Q1: Can you share a little about the work you did before becoming an energy healing practitioner?
I’ve always been a movement junkie. I started out dancing and teaching dance. Then, because dance is such an injury rich profession, I became interested in Pilates and bodywork.
I have always held the notion that health follows movement.
My first massage therapy job was at a place called Clinical Rehab Associates. C.R.A was a great place for me to begin to look at the connection between how our thoughts and feelings influence the health of our bodies. This particular population of people mostly came from the research triangle park and we saw a lot of fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel syndrome. While I worked there I continued to teach dance and Pilates in yoga and dance studio’s and I worked with a small dance company in Durham and also waited tables — another great place to study people.
As a massage therapist, I became curious about how our emotions really manifest through our bodies in the form of chronic pain, injuries or postural challenges.
So then I started studying somatic therapy and specifically Hakomi therapy, which is a somatic therapy based in mindfulness. In Hakomi therapy, the practitioner “tracks’” the client’s posture, breath, focus intonation etc. moving beyond the story they are telling and into how it’s manifesting in present moment and then they work with that material to get to core issues of the client. I integrated Hakomi into the bodywork but still felt like something was missing. Eventually I realized that energy healing was that missing link and things started coming together in a more cohesive way.
Q2: You’ve lived a life deeply grounded in your body. How does that influence and enhance the work you do as an energy healer?
Being grounded in my body is an essential ‘must’ as an energy worker. I often have to bypass my initial thought response as I’m working with someone and go straight to my body sensation because I’ve found that you can get too “thinky” and throw yourself off course.
For example, when I’m working with someone and I’m struck by a deep truth or awareness — like this person is afraid of being seen or being intimate — and we need to clear some programming connected to the fear I know that I’m on track because I get a feeling of energy running through my body and I get a feeling of expansion in my upper body.
This body response that I have is a consistent and reliable guide for me when I’m grounded and present.
If I get up in my head and start trying to convince myself of something, then I know I’m off course. Also so much of the work that we do in energy healing is teaching others to be able to listen to their own energy so they can manage it. If I wasn’t grounded in my own body, it would be like the blind leading the blind.
Q3: Some might say that going from dancer/choreographer — something so physical — to energy healing (what some think is woo woo airy fairy) is a big stretch and not logical. What do you say to that?
I think dance was a wonderful lead into the work that I do now, because everything including our own energy, has a certain rhythm and pulse to it. When you dance with a company, you often have to move in unison so you become adept at picking up the quality of movement and tempo of those around you.
As an energy worker, it’s important to be able to ‘resonate’ with the client which is actually quite similar to dancing with a group. It’s still about identifying a quality and a certain pulse in their energy and then communicating and moving with it. When you can do that, it shows the client that you are there and listening to them, and it builds trust.
As far as the woo woo airy fairy part, I would say that energy work is actually more direct and grounded than massage therapy.
As a massage therapist, we deal with the symptoms a client is having but as an energy worker we look at the root cause of the symptom.
If you kept getting a tear in your sweater every time you walked down a hallway, wouldn’t it make more sense to look for the cause of the rip rather than just continually sewing it up?
Energy work most often reveals the nail in the wall.
Also as far as airy fairy goes, I think energy work is fast becoming a well respected therapy. When I first moved to Durham in the early 90’s, nobody could say Pilates or knew what it was and massage therapy was listed in the phone book under ’massage and entertainment.’ So we really are moving at a pretty fast clip. Just the other day I was in Barnes and Noble and I saw a display table with different types of energy healing books. We are really changing as a culture.
Q4: Nature is a big part of your life and practice. Have you always been drawn to nature? How does it influence the healing work that you do?
I have always been drawn to nature. Honestly,I am much more comfortable hanging out in the woods than say a coffee shop or a mall. There is a certain harmony in nature that I depend on just to get ready for the day.
The woods are full of metaphors and I often use metaphors to help people understand what their energy is doing.
Like they may not understand the concept of having very poris auric boundaries or being unable to contain their own energy because they’ve taken so much other energy in, but the image of a river after 3 days of rain that is spilling over the banks and into the woods makes sense to them.
Also I sort of ‘’fill up’’ on prana when I’m am in the woods. As weird as it sounds, sometimes I actually stand with my hands a couple of inches away from a tree and just feel the energy coming off of it.
And different trees, like people, have unique energy fields.
You know how some people are just uplifting or grounding to be around? Well trees are too. And so if I’m working with someone who maybe has a lot of anxiety, I might hold my hand over a particular energy center in their body and recall the energy stream I felt coming off a particular tree or just recall a certain moment of harmony when I’m by the river and maybe the sun is coming down in shafts of light through the trees and the wind is blowing.
Those healing thoughts and images truly do translate through our stream of consciousness and add more direction to the energy work.
Q5: There are lots of folks who don’t have a clue about energy healing. How would you describe the work you do to someone who knows nothing about energy healing?
It’s funny how far away we have gotten from the thing that we all are, which is energy healers. I guess I would say that I teach people to become aware of the patterns they are holding in their energetic systems.
So first I listen to the client and the content of what they are saying, and then I help the client listen to the energy that gets activated in themselves as their story unfolds.
We often do a meditation together or an exercise that helps them clarify what patterns might be happening energetically in them. At some point, generally they lie down on a table and just relax while I use my focus, hands, and intention to move blockages and constrictions — things that aren’t serving them — out of their energy system and invite balance and other needed qualities back in.
I admit it is a bit hard to describe the table work —it’s an experience that our culture doesn’t seem to have words for even though we exchange energy all the time.
Q6: If someone with an innate healing gift wanted to start the journey to becoming a competent grounded energy healing practitioner what advice would you give them?
I would say first — have many different experiences in different kinds of healing work. Then sift through those experiences and see which ones you learned the most about yourself from.
In other words, find a modality that speaks your language.
Then look for a teacher or school that is backed by years of experience and grounded in a philosophy that makes sense to you. There are a lot of weekend workshops out there but becoming a competent energy practitioner takes time and commitment.
One of the things I really liked about the Energy Healing Institute was that it’s philosophy is grounded in the self care of the practitioner and that spoke to me of high quality and good ethics. Energy healing is a field that requires constant upkeep of your own system, so it’s vital to have a really good support system and a really disciplined self practice.
Wow, Mindy, thank you!
I so enjoyed getting an inside look at your journey to energy healing work. I felt like we were having an intimate conversation as I read your answers and could “feel” your deep connection to nature, your love for movement, and how all of that keeps you grounded and able to connect with your clients and help them unravel the blockages and entanglements in their energetic system.
If only I were in Durham, I would be knocking on your door for an appointment!
But, for now, I’ll inspired by who you are and the work you do from “afar.”
And, if you are reading this and are in close proximity to Durham, NC, make an appointment with Mindy :)