While siestas (power naps) are part of the local culture in New Mexico and many locals feel naps are good for your health, there is also a lot of energy in the state, a key and often hidden dimension of health and wellness. Thing is that although there is a lot of what many New Mexicans would consider negative energy in the Land of Enchantment, there are also some recent efforts to neutralize it.
For physicists, New Mexico has long been associated with energy, especially of the nuclear kind. Albert Einstein, who once said, “Energy is all there is” and who held that matter and energy are “exchangeable,” sent several letters to President Roosevelt around 1939, which expressed his urgency for the US to create an atomic bomb to match the imminent threat in Germany of creating a devastating bomb. In 1941, Roosevelt took Einstein’s advice and established the top secret Manhattan Project in a laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Four years later, in 1945, America dropped the first hi-energy atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing 100,000 civilians.
Ever since that war, there have been forces at work in the state to try to counteract Los Alamos nuclear energy development with a constant call for disarmament and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Bertrand Russell wrote right after the war, “The prospect for the human race is sombre beyond all precedent. Mankind is faced with a clear-cut alternative: either we shall all perish, or we shall have to acquire some slight degree of common sense. A great deal of new political thinking will be necessary if utter disaster is to be averted.”
The Albuquerque-based Los Alamos Study Group (LASG) has taken center stage in leading the cause for nuclear disarmament and nuclear waste-related issues in New Mexico and the country. Their mission, according to the LASG web site, “includes research and scholarship (central to all we do), education of decision-makers, providing an information clearinghouse for journalists, organizing, litigating, and advertising. We place particular emphasis on the education and training of young activists and scholars.” Just this week in Los Alamos and Santa Fe, nuclear opponents have been meeting to oppose a proposal to ship tons of plutonium (including the cores of old nuclear warheads removed from a failed South Carolina plant), which is used only for making nuclear weapons, to New Mexico, that would be stored and dismantled at a reportedly aging and structurally facility in Los Alamos that sits atop an earthquake fault zone. On the positive side, a recent Solar Energy Industry Association report lists New Mexico among the nation’s leaders in production of electricity from solar power (including in Indian Country), and nuclear power based on simulations at Sandia National Laboratories has been gaining steam among both entrepreneurs and investors.
Now down to the individual and energy, there have been some recent new developments in what is called by the Institute of Energy Wellness Studies (IEWS) “energy wellness.” A number of new alternative therapies to help people increase their own energy have picked up some steam in the state. Several New Mexico health providers, most of whom are not licensed physicians, have recently been focusing on “energy healing,” including Sandy Akers who provides fee-based personal energy healing sessions that use “13th Octave LaHoChi™, Ama Deus, Angel Light, & Tong Ren Healing modalities, color and crystal therapy, and the sound vibrations of voice toning, tuning forks and/or crystal and Tibetan bowls.
“Energy psychology” has been called “psychological acupuncture without the needles.” It is a clinical technique and a self-empowerment approach that provides simple methods for shifting brain patterns that lead to unwanted thoughts, actions, and emotions. It draws from ancient spiritual practices and healing traditions and uses them in thoroughly modern ways. According to the Energy Medicine Institute’s Web site, energy psychology is based on the principle: “The brain’s power to restore a person’s distressed emotional world to well-being is far greater than we once knew.” Energy Medicine strengthens the person’s overall energy system “by working with specific energies that are involved in the problem.”. New Mexicans energy psychologists include Allee Barr, RN (Silver City), Angela Melton (Albuquerque), Janet Tice (Santa Fe), Christi Trent (Los Alamos), and Jana Marie Messing (Taos). Click here to find others in New Mexico and other states.
Liz Vance, a New Mexico “Intuitive Life Coach and Energy Healer,” says on her web site, “While I’ve always been sensitive to energy, an experience I had while beginning my massage and
Reiki healing work enhanced this ability. One day, while hiking in the mountains with my dog, I was struck by lightning. This experience opened up my channels to ‘seeing’ and understanding
energy.” Among other services, she helps her clients “learn to channel life force energy through their hands to heal themselves and others through Reiki, which is an ancient healing art that is both powerful and simple.
“New Mexico is a place steeped in a rich history of Native American and Spanish culture. I knew before we arrived that this place was special. As we were driving through the mountains into Albuquerque I could feel the energy of the Native Americans and their history. It was very powerful and I felt an excitement and appreciation of being led to a place of such blessings and energy,” said Charlene Lewis, an Albuquerque alternative healer who helps her clients through “straight energy work, testing for herbal/nutritional needs, and/or hypnotherapy.”
Once there was a common mistaken idea that if you eat sugar, you’ll get a sudden boost of energy, so candy bars and sodas were actually considered good for you. Recent scientific evidence has proven that sugar is actually a killer. Preventive Magazine, alongside its recent interview with Michelle Obama about her “Let’s Move” campaign, which has taken root among Native Americans, to reduce childhood obesity (which includes the First Lady’s “secret source of energy) listed some useful ways that by eating certain foods and drinks, one can both gain energy and lose weight:
- What to drink for an energy boost
- What to eat for an energy boost
- What to eat for all-day energy
- Perk Up with These Power Breakfasts
Staying on the topic of eating for energy, ultra-runner Wayne Coates grows and sells the “Aztec super food” chia seeds and has a book called Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood. “An example is the Tarahumara Indians of the Copper Canyon in Mexico. They’ve been known as the “running Indians” and they have used chia for years,” Coates says. “The Aztec warriors used to carry it on their campaigns and it is said that that’s really what they ate; it gave them sustained energy.”
New Mexicans also attest to the presence of a large amount of “place energy” in their state. They say that in places like the Santuario De Chimayo, the famous place of pilgrimage for Hispanics, The Ghost Ranch, where Georgia O’Keefe was often energized, the ancient Petroglyphs near Albuquerque, and “The Bosque Stump,” a modern-day descanso for prayer, meditation, and the deposit of spiritual mementos in Albuquerque, provide an aura of energy to those who visit them.