Are You an Impoverished Healer?

Are you someone who helps others  . . . and you're broke? Your struggles have a name and you aren't alone. 

by Sarah Petruno, Shamana

I walked into my family’s pantry and surveyed the food that we had available to prepare a meal for that night’s dinner.

There wasn’t much. Some lentils, a can of tomato paste, maybe some yeast.

Things had been hard before and I’d been forced to be creative, but it was nothing like this. We had barely anything to scrape together a meal, and I wasn’t sure how we would eat that night or even the next.

I didn’t know where our next meal was coming from - and in that moment, I decided that I’d had enough.

We’d been homeless, foodless, and running water, and electricity-less all within my early days practicing as a healer. It went on for far longer than I’d ever imagined or hoped.

I was helping and healing people for free, donation, or for what I considered to be modest rates, and we were broker than broke.

Here I stood, at my near-empty pantry, with blogs to write and people to help, and I burst into tears.

Immediately, it dawned upon me that I was living the thousands of years old drudgery that plagues most healers:


Working tirelessly to help others, while you yourself live without access to basic necessities or the ability to pay for them without assistance.

The Impoverished Healer

Are you someone who helps others  . . . and you're broke? Your struggles have a name and you aren't alone. 

Does my story sound similar to yours?

Are you stuck in a cycle of not having enough, not being able to afford, and wondering where your next meal is going to come from while obsessively checking and tracking your bank account?

. . . . meanwhile, do you, either professionally, in your spare time, or as a hobby, help and heal others? You could be a traditional, western medical doctor, a reiki healer, a chiro, a shaman, or even the friend that everyone always asks for help.

If you’re a healer in some capacity, and you’re struggling - pay attention.

This is a cycle that has gone on thousands of years. Thousands. Healers have been trapped in a cycle, life after life, of using their gifts and abilities to help others, while also being ostracized into the lower rungs of the financial success ladder. What this means is that you have likely lived more than one life broker than broke. This isn’t your first rodeo struggling financially.

This is what I like to call the Impoverished Healer Syndrome.

And today, right now, over 90% of non-traditional healers struggle with making ends meet, especially in the earliest years of practicing professionally. Even traditional, mainstream western healers do too.

There are many reasons why healers get trapped in a cycle of impoverishment, including:

  • Outside expectations from others that gifts of healing need to be shared freely and at no or minimal cost, with no consideration of how the healer will make ends meet
  • Your personal feeling that your gifts need to be offered without pay, or that they are not worth charging {much} for
  • Societal stigma against patronizing or visiting a non-traditional healer
  • Attracting potential clients who are not willing to pay for the services of a non-traditional healer, where they might pay for the services of a traditional doctor in the same circumstance
  • Your own lifelong (and previous life) patterns of offering freely with no boundaries
  • Your own relationship with money, as guided by your environment growing up and your past lives
  • . . . and so. many. more.

Even if you are not professionally practicing as a healer right now, you likely have practiced as a healer in previous lives. Your beliefs and relationships with money can stay with you as move through lives and influence how you interact with money and wages in this life.

Struggling as a healer is not uncommon, in fact, it’s kind of the standard across the board.

Know that you aren’t alone.

As a healer, giving to others is what. you. do.

Your soul purpose and mission is to help others, and to help them, you must give. Learning to develop a balance between how much you give, when, and for what in return is perhaps the biggest lesson that all healers must overcome so that they can break free of the struggle-cycle.

It’s hard to be the best version of yourself, or the best healer you can be, when you’re running on fumes and at stress level 9 worrying about the electric bill.

To stop the struggle, you have to re-evaluate your relationship with money and how it came to be this way. You have to ask yourself questions about your own feelings of worth, about how those around you value and respect you, and what patterns you may be holding onto from childhood or even past lives that pertain to money. You have to focus on what you do have, rather than what you don’t have.

For real.

The first thing you can do to start?

The next time you catch yourself saying or thinking, “I don’t have . . . . (enough money for, any food, enough to pay the bill, etc.).”

Stop yourself.

What do you have? Are your lights on now? Do you have a full belly right now? Do you have laughter in your home?

The easiest thing you can do to change your story from that of an impoverished healer, is to tell a different story. And you can start that today.

With Love,


What to read next: 

11 Resources For Healing Your Relationship With Money

Ready to stop struggling? Heal your past life through past life regression, soul retrieval, and karmic clearing. Learn how here

LAST UPDATED: September 18, 2015

Disclaimer: By law, we are required to state that we are not a medical doctors, the information presented here is for education purposes only, and our advice is not meant to be replaced for medical diagnosis and/or treatment by your doctor. This website is run by a shaman and an herbalist. The statements made on this blog and website represent our view of the world given our unique set of life experiences. These are truths as we see and understand the world at the time the words were written. Statements here have not been evaluated by the FDA and are meant for educational purposes only. We cannot guarantee successful outcomes. Your health is your responsibility. Please view our full terms & conditions and site disclaimers, located in the webpage footer.

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