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Power of Awakening with Cathy Gasper


[01:14] Cathy Gasper on what she is most passionate about

[02:52] Cathy Gasper on her start in healing

[06:56] Cathy Gasper on why she helps other people

[09:09] Cathy Gasper on how she built her practice

[11:17] Cathy Gasper on her different techniques

[14:46] Cathy Gasper on the process of breaking a client’s pattern

[16:46] Cathy Gasper on why she started HOPE

[18:29] Cathy Gasper on the most powerful thing she has learned about herself

[19:17] Cathy Gasper on chakra coaching

[23:17] Cathy Gasper on her Reiki-infused jewelry

[25:37] Cathy Gasper on pet energy healing

[29:18] Cathy Gasper on how people can work with her

[30:00] Cathy Gasper on her secret to a rewarding life



Passionistas: Hi, we're sisters Amy and Nancy Harrington, the founders of the Passionistas Project podcast, where we give women a platform to tell their own unfiltered stories. On every episode, we discuss the unique ways in which each woman is following her passions, talk about how she defines success, and explore her path to breaking down the barriers that women too often face.

Today we'll be talking with Cathy Gasper, the owner and holistic practitioner at HOPE, an acronym for “Hold On, Pain Ends.” Cathy specializes in pain, trauma and anxiety, utilizing modalities including ear reflexology, auricular chromotherapy, pranic healing and Reiki. She analyzes and addresses patient concerns through active listening and advising on appropriate treatments, and seeks continuous learning in each specialty practice, ensuring accurate diagnosis and treatments.

So please welcome Cathy Gasper.

What's the one thing you're most passionate about?

Cathy: I just have such a passion to help people out of pain. And I was actually asked this one time on a date, and apparently, he didn't like my answer, so he didn't ask me for a second date. I was like “Dude, I help people out of pain. Like, what else is great about that?” But I think you go through things in your life where there's a balance. Like when you do some really cool things, it's like, we also have to check like, ourselves with it. But it's kind of like a party trick. So the one thing that I do is, my first modality that I learned is called auricular therapy, and I work on points on the ear that communicate with the brain, and it works very well on pain. So, you know, like, if your knees hurt, and you were to take, like, pain pills, it's not like healing the knee. It's just blocking the pain receptors in your brain. So, if somebody's knee hurts, I actually place this—it's called an ear bead--on their knee, point on their ear, and I can reduce pain by at least 50% within a few seconds, and then it continues to work. So I call it, like, a party trick because it's a great thing to help people out of pain so quickly without any, you know, things that they have to take, that's just working with their body.

Passionistas: That's incredible. I've never heard of that before. So let's take a step back. Where does this passion for helping people get out of pain come from? What was your childhood like? Was this always something that you, were you always an empathetic, sympathetic person?

Cathy: I used to tell myself, like I was always a little bit alternative and holistic. I would say I wanted to be a naturopath, but then I would have this voice in my head that said, “But you're not smart enough.” Isn't that hilarious? So what happened was one day, I just literally woke up with this noise in my head. I looked in the mirror. I thought I had had a stroke. I didn't know what was going on. I could hear, “Voom, voom, voom, voom.” And so I'm like, “Well, you're okay, like, you're looking in the mirror. Like, everything looks okay.” So I went downstairs and made myself some cereal, and I sat on the table, kitchen table to eat it, and I couldn’t hold myself up. I was like, falling out of the chair. And so it took me about a week to get in to see a doctor. I didn't know what was going on. I'm like, “Well, you can kind of walk,” but I was, like, trying to manage it. And I was like, probably looked like a drunk person swinging around. And I got in there. I'm like, “I'm just so dizzy. I hear this-- I can hear it in my head.” And he's like, “Oh, you have Vertigo.” And I'm like, “What is that?” Like, I didn't even know what it was. I was 39. It was right before I turned 40. I had never heard of it. And so what I finally, initially-- well, what I got diagnosed with, Initially's not the right word-- is a virus, Vertigo. So it would be kind of similar to, like, COVID now, how you come across a virus and it inflames a nerve, and when it does that, it doesn't function right. So they think it's the same virus that's responsible for bells palsy, you know, where some people just wake up and half of their face is paralyzed. Some people actually wake up and they're deaf in one ear, because the hearing nerve and the balance nerve are so close to each other. But I actually woke up and I didn't have my balance. So that type of recovery is a little bit longer. Like, we know this is kind of easy to talk about now. Like COVID, some people get their taste and smell back, and some people, it doesn't quite come back, or when it does come back, it comes back differently. So with this recovery is not the typical recovery for Vertigo, where you have, like, loose crystal in your ear. It tends to be longer. My doctor told me it be about a year, and it would be a bumpy recovery. And I was at a loss. I was a single mom. I had two boys. I was not functioning, and I'm like, “I need to speed this up.” So all they really told us was--well told me--was time and exercise. And I had gone about a year and a half. It was still, life was so miserable, and I stumbled into auricular therapy. And at the time, I had this constant static in my head. It was like --- And I can see it on walls, like yellow walls, for some reason was the worst I could see it. Like, like, shaking on the walls. And I had my first session. When I sat up from the table, the noise was gone. And I'm like, “Ooh. This--” Do we swear on this podcast? Is that allowed?

Passionistas: It's-- yes.

Cathy: I was like, "Ooh. This shit's for real.” And so I used it on myself, and I was very interested in it, and I actually got training in it and had a real knack for it. I just started, like, helping friends and family. But the problem was, because I had such a passion for helping people out of pain, because I knew how miserable it was to be in pain and how badly we want our body to come back into balance, so I started, like, following people around in the grocery store. If they had, like a cast on them, or a limp or crutches or something, I'd be like, “Can I touch your ear?” And I'd start, like, throwing at them, like, things they can do and, like, exercises or supplements they could take. And I just started helping people.

Passionistas: So then what? Why did you decide then to continue helping other people?

Cathy: I was hungry. Like, I couldn't stop. It was, and it was something...I really feel like, and I can't remember the year, but I remember being told that there was some energy that hit the Earth that woke up some healers, so, a little bit more alternative healers. And at the time they're like, “You're going to start seeing more, like, yoga practices open up, like, more Western doctors are going to be turning more alternative.” And I'm not even a researcher. I hate looking up information. But I was nonstop, like, searching for information, looking at things to do and like, just, like, absorbing so many different, like, ways to heal the body. And I wanted more. So at the time I actually wanted to become an acupuncturist. And I do live in Oregon, and we have the number one acupuncture school here in Oregon, highly esteemed. So I was looking into it. It's a three-year program, and at the time, I think it's a good $80,000, is the price tag. So again, I'm a single mom working, trying to support my boys, and I didn't know how I could float that, but I'm like, I just started telling people I was going to become an acupuncturist. I'm like, “Just keep taking a step forward, and it's going to happen.” And on that step forward, I landed in energy work. So I actually had signed up for pranic healing, was the first month, and then Reiki was the next month. And signing up for pranic healing was just this blessing, and so, and it resonated with me, and it gave me so many tools, and it, I don't know the word for it, but it sufficed my, just-- I don't know what's the right word-- desire to become an acupuncturist. It gave me enough tools to get what I needed. And so I stumbled into energy work, and then I really have expanded my tool belt in that category. And I'm like, “You can't learn anymore. You just gotta hone in on these modalities that you have and become the master at them.”

Passionistas: How did you start to build your practice?

Cathy: There was a website I got onto, it was called "Thumbtack." It's still there. It's different, but it's kind of like, what I think, like, an Angie's list, but for practitioners. And at the time I was practicing, I didn't even, like, have the confidence in myself. And so I was, like, really giving my stuff away. But I was practicing. So I was getting people in. I was, like, trying this, trying that, and then they're walking out better. And I was like, “Woah!” And so I started building a clientele, and slowly, like, raising my prices and charging my worth, and had a pretty solid practice going on. And then along came COVID. I always thought I'd be bulletproof for that type of a situation, because I work on people. But I was doing in person, mostly. My practice is mostly in person, even though the reason I got into energy work was for situations like my dad, who lives in another state, and I couldn't help him face to face with the original tools that I had. So with energy work, I was able to. But my clients were used to seeing me in person, and they didn't transition well into remote work. And they would call me, like, 8 months into COVID like, “This is really crazy, but are you open?” I'm like, “Yes, I'm open!” So I actually rebranded a little bit, and I had to pivot, like a bunch of other people, and really do more remote work. And that's when I stuck everything together, and what I do now is soul coaching. I'm an intuitive soul coach. So I throw everything that I have at my clients to help them release their lifetime attachments to their pain, their suffering, their sorrow, and I really specialize in trauma work.

Passionistas: So talk about what all these different techniques are that you, that you do and that you can throw at your clients.

Cathy: Yeah, okay. So the main thing that I do is trauma release. Everybody gets at the first session. That's been shown through clinical studies to be 92-93% effective in the treatment of trauma, PTSD and phobias. And when I learned that, that changed my practice 100% because, I mean, the trauma lifts up, it flows off of people, and it's so cool to hear, like, little kids talk about it. And it is, it's life changing. So my goal is to, like, clear out as much trauma as possible in the beginning, and then I start rebuilding. I try to get all the triggers calmed down. So trauma release, but this is-- I hope you like this part of this story-- but when I was doing the trauma release in the beginning, I was finding that 2 out of 10 of my clients were not triggering for a trauma. And I was like, “What do I do here?” I know there's something here. I've got my hands on their head. I'm, like, in the middle of a session. I'm, like, scanning, talking with, you know, my helpers. “What do I do, and do I go forward?” And I was getting a note. So what I found out is that they were triggering for a pattern. So pattern is stored, actually, in a different area of the brain. Your trauma is stored in the limbic system, and that's responsible for basic body functions, and that's what causes, ,like the anxiety and the lack of sleep and the overeating and the loss of the sex drive. It is basic body functions. A pattern is something that you can be upset about, but you're not having that panic, that anxiety response to it, and it's something that you keep doing over and over. Or I call it, “Layers of chaos.” So you can have a trauma in the middle, but you've got it protected by layers of chaos. So I can't get my client to break that, to break into that center point-- because they've got all these, this fort around it and guards-- until I chisel through the patterns. So I have to do that first. So I was given a point by spirit. I call all points in time. I reached out to the board at a regular therapy. His name is Doctor Nojay. I shared it with him, and he was very excited. He said that I have discovered a new point, so I wrote a paper on it, and I was-- I forget the name of it. But we had the International Auriculotherapy Symposium. So I was a poster-- that's the name. I got to be a poster in that. And I did a little video on it, so I'm hoping the next Symposium, I can actually be a speaker. So with that, they also gave me a protocol, a 3-step protocol. So I have developed my own protocol for pattern release. So my clients get that. And then I do interactive meditations. Sometimes I just do straight energy work, where they lay down and close their eyes, and I'm doing complete energy work. I wake them up when we're done. I do auricular therapy. I do brain balancing. I do light therapy, frequency work, and sometimes singing bowls.

Passionistas: When you're breaking through somebody's patterns. What does that involve?

Cathy: So it is an interactive, it's similar to meditation. I'm hitting points on the ears that get me directly into their subconscious brain, and then I'm using Reiki energy to help soften and open that up. And when I make that connection, I just, I'm speaking directly to your subconscious brain. And I ask that you allow it to bubble up to the surface. The root of, I mean we can be-- your anxiety, I'll just say is a super simple one. The root of your anxiety. And I take them back to the root. I'm always going to the root. I never work on the symptom. I go straight to the root. Because that's what happens in in Western society. We're just throwing stuff at the symptom. If you take that stuff away, it's still there. So we get to the root, it comes up, and then I release it, depending on what it is. And then I do energy work, if I need to clean up. So I'm very thorough. I'm like poking around, looking around everything. And then if needed, if the client allows, again, if needed, I do inner child work. Some people split during situations-- I can do something, let me try and do something mild. I don't want to ever trigger anybody with scenarios, but I had a client-- a loss of a child, a daughter. And when he heard the news, he had split. So we had to go back to that moment and gather him up. It's hard for people to move forward when parts of you are stuck in the past. So when I integrate the people, then they are able to move forward at peace, in peace. It's just those protective mechanisms that people do to themselves when they are in shock.

Passionistas: Tell us about “Hold On, Pain Ends,” and why you started that.

Cathy: Because when I had the Vertigo, I mean, so if you've ever heard of people that are addicts, and they're withdrawing, you know, sometimes it's like, “Just get through the day,” and sometimes it's just, “Get through the hour.” Sometimes they're literally just talking themselves through the minute, to not use again. I was at that point. There was times that I had to put myself through each minute. So that was one of my affirmations.

Passionistas: Sorry that you've gone through so much.

Cathy: Yeah, sorry about that, but, I mean, you go through the journey, and then...Like, it sucks. But I am happy to help people. But it sucks. But then you get to the point where you're like, when you have to look at it from your soul's point of view, which is what I help people to do in my coaching. ‘Cause there's a reason my soul signed up for this. So we need to get to that reason and identify with that and move forward with that. When we keep identifying with what sucks, then we keep going back to that. So there's a lot of good, and it's more than just me helping people. That's the main part of it. But the other part of it is the evolution that I have gone through. And we evolve very quickly when the soul signs up for health crisises. First of all, we're purging things, and the second thing is we're learning things.

Passionistas: So what's the most powerful thing you've learned about yourself through all you've been going through?

Cathy: So, well, the three things the soul is here to evolve in is intelligence, love, and strength. And this one, I mean, I really have had to learn a lot of strength. So when I look back and, like, can affirm, I'm like, “Dude, you raised two boys, you held everything together. You held your job up until COVID. Through all of, through all of this and two jobs, you had a job and started a business and learned all this stuff.” So that's strength. It was a lot of strength to keep going.

Passionistas: So now, you're also a chakra coach. So tell us, tell us what a chakra is and how you work with people.

Cathy: Okay, so chakra is a, it's called, means “wheel” in Sanskrit. But it looks like a party hat. So the pointy part attaches to you, and then it stands out here and it spins. So it has two functions. The first function is physiological, so as it's spinning one way, excuse me, it’s drawing in fresh prana. So, prana is life force energy. We do not have that word in English language. We have to borrow that word from Indian culture. But I don't know if you've heard of that workout company, it's called Prana. Columbia Sportswear owns them. So prana is free. It comes from the ground, from the trees, from the water, from the air, from the Sun. And your body is drawing in and-- I'm sorry, your chakras are drawing it in and supplying it to the physical body behind it. The other way it spins, it's releasing things that we no longer need. So it's very similar to our lungs, how we inhale oxygen, but we exhale out carbon dioxide. They're just like an energetic lung. And then their second function is psychological. So we all have emotions, right? We all have thoughts. But can you physically hold an emotion in your hands?

Passionistas: No.

Cathy: Yeah. Some of my clients are like, “Yeah, you can.” I'm like, “You can? That's pretty cool.” Can you physically hold a thought in your hands? No. So they're made-up of energy. And I go through that in detail with my clients, but because they're made-up of energy, they are stored in your energetic body, in your chakra system. So you've got a chakra here, and it's holding an emotion, and this is spinning to draw in the fresh prana, and it's, it sucks in the emotion, and the motion hits the physical body. So just like pain, your body is responsible for pain-- I'm sorry, your brain is responsible for the pain receptors. Your brain is a processing center, so it says, “Hey, this energetic substance just hit my body. Well, let me translate this into a sense that you can understand what it is.” So it translates it into a feeling, so you can feel it. So that's why we say, “I feel so happy!” or, “I feel so bad!” We're feeling the emotion. So chakras are responsible for these two things: drawing in fresh prana, releasing things we don't need, and they're responsible for holding our thoughts and our emotions. And as the chakra coach, I'm an intuitive soul coach, so intuitive means I use my claires. And as a soul coach, I'm working with your higher self to help look at life from your soul's perspective, so we can start to identify with who we are, versus identifying with who we are not. And so many of these thoughts and emotions, you know, we are creating them, and they're energetic. So because I work with energy, I just go with, like, a stronger energy like Windex. And I squeeze squeegee clean it out of there. And then you can, like, look out through life with a clearer lens, and then start to create the feelings and the thoughts that you actually want in your system, now that you know who you are.

Passionistas: We met you because you also make Reiki-infused jewelry, which is beautiful, beautiful pieces that you make. So explain what that is and the benefits of your pieces.

Cathy: Yeah, so, as a pranic healer, we have a lot of training with crystals. And I'm a Reiki master. So with Reiki, we infuse a lot of things with Reiki. Like, you know, I'm taught, like I'm actually remodeling a home with my sister right now. My sister and I are in, uh, cahoots together, like you and your sister. And so I put Reiki symbols in the paint, you know, so that as we're painting the home, we've got this divine energy blasting into the house. So I understand the different properties of the crystal and prana and how it correlates with the body and what is helpful to support the system. And I'm also super picky and very creative. A lot of people are creative, so I like to express myself with things. So I, actually, what happened, I had some jewelry that I was making, because we were working at farmers markets before COVID, me and another friend with a little, like, stress buster booth. And when COVID happened, I was actually rear-ended. And so I had a big Vertigo flare, because I got a concussion from that. And I was on the couch. And I had ordered some stones to make for the farmers market, but we can’t do the farmers market. And I was just sitting there. I'm like, “Well, you're sitting here, you might as well make something.” So I made a piece of jewelry, and I stuck it on Instagram, and I sold it. I'm like, “Well, that was easy.” So I made another piece the next day and stuck it on Instagram and sold it. So I'm like, “Hey, if I just sell one piece of jewelry a day, it's going to keep the flow of, like, money coming towards me. I don't care how much it is. I just need that trickle coming towards me so that energy can build up.” This is, like, right in the beginning of COVID. So I started doing that, and then I thought it was a great way for two people, if they couldn't quite afford a coaching session with me, they could at least have a piece of healing to support their system. Because I do energy scans, so I can, like, recommend a crystal that would support your needs, if working with me is not in the budget at the time.

Passionistas: There’s an aspect of what you do that I've been dying to ask you about, is you do pet energy healing.

Cathy: Yeah. Oh my gosh. Yeah. So I was always the baby whisperer in the family. I actually wasn't too keen on pets at the time. And I had a client who a lot of stuff had happened to. And she asked me if I would work on her pet. And I was like, “Well, I can try.” So basically what had happened, she did have a friend who was ill with cancer, and it wasn't going well. And then during all of that, her house caught on fire. And it was just like a scene in the movie. So they had, they were out on the balcony and had gone to bed. Those candles, those citronella candles--am I saying that right?-- for bugs, and so that caught the porch on fire. And so she got her dog out, and then-- of the house, of the home-- and went back in to try to, like, put the fire out. But it had gone into the house, and everything, it was, could happen. So, but then the dog had, I guess they're like kids. So kids do one of two things in this type of situation: they either get out, or they go and hide in their room. And that's what this dog had done. It had went back into the house and hid in this room. So literally, like the movie, she's belly-crawling in the house because there's smoke everywhere. She gets the dog, she gets out, and the fire hit the gas line, and the house exploded. So this was a little dog, and they were also traumatized. The dog, she had to wear it like a, in the baby carrier thing. It had to be on her, like, 24/7, or it had all this anxiety. And it was on medicine, like, they had this dog on medicine, but it wasn't functioning. And life was going on. She had a job. She was supposed to go away on a work trip for a week, and she's like, “I don't know what to do.” And so she had been referred to, like, this behavior specialist in our area, and I found out how much he charged, and I was like, “Oh, dang, maybe I need to reevaluate, you know, working on animals.” So I worked on my niece’s and nephew’s, and animals are similar to babies. Their chakra sizes are the same size. I just weigh them like, okay, how much it weighs, I compared to, like, what grade, like, my niece or nephew would be in, so I know what I'm doing. So she brought the dog to me, and I had already worked on her, so I worked on the dog, and she was able to go away on her trip, and it was like a miracle. They did have to give the dog his anxiety medicine one time, because they think the person was watching him, they had a party or they went to a party or whatever, and the dog got a little anxious. But that was it. She did bring the dog back to me one more time, because it was still having some trouble driving in the car. And I don't think that like 100% cleared up, but it saved the dog's life. She was able to live ‘til the end of her natural life. And she was just thrilled. And I'm like, “That was fun.” So dogs and animals, same thing, have trauma. And that's really where my heart is, is to help animals with traumas. So I put out a call to have some case studies in a moms networking group that I'm involved in. And I handpicked a couple, and it was amazing. I had some really, really great results with a couple of these dogs, so I grew a heart for it.

Passionistas: How can people work with you?

Cathy: Yeah, thank you. It's super easy. I'm gonna have a really easy website to find. It's, and I have a free discovery call right there on the home page. So with that, I do a chakra scan. I just, I-- and it's remote, so it’s through a zoom link-- I just scan your chakras, head to toe, front to back. I don't want to know anything about you. I go into all readings blind. I draw pictures and take notes of what I'm finding, and then I just ask, “Hey, does this resonate with you?” And then we talk about what I found. So if the things that I find are things that you wanna work on, then the next step is just to see if you would want to work with me.

Passionistas: So what's your secret to a rewarding life?

Cathy: Being at peace with where you're at today. Because we always only have where we're at right now. So, you know, the past happened, but it's not a life sentence. It's just a learning opportunity. And the future, we're creating by where we're at now. So if you're at peace right now, then you're creating a peaceful future.

Passionistas: Thanks for listening to the Passionistas Project podcast and our interview with Cathy Gasper. To learn more about working with Cathy Gasper, visit

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We'll be back next week with another Passionista who is defining success on her own terms and breaking down the barriers for herself and women everywhere.

Until then, stay well and stay passionate.


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