Toxic Family Tree? 5 Ways Ancestral Healing Can Give Your Roots a Detox

10 minutes read -
Alexandra Tudor
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A family having fun together outdoors
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Summary: Ancestral healing liberates generational wounds, providing the path to create a more conscious life. Mindvalley experts show simple ways to begin your journey.
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Trauma is a well-known concept in today’s society, and the majority of people know what it is and how it impacts one’s life. However, the fact that it can be inherited through generations doesn’t ring a bell for most of us.

But science has spoken: trauma can be passed on from generation to generation. And one way to overcome the impacts it has on you is by focusing on ancestral healing.

It’s like nurturing the roots of a tree to make it grow and thrive. Your ancestors are the roots of your being; therefore, they’re the first place to look for the root of your struggles, limiting beliefs, and your path to peace of mind.

What Is Ancestral Healing?

Ancestral healing is a process that focuses on discovering, exploring, and treating traumas that have been passed down through generations from your ancestors. These traumas may affect how you behave, see the world, or think about yourself and others.

By healing ancestral trauma, you don’t only end transgenerational patterns generating undesirable experiences in your life. What also happens is that you get to gather together all pieces of yourself and feel whole and supported.

Why? Because as the famous Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh said, “If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”

What can ancestral healing help with?

Healing your ancestral lineage ends years of pain and suffering that carry on through your family. Doing this work not only liberates you from inherited burdens but also represents an homage to those who suffered before you.

A tribute to those parts of themselves that went on and survived, despite all of the terrible things they might have gone through.

Psychology has studied the benefits of ancestral healing, which can show up in your life as:

  • Boosting intellectual performance and confidence. A 2011 article published in the European Journal of Social Psychology suggests that thinking about your ancestors “provides people with a positive psychological resource that increases their intellectual performance.”
  • Encouraging beneficial lifestyle choices. According to the National Society of Genetic Counselors, focusing on ancestral healing will raise awareness of family genetic predispositions. Therefore, this will prompt you to make healthier choices to take care of your body and mind.
  • Finding forgiveness. In his book, Forgive for Good, Dr. Luskin talks about how forgiveness is an essential component of great physical and mental health. It’s often related to your family because a great deal of resentment is found in the environment one was born into.
  • Easing symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. A 2013 study showed that the children, grandchildren, and future descendants of Holocaust survivors were more prone to anxiety and depression. This tendency is tied to a chemical mark on their chromosomes, “which would represent a kind of biological memory of what the parents experienced.” 

Ancestral healing has been part of ancient traditions practiced by different cultures all around the world, being a common practice in shamanic healing.

Nowadays, modern science has started studying this concept and developed various branches of psychology, such as psychogenealogy, transgenerational therapy, or family constellation therapy.

How Does Ancestral Healing Work?

Ancestral healing works by connecting to the strength and wisdom of your ancestors and rewriting intergenerational patterns of family dysfunction. 

Dr. Daniel Foor, author of the book Ancestral Healing: Rituals for Personal and Family Healing, states that “by working with spiritually vibrant ancestors, one can start to understand and transform patterns of pain and abuse, and gradually reclaim the positive spirit of the family.”

Simply put, focusing on healing past traumas that affected members of your family and might still impact your current life will change the whole family dynamic. Additionally, it will give you the freedom to design the life you want without letting the past dictate your future.

A woman meditating for ancestral healing

How to Do Ancestral Healing: 5 Insights From Mindvalley Trainers

Starting your ancestral healing process might seem like a long journey ahead, and you may benefit from a little guidance along the way. Here are some pieces of wisdom from Mindvalley experts on how to take the first steps of your healing process.

1. Contemplate the power of your own childhood | Dr. Shefali Tsabary

During the Conscious Parenting Mastery Quest, Dr. Shefali Tsabary highlights the importance of unraveling the patterns in your childhood. People often spend their entire lives uncovering and undoing the first seven years of their existence.

Children are like sponges, she says; they are going to absorb all the unconscious ways of being in their environment. All the fears, worries, struggles, and feelings of desperation experienced by their caregivers.

Therefore, when you understand how your past influences your present, you now have the opportunity to choose.

It is only through blinding and persistent awareness that we can begin to notice how we have been repeating patterns all our lives.

— Dr. Shefali Tsabary, trainer of Mindvalley’s Conscious Parenting Mastery Quest

Dr. Shefali’s insights

Dig into your past patterns and recall early memories of your childhood. You can reflect on:

  • Your relationship with your parents individually. Rate it on a scale from 1 to 10, according to the level of closeness, honesty, and connection you truly felt.
  • Three adjectives that describe your caregivers’ strengths and another three for their weaknesses.
  • Were your feelings allowed to be felt? How were pain and suffering dealt with? How was love expressed?
  • What were the messages you received about life? Was life risky and avoided, or benevolent and worth living?

There are no right or wrong answers to these reflection points. It’s essential to nurture honesty with yourself, as the healing of your family lineage now starts with you. So radical honesty is the first step to take.

2. Stop talking and start listening | Sonia Choquette

If you want to connect to your ancestors, it’s important to understand that they will often connect with you through your intuition. So your intuitive wisdom may be messages from your caring ancestors.

Intuition is a faculty of listening, as Sonia Choquette says in the Sixth Sense Superpower Quest. Proper listening can give you information that your brain and your five senses cannot. 

Because when you actually clear away distractions and let your inner wisdom guide you, that’s when you’re listening with your whole body, heart, and soul.

Sonia’s insights

The best way to listen is to be interested. So set your intention and ask your questions. What do you want to know?

What would you like your ancestors to guide you through? Would they like to receive anything from you? And how do you know you are on the right path?

You can light up a candle, write down your questions, and close your eyes. Breathe in and out a few times, and set the intention to receive the answers and guidance you were looking for. And trust that the magic will happen.

3. Use EFT tapping to heal your family lineage | Jennifer Partridge

In the Tapping Into Emotional Mastery Quest, Jennifer Partridge shows you how to practice a soulful tapping routine to clear out any blockages that may be stopping you from living your desired life.

You can use the EFT tapping technique in your ancestral healing journey as well. As ancestral imprints are genetic memories coded in your DNA and passed through generations, they are stored in your body.

This means that somatic therapy practices will support the process of bringing past traumas carried by your genes to the surface and healing them.

Jennifer’s insights

While doing the EFT tapping practice, think about a habit that you inherited from someone in your family. Then apply the following routine and say out loud as you continue to practice:

  • The limiting habit is…
  • It makes me feel…
  • When I am doing this…, I… (what happens when this habit is alive).
  • When I think about this habit, it makes me feel…
  • But even though I have this habit, I deeply love and accept myself.
  • I’m releasing this habit for myself and…
  • I get to change this for future generations.
  • I am now choosing to…
  • And it feels… (feel with all of your heart and soul how your new life will be like).

Jennifer advises finishing the practice with a message to the generations that will follow after you. What would you let them know?

4. Heal your body’s prototype cell | Jeffrey Allen

During the Unlocking Transcendence Quest, Jeffrey Allen guides you through a powerful meditation of changing your body’s prototype cell.

In other words, your body has a blueprint cell that generates all the other cells in your system. So if the foundation of your body is imprinted with the memory of disease, trauma, and disaster, you can change that default program and replace it with a properly functioning one.

Jeffrey’s insights

Taking care of your body is one of the first and minimal steps to take when healing the pain and suffering you are carrying from past generations. 

Doing this kind of soul work requires a proper medium for your mind and spirit to take part in the transformation. And when you are in touch with your healthy body, your intuition will act stronger, and your energy levels will run high to support your healing journey.

5. Heal your money wounds | Ken Honda

Money holds powerful energy that can either make or break lives, destinies, and families. Therefore, focusing on healing your money wounds will benefit all those before you who struggled and may have ruined their lives for the sake of money.

In the Money EQ Quest, Ken Honda emphasizes how your ancestors’ difficulties and limiting beliefs regarding money affect your current life. You may unconsciously live on ancient patterns of having dysfunctional finances.

This could lead you to waste energy and resources, as many before you might have done. Because what happened in your family is happening in your head and in your heart right now. You’re carrying their pain on and on. And there’s no doubt that money has always been known for creating a great amount of it.

Ken’s insights

Ken encourages you to shift the paradigm. Maybe the experience of your ancestors regarding money only inflicted pain and suffering, but that doesn’t mean it should continue to do so.

The first thing to realize is that they all did the very best they could with what they had. And show respect for their choices, lives, and maybe destiny.

Then Ken suggests observing the patterns surrounding money that you were born into. What meaning did money have in your life as you grew up? Were they a source of happiness? Or did they cause conflict and struggle?

You can also write down any beliefs you inherited about money. What do they sound like? Where did they come from? Are they 100% true?

Your money type and whatever the situations were before will repeat themselves in a karmic pattern over the future generation until someone decides to break it.

— Ken Honda, trainer of Mindvalley’s Money EQ Quest

Meditation Practices to Heal Your Ancestral Line

Having a meditation practice to connect deeply to your ancestors and release the burdens they carried in their lives will enhance your healing journey.

You can start with a powerful Ancestral Clearing Meditation by Marie Diamond, feng shui teacher and trainer of Mindvalley’s Feng Shui for Life Quest.

Download the free Mindvalley app to access the content (or, if you’re reading this on your phone, click here to land on the track directly).

ancestral clearing meditation marie diamond

Additionally, you can also choose from a plethora of other meditation tracks on YouTube.

These kinds of meditations are powerful and may require a lot of your energy. So make sure you’re in the right mental space when you practice maximizing their benefits. Remember that you don’t have to practice them daily.

5 Quotes to Inspire Your Ancestral Healing Journey

Words may serve as inspiration, so here are five quotes to inspire your ancestral healing journey:

  • “You are the dream of all of your ancestors.” — Bert Hellinger
  • “One thing is clear: life sends us forward with something unresolved from the past.” — Mark Wolynn
  • “When we heal ourselves, we heal the past, the present, and the future.” — Steven D. Farmer
  • “Ancestors are benevolent beings who love us. You are their legacy, and they want the best for their progeny.” — Steven D. Farmer
  • “The ancestral part is given to us by our body; we take over the life of our ancestors in that way. It is the terrace of life because it is here that life renews itself.” — Carl Jung

Healing Starts With Your Ancestors

The concept of ancestral healing can sound complicated and somehow confusing. It may seem like a magical ritual coming from a surreal universe.

However, the truth is that healing your ancestral trauma means connecting to the root cause of the issues. Going back to where everything started. And it is magic, but it’s not surreal. Because your ancestors are here for your journey.

If you need a little guidance on your journey, then Mindvalley is the place to be. With the expertise of top-class trainers, you can discover the following quests and many others:

  • Conscious Parenting Mastery by Dr. Shefali Tsabary
  • Sixth Sense Superpower with Sonia Choquette
  • Tapping Into Emotional Mastery guided by Jennifer Partridge
  • Unlocking Transcendence by Jeffrey Allen
  • Money EQ with Ken Honda

By unlocking your free access, you can sample out classes of these quests to indulge in some pieces of wisdom that may awaken or deepen your capacity to heal. You can also access free guided meditations, such as the Ancestral Clearing Meditation with Marie Diamond.

And the best part of it all is that your healing journey doesn’t have to be a lonely ride.

You can connect with a community of people who may share the same dreams, hopes, and struggles on their own paths. It’s the togetherness that prompts healing and makes the rewards even more exciting.


Images generated on Midjourney.

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Alexandra Tudor

Alexandra Tudor

Alexandra Tudor is a former content writer for Mindvalley and a psychology enthusiast. From clinical experience working with both children and adults, she's now in the process of becoming a licensed psychotherapist, specializing in the IFS method and family constellation therapy.
Written by

Alexandra Tudor

Alexandra Tudor is a former content writer for Mindvalley and a psychology enthusiast. From clinical experience working with both children and adults, she's now in the process of becoming a licensed psychotherapist, specializing in the IFS method and family constellation therapy.
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Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. 

We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. 

The Mindvalley fact-checking guidelines are based on:

To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.