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Guest Column

What is energy medicine? 

By Dr. Vidya Reddy

Hello, this week I’d like to welcome you to the Healing Corner.

Before I share with you simple exercises or practices of energy medicine you could use on a daily basis for everyday issues like stress, anxiety, headaches, sinus, backaches, flu and more, I’d like to share what exactly energy medicine is. 

Energy medicine is probably the oldest “real” profession. Knowing how to keep the body’s energies healthy and vital gave our ancestors a tremendous edge for surviving in the wild. Strategies for sensing and correcting energy imbalances by stimulating specific energy points have been passed down through generations in China and India, as well as in other parts of the world, for at least 5,000 years. 

Today, energy medicine is one of the five domains of “complementary and alternative medicine” identified by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Methods used within energy medicine include electrical devices, magnets, crystals, needles, aromas, and herbal or other ingested substances. But the tool used by the largest number of practitioners for moving and harmonizing the body’s energies and fields is the human hand. 

Top four questions about energy medicine 

How is energy medicine practiced?

Energy medicine utilizes techniques from time-honored traditions such as acupuncture, yoga, kinesiology, and qi gong. Flow, balance, and harmony can be non-invasively restored and maintained within an energy system by tapping, massaging, pinching, twisting, or connecting specific energy points (acupoints) on the skin; by tracing or swirling the hand over the skin along specific energy pathways; through exercises or postures designed for specific energetic effects; by focused use of the mind to move specific energies; and/or by surrounding an area with healing energies.

How does it work? 

Energy medicine recognizes energy as a vital, living, moving force that determines much about health and happiness

To maintain vibrant health, the body needs its energies to: 

--Move and have space to continue to move – energies may become blocked due to toxins, muscular or other constriction, prolonged stress, or interference from other energies. 

--Move in specific patterns – generally in harmony with the physical structures and functions that the energies animate and support. “Flow follows function.”

What is doctor

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Photo by Johnny Antezana

Dr. Vidya Reddy

--Maintain a balance with other energies – the energies may lose their natural balance due to prolonged stress or other conditions that keep specific energy systems in a survival mode. 

--Conversely, when the body is not healthy, corresponding disturbances in its energies can be identified and treated. 

Is energy medicine spiritual?

Entering the world of your body’s subtle energies is a bridge into the domain of your deepest spiritual callings and your eternal essence. While no particular belief system, allegiance, or religious affiliation is associated with energy medicine, many people find that energy work touches into the realms of soul and

Can anyone do it?

Absolutely! Working with your energies is your birthright!

Students of energy medicine include: 

--Ordinary people with no experience in self-healing or healing others 

--Anyone who wants to learn to engage their energies for health and vitality 

--People who want to study techniques to help themselves, their family, or a close friend

--Massage therapists, nurses, acupuncturists, doctors, and other health care professionals who are looking to supplement and enhance their training 

--People of all ages and all walks of life who want to embark on a career in energy medicine

Simple energy healing exercises

Now let’s head straight into the simple yet effective practices/exercises that will take hardly 5 –10 minutes of your day but prove to be very effective in solving some everyday issues. If you would like more information, techniques, and meditation based on energy healing, please refer to my podcast: 

Make an X with your arms

Bring your palms toward each other until they are about three inches apart. Now twist your arms so they form an X, with your wrists at the center of the X, still about three inches apart. Bring your attention to the space between your wrists. Because your wrists contain several energy centers, the energies will connect, and most people will feel some sensation in the area between their wrists. 

What is wrists

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Photo by Pieter Baetens 

Wrists contain several energy centers

Move your wrist about an inch closer and then out a few inches, back-and-forth. What happens to the sensations in the space between your wrists as you change the distance? Do not be concerned if you do not feel the energy, it is there. 

The palms of your hands also emit a considerable amount of subtle energy. See if you can feel the energy in the space between your hands if you cup your hands and move them toward and away from each other. 

Energy medicine for tight shoulders 

Most people carry some tension in their shoulders. Reach your right hand over to your left shoulder and press into any point with your middle finger. Feel around until you find the spot that is most tender (if there is another area of your body you would prefer to focus upon, do so). Give a rating of 0 to 10 to this spot, with zero meaning no tension or tenderness at all and 10 meaning extreme tension or tenderness.

Next, vigorously rub your hands together and shake them off. Now cup your right hand about two inches above the area where you felt the tension and begin to move it over the area in a slow counter-clockwise circle, making about a dozen rotations. Notice if you have a sense of energies being exchanged between your hand and your shoulder. 

Hold your hand over the area a few more seconds, then relax. What sensations do you feel? Now press the original point with your middle finger and again rate it from 0 to 10. Most people find that the tension diminishes.

While about as simple as a technique could be, these experiments show how readily we can move our energies. Energy medicine begins with such simple tools for reducing tension and fostering healing, and it progresses to more complex protocols for bringing about targeted benefits and addressing serious health challenges.

Bring this practice into your own life. Infuse it. Let it work for you.

In Peace, Love and Gratitude.

‘Til next time.

Dr.Vidya Reddy, ND, AMS, DAC, CLC

“Ambassador of Soul” Ellis Hall Returns to the Festival of Arts tomorrow

The popular Concerts on the Green music series, sponsored in part by Cambria Estate Winery, continues at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts tomorrow, Saturday, August 10 from 1 - 2:30 p.m. with legendary performer Ellis Hall. 

Hall is an accomplished and prolific performer, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist with a career spanning over four decades. He has solidified a reputation for soul-searing Rhythm & Blues and has electrified audiences throughout the world.

Born in Savannah, Georgia, Ellis was diagnosed with glaucoma as an infant and lost his sight early on. Ellis attended the Perkins School for the Blind where he mastered the bass, guitar, keyboards, piano, and drums. 

Ambassador of Ellis

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Submitted photo

Legendary performer Ellis Hall will grace the FOA stage tomorrow 

In the 80s and 90s, Ellis performed with a multitude of musical icons including Tower of Power, Kenny G, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire. In 2001 Ellis met the legendary musical icon Ray Charles, who was so taken with Ellis’ performance power that he took the artist under his wing. 

The following year, Ray signed Ellis as the only other artist on his label Crossover Records. Following this major honor, Ellis went on to work with Ray on the astounding album Straight Ahead, featuring an array of guest artists and garnering a top single, “Gotta Get the Money,” which landed at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Ellis’ time with Ray, whom he fondly called Papa Ray, left an indelible impression. Following the icon’s death in 2004, he created a show in honor of The Master called “A Tribute to Ray Charles, Motown, and Beyond.”

He envisioned it as homage to his mentor that would celebrate their shared R&B roots and deep passion for the heart and soul of music. He considers the show not an imitation or emulation, but a soul celebration, and includes his own original works for the enjoyment of his audience.

“Ellis Hall has performed for, and alongside, some of the biggest musicians and celebrities of the last forty years,” said Susan Davis, director of special events for the Festival of Arts. “You won’t want to miss this concert!”

Ellis Hall will perform on Saturday, Aug 10 on stage at the Festival green. Concerts on the Green are free with Festival of Arts admission. Limited seating is available in a reserved section for $40 per person per concert, which includes Festival admission.

For more information and tickets, visit or call (800) 487-3378.

The Festival of Arts is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

Catmosphere celebrates one-year anniversary and wraps up summer with Cat Camp

Catmosphere Laguna celebrates its one-year anniversary on August 13. The cat café is on adoption number 54, which is more than one adoption a week since opening.

As Orange County’s first cat café, Catmosphere Laguna increases the county’s rate of feline adoptions and provides improved lives and futures for kitties awaiting their furr-ever homes. Catmosphere Laguna is a community café and a foster home for adoptable cats and kittens. Guests may enjoy delicious bites from their café or cuddles from adoptable kittens in their lounge.

The final two days of Catmophere’s Cat Camp will be Monday, Aug 19 from 1 - 3 p.m. for ages 6 to 10, and Tues, Aug 20 from 1 - 3 p.m. for ages 11 and up. 

Catmosphere Cat Camp activities include learning about feline breeds, cat care and health, feline anatomy, cat crafts, and 3D clay modeling. 

Catmoshpere celebrates camp

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Submitted photo

Jackson Ellis adopted Simon from Catmosphere

Jackson Ellis attended the Cat Camp and had a great time. He runs an Instagram for Simon and his other cat Samuel He adopted Simon from Catmosphere after he won first place in a kitten-naming contest – Sam, Simon, Simba, and Sunflower. When he went to meet them, he fell in love with Simon and had to have him. 

Campers will make their own cat toys, catnip pouches, and will, of course, get two hours of kitty time with the 14 adoptable cats and kittens. Snacks, drinks, and a complimentary Cat Camp T-shirt are included in the price, which is $75. For reservations, go to

For the more mature crowd – on Sunday, Aug 18 from 6 until 8 p.m., Drag Bingo Pawty starring the catabulous Ms. Niobi McQueen of Main Street Cabaret fame will be featured at Catmosphere. 

Attendees will enjoy playing Bingo, winning PURRRizes, and snacking on delicious bites, wine, bubbly, and Catmosphere’s famous Meowmosas.

For more information, visit or call (949) 619-6369.

Catmosphere Laguna is located at 381 Forest Ave, and is open 10:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. every day.

Cox Charities to award $47,000 in grants to local nonprofit organizations, applications due Aug 31

Cox Charities will award $47,000 in grants to Orange County and Palos Verdes nonprofit organizations to support initiatives that focus on youth, education, conservation, and the military. 

Applications are currently being accepted online at and must be submitted by August 31.

Cox Charities, the philanthropic arm of Cox Communications funded by employee donations that are matched by the company, will consider requests up to $5,000.

Cox Charities Ocean

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Courtesy of Ocean Institute

Ocean Institute was among the 2018 Cox Charities grant recipients 

The 2018 grant recipients included:

--Ocean Institute

--Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee, Inc. 

--Intervention Center for Early ChildhoodHomefront America, Inc. 

--South County Outreach

--FRIENDS of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

--Irvine Children’s Fund

--Special Olympics Southern California, Inc. – Orange County Region

--EnCorps, Inc.

--Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire

--The Ecology Center

--CampMed at UCI

To apply for a Cox Charities nonprofit grant, organizations must meet the following qualifications: be a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization; be located or   provide services in a Cox service area in Orange County and Palos Verdes; show measurable results from the program and complete a post-grant evaluation form; provide information on program outreach components including website and social media.

For more information, visit

Balmy afterglow

Balmy afterglow

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Basking in the beautiful hues of another extraordinary sunset in Laguna

Summertime calm

Summertime calm beach wanderer

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Beach wanderer enjoys solo beach time

Summertime calm coastline

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Locals’ hour in Laguna

Laguna Presbyterian Church to host Red Cross Blood Drive on Wednesday

Residents are encouraged to participate it a Red Cross Blood Drive at Laguna Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, Aug 7 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The Blood Shortage Emergency across the nation bumped up further following recent shootings,” states blood drive coordinator Sandy Grim. “Regular donors – please take an hour out of your summer vacation, or your work day, to help us. And – please ask/bring a friend who has yet to make a  blood donation to show him/her how easy it is…and tasty treats follow!

Laguna Presbyterian Church to host Red Cross

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Red Cross Blood Drive to be held at Laguna Presbyterian on Wednesday 

To schedule an appointment, sign up at and use sponsor code “laguanp” or email Laura Rudd at the Red Cross at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Walk-ins are also welcome. 

Please remember to bring a photo ID or Red Cross Donor Card on the day of donation. 

Laguna Presbyterian Church is located at 415 Forest Ave.

Presidential Candidate Amy Klobuchar visits Laguna Beach Democratic Club

On Sunday, Aug 4, the Laguna Beach Democratic Club proudly welcomed 2020 Presidential Candidate Senator Amy Klobuchar to an evening reception at the home of club president Lara Horgan. 

Following a town hall, with several hundred in attendance, at the Democratic Party of Orange County headquarters, Senator Klobuchar headed down to Laguna which, she says, holds a special place in her heart.

Klobuchar began her comments with a story about a vacation she took with a friend, while a student at Yale University. “We stayed in LA, but we drove down, every day, to go to the beach in Laguna Beach. We loved it so much. Never did I dream that I would someday be addressing the Democratic Club of Laguna Beach as a candidate for President of the United States!”

Presidential candidate Klobuchar

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2020 Presidential Candidate, Senator Amy Klobuchar 

Senator Klobuchar expressed grief and sadness about the mass shootings that occurred over the weekend in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. She spoke at length about her years-long struggle to enact federal gun safety laws. 

The Senator described her background as the granddaughter of an immigrant who worked as a miner and saved money, in a coffee can, to pay for tuition at a community college for her father. 

The daughter of a journalist and a schoolteacher, she expressed her commitment to making college more affordable. Senator Klobuchar also discussed a wide range of topics including climate change, healthcare affordability, election security, infrastructure, tariffs and trade agreements, and consumer safety. 

Following a question and answer period, the formal portion of the evening ended with many in the crowd chanting, “Amy K, all the way!” Finally, the Senator mingled with the crowd for some time, talking with voters and posing for pictures.

Presidential candidate crowd

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Submitted photo

Guests in the crowd ended the evening chanting “Amy K, all the way” 

The evening was part of Laguna Beach Democratic Club’s commitment to educating citizens and encouraging greater civic engagement. 

The club’s next monthly meeting will be held on September 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Susi Q Community Center. The evening will feature experts on women’s reproductive rights. Judge Lynn Riddle (Ret.), Senior Fellow, Center for Biotechnology at the University of California at Irvine and Patti Compton, Chair, Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood, will discuss the intersection of politics and women’s healthcare.

Scott Rhinehart, candidate for State Assembly, 73rd district, will discuss his campaign. Guests are welcome. For more information on the Laguna Beach Democratic Club, visit or visit the club’s Facebook page.

Laguna Food Pantry holds Paper Sale Fundraiser at NCC on Saturday 

Stock up on paper goods at Neighborhood Congregational Church on Saturday, Aug 10 from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., when Laguna Food Pantry holds a paper sale fundraiser. When Laguna Drug Store went out of business, it donated its card and paper goods inventory to the Laguna Food Pantry to use in a fundraiser. 

Pick up quality paper products – greeting cards, stationery, and more – at a fraction of the retail price while supporting the Pantry’s mission in providing free, nutritious, and fresh groceries for shoppers. Laguna Food Pantry’s volunteers and donors believe no one should go hungry. The pantry serves anyone in need.

Laguna Food inside

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Photo by Dianne Russell

Laguna Food Pantry distributes 5,000 lbs of free food every weekday

Celebrating its 25th year serving neighbors in need, every weekday, Laguna Food Pantry collects and distributes 5,000 lbs. of free, fresh groceries to approximately 100 families, half of whom have children. Located at 20652 Laguna Canyon Rd north of the Dog Park, the Pantry is open from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. It is run almost entirely by volunteers. 

For more information on the Pantry, visit or call

(949) 497-7121. 

Neighborhood Congregational Church is located at 340 St. Ann’s Dr

Biggest Little Farm film teaches biggest life lessons

By Diane Armitage

Every now and then, I find a cool event outside of our city limits that I’ve just got to tell you about. My friend Ali turned me on to it, and I’m heading there this Thursday.

In San Juan Capistrano, the nonprofit Ecology Center offers a number of documentary movies in its Summer Film Series. This Wednesday, Aug 7 and Thursday, Aug 8, they’re hosting the hit documentary Biggest Little Farm

The movie is not only directed by Emmy Award-winning director John Chester, but it’s actually about his life as he documents the enormous change-in-life decision he and his wife, Molly, made when they chose to leave the big city to start a 200-acre sustainable farm. Spurred by an eviction notice at their city-based apartment for their barking dog, the urban couple created a plight of their own by deciding to dump city life and buy a 200-acre piece of land that had been completely depleted by drought. 

Biggest Little moviegoers

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Courtesy of Ecology Center

Biggest Little Farm screens on Wednesday and Thursday

As they valiantly work to create their dream farm, idealism, blind optimism, and naivete create a movie that’s not only hysterically funny in some parts but heartbreaking and stoic in the many lessons their burgeoning ecosystem proved to offer. The film premiered last year at the Telluride Film Festival and, thanks to wide critical acclaim, stormed the Toronto International Film Festival and Sundance Festival as well. 

Show up at 7 p.m. for an optional reception and tour of the farm. The film’s screening begins at 7:45 p.m. with popcorn provided. Filmgoers can bring picnics, blankets, and low-backed chairs. Attendance is free, but they’d really appreciate a $10 donation. 

They ask that you definitely RSVP. You will find a few more pointers on your picnics and what to wear when you do so. 

RSVP at the link here.

The best-selling author and blogger on The Best of Laguna Beach, Diane Armitage is on an endless quest for the most imaginative adventures in Laguna’s restaurants, events, and lifestyle. Check out her stories and favorite events at

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