Wellness

Photo Courtesy of Garance Doré / Trunk Archive

A Road Map to Your Intuition

If you don’t know what a medical intuitive is, prepare for a moment of unorthodox thinking. A medical intuitive is someone with psychic abilities—stay with us—who uses those abilities for greater insight into some aspect of well-being. No one is suggesting that medical intuitives could replace consultations with doctors, psychiatrists, nutritionists, or any kind of medical professional. What we are suggesting is that if you’ve ever had a gut instinct, sensed a connection with a loved one who has passed away, or just considered the incomprehensible vastness of the universe, you get that there are forces at work that science cannot always explain. Which brings us to: the medical intuitive.

No, it’s not our first time at this rodeo. See our guide to clairvoyants and healers here. But we’ve never had an experience quite like being read by medical intuitive Katie Beecher. Up front, Beecher asks for your name and age. Before your consultation (usually over the phone), she paints a watercolor to illustrate what she thinks is going on with you. The paintings we’ve seen are both childlike and pretty, done in broad brushstrokes, with lines of bright green, purple, orange, yellow. Beecher includes handwritten notes to explain: Blue means you’re sensitive; dots of paint might mean a blockage in your body. In addition to the watercolor image, she also emails you a few typed pages, essentially an analysis of your emotional and physical state as she sees it. It’s organized by the seven chakras and might include notes on anything from a childhood habit that’s still holding you back to that headache you’ve had for a week. In our experience, all of this was eerily accurate. And talking to Beecher, who shared her instincts for rebalancing our chakras, was enlightening to say the least.

Beecher has worked with thousands of people, and nearly all of them experienced some form of disconnection from their bodies. This matters a great deal, Beecher explains, because when we don’t listen to our body, we lose a major source of our own intuition. Beecher likens intuition to a guide we all have, a force that knows what we need and what we don’t. Her advice for following this guide and picking up on the signals that our body sends us takes different forms. But the overarching message is: Start with one small act of self-acceptance and self-love—forget mastery, forget perfection.

A Q&A with Katie Beecher

Q

How does disconnection from the body manifest in your clients?

A

One very subtle manifestation, which I think has happened to all of us, is ignoring when we feel tired or signs that we may be getting a cold, like a sore throat or a stuffy nose. So many people push aside those feelings—because they have to work or take care of the kids, and there’s no time to deal unless or until the physical discomfort turns into something more serious.

A lot of people spend too much time thinking about the past or the future and not enough time in the present—which can mean they aren’t grounded. Disconnection can happen when people don’t focus enough energy on what is happening in the real world. It’s tempting, especially in the current political climate, to become overly focused on feeling good or escaping. Tuning out the practical world can be therapeutic, but it’s also important to spend time being present here.

“When you have a negative body image, there is a natural tendency to cut yourself off from your body, which can unfortunately lead to more body dissatisfaction.”

Many of the people I work with are suffering through an illness and often become disconnected from their bodies during this time. They sometimes feel powerless, victimized, angry. Sometimes they are grieving over how their lives have changed. I try to acknowledge their feelings—whatever they may be—and empower them to work with their bodies and connect to their intuition. Intuition speaks to us partly through our bodies. If you are listening to your body, it can guide you toward what you need and away from what you don’t.

I also see disconnection from the body show up as negative body image, constant dieting, and disordered eating. When you have a negative body image, there is a natural tendency to cut yourself off from your body, which can unfortunately lead to more body dissatisfaction. This might mean that you’re pushing down hunger or making choices about eating that have nothing to do with what your body needs. You might not even taste the food if you are thinking only about calories and weight gain. To heal, we need to identify and become more comfortable with feelings about our body that we may be trying to bury with our eating behaviors.

Q

Why do you think so many people are disconnected from their bodies?

A

Body and emotional disassociation are defense mechanisms that we sometimes use when we are faced with stress, trauma, and abuse. We dissociate or disconnect from the body when we cannot cope with what is happening and when we don’t feel safe enough to fully embrace our bodies and feelings.

“If girls and boys were taught from a young age to love and respect their bodies and themselves, perhaps it would be easier to resist some of this pressure to look perfect and we would not so readily disconnect.”

Another big issue is that we are trained and pressured from a young age to dislike our bodies and thus dislike ourselves. There is so much pressure to look a certain way and to reflect the “perfect” images we see in the media. If girls and boys were taught from a young age to love and respect their bodies and themselves, perhaps it would be easier to resist some of this pressure to look perfect and we would not so readily disconnect. When we are connected to our bodies and intuition, we know that we are never alone and that we have a constant source of answers and support.

Q

You’ve talked about intuition being not only in our heads but in our bodies. Can you explain?

A

The third eye or sixth chakra, located between our eyebrows, is associated with intuition—this is where I typically see images. The third chakra, located just above the belly button, is also associated with intuition. “Gut feeling” is just another way of saying intuition, and the majority of us, especially people who are empathic, are familiar with that idea. Being empathic means that you easily pick up the feelings of others. You don’t have to be psychic to have gut feelings or to react physically when faced with emotions. We all have intuition.

I work with so many people who are experiencing gut issues, and I typically find that they respond to their emotions physically, usually first feeling them as gut symptoms. They tell me that when they get upset, they have some kind of gastrointestinal reaction. We explore how these symptoms might be connected with their intuition and be a sign of feelings to address. This does not mean that gut issues should not be addressed through dietary changes, nutrition, or other physical means. But I do believe that symptoms typically have an intuition component that is trying to get our attention.

Q

How do we connect to the body and our intuition?

A

Mindfulness is a great way to start because it helps us to focus on what is going on in our bodies and minds right now, blocking out common distractions and fear. Fortunately, there is so much information available. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., is the founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In 1979, he started a mindfulness-based stress reduction clinic, which has helped thousands of people. He’s written several books and created guided audio practices.

“If you want a piece of chocolate, make sure it is a damn good-tasting piece—enjoy it!”

But you can start using mindfulness techniques to connect with the body immediately, without any books or tapes. Mindful or intuitive eating is excellent. For a start, think about whether you are hungry or thirsty before eating, think about whether the food you are about to choose is what your body really wants, how it will feel in your body, and what you are feeling emotionally when you eat. If you want a piece of chocolate, make sure it is a damn good-tasting piece—enjoy it! Sit at a table, in front of only your food, not the TV or computer. Feel the food in your mouth; taste and chew it instead of just swallowing. You’ll be better able to feel when you are starting to be satisfied, not stuffed.

Self-acceptance and self-love are key to connecting to the body and intuition. People think of these concepts as impossible and daunting, but that’s often because they think they have to master them or do them perfectly and overnight. Start with just one thing. Accept that you are good at X, or accept that you can say no and life won’t fall apart. Accept that you don’t have to look like a person in a magazine and that you are loveable. Love yourself for having kids who love you, or for taking a walk or a soothing bath. Meditation, massage, giving or receiving Reiki or other forms of energy healing, Tai Chi, spending time in nature, walking in water, and taking Epsom salt baths are all possibilities. One thing leads to another. Find a therapist, support group, or other resource if you need help getting started.

Allowing yourself to feel and listen can release fear, self-loathing, and nonproductive patterns of behavior. Blocking out your intuition also means blocking out your feelings. We need to stay open, and we need to stay vulnerable.

Q

What signals are we missing out on?

A

So many! Anything your body does or anything you feel could potentially be a signal from your intuition: a picture or word you see in your head, a song that comes to mind out of nowhere, suddenly thinking of a person. Creative works are often expressions of our intuition, which is why art therapy is so powerful. We get signs from so-called random things that happen in life, which could be a conversation with someone you just met, an accident, a last-minute change in plans. For instance, when I talk with people who tell me about an accident—say, tripping and hurting their leg—they often also tell me that the accident made them listen to something else in their life that wasn’t going right.

“Accept that you are good at X, or accept that you can say no and life won’t fall apart.”

Obviously, we would get nothing done if we analyzed everything. It’s not feasible to determine what every moment in life means. And it’s easy to overthink all of this. What’s important is to keep open communication with your intuition so that you can notice an alert when you need to pay attention.

Katie Beecher is a medical intuitive who does the majority of her consultations over the phone. She has a B.S. in biology and psychology and an M.S. in counseling, with a particular interest in Carl Jung.

The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of goop, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.