What is an Empath?

Tamara Low

- Certified EFT
- Pranic Healer

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It is estimated that around 3-5% of the population are Empaths (and around 15-20% are Highly Sensitive People (HSP’s). Someone who is an Empath, according to Jason Breyer, has the ability “to read and understand other people, by resonating with their emotions. This interpersonal connection can either be activated voluntarily or subconsciously. They are usually hyper sensitive, an attribute that enables them to extend beyond themselves into the other soul and capture their inward conditions. As a result, they could see beyond the superficial into the true intents of a person who might seem like an enigma to others” as it is not everyone who can function in this capacity.

Empaths feel everything (clairsentient) and they feel it deeply. They can absorb other people’s energy (both positive and negative) into their own bodies. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if what you’re feeling belongs to you or someone else. Judith Orloff feels that Empaths are more prone to take on the emotional or physical pain from others that they haven’t yet worked out in themselves. This trait also has a benefit or positive aspect, in that it allows us to deeply know what is going on with another person and to deeply connect with them. 

Having empathy means that our hearts go out to another person and what they are experiencing (happy or sad). Cognitive empathy is where one can see that another person is upset and the can put their mind there, but they don’t feel it. It is thought that the Narcissist, Sociopath and Psychopath have “empathy deficient disorder” according to Judith Orloff, which may be caused by an underactive mirror neuron system. They use cognitive empathy (empathy in their mind). They do not recognize the needs and feelings of another person, and can’t feel what is going on for them, so they do not feel responsible or truly care. It can appear like real empathy, so we have to be very aware. In Empaths, the brain’s mirror neuron system (responsible for compassion) is thought to be hyperactive. Stacy Hoch describes Egocentric Empathy as when we try to give someone what it is that we would want in the same situation. She says, this is where Codependents can get stuck. 

Empath Traits

Empaths have many unique traits and characteristics and there are many types of Empaths. In further describing the trait, Judith Orloff says:

“The empath’s body is different from other people’s. We feel everything. Our bodies are porous so we absorb the positive and negative energies (and emotions) around us into our muscles, tissues, and organs. This can affect our health in many important ways. On the positive side, we’re able to sense other people’s vitality, happiness, and love within ourselves. However, we can also feel other people’s physical discomfort, stress, and negative emotions, such as frustration, anger, and fear (even when they’re unspoken). As empaths, we can get tired and sick when we’re around toxic people, noise, violence, and rushing.”

Empaths are: 

  • Very sensitive to other’s tone of voice and body movements. 
  • Can hear what someone doesn’t say in words but communicate nonverbally and through silence.
  • Feel things first, then think, which is the opposite of how most people function in our society.
  • Very sensitive, creative, compassionate, and idealists.
  • Prone to social anxiety because they’re overwhelmed by the multiple spoken and unspoken signals people give off in groups (Judith).
  • Sensitive to rejection.
  • Have to be soft and delicate to absorb the vibes from other people instead of being tough and repelling all signals.
  • Can get hurt easily and need to be cautious about being taken advantage of.
  • Can pick up signals that emanate from other’s and are sensitive enough to break through the barriers and access their thoughts and feelings.
  • Have high intuition, they often just know things.
  • Absorb the emotions of others.
  • Have a gentle and kind nature.
  • Often give their hearts too easily to narcissists and other unavailable people.
  • Loving and trusting and expect others to also be that way. This can be a very difficult lesson to learn. 
  • Love to give and help.
  • Have BIG hearts.
  • Good listeners.
  • Love peace and harmony.
  • Find the good in people.
  • Deeply love and resonate with nature and animals.
  • Being in nature is essential for them to balance and heal.
  • Have sensitive senses.
  • Are often Introverted and have a minimal tolerance for socializing and small talk.
  • Can become exhausted and burnt out easily.
  • Often have difficulty with drama, people that talk constantly, and are demanding, inauthentic, and toxic.
  • Are bothered by lots of noise, crowds, anger, fighting, tension. 
  • Need A LOT of alone time to process things.

Susan Forward writes that people find it easy to be around Empaths because they pick up on your vibration and meet you where you are at.

How and Why Does Being an Empath Develop?

There is no membrane that separates Empaths from the world. Most other people have ‘defenses’ up. Judith Orloff explains her theory on why some people struggle to differentiate between their bodily feelings and other people’s:

“Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which two different senses are paired in the brain. However, with mirror-touch synesthesia, people actually feel the emotions and sensations of others in their own bodies, as if these emotions were their own. This is a wonderful neurological explanation of an empath’s experience.”

Further, she says, “childhood neglect or abuse can also affect sensitivity levels for adults. A portion of empaths I’ve treated have experienced early trauma, such as emotional or physical abuse, or were raised by alcoholic, depressed, or narcissistic parents. This could potentially wear down the usual healthy defenses that a child with nurturing parents develops. As a result of their upbringing, these children typically don’t feel “seen” by their families, and they also feel invisible in the greater world that doesn’t value sensitivity. In all cases, however, empaths haven’t learned to defend against stress in the same way others have.” 

Stacy Hoch is in agreement with this idea that ”the empath is built on or caused by poor parenting.” She says, “they have more dense energy because they have not had to hone in on staying super clear for the sake of survival. They were a child responsible for empath-ing the parent. The empathic baby or child is responding to the needs of the parent and have learned that it is literally what they have to do to survive! Someone that does not have to empathize with their parents is going to be more like oil in energy because they do not have to develop that skill to survive because the parent is going to meet their needs. The empath struggles to meet their own needs. They can be very self-destructive and self-sabotaging. It does not serve us to work out other people’s things for them.” For me, this deeply resonates as the root of Codependency. 

When Judith Orloff speaks about the “usual healthy defences” being potentially broken down due to difficult situations around them as a child, I believe that she is speaking about our aura that protects each and every one of us. More info in “What is Leaky Aura Syndrome?” 

Diane Kathrine, in her book “How to Heal Leaky Aura Syndrome: A Guide for Empaths” says, “distortions in the aura can appear from an early age and infant or childhood trauma and illness can result in a weakened aura. A receded aura is caused by experiencing deep hurt and rejection, feeling unloved or unworthy. It can be a knee-jerk reaction to retract the energy field, like retreating into a shell, as a way to prevent themselves from getting hurt again. When the aura shrinks it becomes destabilized and prone to damage. A strong aura protects against outside negativity, thoughts, energy and even disease. Through a healthy auric field you radiate inner power and draw in positivity. Your vibrant energy empowers others and helps raise their frequency.” Pranic Healing can greatly assist with healing and strengthening the aura and Leaky Aura Syndrome.

End Summary

To thrive (and heal) as an empath, we must address this on an energetic level and learn how to stop absorbing other people’s emotions and energy and learn to decipher what is yours and what is someone else’s; as well as how to stay balanced and grounded in over stimulating environments and around toxic people and situations. Pranic Healing has helped me in an immense and invaluable way in this regard and to to decipher what is my energy; what belongs to me, and what is someone else’s. I believe that learning this “modality” would deeply benefit all Empaths in navigating this trait! I look forward to sharing its enormous healing benefits with you!



Please see the contact page if you would like to let me know what you thought about this article, or if you are interested in receiving Empathic Heart Healing’s articles/blogs/newsletters or joining the facebook page. Thank you.

Related Articles:


  • Breyer, Jason. Empath – A Highly Sensitive Person – Develop your gift, use emotional intelligence to turn your high sensitivity into a superpower: Overcome negative mindsets and master your social skills . Kindle Edition. 
  • Hoch, Stacy. The Empoweress- YouTube. 
  • Forward, Susan. Mothers Who Can’t Love (pp. 146-147). Harper. Kindle Edition.
  • Orloff, Judith. The Empath’s Survival Guide (Kindle Locations 94-100, 207-284, 155-159,  169-170, 192-101). Sounds True. Kindle Edition.
  • Kathrine, Diane. How to Heal Leaky Aura Syndrome. 2017

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Internal Exploration Questions

These questions are just for you to ponder. You can fill it out and save it for your interest if you like. They can help us to get to the root of what is keeping us from TRUE us and our most authentic expression (which can often get buried for many reasons).

Click one of the buttons below and download your fillable PDF to your desktop. You can then fill in the form on your desktop and save it or print it out. If you experience any issues while filling in your form download Abode Acrobat Reader. It is a free software to help you properly use fillable PDF forms.

Internal Exploration Questions

These questions are just for you to ponder. You can fill it out and save it for your interest if you like. They can help us to get to the root of what is keeping us from TRUE us and our most authentic expression (which can often get buried for many reasons).

Click the button below and download your fillable PDF to your desktop. You can then fill in the form on your desktop and save it or print it out. If you experience any issues while filling in your form, download Abode Acrobat Reader. It is a free software to help you properly use fillable PDF forms.

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Codependent Free

A brief summary of Codependency (more in “Education")

Codependency is created by our attachment trauma. During the first 3 years of life we need to feel safe and secure with our parents or caregivers. Arielle Swartz says, “this allows us to develop a healthy sense of self that forms the foundation for our ability to develop meaningful, healthy relationships with others.” If we experience fear, unpredictability, uncertainty, neglect, rage, indifference, abuse, emotional unavailability, etc. the natural attachment process is disrupted, causing trauma, which can result in deep and lasting challenges for those that have experienced it (until its dealt with).

Jason Breyer describes Codependency as “a psychological and behavioural condition based on faulty programming and emotional wounds, which affects someone’s capacity to have healthy, mutually satisfying relationships.” Stacy Hoch describes Codependency as an image disorder built on the idea and belief that you should be more concerned with what others think of you than what you think of you, the idea that I do not exist without other’s validation and trying to fill inner voids vicariously by filling others. She says, for the sake of others, the Codependent harms themselves and Narcissist for the sake of themselves harms other people. If left unchecked, the pattern of Codependency may be passed from one generation to the next. See “What is Codependency?”, and “Healing and Understanding Codependency.”

Codependency Programming (but not limited to):

Codependency programming ensures that our identity, love, validation, approval, peace, and sense of safety is solely reliant on others. We falsely believe that other people and situations are responsible for our happiness or lack thereof. We completely abandon ourselves and our wounded and deeply afraid inner child(ren) for the sake of others. This can feel like an emotional, psychological, and physical prison that may come to feel like this is how things will always be, that it’s somehow our fate. In summary, its:  

-An external dependency on others for acceptance, validation, approval, and to feel good about ourselves. 

-Not having your own solid identity, becoming void of ourselves for the sake of someone else.

How it may show itself- coping mechanisms

-We seek permission from others. 

-Our self-esteem is validated by what we do and by others’ opinions of us. 

-We can struggle to meet our own needs. 

-Asserting oneself is almost impossible.

-We create behaviours that assist in denying, ignoring or preventing difficult emotions. 

-Can be very self-destructive and self-sabotaging as being self- abusive is what we were taught. 

-Codependents often isolate themselves- deep core shame and loneliness is at the heart of this.


There are many wonderful ways, tools, techniques, books, on-line videos, classes, therapies, therapists, modalities, support groups, etc. available to assist us in learning and understanding Codependency and to help heal its deep and many layers! The energetic hold of Codependency programming is strong. In order to heal, attachment trauma needs to be addressed, as well as inner child work (I encourage you to seek out those that specialize in these areas for support) and looking at and identifying deep unconscious programming, beliefs, behaviours, and thoughts. I believe that this is the level that Energy Psychology (Emotional Freedom Techniques) really shines! I am extremely passionate about assisting others in addressing the deep energetic layers of Codependency.

If you are interested in a list of, “Codependent Thoughts and Beliefs to Tap On” (Emotional Freedom Techniques can be also referred to as “Tapping”) please email me and I will send that to you.

If  you are interested in more about Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse see “What is Narcissism?, “How to Understand and Identify Narcissistic Abuse”, and “Healing from Narcissistic Abuse.

**My writing is geared towards Empaths and Highly Sensitive People, but it is ultimately for anyone desiring to learn, grow, heal and explore


  • BREYER, JASON. Empath – A Highly Sensitive Person – Develop your gift, use emotional intelligence to turn your high sensitivity into a superpower: Overcome negative mindsets and master your social skills . Kindle Edition.
  • Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT, Ross. The Human Magnet Syndrome: The Codependent Narcissist Trap . Morgan James Publishing. Kindle Edition. 
  • Schwartz, Arielle Dr. Complex PTSD and Attachment Trauma (article). Oct 2019. 

Areas of Interest, Services and Goals

Areas of Interest:

I am passionate about assisting Empaths and Highly Sensitive  People in the areas of our lives that hold us back from our TRUE selves, passions and calling(s). My goal is to:

  • Assist in removing, eliminating and clearing the energetic blocks, hurt, pain and fear that keep us from our true selves, and our hopes, goals, dreams and desires.
  • Assist others with emotional pain; including  Narcisstic Abuse, and with their unique challenges and struggles.
  • Assist others in exploring, eliminating, and dismantling old limiting patterns and belief systems that keep us stuck, hidden and in pain (eg. beliefs that we took on or were taught about ourselves as children).
  • Assist others in recognizing, identifying and healing Codependent belief systems and the multitude of ways that Codependency affects us, impacts us, impedes us, and holds us back, eg. keeping us small, hidden and invisible.
  • Offer energetic and educational support for Empaths and Highly Sensitive People.

Under “About”, see Internal Inquiry Questions, such as, “What is getting in the way of your truest and deepest expression?”, and an Internal Inquiry Questions about Codependency. 

The Ultimate Goal

Living a life that is in line with TRUE us.

Being whole, happy, energetic, vibrant, and free.

Achieving and perusing our true and deepest desires (in spite of what anyone thinks).

Reconnecting with our TRUE self and locating our TRUE- est and DEEPEST calling.

Celebrating Empathy and the gifts of High Sensitivity.  

Developing kindness, gentleness and compassion towards ourselves.

**This is a process. We can take daily steps toward achieving these goals.

My Services

I offer support  for those that desire to explore their inner world to excavate their TRUE self and their deepest and truest goals, passions and desires; for those that desire to go on an emotional wellness scavenger hunt, with the goal of cleaning the old clutter and finding the true gem that is YOU.

Pranic Psychotherapy is Pranic Healing applied in energetically preventing and treating Psychological ailments, where stress is at the root. This is where I like to focus. Pranic Healing works with the chakra system and the auric layers.

Emotional Freedom Techniques works with the meridian system to clear energetic blocks or disruptions that get in the way of our health (physical and emotional). It is one of the MOST powerful somatic (body) release techniques.

Emotional Freedom Techniques and Pranic Healing both assist in regulating our Nervous System. 


Welcome to Empathic Heart Healing

Empaths and Highly Sensitive People (HSP’s) have unique ways of experiencing, feeling, sensing, observing, perceiving, processing, and absorbing the world around them. They feel things deeply; including love, beauty and joy and also pain, hurt, and sorrow.

Emotional pain or struggle is a block or disruption in our body’s energy system and can stem from countless places, unique to you and your situation. My passion to assist Empaths and HSP’s in understanding, accessing, and releasing the root cause (feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and emotions) of the energy block(s) or disturbances. Codependency, is just one manifestation of emotional pain, and an example of how our TRUE selves can get buried, or hidden (at the beginning of our lives), and stay this way until it is safe to re-emerge.

Other avenues might be narcissistic abuse, heartache/hearttbreak, infertility, low self- esteem, rejection (initially from others- and then towards ourselves), neglect, and you can  insert your experience(s) here. When we are in emotional pain, there are corresponding feelings such as shame, sadness, grief, guilt, fear, loneliness, anger, isolation, and despair, just to name a few. Our body gives us clues through feelings and sensations as to what is happening within us as well as how we feel around others and in certain environments.

Emotional Freedom Techniques, also called EFT, or “Tapping” can assist us in identifying, releasing, clearing, and healing the energetic and emotional blocks, beliefs, fears, and barriers that limit us and keep us stuck, small, and hidden, so that we can access and get re-in touch with our deepest, fullest, truest and most authentic expression- as well as deep inner peace, vibrant health, light-heartedness, joy, play, passion, bliss and vitality.

Every one of us has a unique energy/energy vibration, traits, purpose(s), gifts, talents, abilities, etc. to offer, to offer others, and contribute to the world. We all have unique goals, dreams and desires.  Blocks in our energy system can derail or make difficult, any one of these. My deepest and truest desires for EVERYONE is to live and express themselves in the deepest, truest, freest, and most authentic way possible!!

When we are young we learn by watching, observing, and adapting to our surroundings. We are often told by our parent(s), caregivers, society, etc. who they think we are, who they think that we should be, and who they want us to be, do, say, or act like. As we get older these adaptations and beliefs can become a hindrance. We can be controlled by a belief that was learned and taught, which does not even have its origins in who we are, and how we desire to live.

As an example, I recently explored an old, worn out belief of mine with an EFT colleague. That is, “I am only worthy, only if I am being productive, and that “play” is a waste of time.” Yikes! This is a belief that I learned and took on as “truth” very early on- a learned family pattern. It was impacting me in numerous ways (which were not in line with TRUE me). This is certainly not a belief that I want to pass on to my son! I LOVE the magic and power of EFT! and Pranic Healing!! My goal is to provide a safe, compassionate, secure, and non- judgemental space for you to peel back the layers of what no longer serves you and holds you back from TRUE you….

This quote from Judith Orloff, the author of “The Empath’s Survival Guide” sums this up perfectly and resonates with me deeply:

“I’ve seen how empaths are often “chosen” to break the generational patterns of negativity in their families. They don’t necessarily volunteer for this role on a conscious level, but it’s nonetheless their destiny to fulfill it. When empaths heal themselves and say “yes” to honouring their sensitivities, they are saying “NO” to patterns of abuse, neglect, and addiction that have been repeated in their relatives. The intergenerational transmission of pain stops with them. Through their recovery and the acceptance of their gifts, empaths are the ones who can repair the greater familial whole. Mindful, conscious people are the most effective agents of change.”



If you are familiar with EFT, or you would like to explore more about EFT, and how it can be used for Codependency, please email me and I will send you a copy of “Codependent Beliefs, Thoughts, Feelings, and Emotions to Tap on.”


  • Orloff, Judith. The Empath’s Survival Guide (pp. 207-208). Sounds True. Kindle Edition.