The first book I ever read by husband and wife duo David Feinstein and Donna Eden was Energy Medicine – and I have to say that the book completely blew me away, and transformed my attitude to mental and physical health. I loved that book and raved about it to anyone I could: my dentist; my husband; the man in the grocery store who was coughing his guts up…
The next book I bought by them, Energy Medicine for Women, was also a five-star hit; as was book number three, The Promise of Energy Psychology, which had EFT guru Gary Craig along for the ride. So when the latest Feinstein/Eden offering came out a few months ago, called The Energies of Love: Using Energy Medicine to Keep Your Relationship Thriving, I was chomping at the bit waiting for Amazon to deliver it already!
I couldn’t wait for The Energies of Love to transform my marriage, the way Energy Medicine had transformed my approach to healthcare. But while it was still a very entertaining and interesting read, and had the standard mix of Eden’s first-hand ‘energy know-how’ and Feinstein’s superlative breadth of research and engaging writing style, it didn’t quite measure up to its forebears.
There were still some very interesting ideas in the book, my favorite being the explanation of how oxytocin (the ‘bonding’ hormone) and high-pressure work just don’t really go together, which explains why women need a lot of companionship and R+R to be happy and relaxed, while men actually thrive, hormonally-speaking, on a healthy dose of ‘work pressure’.
That sparked off a real ‘aha!’ moment for me, about why I’ve watched so many of my female peers crash and burn trying to balance the nurturing self-required for successful motherhood with the aggressive persona often required to succeed in the workplace. And it also helped me to understand why spending time with my young kids was the last thing I felt like doing when I had a full-time career.
I spent years blaming myself for my inability to juggle stressful work with even more stressful toddlers until this book explained in the clearest of terms that it was really a foregone conclusion, hormonally-speaking, because stress kills oxytocin production, and you need oxytocin to engender that lovin’ feelin’. Phew! What a relief to find I had something properly scientific to blame for my challenges as a working mother.
So even if that’s the only thing I got out of the book, it was still worth reading it. But in terms of solving my mother-in-law issues, helping my husband to open up, or helping me to connect a little more to my nearest and dearest in real time, the book wasn’t as helpful as I hoped.
Okay, I know that at least, that first one is probably firmly in the realm of a ‘mission impossible’, but I’ve come to have such high respect for Donna Eden and David Feinstein, that I somehow hoped that they’d still manage to solve that particular problem for me (and everyone else).
So to sum up: if you’re looking for a different take on why work can energize one-half of the couple while draining the other half; or why women love a deep and meaningful conversation while men typically want to run a mile when they hear the words ‘we need to talk’, The Energies of Love is very helpful.
If you’ve got difficult in-laws, a huge mortgage or a super- stressful life, this book hasn’t got so much to offer in terms of transforming your ‘energies of love’ – but when you start melting down or acting out with your spouse, at least, you’ll have a better idea what hormone is behind it all.