Are You a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or Empath?
Have you felt misunderstood much if not all all of your life, and/or like you didn't fit
Do you feel you have a more finely-tuned nervous system than most
If so, you might be part of the 15-20% of the population with the trait of
being Highly Sensitive.
Understanding what this means may well provide the missing piece to
understanding yourself that can make all the difference--in your health, your relationships, your own sense of
So what does it mean to be "Highly Sensitive"?
First, please note that High Sensitivity in this sense is an inborn trait,
found in approximately 20% of more than 100 species, not just humans.
Dr. Elaine Aron, whose book, The Highly Sensitive
Person and research put High
Sensitivity on the map, delineates four characteristics of High Sensitivity, for which she uses the acronym
DOES. The distinctives include:
1.) Depth of
Processing. You take in more information, from your five senses
and also unconsciously and energetically, and you process it more deeply in your brain than “the other 80%.” Highly
Sensitive People (HSPs) may be Extraverted (approximately 30% of all HSPs), meaning they get their energy from
being with people and from lots of outside stimulation—yet they also need to process all that deeply and need a
break from the stimulation as well. Introverted HSPs (70% or so) recharge from being alone and reflecting, and they
absolutely need this time to function optimally.
Overstimulated. Because HSPs take in so
much, it’s easy to get overstimulated. This can be felt as anxiousness or shyness. What’s really happening is
the nervous system is getting overloaded and the optimal level of arousal is exceeded. Our extremely
stimulating world can present a real challenge to HSPs who don’t realize what’s really going on with their
nervous systems. It's an especial challenge to Highly Sensitive
Extroverts, who are drawn to interact with
people and the world, but then get overstimulated.
3.) Emotionally reactive and Empathetic. The parts of the brain that register emotion are more active in HSPs, and they are
more emotionally responsive to everything. Also, they are more empathetic. Many HSPs can actually feel what
someone else is feeling as if it were happening to them. They can also take on other people’s energy, if they
don’t know how to deal with this. (I have techniques I teach my HSP clients that help greatly with
4.) Awareness of
Stimuli. HSPs pick up on subtleties in the
environment that other people do not. They are often more sensitive to temperature, the feel of clothing on their
skin, loud noises, smells, subtle changes in the environment, other people's emotions, etc. This is part of what
can lead to the overstimulation—HSPs just take in more.
All of these characteristics can be great strengths—if you know how to work
with them. However, much in our environment and upbringing goes against what an HSP needs to
Understanding what it means to be Highly Sensitive, healing the
wounds, and learning to thrive as an HSP has been one of the most transforming experiences of my
life. I find many of my clients
are Highly Sensitive, and I (as an HSP married to an HSP and mother to an HSP son, perhaps an extroverted HSP
daughter) am passionate about helping others who have this trait to heal and
The Healing Codes seem to be
particularly well-suited to healing HSP issues, more than any other modality I'm aware of
The Healing Codes you get
more permanent relief because you're healing the source. Highly Sensitive People process everything very deeply,
and need and benefit most from an approach that can get at and heal at the deepest
For more information
specifically about High Sensitivity and healing, sign up below.