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Healing for Empaths

by Dave Markowitz(more info)

listed in healing, originally published in issue 262 - May 2020


Tired of being told You’re too sensitive?

Well, next time, try out this reply, Thank you for noticing one of my superpowers!

Let’s be real, it’s easy for others to judge you. It’s easy for them to say, “It’s all in your head.” Ironically, judging is born in the head, while you on the other hand live from your heart. 

I’ve worked with thousands of empaths, and there are far too many similarities to ignore. On the plus side, we’re typically nurturing and compassionate. We’re the mediators, the healers and the caretakers. We’re often seen as the wise sage, the intuitive knower, or the voice of reason.

On the more challenging side, we’re over-responsible, and that – along with a few other factors – makes us “walking sponges” for other peoples’ negative energy. For many, this over-absorption creates blockages that leads to physical and emotional pain and illness that won’t go away no matter what we do. Almost all of those I’ve worked with have said, “I’ve tried everything, and I never get permanent relief.”

I have great news, there’s a reason for this and you can make changes to have a new experience.

To stay with the sponge analogy, any decent energy worker can “squeeze the sponge” of their client, but if the client is still a sponge at session’s end, that client is going to re-absorb what was just released. Whether in a few hours or days or more, eventually, that client will be back where they started. Energy healings then become expensive aspirins.

Wouldn’t it be better to not be a sponge in the first place,
but to still be able to connect deeply with others?

Well, you can.

We need to use quality preventative tools that are beyond the more typical, “Put up a wall” or “Create a mirror” or “Encase yourself in white light.” Not that those are bad tools, and they may even work for some, but they don’t work well for empaths. In fact, all of these forms of “walling” actually end up separating us from those we care about. Meaning, the more we block or distance ourselves from others, the lesser chance there is to use our superpowers of sensitivity to create authentic connections.


heart keyhole


One of my tools, the Keyhole v. 2.0, keeps you open to what’s coming your way and teaches you how to filter the incoming energy so that you can use your skills as the gifts they were meant to be. And it can be done anywhere and at any time!

In addition, we need to restructure our understanding of pain and illness. If pain and illness are seen as the enemy, we’ll go to whatever lengths possible to get out of pain. And I get that; no judgments here. However, from a soul-level perspective, our pain and illness are a wake-up call for us. Often, they’re a reminder that we’re not living in alignment with our soul’s mission.

Practitioners of both Western and Eastern modalities – and numerous metaphysical modalities – mainly or solely focus on symptom relief without inquiring, “What are the soul’s lessons that are looking to be revealed?”

In the short term? No problem. In the long-term? Problem. To remove the “problem,” in addition to seeking symptom relief, we should identify that message and make the appropriate changes! 

“How do we determine what that message is?”

Intuitively. Lovingly, Patiently. We have to bypass the mind.

If we received any type of positive reinforcement as a child for helping others feel better, our ego formed an identity as being the one who helps others. This identification can block access to the deeper layers of the issue. The mind says, “If I let this go, who will I be?”

Therefore, we have to slow down and allow the information to arise, rather than force it out. It’s better to be inquisitive and dig deeper and slowly, like an archaeological dig rather than a building demolition. And, like an archaeological dig, this work is easier as part of a team than as an individual. Either way, when done well, we will eventually find…

The root cause of most pain and illness for empaths
 is the absorption of energy and emotions of other people.

Therefore, if we’re suffering from the absorption of others’ energy, we need to a) stop absorbing, and b) give back to others what’s theirs.

“WHAT?!?! You mean to say I need to give my mother back her grief?
Or my father back his anger? Even if it were possible, what would happen to them?
What will become of me?”

Excellent questions! Yes, giving back to others is possible. And, they will become more whole and you will finally heal.

When we hold onto energy from others – while well-intentioned and usually subconscious – we’re actually enabling our loved ones. Regardless of our own judgements of their lessons or their pain, they can’t have the full experience they came here for if we’re sponging what’s theirs. We’re then weighed down with symptoms and they’re less capable of achieving their soul’s mission because a piece of their guidance system is missing – we grabbed it! It’s like we have taken away their instruction manual.

To give you greater clarity around this, imagine that you’re working as the coat check person at a theater. The first patron says, “I don’t like hooks or hangers. I’ll pay you extra to wear my coat.”

Can do! And then another asks the same. Okay! So now you’re wearing two coats and then… it happens again! After a while, can anyone outside yourself see where you end and the coats begin? Can you even tell? You’re so weighed down that you can hardly move.

When we “wear” the energy of others, there is no way we can thrive. We’re instead exhausted, frustrated and confused. A confused mind looks for answers it can’t find, and that gives birth to anxiousness. Carrying too much energy that isn’t ours leads to lethargy. Not speaking your truth leads to communication issues (second chakra issue), and frustration and anger can constrict muscles and reduce blood flow and energy.

Carrying the sadness of others leads to grief-related illness such as “depression” and as indicated in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), repressed grief can cause issues with our lungs, large intestine, sinuses and skin. As an intuitive practitioner, I have found repressed and absorbed grief pretty much everywhere and anywhere. Absorbed sadness is insidious, pervasive, and detrimental to our healing and thriving.

If you’re thinking that returning another’s grief to them is harmful or wrong, I’ve found the opposite to be true– it’s the kindest thing we can do. Would your parents (or anyone) want you to carry what’s theirs? If you’re a parent, would you want your child to carry your burdens?  Of course not. When we lovingly return the energy, everyone benefits.


bite in the butt


Some of you have already dabbled in energetic returns. But in my experience, it happens by simply saying, “I give this back to my mom,” or cord cutting, or a random, “I give this to the Universe; it knows what to do.” None of these are nearly as effective in the long-term as doing the deeper work. Bypassing the deeper work via shortcuts is eliminating the opportunity to grow. Your body is trying to teach you that metaphysically speaking, you’re not responsible for the thoughts, feelings, energy, emotions or experiences of others. And if you don’t learn from these opportunities, they will come back and bite you in the butt! (Trust me, I know this from experience.)

Being actively involved in the healing process gives you a different type of experience. It teaches the body experientially that it’s okay to be different than it has been. This is important because the body craves familiarity, regardless of outcomes. And teaching the body through words alone isn’t nearly as effective as a tangible, visceral experience.

Doing the correct processes as described in my book, Empathipedia also repatterns your mind to deeply know that by giving back to others what is theirs, you’re not caring less or loving less, you’re now caring better and loving better. And part of this “loving better” includes loving the self enough to say “No!” to patterns learned long ago.

I’ve seen years of pain, illness or other types of challenges – both diagnosable and idiopathic – heal at the root level using specific techniques that came to me out of necessity years ago. I too was overwhelmed. Until I woke up and finally lived this truth: The energy of others was never mine to carry.


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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

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