Meet Lisa Butcher: Holistic Therapy

Meet Lisa Butcher: Holistic Therapy
Lisa Butcher is a model and presenter that now works in holistic therapy. From her practice based in West London, she adopts an intuitive approach to treating a range of social, emotional and mental concerns.


Cultural Shifts

Tell us about your upbringing in Singapore and Indonesia. What cultural impact has this had on you personally?

Growing up in Indonesia had a huge impact on me. It was vastly different from growing up in the UK. For one thing, it felt like the sun was always shining, which makes a significant difference to one’s mood. The Balinese treat people, especially children, with both reverence and respect.

Although I was born in Singapore, I spent most of my formative years in Indonesia and Bali. Balinese culture is profoundly spiritual, emphasising karma and reincarnation. It is important to them to be kind, honest, and respectful to all. Elders are respected, listened to, and appreciated. In contrast, my experience in the UK is that elders are often sent to homes and left there, unappreciated. In Indonesia, elders are revered for their wisdom, a practice from which we could learn a lot.

Another thing I love most about Bali is that they believe every child is a god. When children are learning to walk, they are carried until they can walk on their own. I never saw people screaming at their kids; instead, there was a profound amount of love and respect between parents and children.


Could you share a little more about your transition from modelling and presenting into holistic health and wellness?

This transition happened about 17 years ago. I experienced significant bereavement: losing my husband, father, and stepfather all within a month. At that time, I was filming for the BBC’s “What Not to Wear” and had been modelling for over 20 years. I decided to step back from the public eye to take care of my mum and children. A friend gently suggested that I might also need help and guidance for myself. Up until that point, I had not really worked on myself.

I began learning about grief, anxiety, and trauma, and how these impact the body. I developed asthma, had panic attacks, and suffered from numerous lung infections, which I now realise were symptoms of my grief. My bereavement counsellor, who was also a Reiki master, introduced me to energy healing, sparking my interest in learning it myself. I developed a thirst for knowledge and began a journey of personal growth.

My kids needed me to step up as I now had to be both mum and dad to them. After learning about Reiki and energy healing, I enrolled in a cognitive hypnotherapy and NLP course, followed by courses with the Foundation of Shamanic Studies, and then inner-dance. I never intended to become a therapist; I was simply interested in self-improvement. However, after acquiring these skills, I felt it would be beneficial to pass them on to others. I volunteered at a local hospice, treating patients in their final stages. These were some of my most rewarding clients, as they deeply appreciated the time and care I provided.


Can you explain how techniques like hypnotherapy, shamanic practice, NLP, EFT, or Reiki work? Is there a key commonality between these modalities?

Techniques like hypnotherapy, shamanic practice, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), and Reiki are all forms of complementary and alternative medicine that aim to promote mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Each has unique methods and theories, but there are commonalities in their approach to healing. Here’s a brief overview of how each technique works and their key commonalities:


1. Hypnotherapy
How it works: Hypnotherapy involves inducing a trance-like state in which a person is highly focused and more open to suggestions. In this state, the therapist can help the individual access their subconscious mind to address deep-seated issues, change behaviours, and reduce stress or anxiety.

Key mechanism: Access to the subconscious mind, where core beliefs and behaviours are stored.


2. Shamanic Practice
How it works: Shamanic practices involve the shaman entering an altered state of consciousness to interact with the spirit world. Through rituals, drumming, and journeying, shamans seek to restore balance and heal the individual’s spiritual, emotional, and physical ailments.

Key mechanism: Connection to spiritual realms and the belief in the healing power of spirits and energies.


3. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
How it works: NLP focuses on the relationship between neurological processes, language, and behavioural patterns learned through experience. Techniques in NLP help individuals reframe negative thoughts, improve communication skills, and achieve personal goals by modelling successful behaviours.

Key mechanism: Reprogramming of cognitive and behavioural patterns through language and modelling.


4. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
How it works: EFT involves tapping on specific acupressure points on the body while focusing on negative emotions or physical sensations. This technique aims to balance the body’s energy system and release emotional blockages.

Key mechanism: Stimulation of energy meridians and focus on emotional release.


5. Reiki
How it works: Reiki practitioners use their hands to channel energy into the recipient’s body, promoting relaxation and healing. The belief is that this energy flow helps to remove blockages and restore balance to the body’s energy fields.

Key mechanism: Transfer and balancing of universal life energy.


Key Commonalities:
1. Altered States of Consciousness: Most of these techniques involve accessing altered states of consciousness, whether through hypnosis, shamanic trance, deep relaxation, or focused intention.

2. Mind-Body Connection: They emphasise the interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit, recognising that mental and emotional states can impact physical health and vice versa.

3. Energy Flow: Several modalities, such as Reiki and EFT, focus on the flow of energy within the body and aim to clear blockages to promote healing.

4. Holistic Approach: These practices typically take a holistic approach to healing, considering the individual as a whole rather than just treating symptoms.

5. Empowerment and Self-Healing: Many of these techniques empower individuals to take an active role in their healing process, utilising their own inner resources and capacities for self-healing.


How do you view and manage mainstream skepticism around these kinds of tools?

I’m fine with it; I was also skeptical until I experienced it myself. I would suggest trying it before dismissing it.


Do you have any particularly rewarding examples or case studies that you can share with us?

I had a young client with learning difficulties. His mother brought him for an inner dance session when he was seven years old. Inner dance usually requires lying down for over an hour, so I consulted my teacher Pi, who created a special playlist for the boy to listen to as he fell asleep. Previously, inner dance playlists were only listened to while awake. Within weeks, his school contacted his mother, asking if he was on medication because he had become calmer and more focused. He stopped wetting the bed, and he began showing empathy, such as expressing concern about environmental issues. This transformation was remarkable.

Another client had chronic neck and shoulder pain that persisted despite seeing doctors and physiotherapists. We did a past life regression and discovered that in a past life, she had been strangled and her neck cut. After the session, she felt relief, and the pain eventually disappeared.

An 18-year-old girl who hadn’t had her period for a few years regained it after a few sessions with me, which brought her and her parents great relief… With a recent client, we focused on her relationship with her mother. We used cacao to open the heart, followed by hypnotherapy and inner dance. She experienced an energetic release and got her period two weeks early, as she desired. She felt lighter and free from her mother’s energetic hold.


Where is the line between appreciation and appropriation?

It’s nuanced. I wouldn’t call myself a shaman, for example. I use practices learned from shamans respectfully and always give thanks to my teachers.


What are some of the most interesting experiences you’ve had (either personally or with clients)? Have you ever experienced a “non-ordinary state of consciousness”?

When working shamanically, I enter a non-ordinary state of consciousness. For instance, during a soul retrieval, I enter a trance to retrieve a lost piece of the client’s soul, helping them regain oneness and wholeness.



A Therapeutic Business

What are your long-term goals for growth?

I’ve employed a marketing company, Neon Rocks, to redo my website and help me create packages and products to sell, aiming for passive income. I’ve made various meditations focusing on chakras or energy centres. I don’t have a specific plan; it has all unfolded naturally.


How do you price your offerings?

I try to price my services taking into account my professional training and experience along with my time commitment. If someone is in need of my services but in financial difficulty I will always try to take that into account depending on my availability.


What social challenges have arisen, and what sacrifices have been made?

Sacrifices have included less personal time, but I love what I do, so it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice.


What unforeseen opportunities have arisen?

One upcoming opportunity that I am very excited about is moving to Mexico to work at Holistika in Tulum, helping people on their holistic journeys and escaping the English winter.


When you first launched, what brought the most traction and momentum for you? Where do your clients find you, and what hasn’t worked so well?

I didn’t have a formal launch; I worked for free and donations initially. Clients found me through word of mouth. Paying for PR didn’t work well for me, but now clients can find me through Instagram and my website.



Founder Feelings

What motivates you?

Love! Spending time with my loved ones. Being around like-minded people who want to make a difference in the world, and who encourage me to do the same. I feel very lucky to have my family and the friends that I have.


What has been your biggest lesson, fear, or failure?

I try to work through my fear, and if I become fearful now, I push myself to walk through it. I have always been very scared of public speaking, so when I am given public speaking jobs, I do them because I know I will be scared. However, I am proud of myself afterwards. Failure is how you learn. When you make mistakes, you learn and grow. For me, it has been both. I have made many mistakes, but it is about taking those mistakes, turning them into gold, and then helping others not to make the same mistakes.


Do you have a mentor or people you ask for advice?

I speak to a lot of different therapists: I have my own therapist, and I’m very lucky to work with Tom Woodfin. He is trained in many modalities and has been facilitating innerdance for many years, he’s great for bouncing ideas around. A normal therapist will only understand a part of it, whereas Tom also does unusual things with his therapy, so he really gets me, and it’s lovely having him as a sounding board.


If you did not have your own company, what would you be doing?

I was in fashion for so long, I don’t know. But I think this is what I was meant to be doing and that I would have always ended up on this path.


How do you manage your strengths and weaknesses?

We all have strengths and weaknesses as part of being human. The bits I’m not good at, I might delegate, and things I am good at I’ll do myself.


How has what you do changed you as a person?

It’s changed me a lot in the last 17 years. Prior to that, I hadn’t truly looked at the person I was, held myself accountable and worked on myself in that way. Now I used the tools that I used to work on me to help others. So what’s changed? I guess I’m more comfortable with myself. I don’t feel I have to be perfect all the time. I know I have my strengths and weaknesses, and I just try to be the best that I can be. And if people come back with feedback or criticism, I try to really take it on board, and not react but listen and learn. I think I listen more than I used to. I used to talk more than I listened, and now I listen more than I talk.


As burn out can be common to founders – what tools and lifestyle changes have you found that both have and have not worked for you as part of a more holistic health journey?

When I first started, I made the mistake of not really energetically cleansing myself after my clients. And I saw one client who had bowel cancer, and I forgot to do my cleansing routine afterward, and I ended up sick as a dog – 24 hours of vomiting and diarrhoea. My client, however, was great, She was very happy and felt a shift. So I learned from that, and from the shamans that I work with in Mexico, to always protect my navel.

Whenever I work with my clients now, I usually have a belt on or something to protect my navel. Sometimes I’ll put a tree resin called copal in my belly button, and I’ll keep it there with a belt, and when I finish working with people I will go out to nature and I’ll put my hands on a tree, and I will put the energy that I pick up from other people, and I’ll send it out to nature.

I also have a routine that I do for myself, which I call my goddess routine. It’s a Shamanic energetic cleanse that I do every day after my clients before I move into my normal day without clients. It’s a bath I set up with the intention of letting go of any toxins or any energies that I might have picked up from someone else. I use oils that I bought over from Mexico, Paolo Santo oil and copal oil. I’ll mix that with eucalyptus, lavender, magnesium, and Himalayan sea salts, helping me to do a very deep cleanse.

I find that usually works for me to change my state from working Lisa to relaxing at home Lisa. I often give it to my clients as well, after I’ve worked with them. It’s something that I’m making myself and beginning to sell on a small scale and I’ll be selling through my website soon, it’s called AKOL.


What is your opinion on plant medicines as tools for living in alignment (cannabis, psilocybin etc)?

If that works for you, go ahead and do it. I’m open to everything, but I believe it’s not good to rely too heavily on these methods. It’s important to approach them with ceremony, ritual, love, and respect. They shouldn’t be treated as party activities, but when used correctly, they can be great tools for personal growth. I’ve found that with innerdance, you don’t need to ingest anything because you can activate your pineal gland in your hypothalamus and release the naturally occurring chemicals within you. By setting up the space properly, people can experience breakthroughs similar to those achieved with plant medicines.


What does spirituality mean to you?

Spirituality means respecting all things and recognising the spirit within them. Finding the spirit in trees, animals, and in every soul, every person, and acknowledging that no one is above another. We are all equal. It’s important to live by these spiritual principles. For me, spirituality doesn’t necessarily mean meditating all day. It means living a spiritual life, being the person you want to see in others, holding yourself accountable, and bringing out the best in others. I strive to be a light for others and to bring out the best in myself and those around me every day.


If time and money were no object – what would be on your to-do and to-see lists?

I’d be travelling loads. I’d be seeing the world, and going to places I have never been. I’ve been very lucky in my life. I’ve travelled around the world. But there are still a few places that I haven’t seen and experienced yet. I love experiencing different cultures, different people, different food, different places. I want to go to Costa Rica and to a few places in Asia. I would also probably go back to working for donation only, and I would probably set up some kind of fund or charity.