What is a healer?

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Natural forces within us are the healers of disease.”

~ Hippocrates

I am NOT a healer!

It’s my own festering wound to lick.  With the intention of mending this once and for all, I’m addressing the horse on the porch.

The common assumption among the general population is that a healer does the healing for someone else.

As defined by The Oxford Dictionary, a healer is:  “A person who claims to be able to cure a disease or injury using special powers.”  It seems this healer must be incredibly powerful to preform that sort of magic for someone else! The idea makes my hackles go up; we are not independently this powerful.

I define my role in healing as the facilitator.

I’m a conduit or a “hollow bone” hosting the energy from Source.  Energy flows through my body and into the recipient where it serves as fuel to stoke their own healing process.  The facilitator serves as a sort of midwife as the recipient does the actual healing work.

The recipient grants permission to the facilitator to support the process.  Everything is intended to be in the Highest Good of all involved, without attachment to the outcome. Each facilitator has different tools and specialties as well as wisdom-bases.

My job includes: sensing the vital force of the recipient, asking permission to assist, setting and maintaining a safe energetic space, inviting Source energy to flow through me for the Highest Good of all, using vibrational tools (like drums, tuning forks, other instruments) to serve the healing process, balancing energy, raising vibration, and closing the space.

Here’s a vitally important phrase: “The recipient is the healer!”

I gained this concept while apprenticing with holistic veterinarian, Dr. Heather Mack, thirteen years ago. I recall the discomfort of completely uprooting my thoughts about healing.  Realizing now that Heather was a key player at precisely the right time gives me chills.  It’s hard to thank a teacher too often and it’s never too late.

At twenty-three, I was a pin-feathered fledgling tip-toeing in the deep forest looking for bread crumbs.  Heather swooped me up and helped me sprout my flight feathers on the wings that’d carry me into my true calling.  I had no idea at the time and only felt the challenges as they constantly stubbed my toes.

Watching horses heal under her hands gave me a generous reference point as to what was possible.  The horses were doing the healing.  She consistently “showed up” completely grounded, focused, totally present and took impeccable care of herself as a conduit.  Her tools were always primed and she offered her best to each horse.

Bottom line: the horses were the healers.  

I’ll illustrate the terms healer and facilitator by sharing Sage’s story.  He’s the epitome of a healer.

Hop on the fast track four years back with me and meet Sage, the miniature red mule who I’m just getting to know.  A less than wise moment results in a kick to his head by a drafty pasture-mate, four times his size.  My dear friend Bev and I happen to notice the distant red heap planted lifelessly into the earth.  We’re both in shock as we dash to Sage’s side.  He’s been down at least ten minutes.  

We prepare ourselves for what looks to be a dead mule.  Herd members snort and spook as they take turns sniffing the limp body.  Horses sometimes respond to a deceased herd-mate like this.

Truth be told.

Sage’s right eye eerily stares into the glaring mid-day Texas sun. His turgid glassy-looking cornea doesn’t respond to the touch of my right index finger. He’s supposed to blink.  His rib cage occasionally raises as much as a fairy’s breath. With a pulse as thin as a fly-fishing leader, Sage is negotiating entry at the Pearly Gates with his already white gums.

A half-inch long graze of a wound is half-way between the edge of the corner of his right eye and the knobby joint just below his ear.   A firm swelling rears its head head from the thin-boned area.  Beyond the thickness of a tulle veil, the angels pant down my neck. 

Heaven is very near for Long Ears. 

I call in MAJOR guidance and accept that Sage is making his exit. The vet can’t get here fast enough to put him down.  A breath from death, my rational mind says there’s no way he’ll recover and to let him go.

Bev stands silently behind us with her arms outstretched, palms up. She’s doing a fine job, quite literally holding space in every possible way.  Grateful for her support, I feel less alone.   Assuming he’s dying feels like a pound of ice in my stomach.

A better-feeling thought leaps into my lap.  Could I support him?  Could I assume nothing, ignore my scientific side, ditch the vet tech in me and completely detach?  Taking a one minute dash to the barn, I grab a couple of remedies and I ground myself with each stride towards Sage.

Tossing a dose of Arnica 1M on both of our gums with a swig of Rescue Remedy sets the stage for whatever is about to happen.  Guidance came in the form of a voice: “GET TO WORK! YOU DON’T HAVE MUCH TIME!”  

We’re both breathless; one more than another.

Summoning Sage’s inner healer is a 911 wake-up call!  His innate wisdom knows far more than I do. Offering energy from Source, Sage sucks it up as fast as it flows through my hot hands. I feel a big ball of a bouncy warmth in my palms.  Sage’s vital force is alive! Yes!

The swelling between his eye and ear is like a bulging hot lemon.  Sage uses the energy to tame the chaos around his brain, melting it like butter. Dripping nourishment on the surrounding tissues gets the process started.

As if someone is holding my hands, I brush the shape of a bubble around Sage.  I see it as a tight container splinting his life force as his cells repair. 

Everything in me completely believes Sage is capable of healing.

Visualizing a “blueprint for perfect health,” in the words of Dr. Heather Mack are flashing in bold text. I remind Sage that it’s his choice to step into this option. If he gives me permission, I’ll use my tools to support him as he does the work.  My gut feeling says give me a gre.   

Onward and upward!

I paint the picture of his body returning to homeostasis. He repairs the bleeding in his brain.  His heart beats with evermore increasing force.  His lungs remember how to draw life inward.

Like marching orders married to a mantra, my guidance repeats: “Support him, keep the energy flowing from Source, stay receptive, keep your connection, hold the space, meet his vibration, stay with him, show him health, remind him of his spark.”

Hang in there Sage.

Clearing the energy around his head reveals an arterial bleed, visible in my mind’s eye.  Imagining hands suturing the torn vessel together with golden thread, Sage stops the bleeding.

His brain is surrounded with swelling.  He’s literally between the worlds as his glassy bulging eyes stare; one looking into the grass and the other through the blue sky. Still no blinking.

Pulling the energy of the fluid downward from his head to his heart, his circulation improves and his eyes are less turgid with pressure.  Slightly pink gums peek out when I lift his lip.

He’s taking shallow breaths, moving his ribs about half-inch high. This goes on for at least thirty minutes while the rest of him is completely unresponsive.  Continuing to clear his energy field and provide nourishment for his vital force, I sit at his side with my hands on his heart.  While he’s on energetic life-support he’s doing massive healing.


Consuming a deeply nourishing breath, he captures a rhythm. He’s blinking! Tears run down my sweaty cheeks as he lifts his head. Supporting his heart energy with green light, his pulse pounds my fingertips with a high-five!

Regular respiration takes over and Sage props himself up. The swelling is shrinking on the right side of his head.  Staring at each other for at least ten minutes, we’re both stunned.

He pops up effortlessly and takes a walk.  A full body shake clears his trauma.  Gulping down water and eating hay, Sage joins the herd.  Bev and I sit under a grove of trees in shock. 

Minus a tiny nick and small bruise at the kick site, he’s fine.  A few more doses of Arnica over the next couple of days make me feel better. The vet only wanted to check him if he shows abnormal neurological symptoms.

Who’s the healer?

Sage! Do you see what’s possible when the healer gives the facilitator permission to actively support their process?  I am not in charge of how things turn out, nor do I have control over the process.  I follow Divine guidance, use my tools when they’re called for and serve as an active witness. 

What helps me most is the unflappable belief that any animal can step into a high vibration that supports their vital force.  I thank Sage for giving me permission to share his story.  Experiences like this give me a deeper reference point as to what is possible.  This gives my mind an invitation to stretch to the next level regardless of what things look like externally.

I’m deeply honored to have such animal teachers and healers in my life.  They give me the opportunity to serve and continue to inspire me.  If you’d like to learn more about working with your animals in this way, please send a note to: lizzy@wholehorseconsulting.com or leave a note in the comments section below. 

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  1. thank you Lizzy and Sage. Love your writing too!

  2. Such powerful writing! I think I will be a better Energy Healing practitioner from reading that! You used such poignant imagery. And I loved the moment of asking yourself, “Can I assume nothing….completely detach?” That is definitely the moment that Source energy takes over in healing work, isn’t it?! You are a gift, Lizzy! You inspire me!

    • Thank you Lauri, that means a lot coming from a stellar writer! The imagery is the language that is in my heart. I owe this to my earliest writing professor at Sweet Briar College, Jennifer Brice. Check out one of her books, “Unlearning to Fly.” She mentored me TIRELESSLY for three years and gave me countless hours of her time helping me to learn to “show not tell.” I didn’t love her in the moment for this….but I do now! YOU inspire ME, Lauri! Thank you!

  3. Karen Quinlisk says:

    I think I held my breath for the entire story!!! Even though I have MET Sage, I couldn’t
    read fast enough to get to he end. Your writing and wisdom inspires me to keep going
    with my learning. Seriously though, completely detach?? Wow!!

    • Thanks Karen! Completely detaching is for me, the only way to get out of the way and allow a Higher Power to come in and do the work. Getting out of the way is sometimes the hardest part as our minds and egos want to jump in and control the outcome. It’s part of realizing we are not in control but we are supporting another being on their OWN path. Detaching does not mean not caring-it can be hard to do-it simply gives the other being permission to do what they need to do and you (whoever is facilitating) will support and honor that.

  4. Brigette says:

    Thanks Lizzy, I really enjoyed reading this amazing account. I shared it on my personal Facebook page. As a Body Stress Release practitioner and Equine body worker I am constantly reminded that I am only the facilitator of the healing process, you article is such a powerful testament to this.

    • Thank you so much Brigette! I am so glad you enjoyed reading this and even more glad that you are out in the world doing great work with this in mind. YES we are just facilitators. Sure, we can intervene with permission and we can offer our best tools, but ultimately the healing is up to the recipient. We just provide the resources and space. 🙂 THANK you for your support and for sharing.

  5. MARY LAVATO says:

    Lizzy, it is MY honor.. my blessing from God to know you. Truly, I believe you and like-minded “healers” have
    become God..Christ’s…Spirit’s APOSTLE who will help save God’s beautiful animal creations. Thank you,
    Dear ONE for sharing your experience with God. ml

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