Sunday, 9 August 2020

Alternative healing for dogs - stressed, separation anxiety, etc.

Shamanic Healing

As a shamanic practitioner, I believe that everything - people, animals, plants, stone, etc. - has a spirit or soul. 

When something happens to humans such as trauma, shock or even just stressful life circumstances, the soul can fragment and a bit of it can leave. This loss can be expressed through the physical body and mind, manifesting as such problems as illness, confusion, apathy or just feeling 'out of sorts'. 

This can also happen to pets if something traumatic happens like an animal attack, accident or even being affected by how their owner is feeling. Separation anxiety or a change in routine can make a dog feel great loss and result in troubling behaviour.

Shamanic healing can address the spiritual aspect of these issues whether in the animal or the owner. Animals are particularly responsive to shamanic healing because they live in their soul / spirit much more than we, as humans, do. They understand the spirit world intuitively even though they are very different from their wild cousins.

If you would like further information about how I can help you and your pet please book a free Spiritual Health Check call with me or contact me here

Essential Oils

Essential oils can also be used for pets and as their worlds often revolve around scent, aromatherapy can work really well.

Firstly though remember that animals tend to use their sense of smell of lot more than humans. For example, a dog's nose has 40 times more scent receptors than humans which means they are very sensitive to smells.

Secondly, there is a well-known phenomenon in animals where they self-medicate called zoopharmacognosy. This is where non-human animals select and ingest or topically apply mosses, lichen, grasses, plants, soils, clays, insects, etc when out and about. 

So when working with oils, self-selection is really important and diluting the oils is equally important. (Essential oils are diluted in carrier oils such as almond oil or fractionated coconut oil.)

Some oils that are great for stressed /  anxious dogs

Spikenard, lavender and turmeric are great oils to try with anxious dogs and the doTERRA blends Serenity, Balance and Peace can also be very supportive. 

If there are underlying health concerns or conditions that are causing issues with your dog then there are supplements and oils that can help with:
  • digestive issues
  • the cardiovascular system
  • the liver, kidneys and urinary tract
  • the nervous system 
  • immune support 
  • oral health
Dr Janet Roark is a licensed veterinarian who uses doTERRA oils with animals and there you can find out more here Using Essential Oils with Animals podcast (with transcript)

Please be aware I only use doTERRA oils (see below*) so cannot comment on any other blends or makes of oils.   

How do you use the oils - Self-Selection

There are various ways you can do this. 
  1. Put an oil you feel drawn to in the diffuser and see what your dog does
  2. Grab a bottle of essential oil. With the lid still on and the label hidden, offer your closed hand to the dog
  3. Pick a bottle of essential oil, take the lid off and leave it near your dog 

With all these methods you are then watching for signs of positive body language such as:
  • lots of lip-licking
  • yawning
  • coming and sitting in front of you
  • nudging you etc 
You know what signs your pet gives you that are positive. If you see this sort of reaction then that is an acceptance of the oil. 

Please be aware there are essential oils that are not good to use with pets and that all essential oils are NOT the same. I only use doTERRA oils (see below*) so cannot comment on any other blends or makes of oils. I would strongly suggest that you buy some of the resources to help you feel more confident (see below **)


The general dilution rule for canines is to mix one teaspoon of carrier oils with 2 drops of essential oil (or a 2% dilution). Obviously, if your dog is a smaller variety then dilute more. 

If diffusing essential oils then having a diffuser like the doTERRA Lumo diffuser with a 10-hour setting with intermittent time on/off is a great way to diffuse 3-5 drops of essential oil. There has to be a way for the pet to leave the room though.

Another way to affect animals is for the owner to wear the oils in diffuser jewellery or on the skin or clothes and the animal can benefit that way and you get a 2 for 1 benefit with your oils.

You could even add the diluted oils (15ml of almond or coconut oil with a drop of essential oil for example) on the dog lead before going for a walk or massage it down the spine from neck to the top of the tail if the dog needs to be calmed. 

If you would like further information about doTERRA oils please get in touch and we can have a chat. I am also more than happy to send you a sample to try with your pet before you buy. Contact me here or connect with me on Facebook at or via messenger here.

There are some great resources out there for you to find out more. 
Here are just a few:

PETS and essential oils - this is a 51-minute talk about using doTERRA oils with horses, dogs, cats and even rats!!

Pamphlet on using oils with cats & dogs - £8 written by Dr Janet Roark**

These pamphlets and leaflets have information about what oils to not use with dogs (and cats) so definitely worth the investment!

* I can only recommend doTERRA oils as I know that they are 100% pure from the tests that they undergo. To be labelled as pure however essential oil bottles only need to contain a small amount of the actual oil. doTERRA bottles all have a number on the bottom of the bottle where you can go to and see all the tests that that oil passed to be put in that bottle. All essential oils are not the same.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

A different blog post - lockdown time warp lessons

At the beginning of the lockdown, I had grand plans. I was going to get all those courses I signed up for over the years done, get back to writing regularly, blog every week and be more present on social media. 

Having had a minor car accident in December 2019 I had taken a break from face-to-face shamanic healing sessions due to a knee injury. I was in the process of moving my business online and I was furloughed from my part-time job so I had more time on my hands. So that was the plan and then reality hit! 

I was still grieving for my Dad following his death in January 2020 and as I wrote in a previous blog post it was tough grieving whilst in lockdown. Although I have many useful ways to support my emotions via my essential oils and shamanism, I still noticed that I felt more stuck than usual - like my grieving was on lockdown as well. 

For me, time changed over lockdown. I have a very frenetic lifestyle with not much structure. Taking my son to college; my daughter being out on Fridays; attending networking events and my part-time job were the only really static things in my life. I fitted my self-employed work, hobbies and time out with friends around those events but when they were gone, my days merged into each other.

But I still had that extra time and I wanted to make the most of it and so I planned. I felt that the more I tried to be rigid with my time, the more I was not getting anywhere and not even getting things that I used to get done, done. What was going on?

So I tried even harder and I started to succumb to that little voice telling me I wasn't good enough. Social media told me everyone else was doing ok? Why was I finding it so tough? 

So I ripped up my plans and I stopped. I felt very apathetic but I did some shamanic work with a friend, got my emotional oils strategically placed around the house so I could grab them wherever I was and I decided to just go with the flow. 


I rediscovered my joy for doing silly things like changing the lyrics of a song for my fundraising challenge and writing for the joy of it rather than for a blog post. I stopped expecting more of myself just because I had more time. Instead, I gave myself permission to just be in that extra time. I came to realise that lockdown was not a time to expect more of myself but to fully realise that I am ok as I am. 

I feel that time has changed over lockdown. In some ways, it slowed down but in other ways, it speeded up and as I write this I can't believe that it is nearly August. My Dad died over 6 months ago but it seems only a few weeks ago. So I am going to continue to be aware of that time distortion as I continue venturing out. But I am also going to remember to take care of myself, slow down and take a breath when I need to and to fully embrace that everything is as it should be because of who I am not because of what I have (or haven't) achieved over the last 4 months. 

I know that going back to work, getting out and about more is going to feel equally surreal and weird so I am taking this realisation of what I need into those future times with me. 

So this was not the blog post I was going to write. I was going to write one that would help the re-launch of my business in September. But this is the blog post that called to me and so here I am going with the flow and writing what I feel needs to be written for me and anyone else it touches.

And following on from my post about grieving being tough in lockdown, I know that I am finding it easier to grieve now that I can do some of those honouring things I spoke about. I attended York Minster's Eucharist service last Sunday with my Mum and gave myself the space to cry whilst lighting a candle for my Dad. I also attended a wonderful Talking About Loss event last Saturday which also gave me the space to cry about my Dad in a safe space and away from my immediate family. 

I'm going to celebrate these moments as well as the fact that I did indeed get one course finished. I managed to honour my Dad and my Black ancestors with my crazy fundraising challenge and sharing my love of oils with people over the internet rather than face to face. I got to enjoy my garden more and spend time more time outside and walking with my family. I have decluttered stuff that doesn't serve me anymore and some of those courses on my list are never going to get finished because I don't feel the need to do them anymore.

I challenge you to write down all the things you have achieved, however 'small', unplanned or weird. 
  • What new joys have you discovered? 
  • What old joys have you rediscovered?
  • What have you let go off that doesn't seem to fit your life anymore? 
  • What are you not going to go back to after lockdown?
Now take the time to celebrate those things

If you want to know more about using oils whilst grieving here is a video I did for Dying Matters - Dying Awareness week - May 2020


Thursday, 18 June 2020

My crazy fundraising idea

I am going to be doing a sponsored walk with a


  1. to raise money for Black Lives Matter

  2. to raise money for my son Zack’s 2021 Summer trip to Kenya with Camps International

  3. in honour of my Dad who died January 25th 2020

  4. in honour of my ancestors

During lock down, my hubby bought a swimming pool for the garden. Whilst using the pool for hydrotherapy for a minor knee injury, I suddenly thought it would be a unique way to raise money. 

So here's the crazy idea - on the 25th June, I am going to jog 25 lengths of the 4-metre pool.

On the 26th June, I am going to jog an extra 8 lengths and will continue to add a further 8 lengths every day until the 25th July. This is perfect because on the 24th July I will break the 1km mark on what would have been my Mum and Dad’s Emerald (55th) wedding anniversary.

On the 25th of July, 6 months to the day after my Dad died, I will run / jog / walk 1060 metres and over the whole event, I will have jogged 17,688 metres, in memory of my Dad and his ancestors.

Here’s the back story as to why Black Lives Matter and Zack’s Camp International trip.

Picture of Viv Chamberlin-Kidd's great-great-grandfather and great-great-great grandmother
This is a picture of my Dad's (and my) ancestors.

My Great-Great-Grandfather, John Vieria is on the left with his mother in the middle. 

 It is believed that she was the first one of her family not born into slavery. However, not much else is known about them and this is only one of 2 pictures that survive of John. 
My Dad only heard about his Grandfather very occasionally from his Grandmother because my Nanna (Dad’s Mother) and her 12 siblings didn’t talk about their black father. They didn’t want to be ‘tarred with the same brush’ and face racial abuse. 

One of the reasons Zack was drawn to doing the Camp International trip to Kenya was because he felt the draw to Africa where these black ancestors came from. He is also going in honour of my Dad which you can read about in this York Press article.

I am also taking this opportunity to read ‘Me and White Supremacy’ by Layla F Saad, which contains 28 exercises designed to be done daily. If anyone would like to join me that would be amazing so that we can all become ‘good ancestors’ together (Layla's reason for making the 'challenge' and turning it into a book.)  

All there is to do now is:

  1. hope the weather is good as the pool is often only 14 degrees when it's cold and running in water takes longer than you think
  2. Raise money for free here when shopping online at Amazon, Ebay, Currys, etc. There is also an app to you can fundraise for free from your phone!
  3. Go sponsor Zack at 
  4. Go sponsor Black Lives Matter at
  5. Let me know if you donate here and I will add you to a prize draw for essential oils  
  6. Keep an eye on my FB page here for videos of me looking daft running in a 4m back garden pool

Monday, 15 June 2020

Power - a shamanic practitioner's view

Photo of lightning striking a building taken by takenbytablo from Pexels
Power is a tricky word. It’s linked to electricity such as with power lines or with the unit of power, the
watt. It is the rate at which work is done. Then there is the idea of having power within us, such as being empowered or having power over people or someone being in power such as politics (authority), sovereignty (‘the powers that be’), domestic abuse (power over others), etc. 

This can make it problematic when the premise of your business is based on the idea of bringing power to someone or giving them a power animal. What are power animals? What can they do for us? If I bring power back for someone does that mean they could abuse it or just give it away again? 

When I have a shamanic session with someone who hasn’t had shamanic healing before I always bring them back a power animal. It is a part of their soul that is now their link to the spirit world if they choose to learn more. However regardless of the shamanic path that animal is there to remind them of their power and to use it wisely. It is also a reminder that we are animals regardless of what we think. We are part of an amazing eco-system, the earth, and we are guardians of our planet. 

Sometimes it feels that we think we have power over the earth but we are so much more powerful working with the earth and those that live on it than trying to control it. I could talk about this so much more, but the important thing is that we are all powerful - with unique skills, views, compassion and so much more and if we use those skills and uniqueness for the benefit of everyone and everything the world would be a better place. That is what shamanic healing can do - it can bring balance, power and ultimately peace to everyone.

The Norwegian language has different words for power. ‘Makt’ relates to power in the form of might or force - control over people or manipulation. ‘Kraft’ means powerful or strengthening - being effective or flowing with power or energy and lifeforce. With regards to shamanic work and healing, kraft is allowing the Spirits to work and bring back power whereas makt is controlling and demanding rather than acceptance and is not the way to bring back power that is truly power-full.

No-one ever found inner peace or contentment from having power over people or by manipulating them or controlling them. I want everyone to be power-full so that we can all be peace-full. I want everyone to have the inner strength to be who they were truly meant to be. Then we would all know we are enough and we would see the world for the amazing, beautiful place that it is.

If you want to book a free 20-minute spiritual health check with me please book one here.

Friday, 15 May 2020

My thoughts about death and grieving during lockdown

Things have been so surreal since my Dad died at the end of January. I suppose things were always going to be weird, strange, odd, even discombobulated (as I said in a FB 'live' after his death.) And so it was and is: there is a Dad shaped hole in my life. Nothing can change that.

However just as I was getting back to a 'normal' routine after his death, Covid19 hit and suddenly we were in lockdown. And since then, my grieving process has got sort of stuck in a time warp.

I can't visit my Dad's grave.
My Mum hasn't been able to order a gravestone.
I can't easily do any of the honouring things I had in mind to help with my grieving journey.
I can't visit my Mum easily or any of my relatives.
Holidays when I was going to do something 'honouring' have been cancelled.

These feelings have sent me back in time to when I had a molar pregnancy miscarriage at 19 weeks pregnant in 2003. I was monitored for 8 months following the termination to check that I wasn't getting cancer which a molar pregnancy can become. Although I felt devastated I didn't grieve because I was busy dealing with the trauma of the follow-up. Years later I had a major breakdown when I saw a painting of a 7-year-old girl (which is the age my daughter would have been at that time) because I hadn't really acknowledged my loss and I definitely hadn't processed it as I was too busy dealing with my potential cancer diagnosis and then life took over.

I know I am so lucky in so many ways. I got to attend my Dad's funeral in February and his memorial service a month later in March. I got to say goodbye reading a poem at his graveside. I started the grieving process whilst he was still alive and was supported by friends and family. I got to talk to my friends and family face to face after his death. I got to cry and get hugs in person.

My grieving process is harder now. I can still talk to those friends who have supported me but there are no hugs and crying is so much harder over the internet. I have found being brutally honest with the few friends I trust to hold that space for me has really helped but it is more tiring to deal with the aftermath on my own in my house. My essential oils have really helped and I have a creative outlet for some of my grief via poetry. I have had shamanic healing that has helped. I learnt a lot from looking back at the experience of my miscarriage and what helped me and what didn't and that knowledge has helped me. As I said I am very lucky.

My heart goes out to all of those who have lost a loved one during this time. Grieving is such a personal and odd process at the best of times but in lockdown, our 'normal' has gone: the routine that we could grieve around is dead. We are untethered.

So now is the time to find people who you can vent to, cry with, or just be in silence with over the internet.

Now is the time to plan to meet up with those who will truly 'see' you or can be ok holding your pain for as long as you need.

Now is the time to plan those honouring celebrations and rituals that will help you take the memories of those who have died forward with you.

Now is the time for us to all start talking openly and honestly about death and dying so no one ever feels alone or not seen when a loved one has died.

If you would like any support around grieving using the amazing healing power of essential oils please get in touch using the contact form or visit my free Essential Oils for Grief & Loss product here to access a free eBook & watch a video of how I helped myself whilst grieving.

Friday, 10 April 2020

The Waves of Grief poem

The Waves of Grief

It doesn’t matter how strong
When the waves come they batter
It doesn’t matter how sad
Those waves crash over, no matter
How prepared
#How surrounded by those you love
Nothing can stop the push of water
The pull of the undertow
Trending water
Going under
Come back up
Put on a brave face for shoe

But the pressure of the sorrow
Actual hurts in my chest
The pressure of tomorrow
I feel under duress
To keep going
Despite the siren call to
Stop floating
And just let go
To know
I will not see you again
Is just too real, too surreal

The waves come crashing
Taking my breath away
And I say
“I miss you Dad”
And I keep swimming
Heavy legs and struggling arms
All twisted and uncoordinated
My world turned upside down
Disjointed, discombobulated
Life jacket
Comes past out of nowhere
I just grab for whatever
I don’t care

I’ll take a hand, a laugh, a smile
And hold it like I’ve been given gold
A moment of happiness
Or gratitude
Wherever I can find it
Like a pearl in an oyster
Or a piece of driftwood to hold

When dragged under or over by the waves of grief

Battered and broken
Drowning alone
Those precious moments of human empathy
Can remind me of home

I am Dadless, I am sadness
This is who I am now
But there is happiness
And memories to hold on to too
I am sadness, Happiness
Laughter and loss
Darkness and light
Solid and ghost
I am strong
I am weak
I am a human who’s grieving
I am silence
I am song
I am grateful to be breathing

The poem was written by Viv Chamberlin-Kidd 
17 days after her Dad’s death on 25/01/20

Here is a video of my saying the poem on a FB ‘live’ on 10th April 2020 can be viewed here on YouTube

Friday, 3 April 2020

Some of my Shamanism back story

It was an interesting set of events that led to me becoming a shamanic practitioner
after my religious upbringing. After having my 2 amazing children, with a molar pregnancy
miscarriage at 19 weeks pregnant in between, I felt that my emotions were hindering my
desire and ability to home educate my children. As a successful IT programmer, turned
stay-at-home-parent, I didn’t want to be an angry or resentful person around my children.

Having tried weekly therapy for about a year, I felt I needed more and so in 2009, I attended
the Hoffman Process - a 7-day residential course to change any inherited behavioural patterns
that prevent you from feeling fully alive. During this process, you learn to identify and honour
your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual sides (your quadrinity.) It was during this time of
transformational work that I started wondering about my Christian upbringing and how I was going
to honour my spiritual side without any hierarchical religious involvement. 

It was, strangely enough, my Dad (a Church of England Priest) who facilitated me finding the
answer because he had visited a shamanic practitioner a few years before to discuss the
idea of Jesus being a Shaman. He had bought a copy of the practitioner’s book ‘The Spirits
Are Always with Me’ (Jane Shutt.) I had mentioned how some of the exercises during the
Hoffman Process had felt very tribal and so he had given me the book to read. I had an
epiphany moment during one of the chapters where it talked about ‘The Void’ (a place souls
get stuck) and ‘soul retrievals.’ It talked about how we can ‘lose’ bits of ourselves and I knew
that I had lost bits of myself through repeated bullying at school, the miscarriage and the
horrendous way I was treated in hospital during my subsequent termination procedure,
the death of loved ones, even being dyslexic at school, to name just a few thoughts that
popped into my head as I read.

I put the book down immediately, got on the internet, found Jane and booked an
appointment (luckily at the time she lived in Scarborough as I lived in York.) At the appointment,
I got my power animal (my personal spirit helper to empower me in everyday life) and I did
indeed receive 2 soul parts back (one that was stuck in The Void.) It was an enlightening
experience because I hadn’t mentioned my fears to Jane about being down The Void but
also to find out why those parts had left in the first place. 

Being a course junkie at that time I was excited to learn more and book on the Introduction
to Shamanism as well as the year-long Deepening Your Connection course with Jane and
her partner Christine. I learnt to ‘journey’ to the spirit world for power, knowledge, to bring
back healing, etc. This is the primary way that Native Shamans around the world go to the
spirit world either via a drumbeat or through rhythmic rattling. It was exciting, scary and
during my training, I was beginning to recognise the many subtle positive changes in my
emotions, my levels of stress, my relationships with others and it felt like I could fully put
into practice what I had learnt on the Hoffman Process. I had often felt pressure and overwhelm
before but with my power animal and the other spirit teachers I was finding as part of my training
and as I was learning more about shamanic healing techniques it felt like I had graduated from a
3 geared bike to a 10 geared bike: everything was just easier and more fluid.

I didn’t feel the need to find the next course that would change my life or fix whatever was
‘wrong’ with me. It was such a relief to me (and my bank balance) as I had already trained in
EFT, NLP, Silva Method, Reiki, started a hypnotherapy course, done an introduction to counselling
and although I had learnt a lot there just wasn’t that feeling of empowerment or grace that
I was getting now I was learning the ancient skills of shamanism. Instead, I enrolled (for personal
development reasons only) on the 3 years Core Shamanic Practitioner training - ‘Healing the
Fractured Soul.’ I learnt to conduct soul retrievals, power animal retrievals, blessings, a stone
divination technique which I call Guided Pictures in the Stone (GPS); psychopomping (making
sure people who have dies get to the Land of the Dead for healing) as well as other shamanic
techniques to bring back power, balance and healing. 

It wasn’t always easy, I often felt like a fraud as it was so far removed from my Christian
upbringing but it was liberating, powerful and I received at least 10 soul parts back. I got to
know my spirit teachers and guides and my power animal so well that they are like my own
personal advisory board with my best interest at heart, there when I need support, advice,
power or protection.

It was during my 3rd year of training that I knew that  I couldn’t keep what I was learning to
myself - I had to let other people experience the subtle, exponential power and clarity
shamanic healing or a GPS session can give you. Once I finished training I offered sessions
to anyone who was referred to me by my teachers (who had moved to Wales at this point)
or if anyone felt drawn to me when I discussed my shamanic belief system. However at the
Autumnal Equinox 2019, to fit around home educating my children, I officially opened my doors
as Essentially Shamanic (incorporating my shamanic and spiritual essential oil work.)

Things were going really well when I was involved in a car accident on election day last year.
Although only mildly injured I was left with some knee and upper back issues which meant
I needed to recuperate and couldn’t easily practice shamanic healing which involves kneeling
and quite a lot of movement. A journey to my spirits led me to take my business online which
is how I am now able to offer 90+ minute sessions via zoom and distance healing to anyone
who wants a session.

If, like me, you have experienced the loss of a loved one, a relationship breakup, an
accident, bullying or any life transition (menopause, children leaving home, moving house
children changing schools, etc,) where you feel that maybe you have lost a bit of
your ‘spark’ or haven’t felt the same since then I can help.

I can honestly say that until I experienced my first few soul retrievals, I hadn’t realised that I was working on ‘half batteries’ as I call it. I now feel more peaceful, content, able to accept lives stresses more easily than I used to. I accept who I am more easily without needing the external validation I always craved. Don’t get my wrong, life is still stressful, I like getting external validation, things are not ‘perfect’ but shamanism has changed who I am, how I feel and how I conduct my business.