Emma Champtaloup was only three-years-old when she experienced her first hands-on healing session from an aunt in her native New Zealand, but it wasn't until twenty years later—with a successful modeling career in tow—that she embarked on her own journey to become a healer. The catalyst was a session with a practitioner in Australia who was recommended to her by a friend.
After just one hour, Emma felt the profound effect of the healing that occurred between herself and the healer’s hands and was ignited with the intention to connect with her inner self on a deeper level and to learn how to heal others. "When the healer first touched me, I had a feeling in my body unlike ever before. It was like I knew I was home," she explains. Upon closer examination, Emma realized that this feeling was actually love—an unconditional kind of love and stillness that allowed her to finally accept herself, flaws and all. From that point forward, Emma resolved to do everything in her power to support this special, newfound feeling. Initially, that meant adopting healthier eating habits, quitting stimulants, and refraining from alcohol. Eventually, it meant living each day via a series of self-loving actions and studying everything she could to understand energy, and how to reconnect with her true self and help others also to do so.
Although that might sound relatively straightforward, to arrive at a place where you’ve healed yourself enough to heal others is no mean feat. "You can’t love or heal anybody else until you truly love yourself,” says Emma, “but to get to that place requires an amount of honesty that can sometimes feel painful. As humans, we love comfort, so letting go of attachments to foods, relationships, or behavioral patterns is a tough process. When you’re finally able to, you’ll feel a fullness and stillness in your body that nothing else can compare with. And from here everything evolves and becomes greater, and truer, your relationships and all.”
After a 16-month hiatus from the fashion world to focus on understanding this process and the sacred energy that, with practice, a healer can tap into, Emma returned to modeling in September 2013 and now splits her time between the two professions. Although seemingly at odds, the juxtaposition of the two worlds is actually mutually beneficial: Working as a model allows her to understand the pressures her clients may encounter, and working as a healer enables her to tap into a calm space even when in the most hectic of fashion moments. Case in point: We spoke to her while she was at Coachella and she meditated before she closed a Proenza Schouler show at New York Fashion Week. Here, Emma clarifies what healing really means, breaks down the key to overcoming obstacles, and explains what the power of self-love can do for you:
What is healing?
"Healing is simply about reconnecting to who you are in full. In action, that means taking steps towards your true inner self every day. Each step you take is thereby an action of self-love, so every breath and action should be made in awareness of what is true and loving for you. It's a constant evolution and an amazing process and in doing it, you’re able to share more love with others too."
What does a typical healing session consist of?
"Every session is different because every client is different. Sometimes people just need to talk and go into the depths of their emotions, but more often, I practice hands-on healing because so many people aren't able to communicate their inner feelings. To do this, the client will lay on a healing table and I will feel into different parts of their body in a non- invasive 'hands on' the body approach, helping transmute energy from the client, from what is not love, back into Love. This is an undeniable feeling. It’s hard to define hands on healing, but essentially the practitioner and the client are working together with a higher energetic power to heal the body from the hurts, and illnesses, and simply reimprinting the energy back to truth, so again the client is whole. Sessions can also include meditation, and of course nominating (talking).”
What are the most common energy blockages related to?
"The world is designed to keep us away from our stillness, meaning that we are constantly bombarded by the media, advertising, and temptations in the form of sugar, and alcohol. This relentless barrage means that we are faced with an ongoing flow of negativity, and illusion, which results in us feeling lost, unworthy and a total lack of self love. Living a life of self-love is about every single step, so try to be aware that every choice that you make should support you—from the breakfast you eat, to the music you play. If you're unsure, think about the way that you closed the last door you encountered. Were you mindful and gentle when you turned the handle or did you slam it without a thought? When you live a life that's full of self-love, it's like your eyes are finally wide open. You’ll start to figure out your own puzzle and feel empowered to live a life that doesn't connect to any rhythm but your own."
How does one recover from a step that is not self-loving?
"Self-love is about understanding yourself and never beating yourself up, so the key is knowing why you took a non-loving step in the first place. You'll often find that the answer is quite painful and related to a number of anxieties you've been trying to avoid. When you’ve found the answer, accept and allow. Give yourself love and let yourself be in that place. Then think about what steps you need to take to get out of there. There are no wrong choices, just not self-loving choices, so allow yourself to feel how you feel.”
How do you approach self-love in terms of your diet?
"My diet is dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine-free, but rich in all the good foods the world has to offer: healthy proteins, fish, nuts, and vegetables. I eat a minimal amount of fruit also. If people are new to healthy eating, I suggest a gradual refinement process. Initially for me that meant switching from caffeinated coffee to decaffeinated coffee, before eventually giving coffee altogether. There's more awareness in the world when it comes good quality food, so there are always other options.”
What are your daily rituals?
"As soon as I wake up, I make sure to check in with myself. I have a special space in my house that I go to everyday to light a candle and meditate. After that, I express my feelings in a journal. It almost feels like I'm writing a prayer each day, but really it's just letting out everything that's in my body. Only once these two things are completed do I check my phone and log in to the world. I repeat the same ritual before I go to sleep. Doing this everyday helps make life flow more beautifully because I’m putting myself first and living in accordance with self-love."
If people do just one thing, what should it be?
"Every day should begin with you, so set your alarm clock ten minutes earlier than you usually do every morning. Either sit up in bed or find a calm spot in your home and just take five minutes to focus on your breath: It should be gentle and at the tip of your nose. Doing this creates a strong connection to your inner self and will help to ground and stabilize you for the rest of the day.”
By Elsa de Berker for Semaine
Special thanks to VIVA talent.