Self-Care and Energetic Protection for Healers and Empaths
Yes, you certainly can absorb external energies. Let me share a few examples that I’m sure most people can relate to, and perhaps especially strongly if you are an empath:
- You spend an extended period of time with a very negative person, or someone that is offloading their problem(s) to you. Afterwards, you don’t feel great. Perhaps you feel negative, or grumpy, or low energy. Maybe you take it out on whoever lives with you when you get home. Later you regret behaving like this, and you can’t even rationalise your behaviour.
- You have a delightful interaction with a person. Afterwards you are almost on a high, going about the rest of the day in high spirits. You share these good vibes with anyone else you interact with. Often, even if you have a negative/difficult encounter, it fails to bring you down as you are floating on smiles, joy and love.
- After an intimate interaction with a romantic partner, you feel foreign emotions in your being, probably the following day. Perhaps you feel inexplicably sad, uncharacteristically calm, weirdly nervous, or unnaturally over-confident! Think about if your partner is going through any of these emotions, and you may have picked them up..
- If you do healing work, you sometimes experience strange symptoms before or after a session you are facilitating, e.g. stomach issues, foreign emotions.
- You spend time in a hectic place (like downtown) or a peaceful place (like a forest or temple), and for the next few hours feel stressed, or zenned out, respectively.
Now this does not mean that you must keep your issues to yourself when you need a listening ear, refuse to be there for people who need it, fake positivity, completely avoid intimate interactions, nor hide at home from the risky energies out there! However if you are aware of the possibility of internalising energies that are not yours, you can take measures to protect or cleanse yourself, so you can interact with all situations while keeping your energy body safe.
As a healer (and this definitely includes masseurs and masseuses), you are high risk of absorbing others’ energies. Since you deal directly with people’s energy fields and help them to release trauma, where are you directing those energies and traumas for release? From where are you channeling the new energies and states of being to manifest anew?
The key is awareness, as well as energetic protection (prior) and cleansing (after). If are able to maintain awareness at all times, you will not allow foreign energies to enter your system. At the same time you will continue to be present with whatever you are are experiencing, compassionate towards others’ experiences, and observant of the unfolding situations and moving energies around whichever place you physically are at. Such a state of constant awareness can be difficult unless you are a dedicated meditator, experienced shaman or enlightened master! Of course it is possible though, and I do know a few beautiful (average, or not so average) people who are almost always in a state of awareness.
What can help the majority of us who are still very human in our struggles with the mind, are daily practices of energetic protection and cleansing, and especially when we are anticipating interaction with a difficult situation or place, holding space for someone, or doing healing work. I would like to share some of these with you that have worked for me:
Practices of Energetic Protection (BEFORE)
- Daily Morning Meditation – when you reset your mind to awareness, presence, calm and control first thing in the day, it is a lot easier to not get sucked into reactivity and absorption of energies that aren’t yours over the course of the day.
- Metta Meditation – sending loving-kindness and blessings to yourself and all beings is one of the most powerful practices of protection. When you are glowing in an aura of love, metta and compassion, nothing can harm you.
- Sealing the Energy Field – this is a shamanic practice in which you sense out your energy field, clear it, and fix any holes it may have. You can then seal it safely.
- Creating a protective bubble, pyramid or egg – imagine/visualise a protective 3D shape that you resonate with or feels safe to you, around your body. Imagine it filled with light, again of a colour that feels safe to you on that particular day. This protective aura will keep you safe as you navigate your day. I have practiced this for many years by imagining a protective bubble/egg around my body before going into a place that I know has violent energies. It has worked and I have been able to maintain my higher state of being/vibration. I have also done this together with a friend, which was a beautiful experience.
- Visualisation – other forms of visualisation may suit you better than the two examples above. For example a rooting to the centre of the earth, a centering in yourself, or a connecting to a place of protection, that you can come back to during the day.
- Intention setting – a simple intention or affirmation stated with trust, especially once in a meditative state, can work wonders to protect you while facilitating a healing session or entering a risky place. Once you state your intention, release it (possibly using visualisation) with a knowing that it has been set into motion – so no need to think or obsess further on it.
- Invoking protection of spirit guides – you can request the help of your god(s), spirit guides, ancestors, nature elements, fairies, angels, archangels, etc to help keep you safe while doing healing work or encountering a dangerous situation. Just don’t forget to thank them and give back in whatever way you do! For example altars, offerings, songs, metta, etc
- Grounding – early morning grounding works wonders for me. I will simply sit on the grass/soil, or stand barefoot, and feel the earth energy soaring through and around my body and aura. A good friend of mine has a daily ritual of morning walks, that do the same for her.
- Connecting with Joy – infuse your aura with joy first thing in the morning and set that pattern for the rest of the day. It’s easy – just do something (nourishing not damaging) that gives you joy and connects you with your true self in the morning. For example dancing, singing, journaling, taking a walk, playing with an animal, listening to music that makes you smile, watching baby or cute kitten/puppy videos, doing gratitude rituals, etc.
- Cellular Programming – first thing in the morning, as soon as you wake up, before even opening your eyes, program your cells to vibrate at the frequency you wish to emit that day.
- Protective Teas – feel into the herb that is calling you at any time, your body knows best. One example of a good protective tea is green tea.
- Physical barrier – add a drop of a protective essential oil into your body lotion or butter, and as you apply it before heading out for the day, intentionally seal your energy field with a barrier of energetic protection. You will be nicely reminded of this every time you catch a whiff of the scent during the day, and can use it as a cue to re-ground and re-centre.
Practices of Awareness and Channelling (DURING)
In the advanced Buddhist practice of Tonglen meditation, one breathes in and internalises the pain/distress of another. The next step is to breathe out, sending the subject and the sensation compassion and healing. It is a very powerful practice. I would warn though, only do such a practice when you feel ready/are in a strong frame of mind, especially if you are very empathetic. Unless you are very practiced at not absorbing and internalising others’ energies, I would advise treading very carefully in this and when doing other forms of healing. But if you are vibrating high and feel safe and secure, it can have wondrous and far-reaching effects, while connecting you deeply to beings in suffering.
If you are facilitating a healing session, try to maintain awareness and presence throughout. Try not to slip away into thoughts that are not related to the work you are doing. This way, you will also be fully aware energetically of what is happening in front of you. You will notice blockages loosening. You will see/feel dark energies being released. When this is happening, be alert and vigilant that you are not absorbing the traumas or releases, perhaps even directing them consciously. The safest methodology as an energy healer is to channel, so the energies of release as well as of healing can move through you, or your hands, or even the air in front of you, but without sticking to your energy body. Try not to empathise with the subject to the point of experiencing what they are. Yes empathy is good, but create some distance/difference between their experience and process, and yours as healer and facilitator. This is personal advice from my own mistakes on the journey. There are several ways in which you can do this – find what works best for you personally.
Practices of Energetic Cleansing (AFTER)
- Daily Evening Meditation – at the end of each day, a good habit (which I don’t have) is to sit down and do a grounding or observation meditation. Anapan (breathing) and Vipassana (body observation) are particularly good for centering your energy after the day’s activities, then observing where things are off-balance until they return to a calm/steady state. If you can do this just before bed, or even just lie down and do conscious breathing as you fall asleep, you will be able to clear your mind, relax and probably sleep much better too.
- Smudging – Smoke is one of my favourite cleansing tools, for the body and for rooms in the house. Some possible dried herbs that you can use include sage, leleshwa, cedar, lavender, frankincense, rose, juniper and mugwort/artemesia.
- Water (with salt, etc) – Salt baths/showers are a sure way to cleanse the energy field. I was skeptical of this until I tried it. You can also take an essential oil or herb bath of your choice. Cold or hot showers with intention can work just as well if you don’t have the time or resources for the other options. If it’s raining, you can allow the rain to wash over your body (literally, or figuratively in meditation). Finally, a swim in a river/lake or the ocean can be absolutely magic – the latter is one of the most effective natural foolproof ways to cleanse energetically, given the salt in the giant water body and opportunity to connect with the ocean goddess Yemanjá.
- Sun – soaking up the sun, especially during the healing hours of the morning or evening, can powerfully shine light on and clear out with heat/fire energy any lurking energies or entities that may be hiding in your auric field. You can do this by intentional sun-bathing, or even just falling asleep in the sun!
- Visualisation – You can clear your energy field through various forms of visualisation.
- Sound – Sound and vibration are especially effective tools for clearing the energy field. This can be done through mantra (Om chanting, playing mantras like Om Mani Padme Hum or whichever resonates with you most at the moment). It can also be done using healing instruments like the didgeridoo, the drum, the flute, gongs and singing bowls. I personally work with the last three to clear unwelcome or stuck energies, chakra blockages, and return the entire physical/mental/emotional/energetic body to a state of balance and harmony.
- Grounding – Connect with nature by taking an awareness-filled walk (not on the phone!), walking barefoot on the grass, or sitting or standing directly on the soil or grass. Feel the energetic dirt and baggage of the day soaking out of you and into the earth. This practice can be strengthened with a root visualisation meditation.
- Cleansing teas – There are so many detox teas to choose from. Find your fix of the day. One of many great options is dandelion.
I’m happy to help you further
I hope this article resonates and is useful to many folks out there navigating this life journey. If you would like further guidance or to have me take you through some of these practices in person or via Zoom, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via email, phone/WhatsApp or social media.
What about you?
What examples of energy absorption have you experienced? How do you protect or cleanse yourself? Please share with fellow readers and students of life via the comments!
Wishing you wisdom, healing, the power of the healer, the power of the shield, the warrior, the defender, the sage, the saint, the shaman… and an abundance of love, guidance, confidence, humility, kindness, ease and purpose as you navigate this school of life.
Child of the Earth