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Why Smudging Your Body With White Sage Is A Must For Every Highly Sensitive Warrior (A Guide To Smudging)

Smudging is the ancient practice of burning medicinal, sacred herbs with the intention of clearing the energy of your home, office, an object, or yourself. It corrects and balances the energy, immediately. It cleanses negativity and even kills germs, as this article states. It’s like taking an energetic shower!

White Sage is one of the more popular smudging herbs used, oftentimes in bundle form (otherwise known as a smudge stick). However, White Sage is often combined with other sacred herbs, such as Cedar, Sweetgrass, Mugwort, Yerba Santa, and Lavender.

Smudging can done by burning smudge sticks or loose herb. But, either way you burn it, once you bless yourself with this White Sage smoke, those dark energies will start running for the hills. And, that’s definitely a good thing!

Why smudging your body with White Sage is a must for every Highly Sensitive Warrior

Why is clearing energy important, particularly for the Highly Sensitive Warrior (HSW)?

Because when you’re Highly Sensitive, you tend to be an “energy sponge” of everything around you.

You’ll sense peoples emotions, and if you’re an empath, you’ll not only feel their emotions, but can sense their pain, emotionally and physically. Not such a bad thing if you are constantly around shiny, happy people all day! But, you’re (momentarily) up shit’s creek if you tend to work alongside with, or regularly interact with, toxic, unhappy, or unhealthy people.

This is particularly true if you live in a densely populated area, such as New York City, like I do. In cities where you’re in constant contact with other people, from brushing against them on the sidewalk, train, or hallway, the Highly Sensitive person is likely to feel overwhelmed quite easily.

Getting overloaded with other people’s energy, thoughts, emotions, and even health issues can make you feel suddenly irritable, fatigued, sad, or you may have physical pain you didn’t have previously (that’s not due to any health issue of yours).

As an empath in The Big Apple, I tend to attract other Highly Sensitive and empath souls in my private practice. Sometimes they are aware that they are a Highly Sensitive Warrior or empath. Others have absolutely no clue until I describe common symptoms they may be feeling. Then their eyes light up as if to indicate, “Finally! Someone who knows what I’m talking about!”

The descriptions of what they’re going through echo similarly:

  • “I feel like a sponge picking up other people’s stuff.”
  • “I feel so overwhelmed just walking down the street or being in the subway.” (Although, seriously, you don’t have to be an HSW or empath to have severe dislike of traveling in a packed subway train, am I right?)
  • “I just want to shut myself off away from people, it’s just too much.”
  • “I could sleep all day, I’m so exhausted from all the action.”
  • “I had to shut down my chakras and energy, because it’s just too much to digest.”

By the way: NEVER shut down your chakras due feeling overwhelmed. By actually tapping into their strengths, you cultivate them to feel more spiritually fortified! When you shut down your chakras, instead of cultivating them, particularly if you are awakening, you leave yourself vulnerable to denser energies that get attracted to the untapped light. It’s like keeping your knife or weapon dull.

Oftentimes, HSWs and empaths feel a great need to regularly defend themselves – physically, energetically, or spiritually. By focusing on this, rather than clearing and cultivating your energy, you will drain yourself and feel fatigued quickly.

And, almost always I can feel the initial frenetic energy in their aura drop 10 decibels once they realize they aren’t going crazy. They just need to learn how to clear their energy and start learning how to psychically protect themselves, as well as getting in touch with, and cultivating, their own energy.

That’s the secret to thriving as a Highly Sensitive Warrior or empath (especially in the big city) – clearing, protecting, and cultivating your personal energy.

It’s then that you are able to get from feeling like you’re listening into a radio that has many stations sounding off, to tuning into just one station, crystal clear.

Reasons why you’d want to smudge yourself

  • When you’ve had a bad day
  • After an argument
  • When you feel sad
  • When you feel scattered
  • When you energetically feel off, particularly after coming in contact with someone who may have toxic energy
  • You’re feeling overwhelmed
  • When you feel darkness sitting in your heart
  • When you feel like your energy field has accumulated too much energetic black muck, and you just want an energetic shower

How to smudge yourself using a White Sage bundle or smudge stick

There are many ways to ceremonially smudge yourself with a White Sage bundle.

I want to share with you one of my favorite ways of using it to cleanse my energy field. It’s quick and effective. This is how I do it after a full day of seeing patients. And, I always smudge my entire treatment room, as well as tools I’ve used throughout the day, after cleansing myself.

  1. I set the intention to raise my vibration, and ask the Universe/Source/God/dess to bless my body. I also invite my Spirit Guides to help me cleanse, since I am often cleansing my work or living space after blessing my body, and they’re great at helping you remove denser vibrations!
  2. Taking my sage bundle in one hand, I light the tip of it, using a lighter, with my other hand.
  3. Letting the plume of smoke activate into the air, I use my free hand to waft the smoke directly to my Heart Chakra. I bring it straight to my Heart, because that’s where we most accumulate any denser energies. While I do so, I say, “I bless my Heart and cleanse it of any energies that do not belong to me.” If you desire, you can start at the top of your head (your Crown Chakra), or start at your feet. I personally bring it directly to the place where the denser vibrations can catch the business the most! I suppose that whole getting straight to the point thing reveals the New Yorker in me.
  4. I then proceed up or down my midline, catching each chakra, clearing and blessing each one aloud or with silent intention.
  5. I make sure to bring the cleansing smoke to my sides, under my arms, above my shoulders, along my back, down my hips, thighs, calves, and feet. All the while, I’m blessing each area. For instance, when I bless my shoulders, I say, “I cleanse and bless my shoulders, and release all energy that I may be carrying that does not belong to me.” If you’re pressed for time, and/or if you’re old hat at the whole smudging thing, you can simply sweep the smoke with your hands, throughout your body, saying simply, “I ask the Universe to bless my body, and remove all energy that doesn’t serve me.”
  6. Make sure that, when needed, that you gently tap the tip of the smudge stick in a fireproof container to catch any ash that’s about to fall off, so it doesn’t wander off on its own and burn something!
  7. A variation on the cleansing your body is spiraling the smoke around your body, exchanging it from one hand to the other as you move to cover your body from front to back, starting near the top of your head, and spiraling all the way down to your feet. Using this spiraling motion catches all angles, and creates a nice forcefield.
  8. As you cleanse your body, notice how the energy in certain parts of it lift and shift immediately to a feeling of clear or release. You will be surprised what you carry even when you don’t realize it!
  9. Once you’re done blessing yourself, thank your Spirit Guides for helping you bless yourself, and thank the Universe for the joy of being more connected with yourself, and at a place where you are more able to vibrate with greater love with other sentient beings.

You can either gently press the top of your smudge stick against a fireproof container, or sprinkle a few drops of water onto it from the sink, to smother the smoke. If you’ve wet the bundle to extinguish it, rest it in a well ventilated area to dry out.

How to smudge yourself using loose White Sage

When smudging yourself with loose White Sage, it’s often fun to blend it with other loose sacred herbs. Some favorite of mine to combine with loose White Sage are: Mugwort, Lemon Balm, Hyssop, Calendula, Yerba Santa, and Rose Petals.

You can use the above steps to smudge yourself with the loose herb, with the difference being that you use a container to burn them in.

Make sure that it’s a fireproof container. Some people use abalone shell or tortoise shell (the latter is a favorite of a friend of mine that she found during her travels). I use either my large abalone shell, or, more typically, my mini-cauldron made of cast iron that I’ve had for ages.

Some people simply lay a small layer of herb within the vessel, and take a lighter to a few spots to ignite the herbs into smoke.

Others like to use a charcoal tablet (which you can find in most places that you can find incense, such as health food stores, wiccan stores, or in the streets of New York from vendors who sell resin incense). To use it for burning loose sacred herbs, light it with a lighter until the tablet starts to sparkle. Because I burn loose incense at home (and because I’m a healthcare practitioner), I use a hemostat to quickly light it on my stove, and place it in my cauldron.

After igniting your charcoal tablet and placing it in your fireproof container, sprinkle your loose herb in the middle of it.

Out of the two options of burning loose herbs, I personally prefer burning them on top of the charcoal tablet, because the burn is more even and lasts longer (which is particularly effective if I’m blessing my entire apartment!)

Just like the instructions for blessing your body with a bundle of White Sage, you would create your intention to bless your body and waft the sacred smoke of the loose sage towards you, blessing every part of you as you go along.

What are you favorite herbs to bless your body with?
Do you have a favorite way to cleanse your energy with ceremonial herbs?

I’d love to hear about it in the comments, below!

Clear that temple of love!



Copyright © 2016 by Alcantara Acupuncture & Healing Arts. All rights reserved. You may quote, copy, translate and link to this article, in its entirety, on free, non-donation based websites only, as long as you include the author name and a working link back to this website. All other uses are strictly prohibited.



  1. Raquel
    July 24, 2017

    Hello!!! I loved this article thank you so much!! So today i tried for the first time smudging and it felt right natural as if i should have been doing this my whole life! (I do have native blood so that could be why!) But i must say after i finished my personal cleanse i got so tired… i finished up gave thanks and could not help but lay on my couch i thought of positive things like the ocean waves gently kissing the warm sand and since i had my porch door open i was hearing the birds chirping and i fell asleep for exactly 30 min …. is this normL? Or did i do something wrong? Thank you in advanced many blessings!

    • Margarita Alcantara, M.S.Ac., L.Ac., Reiki Master/Teacher
      July 24, 2017

      Hi Raquel,

      So glad you enjoyed the article! And, sounds like you had a powerful release of a lot of energy that didn’t belong to you, or didn’t serve you, during the process of your cleanse, which was evident in how pooped you were afterwards. The nap afterwards was from the peace of the release.


      • Maureen Hill Gross
        February 25, 2020

        I would love to talk to you further about your practice!

        • Margarita Alcantara, M.S.Ac., L.Ac., Reiki Master/Teacher, Medicine Woman
          February 25, 2020

          If you have a question about my work and how I can support you, email me at: margarita@alcantaraacupuncture

  2. Llayda
    October 19, 2017

    Hello! I’m so glad I ran into this article. I feel like everything you wrote about was what my heart has been trying to say. Sometimes I feel like a human trash can where people can just dump all of their emotional trash. I’ve started smudging and I’ve used guava leaves and recently I used Palo Santo which made me feel awesome after. Thank you so much!

    • Margarita Alcantara, M.S.Ac., L.Ac., Reiki Master/Teacher
      January 20, 2018

      Hi Llayda,

      Yes, empty that energy that doesn’t belong to you! So glad you enjoyed my article.


    • empressstone
      September 2, 2018

      do you have any info on guava leaf smudge. a friend of mine also does this!!! thanx for sharing

  3. Brenna
    January 19, 2018

    My roommates & I just smudged ourselves and our apartment for the first time & after I’m feeling just really exhausted, and almost anxious- like my muscles are stiff. I don’t know if it’s just me, or this is way I’m supposed to feel, or if I’m just freaked about smudging for the first time. My roommate said she feels the same as she did before, but I definitely feel different. I just wanted to know if this is how I’m supposed to feel because I’m a little freaked, but then again I am an anxious person in general. Let me know. Thanks!

    • Margarita Alcantara, M.S.Ac., L.Ac., Reiki Master/Teacher
      January 20, 2018

      Hi Brenna,

      As mentioned to the other reader, above, the exhaustion can sometimes happen when a lot of energy has been released from your system that doesn’t serve you, including any excess energy from others, which you may tend to carry (and can cause anxiety in sensitives). You might want to cleanse more regularly. Also, getting some brief meditation in can greatly reduce anxiety.


  4. Angela
    February 7, 2018

    I recently went through a bad breakup. He was only in my home (visiting from out of state) for less than two weeks, but it was very up and down the whole time. It has been a month since he left and I’ve been horribly sad and just felt terrible in general. Well the other day I decided to smudge with a sage bundle I bought over a year ago. I went through every corner of my home and then over my body, all of the while saying his energy was no longer welcome and only positive energy was allowed in my home. As soon as I completed the ritual the sage just stopped smoking. Just like that! I was kinda stupefied. And then I noticed my whole body felt like jello. Especially my shoulders and neck, I felt like I had just got a massage! Well that was Sunday, today is Wednesday and I decided to smudge again and I have the same feeling, just not quite as intense. I’m truly amazed at just how powerful it has been for me.

  5. Em
    April 5, 2018

    I smudged for the first time today after ending a year long toxic and abusive relationship. I became very emotional especially in some spots where significant things that happened with us were (my bed, where we had our last fight, ect) is this normal? I felt very emotionally connected during the whole process.

  6. Go Smudge Yourself: The Importance of Cleansing Your Being | RWC News
    August 27, 2018

    […] you might think it is a bit odd at first, the more you do it the better you begin to feel. Smudging is a wonderful way to combat negativity and clear the energy fields around you and within you. It […]

  7. Zacquine Miken
    October 28, 2018

    I tried smudging for the first time today (28 Oct 2018). I smudged myself first, then smudged my home.

    I started from the front door, in a clockwise direction. Each time I smudged or brought the smoke from the burning sage smudge stick, I said a short prayer to cleanse the space with the blood of Jesus and to dispel all the negative energy from the home and commanded the negative energy to leave my home out through the open windows.

    When I came to the storeroom and did my smudging there and said my prayer with intention, my hairs stood on end and I had goosebumps. It is the only part of my home that gave me this feeling. What does it mean?

    I continued smudging the rest of my home and I recall I had to relight my sage stick.

  8. Ana
    March 14, 2019

    Hi I tried smudging today for the first time and I feel a lot of anxiety and I feel like my legs and hands are tembling. Is this normal? If so how do I get rid of it, it’s really freaking me out.

    December 12, 2019

    Hi there, I am wondering what it means when burning sage as usual and the smoke starts turning brown?


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