Why Energy Help for Highly Sensitive People is Often Lacking

by Caroline van Kimmenade

Many Highly Sensitive People are more subtly attuned to energy and this is where much clarification and help is missing.

In many ways, being sensitive to energy puts you in an “inbetween” place that not many people acknowledge, understand or know how to help you with.

The Psychology Approach to Energy

In the world of psychology, “energy” is a metaphor for how someone makes you feel at best. I see more and more psychology articles these days using energy terminology, but it’s clear that they don’t intend it in a literal way.

In my line of work, energy is a subtle but real substance. In order to help clients identify what is going on in their life, I’ve developed multiple ways to intuitively measure energy: how high are someone’s energy levels in their different chakras? Which specific organs are low in energy? How do various situations and people affect someone’s own energy? What helps a client ground versus what makes them more ungrounded? Is the energy a client is feeling their own or someone else’s?

In psychology, energy is just a way to talk about how something makes you feel: that is has a good or bad energy, or that you have low energy etc. It’s mostly a hipster thing: the cool psychologists talk about feelings as energy. That said, there are a few psychologists out there who take energy more seriously, but they’re definitely the exception.

The Energy Healing Approach to Energy

In the world of energy healing, many people are familiar with Reiki, but Reiki doesn’t really diagnose or explain anything. Reiki is more like the energy version of high dosage vitamin C, as a kind of general cure all – which helps with many issues, but it doesn’t offer much clarity and doesn’t really resolve anything in the long run (you just need to go back for more sessions).

While there are talented Reiki practitioners out there who use Reiki as a basis for their session, but offer much more in terms of insight and guidance (because they are intuitively gifted), there are also plenty of Reiki practitioners who give you a wonderful Reiki treatment and that’s it.

When I started my own energy healing journey some 20 years ago now, I knew people who practiced Reiki, was initiated into Reiki myself and regularly went to a Reiki healer for sessions. The sessions were wonderfully relaxing but the Reiki healer could never answer any of my “energy overwhelm” questions.

The lady who initiated me into Reiki used to share the occasional deep sounding “truths” (that I later realized were spiritual cliches) but she couldn’t answer any of my questions either. She would just say things like “people are a mirror” and “when it’s darkest, it’s easier to see the light”.

The Role of Research in Energy Healing

Sadly, while academia is (in theory at least) inquisitive and research based – it tends to exclude anything and everything related to energy, psychic abilities and the paranormal as hogwash.

When you go to spiritual classes, these things are not dismissed as hogwash but often what is missing is the inquisitiveness and research. There is often a very dogmatic approach to spiritual classes “it is this way because my teacher said so, but I don’t understand why and I don’t need to”.

As a result, while academia has no solution for energy sensitivity issues (and makes it worse by assuming you’re delusional), spiritual communities are often stuck in a mix of truth, tradition and superstition. If you dare question it, you just don’t “have enough faith”.

There is -sadly- also a lot of narcissism in spiritual communities. Spiritual gifts are often abused as a way to feel special, and people high in narcissism want to feel special at all costs. What this leads to is too many people focusing on developing “expertise” when they lack the basics.

The Energy Basics You Need to Thrive

In energy work, there are a few key basic skills that you will need to practice the rest of your life. If you lack, ignore or dismiss these skills, your spiritual “expertise” will be mostly useless and often delusional (yes, I said it). Yet, many people want to skip the basics because they are “not cool’ and they like to imagine themselves as too advanced to bother with all that.

Yet, in spiritual research, just as in lab research, the basics are key. If you’re doing experiments with dirty test tubes, or you think that a “double blind experiment” means that you need two blind dudes to take the lead, whatever else you do from there will be a mess.

In energy work, the basics you need in order to be able to discern true results from hogwash, are:

1. Grounding

If you are flying around outside your body then anything goes and you do not know what is true and what isn’t.

Your body is the lab. You need to be in the lab to do reliable experiments. If you’re outside getting a taco, you cannot see what’s happening with your testtubes setup.

2. Emotional Intelligence

If you lack awareness and understanding of your emotions, then your mind will play tricks on you: convincing you that some emotions you fear are in fact not yours, or that certain fears you have mean something they don’t actually mean.

An underdeveloped EQ is like putting your labcoat on upside down, with the tailflap over your eyes, and then either panicking that you can’t see or being convinced that the lab is covered in snow.

3. A technique to help discern between mind chatter and intuitive feedback

For any such technique to work, grounding and EQ always need to be sufficient first.

Every intuitive, energetic “insight” is like a little lab experiment, it requires separating fact from fiction, and reliable from unreliable results. It’s not just a matter of “having enough faith” and then anything goes.

Over time, your own intuition and energy awareness can start to – reliably – feel more innate and natural, but that’s only true if you’ve been trained well. If you do the same due diligence checks over and over then over time, they become automatic and feel natural, effortless.

So, it doesn’t feel effortless at first (at all) but you can get to that point over time.

Energy Healing Stumble Blocks

For many HSPs grounding and a well-rounded EQ are a big stumble block.

Grounding is hard because it requires that you be here, notice what is happening inside of you and feel your feelings. On good days and bad days. Most people can do that on good days, and most people struggle with that on (really) bad days. That’s why it’s an ongoing practice.

Emotional Intelligence is hard because most of us weren’t taught much beyond “mad, sad, glad”. EQ is not innate, it needs to be learned. If you feel all kinds of things but your parents never gave you useful feedback about what it is that you’re feeling, how are you supposed to know what is what?

I have worked with many intellectually intelligent clients who can identify some feelings, but struggle with others. “What is that tension in my chest?” “I feel a heavy feeling in my gut, what does that mean?” “There’s a tense, spinning feeling.” “This part of my body just feels cold and numb…”

I’ve also met the occasional person who’d assume that they were having super complicated paranormal experiences, when it was simply an emotion they didn’t recognize as such.

Alternatively, I’ve also worked with clients who initially assumed they just needed to work harder to take responsibility for their feelings, when in fact, they were having complicated paranormal experiences!

How Do You Know “What is What”?

When I started my healing and energy exploration journey some 20 years ago, one of my core questions was how to figure out what is what. Initially just for myself, and later also for clients. Turns out, there are methods to get clear, and with methodical and diligent practice, they can be very quick.

Energy work may not be “scientific”, but we can get reliable intuitive lab results just the same!

Does this article feel relevant to you? I teach my clients how to become intuitive “researchers” in their own life, so that they don’t need me for the answers. Explore what’s possible and find out more about your own intuitive gifts and challenges by setting up a Clarity Call with me here.

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