What is a Healer?

Posted on Apr 27, 2012 in Healing

A co-worker is applying to acupuncture school and was asked to write an essay with the question: “what is a healer?” It got me thinking…

A healer is your dog and cat, a plant, a massage therapist, a crystal, your grandma, organic leafy greens, your sports coach, musicians and artists, life coach, your astrologer…

A healer (according to me) is someone or something, in that moment that has the intention to illuminate the bigger picture and expound upon it,  and doesn’t get lost in your story.  



Let me explain: our friends can be tremendous healers, but intention is very important, and if the intention is solely to hold a space, whether it’s fun or just lending an ear it can be healing, but I do not categorize your friendly friend as being a healer…unless the intention is there.  A  lot of times we get caught up in our own, and other people’s stories, and for good reason, it serves a purpose for us as humans.  There are stories that are fun and also healing stories, and with friends we share and get swirled up in them with each other. Let me give you a very basic example: You have a bad day at work and just want to vent about it.  If you haven’t gone to “Non-Violence Communication” training, you may not preface your story with “May I vent to you?” but you start talking about it anyway.  You tell them that your day was horrible because your boss yelled at you and was over-bearing and didn’t even give you the benefit of the doubt.  They respond with something like “that’s terrible, your boss is lame” and that’s that.  In contrast, a healer wants to expand your vision of your situation, AND is observing more than just your story.  If it’s a doctor, they will listen to your heart and breath sounds. An acupuncturist is observing the movement of energy when you’re telling the story and feeling your pulses. Similarly your cat is observing you energetically, facial expressions, scents, intonations and whatever other observation powers those felines have.

The art of healing is powerful and graceful. A healer is observing lots of different aspects in addition to taking your story into account, and the difference is the goal and intention.  The goal is to help you shift past the complaint, or snarl in your life. The intention is to help you to expand past your story, which is limiting, to empower you in your choice to shift and change (and possibly create a more serving story).  This is not always verbal, because a lot of healing work is done on many levels.  Even allopathic doctors are doing this.  Going back to the previous example, a healer may ask into your work situation to see if you are empowered in your employment, if you need to make a change, or if your boss was highlighting a good point and you took the advice too personally and were not being accountable for your mistake. They also may just use their non-verbal tools and start the shift in other ways. The difference is the intention to not fall victim to aspects of your life that cause you suffering.  A healer is proactive in their approach.  Even though sometimes healers can look and act like just a sounding board, more often than not there are things at work that you may not even be noticing.  The healer has a plan and tools to help you move through your situation.

Everyone and everything has the potential to be a healer.  The most important part is you! If you see a tree and it reminds you to take a breath and stop worrying, the tree is your healer.  The power is in you.  You can see when you have the intention and courage to ask a healer for help and the chosen healer has the intention to heal you, that adds up to quite the powerful situation.  The power of observation and intention can be your greatest tools, because you yourself are a very powerful and unique healer!


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    • Well, you’ve come to the right place! Thanks for finding me. Up this week, the differences between 5-Element Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Feel free to make requests on what you’d like to learn.

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