Among the many impressions in Michael Young’s mind growing up, the overarching refrain was that he was a little too different and should keep quiet.
“When I was a little kid I would feel and know things about people,” he said. “And adults especially don’t want to hear certain things from a little kid; especially things they perhaps preferred nobody else know.
“They’d shoo me off and I’d never get any confirmation of it,” he said. “I’d think, ‘How come I’m getting all these thoughts?’”
It made making friends difficult, and he found himself continually frustrated in restaurant and sales positions. By 40, Young had had enough.
“I just knew, like anything that nags at you that you know is going to make you happy,” he said. “You’re not listening to your intuition. I was doing things that I hated even though I was making a lot of money. I just finally came to the realization I needed to do it – and I went for it.”
104 First St., Space 10, Silverton
Thus began his search for answers – what to do; how to proceed; where to go…
One day he found himself in a metaphysical bookstore engaged in conversation with someone along these lines – what other people do and how they do it – when he was approached by a woman who worked there.
“If you’ve got a few minutes I’d like to sit down with you,” she said. …and Young received the affirmation he’d been seeking his lifelong – an awakening, he calls it.
“She reassured me that my gifts were real; gave me that extra vote of confidence about what I’d always known,” he said. “We sat down and cried together and I accepted my gifts. It gave me the confidence to do what I’d always known I was here to do.”
Young eschewed formal training; it just didn’t fit.
“There are all kinds of schools for this, but as soon as I listened to other people who would try to teach me what they do or show me what they do or label what I do, they could never do or say it right,” he said. “I always knew that what I have is meant for just me and I didn’t have to explain it or learn it.” He went forward, honing his skills by using them. Over the next several years, Young’s journey took him to Japan, Australia, Canada, and all over the U.S. He listened, he practiced and, later, gave healing seminars.
“People just came. There’s a thing in the metaphysical community that teachers come when they’re supposed to come; you bump into the right people when they’re supposed to be there. There are no accidents.”
Two months ago, he moved his practice from Portland to Silverton, drawn by its beauty.
Young, 51, loosely calls himself a “light healer,” a term commonly used in New Age thought, because there is no specific name for what he does.
“It’s a broad term referring to intuitive healers; metaphysical healers,’’ he said. “It encompasses a broad range of modalities, and there are many of them in Oregon and across the country, each with their own gifts and their own way of doing things; I don’t align myself with any one modality. There’s no way of knowing how many are out there. Many don’t hang up a shingle; people just show up and they help them.
“I’m the only guy who’s ever hung up a shingle in Silverton.”
His work focuses on shedding light on things people tend to hold onto, often unawares, that can manifest themselves as bodily pain.
A spouse or good friend can often tell something’s troubling their significant other by reading their face. Young’s hypersensitive to such clues, including body language.
“That’s something anybody can do,” he said. “If you’re with someone long enough, you learn to read their moods and issues; that’s a given.”
Young said he usually tries to ascertain a person’s issue rather than ask them.
“Sometimes what they think it is isn’t exactly it,” he said. The body, very much connected to the mind, helps tell the tale.
Using direct pressure and bodily positioning coupled with a process of free association through his intuition, Young finds he is able to assist clients in releasing areas of chronic pain they may have perpetuated for decades.
While targeting specific points on the body, Young may produce a name or a place, interested in whether it brings to his client’s mind a person, an event or an emotion. Colors, memories, muscular-skeletal work and emotional and/or bodily response – these are involved in Young’s practice.
Those who come find that the process might be easy and hard at the same time.
“It can be very tough for people to look back at hard things in their lives,” he said.
“Maybe in junior high you approached a girl and you really liked her. You went to tell her and she rejected you. You turn and walk away, feeling all that rejection, you get upset, maybe you start to cry and to run away – and you fall and hurt your knee.
“And over all these years your knee gives you trouble. But maybe it wasn’t how you hurt it when you fell; maybe it’s because you somehow held onto the rejection the girl put you through at that time,” he said. “Maybe revisiting and confronting that feeling of rejection would take care of that; your knee would start to feel better. It could be something just like that that would help you let go of your pain.”
Kayla Kennington and Young both moved their businesses to Silverton, within a few blocks of each other, and quickly became acquainted.
“After an automobile accident four years ago, I had chronic pain and numbness,” Kennington said. “After a few sessions with Michael, it has completely dissipated – 100 percent gone.”
“That’s the gift I’ve been given and it brings me a great deal of joy,” Young said. “There’s also a lot of heartache because I often feel their pain, but it’s a good heartache because the result is healing.”
Young took a big leap into the unknown when he decided to make a living doing something he could not explain and was not even sure where it came from. His business modus operandi has not exactly put him on the fast track to monetary success: His appointments are open-ended and may last an hour – or several hours, limiting the number of clients he sees in a day.
However, the decision to pursue what Young considers his life’s work is reflected in what has become his business motto: “Always Walk Your Truth.”