pdf of this article


For more information about healing and counseling sessions with Mara, to access the blog and other articles, and to find out about events and other resources, contact:


Mara Bishop, MS, ThM, CSC, Reiki Master
Telephone: (919) 419-1074


Mara Bishop is a shamanic practitioner, intuitive consultant, teacher, author, and artist. In her Personal Evolution Counseling™ practice in Durham, she combines shamanic healing, intuitive consultations, and energetic healing. She works with clients locally, nationally, and internationally. She is the author of Inner Divinity: Crafting Your Life with Sacred Intelligence, and the companion CD of guided meditations.


She holds master’s degrees in Energy Medicine and Theology and a bachelor’s degree in Art and Communications. She is a graduate of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies Three–Year Program in Advanced Shamanism and Shamanic Healing, Sandra Ingerman’s Shamanic Teacher Training program, and advanced training with Betsy Bergstrom. Mara is the only Harner Certified Shamanic Counselor® in North Carolina.

Strengthening Your Energetic Immune System: Preventing Toxic Build-Up

By Mara Bishop, MS, ThM, CSC, Reiki Master

Mara Bishop

Toxicity takes many forms. There are toxic substances, environments, relationships, and thoughts. The extent to which toxicity negatively affects us can be more dependent on our state of health than on the nature of the substance itself. This is especially true with the effects of energetic toxicity. When we are physically healthy we can withstand exposure to toxic substances better than someone who is physically compromised.  When we have strong energetic immune systems, we can stay healthy even in emotionally toxic situations.

Germ theory wasn’t accepted until the late 19th century. Prior to that, surgeons commonly spread infection among patients, using unsterilized tools and operating without scrubbing their hands or changing their gowns. Sepsis accounted for as many as half of the post-surgical deaths of the times, and yet doctors like Joseph Lister, who pioneered the use of antiseptics, were considered quacks. Now we see the hidden world of germs with the use of microscopes, and proper sterilization procedures are a matter of course.

Navigating the Energy Ecosystem Class

September 15th,
10:00 – 4:00
Chapel Hill, NC

More Information:
Telephone: (919) 419-1074

We inhabit another kind of hidden landscape: an ecosystem comprised of energy. The physical world overlays and intermingles with this energy ecosystem. We have personal ecosystems too, unique energetic bodies and personalities. We interact with one another and with our environment. Like physical ecosystems, energy ecosystems have their own distinctive characteristics, can be affected by other systems, and can become unbalanced or even toxic. When our ecosystems are toxic we feel sick, physically or emotionally.

The physical immune system is designed to detect foreign “invaders” like bacteria and viruses, and protect the body against them. We can consciously assist the physical immune system by following some basic practices to keep our personal and shared environments clean. In some cases, this hygiene prevents a cold, in others, such as surgery, it may save a life.

The energetic immune system works to protect us from unhealthy elements as well. These energetic “invaders” take different forms. Some of us are more vulnerable to the draining energy of desperately needy or negative people, while others are more affected by the insidious methods bullies use to dominate and intimidate. Harsh criticism from early in our lives can become incorporated into our thoughts, not unlike a parasite draining its host of nutrients.

When we become aware of our energetic immune systems we can strengthen them, preventing imbalance and clearing unwanted or toxic energy. We typically practice some kind of preventive care for our physical bodies, like eating right, exercising, and taking vitamins. When we get sick with something out of the ordinary, we see a doctor. Preventive energy medicine can include practices like visualization, shamanic healing, and energy balancing. When we’ve done what we can to take care of ourselves but still feel bad, we need to get a different kind of help.

I regularly see clients who have taken on energy that is not theirs, like picking up a virus from another person or exposure to a toxic substance. Sometimes their energetic immune systems are able to process and clear it without generating significant symptoms. Maybe they feel a little achy or sad in a way that they can’t explain, but it doesn’t become a full-blown health crisis. Especially for sensitive people, this overshadowing energy can have more severe consequences. People can feel quite unlike themselves. Depression and anxiety are common. Vivacious people lose their spark. Sometimes it feels like living in a fog.

After a session where we cleared some of this misplaced energy, a client wrote me that she’d become “highly productive again” and her “depression had lifted.” She was “amazed” at the amount of work she was accomplishing and the contrast she felt after one session. Another client said she felt “ridiculously better” after being relieved of fogginess, anxiety, and difficulty communicating with others.

Practitioners can clear toxic or misplaced energy that has built up over time, but preventive energy medicine can be easy for you to practice for yourself. Understanding your energetic personality and learning to navigate your energy ecosystem effectively can help you avoid the pain of energy imbalances in the future.