Empaths Need Medical Care that Considers Their Super Sensitivities
Medical visits bring up so many complicated issues for empaths. It’s often not just a simple visit to the doctor for a diagnosis and a prescription. Being in the office with the bright lights, a crowded waiting room, and time crunched professionals can actually alter the empaths symptoms. For instance, sitting in a chair where the previous patient had high blood pressure can produce high blood pressure in the empath. Or if the doctor has a headache, the empath can instantly have a headache. Yes, empaths can be that sensitive! And yes, it can be a challenge to track down real symptoms and not just passing aches and pains.
Psychiatrist Judith Orloff, MD, in her book, The Empath’s Survival Guide, describes the experience of an empath succinctly. “Empaths feel others’ emotions, energy and physical symptoms in their own bodies, without the usual defenses that most people have.
She goes on to describe the nervous system of an empath as highly reactive.
Empaths have an extremely reactive neurological system. We don’t have the same filters that other people do to block out stimulation. As a consequence, we absorb into our own bodies both the positive and stressful energies around us. We are so sensitive that it’s like holding something in a hand that has fifty fingers instead of five. We are truly super responders.
Seeking Medical Help is Stressful
Making the decision to seek help can create enormous stress for an empath. Empaths often have an issue fitting their symptoms into traditional medical parameters for clear diagnoses. Their symptoms may come and go in irregular patterns. For example, headaches, stomach aches, joint and muscle pain, or shortness of breath may occur without any apparent reason. Cloudy thinking due to overwhelming environmental stimuli may impair their ability to express clearly what the problem is. Honestly, if you don’t know if a symptom is truly yours, how do you know when to get professional help?
Medical professionals, even family and friends can incorrectly label empaths as hypochondriacs. They are delegated to the “it’s all in their head” category and easily dismissed. (Don’t get me started on this topic, why do we call it “mind/body medicine” if the mind and body are not connected?)
Holistic Therapies are Very Helpful
For these reasons and more, holistic energy based therapies are often vital for supporting the empath whose nervous system is constantly reacting to both seen and unseen stimuli. Energy clearing and balancing techniques help calm the nervous system and increase energy flow. If a symptom goes away through energy clearing and balancing there is a good chance it’s root is in the over sensitive nervous system rather than a true illness or physical condition.
By practicing energy modalities, empaths get to know themselves intimately. They know specifically what helps them restore balance and what overwhelms them. Developing clear communication between mind and body boosts confidence in their own subtle energy skills. It also helps when seeking help from a medical professional because they can be more succinct about their symptoms and care.
Providing Supportive Medical Care
Providing medical care for an empath is challenging. Beginning with an understanding of the empath’s unique nervous system and learning to listen without judgement is a good place to start. Knowing that calmness will help the empath be more calm and clear is top on the list of providing better care for empaths. Opening the communication channels to go beyond the usual questions helps sort out the various symptoms.
When medical tests come out fine but the patient still has symptoms, it’s important for the patient and the medical professional to pause and look deeper for an explanation. I find that given a few minutes of relaxed silence, many medical professionals will intuitively process the situation and come up with creative solutions. Even if the solution is that the patient needs some down time to sort out their symptoms on their own.
I have provided a survey that asks the questions I find important to ask when working with an empath. The answers, when coupled with intuitive guidance, start to provide insight into the source of illness and pain for a sensitive person. Anything that might be affecting the health of an empath, from the political climate of a country to a sick next door neighbor, should not be ruled out as a source of illness and pain. The empaths ability to feel someone else’s pain as their own opens the door wide to possible causes and cures.
Let me state clearly that the pain felt by an empath is very real. It is not imagined. The nervous system is registering pain often without apparent cause. To receive excellent care the empath has to seek out medical professionals that understand their particular set of sensitivities.
Here is the list of questions for medical, mental health, and energy practitioners to ask when working with an empath. I also recommend that empaths ask themselves these questions too. The answers, when heard with a clear mind and open heart, start to provide a pathway to understanding the mind/body/nervous system interaction creating pain and illness. Once the source is understood it is easier to figure out a plan for healing.
Medical Survey for Empaths
1. Do you know if you are an empath or highly sensitive person?
2. Is someone close to you having the same symptoms as you?
3. Is your community (a group or geographical area) experiencing trauma or upset?
4. What do you know about your ability to translate emotions into illness, accidents, and pain?
5. How do your own thoughts and feelings translate into pain and illness?
6. Do your symptoms appear in an instant and disappear just as quickly?
7. Can you identify when you first felt this symptom?
8. Is someone close to you experiencing a high degree of stress and pressure? (different than #2)
9. Is someone close to you very ill?
10. Is someone close to you experiencing pain, where?
11. Is someone close to you lying/betraying/taking advantage of you?
12. What have your dreams been telling you?
13. In the past when you experienced cloudy thinking, what has caused it? Food sensitivities, environment, medication, being around certain people, work or family pressures?
14. How do you normally react to weather changes?
15. Have you been labeled as “too sensitive”.
16. Are you sensitive to noise, bright lights, and negative vibes?
17. Is your sixth sense active? Do you see or dream of people who have died, ghosts, non-physical beings?
18. Do you astral travel or have out of body experiences?
19. Does news of planetary disasters, violence and war disturb you so much you get physically ill? Have you noticed a correlation with the news and how you feel?
20. Do you get sick in stores or in crowds? Have you been in locations that could have created this reaction in you?
21. Have you started any new medications or natural remedies that may be causing a reaction?
22. How do you feel when you are stress free and in a beautiful, peaceful environment? Do your symptoms disappear?
23. When was your last vacation?
24. How are you sleeping? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you sleeping alone or with someone?
25. Are you getting enough down time?
26. Are you practicing relaxation and energy clearing exercises daily?
27. How comfortable are you at setting physical boundaries?
28. How comfortable are you at setting emotional boundaries?
29. How good are you at setting psychic boundaries?
30. Describe the stresses you encounter at work.
31. Describe the stresses you encounter at home.
32. Have you been abused or sexually violated at any time in your life?
33. Were you in the military?
These questions provide a framework for revealing what is impacting the empath’s health and well-being. It helps the medical professional get to know their empathic patient while acknowledging their unique set of circumstances.
The Power of Super Sensitivity
With their highly responsive nervous system, empaths have the capability to turn their vulnerability into strength and power. Empaths are not meant to be victims of their internal and external environments, although at times it may seem like that.
Empaths can sense, even see, and hear, the unseen realms of being. Their highly tuned antennae can sense beyond emotions and thoughts to the realms of subtle energy, unseen light, and unheard sound. These frequencies, normally beyond the five senses, are discerned with the empath’s sixth sense, their psychic or intuitive sense. This is also one of the reasons empaths are overwhelmed and need more down time than most, they are highly aware of the flood of information coming at them that others are not tuned into.
This sensitivity to the unseen realms can turn empaths into mystics. Mystics often have highly developed psychic, healing, and spiritual abilities. Where most spiritual seekers yearn to sense beyond their five senses, empaths are already there.
This brings up the need for training. The empath can, with a commitment to growth and expansion, train their sensitive antennae to focus on the inspiring spiritual realms instead of the mundane coarseness around them. They can be the future healers, spiritual guides, and leaders who make the multi-dimensional universe part of everyday life. They can learn to heal themselves and others, translate spiritual messages into practical guidance and inspiring life applications. Enlightened empaths might be a preview of the evolved human of the future!
In future articles, I will discuss the questionnaire and what it reveals in more depth, how addictions, OCD, ADD, and other psycho-emotional issues may be rooted in the reactive nervous system of the empath, the empath as an untrained yogi, energy modalities and mastery for empaths, and how to discern when to take a symptom seriously.
The teleclass The Enlightened Empath begins Thursday, July 10. This class is open to all who are interested. If you are an empath or live with one, a medical or mental health professional, or a curious spiritual seeker, check out this class!