Add as bookmark

The Five Steps to Healing for the Highly Sensitive Person

by Dave Markowitz(more info)

listed in mind matters, originally published in issue 222 - May 2015


If you are a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), or empath, you are not alone. There are an estimated 40 million HSPs in America alone. HSPs often face unique challenges; mainly, healing modalities that work for most people don’t always work for us. Many of us are still dealing with fatigue, lack of focus, anxiousness, heavy-heartedness (what some call ‘depression’), tight muscles / unexplained pain (what some call fibromyalgia), or various other forms of pain and illness. Even if we're relatively healthy, it is still very difficult to thrive in a culture where our sensitivities are seen as something to cure or repress - rather than be embraced. Yet, when understood and used appropriately, our empathic abilities can be a divine gift - one that allows us to heal, thrive, and to better serve all humankind. 


Dave Markowitz 222 Marina Fomchenko Image

Dave Markowitz
Healing for the Highly Sensitive Person
Photo ©Marina Fomchenko used with permission


I was a successful medical intuitive and energy healer for years, but in denial of my extreme sensitivity to others’ energies. One day, I had a most unusual wakeup call. The catalyst was an atypical evening out with friends, visiting several bars. I drank no alcohol, only water, the entire evening; but because of my sensitivities, I found myself getting drunk - yes, drunk - as in slur-my-words, unable-to-walk-a-straight-line drunk. Even in this empathic stupor, I knew this was a message not just for me but also for thousands of other highly sensitive people. 

As a way of training me to better handle being an HSP, the Universe then sent me a string of highly sensitive clients. Moreover, these clients had some astonishing similarities:

  • They had done a large amount of self-growth and healing work, yet nothing had shifted their emotional or physical pain or illness;
  • They had an inflated sense of responsibility; and
  • They were all highly sensitive, intuitive, or empathic.

My job? To teach them what I had not yet understood myself.

Fortunately, my intuitive abilities let me clearly hear and share what I now call The Five Steps to Healing for the Highly Sensitive Person.

While some people can do these and get spectacular results quickly, others need more time and patience. If you don't get immediate results, think about it as if you’re learning a new language. The effects are cumulative; just do your best each day!

Here is a short summary of the steps I've been working with for the last four years. They've raised awareness of empathic illness and have helped thousands of people heal and thrive when all else has failed. 


Dave Markowitz 222 Five Steps to Healing


1. Determine True Responsibility

Too many HSPs feel responsible for healing the emotional or physical pain of others – either a loved one, a social issue, or the world. This is the metaphysical equivalent of carrying a loved one (or several!) on your back. How long can you do that without getting fatigued?

When an HSP operates from this paradigm of responsibility - and its associated guilt, fear, and shame - (s)he becomes resentful, as it is against the HSP’s higher knowing. In turn, resentment reduces the strength of both your immune system and your energy field, leaving you more susceptible to absorbing and keeping other people’s pain and illness. 

Taking on another person’s issues - even with the best of intentions - is often an unhealthy attempt to heal or connect with those persons. Sadly, this is cleverly disguised by the ego and supported by many cultures as a good deed. This action is unhealthy because it burdens you with what isn't yours. Others need what is theirs; their soul signed up for it. Even worse, perhaps, this is a missed opportunity for the other person. Our job is to be compassionate but not take on other’s stuff - to embrace each person wherever they are on their journey, guiding them from a higher place than our own egoic needs.

Even if you are being paid to be a healer, your responsibility is not “to heal” others (by absorbing what’s not yours) but to love them unconditionally.  This is what leads to healing - for them and for you.

2. The Keyhole

A trained empath’s gift lies in their ability to tune in so that they can see what is needed in a particular situation, elevating their awareness of and compassion for the other person. That is why HSPs make the best healers! This is your divine gift! But many HSPs block incoming energy out of fear of empathic overwhelm. This blocks the good as well as the bad, because it’s very difficult to allow one while denying the other. If you’ve been wondering, “Why have I not yet healed?” or “What is my right livelihood?” or “Where is my soul mate?” trust that the answers are just on the other side of the very wall you’ve put up for protection. Opening up to this information, while effectively letting other people’s negative energy go through you, is the difference between a skilled empath and a walking sponge.

3. The Body Scan

I’ve broken down energetic blockages into two categories for the Highly Sensitive Person: what’s yours and what’s not yours. You can’t get results addressing what is not yours using the tools for what is yours. (The reverse is also true.) This is why so many of the HSPs I worked with hadn’t experienced permanent results, even after seemingly trying every practitioner and modality available.

Go slowly inward and ask your body what type of energy you’ve absorbed, whose it is, and where it is being stored - and be open to hearing or feeling something unexpected!

4. Return to Sender

Once we know what we’re dealing with, we must metaphysically return it to the original person we’ve absorbed it from. We do this with love and compassion. ‘Cord cuts’ and random ‘Sending it back to the Universe’ techniques are all very well; however, they do not teach you how to become a strong, connected empath, capable of opening up your heart at any time without fear of energetic or emotional overwhelm.

5. Recalibration

Typically, after doing the first four steps, you will find yourself feeling alive, open, and spacious. This can be disorienting, as feeling so good may be unfamiliar! Recalibration is a form of energy medicine that anyone can do. Sitting in silence after each Body Scan and Return to Sender helps you integrate any shifts and remain permanently at a higher vibration.

In closing: know that you are not crazy and that there is hope.  By practising the five steps summarized above, you can prevent and heal empathic illness and finally begin to thrive. For more detailed instruction, check out my book, Self-Care for the Self-Aware: A Guide for Highly Sensitive People, Empaths, Intuitives, and Healers.

Dave Markowitz does not dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical, emotional, or medical problems without the advice of a physician, either directly or indirectly. The intent of the author is only to offer information of a general nature to help you in your quest for emotional and spiritual well-being. In the event you use any of the information in this article for yourself, which is your constitutional right, the author and the publisher assume no responsibility for your actions.


  1. No Article Comments available

Post Your Comments:

About Dave Markowitz

Dave Markowitz is a two-time best-selling author, intuitive healing facilitator and guide for Empaths and Highly Sensitive Persons. His work has been endorsed by Shirley MacLaine, Lynn Andrews, Lee Harris, Dannion and Kathryn Brinkley, Karen McPhee, Dr. Meg Blackburn Losey and more. He’s shared the lecture bill with Deepak Chopra and Gary Null and has worked with thousands of empaths and highly sensitive persons (HSPs) since his “empathic awakening” in 2012. To find out more about Dave, check out

  • radical spirituality

    UK publisher of rejected knowledge in areas of esoteric thought and radical streams of spirituality.

  • nutrition and cancer

    by Sandra Goodman PhD The latest scientific research regarding Nutrition and Cancer. Full details at


    Aromatherapy creams & candles. Heal naturally No side effects. Holistic treatments, powerful courses

  • Beginner's Guide to ME

    Essential reading for people/carers with ME/CFS serious debilitating illness. Counteracts bad advice

  • June Sayer Homeopathy

    Training Academy Homeopathy Nutrition Reiki, Distant Learning. Diet, Health Screening, Detox, Stress

  • Seaweed as Superfood

    Comprehensive nutrient balance found in no other natural food but seaweed: colon health, weight loss

  • College of Ayurveda UK

    Diploma in Āyurvedic Medicine, 4-year self-paced distant learning program in Āyurvedic medicine.

  • Water for Health

    Specialist online health store focused on hydration, body pH balance and quality nutrition.


    The FLEXXICORE exercise revolution: transform your fitness regime with 2 exhilarating exercisers

  • Super Patch Wellbeing

    Super Patches – a most revolutionary advance in wellbeing strategies in the history of medicine


    Professor Sheik Imam is a famous professional leading African Healer who works with powerful spirits

  • Supercoherence-System

    Supercoherence master code can restore each human to their pristine pure state at the speed of light

  • Flower essences online

    Fine quality flower essences international ranges to help promote vitality and emotional well-being.

top of the page