Life of Negotiation

Anna Marie Wood shares why energy work should be a part of how we take care of ourselves, especially as we age.
older couple walking on the beach together and smiling

We are filtering through a barrage of timepieces. Take your pick from either the ordinary clock face displaying the standard numerical or Roman numeral sequence, or the digital kind found on almost every electronic device the majority of the population owns. The car displays a digital version so the driver can view, just to hammer home, how much time they’ve spent in traffic. The computer displays the time. The cell phone, the watch, the television, the microwave, the stove, the bedside radio alarm, the coffee machine, the children’s room, and quite possibly the wall in your garage have joined the party too. Funny that they all advance. We never notice a retreat of that ticking … of that tocking. So, it’s inevitable, then. We are advancing. We are learning. We are aging.

Respect. The first and foremost thing we need to do or remember is to respect the process. Aging is a process. Life is a process. Negotiation is a process, and life is a process of negotiation.

Now that we’ve got that settled, let’s talk about it.

Above and beyond eating properly to nourish our bodies, hydrating to keep our cells flushing and our organs in working order, and receiving the proper amount of exercise … have you ever thought about your energetic body? Your little glowing lightbulb? We are living in a time where there are so many options of foods available to combat this allergy or that deficiency. We are lucky to have at our fingertips apps and downloads where open-minded thinkers are offering a plethora of spiritual tools for our minds. Have we really delved into the electrical part of us? Could that be found on aisle 4?

Energy. Let’s consider the fact we are living on a large revolving sphere of hot molten lava and layers upon layers of charged sand and stone.  Electrically charged with the energy of the planet. In the very spot where you sit currently reading these words, lying just below you is a river of current. A fantastical electrical charge that we can utilize. Let’s take that further and recognize we actually house pulsing energetic current in our body. Place your hands in front of you eight inches apart and cup an imaginary soccer ball. Now just wait. Wait until you feel a pulse in the palms of both hands. A tickling, a pulling, an energetic pulse. This is you and your effervescent self in all its glory. This is your energy force and this has been worked with and pondered on for centuries. Tai chi and qi gong practice keep the body alive and the internal energy flowing without restriction. This isn’t a new concept, but perhaps that’s the key to it all. To conceptualize. To envision.

Thoughts are energy as well, and thoughts manifest into emotional energy and physical energy. You are what you think, so why not think a thought that makes you feel good and youthful and ageless? You might have found yourself drift off just now, thinking of something that moves you. That makes you feel alive. You might have just shifted your own energy in doing so. If you have ever felt unstoppable, like anything you touch might magically turn to gold and ideas flow freely, well, you just hit the nail on the head. You have jumped into the vortex of human thought and once again your energetic spirit is on point.

There is a correlation with aging and energy. We don’t exist on sugar-related products or carbohydrates because it’s well-known that these things break down our cells and tissue and age us. What is equally as amazing is when our thoughts, emotions, and physical form are out of alignment and blocked, manifestations can occur. Physical pain, inability to concentrate, stress, anxiety, depression, and/or general ill feeling. All of these components can increase the aging process. Perhaps another way to address our aging process is to incorporate the wonderful elusive world of energy work into our lives.

Chi. Life force energy. Polarity. Dr. Randolph Stone, born in 1890, founded polarity therapy and first published his concepts on polarity therapy in 1947. Dr. Stone believed in the validity and power we as human beings carry with us. Dr. Stone writes, “The physiological and psychological balance of well-being in the body is maintained by the harmonious and well-balanced flow of the five rivers within the body. All the energies should be properly balanced and directed for the good of each individual as a soul in a body.”

I wish I could have personally studied with this creative mind. Dr. Stone understood that there are five currents of pulsing energy—Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth—that correlate with the fingers and toes in the body and are at all times with us pulsing and dancing with our breath and circulatory system. The complexity of our anatomical body is equal to our energetic spirit and the two exist side by side.

Energy based modalities work with the body’s nervous system. Polarity Therapy is based on the premise that we are fields of pulsating life energy made up of specific frequencies known as these five elements: Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. When our body is out of alignment, either physical or emotional pain will occur, and this is our signal that we must change, grow, and shift.

Craniosacral therapy was developed by John Upledger, DO, in the 1970s, as an offshoot of osteopathy in the cranial field, or cranial osteopathy, which was developed in the 1930s by William Garner Sutherland. Craniosacral therapy is also an amazing energy-based modality that initially addresses the cranium, the sacrum, and the delicate spine with free-flowing fluid, which connect the two. A craniosacral therapist can listen at a deep level to the system and currents in the body, and with light touch to the cranium and sacrum can produce gentle opening and shifting, which in essence releases the blockages. I like to think of this work in computer terms, like rebooting and defragmenting.

These forms of energy work are extremely valuable for the human system. When the body goes into trauma, it will learn to acclimate within that trauma. That would correlate to emotional trauma or physical trauma. Both are equally as detrimental to our well-being and to our aging. Our bodies are meant to survive. Period. Give the body food, water, and some sunshine, and it will keep plugging away. Marching along like a little soldier. If given the chance to release built-up energy and emotions that no longer serve the body, with energy work, our system will, in essence, regenerate.

Our bodies want to be heard and our bodies absolutely communicate. Through current. Through energy. Emitted or held. I am grateful that I can hear the current in someone’s body and I can work with what it tells me. I can assist in releasing what has sometimes been dormant for years. I am so passionate about supporting the human spirit that I opened Templework LA, and on a daily basis we assist those that walk through our doors. With bodywork. With energy work. Nothing is an accident in this life. Like, for instance, it isn’t an accident you are reading this article.

This life is really an exploratory journey of paddling downstream, not upstream. Seek out tools that assist us in floating like the butterfly, or that allow us to flutter like leaves on the tree that reaches from the energetic earth and bends in the air of current. The air of magnetic energy. When you stop and consider that our existence can be one of absolute greatness and joy, then you have half the battle won. When you know that aging is nothing more than a marker of what we have accomplished, who has graced our lives, the studies we have absorbed, and the loves we have had along the way, then aging is just a number. A ticket we can take or not. Let us realize that energy is around us and within us and, in essence, what keeps us alive.

As I sit with my laptop I hear the pitter patter of my little dog Stella sauntering around my living room in her diaper. I realize she too is deep in the process. Her mind has been unfortunately altered with dementia and aging. She and I have been negotiating the process and working with what we have for months now. She and I. My little energetic dog and her energetic human. At some point things will shift to another level. Another place. We can either fear the inevitable or be joyous to have the age and wisdom to know this is just another step in the life of negotiation.


Anna Marie Wood is a CMT, Integrated Craniosacral Unwinding Practitioner, and Associate Polarity Practitioner. She believes with a delicate balance of massage therapy, energy work, nutrition, and exercise, we can live a happy and healthy existence. She is the creator, owner, and operator of TEMPLEWORK LA in Atwater Village, Los Angeles.