Eric Robins, M.D., learned the limitations of traditional medicine at an early age. His mother and younger sister suffered with chronic symptoms that baffled doctors. Dr. Robins suffered with chronic fatigue while he was in medical school and residency. And several years ago, his son suffered with some significant physical and emotional issues that didn’t respond to many traditional and alternative therapies. His family’s medical issues spurred a quest for holistic solutions that has spanned decades.
Today, Dr. Robins is a urologist with a large medical group in Los Angeles and a well-known proponent of alternative healing therapies. He is also coauthor of “Your Hands Can Heal You: Pranic Healing Energy Remedies to Boost Vitality and Speed Recovery from Common Health Problems.”
In an exclusive interview with yeahstub.com, Dr. Robins shares his unique perspective on the mind-body connection.
How did your personal and family experiences affect your medical practice?
Dr. Robins: There is a huge subset of people who have real complaints and obvious symptoms, yet on physical exam or on labs or x-rays, we might not find something anatomic to pin the diagnosis on. In many cases, the traditional medical community doesn’t know what’s wrong or how to help them get better. I experienced this in my own family. My mother and sister saw many doctors who weren’t able to help them. And I had chronic fatigue when I was younger so I know what it’s like to feel completely depleted. I started looking at mind-body therapies more than 20 years ago and began to combine them with my traditional medical practice to try to help my patients heal.
Energy healing therapies are based on some common fundamental beliefs — the body has the capacity to heal itself, the body has an energy that helps it heal, and when that energy becomes blocked, it can lead to problems and disease. I have learned and used several holistic modalities including: pranic healing, hypnosis, neurolinguistic programming, emotional freedom techniques (EFT), faster EFT, and more recently, trauma release exercises (TRE).
How has your thinking about holistic practices changed over the years?
Dr. Robins: Initially, I considered a top down model of healing where problems start with the emotions and then have an impact on the body. With that model, healing starts on the emotional level. Now, I’m more aligned with a newer bottom up approach. Science is starting to show that many problems start with the physiology and then this affects the mind and emotions. Some people seem to have a chronic low-level fight or flight response switched on all the time. Other people who experience trauma go into a freeze mode where deep postural muscles contract to protect them, and where they become disassociated from their emotions. And everyone seems to have a neurologic stress threshold — this is the amount of “stuff” they can handle coming at them from life; when pushed over this threshold, they experience stress and anxiety.
TRE is a great technique for addressing issues at the physiological level and helping people heal from the bottom up. It also seems to raise the neurologic stress threshold so that people feel less stressed.
What is TRE?
Dr. Robins: When a lion chases a gazelle, the gazelle’s fight or flight response kicks in to help it escape and get away. Once the gazelle is safe, it goes through a shaking and tremoring process that turns off the fight or flight response and releases deep muscle tension and activation. TRE is a simple technique developed by David Berceli, Ph.D., that uses a series of exercises to trigger a gentle shaking and tremoring response in humans that I believe starts to switch off the fight-flight response, and also helps folks begin to unfreeze and become more grounded in their body.
I’m seeing some very promising results in my practice. After tremoring, people shift into a relaxed, energized parasympathetic healing state. It doesn’t seem to matter what emotional issues they are facing. When their body relaxes, their mind and emotions seem to calm down as well.
What have you experienced with TRE?
Dr. Robins: I was pretty healthy until I hit 50. Then I started having trouble sleeping, I had digestive problems, and my immune system seemed to weaken. Eventually, I was hospitalized because my heart started racing. My fight or flight response wasn’t turning off.
I started training in TRE and have been practicing the technique myself for five months. Within weeks, I was sleeping better, my digestion and immune system improved, my heart stopped racing, and I experienced deep personality changes. I feel much less stress, and I’m more socially engaged.
TRE has done more for me personally than everything and anything else combined that I’ve tried over the past 20 years.
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