Are you one of the 15-20% of the population worldwide who is a true empath? Empaths are people who feel the pain of others very deeply, have a complex inner world, are interested in metaphysical or esoteric phenomena, feel overwhelmed by certain stimuli, have a certain loving naivete’ about them, instinctively understand the truth even if it has been withheld, and are here to help us transition into a new paradigm — one of love, peace, and equality.
Because this personality type is rare, empaths often go their entire lives feeling weird, different, and strange. They sometimes describe feeling like aliens on a planet they do not understand. They may try to fit in but ultimately are only partially able to do so because fitting in requires forgoing their true nature, which over time, causes physical and emotional disease. It’s an unfortunate trade off in which they can either be socially successful or personally successful.
The truth is, empaths weren’t born to fit in and go along, they are here to usher in an era of change and show the world what true love and compassion looks like. And we’re on the dawn of this age. They are here to use an entirely different section of the brain — the free-thinking, emotionally attentive right hemisphere — in a world full of left-brained systems, designs, structures, rules, and punishments.
In order to reach your highest potential as an empath, here’s what you need to know: you cannot become a fully self-actualized person while you are choosing the easy route. Your life has been hard on purpose — and I do mean hard. Empaths have exceptionally difficult life lessons because it is the experiences that develop your compassionate nature, help you build a fierceness that you were punished for or talked out of as a child, and become intuitive enough to recognize injustices when they are happening and actually do something about it.
For example, you likely have never received confirmation of your feelings and experiences (which empaths desperately need to prevent them from ongoing states of cognitive dissonance), you were spanked/gaslighted/emotionally neglected as a child because you were different and had a certain natural wisdom about you that threatened authority figures, and you have also been subject to extremely toxic relationships in which you were paired with at least one narcissistic personality in order to reveal your shadow side and understand how the narcissistic systems work.
But often because empaths are so sensitive to pain, they choose to avoid it, ignore it, and pretend it isn’t there. They play along like life is great or just retreat when things get rough. They feel addressing the pain would be too hard, and let’s face it — we also live in a world where talking about problems is still largely taboo and complicates your social life. Maybe you were even punished for doing so when you were younger. It’s simply easier to pretend you’re okay. Until you’re not — or can’t.
Ultimately your body and soul will reach a breaking point. There is only so much stuffing down you can do before your body is going to revolt and physical disease states will ensue. Ignoring the problems generates intense stress responses that will affect your stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, your thyroid hormones, your immune system (which becomes dysregulated in the presence of high cortisol), your gut (which also becomes dysfunctional in the presence of high cortisol and causes leaky gut syndrome and alters your gut microbiome), blood pressure, heart, kidneys, blood sugar, and more.
The time to do the soul work is now, empaths. The world is changing and as societal systems are restructured, we need to be ready to take the helm or at least take our equal seat at the table. If you’ve always wanted to help others and the world, now is your chance. But before you can do that, you have to delve into the hard work to overcome whatever is holding you back and keeping you stressed and sick.
Here’s how to access your full potential as an empath:
- Identify where the narcissistic personalities are in your life and chart out the problems in those relationships. The reality is, every empath who is not aware is going to have attracted many spiritual narcissists that are flat out draining you. If the other person is willing to work through the problems, great and that says a lot about their soul maturity. If they are not, they are holding back your soul’s growth and you need to make the brave decision to distance yourself. As you start peeling back the layers, so to speak, you may be amazed at just how many narcissistic personalities you are surrounded by. (Again, please don’t diagnose people — just use this information for yourself to understand what is going on around you and free yourself).
- Give in to your life lessons. The pain in your life is the signal that something needs to change or be worked through. As an Intuitive, in Energy Reading sessions, I easily recognize the patterns in one’s life and this tells us the overarching theme of your life lessons. Once you understand your life lessons, you can go forward with this knowledge and be able to recognize what to do in each future difficulty you encounter. It’s not just a random problem, it is a message and call to action.
- Stop living the attachment wound. An attachment wound is usually something you acquired in childhood by being told you weren’t good enough or worthy of love (in so many words, or based on the actions of your caregivers). Real love is unconditional and you do not have to be on the proverbial hamster wheel seeking love your whole life, worrying you will never get it because there is something wrong with you. Tell yourself everyday that you deserve love, there is nothing you can do to earn it, and people who lord love over you are not acting in love. Real love is unconditional with no strings attached and contains elements of true forgiveness despite any imperfections.
- Get out from under the “nice” spell and start being fierce. Chances are you feel conflicted about being loving and also standing up for yourself when necessary. You want to avoid confrontation at all costs so when you are put in situations where you have to tell the truth even if it is inconvenient and difficult, you internalize it as you are bad, wrong, hateful, imperfect, etc. Remember that love isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Love is hard truth when necessary and standing up for yourself and others in the presence of evil and injustice. Just like a parent who reminds their child of the correct path to take — or problems to look out for — so too are empaths who are awakened: they tell the truth even when it is not convenient, because they know they lying and pretending is not real love and only perpetuates problems in the long run.
- Stop caring about what other people think. You have likely been trying to please people your entire life because empaths easily recognize the needs of others, want to meet them, and because you naturally have a servant energy archetype where the underlying assumption is that you will serve others interests while forsaking your own. People who only wanted you to serve their needs, or who expect you to be a diminutive version of yourself for their comfort are not your real allies. Trying to please them the rest of your life will get you nowhere but drained, overwhelmed, and sick. And it’s certainly not going to help the world if you’re not living out your true passions.
- Identify what you are good at, then pursue it hardcore. What you are good at is why you are here. The interests, skills, talents, and hobbies you have held back because they perhaps couldn’t support you 100% financially, because you didn’t think you had the time for, or thought others wouldn’t like it, are what the world desperately needs. Empaths aren’t just here to feel, they are here to do. That thing you have always wanted to contribute to the world — do it. Now. Even if you can’t get out of your day job, find ways to integrate your skills into your everyday life.
- Hack your “operating system”. Think of your body like a computer. You get a virus, you slow down, get sick, and use anti-virals. Something crashes and you have to reboot. A key or screen gets broken and you get it replaced. So too is your physical body: you have to upgrade your operating system in order to overcome physical illness. This includes knowing what your common gene mutations are and finding proper diet or supplements to support them, figuring out what your food sensitivities are and avoiding them, healing your gut health, reinoculating your G.I. tract with healthy bacteria and yeasts, identifying nutrient deficiencies, balancing hormones, doing chelation therapy with the help of a trained doctor, and more. This is much of what I do for clients in Nutrition Consultations.
- Fix your fascia. The mysofascial system is the literal, tangible mind-body connection that is visible to the naked eye. The fascia is the connective tissue that sits under your skin and on top of your muscles. If you have lived in states of chronic acidity, have deep-rooted infections (especially viral infections and Lyme co-infections), are mineral or protein deficient, you will have dysfunctional fascia called fascial adhesions. The way you move your body, your posture, spinal subluxations, and wearing tight clothing will also cause the development of adhesions. Typically the fascia should be a thin, flat structure that supports your movement and muscles. Due to the above reasons, thick adhesions form which cuts off blood flow, nutrients, oxygen, and range of mobility. In other words, it’s like you become mummified and calcified while you are still alive. It affects your hormones, causes pain, and keeps you chronically infected much to the detriment of your immune system. There are ways to reverse this and I highly recommend identifying your fascial adhesions in a Body Reading session, and then pursuing myofascial release in order to restore the fascia to its healthy state.
Remember, you are here to bring about change. Unfortunately, change is often scary and difficult. Empaths can access their full potential — 100% — but it will be challenging. The choice is yours if you prefer to remain quiet and just go along, or you choose to be brave and bold and confront the problems. If you choose to be brave, you will find healing and uncover the truth and power of who you actually are.
Until you understand yourself, you will never understand your health. I have found this to be true time and time again both for myself and my clients over the last seven years. I will tell you the truth: your body is a metaphor for all you have lived, all you have experienced (the good and bad), and all of the trauma you have suppressed or internalized. The answers you seek are right in front of you.
That ache in your back, the tightness in your throat, the gait with which you walk, the way you carry your shoulders, the food allergies, the stomach bloat, the chronic fatigue, the brain fog — it is all a cue and clue as to the greater analogy of who you are, what you have been through, and how your body handled it all.
Think of your health as a poem. A left-brained critical thinker (aka: doctor) may take a look at the words (aka: your body) and assume prescriptions are the solution for any and everything that ails you. That is all they have been trained to do and they do not function outside of these boundaries because it feels scary to them. It is a trek into unknown, uncharted waters. To them, you are black and white, cut and cry, no gray area or room for discussion. Anything else would imply they don’t have all the answers.
Modern medicine has relegated health and wellness into the realm of the left-brained scientist: “Only they can be trusted, only they can be believed, only they have the answers I seek.” This just isn’t true. It takes a right-brained creative thinker that knows no bounds, is comfortable with free thought, and understands you are a limitless individual with limitless solutions available to you to find the answers to your pressing, painful health complaints. It takes a poet, an artist, an inventor to say, “there is more to the story. I know this because I can read between the lines.” Yes, we’ve been doing it all wrong.
What if instead of medicating (which never gets to the root of why you are experiencing the health problem in the first place) we began to “read” you to deconstruct the meaning behind it all? What if we unraveled, line by line, symptom by symptom, the meaning of you? What if we went so deep into you that we solved the mysteries?
Chronic illness does not have one cause. Yet thyroid diseases and autoimmune conditions are diagnosed and treated as though they do come from a singular cause. Medication, testing, adjusting of dosage, more testing, more adjusting. Round and round we go on this hamster wheel. You end up so frustrated or defeated that you give up trying to improve things altogether. Let me tell you this: it is not you, it is them.
I think of each client as a unique mystery begging to be solved. How did they get here? What is their potential for healing? What do we need to do to get them there quickly? I know there are always solutions because I healed my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and put it into unmedicated remission despite medical professionals telling me it wasn’t possible. They couldn’t read between the lines, but I could. And I did.
I have worked with clients at the end of their rope with their health. I have seen women with Graves’ disease go medication-free and keep their labs in check with specific, tailored nutrition and deep mind-body work; Graves’ Disease! — an illness that can literally kill someone. They came to me eating a gluten-free and dairy-free diet because that’s what they’d read big-name left-brained doctors and internet stars say they had to do. It wasn’t getting them anywhere. You see, diseases happen for “cluster” reasons. Once we understand the cluster, we deconstruct it to stop it.
This means they didn’t just have a genetic predisposition to autoimmunity or hyperthyroidism — they had 10 or more issues that were compounding to create the Graves’ disease state:
- histamine intolerance
- large consumption of thyroid-stimulating foods (coconut, avocado, and brazil nuts, for example)
- leaky gut syndrome
- Epstein-Barr infections
- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
- adrenal fatigue or high/low cortisol
- erratic blood sugar
- too little cholesterol in their diet and way too much plant-based saturated fat (thanks to big name doctors promoting a low-cholesterol, high saturated fat Paleo diet)
- nervous system dysregulation
- stored chaotic energy
- abuse or neglect
- little to no self-care
- “screaming” to be heard their entire lives
What happens when you deconstruct and remedy the cluster? You stop the disease state.
But keep in mind, this is only a template. It’s like the stanzas in a poem. The words will be unique to you, despite the outline of the rhythm being the same. Until you understand your unique cluster, you will never halt the health problems.
The answers you seek are literally and figuratively right in front of you. You must find someone to help you deconstruct the metaphor that is you.
The other night I was indulging in an episode of trashy reality television. Cat fights, gossip, stilettos — the whole bit. It’s not often I watch these shows because of how sensitive my stress response is, plus I’m just not proud of it, but it’s one of the few guilty pleasures I still can’t shake because it’s so darn ridiculous.
In this episode, one of the cast was arrested and taken into court before a judge. While the judge was executing orders, the charged woman tried to ask a question. The judge cut her off and quickly replied, “Don’t speak. Anything you say can and will be used against you.” Even though this statement shouldn’t seem remarkable, it struck me.
Sure, we’ve all heard those words before (hopefully not in the same circumstances as this woman) but this time it reminded me of something: expression, freedom, the thyroid gland, silence. “Anything you say can and will be used against you.”
Many of the thyroid clients I work with have never (and I do mean never) learned to speak because of how scary it feels. I don’t mean the mechanics of speaking here because of course they do know how to string words together. Rather, I mean the intention of speaking: putting forth new ideas, vulnerable sharing of experiences, speaking off the cuff and from the hip, creation, sussing it out for as long as it takes, and change making.
Why are we so scared to speak?
The fifth chakra of the body governs several things, including the thyroid gland, the throat, the voice box, and the neck. The thyroid gland, which operates as the “master” controlling one’s metabolism, is not separate from your voice. While they may be anatomically distinct systems, they share an energy center which is acting out tension patterns every single day whether we know it or not. This energy pattern usually originates in childhood (or after trauma) and will either be over-developed or underdeveloped based on the adaptation strategies we have learned in order to get the love and care we desire — or, in order to avoid certain punishments from those who prefer we do not speak.
In some ways, developing your fifth chakra abilities is like a baby learning to make its first audible sounds. At first the noises come out as indecipherable vowels and consonants, squeals, shrieks, and growls. Eventually though, through immersion, the child learns to form words, then sentences, and eventually masters written and spoken communication to the point where it is effortless.
So too is our relationship with speaking the truth and our thyroid gland. When you speak authentically, you will release excess tension in that area or you will build-up energy where there was none. Too much energy can indicate hyperthyroid tendencies, and too little can indicate hypothyroid. (I have observed that those with thyroid nodules or comorbid thyroid conditions tend to have a little bit of both.) Knowing when and how to speak is a balancing act that can be remedied in a split second or it may take years depending on the internalized trauma one has endured. Only through practice can we get to the point where we trust our “first” or instinctual voice.
In order to communicate freely, you must address why you were not vocalizing things in the first place. If you take a step back, think about how many times you were scared to speak. Think about how many times you were given “the look” by those in authority. Think about how many times you were spanked, ignored, neglected, ridiculed, guilted, shamed, or had something taken away when you said something others did not like. Is it still happening? Who is doing this to you? It may surprise you that even those closest to us, those whom we love and whom we know love us, are perpetually acting out the silencing.
In many ways, dysregulation of thyroid chakra energy (whether it be too much or too little), points us back to that warning: “anything you say can and will be used against you.” Because it absolutely categorically has been used against us and we have had to learn this lesson over and over to our own detriment. Chances are you have learned to associate speaking with withdrawal, retribution, embarrassment, deprivation, rejection, imperfection, and penance due.
I know you have done these things because I have too. After being silenced for 32 years of my life, I now choose to speak. I choose to speak against the odds, against retaliation, against judgment, against isolation or scapegoating, and against whatever hatred may ensue. I no longer care about the punishment because I have seen the dire consequences of not speaking. I have seen how physically sickened people can become when they turn off this life-giving part of themselves. I have seen how small and miserable it can make people feel when they have no voice.
Your voice is your power. It corrects, it acknowledges, it processes, it prevents, it brings about justice, it plans, it feels, it enjoys, and it releases. When you learn to speak without judging your speech, the power others once had over you no longer activates the sympathetic fight-or-flight response because you see that you are too powerful to be silent for them. You can no longer cater to their desires in martyrdom of your own. In fact, chances are, you were probably so powerful to begin with that your voice was silenced to make life easier for others. Think about that for a minute.
We all get to decide when, how, and to what degree we will speak. Know this: there may always be punishment lurking around the corner. There may always be someone ready to play “gotcha”, ready to argue, ready to tell you it’s your fault because you said something, ready to tell you off. Let me ask you this question: does it matter? Once you activate your fifth chakra, these things no longer hold so much weight because you are fully capable of defending and protecting whatever you have said in truth and honesty to begin with.
Yes, “anything you say can and will be used against you” but whatever is bubbling up to the surface for you to talk about is as necessary to the spirit as pure water is to the body. It may be used against you but how much longer will your body and soul allow you to remain silent?
This week, I met with a lovely client who has been seeing me for the last 4 or so years on and off for nutritional support for Hashimoto’s disease. As life goes on, our nutritional needs change and so she’s been sure to meet with me to adjust her diet accordingly.
Food intolerances can come and go as you work to heal your leaky gut or methylation problems, so many people don’t need to eat a restricted diet the rest of their lives, thankfully. Or, sometimes you need to go on emergency antibiotics and afterwards you develop new food intolerances or symptoms that you didn’t have before. And so we need to adjust then too.
This time though, my client came to me for mind-body support. She’s was at an apex of stress in her professional and personal life and her body was beginning to show lots of signs of distress. She even had to be hospitalized for the anxiety and irregular heartbeat she had experienced. She was scared of eating because any food seemed to cause more heart palpitations. On top of that she was not happy in her relationship or job and wasn’t sure which direction to take.
A sensitive and creative woman, I knew she had trouble expressing herself and standing up for herself. She said she often felt the need to metaphorically “hide” because the people around her were so abrasive and insensitive.
Although she had come to talk about her boyfriend and job, I asked her to begin to deconstruct the patterns she learned in childhood. Namely, how her parents interacted with one another. She explained that although she loved her parents and knew they had tried their best, her dad was emotionally callous, cruel, and relied solely on anger to communicate. Her mom on the other hand had been sick for years and retreated into crying and solitude every time her dad got this way or things became difficult.
My client said because of witnessing this as a kid she learned to either hide and be totally quiet or to explode in unhealthy ways when things reached a breaking point. I explained to her that it was understandable for her to act this way because she had only ever learned extremes from her parents. She had never learned a way to communicate reasonably, moderately, or find a middle ground. And she went into every interaction expecting to not be heard.
I told her that while it was understandable for her to adapt in this way, it also wasn’t healthy or helping her.
In the holistic health world, we know that tension and unresolved emotions can “build up” in certain areas of your body and lead to unhealthy patterns both emotionally and physically. In this case, she had never learned how to appropriately regulate her voice, also sometimes called the “fifth chakra”.
You don’t have to believe in eastern religions to benefit from understanding the fifth chakra. Think of it as how you express yourself, and coincidentally this is right at your voice box aka thyroid gland area.
After years and years of withholding your voice, you create palpable tension which can cause a buildup of unhealthy soft tissue called Fascial adhesions. It’s like you literally begin to calcify that area from improper use.
Once she realized she had been operating in these extremes (anger on one side of the spectrum and hiding on the other), she had an “aha” moment. She said she wanted to begin speaking, expressing herself and standing up for herself when she needed to, instead of internalizing all of the frustration and tension.
I also encouraged her to begin practicing myofascial release on her neck and clavicle area where she held all of her stress and that flared whenever she was upset. Myofascial release is a technique you can do at home or find a trained practitioner to help you with which releases the unhealthy build-up of the soft tissue that keeps you restricted. This prevents blood flow to the area, which can mean nutrients and immune cells can’t do their job properly. It can also mean you feel like you are “choking” on food, can’t breathe properly, or get sinus blockages easily.
If you have a thyroid disease, chances are you also have some degree of fifth chakra problems due to how you learned to communicate or express yourself early on. Even if you had an ideal childhood, you can develop such problems later in life due to stress.
While I consider nutrition to be the number one priority when clients are working to improve their symptoms and lab work, the mind-body connection is also something you need to seriously consider. If you have a thyroid disease, start working through your fifth chakra imbalances.
Have you heard of the term “highly sensitive person” or do you consider yourself one? Highly sensitive people are extra sensitive to external stimuli, and often experience a greater depth of cognitive processing and emotional understanding.
In other words, you “feel it all”. Highly sensitive people take in more stimuli than the average person and may often feel drained, overwhelmed, overworked, tired, and need to take time away to “shut off” their brain from the heavy task of processing so much that is going on around them. If your brain and senses are working extra hard, you probably feel like you need more time off than others — and rightfully so!
Being extra sensitive will also affect your physical health. Many highly sensitive people end up coming to me for help with complaints such as headaches, stomach troubles, allergies, muscle tightness, brain fog, adrenal and thyroid problems, but mostly — chronic fatigue.
Chronic fatigue syndrome, now medically known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is being studied by researchers who hope to find medical solutions for the symptoms. In my practice where I teach clients how to use evidence-based nutrition, however, I know there are already many tools available to naturally raise your energy levels without relying on medications or risky procedures.
If you deal with feelings of constant fatigue, first consider that you may be a highly sensitive person. How many from this list describe your personality?
- You are overwhelmed by strong or chaotic sensory input.
- You are aware of subtleties in your environment that others overlook.
- Other people’s moods affect you.
- You are extra sensitive to pain or like to rely on natural, over-the-counter or prescribed painkillers whenever possible.
- You like to withdraw after busy days so you can have privacy and relief from stimulation.
- You are sensitive to stimulants, such as caffeine.
- Bright lights, strong scents, and loud noises upset you.
- You have a rich, complex inner life that you share only with a few chosen friends or family members.
- Your nervous system is prone to feeling over-worked or you have a poor stress response.
- You get frequent colds or infections.
- You are considerate of other people’s needs and often place them above your own.
- Sudden noises or changes startle you.
- Being rushed or having too many expectations on a timeline make you feel anxious.
- You aim for perfection to avoid being judged by others.
- You don’t like violent movies or TV shows.
- You get symptoms of low blood sugar, such as weakness, shakiness, frustration, nausea easily if you do not eat as soon as you feel hungry.
- You do not like sudden life changes and go out of your way to feel comfortable.
- People may often ask you “what’s wrong” even when nothing is wrong.
If you feel many of the above describe you, you could be a highly sensitive person. Highly sensitive people can experience more health challenges than the average person because your nervous system tends to be more reactive than others’, which creates a cascade of health concerns after years of living a stressed-out life. Chronic fatigue is a chief complaint among sensitive souls, but there are solutions to help stop the cycles of tiredness associated with processing more of the world than other people.
4 ways highly sensitive people can defeat chronic fatigue:
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine. Instead choose natural options to boost your energy, including:
- Methyl, Adenosyl, or Hydroxy B12. These are “active” forms of vitamin B12 and easily get into the cells for use. Avoid synthetic B12, also called cyanocobalamin. B12 shots are likely to be synthetic as well. Believe it or not, synthetic B vitamins can actually prevent the nutrient from getting into your cells due to common gene mutations that affect a large portion of humans.
- DLPA: This is a natural stimulant that raises catecholamine levels which keep you feeling energized. It is very different from caffeine, however and won’t give you the same highs and lows.
- Eliminate your unique food intolerances. Gluten and dairy are the big two food intolerances that can cause fatigue for many people because they inhibit thyroid function, but also because they require lots of digestive energy for breaking them down in the gut. Ever eaten a meal and felt so tired afterwards? It could be that you’re reacting to a food in the meal you just ate. There are other food intolerances, though, that you may not have heard of that can also make you feel very tired — even disoriented after a meal. These include oxalates, salicylates, histamine, sulfur, and ammonia. A leaky gut (which is where the tight junctions in your intestines become permeable and allow food particles into the bloodstream) as well as common gene mutations can cause people to not break down or eliminate these food compounds properly which can end up making you feel tired after eating them.
- Begin breathing properly. This one sounds simple but many tired, stressed people are simply not breathing well. They take shallow breaths, or quicken their breathing when feeling anxious. Breathing properly involves long, deep inhalations and exhalations. Inadequate airflow to the brain and muscles will make you feel tired. As soon as you feel fatigued, start deep breathing for a few minutes at a time.
- Let go of unhealthy people in your life. From a young age, many highly sensitive people adapt by becoming people-pleasers. This helps to prevent some of the chaos and tension that stimulates you beyond a comfortable capacity. Unfortunately this can make you feel more tired in the long run because while you are looking out for others, there is no one to care for you and ensure you are happy and healthy. Also, often highly sensitive people find themselves in relationships in which there are lots of rules you have to follow to avoid the punishment of others. Being scared of others’ judgments and punishments can leave you feeling extremely drained because you never truly get a break and the flow of love is one-sided. Let go of relationships where you have to please others or are constantly walking on eggshells. If you can’t get these people out of your inner circle, at least put up boundaries and begin asserting your needs and caring for yourself first. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Watch how your energy levels soar once you start caring about what is best for you.
As always, find a natural health practitioner to help you determine which diet changes and supplements are necessary for you. Being tired the rest of your life isn’t worth it and there are tons of solutions to the problem.