Integrative healing with Portia Richardson

Your Beginner Witch
Sep 10 · 13 min read

Type of activity:

Integrative healing and acupuncture.

TL;DR my experience:

If you would like to be in a supportive and enriching environment where you can shamelessly work on your shadow side (and your light side!) then I would recommend scheduling a session with Portia or signing up for one of her online classes.

Get in touch with Portia!

She is running a very sweet deal all of September so don’t wait to sign up for a session.

September Special of 15% off all Healing Containers with Portia at Tall Reeds Healing Arts.

Practice website:

Music page:

Instagrams: @scinn.laece (personal) + @tall.reeds.healing.arts (practice)

Check out the upcoming events at Tall Reeds here:

You can join the Tall Reeds newsletter here:

Here’s what happened!

I’ve been seeing Portia since 2015. I had just moved back from DC and my life was a mess. I had been working stressful jobs for over 10 years without a break and my body was screaming at me to slow down. I had constant migraines, and I only felt two emotions: anger/sadness or happiness. Portia was able to gently guide me to recognize my shadow and help me integrate better boundaries. Through acupuncture and Chinese medicine we were able to get rid of my migraines and relieve a lot of the chronic stress I had been feeling.

When you first arrive at Tall Reed Healing Arts, you’re welcomed by an overwhelming sense of calm and serenity. It is a place of healing.

During our sessions (every session is a little different and customized to fit your specific needs) Portia and I connect about what’s going on. We talk about strategies to help manage stress and to keep putting better boundaries in place. Portia has a lot of tools to address any situation. We’ve used somatic techniques, meditation, and breath work to name a few.

After chatting and updating her about my life, I get up on the treatment table for some acupuncture. The needles do not (and shouldn’t!) hurt when they go in or while they help the Qi to move.

Then we do a sound bowl healing session and a guided meditation to help relieve stress. After that, the needles need 15–20+ minutes to help move Qi so you’re left to meditate and relax on the table.

Get to know Portia in 5 short(ish) questions!

My name is Portia.

My pronouns are they/she.

My ancestral people come from the lands of the British Isles, Western Europe, and Scandinavia and came to Turtle Island in the mid-1700’s and settler colonized the traditional lands of the Shawnee and Cherokee peoples throughout the Appalachian region (now Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Georgia). Currently, I live and love in South Minneapolis, Minnesota — better known as the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe (Chippewa, Ojibwe) and Dakota (Sioux) peoples.

At present, I’m showing up as an interdisciplinary healer of individual and collective trauma, a teacher of mysticism and holistic medicine traditions, a ritualist, an intuitive guide, and a channel for Spirit.

My medicine path is one of remembering our wholeness. I work at the intersections of embodiment, expanded consciousness, creative expression, sacred activism, ancestral connection, and cultural healing.

I’m raced white and walk with insider privilege within the current culture — and I’m committed to the ongoing process of dismantling oppressive power structures internally and externally.

I’m also a queer person (pansexual/non-monogamous/nonbinary/femme) a partner and mother, an independent musician, an animist, an eclectic witch, and a bridge for the Otherworld.

My intuitive abilities are a mixed bag of all of the “clairs” (clairsentience, clairvoyance, clairaudience, claircognizance), and I consider these skills fundamental to the nature of my work.

I teach graduate courses through the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota and Northwestern Health Sciences University, as well as offer workshops at gatherings such as Spirit Weavers, Origins, and Moon Mountain, and offer a range of events through my private practice Tall Reeds Healing Arts (located in Uptown MPLS).

However, I mostly work in a healing capacity with individuals 1:1. I believe all aspects of your multidimensional being must be considered for transformational healing to occur. My intention is to hold space for you to re-connected to your true essence and align with your soul’s calling, where all potentials flow through you.

I work with all gender identities, orientations, presentations, and bodies. My approach is trauma informed, non-judgmental, body/sex positive, and relational. I believe we are all here to weave our unique threads into the collective loom. My role is to be a gently activating force for truth and love.

My approach is holistic, esoteric, and collaborative. I weave my craft from many practices including: wyccecræft, health coaching, Asian medicine, intuitive guidance, channeling, bodywork, somatic experiencing, energy healing, sound healing, breathwork, guided imagery, herbal medicine, food therapy, divination, ritual, and meditation.

How did you get started with integrative healing?

You can read a shortish autobiographical sketch of my journey here.

But an even shorter answer to this question is: I came into this life with a mission to heal the collective. And as I followed the signs/synchronicities and listened to Spirit and my intuition, my path simply unfolded before my eyes. The opportunities presented. I committed and did the work at each step and here I am!

The art of manifestation and aligning with your soul’s calling is learning to feel/sense and trust where the life-force energy is moving. I didn’t have a long-game plan or know where I was going. And I still don’t. I like to keep my path open to surprises and unknown possibilities — and truly be in service to Spirit’s agenda (versus my ego agenda).

I have is a skill of honoring and acting on my gut instincts versus operating solely on the agenda in my head, which is all too often a script inherited by overculture. Any time I hear a “should” up there, I flag it and questions it. Should I? Does this step feel aligned? Is there life force? If so, great. If not, thanks but no thanks.

Also I want to say here, I believe a good education in the healing arts comes in many forms. In practice, it is an art, as much — if not more than, a science. Just because you have a degree and passed your board exams doesn’t make you a good healer. It proves you are good at jumping through systemic hoops.

Being a good healer requires the ability to energetically and relationally attune to people — and Spirit (which I also like to call Source and the Universe). It is the practice of becoming a channel, or hollow bone, for qi/prana/bios/energy/love to flow through. I’m not actually the one doing the healing. I’m just facilitating. You and Spirit are doing the heavy lifting!

What happens during an integrative healing session?

Ha! So much! Where to begin?

Well first I’ll say, I don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. So every session is different. And every client needs a different approach over time. I’m not a mechanic. I’m not here to “fix” you. I’m here to help reflect back where you are healing yourself and support this process in a number of ways.

Second, I am a very intuitive practitioner in every sense of the word. I use my formal training in various systems, plus my sixth sense abilities to guide our process.

Most people will spend about half the time “in the chair,” so to speak, unpacking stories to illustrate disharmonious patterns in their lives. Next we may do some “table time” to help support and continue the process. Table time can feel a bunch of different ways, depending on what is needed and what you like!

Furthermore, the patterns we are working with exist on all levels: mind, body, heart, spirit, relationships. My job is to track how all your symptoms are connected and help guide you to a deeper understanding of your root issues, which are typically transpersonal to you — meaning these are sourced in your lineage and the culture at large.

And while I do treat a range of branch symptoms, I am not interested in putting bandaids on problems. My passion is actually restoring harmony, which requires going deeper and practicing patience.

My medicine is a slow medicine and it will change you from the inside out. And more and more these days, I am calling in the folx who want to commit to real change overtime. I absolutely love working with people over time and building up rapport and trust. The level of intimacy we are able to cultivate is medicine in and of itself.

How would someone know, sense or feel they would want to schedule a session?

Most folx come in with some idea of what they may need on a superficial level.

But more so, it’s become increasingly common for people to come in saying something along the lines of “I’m not exactly sure why I’m here right now.” Usually this is followed by tears or flushing or some other subtle bodily response signaling there’s more to their story — which is energetically being held in their body subconsciously. These people tend to be the clients who stay around and go deep with me. Little do they know what they are in store for!

Although sometimes people come in and aren’t quite ready for the work. I don’t take this personally anymore. It requires a lot of courage to step into the healing process.

It’s not a sexy process.

It can be very uncomfortable at times to feel into our wounding.

AND YET, it is so worth your effort and bravery.

I say now, trust yourself.

If you are leaning in as you read this, you are feeling a resonance. This is the most important factor in selecting a practitioner to work with, in my opinion. Even if you feel a bit skeptical or hesitant or fearful — if you are more curious and feel the magnetic pull, go with it. Your fears and skepticism are respected and welcome to join us for the ride. They serve a purpose and will keep you safe! And, I’m here to help you learn to live beyond these edges and expand and soften into the mysteries and magic of this world.

Also, it feels important to say, trust your timing. I’ve had clients who book with me right away after meeting me in a class or event. Conversely, I have people who wait months to years to come in — but when they do, it’s aligned. The timing is always perfect. My door is always open.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about integrative healing?

This is an easy answer. The biggest misconception is that your sessions will always be a chill experience. And, to be doing “relaxing on the table” correctly, you must actually be relaxed and have your mind clear.

I’m going to gently set aside my soap box on the problems of the right/wrong binary here, and go with this instead: a lot of healing work involves releasing what’s not harmonious for you — physically, mentially, emotionally, energetically, spiritually, relationally, etc.

Releasing work can be uncomfortable. I tell new clients after their first session to be very mindful and gentle with themselves for the next 72 hours as the session settles in their system.

It’s common for a first session to bring up old stuff to be healed a day or two later — like a delayed effect. This can be confusing for people, and as a greener practitioner I use to feel bad about causing clients to have flares after treatment.

I realized these flares were actually old patterns coming up to be healed and integrated and therefore were actually very therapeutic in the big picture. However, because most people have the misconception integrative healing (especially healing involving all the Woo) is supposed to be chill, I scared off a number of clients in the early days because I didn’t frame up what to expect ahead of time. Now, I’m very thorough about guiding clients through all the possible “post-treatment waves” they may experience, so they feel safe and prepared.

I’m proud to say now, I’ve cultivated an amazing clientele who know how to “ride the waves” and expect to feel their wounded edges when we work together. They aren’t afraid of the healing process. We get in a groove of building resilience and new capacities. It’s so satisfying to witness the unfolding of my clients’ healing processes. I feel profoundly honored to hold this space and have no doubt the ripple effects go far beyond what I can know.

How do you think magic/spirit/the great unknown appears in your work?

I don’t think. I feel. I sense/hear/see/know Spirit is present all the time in my work.

My spirit-team is made of several subtle energetic guides who work with me specifically around healing others. These guides are very personal to me, but are here with the mission to help me show up for you. Clients frequently tell me they experience someone(s) in the treatment room with them continuing the healing work after I leave.

If this is you in a future session, don’t freak out — it’s just my spirit team. They are cool and won’t bite! You can also set boundaries with them. They’ve been asked to step out of the room by a few of my clients who are still warming up to the idea of subtle energies. They are flexible most of the time, even if they have their opinions.

I have also cultivated relationships over the years with various elemental and nature spirits, healthy ancestral beings, and multidimensional entities who help me continue to do my personal healing work, which is fundamental work as a medicine person — and this indirectly helps you heal too.

And, I have the ability, at times — when it is consensual, to read/sense your energy field and communicate with your guides. I tend to hear them speaking and/or receive images. I can also feel sensations in my body that are happening in your body.

This process is running in the background a lot of the time during sessions, but it isn’t something I name directly necessarily or do any performance around, purely because it can distract and take you out of your experience in the moment.

And I want to say here, I believe we all have these expanded abilities and I love helping turn you on to your sixth senses and build skills around using them so you can use them for healing too.

Lastly, I believe Spirit and magic presents in my work by bringing me the perfect clients whom I’m able to serve, for the perfect length of time I’m able to serve them. As I said above, I trust the resonance wholeheartedly.

You are coming to me because I am an energetic mirror for you. And — what they don’t teach practitioners in school is — you are a mirror to me as well.

It’s a two way street of energetic exchange.

On one level we are playing the roles of client-practitioner and have agreements and boundaries around these roles.

But at a much deeper level, we are quantumly entangled. When we enter into a healing relationship, this entanglement begins to increase, sometimes rapidly.

I frequently experience psychic phenomena with regular clients. This has been a huge learning curve and challenge for me as a practitioner over the year, as I’ve been living and working in multiple levels of reality. Learning to discern what’s mine and what’s yours at these deeper levels, becomes almost impossible, because the truth of it is — on these levels, it’s ours.

So, I’m healing and learning right along with you in the grand scheme of things.

We are in it together. And sometimes this means we get a little lost in the unknown together.
But, my job as a healer is to keep returning again and again to the present moment and feeling what’s true now. What stuck energy wants to move in this moment — and trusting this is enough.
And when it’s time for us to part ways, I trust our healing work is complete.

I’ve served you. And you have served me too.

And this is the divine mystery of healing relationships.

The magic is in the mystery of how we make meaning from our experiences together — and what actions we choose to take from a place of love for ourselves and each other moving forward in this beautiful illusion of time/space.

If you are feeling the tug of magic I’m weaving here, I look forward to connecting with you more!

Until then, many blessings to you and yours, seen and unseen, known and unknown.

May it be so. And so it is.

Xo ~ Portia

Get in touch with Portia

Practice website:

Music page:

Instagrams: @scinn.laece (personal) + @tall.reeds.healing.arts (my practice)

Check out the upcoming events at Tall Reeds here:

You can join the Tall Reeds newsletter here:

Join some of her fun events and give her music a listen! Listed below and on IG!

Your Beginner Witch

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Deep diving into all things magical… so you don’t have to. Yet!

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