Elka Boren is a healer, clairvoyant and medium who discovered her spiritual gifts early in life, while still in her native Panama. She has lived in the United States for 20 years and began offering her services publicly 30 years ago.
Though she is often referred to as a shaman, Boren never speaks of herself in those terms.
"Shamans never call themselves shamans," she said. "People call me that because they identify me as a healer. A shaman to me is a person who carries knowledge, gifts and talents from ancestors—that's what I carry, the knowledge from my ancestry."
Boren learned her healing practices primarily through following her own intuition. She was aware of her gifts when she was only a child but struggled to understand why she was different from others.
"You are born with something you think that everyone has," she said. "To me it is natural. I used to see spirits."
Boren described how after friends or neighbors died, she "would see them afterwards."
"I wanted to gain more information about it," she said. "So I went to the library to do research, but I had to hide my book inside of a Bible."
Based on what she observed at home, her talents were supposed to remain hidden. Boren's mother and grandmother also performed healings in secret, and some of her family's healing practices have indigenous origins. Modern Panamanian culture is heavily influenced by Catholicism, she said, so her family was guarded with respect to their extraordinary abilities.
Even from childhood Boren learned to reconcile her abilities with religious faith. "I got to a point where I was angry with God because He had given me all of these gifts," she said "When I was 16 or 17, I was just searching for a place that I could fit in. I had a battle to fight between being able to use my gifts and following religion; it was like leading a double life."
Eventually, Boren gained peace by turning her talents over to God.
"I surrendered to my gifts and my abilities and I asked God to show me what to do," she recalled.
Now, though, she must rise to the challenge of flowing with her life purpose rather than seeking to control it. "You never understand it because it is God working through you. There is a bigger picture involved than what you can see," she said.
Working as a medium, Boren connects people to loved ones who have passed and delivers a message of healing. She creates an opening, enabling her clients to move forward, feeling whole and connected. "I channel loved ones, but when I do this I like to integrate healing," she said. "This way, people have the opportunity to heal unfinished business from the past."
Boren believes that healing on the physical level is a multidimensional practice. In the healing space she creates, Boren addresses the mind, body and spirit, incorporating all of her abilities.
"When I do a healing, I integrate all of my gifts; I read the body and I help to bring forth memories from the subconscious to the conscious mind," she said.
Boren admitted that it is difficult for her to articulate the details of her work, "because when you do a healing, things pass faster than what we can normally observe. When you access some memory, it has roots in different dimensions of the body."
This means memory can be connected to the physical body or the mental body, she said.
For people whom Boren senses need intensive physical healing, Boren works with the energy chakras of the body. "I do a chakra clearing, in which I spend three hours on every chakra. I look for every possible blockage that a person has in those areas, so they can be released."
Though her skills may appear extraordinary, Boren believes we all possess unique talents. Through connecting her clients with their individual gifts, Boren guides them to greater fulfillment and a connection with their life purpose.
"Everybody has a gift," she said firmly. "If you look at your ancestors, they were shaman. They were connected with Mother Earth. When we heal, we access the wisdom of our ancestors. When people come to me, I help them to recognize the gift they have inside."
Boren has studied extensively with master healer Derek O'Neill in Ireland, where she was initiated as a teacher and practitioner of the Rising Star Healing System, a complementary healing method that rebalances mind, body and spirit. Now, Boren also trains and initiates clients and other healers through her Rising Star workshops.
Another healing modality Boren learned from O'Neill is the Prema Birthing Healing System. Prema birthing heals trauma and releases negative patterns that originate prior to physical birth. Boren offers Prema Birthing healing sessions to clients as well as instructing others in the method.
Boren conducts these healing certification training workshops in addition to her signature workshop, More Truth Will Set You Free, throughout the greater NYC area and in Hastings-on-Hudson at Human Bodyworks. The More Truth Will Set You Free workshop is a two-and-a half-hour group session integrating guided meditation, music, energy healing and teachings from O'Neill. Visit Human Bodyworks' website for upcoming dates.
To learn more about Elka Boren, please visit her website at www.kaakinii.com.