If you have a chronic disease, where do you start looking for answers?

First you seek medical care to get a diagnosis. You try to understand what is the cause of the ailment, whether you have heart disease, arthritis, candida overgrowth or fibromyalgia. It may surprise you to learn that there is a common thread behind many of these diseases: a lack of energy in the body.

We think of fatigue as a sign of illness but it is also a cause. A lack of energy on the cellular level is the number one cause of all disease.

Why? Energy builds health. So no matter what the diagnosis of the person that walks into my office, I find that my underlying approach is always similar. I always use a functional approach I call “energy therapy.”

Energy therapy is giving the body the right diet, nutrients and lifestyle to help it make all the energy it wants. Energy therapy is so simple that you may not fully appreciate its healing power. When the cells of your body have all the energy they want, they can do their best to fight disease, build strong cell structures and live a long and vibrant life. So never overlook the power of energy. Energy is the most powerful healing force cells can harness. When the cells of the body have more natural energy, they are able to overcome many ailments, both chronic and acute.

Energy therapy is especially effective in people with chronic diseases who have not been helped by medicine, traditional or otherwise. They often have every ailment you can name and nothing seems to help. Or they may have no real diagnosis, though they may be tired, sluggish in their metabolism and have a wide range of health complaints.

Energy is crucial for health to exist. It is no wonder then that nearly every great medical tradition in the world is built upon the nurturing of natural energy-vitality. This is something far different from stimulant energy. Remember: if our body is tired, we can rest, but if an individual cell runs out of energy, it dies. And accelerated cell death from cells running out of energy is what causes nearly all disease and premature aging.

Energy therapy is a humble approach. It gives the body more energy to do what it likes. It lets the body decide how to use the energy. Your body wants to be radiantly healthy. If you give the cells of the body enough energy, it will be.

Why is energy so important? Body cells need energy to:

  • build and repair tissue
  • take out cellular trash that can poison the body and cause disease
  • defend the body from bacterial and viral invaders
  • regulate organ function
  • help cells talk to each other and create homeostasis so crucial to health.

All of this depends on energy. If there is a lack of energy in cells, these things will not happen, no matter what else you do. And the more optimal the amount of natural energy the cells have, the better that all this can happen. It is that simple.

Because energy therapy is a way of letting the body do the healing, it is supportive, not interventive, therapy. You almost don’t need a diagnosis of what the chronic disease is when using energy therapy. You can call any chronic illness “systemic energy deficiency.” You will always be right.

Overstressing the body is a main cause of disease and energy therapy helps to deal with this problem. How? Cells that are particularly susceptible to the damage of stress are neurons or nerve cells. Much of the disease results because the nervous system in particular is stressed. Stress kills because it does something terrible to the nervous system: it stops its ability to regulate stress. When the nervous system can no longer regulate the stress, stress hormones go too high and destroy the body over time.

Aging can be defined as the gradual loss of the body’s ability to regulate stress, which results in a loss of health. Increasing energy in cells slows aging by helping the body to regulate stress better and therefore to better maintain balance in the body, which we call health.

Energy stops stress from killing our nerve cells that regulate stress. Energy keeps nerve cells and their receptors better able to stay in control of the body so that stress does not get out of control and cause disease.

Here is the energy therapy program:

Activity

Moderate exercise that is not too stressful, such as walking. Strength training is also an absolute must. These two forms of exercise should be done as regularly as possible, not to the point of exhaustion but only as long as it is enjoyable and rejuvenating. For some this will mean 10 minutes of exercise three times per week. Others will benefit from more. Some exercise is crucial for the body to regain its ability to maximize energy.

Diet

Protein at each meal, ideally high-quality animal protein from wild game, seafood or lean meats. Vegetarian protein may be used but can be difficult to digest for some. No sugars, margarine or refined vegetable oils. Avoid a diet high in carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, bagels and sugars. These interfere with energy production in most of the chronically ill people I see.

Eat lots of green vegetables. If possible, drink two to three 8-ounce glasses per day of vegetable juice, freshly made only from green vegetables (celery, spinach, dandelion, zucchini work well). Avoid fruits and fruit juices.

Supplements Used in Energy Therapy
Flaxseed oil 1 tablespoon
Medium chain triglycerides 1 tablespoon with breakfast
Carnitine 500 - 4,000 mg
CoQ10 50 - 400 mg
Magnesium 500 - 1,000 mg
Malic acid 1,000 - 2,000 mg
B complex 100 mg
Vitamin C 2,000 mg
Vitamin E 400 IUs
Selenium 400 mcg

Some of these nutrients can be found in the same supplement. Magnesium malates is a wonderful form of magnesium that contains both magnesium and malic acid. A good antioxidant will contain C, E and selenium.

The following are optional supplements I sometimes use in energy therapy if results are not adequate on the above protocol or if symptoms of chronic disease are severe:

NADH 2.5-10mg
Lipoic Acid 100mg
Creatine 1-5 grams
Glutamine 4-20 grams

I have outlined the nutritional approach to energy therapy but there is more to it than that. Nutritional and herbal detoxification is important, particularly in the liver. Spine alignment is also important and seeing a chiropractor or osteopath to make sure the body structure will support energy is crucial. Stress management, rest and vacation are all crucial, as is spiritual wellness. All of these elements must come together in order to create a body whose energetics are balanced.

Energy therapy: not the whole solution to every health problem, but a terrific place to start.

Robert Crayhon, MS, CN

Robert Crayhon was called "one of the top ten nutritionists in the country" by Self magazine (8/93).

He was the author of four books, including Robert Crayhon’s Nutrition Made Simple (Evans 1994) and The Carnitine Miracle. (Evans 1998) Robert also co-wrote Dr. Atkins Vitanutrient Solution (Simon and Schuster 1998).

Robert had been published in the New York Times, and the peer-reviewed literature, and produced over 70 hours of educational CDs for health care practitioners on the latest findings in nutritional biochemistry and their clinical applications.

Robert Crayhon, a nutritionist, author, and commentator who was full of humor and passion for the science of food and dietary supplements, died September 4, 2010, from colon cancer. He was 49 years old.