SHEN Therapy is an updated version of “external qigong healing” that employs ancient hands-on healing techniques to release painful emotions and empower clients to live more resilient lives. This Western therapy is a proven, effective, and predictable therapy based in physics and physiology. It has been used to resolve or reduce chronic pain and somatic symptoms that cannot be traced to physical causes (i.e., migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and insomnia). SHEN Therapy was developed through 30 years of clinical research and professional application. SHEN practitioners are found in fourteen other countries besides the U.S.

Our emotional selves were intended to evolve and grow like our bodies and minds do. But, just as the firm collar that stabilizes a young sapling will eventually strangle the adult tree if not removed, emotional constraints intended to protect us when we were young—as well as the painful emotional residue from early life trauma—can severely restrict us, preventing us from ever evolving to our fullest.
—Richard Pavek, Founder of SHEN Therapy


Once you have understood the basic
principle of being present as the watcher
of what happens inside you—and you
understand it by experiencing it—you have
at your disposal the most potent
transformational tool.
—Eckhart Tolle

Research has shown that the body reacts to emotional pain such as fear, grief, shaming, etc., the same way it does to physical pain, i.e., by contracting. Pain and abuse, whether physical or emotional, triggers an automatic physical contraction, the Auto-Contractile Pain Reflex (ACPR), an involuntary spasm that temporarily tightens or immobilizes an area in the body and is the body’s protective way of minimizing potential tissue damage. This involuntary contractive response is often called the “splinting reflex” because it helps protect surrounding tissues from a broken bone’s sharp ends.  

If an experience is severe, however, or continues for an extended time, this involuntary reflex (ACPR) is held in a physio-emotional contraction within your body. Internally-trapped and involuntary contractions affect not only our physical health and appearance but also become the emotional filters through which we experience life, therefore determining how we feel about and react to present situations. Often responsible for many conditions labeled “psychosomatic,” internalized contractive responses hold the memories of emotionally charged past events, as well as the conclusions and decisions one made about one’s self and one’s life during those experiences. In other words, over time, one’s mind may or may not consciously remember painful incidents, but one’s body always remembers.

Many of us unknowingly carry wounds today from earlier experiences. We may have had physical trauma such as accidents, injuries, or surgery, or have suffered from traumatic births or childhoods, lost loved ones, or have had abusive relationships or problems in bonding. Habitual defensive reactions will continue to function as the dominating factor in how we relate, how we feel, and how we live our lives today until and unless the original underlying emotions are completed and/or released. Clients choosing SHEN therapy often answer yes to one or more of the following questions:

  • Are your internalized responses to your past and your nagging fears about your future keeping you from being fully present and effective?
  • Could your emotions be preventing you from moving forward in your life and career?
  • Do you habitually overreact because your emotions make you say and do things you later regret?
  • Is it possible that your bodily ailments could be linked to the emotional pain you continue to carry?

SHEN Therapy is not medical treatment, psychotherapy, or counseling. Although SHEN therapists recognize the considerable impact of the emotions on physical and mental health, SHEN Therapy does not involve medical treatment of any physical, biological, or mental disorder, nor does SHEN involve psychotherapy or counseling. The effectiveness of receiving SHEN happens after a few sessions when, going about daily life, a client suddenly notices that former feelings and patterns of behavior are different. Physical pain that was a constant background may either lessen or simply vanish. Situations and people that used to “hook” you no longer do. Old ways of reacting are gone, replaced with new options.

The goal of SHEN Therapy is for trained and certified practitioners to ply their skills to uncover and release debilitating emotions from the body, allowing the client to feel and be governed by the empowering emotions of confidence, joy, compassion, and love.

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Copyright 2019. Inner Well Institute, Dayton, Ohio