Ep 131 – Grounding: Talking Energy Medicine with Amelia Vogler

Reiki treatment performed with hands hovering over client's abdomen

Amelia Vogler had a “humdinger” of a family life growing up in North Carolina. She was influenced by both her father’s funeral home business and her mother’s horticultural background. From her father, she learned about grief and therapeutic space, and from her mother she learned about physical and spiritual blooming and flowering. Amelia joins the podcast to talk about the challenge of growing up an empath. During our conversation, we  discuss defining energy work and a typical session, the many forms of grounding and how practitioners can best utilize it in their practices, and how she became involved in partnering with clients during clinical and surgical work.

Author Images: 
Amelia Vogler, energy medicine specialist
Author Bio: 

Amelia Vogler is a grounding and energy medicine specialist, an internationally respected teacher of energy medicine, and meditation guide. She embeds essential energetic practices in her meditations and teachings to support the betterment of humanity, one individual at a time, one quiet moment at a time. In addition to her teaching and guided meditation offerings, she has an international private practice. In her 15-year career, she has helped over 7,000 individuals re-pattern self-limiting negative beliefs through grounding practices, intuitive insight, and advanced energy medicine. For more information, visit ameliavogler.com.

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Full Transcript: 

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0:01:34.2 Darren Buford: Welcome to The ABMP podcast. My name is Darren Buford, and I'm Editor-in-Chief of Massage & Bodywork Magazine and Senior Director of Communications for ABMP.

0:01:42.5 Kristin Coverly: And I'm Kristin Coverly, licensed massage therapist and ABMP's Director of Professional Education.

0:01:48.7 DB: Our guest today is Amelia Vogler. Amelia is a grounding and energy medicine specialist, an internationally respected teacher of energy medicine, and meditation guide. She embeds essential energetic practices in her meditations and teachings to support the betterment of humanity, one individual at a time, one quiet moment at a time. In addition to her teaching and guided meditation offerings, she has an international private practice. In her 15-year career, she has helped over 7,000 individuals re-pattern self-limiting negative beliefs through grounding practices, intuitive insight, and advanced energy medicine. For more information, visit ameliavogler.com. Hello, Amelia and Hello, Kristin.

0:02:32.2 Amelia Vogler: Hi Darren. Hi Kristin.

0:02:34.4 KC: Hi Amelia, welcome. We are so excited and really looking forward to our conversation with you today, but let's start by introducing you to the audience and getting to know a little bit more about you. Tell us about your very interesting background, the environment you grew up in, the influence of both your mother and father and their respective occupations.

0:02:54.3 AV: Well, Kristin, thank you and thanks for having me. I think all of us have interesting backgrounds, so I just wanna share that to whoever is listening. I think all of our stories are just fascinating, and I really believe that we choose our family, that we choose our parents, so... Some time before we got here, and I happened to choose a humdinger of a family. My dad is a funeral home owner and funeral director, and that funeral home's been in our family for 250 years. So we're on the seventh generation, my little brother who's not so little anymore, but you always call them your little brother, he's now the manager of the funeral home, and so I grew up visiting that 9,000 square foot place of quiet where people go to rest before they're celebrated and it was an interesting upbringing, there are unusual energies in a funeral home.

0:04:01.2 KC: And I think too Amelia you were able to observe your dad and the way that he comforted the people who were grieving. Is that right?

0:04:09.2 AV: Yeah, you know, just like many of us, I think when we were little, our parents would take us over to work so they could finish things up and do the paperwork, and... So I went to the funeral home after school, and I usually had my roller skates with me because you could roller skate around to the funeral home really easily with all the linoleum floors and the big doorways, and from time to time, families would come in and have an opportunity to talk with dad about the service that was starting the next day, and people are distraught coming into that environment, they don't wanna be there, I don't blame them, I don't... I'm not sure I really wanna be there as a consumer any given time, but I was always a very observant child, I was always very curious, and so I would watch my dad speak with people and hold what I know now to be therapeutic space for individuals and I just remember watching so many occasions where by his presence alone and by his love alone, their energy, their affect, their tears, their emotional state, all of it would soften and quiet. And so I learned that, I learned about how we listen to one another and how we listen to the interactions between each other, and we can hold space from more than just our voice and what we say to each other.

0:05:47.7 KC: That's beautiful. And how about your mom? What lessons did you learn from observing her and the choices she made in her life?

0:05:54.3 AV: Well, my mom is so interesting. My mom said, and has this little saying, still to this day, "You only live once, and I never wanna do the same thing for more than 10 years," and so my mother's reinvented herself over and over and over again, starting with a musician, she sang in five languages, she played 24 instruments. She was extraordinary. And then she spent 10 years raising three children to the level that we could not kill ourselves walking around the house. I grew up on a farm and she got a Horticulture degree. She started a nursery of hybrid rhododendrons there, so I spent that 10 years playing with flowers and going down and sitting with the rhododendrons and watching them bloom, watching them grow, watching them die, being really close to the life cycle, we all have our life cycles, dogs, cats, humans, plants, trees. Think of us all evolving through these wonderful cycles of life and death all at different times, and so these beautiful flowers taught me about growing and about being resilient in the seasons, and about nurturing myself with the right nutrients and how sensitive the environment was. So, on one side, my father was teaching me about grief and grieving and holding space for that depth of being that we are called to when someone passes away, and then my mother was teaching me about blooming and about what it meant to be alive and what it meant to flower, and you know, the dead in the funeral home taught me a lot as well.

0:07:53.0 AV: I wouldn't really think of them as a parental figure, but they were cornerstone voices in my early education, because when you look at someone who's not alive, one of the things that struck me was that they lack the light in their eyes, there's a dullness about them, there's a sense of void, there's this idea that whatever was within them is gone. And so, even as a little girl, I was so curious about that light, I was so curious about what was it that left? What is the light in your eyes, Kristin, or your eyes Darren, or your eyes whoever's listening, what is that? Because I wanna stay close to that and I wanna understand what that is, and watching all these flowers bloom, it was like, is the bloom that? Is that the same? And I found out it's not really the same. The process of growing is the light, the process of living is the light, but between the funeral home, my father and my mother, I sure picked an interesting family to grow up in.

0:09:17.3 KC: Speaking of that, what was it like growing up as an empath? I'm curious if there was a specific moment that you remember when you knew you had these abilities or just that you recognise that your life experience was different than your friends and the people around you.

0:09:32.0 AV: Oh, Kristin, it was horrible.

0:09:33.0 KC: Oh no!

[laughter]

0:09:37.1 AV: You know, my least favourite place as a little child was the grocery store, and mom would put me in the little cart, I was the oldest of the three, so I got the benefit of going to the grocery store often and alone with mom. So, she'd stick me in the cart, park me by the oranges and just, you know, she would go around the vegetable place, not too terribly far away, and I would pick up everything like a little sponge. So, I have these vivid memories of sitting next to these oranges and this guy was so sad, that lady's arm heart, this person's grieving, that person's just in a crabby kind of mood, and whenever I left the grocery store, it was like I was a little sponge that had picked up all of these different energies from all of these people's experiences, and I would end up very emotional after that, just trying to process everything that I really couldn't language and didn't really understand. So the grocery store was one of those pivotal places in my history, and then also the playground, because I was always different, and mom and dad always talk about this, "You were such a different child, you were so peculiar."

0:11:02.0 AV: And what would happen is when people would get hurt on the playground, they would come and sit next to me and I would put my hand like on their knee or hold their shoulder or just sit with them and suddenly their tears would stop. And so, whether it's nurturance or something else, whatever those sensitivities were that I took in, in my sponge, I knew intuitively what to do with that information or how it might help others. It took a long time for me to understand how it might help me or serve me, but it did early on really land in the space of the other and how to support beyond myself.

0:11:53.5 DB: Let's take a short break to hear a word from our sponsors. Anatomy Trains is happy to announce our return to the dissection lab in person. January 10th to the 14th, 2022 at the Laboratory of Anatomical Enlightenment in Boulder, Colorado. We are thrilled to be back in the lab with Anatomy Trains author, Tom Myers, and master dissector Todd Garcia. Join students from around the world and from all types of manual, movement and fitness professions to explore the real human form, not the images you get from books. This is an exclusive invitation. Email info@anatomytrains.com if you'd like to join us in the lab. Now, let's get back to the podcast.

0:12:35.6 KC: Amelia, let's talk a little bit more about energy medicine in a bigger scope. What are your own personal beliefs surrounding the definition of energy medicine? I was really intrigued by the phrase that you use, "I enjoy exploring the relationship between optimal physical health, cellular intelligence, and energetic support."

0:12:58.3 AV: Yeah, well, Kristin, it's a mouthful, I'll tell you. [chuckle] But there is something to energy medicine. And I did not have a language in this that I knew how to speak for a lot of my life, and it took me coming home and trusting that which I didn't understand, to hold me and guide me to the vocabulary to speak about it. And one of the things that I really appreciate is the science tells us now energy is everything, or everything is energy. And so, if we're talking about that foundation, that core, central thing that defines everything, then what we're talking about does have physical components. And if we're talking about physical healing, we're talking about even cellular components because we are basically this massive collection of cells all doing different jobs, and not only doing different jobs, but they're holding something, and they're holding our energy, they're holding our story, they're holding our history, they're holding our ancestry. And so, our physical body and our optimum health really can't be separated from addressing that which is cellular and that which is held in the cellular, which is our story, and that's where that energy piece comes in because our energy carries the stories of our lives.

0:14:44.8 AV: Everything is recorded in our energy system. And I think this is so fascinating because the work that I do, typically, I'll work with someone one time, and then a long period of time will lapse after that because you wanna go and live with this new way of being, this new light that you have uncovered or remembered. And so, I had a client this year come to me, Kristin, and she said, "Amelia, I don't know if you remember me, but the last time we worked together was 14 years ago." And I tell you, as soon as we opened up the energy together, I remembered exactly who she was. I remembered exactly what she was working with. I could even smell the smells that I remembered smelling from 14 years ago. So, there's this amazing recording of our history and that's what I'm talking about. Kind of allowing ourselves to remember through this great history that we carry in ourselves to help us be alive and well, body, mind, and spirit.

0:16:01.1 KC: I think one of the ways, too, that we can talk about being alive and well in our body, mind, and spirit is talking about grounding, and I know that that's one of your specialties is grounding, so what is grounding mean to you? What is it?

0:16:15.7 AV: Well, Kristin, to me, grounding is a practice, it's not a destination. We talk about grounded people, grounded personalities, grounded emotions, grounded mental constructs, but to me, grounding is a practice, it sort of extends mindfulness. So, a lot of our spiritual vernacular these days is anchored in practices of mindfulness, and for me, mindfulness is a critical skill, mindfulness allows us to see what's going on, it's very revelatory, it allows us to see what's real and true and create that awareness. Usually we're talking about mindfulness in terms of creating positive change in our lives, body, mind, and spirit, so if mindfulness allows us the awareness to see what needs to be changed or effectively worked with in our life, then grounding is the practice that provides us with the inspiration, the impulse, and the energy to create those changes in our life.

0:17:34.2 DB: Amelia, are there differences... I hear it all the time when practicing yoga, let's start with the grounding pose or in meditation, let's ground ourselves with the breath. What are the subtleties or the differences there versus... I know you've spoken about grounding on a spiritual plane, grounding your chakras as well. Can you tell us a little bit about the subtlety of those differences?

0:18:00.1 AV: Yeah. I'd be happy to Darren. Our foundation is so important for anything in life, right? If we don't have a solid foundation in our thoughts for the day, in terms of yoga, when you're saying getting in that grounded pose or posture, what you're talking about is Asana, you're preparing for the practice of Yoga, which is one teeny teeny little part of yoga, but you start with your feet. Every pose starts with the feet and the foundation, and it builds up from there. And so, in yoga, that's what they're talking about, finding your way to the mat, putting your feet on the floor in a specific alignment or position on the mat, and being able to really hold yourself in space, that way the energy can begin to move up and through the body as you move, but you'll be balanced and you'll be supported and you won't be wobbly in your mind.

0:19:07.4 AV: In meditation the intention of meditation is to quiet the mind as well. It's more mental, and I'm not saying that yoga is physical only, but that grounded posture really is about, "Let's start with the foundation of the posture." In meditation, we're talking about bringing the mind to stillness. So taking that grounded breath is the first step in moving our attention from whatever it's in, the grocery list or picking up your kid or taking the dog out, to what's right here with me.

0:19:43.0 DB: Amelia, I'm curious. So like other clients out there who may potentially be listening, what is a session with you like? I know you're trained in a variety of techniques. If I were to call you and set up a session, how would that progress?

0:20:00.8 AV: Well Darren, my journey with energy medicine has undulated through a path that really started with more traditional energy medicine treatments, whereby we would really be working on grounding the energy system, helping you get hooked into a larger energy system. I kind of thought of it as like, "Hey, let's just get plugged in for a while so that you can restore your system", and also I like to call traditional kind of energy medicine, like assisted meditation, because we help you quiet the mind. So my practice was like that for a long time. But somehow, like my mother and her patterns, I realised in listening to my clients, that there were these foundational patterns that we have been carrying around, kind of back to that cellular intelligence. Sort of these hauntings in some ways, and I really use that term intentionally because lingering beliefs really do haunt us. And some of the patterns I typically work with are things like, I don't belong here. This life-limiting sense of, "I don't understand earth. I don't understand people. I never feel like I belonged here." This really ungrounded sense of being in the world. I work with patterns like, "I don't feel worthy of love", that's deeper than unlovable. That's like something haunting in the fabric of the energy system. Or I don't feel like I can trust God.

0:21:56.4 AV: Or what's spirit? I don't know. I don't have a relationship to that. These really fundamental hauntings. And so when I was listening to my clients, I realised, "Hey, wait a minute. That's deeper. That's hitting something deeper." So my sessions are two hours long for the first session. In the first half of the session, I listen to your story and I listen... I don't listen like a counsellor, I listen for the patterns, and I listen for the light. Where is the light missing? Where are you light-less in your life? And then through a few different techniques and methods, one of which we use a lot of symbolic memory and imagery. We rework old memories, old patterns, and it's not like past life regression or anything kind of freaky like that, I don't really believe in working that way, I believe everything that we need is right here in the moment. We can access all of ourselves from just this moment. So if there was some need and some longing that was unmet at any point in time or symbolically, because the language of energy is symbol.

0:23:22.6 AV: Then we go to that present moment and I say, "What do you need?" And we create it. And then the second half, we used more traditional energy medicine techniques and I re-balance the energy system around that new pattern. And more often than not, and I really mean way more often than not, like 99% of the time, I'll ask my clients at the end of the session, "Do you remember that longing that you had? Can you find it?" And they say said, "No. I can't find it. It's filled in here." And then what's next? This is a horrible business model, but healers are not in the business model of keeping you as a client. What comes next? Go live without that longing because your life will change.

0:24:19.9 DB: Amelia, you work in hospitals and specifically with surgeries. And I see you used the phrase clinical energy work. Can you explain that a little bit?

0:24:28.8 AV: Yeah Darren, this is part of... As we go and evolve our practices, it is kind of like, we are the liver in some ways, the liver is our great filter, what do I keep? What do I let go of? And so in some instances, I have let go of those more traditional energy medicine sessions, just an hour on the table and balancing the chakras and this, that and the other. But what I did keep, was my surgical work. Because I can see sense and feel in the body. Because I can connect with someone from the waiting room and feel what's happening in a surgical environment. I do specialise in energy medicine for surgery. And it's so interesting. I'd love to tell a little story. I was working with a gentleman who was having a prostate surgery, and I was sitting in the waiting room with his wife, and I make a point not to speak too much in those sessions because if I was to let her know something and then have the surgery go alright, there's some very significant ethics that you have to bring with you into these environments. But in this moment, I had connected with him, he was in surgery, I could feel the surgical team, I could feel the incision, you can just feel everything. I was supporting his blood pressure at that moment, and all of a sudden I felt what seemed like a robot inside his body and I was so confused.

0:26:19.4 AV: Because I'm briefed on these surgeries. And so I'm working in tandem with the surgical team who has given me permission to be there, to meet their client in the PACU. And all of a sudden, I looked at his wife and I said, "So and so, I know I said I wasn't gonna ask you any questions but, by chance, is there something robotic that was intended to be used in this surgery?" And she said, "Oh yeah. They're using the DaVinci surgical arm". And I went, "Oh. Well great, now I know how to work with that." But I had never felt a robot in a body before, and then I knew how to work with the tissues around the robot and have that conversation, which is what energy medicine is. It's this beautiful conversation between body and spirit and how to help and how to support. So I love surgical work and I travel for it, and I'm really looking forward to, as the COVID restrictions ease, being able to go back to surgery.

0:27:32.8 DB: Now Amelia, are clients hiring you for the surgery or is it coordinated through the hospital?

0:27:40.4 AV: No clients hire me. It's very interesting because each one of us has a patient Bill of Rights when they go into the hospital. And part of that patient Bill of Rights, is to have spiritual support with you. And you can really demand that, if that's what is important to you. And so I fall into the umbrella of spiritual support. Now, it's funny, I'm very squeamish around smells, I'm very sensitive, you've probably picked this up by now. But I'm very sensitive, so being in the surgical room, which I've been trained, that was how I was trained. I don't do that. I would faint. It would be a disaster. I would just make a fool out of everybody there. So I know my place and it's in the waiting room. [chuckle] But the clients hire me and we do take time to go through some paperwork together, to make sure that the surgical team is on-board.

0:28:46.7 AV: Because I like to be taken back to the PACU, which is where there's... It's the post-operative recovery room, before my client wakes up, because I wanna be the first person that they see when they wake up. I want my face so close to them saying, "So and so, it's October 22nd, you did great. Your body is healed in whatever way, did you know how hungry you were? Can you feel you're thirsty?" And surgical environments, when you go through a surgery as a patient, you are passed from pre-op team to your marking team, to your surgical team, to your post-operative team, then on to the recovery team, and I stay with you the entire time. Pre-op, all the way to the moment where they give you the medicine that helps you fall asleep, and we have some process that we do at that time so that we link up energetically, all the way through to the moment you wake up, I'm there all the way through to recovery. And I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say, "I really needed you there. When I saw your face when I woke up, I knew I was okay."

0:30:07.2 KC: Amelia, let's talk a little bit about how the massage therapists and body workers that are listening to the podcast can start to use some grounding techniques in their practice. So thinking about how they can ground themselves before, during and after sessions. What suggestions do you have for them?

0:30:23.0 AV: Oh Kristen, I love this topic because... And I'm gonna back up just a little bit about, "Okay. Well, what does grounding mean to the massage therapist?" Because like I said, it's like the... Grounding is like the thousand faced beast here. So for massage therapists, where I think this is so important is that... And this is more in the energetic realm than physical or emotional, or even spiritual. If you think about being a massage therapist, you are really close to your clients. Your energy fields are blended, your hands are literally on their body, there's a tremendous amount of energy and information that's exchanged between your client and you. And so it's like you get to be the sponge that I was as a little child, and I can imagine anybody listening have had times when they've left work and felt exhausted because they have taken on all of the stories, histories, complaints, pain of their clients unintentionally. And a grounding practice is gonna prevent that from happening.

0:31:43.3 KC: Energetically, when we ground ourselves, putting our feet on the floor or the earth and really intentionally bringing that earth energy through the body, what that does energetically is, it allows our chakras to spin and it creates strong boundaries in our work fields. And so it actually prevents that entrainment of your clients issues. So I think the number one thing for massage therapists is, find a grounding practice that works for you. There's so many out there. And I would imagine that in massage therapy school, they teach you things like drinking water after maybe doing some dancing or moving the body, some going outside. But there's wonderful grounding meditations, simple ones that you can do. Just one I love, is putting your feet on the floor and visualising yourself standing as a great big tree and allowing your roots to grow just below your feet and down into the earth and just like roots in a tree that soak up all the nutrients, you begin to soak up all that earth energy and move it up through the body. That connection is essentially plugging you into energy that's stronger than you and stronger than your client and stronger than the sum. So basically, in essence, you're gonna be standing in the integrity of more power, and it's very gentle as well.

0:33:18.2 DB: Amelia, I'm a client. So how can practitioners work with me grounding perhaps, before, during or after a session?

0:33:30.4 AV: Yeah. I think this is a wonderful question Darren. In terms of preparation, if your clients are not well-versed in grounding, you could just give them a little bit of information about, "Hey, what is the speed of your mind right now?" I love that little check. "Oh, it's going fast? Okay. Well, let's take... Before we even get on the table, before I even go into what's wrong, let's get the speed of your mind down. Why don't you take a couple of deep breaths?" or "Here, have some water." And hold that space, like my father taught me to do. Hold the space. And you can also, as a practitioner, work with the cadence and the rhythm of your own voice, "So we've been having a pretty casual conversation, but what if I did slow my voice down?" And just leave a little bit of space. Boom, the energy shifted because I've taken some steps to meet you in a new place and hold another space, another option for being around you. And then from those places, a more grounded expression of both of you, then you can go in and start the conversation, the therapeutic or clinical conversation that you're gonna have.

0:35:00.5 KC: Absolutely. And Amelia, for practitioners who are curious and wanna learn more, I see that on your website, you offer a free grounding course for people called The Great Practice Of Grounding. Can you tell people a little bit more about that?

0:35:12.4 AV: Yeah, this was just a little sweet course I put together. It's very casual, it's very everyday. This is kind of at that everyday level, but I take you through mind, body and spirit, and three different dimensions of grounding, what it means, how to recognise when you're not grounded in those areas of your life and a couple of things that you can do to support yourself in re-writing yourself off on that new foundation, and basically, it's just me sharing a few techniques. But I have heard some wonderful things about it, and it's just a nice offering, I think, to help people gain a little more vocabulary in this great practice of grounding.

0:36:01.2 DB: I wanna thank our guest today, Amelia Vogler. Listeners, find out more information about Amelia at ameliavogler.com. Thank you so much, Amelia for joining us today and thank you Kristen as well.

0:36:10.7 AV: Thank you, Darren. Thank you, Kristen.

0:36:12.8 KC: Thank you, Amelia. Thanks for being with us and sharing all that great information with our listeners.

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