Kara Young Klotz is the founder of Healing H.A.R.T. and practices various healing and massage modalities at Radiance Family Wellness in Lafayette, California. Kara is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and joined the corporate world working in the big San Francisco advertising agencies in the late 80’s, early 90’s. She began two lifelong journeys soon after that: motherhood in 1997, and her passion for the healing arts ignited in 2000 with her first energy medicine class. Kara’s healing work finds its roots in therapies that unleash the natural healing wisdom within our bodies. These include Chi Nei Tsang, Tui Na Chinese massage, Acupressure, Healing Touch Energy Therapy. Over the years, she has been honored to work with people of all ages facing a full range of life circumstances. Her goal is to help people feel better in their bodies by reuniting the mind and the body and getting to the root cause of dis-eases — whether it is physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.
Sophie: What does wellness mean to you?
Kara: Wellness, to me, means how much you love yourself, how well you take care of yourself in a loving way. Do you have healthy thoughts? Do you have encouraging words for yourself? Do you feel your emotions or do you talk yourself out of what you’re feeling? Do you feed your body and your cells nutrient-rich food? Do you exercise and move your body simply because your body loves it? Do you nourish your spirit by doing things you love to do? All of these things impact the energy within your body and how well that energy flows throughout. This is extremely important because it has a direct impact on our health. The energy flows and the blood follows the energy bringing oxygen, nutrients, and hormones to all the cells and flushing toxins out. Energy stagnation or even energy blocks occur all the time, slowing down our whole system. Energy healing clears blocks and promotes optimal energy flow. It’s like a re-boot to the healthy state of your body.
Sophie: How does it manifest in your life? Are there particular components or themes that stand out?
Kara: Wellness is something that I’m always working towards. It manifests when my thoughts are healthy, when my body feels strong and flexible, and when my spirit feels like singing or creating something. When I feel this way, my energy is at a high vibration and I’m in the flow. There are many simple ways to affect energy flow: breathing properly, holding acupressure points, patting down the sides of the legs and up the insides of your legs, reaching up to the sky with one arm while reaching down to the earth with the other, and breathing into energy centers of your body.
The body has pools of energy (chakras) and rivers of energy (meridians) running through us. We’re complicated beings, so everything affects this flow. Emotional charges can be stuck in our body. Our broken heart literally needs energy healing. Undigested emotional bricks can end up blocking our digestion of food. It’s important to get to the root cause of dis-eases. A person can discover the root cause of why her/his body is manifesting a certain discomfort or dis-ease, and the body will eventually outgrow the need to maintain that discomfort or dis-ease.
One of the first steps to healing something is recognizing that it’s there. So if you can identify that something doesn’t feel right, whether it’s your body itself, an uncomfortable feeling in your gut, it’s important to explore what you’re feeling and ask yourself questions. Where is that sensation in my body? What does it feel like in that space? Is there a texture to it? Is there a color to the pain or sensation? Is there an emotion connected to it? Be patient and feel what you’re feeling. After giving it some awareness, notice any changes to the feeling in that area. Has is shifted? Then gently ask yourself what you need, see if your spirit moves you to do something or call someone. When the mind, body, and spirit are all moving in the same direction, true healing and wellness can flow.
Sophie: Could you describe the different forms wellness and self-care have taken throughout the different stages of your life thus far? How has your understanding of it grown and evolved?
Kara: When I was a young woman, wellness took the form of looking a certain way — staying fit, wearing nice clothes and shoes, and looking good. Wellness was also working hard, being smart, and accomplishing things. As a young mother, wellness also took the form of raising a healthy family and “managing” a lot of things well. Unfortunately, I got in the habit of taking care of other people and I didn’t do a very good job at taking care of myself. I forgot to take care of my own wellness! Now I’m back on track knowing that taking care of myself, my wellness, is my first priority and all my loved ones will benefit best from that anyways. My understanding of wellness has evolved into an understanding that each person has a unique path to wellness and it’s a lifelong journey.
How do you participate in your wellness journey? Feed your soul by doing things that you love to do. Appreciate your body by keeping it fluid and flexible. If you live in a stiff body, it will become brittle and break. If you keep your body flexible, like bamboo blowing in the wind, you will have adaptability in life and an agile body that bounces back. Do what it takes to unwind things that are disturbing you and don’t let them fester. Get to the root cause of your problems. Tell people why you admire them. Tell your friends and family you love them. Be brave! Have fun! These things give you energy to live life well.
Sophie: Do you have any self-care rituals you'd like to share?
Kara: A morning ritual that works for me is having a journal and pen right by my bedside so I can scribble down dreams, dream messages, and meaningful doodles. I try to scribble before my mind starts thinking. This is a way for messages to come from my soul. It’s amazing how much guidance and comfort can come from it. Music, singing, and drawing are also self-care tools for me because they feed my soul, touch my emotions, clear my mind, and bring me to the Good space. Deep breathing is also essential.
An evening ritual I have is showering off at night before I go to bed. I wash away the energies of the day. I think about how cleansing the water is and how it is rinsing away any tensions or frustrations from the day. I feel it cleansing down to the cellular level. I wash away energies from the outside world and then enjoy the luxury of the fresh water. You can also play with that and imagine colored water flowing over you. For instance, pink water would make you feel more loving while green water is relaxing and healing. You can use any color that feels good to you. I also love to nurture myself with organic, homemade facial scrubs or cleansing oils.
Sophie: Which influences have you found most meaningful in the development of your wellness and healing practice?
Kara: My father is a martial artist — a sixth-degree black belt — so, luckily, I grew up with an awareness of Chi, or life force energy. My mother always supported me and my talents and believed I could do whatever I chose to do in life. That’s a very good start! I was also influenced by the love and support of Jan, my spiritual mother and friend who is now 95. Jan was a great supporter of me as a person and also a supporter of the value of being there to help other people in life. She was a registered nurse, later a Hospice nurse, and eventually ran a clinic to provide loving Healing Touch treatments for anybody who needed it. I worked at that Clinic for years and was greatly influenced by her display of love and care for people. The role of deep care and loving touch in healing is often overlooked.
After providing sessions at my home and traveling to other people’s homes, I felt it would be a more efficient use of my time to have a business location. Then I began to envision having my own business where I could help bring energy work to the mainstream. Ironically, my background in the corporate world turned out to be a big influence in the development of my practice. Energy work is not an easy subject to describe or talk about. It needs to be experienced. My corporate background helped in the way I communicated and presented my work to business people. After my first year in business, I joined a BNI group, which is a business networking group, and this really helped put some roots down for my practice. I would say my business has been 100% referral-based. But most importantly, it was the higher wisdom, that inner calling, that said, “You have a special gift that can help people. You have got to do this.” that really was the driving force behind making this all happen.
Sophie: What led you to start working in energy healing?
Kara: I remember reading Marianne Williamson’s A Return to Love in my twenties and it really had an impact on me. I wanted to heal myself and to understand why I felt so much emotionally. Her book began to lead me on a path. I later learned that I am a Highly Sensitive Person, and instead of being frustrated with myself, it became a vital component of my work today. My opportunity to take a Healing Touch energy medicine class came through a friend at choir rehearsal. At that very first class, my connection to Chi came to life. I could feel it and quickly learned that I could work with it to heal pain, wounds, headaches, etc. The results of the energy work were profound and substantial, so I was hooked.
It was around this time that I saw Caroline Myss, Ph.D. on Oprah; I was amazed and still am! She is a medical intuitive who can see energy and “see” the illness in a patient’s body by intuitive means. I watched her do readings on people in the audience with 100% confidence and accuracy. She could even see the energy of memories and read things like, “I see a bicycle accident, you’re about 5 years old. Your knee never recovered from that.” She worked with Dr. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. who is a neurosurgeon and founder of the American Holistic Medical Association. She would do an intuitive reading and he would see if it matched with his medical diagnosis, which it did. She became most helpful by seeing the energy of a disease in the person before they even had any physical symptoms. So I read her books and furthered my expansion, learning, and passion.
I also read Louise Hay’s books. Louise Hay healed herself of ovarian cancer. She proved that by reversing the mental pattern that created her cancer, she would no longer need the cancer in her body, and it did indeed disappear. She did the mental work to change her mental patterns and also went to a nutritionist and detoxified her body. In six months, she got the medical profession to agree with what she already knew, that she no longer had any form of cancer. Her book, Heal Your Body is so useful — it’s basically a reference book of dis-eases and the correlating healing affirmations to use to heal them.
These women and their work endlessly inspired me. To expand on the energy medicine, my love of learning, helping, and reaching more people led me to study additional therapies that require more hands-on work with the physical body including Acupressure, Tui Na Chinese Massage, Craniosacral, and Chi Nei Tsang. Overall, it’s about unleashing the wisdom of the body and its natural ability to heal.
Sophie: What has this work brought to your life that you didn't find in the corporate world?
Kara: The corporate world can definitely elicit self-growth and expansion. However, this work has brought to me a profound sense of self-worth and has allowed me to embrace my authentic self. Additionally, there’s nothing more satisfying than helping people feel better and seeing them experience healing in their bodies and lives. I work with people from all walks of life, of all ages, and it’s been amazing to see how much we have in common. Life is not easy for any of us. Most of us have wonderful aspects of life to be grateful for, and most of us also have some extremely difficult and painful struggles in life that we’re dealing with. I’m so happy to provide a space where people can physically and emotionally digest these struggles in a helpful way. Unfortunately, our society doesn’t seem to reward showing vulnerability or exposing our sadness, doubts, and pains. Unless we find ways to be authentic and share these feelings and reach out to one another, our bodies will hide these feelings in our cells and manifest in headaches, heart aches, and other illnesses. So this work is important to me because it’s important to the wellbeing of people. In Jan’s 95 years, she shares with me that, “It all boils down to love.”
Sophie: Do you have any advice for women looking to start their own business in the health, wellness, or energy healing spaces?
Kara: Ask questions and be resourceful. Talk with people. Keep listening to your inner guidance. Don’t let fear stop you. Be authentically yourself and you will make it happen.
About the author:
Anne-Sophie Bousset ("Sophie" to English-speaking friends), is a freelance marketer and community builder. She helps companies build their brand, attract clients, and build a community around their product. Her favorite things include sunshine, yoga, reading, and lazy Sundays in with her cat, Phelps. She can be found on Twitter @Sophie_Bousset.