When longtime Charlestown resident Shawna Pelton was chronically ill, she looked to doctors to alleviate her ailments. But the best they could do was treat her symptoms, not eradicate the central problem. “You’ll probably have to be on medication for the rest of your life,” one doctor told Pelton, whose mouth was agape at the dismal statement.
She was in her early 20s and a single mother, too young to be dealing with the stresses that were compromising her health and her happiness. Pelton had to make a life-altering decision for herself and her son Eoghan, who was only two-years-old at the time.
“The stress of everything sent me spiraling out of controI. I had to make a decision to step out of that pain,” Pelton said. “I was always sick, and I was always looking for someone else to fix me. I had all sorts of immune system issues and depression. I just felt low, heavy and dense.”
The day she gained clarity, Pelton was at the doctor’s office receiving another medication for yet another problem. “I thought something’s really not okay here,” she remembered. Moving out of the fog, Pelton started reading books and feeding her desire to find the health, happiness and harmony that she always believed was within her.
“It was such a tumultuous journey out, and I did it on my own,” she said proudly. “Once I started applying the knowledge I was learning to my life, I became very conscious of what I was feeling, and being in the moment,” she added.
Now, 12 years and countless energy healing classes later, Pelton is a popular holistic healer in the Charlestown and Greater Boston community. After reclaiming her own life using the alternative practice, Pelton felt it was her calling to help guide others onto the path of their highest potential.
“If I didn’t get to that low, I wouldn’t get to this high,” she said. “I’m relatable because of my own personal journey. I was a walking mess, on all kinds of medications. I wasn’t in line with my path…The moment I experienced health for myself, I had that ‘Aha’ moment, this is my path.”
But there are people who aren’t aware of holistic healing, and that’s where Pelton steps in. A little over a year ago, she began practicing holistic healing independently within Charlestown’s nurturing environment. And now she’s giving back by aiding those who suffer from various traumas through her natural solutions.
“People have been very receptive,” Pelton, who also travels as a speaker for events and does long distance phone consultations, said. “There’s an energy involved in healing. I started with the physical stuff and did diets and detoxes for people. But I realized that it wasn’t sustainable; focusing on the physical wasn’t enough. You have to go deeper.”
Some of Pelton’s methods include hypnosis, Reiki energy healing, herbal and nutritional consultation, and the most popular method, heart forgiveness— part lecture series, part hypnosis, meant to put people into alignment with their natural alignment by releasing certain traumas or pains which either physically or emotionally burden people.
According to Pelton, it is unhealthy to harbor negative feelings from unfavorable events. She works with people who have been bullied, in abusive relationships, and those suffering from grievances after losing a loved one. But no matter what the issue is, as soon as it is released, life becomes easier.
“The first thing is to recognize how you feel, and accept it. You can be happy with yourself but still have old grievances, and those negative emotions that come up can be toxic. So by living presently, and confirming your wellness, that all is well right here, right now, all that pain goes away. I simply facilitate that process,” Pelton explained.
Clients of Pelton have told her that her practice changed their lives and their relationships, and has helped them learn how to react when presented with a challenge. “My clients have changed their patterns to live with a lighter heart. I help people of all ages and all issues. It’s nice to be seen as someone who can support their journey,” she said.
People tend to fixate on the many thoughts that flow through their heads in a given minute, that clearing the mind is seen as a task. Pelton, like anyone, deals with this as well. To become a clear channel and cleanse her mind of static energy, Pelton practices breathing deeply, creating a safe space for positive energy to flow freely.
“The trick is to practice it regardless of how you’re feeling. Then it becomes naturalized in your system. So like any mastery, you have to go practice. It’s about practicing the mastery of yourself,” she said.