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What Is An Empath?

Many of the people who seek me out for energy healing are empaths. What is an empath? It's someone who has an intuitive gift for insight into the feelings of others. Put simply, they can feel what others are feeling.

Heart on red background

It's both a blessing and a burden. Often, empaths come to me with one or more chronic physical ailments, or anxiety or depression. Usually, it's related to their intuitive gift and to the wear and tear on their energy, psyche and body that happens if it isn't managed or taken care of properly.

If you're reading this, chances are that you (or someone you love) is an empath. So let's delve a little deeper into the question of what an empath is.

What Is An Empath?

Empaths are people who have a gift for intuitive insight into the feelings of others. They not only understand what others are feeling, they may often feel it as well, taking on their physical pain and emotional suffering.

Empaths are highly sensitive. They tend to have porous boundaries that let in a lot of energy and information. They're energetically like sponges, absorbing the emotions and sometimes the physical symptoms of others. Often empaths will be sensitive not just to subtle energetic information, but also to environmental input like scent and sound.

You would often describe empaths as big-hearted or warm-hearted. They lead with their hearts, feelings first, and often have difficulty intellectualizing their feelings. If you have a chance to assess their whole chakra system, often their heart chakra stands out as particularly strong or active. They connect deeply with others. They want to help anyone and everyone. Often they are generous to a fault, with their time as well as with their resources.

Empaths are highly intuitive people, so their sixth chakras are also highly activated. Working to develop the sixth chakra can often be a way to help empaths get some perspective and distance from the strong feelings that tend to overwhelm them.

Being an empath is a beautiful gift to the world, but unless they learn to manage that gift, these highly sensitive feelers can become overwhelmed and it can impact their emotional and even their physical health.

I believe that empaths are born, not made. At any rate, the patterns of behavior and perception are laid down so early in life that they can be thought of as inborn.  Because of this, empaths tend not to realize that they are different from other people, and take their gifts for granted. Helping them see that they have a special gift is an important step in teaching them mange it in ways that aren't draining.  Learn more about empath self-care here.

At some point, empaths often have a kind of crisis, where they realize that the can't continue taking on everyone else's feelings. Find out what to do if that happens to you.

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