Regina Powers interweaves her healing journey, patient case studies, and a strong belief in traditional Chinese medicine in her book, “What Color Is Your Medicine?” She wrote the book in two months, and sees it as a gift to both the medical profession and to people seeking a path to better physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Powers relays her shift treating illness from a purely Western medical approach to one that integrates many alternative modalities — the primary one being the five elements of Chinese medicine.
Earth, Metal, Water, Wood, and Fire are the five elements. Each is associated with specific areas of our body, and integrate color and particular emotions. In an interview with The Times, Powers explained, “The five elements are a way you can discover parts of your physical, emotional body, mind, and spirit. They help us bring up what’s working and not working for us so we can find a better way to balance life while going to through life’s ups and downs.”
In the book she writes, “Our ability to heal [is] blocked in some way; something [is] keeping us away from our hearts, the place where much of our healing occurs. Often our pains, either physical or emotional, take up residence somewhere in our body’s tissues or organ structures. All of these pent-up emotions and pain are searching to release, so our system can once again flow freely and receive all that the universe has for us.”
Powers provides a snapshot of each element:
Fire is a heart element. It includes sex and circulation. It can show up with imbalance related to diseases of the heart, like high blood pressure, irregular rhythms, nervous system issues and vascular problems. When the fire element is in balance, we experience joy, passion, and love. When it’s not, we experience hate, greed, and jealousy.
Metal is a spirituality element. It is related to issues with the lung and colon and can lead to emotional grief, regret, and guilt. Metal finds its way into balance when we are calm and at peace with our lives.
Water is a learning and teaching element. It is linked to the kidney and bladder. States of balance can lead to peace and equanimity, and imbalances can spark anxiety and fear. Back, dental, and bone issues are associated with the water element.
Wood is a motion element. It’s related to illness in the gallbladder and liver. Anger, frustration, and resentment can occur with imbalances, while true forgiveness and kindness happen when it’s in balance.
Earth is the relationship element. It is linked to our stomach, spleen, and pancreas. It is related to soft tissue and muscle tissue. Digestion, eating, and infections are affected by the earth element’s imbalances. Emotionally, you may tend to meddle, worry, overextend, or obsess about things. Balance is found with sympathy, empathy, self-care, and compassion.
Powers devotes a chapter to each element. For Earth, she writes, “When [this] element is in balance, we are vibrant, nurturing, and compassionate. People with balanced earth element are known for their calm temperaments and their roles as peacemakers. They are generous and thoughtful, and walk through life centered and grounded, connected to self and source.”
The Earth element is associated with our stomach, pancreas, and digestion. Here, Powers describes the relationship between our body parts and emotions: “If [the Earth] Element is off balance, our emotions may turn to worry, obsession, [and] … bring up feelings of insecurity and issues of worthiness. Depression can be seen with this imbalance; related to the inability to take in the beauty of life or not finding meaning or purpose … It can manifest in many ways. For example, you may have issues with certain people … [who] get you feeling sick to your stomach or tied up in knots.”
For Powers, healing is firmly grounded in our relationship to nature, which is fortunate for us Islanders. She explains, “Embracing the wonders of nature can help us discover how to release our inner holdings that have kept us walled off from our true selves … By engaging with the natural world, we can simplify … and find a way to live with less struggle, to fully embody that quiet space where our divine spark dwells.”
Powers offers recommendations to increase being grounded with the earth’s energy. For example, she writes, “First thing in the morning, plant your feet on the floor as you get out of bed. While sitting, gently rest your hands on your legs, palm-side down. Breathe in. Ask the earth to support and nurture you as you connect into her root system so that you can begin to root deeply into your body from the ground up.” She also notes, “Placing your hands in the dirt or gardening connects you into the earth’s frequencies. Walking barefoot in the sand, or bare feet on a patch of grass while sitting in a chair, are wonderful methods of grounding. It’s important to hold the intention of allowing the energy of the earth to come through the bottoms of your feet.”
When living on-Island, Powers worked in the hospital emergency room and then for Dr. Henry Neider from 2001 to 2002. After her recent book talk at the West Tisbury library, Powers shared what it’s like being back on the Island: “The ocean is so cleansing and brings me such peaceful calm … I look forward to holding a three-day retreat on my next visit this spring.” But Islanders don’t have to wait that long. Powers hosts long-distance Skype calls where she can recommend energy medicine from anywhere in the world. She’s currently based in Sonoma County, Calif., where she’s an integrative family nurse practitioner and energy medicine guide.
For more information about Regina Powers or to book an appointment, visit soljourneys.com. “What Color Is Your Medicine?” is available for purchase online.