Much has been written about Energy Healing recently; it was even the focus of “the goop Lab” episode. I wanted to know more. What was it exactly? Is it for real?
I was introduced to Damasa Doyle, of DamaSoul Health & Wellness, through a mutual friend. In the two hour conversation that followed, I was not only captivated by her spirit but also by the power and truth I felt through her words. The hotel-executive-turned-energy-healer woke me up to what energy healing can do for your body and soul. In short, yes, it’s for real.
Read on to learn more about her journey into the healing space and the types of healing work she utilizes in her Brooklyn studio. She also shares tips on how to best support your own energy with or without a practitioner’s help. We think you’ll find it… energizing, to the say the least.
How do you think about energy?
The actual definition of energy is simply "the ability to do work,” therefore, by definition energy is movement.
Energy is cosmic, physical, spiritual. The earth is a big ball of energy and so are our bodies. The moon and the sun? Energy. Whatever can be felt and seen is energy; whatever can be touched holds energy. Frequency and vibration. The words we speak. Every time we sing we are manifesting energy.
Emotions and thoughts carry energy. Plants, animals, the fire we burn inside ourselves (aka Chi) or the fires we burn with wood, candles and in preparation of our meals are energy. All are doing energy work.
The power of energy is moving all around us and within us whether we acknowledge it or not. We are conduits of energy in all of its forms. I think this is beautiful. Feeling the energy of God within ourselves and the cosmos connects us not as many millions or billions but as one with all things. When I think of this, I realize that though I may be at times lonely, I am never ever alone. Energy is powerful, unseen yet felt in our faith, prayers and meditation and every aspect of our daily lives.
I do not believe that energy should be just relegated to positive or negative, rather to its weight, be it light or heavy. Heavy energy tends to block and confuse or create chaos in the body; lighter energy is an indication of flow and balanced feelings of peace in the body. This is how energy healing works: by doing the work to bring lightness and flow to that which is heavy or stuck.
How do you describe energy healing? What is it exactly?
Energy healing or energy movement is a method to help people create flow of that which is stuck in any part of the body, including the mind. So energy movement really is the work of the soul.
I think of it like being on a four lane highway and your exit is blocked. The energy and time it takes to reroute can be exhausting, especially if your internal GPS is not working. Through trauma from childhood, sickness or loss or just through daily expressions of living our lives, our energy system or chakras can become stuck. It is there that we look to help create healthy flow and balance.
In my practice I use a combination of many of these disciplines, including tapping, Reiki, Thai bodywork, sound (including drumming or vocalization), Shamanic energy practices, sensory journeying via breath work, visualization, craniosacral touch and guided meditation. Depending on the patient, it usually takes some combination of these practices to release energy blockages and create flow.
Damasa at a Yin/Yang Thai Massage workshop in Morrocco
How did you discover energy healing as a calling?
The short answer is that I was born an empath. This may seem unusual, but actually babies and small children are very emphatic, born into the world with a sixth sense. They and our elders are the most connected to the original source, as babies have gone from formless energy into form and our elders are moving from form into formless.
I was not at all special; however, where many children begin to lose their emphatic connection and ability as they grow older, my abilities to connect to both life force and spirit energy only increased with age. It honestly freaked me out! Imagine a child of eight or nine being able to “read” or feel energies and moods of children, adults and animals; to basically feel spirit energy? I prayed a lot during that time but still I felt overwhelmed by it.
Damasa, age 4
At around twelve, I finally put up a sort of mental wall to block these abilities. But energy doesn’t work like that, does it? At around age eighteen, I realized that resisting my gifts was futile, so I became very curious and read up about it but never practiced it as a calling. I found out that the women on both sides of my parentage had some similar abilities as well.
Over the years, I found people were drawn to me and felt safe to share their most intimate secrets or traumas. Perfect strangers would say “I don’t know why I’m telling you this but…” People felt a sense of calm and mothering energy from my presence way before I became a mother!
Over five years ago, I found myself drawn to the healing abilities of Thai body work, a practice which helps to physically move energy. After having a session in my home that released so much built-up stress and stuck energy, I was so moved by this work that I literally flew to Chiang Mai, Thailand a month later to learn from my now teacher, Arjan Pichet. That was the beginning of my journey practicing supportive healing work.
A few years later, I suffered a big trauma involving one of my children, which led me to enroll in a yoga teacher training course in NYC at the Laughing Lotus. Within that course, I learned about the chakra system and how energy works. During that time, while on a retreat and during a gong meditation, I had a vision and heard this message: “Find a shaman.” I had no idea what that meant. I mean, I’m from the Midwest living in Brooklyn….where in the world would I be able to find a Shaman? So, I did what most folks do these days, I googled “how to find a Shaman”! Ha!
Ultimately, this search led me to a Medicine Man named Angell Deer at The Sanctuary NY and a trip several months later to Peru where, during a sacred plant medicine ceremony, I was told by a native Shaman there that I was to follow the path of medicine woman/healer.
Upon my return, I learned the beautiful practice of Reiki at Minka Brooklyn and continued my education in Thai body work, yoga and energy movement in Morocco, Bali and Thailand. Most of this was happening while I was working full time as a Hospitality Executive and teaching yoga part time, all while raising two teenage boys.
Finally, after much prayer and with more courage than I’ve ever had to muster, I left my job and started DamaSoul Health & Wellness. I take individual, group and corporate clients but still do not call myself a healer. More than anything I am more like a guide or conduit, using my energy to connect with and commune with the energy of my clients. Sometimes The Ancestors or a client’s Spirit Guides (those we have known who have passed on, also known as Angels) will be present. When that happens, I welcome that support as it is a beautiful thing.
Lastly, although I can connect to energy that is on the spiritual plain (ancestors, animal spirits and those who have passed on from their physical bodies and benefit from psychic influences), I am not a psychic, a conjurer or a medium. It is also important to point out that though my clients and I talk through issues they’re dealing with, I am not a licensed therapist and highly encourage anyone in need of that level of care speak to a mental health practitioner.
What is your healing philosophy?
Healing happens on many levels: physical, emotional and spiritual. I believe we all have the capacity to support our own healing. We are never helpless. Rather, sometimes we just don’t know where or what the root of our trauma is or how trauma can affect our bodies. At what point did we become broken?
Our emotions can be clues to the road map of triggers and traumas. I often ask clients where they feel a particular emotion in their body. As an example, if you are holding heaviness in your throat and that’s where you feel stuck, it can mean that you are not feeling heard.
In this instance, I work on clearing the passageway to the heart or to the belly where energy of love and creativity reside. Why? Because if you feel unheard and can’t use your voice to express yourself then that can also create blocks in creativity and expression. The feeling of being cared for which can show up in the 4th chakra or heart area.
I strongly believe every client is different. While chakra mapping helps some, for others intentional breath work or active journeying meditation may be more helpful. The key is to be mindful of healing on all levels: physical, emotional and spiritual.
What are the changes people feel? How do they know it’s working?
While I am working with clients, they have felt heat, vibration, a feeling of being lifted physically or mentally as if out of a fog. Some clients have noticed a feeling of melting or morphing. As the energy starts to flow in those blocked directions it is like blood flowing back into a foot that has fallen asleep. A weird sensation but satisfying.
I myself have had energy work done via Thai massage and acupuncture that has sent me on a full vision quest. It is absolutely normal to feel transported and then awakening as if from a dream. Each person, and their energy, is unique; how energy movement manifests in them is also unique.
I do let all my clients know that cleansing and moving energy or releasing trauma can leave some feeling exhausted or even a bit achy. I encourage tons of rest, water and giving yourself space to chill immediately after a session if possible. In other words, no violent movies, overtly high energy or draining activities or friends around. Energy movement is best done in the evenings before bed or when you have a day off to integrate and give yourself space for continued healing.
What are the benefits?
First let me say that there are no magic pills here. Energy work is not magic. It is science. This is important to remember to balance expectations. That said, the benefits can include feelings of lightness, more openness, willingness to face the day and certainly feelings of gratitude.
I’d love to share a very personal story. Well over a year ago, I visited my 95 year old grandmother, Alicia, who was ill, bedridden and very low energy. I could feel her “chi” or life force slipping away. She was not eating much and speaking very little. I did an energy session with her and the next day, her appetite returned with a vengeance and she was able to speak with all of the visitors and family who came to the house.
It was so lovely to see her have this moment—this day filled with love, enjoying her favorite meals and communicating with loved ones. She passed away less than a week later while I was abroad at a Yoga Teacher Training in Bali. The day, almost to the moment, she passed back in Chicago, and having not been told, I felt her suddenly all around me: in the trees, in the wind, gently swirling around me. I believe that our session allowed a very deep exchange of energy, mine to her and hers to mine. This is the power of energy connection and healing.
Damasa in Bali, at a Remembering & Honoring session for her grandmother
What can our readers do on their own, without a practitioner, at least to get started?
We all have the power to support our own healing once energy is stuck and unable to move. Here are some ideas on how to do just that:
- Breathing, breathing, breathing! Stay aware of your breath and when you hold your breath. Breath work is one of the easiest ways to support energy movement. The breath moves oxygen into our bodies. When we hold our breath, or are in “shallow breathing,” we are blocking life energy.
- I also love to have clients do deep belly breaths, filling up and extending first the belly then the chest before sighing out or expelling the breath through the mouth.
- Any meditation—guided or not—creates and calms energy. You can download the Calm app which helps new meditators get going.
- Gratitude always helps one’s chi energy. Find a quiet space in the morning before everyone is up and before you look at your phone or check emails. Close your eyes and think of five things that you are grateful for. Sometimes I do this in front of a mirror and give gratitude to parts of my body, i.e., my funny looking pinky toe or my new quarantine belly or to my little plant that is growing on the windowsill. It’s a beautiful reminder that no matter what is going on in our lives we are blessed.
- Rub your hands vigorously together until a warm sensation is generated. Place your palms on or just above areas that feel stressed: eyes, heart, abdomen, throat, temples and focus the breath. Send loving energy there.
- A hug that lasts twenty seconds can melt knots of stuck energy. If you are alone, wrap yourself up in a warm cozy blanket with a cup of tea while gazing out the window or at a picture of a loved one.
- Working out and exercising is a quick and easy way to move energy. Even if it is just a five minute walk, it all helps. Dancing is also great! If that physical movement is not possible, humming, listening to soothing music, singing and vocalizing also helps to move energy.
- Finally, spending time in nature helps to ground energy. Make sure to allow your feet to touch the ground or burrow into the sand. Getting into moving bodies water such as a lake, waterfall or an ocean can help move energy as well. Something even as simple as watching the sunrise each morning can help me move through the day with grace.
Ultimately, use your senses to release energy and use your body’s movement or sound to get energy to flow. And remember, energy is in everything you touch, feel, taste and breathe.”
If you are as inspired by Damasa as we are, reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org for a session. Don't worry about missing out on the in-person benefits; energy healing can be as effective over video chat as it is in person. Follow her on Instagram for more health and wellness tips and inspiring content @damasoul_healthandwellness.