This article is created in partnership with Leslie Huddart L.Ac, acupuncturist, spiritual guide, healer, and founder of the Body Wisdom Academy. She is dedicated to using subtle body techniques to guide healers, empaths, and highly sensitive people through releasing (for good) the energetic blocks in our body that keep us stuck where we are. We’re honored to work with her. ~ ed.
I was just embarking on my healer’s journey—even if I didn’t know it yet.
My mom had given me an ultimatum: pay rent, go to community college, or go to massage school.
Massage school? I’d long been told I was an old soul, that I had healing hands. The word empath had been thrown around a few times, and over and over again in life, I’d been told that I was “too sensitive” and to “let sh*t go” when I just couldn’t.
Yes, massage school seemed like a fit.
As I watched the practitioner demonstrate the school’s bodywork technique during an open house, using his whole body like a dancing therapeutic tool gliding over the being on the table, I felt the energy of the room shift around me; I felt it dance through me. I knew this was where I wanted to be—where I was called to be.
As acupuncturist, spiritual guide, healer, and founder of the Body Wisdom Academy, Leslie Huddart L.Ac. would say, “There are no accidents in my universe.” And that certainly was the case for me that day.
Massage school was truly transformative. I gained a deeper connection to myself and started to own and embrace my empathic skills. It felt like a gift to see how I was helping people with my knowledge and technique.
But there was a deeper problem I hadn’t realized was there before—one my journey had brought to the surface.
Although I literally had a healing degree, an enthusiasm for all things personal and spiritual development, and was helping the folks on my table, I was ashamed to admit that I was still a mess on the inside.
I felt like an impostor. How could I really be a healer if I was unable to make lasting change within myself? It’s a thought that’s weighed heavy on my heart and has been especially burdensome these past couple of years.
As things often do, right when I needed it, the answer appeared. Leslie’s work fell into my lap, and I started to finally put all the missing pieces together. I had a subtle body block.
As Leslie points out, there is an actual technical wiring system to the way that our mind-body-spirit system (a.k.a the subtle body) works. Anytime we know something in our mind but can’t actually embody that in our life, there is a subtle body block to blame.
The bad news is that we often reach for therapy and self-help to tackle these issues. While that can certainly be helpful, it barely scratches the surface of an actual subtle body problem. So we get a little knowledge, an inspirational boost from a weekend workshop, or new sounds-true audio, but pretty quickly we find ourselves right back at it, repeating the same old loops and feeling like:
>> “…I should have it all together already. ”
>> “…I should feel confident but I feel like an imposter.”
>> “…I should be over this family baggage $%^t.”
>> “…I should have found my soul mate by now.”
And despite being at least partially aware of what’s behind those triggers and patterns, we probably still attract the same people or challenges into our lives.
And it f*cking sucks. I know. You’re so. freaking. over it.
Herein lies the problem: once we arrive at a certain spot on our spiritual healer’s path, our usual go-tos stop working: Yoga just won’t cut it, those new-agey books lose their oomph. We run into a spiritual wall and are just not progressing anymore. So, we get stuck in the realm of potential, trying to make “more of the same” work, and in doing so, we remain unable to activate our Empath Ninja mode.
Well, hell. What’s next then?
Sure, you might have tapped into the upper layers of sludge with all the other stuff, and that’s something to celebrate, for sure—because you’re doing the work, which means you’re aware and awake and have the immense potential to grow.
What you’re missing is the connection between all your spiritual wellness puzzle pieces.
Leslie’s subtle body work helped me pinpoint the technical aspects of how and where my system was stuck so I could be systematic in actually finding the real, hidden source and begin letting it out of my body for good.
Become the empathic ninja warrior you’re meant to be. Start with this FREE subtle body work training >>
The first step is to get out of the mental, body-mind spiral we empaths so often get sucked into. And that’s where Leslie’s here to help with her free training.
There’s a way to heal without years and years of therapy—and that’s through subtle body work.
Maybe you’ve heard of it. Maybe you’re asking yourself, “What the f*ck is that?”
Subtle body work is to healing what neurology is to therapy. It’s a mix of the deeper layers of Mind, next-level somatic practices, and energetic physiology.
As Leslie describes it, these three aspects stem from her unique background and expertise across the realms of acupuncture, somatic therapy and lineage based spiritual practice, and are kind of like a three-legged stool. When one or more legs is out of balance, things in life get rickety.
Think about how you’ve been tending to your own mind, body-mind, and soul legs and your stool might be lookin’ pretty darn wonky. Well, sh*t, right? No wonder you’ve been feeling off-kilter!
With subtle body work, we address all three legs to help create a lasting and measurable release from the body, which is achieved in three parts:
>> Understanding the technical side of what’s actually happening when you are stuck, suffering, and triggered
>> Reconnecting the inner world aspects of the subtle body that have become separated or damaged from trauma, life experience, and false mind stories
>> Using subtle body tools aligned with ancient healing truths to actually release—for good—what’s been held in the body-mind system
Let’s cut straight to it:
We can new-agey bypass ‘til the cows come home, but we aren’t going to get lasting results until we get to the subtle body level where it all comes together.
That’s because most healing modalities and approaches attend to only one or two legs; the worlds of therapy, spirituality, and natural medicine don’t like to touch upon the other. They stay in their own realms.
Therapy is a great and necessary tool for our mental and emotional growth, but looking at our brain states and neurology leaves out the spiritual energy of our body.
Spirituality is helpful but doesn’t deal with interpersonal therapeutic trauma or with particular qi (life force) imbalances from a Chinese Medicinal standpoint.
And natural medicine acknowledges the role of emotions but often refers out to therapy when things get too touchy-feely.
This is why therapy isn’t working. This is why your shaman isn’t helping. This is why acupuncture alone isn’t getting to the point.
Remember that rickety, wonky stool you’ve been building? The goal of subtle body work is to unite those three legs similarly to how we might add structural reinforcements at the base of a tall bar stool.
When we connect each part of our subtle body to another, we begin to truly fortify ourselves in measurable ways that allow us to balance, center, and channel our inner empath ninja mode and help free others of their own suffering—for good; not just temporarily.
5 main points of awareness that can help us begin healing with subtle body work.
Folks, this is when it’s time to (temporarily) put away our crystals, silence the sound healing, and get down to the real healing work of discernment and, as Leslie emphasizes, “judging by results.”
1. Identifying your hidden mind-body wiring.
“You’ve got to understand the componentry you’re going to be working with, otherwise you’re going to be working blind,” Leslie says in her first day of training. And by the end of it, healers, HSPs and empaths come to understand exactly how our subtle body dances through and between the three major parts of our being: the mind, or thinking level; the body-mind, or physical and energetic level; and the heart, or soul and spiritual level.
Begin exploring your relationship with these different realms:
Think of a trigger. What thought is attached to that trigger, and how does it make you feel emotionally? What fear is at the base of that trigger? Now you’re beginning to see the realm of the mind.
Keeping that same trigger in mind now, ask yourself what occurs within your body when you’re triggered. Does your skin crawl with hives? Do you feel a dull ache in your belly or anxiety over your chest? Perhaps you feel your shoulders rise toward your ears or cave in to guard and protect your heart. Now you’re tapping into the realm of the body-mind.
To get to the soul level, we need to first unite and create a healthy flow between these first two realms of being.
When we begin to understand exactly how to connect these levels, we can begin to understand the true origins where the trauma has been stored in the body and identify the most effective subtle body technique to use to release it.
2. Decoding your protector system.
We need to understand that the body is the storage ground of what Leslie calls Big T trauma (parental abandonment, for example) and little t trauma (like, being made fun of at school). And our trauma storage facility comes equipped with a protector system that has two priorities: to keep us safe, and to manifest our unconscious needs.
Before we can tap into subtle body healing, we need to understand the ins and outs of how our protector system works.
Recall a time that you experienced any of these scenarios:
>> You tried to tap into your body and its sensation and couldn’t do it
>> You experienced a state of panic
>> You found yourself in a space of self-sabotage
>> You felt disconnected from your mind, or experienced mental fog
>> You found yourself blaming others
>> You felt a sense of despair or hopelessness
>> You couldn’t stop your mind from spinning or repetitive thinking
That’s your protector system kicking in to achieve one of its two main goals. Begin to notice when these sensations or tendencies arise, and you’ll begin to understand where your energetic blocks are hiding.
“When we understand body priorities and our protector system,” Leslie says, “we can understand what’s really happening to apply the right subtle body technique to the right part of the body to get lasting results instead of, as they say, ‘rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.’”
3. Locating the actual source of your suffering and discomfort.
“The real source of the issue is not the outer world, but the inner world.” Leslie explains in section three of her training. In other words, it’s not the trigger itself that is the problem, or the pattern, it’s the root of what’s within you that causes you to notice the cycle.
In her training, Leslie calls the location of these roots the Basement, and its contents are “the seed of why we are suffering with the mind.”
Ever notice how two people can experience the same outer event but have different inner experiences? That’s because what I have in my Basement might be different than what you have in yours.
Everything—literally everything triggered in our lives leads back to the Basement. And believe it or not, we’ve only got two or occasionally three (gigantic) boxes full of junk down there.
Begin exploring the boxes in your Basement:
Think of a time that you were triggered recently—a time that something really set you off.
If you trace the thoughts you recall showing up in your mind, do they lead to the belief that you are unlovable, unworthy, or that something is wrong about you? Or maybe this trigger, when traced to its root, was attached to the fear of being left alone, abandoned, or feeling invisible.
These are the two major boxes in your Basement. Observe how there’s a ton to unpack.
This step is crucial to the dissolution of our suffering and the physical sensations of our trauma resurfacing from the depths.
4. Practicing energetic communication and finding your 50% line.
Remember how this article started? With my massage instructor telling our class how important it is to disconnect energy at the end of a session. The instructor was referring to what Leslie calls the 50% line of energetic communication.
It’s natural for us healers, empaths, and HSPs to tap into others’ energies. But we don’t have to take them on as our own. In fact, when we do, that means there’s something within us that needs upgrading.
Recall a time that you felt:
>> Responsible for someone else’s emotions
>> Closed off or unable to be vulnerable
Look at what was going on at the time. Now, ponder: what would it feel like to have really taken up your space?
The above are signals that you’re dealing with energetic communication issues. You’ve either allowed yourself to cross into someone else’s energy field, or have made yourself small enough that someone else has crossed into your energetic communication bubble. Whoops!
Often, we healers have a tendency to shrink ourselves, opening ourselves up to energetic breeches. This is why we continually attract takers and narcissists.
Ensuring that we are intentional about where we are in relation to our 50% line is absolutely key to becoming the empathetic ninja powerhouse that we are.
5. Identifying the generational trauma you carry and the other sh*t that isn’t yours.
Raise your hand if you’re a parent parenter. (Raises hand).
This is a classic sign of generational trauma, and it closely relates to our 50% line; if you parented your parent, you’ve crossed your own 50% line to do so. And chances are that as a result, you’ve taken on their “stuff,” which, over time, can create a weblike disorganization of mind-to-body-mind issues that tether deep down into our basement and keep us from full subtle body healing.
Ponder these three points to discover if energy you’re holding is yours or someone else’s:
1. Most not-self energy is opportunistic; not malicious.
2. All you need to do is firmly send away energy that is not yours.
3. You can also simply ask if the energy is yours or not.
When we start to spiral within our minds, and begin to react within our body-mind, these three steps can slow us.
When we have done enough of the exploration work, we begin to become more conscious of what energy is our own. We can then follow our energetic triggers to our basements and begin to unpack what needs to be released to finally open our subtle body and exit from suffering.
When we’re an empath, HSP, or healer in this crazy special world, it’s easy to get lost along the sometimes overwhelming way. Sometimes we just need some subtle discernment and guidance to help us connect the dots.
When we find ourselves in this space of a steady sh*tshow of overwhelm (or a desperately underwhelming existential crisis), it’s time to begin tapping into subtle body work so that we can be the empathic ninja warriors we are meant to be for this world and our fellow energetic beings.