Dr. Judith Orloff's
Guide to Intuitive Healing: Five Steps
to Physical, Emotional and Sexual Wellness A Conversation with Dr. Judith Orloff
by Sydney L. Murray
Lifes full splendor forever
lies in wait about each one of us in all of its fullness,
but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is
there, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon
it by the right word, by the right name, it will come.
This quote articulates for me all of the wonders of spirit.
Our spiritual nature is always with us, whether, we are aware
of it or not. Developing this inner voice is much like developing
any other skill: practice, experience some success and more
practice. Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Judith
Orloff, M.D., an amazing woman, expert on intuition and psychiatrist.
Orloff is part of a group of medical professionals who embrace
the intuitive, spiritual and energetic properties of our bodies.
SLM: Would you mind articulating your
thoughts on intuition?
JO: Intuition is a form of nonlinear knowledge that comes
through by listening to the body, being open to sights, smells,
images, poetry, knowing, songs, anything that comes through
in a nonlinear way. Its the antithesis of logical thinking.
With logical thinking you analyze A + B + C. With intuition
you put out your request, you stay open and you wait. Intuition,
for most people, is a still, small voice inside that needs
to be uncovered and honored, but gets drowned out by the mind,
because the mind is so loud. Listen to your intuition, it
is a potent form of inner wisdom not mediated by the rational
mind. People often experience it as a gut feeling or a hunch,
a physical sensation or a dream. What I hope to do in my book,
Dr. Judith Orloffs Guide to Intuitive Healing,
is to train people to listen to this kind of intuitive input.
Then they have a choice: to analyze something with their minds
and/or include intuition into the decision making process.
I dont teach intuition as something esoteric, I teach
it as something practical to be used in the world in which
It took me seven years to write my first book, Second Sight,
because I was afraid of what my colleagues would think. Yet,
Im encouraged and Id like to integrate what is
good in traditional medicine with intuition and spirituality.
I have quite a love for traditional medicine. I give workshops
for health-care professionals all over the country teaching
them how to bring intuition and spirituality into patient
care. This May, I will be speaking at the American Psychiatric
Associations annual meeting in Chicago on 'How Intuition
can Enhance Patient Care.' Its a breakthrough because
the APA is a very mainstream, ultra-conservative organization
and I may be the first intuitive psychiatrist to speak before
them. In addition, the head of the psychiatric residency program
at UCLA has approached me and asked me if I would allow myself
to be studied by them. I would do intuitive readings (during
sessions) with my patients and they (UCLA) would determine
if they were accurate or not. I have a good sense that something
positive will happen, hopefully it will be written up in a
medical journal and will begin to legitimize this work.
There is a great need among people to be seen intuitively
and spiritually by someone with a traditional medical background.
People suffer tremendously and they dont know why, but
its because theyve lost this critical part of
themselves. The reason I wanted to outline intuitive development
in five steps is that people are longing for a way to consciously
integrate intuition into their lives. Its really helpful
to have some kind of strategy and plan. These are five
steps I use in my own life every day, Orloff explained.
With that, I asked if we could go over each one and she kindly
I. Notice Your Beliefs
Its so important for us to define what our beliefs are.
I believe that people need to identify how much they believe
in love. Because love is the force of healing and I think
everyone on the healing path has to make a decision whether
theyre going to commit their life to a life of love
and do everything they can to achieve that. This includes
love of the body, love of the self, love of others, love of
the planet. They have to decide how important love is to them.
And then understand that everything they do depends on this,
II. Be In Your Body
In Western culture were raised with a loathing of the
body. Most people are taught to function from the neck up,
yet the body is a highly nuanced, intuitive receptor. If we
begin to listen to the subtler signals the body sends, we
can prevent illness. These signals can warn us about unhealthy
relationships, help awaken us to our sexuality, or give us
information about death, really about anything. I believe
each person needs to know his/her own anatomy, yet most people
are disgusted by the body, the bodys secretions: tears,
urine, semen, menstrual blood. If you have these beliefs and
you become ill, healing could be difficult. We need to reframe
the beauty of our bodies. Intuition can allow us to do that.
It often means redefining beliefs weve had since childhood.
Getting in touch with ones sexuality is part of our
physical and emotional health. In our society we donít
connect sexuality with the heart. What I hope to do is to
redefine sexuality, combining sexuality, heart, intuition
and spirit. This makes sexuality extremely potent and it has
to do with being able to feel the subtle energies in our bodies
and working with all of them. I had an experience in the 80s
where I was doing a workshop on Kauai, Hawaii. We were about
to enter a period of silence and fasting and I went down to
the shore through this beautiful jungle and I put my hand
on a tree as I was watching the sunset. I remember feeling
this incredible erotic energy rushing from the tree through
my hand into my body. And my mind was saying, Whats
going on here? Luckily I didnt analyze it, I just
allowed this energy to flow and I experienced a total body
orgasm from the erotic energy of that tree. Its something
Ill never forget because what that taught me is that
nature is a tremendous source of ecstasy and eroticism. III. Sense Your Bodys Subtle
We have these bodies of flesh and blood, but we also have
energy fields which permeate the body and extend many feet
beyond it. In Chinese Medicine its called chi. Its
also called Shakti, the basic life force. With intuition you
can feel this energy. As a psychiatrist, I read my patients
energy every time I see them, because how people hold their
subtle energy tells you a lot diagnostically. In terms of
subtle energies, theres a law that we attract what we
are: Love attracts love, fear attracts fear, kindness attracts
kindness. If you have a lot of fear, you might attract that
which you fear. You attract what you fear so you can learn
from it, not as a form of punishment but as a learning experience.
Some people whom you meet give off tremendous heart energy
and they are wonderful to be around. Theyre giving off
love which we feel mid-chest, which is the heart chakra. Other
people give off very little of that energy and itís
very difficult to be around them. If I was to sense that lack
of heart energy, that gives me a clue as a psychiatrist to
help this person open his/her heart.
IV. Asking For Inner Guidance
Asking for inner guidance is a way of turning to your intuition
and asking for advice. The most important way of doing this
is through meditation, which requires silence and breathing.
When thoughts come, let them go by like clouds in the sky.
Focus on the
breath to find a place of silence. Once in that place of silence,
you can ask for things: Please guide me to open my heart
in this relationship;. Please guide me how to heal this illness;
Please guide me on how to heal this depression. Then
you wait for messages or impressions, knowing, sights, smells,
sounds,dont analyze them when they come in, but when
youre finished meditating, write them down in a journal.
The hardest part for most people is to act on what they're
told. So many times people get this great intuitive information,
but because its impractical or difficult, they dont
act on it. And if there is one thing I can impress upon you,
is to please act on it (this information) and trust it, because
it can only give you goodness. Years ago when I first started
to develop my intuition, I had a dream that told me to become
a psychiatrist, to become an M.D., to have the credentials
which would help legitimize the intuitive realm. If I hadnt
listened, my life would be very different. I wouldnt
have found my dream. I give this example to encourage everyone
who reads this article to please listen (to your intuition)
and at least give it a try. You dont have to commit
a hundred percent to what your dreams and/or intuition tell
you, but at least put it into motion to see if there is something
there for you. I think its a revolutionary stand to
trust your intuition. V. Listening To Your Dreams
Remembering dreams is a form of awakening. As a psychiatrist
and in my workshops, I teach people how to remember their
dreams because it is a potent form of intuitive awakening.
The trick to remembering dreams is to have a dream journal
and pen right by the bed. Make it as easy for yourself as
possible and before you go to sleep ask a question. When you
wake up, the secret is not to get up too fast, just lay there
in the hypnogogic state between sleep and waking. If your
answer doesnt come through, keep trying it for a week
and stay very patient. Sometimes people need help with dream
interpretation and thats where a therapist, or someone
who works with dreams would be helpful. I dont believe
any dream is insignificant. People have repetitive nightmares
for years and the point isnt to torment you. The point
is that your intuition is
turning up the volume.
I loved a line in Dr. Orloffsbook
that said intuition like healing, has an aesthetic to it.
I asked her to expound on this. Orloff proclaimed, The
language that I most liken to intuition is poetry, because
theres a beautiful aesthetic that blends with nature
that is very poetic, and I ask you to begin to get in touch
with the sensuality of intuition. How it feels in the body
and how it relates to the clouds in the sky. Often when I
ask for intuitive advice I look up at the night sky and I
ask the stars because there is such a close connection between
our intuition and all of nature. The way I teach intuition
is to get in touch with ones heart, the loving kindness
for oneself and others. Love is the force that can heal. And
when we connect with that in ourselves, or we give it to someone
else, it can accelerate the healing process. Always come from
your heart, you cant go wrong. Ive committed myself
to a life of love and Ill do everything in my life to