Anya Shepelavey, Certified Emotion Code Practitioner, Shamanic Healing Practitioner, Certified Angel
Q. Please introduce yourself.
A. My name is Anya Shepelavey and my practice is Star Heart Healing. I'm a certified emotion code practitioner, a shamanic healing practitioner, and a certified angel guide. I help women in “emotional overwhelm” to release negative emotions that are sabotaging them so that they can connect inward and walk through life in a way that feels more true to who they are in their hearts.
Q. What is emotion code?
A. It's an energy healing framework. It's taught by Dr. Bradley Nelson, a chiropractor.
Q. And what does it look like?
A. It's based on the notion that your body holds the memory of everything that's happened to you. We go through so much daily that we can't possibly maintain all those experiences on a conscious level because it would be overwhelming. The way our biology works is that we file away a lot of information into our subconscious. But none of the experiences that we've ever had in our life actually go away. They're just contained in the memory in our bodies.
It's also based on the idea that certain emotions can feel extremely overwhelming at certain stages of our development. If there's trauma, our body will process it in whatever way it can. Ideally, when you're feeling an emotion, you want it to be like a wave on the ocean that crests and rises, and then breaks and dissipates. But sometimes we don't know how to feel emotions because they are scary and overwhelming. Just like an ocean wave has energy you’re trying to figure out ways to harness the energy from these emotional ocean waves. Your own emotional energy has a form, and when it can’t be expressed out of the body, that energy stays in your body. It can actually sit in your body. Each emotion has a certain vibration frequency. Positive emotions make us feel light and open and expansive. And there are energies that are contractive, like anger and jealousy and hate and resentment. These are things that fold us in on ourselves. When that form of energy isn't expressed, it lands somewhere, and it can affect how our body's behaving. When you have two radio signals that are interfering with one another, and one can influence the other. For example, if I had a bad experience, I'm holding it somewhere. If I'm holding it somewhere, then it's preventing me from living in a more authentic state because it can influence how I’m thinking and what I’m feeling.
If I’m holding on to it, it starts to impact the structure of who I am. So if it's not addressed over a long period of time, as for example anger which has a certain frequency and energy to it, it can be sitting in a body part like my knee and my knee starts hurting. It can actually change the structure of my tissues and lead to some kind of dysfunction or disease. Dr. Nelson, in his book, The Emotion Code, says the most ancient idea in the art of healing is that disease is caused by an imbalance in the body. Trapped emotions are perhaps the most common type of imbalance that human beings suffer. I believe that trapped emotions can be implicated in nearly all diseases either directly or indirectly. Trapped emotions are nearly universal, and always create distortion in the energy field of the body. Because they are completely invisible, they can cause an incredibly wide variety of physical problems without being unmasked. Let's say you have a lot of unexpressed anger in your life. If it’s not addressed it becomes the filter through which you experience the world. The practice helps us realize that we are walking around with these invisible histories of things we haven't resolved.
Q. What does a session with you look like?
A. Emotion Code uses muscle testing; the idea is that we can communicate with our bodies. Our body holds our truth. Muscle testing is a system of figuring out what's true for you and what's not. I’m able to ask you a question and determine whether the response is positive or negative. I ask you a question first with an answer we know to be factual for reference. For example, I’ll ask you if your name is Stephanie. I will use the response charge from that answer to determine the charge for all the other answers. It's a way to pass the conscious mind and work directly with the subconscious mind.
Muscle testing is important because I'm not deciding whether it's a good idea to release a trapped emotion or not. I'm asking your body whether your body wants to remove this energy or not. So I'm only responding to the communication that I'm getting. I'm not the one making the decision about whether or not I should release it. Every step of the way, when I'm releasing any kind of energy, I'm asking permission through muscle testing.
Q. Cool, so in a way, you help people get closer to their truth?
A. Yeah. We’re constantly walking around with emotional baggage that interferes with the true expression of who we are. I like to think of what I do as clearing up the clutter. There is all this emotional negative clutter around us, and we don't really know how to get rid of it. It's causing us to sabotage ourselves or say the wrong thing to the wrong person. I work to clear that out. I use the Emotion Code but I also bring in Shamanic healing modalities, intuitive guidance, and angel card readings. My desire is to free people from holding false projected stories of themselves. In a session, someone could come to me with a pretty straightforward question - they're frustrated, maybe they're constantly angry at their boyfriend or my girlfriend. I can start with that question. Dr. Nelson has a chart of negative emotions. There are about 70 and they're based on the original Chinese medical system that corresponds to emotions to organ systems. When I'm working with someone, I'm using muscle testing. It's not me that's thinking of the information or creating it. I’m a conduit connecting the information to you. I go into dialogue with your body and your energy to learn what's happening. I try to keep my subjective brain out of it as much as possible.
I ask the question and then I start muscle testing to see whether there are negative trapped emotions causing some behavior. If I get a yes, I'll use a magnet and run it down a governing meridian along the length of the spine. It's the main meridian that carries energy to all the other meridians.
There's an experience in counseling and therapy, for example, that when you can identify an emotion and express it, it feels so much better. So, for me, using this process is similar in that I help your body find a way to express and release emotion. The muscle testing identifies the specific emotion that’s trapped and I use a magnet to release it by running the magnet down the governing meridian. It’s similar to how a credit card has a magnetic strip that’s embedded with information. If you run a magnet over that strip, you can lose all that information. It's a similar process where the process of inquiry and intention brings emotion into one’s consciousness, and into the open, and then that gives me the ability to clear it. The magnets are not necessarily doing the clearing. It's magnifying the energy so it's easier to remove. There's intention going into it as well because I’m holding the space and the intention for healing. My energy and my focus are on love and healing at that moment.
The interesting thing about the negative trapped emotions we experience is that they are not only our own, but they can be inherited or they can be emotions that we've actually absorbed from other people. So, in my work, I tend to connect to inherited energy because I myself have a history of generational trauma that I’ve worked with and cleared.
Q. Like epigenetics?
A. Yeah. It's based on that. As I’m working with a client on a particular issue, as I’m clearing things I start to get information, intuitively, about inherited energy.
Q. How did you first become interested in the Emotion Code?
A. I had experienced a lot of trauma myself. My parents were refugees from World War Two, they’re Ukrainian and were persecuted in Ukraine. My grandfather was sent to prison twice for trying to help people in his village. My parents fled Ukraine when it became clear that educated smart people who might challenge the incoming communist government were not welcome. They spent seven years in transit, many of those years in displaced person camps in Germany. My mom lost her mother and was orphaned. So there was a lot of unresolved trauma. As Ukrainians, they held fast to their culture and sense of community. Communism was threatening to eradicate the whole Ukrainian culture. It was on the backs of my parents and others to carry the Ukrainian traditions, culture, and language forward to their new homes. I grew up in a bilingual, bicultural home. But I was also raised to be an American.
My parents both have graduate degrees and were very accomplished. I learned a lot from them but didn’t really learn emotional intelligence. There was no notion of going for counseling for trauma. I know my mother was traumatized. But she didn't know that. I had a lot of issues trying to become independent and trying to leave the house and try to do things my own way because of all this fear around things that my mom experienced. But as a child growing up, I didn't have that information about trauma to know how to make sense of it and to manage the intensity I was feeling.
I spent a long time seeking my own healing. I married my college sweetheart and three years into our marriage, he was diagnosed with degenerative heart disease. It was a life or death situation. For 12 years I was living daily with life or death trauma and it was a similar experience to what my parents and grandparents experienced. That stress caused me to seek out alternative medicine.
Q. Oh wow, how is he now?
A. He's healed. And we're now divorced, but still living together. We did everything to keep it together, but it reached a point where we were better apart. There was a lot of trauma for us both to heal through, from what we experienced together, and the trauma that we brought into the relationship from our families.
It was all very stressful from the very beginning. We were always looking for ways to help him. When I was living on the West Coast there were a ton of alternative practitioners and I thought that someone would know what to do. Eventually, we found an herbalist in Los Angeles that figured out what happened and what was wrong. Years later, he found a cardiologist at UVA who fixed him, who had a very strong synchronistic spiritual connection with my husband. But the whole time I was extremely stressed. I didn't know how to handle and manage my anxiety around the thought that he was going to die. The threat of him dying was bringing up all this trauma in me. I was exercising more and trying to figure out a way to manage my anxiety. That's when I discovered yoga. I trained as a yoga teacher and then I started to learn about energy. I feel like these were the foundations that led me to learn more about the Emotion Code. I did my teacher training in Forrest Yoga with Ana Forrest. She’s known for emotional healing and has a very strong connection to Native American medicine. She's a medicine woman. Through her yoga training, I learned where trauma is housed in my body. We hold these poses for a really long time. And we have to work with our breath and figure out what we were bumping up against in our own bodies, emotionally, and mentally. I feel like my trajectory has been picking up all these different pieces of healing for my own benefit. I had to be ready to become a healer when the time was right. After my husband healed and it took a few years for us to really truly see that he was okay. Then I started to have major panic and anxiety attacks. I started going into early menopause my body was just shutting down from all the stress. It was 12 years of emergency room visits, trying to manage my two little girls at the same time.
While I took my time working on myself, helping my husband, and being a parent my career was on hold. A few years later I decided to revisit my yoga teacher. She was out West doing a workshop and I flew out there and I'd signed up to do this healing with two Native American medicine people. And I feel like my trip there really wasn't to revisit my teacher but it was to meet these medicine people. Because I felt like I'd been through so much. I didn't have a way to deal with unpacking what I'd experienced over 12 years. And they did a prayer and ceremony with me that was very cathartic.
Q. What was it? A ceremony for letting out your emotions?
A. Yea. In our culture, when we go through something, there isn't really anything to help remove that trauma. These people knew exactly what to do with all the crap coming out of me. I wanted that healing for my whole family. So I looked for a local Shamanic healer with a Native American background because I felt like that was what my family needed. So I found a teacher who lives in Batesville.
Q. That’s where I live. Is she still here?
A. Yeah. After I found her I was getting all these synchronistic signs. That's when the Emotion Code fell in my lap. I opened the book and all the experiences I had over those 15 years came together for me. I didn't need to learn any concepts, I needed to learn the framework for how to deliver healing.
Q. So the emotion code is how you tap into a person's truth and help them remove what is blocking it?
A.The emotion code is set up to remove energy. After sessions, people start to feel lighter and more expanded. What shamanic healing does is based on the idea of returning to our wholeness because we've lost pieces along the way. There are practices and modalities around returning someone's personal power to them.
Q. Can you please expand on your current offerings?
A. Yes, so all my services can be offered remotely via Zoom and in person. I offer a free hour clarity call for anybody that's interested in either an emotion code, shamanic healing, or an angel guide session. I prefer people to do blocks with emotion code because I feel like that's where the most benefit is. And then shamanic healing is an as-needed basis. Sometimes people feel like they need help with a certain situation and a phone call will help them out.
I have a 12-week intensive program for anybody that wants to develop their own practice in their house. It's like creating your own container to do grounding meditation, inner exploration to connect to that aspect of yourself that wants to emerge from the heart space. That also includes emotion code, Shamanic healing, and angel guidance.
The different modalities work in different ways, but they're always done in the ceremony. The ceremony is like a routine. We call in the divine and energetic support that's making sure that we're doing everything in a way that's safe and that we're held in a space that's larger than just me. It is not me doing the work.
Q. Can I do a muscle test?
A. Yeah. What do you mean? You want me to muscle test? Yeah. I have a muscle test on myself.
So the way I would start a session, we can say, is there a trapped emotion that's causing any kind of imbalance that wants to be released?
A. It's a very general thing. The first thing I do is I just muscle test my own body rather than yours. Say your name, so we have a baseline to make sure that I'm testing correctly. So you say my name is Stephanie Wood.
Q. My name is Stephanie Wood.
A. Okay, and then say my name is like Minnie Mouse.
Q. My name is Minnie Mouse.
A. Okay, so when you say your name I test strong, so that's an affirmative. It's true. And when you say the other name you go weak, right? So that's the basics of muscle testing. So then we can ask, is there a trapped emotion that we can release from Stephanie that's causing some type of imbalance and I got a yes.
The emotions are split into these columns. So I say column A, and I got a no, is it in column B, and I got a Yes. Is it an odd number? No. So I know now that it's in column B and an even-numbered row, and then I just eliminate it. Row two? No. Row four? So it's something in row six, column B. Okay, is it inherited? I got a Yes. Sometimes I'll know intuitively it's an inherited trapped emotion that's causing some kind of imbalance. So is this inherited pride? No. Inherited shame? No. It's an inherited shock.
Q. Oh, inherited shock.
A. Then I identify. So for inherited stuff, we want to know where it's coming from. So is this inherited shock coming from your mother? It's coming from your father. And then does it come from someone before your father? Yes. So we can go back generations to figure out how many generations back this particular trapped emotion goes. I'm going to count and see how many generations from you this goes. It’s five generations back
Q. So it's my dad's...
A. I don't connect them all but, it's through your father's mother somewhere down that line, going back five generations from you. So your dad counts as one. Then I say, do we need to know anything more? No. And then can I release this? So I get a yes. And so for inherited stuff, it's 10 swipes for any other trapped emotion it's three. But if it's inherited, it's 10. And I just run the magnet down your spine.
So when you're releasing trapped emotions, that energy leaves your body, and then it's gone. It can't come back. But there could be another trapped emotion or inherited trapped emotion of shock. Because we're peeling away layers and that's pretty much how it works. Sometimes we release the same trapped emotion from different events. We can do another one and see what else comes up. Can we release another trapped emotion? Yes, from Stephanie. Yes. I get silent because I'm constantly repeating the same question in my head and then I'll just usually say out loud what the trapped emotion is. Okay, so it's another inherited trapped emotion of shame. And usually, you'll have groupings of trapped emotions from the same person that we just released it from. Yes. So it comes from your father's side and it goes back five generations. So it's really the same person who inherited the trapped emotion of shame. And I'm getting a yes to release it. So I'll release that. I’m just running the magnet down the back 10 times. Are you feeling any sensation?
Q. I do. Like I let out an exhale with the first one.
A.Yeah, there's just like.
Q. Yeah, it was an exhale.
A. Sometimes you'll feel a puff of air go around your body or something. Anytime you're removing energy, there's going to be some kind of shift. It's like those tectonic plates that move underground, they're subtle, but that shifts the whole energetic landscape for you. So I tell people that there's this off-gassing that sometimes you might feel the effects of that tomorrow or the next day. Sometimes that particular emotion might suddenly feel very present for you in your life. You might feel irritable or not quite right and it's just part of the release process.
It can be so hard for our minds to come from. But that inherited energy was unresolved five generations ago through your father's family and is still present. Whatever the shock and the pain was, it's still expressed through you, because it hasn't had a place to resolve. So it's not only healing in you, but it's healing and releasing everybody that's carried that energy forward. Even our ancestors who have passed. They are still carrying that even though their souls might be carrying that unhealed aspect.
Q. Do your kids know what you do?
A. It was really hard to identify as a healer. It took A LOT of work for me to feel comfortable within myself acknowledging that I am a healer, talented, and here to do this work. My kids, don't know any different so they support and accept that this is what I do. But both of my daughters are sensitive in different ways, and especially my older daughter tends to get vibes on the energy of what's going on. Especially when she was little, if there was too much activity with friends, she would always need a day at home by herself. I was so glad that I learned at least some of those aspects of self-care for myself that I was able to help her. I was able to honor that in her not to force her to do something social if she felt like she needed quiet time.
it's hard for my mom to understand what I do. I think she's psychic in her own way but it has been difficult for her to embrace this work. My extended family and community have been accepting so far. My ex went through his own sort of process into becoming a healer as well.
That awareness is something I offer clients in my services. I think it’s important to have someone validate your experiences. Because I feel like that's where I really got lost. I didn't have anybody in my family validating the experiences that I was having. I didn't have anywhere outside of myself to say that what I was experiencing was okay or normal.
Q. Anything you want to add?
A. Yeah, I feel like my biggest message for people is to know that it's possible to heal. When you're feeling a lot of pain, I feel like this information is so helpful that you might be carrying some kind of baggage that doesn't even pertain to your life experience that you could be carrying it for from some family member that came before you. We spend so much time blaming ourselves. I want to relieve people of that; self-blame and shame for who we are. So much of how we walk through life is what we believe or what we've been told or what's been passed down to us. There's another aspect underneath of all that's the bright light, and that's where our freedom is and joy.
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