breath back, he said, “Yeah, I was riding back from my uncle’s farm and a car with some German soldiers and a general sitting in the back came up suddenly behind me and they ran me off the road. I could hear them laughing as I fell into a ditch filled with water. When they bumped me, it must have knocked me out because next thing I knew I was laying face down in the water. I coughed up a lot of water. I was lucky, I almost drowned.”

“It was in the late fall and it was pretty cold. I was soaking wet and shivering from the cold, but I got home ok. I didn’t lose any of the food, but I got sick after that. I still went out the next day for more food. No time to be sick,” he said.

At this point I cleared his body energy of the memory of being knocked over, cleared his lungs of memory of the ditch water and cleared a latent infection that still seemed to be present energetically in his lungs.

I told Jacob, “I think you had pneumonia after that, Jacob.”

“Yeah, I was pretty sick all that winter but there was nobody else old enough to get food for the family, so I had to go,” he said. “I got better once the spring came, so it worked out all right.”

“All righty then,” I thought to myself. “A seven-year-old kid gets knocked off his bike and into a ditch, nearly drowns and he just brushes it off like it was all in a day’s work.”

“Jacob was obviously a very tenacious and determined kid,” I thought to myself.

At the next session he said that he was a little exhausted. He had been out shovelling snow the day before and felt he over did it but still felt that for the most part, he wasn’t doing too badly. He told me that his breathing was better and his coughing was on and off.

Personally, I thought, “Wow, not too bad for a guy who has terminal lung cancer. He is seventy-three years old and he is out shovelling all that snow in the middle of winter. Good for him.” (It had been a particularly harsh snow storm in our part of the country the day before.)

Then Jacob said, “Sometimes the coughing is really bad, but not all the time.”

At this point we worked with his energy field that related to his lungs. I focused on the coughing spells. His body’s energy field showed me a deep-seated fear that Jacob had developed about his dad. I got the sense that it was a lingering childhood fear that his dad would never come home. I asked Jacob how he felt about his dad before I started to release the blockage it was creating in his lung tissue.

Jacob responded, “Every day I thought about him and wondered if he was ok. We were so afraid he wasn’t going to survive. I was so afraid I would never see him again.”

After this fear about his father was released from Jacob’ energy field, I wasn’t in the least surprised when the body shifted into another emotional memory. This energy blockage was also sitting in his lungs. When I connected to this trapped energy I got the impression of a five-year old and there was an emotional statement that said, “Fear of surviving.” I asked Jacob if that meant anything to him?

“Yeah, we all knew the war was coming. Everybody was talking about it, getting ready for it. When I lay in bed at night I could hear my parents talking. They would be worried about how they were going to make it through the war. My mom would cry sometimes. I think my dad was trying to let her know that he was going to fight, and she was worried. I couldn’t hear everything, but I was scared about what it meant to stay alive,” he said.

Jacob stopped for a moment. You could hear his breathing getting laboured on the other end of the line. I sensed intuitively how hard it was for him to remember this. In the silence on the phone line, I held space for him and noted to myself how his lungs looked so greyish white energetically to my mind’s eye. This type of energy is an indication of the level of deep seated fear that he held here in his lungs. In Chinese medicine the lungs are seen as the organ that holds grief. I could tell Jacob was holding onto a lot of grief around surviving the war. And I wondered about all the children who suffer through war. It made me feel sad.

As I worked with the energy trapped around his lungs and the deep-seated grief held there, Jacob wasn’t saying anything, he was just waiting on the other end of the line while I cleared the grief that was being presented for release. That is when I got the first hint of something deeper sitting there in the lungs. It was just a quick flash. And with that flash I felt something energetically whiz over my head and I could sense the smell of gun powder in the air. It was a very visceral experience. I instinctively ducked.

A little surprised, I told him what had just occurred. “Jacob, I suddenly smell gunpowder and felt something whiz by my head”

“What?” he replied.

“As I am working with your lungs I felt something whiz over my head and I can smell gunpowder,” I explained.

“Do you know what that is about?” I asked.

“NO!” Jacob angrily replied, “I don’t know anything about a gun.”

Wow! I thought to myself. I didn’t ask about a gun, I asked about the smell of gun powder. His rage was palatable. I left it alone and didn’t push it. He was really upset and you could hear it in his breathing over the phone. It was hard and laboured. He, on the other hand, was completely silent.

Then suddenly his energy shifted before me. In a flash his body’s energy field closed down. It felt like a door suddenly slammed in my face. It caught me off guard momentarily, but I recognized it for what it was. He had enough. His mind couldn’t cope with whatever that memory was.

The body won’t do anything that the mind can’t handle or won’t accept. When that happens you close the session. If the body doesn’t allow access you don’t force it. You honour the process and close. So I did.

It all happened so abruptly, and I could tell Jacob was really upset by the way he was breathing on the other end of the line. We had hit a nerve and he wasn’t ready to talk about it. I waited. When it felt right I gently asked him if he had any questions. “No. Are we done?” he said.

“Yes,” I replied.

Jacob hung up the phone rather abruptly.

“Well,” I thought to myself, “Guess that will be the last I hear from Jacob.”

Jacob had come a long way in a short period trying energy work. A skeptic in the beginning, he was becoming a believer. Although most of his sessions where a challenge for him due to some pretty painful memories stemming from his childhood during the war, he didn’t lack the courage to face them. He had more energy, was coughing less, and was able to do more around the house so he didn’t feel so useless. We were developing an understanding of each other and even though he pushed for answers he understood that there was only so much I could offer him as we worked through the trauma.

You could only imagine my surprise when I saw his name on my day sheet a week later. I honestly thought we were done.

“This is going to be interesting,” I thought to myself.

The mystery of the gunpower continues in our next newsletter.

[1][1] Following Body Wisdom and The Intuitive Dance by Atherton Drenth. www.athertondrenth.ca

[2]Raven Essences – a Love Affair with Nature. The Nature Series essences. Raven Essences. 2003.