What Is a Limpia Cleansing and What to Expect
What is a limpia?
Limpia is the Spanish word for clean or cleanse. This widespread practice of energy medicine is present in many Latin American cultures. These different traditions use limpias to cleanse the energetic body of old and stagnant energies, foreign entities, and illness.
Some limpia traditions come directly from purely indigenous practices, and some come out of mestizo traditions where the influence of 500 years of European presence has merged indigenous and Catholic practices into a new hybrid.
Regardless of the cultural tradition, all limpias are about healing the body, mind, and spirit through the clearing and aligning of the energetic body.
How does it work?
Generally, a thorough limpia will begin with the practitioner asking you about your health: physical, mental, spiritual. Any ailments, anxieties, bad dreams, interpersonal struggles, or recent illnesses will be discussed.
As a practice of overall health, there is not just a focus on what is wrong, but what is right with you and what you are working towards in your life. A good limpia can support your career and personal goals, as well as heal illness.
After getting a sense of where your different bodies are at in functioning, the practitioner will assess you visually and through second sight, or shamanic perception. They will look at the different levels of your energetic body and look for places of darkness or stagnation.
A skilled practitioner will assess how the different areas of weakness are interacting with each other and use that information in how they approach clearing the unwanted energies.
After assessing, the cleansing begins. Every practitioner has their own way of moving through the limpia, but cleansing with smoke and flower waters is generally done at the very beginning and at the very end. They will open up each energetic center—or chakra—and clean it out, often using rattles, reiki-like techniques, and shamanic breath.
Many practitioners use crystals, sacred stones, or sometimes eggs on the body to capture and transmute unwanted energies that they may have removed.
Pay attention to any thoughts or images that might surface during the cleansing. You don’t need to hold on to them—the limpia is about letting go—but it can be of benefit to your overall growth process to simply notice.
In removing unsupportive energies, there is a need to fill in the space with healthful energies. Light and energies of unconditional love fill in the gaps left by that which was removed.
This strengthens your overall energetic field and helps it to move in better alignment. With blocks cleared out, a greater flow of life force can move throughout the body, nourishing all parts—spiritual and physical.
After each chakra has been cleared and refilled, the practitioner will close each one back up and seal the whole energetic system. Some use mapacho smoke—sacred tobacco—to do this final step because tobacco is such a powerful protector.
Just like with any realignment of the body, after a limpia your system needs a little bit of time to readjust to its more healthful composition. Sealing the body helps the energetic body repel any unwanted energies that may want to take root in your fresh and healthier energy.
What to expect after a limpia
Most people feel relaxed and energized after a limpia. It is also normal to feel a little more energetically sensitive or emotional afterwards since your body has been through a significant shift. All of this is a good thing.
In the following days, you may notice dreams, visions, intuitions, or synchronicities arising. The healing doesn’t stop with the completion of the limpia, so pay attention to any changes or messages that may be trying to come through your now cleaner and more aligned bodies.
It’s recommended that limpias be repeated periodically to maintain optimum health. If you have a lot to clear from your past, live in a chaotic place or situation, or have a high-stress job, you may benefit from more frequent limpias.
Talk with your practitioner about their assessment of this, and always tune into your own inner wisdom. You are your best guide in healing.