Letter From the Editor

Bruce D. Cheson, MD

I have returned from vacation a different person. My wife and I spent 5 days in Sedona. (No, not the wine country of California—that is Sonoma. We were in Arizona.) Sedona is the land of the New Age. In Sedona, wherever you might trip, you would fall on a New Age center, a psychic healer, a metaphysical store that sells crystals to enhance spirituality, or an angelic healer.

We went on several hikes in the magnificent red rocks, but, more importantly, we went on a walk to the vortex. Now, I am sure that many of our readers are, unfortunately, not familiar with the vortex. Virtual pilgrims arrive daily in Sedona to experience the “power vortexes” of the red-rock country.

According to believers, a vortex is a site where the earth’s unseen lines of power intersect to form a particularly powerful energy field. Psychics such as Page Bryant (see pagebryant.com) determined through channeling that there were 4 main vortexes around Sedona. Some contain masculine or electric energy that boosts emotional, spiritual, and physical energy. Others contain feminine or magnetic energy, good for facilitating relaxation. We were visiting Boynton Canyon, which has an equal opportunity vortex in that it emits an electromagnetic energy that is a balance between both masculine and feminine energies.

We started off by the spa at our resort in the heart of beautiful Boynton Canyon, where the limestone cliffs revealed a former site of the Sinagua Native American cliff dwellings. Our leader through the vortex talked to us about our chakras, the key to the operation of our being. The word chakra is derived from the Sanskrit word for wheel. There are 7 main chakra centers along the spinal column—crown, brow, throat, heart, solar plexus, spleen, and root (don’t ask), each of which has its own intelligence center. Each has its own color and gland or organ that it governs (see www.chakraenergy.com). Learning about our chakras helps us understand our whole being, so that if our emotional and spiritual parts are in harmony, we are at our strongest. We can further energize our chakras through sunlight, certain foods, thoughts, visualization, gems and minerals, color bathing (preferably with products from Colour Energy Corporation, rather than Paas), aromatherapy, music and dance, syntonics (the use of color and light frequencies administered through the eyes), décor, clothing, arts, and color. I found that many necessary items can be purchased at an internet chakra superstore.

As we walked past the tall, colored crosses erected as a memorial to the Native Americans that had long ago been decimated at the site, we were told many tales about how even the most skeptical guests had felt evidence of the vortex and its power, resulting in uncontrolled activities of various appendages. Indeed, as I stood on one leg to obtain a sense of balance and harmony, breathing with my abdomen, I felt an energy between my two hands, kind of like the sensation you felt when you were a kid and smacked your hands together and pretended you were pulling a string out of one with the fingers of the other. I truly felt a sense of peace, but whether it was because my chakras were coming into alignment or the fact that I was away from my e-mail for a while is uncertain. There are disbelievers, even in Sedona. One day we went riding out on the range, and one of the wranglers told me about his own concept of a vortex, created by pushing a lever (we need not go further).

But, the day we spent hiking up the trail along the rim of the Grand Canyon was truly magnificent. I really hate the random use of the word awesome (or the variant, like awesome), but the GC is truly that.

The Arizona wine was actually better than expected, the prickly pear margaritas an unusual twist on the theme. However, my one major culinary disappointment was at the Cowboy Café where, when I ordered rattlesnake, I was informed that rattlers are now too expensive, so I would have to deal with Vietnamese python. Yes, it did taste like chicken.

So, I highly recommend a journey to the land of the red rocks. It is truly splendid. And—with all the natural energy you may generate from your chakras, you may be able to power your own electric car.

May you have a balanced, peaceful month . . .

Bruce D. Cheson, MD