Working in the field of Behavioural Healthcare I often have the opportunity to engage with other professionals and providers in support of my clients. The team at Living with The Spirit in Chiang Mai are wonderfully creative and generative in their approach to supporting healing and wellbeing, which is why I was excited by the opportunity to work with them.
Sara and Simba, the owners of Living with The Spirit, consulted with my team at Rise (Asia’s first gender responsive trauma informed treatment program) to help develop innovative and responsive ways to support our clientele with their treatment experiences. They offered us a unique blend of body based holistic healing methods developed with understanding and appreciation of the specific environmental and psychological needs of our clients.
In addition to their consulting services, Living with The Spirit offer clients in a secondary stage of recovery a safe place to continue to work on integrating somatic and emotional experiences into their daily lives. Their premises, close to the centre of Chiang Mai have a residential component, allowing people to stay, be looked after with 24/7 care, and engage in bespoke individualised healing and wellbeing treatment plans for as long as needed. This phase of early recovery as a continuation to primary treatment services, can provide a significant contribution to ongoing success and recovery for clients in need of additional services.
I am delighted to have already had the opportunity to work with these healing professionals and look forward to further partnership in the future.
Sarah and Simba were the most important people in my journey of healing and growth! As a teenager I took drugs, ran away from home, became a criminal and so on. Years later I stopped and turned my life around 180 degrees.
As time went on I realized that I was still struggling to overcome the impact of those days and that they affected my present and future. So I began my journey of healing and growth through sessions at Living with the Spirit.
Over the last two years we have worked on taking responsibility, forgiving, healing, communicating, thinking and feeling constructively, staying present, asserting myself, finding my purpose, doing what feels right, and more.
We played sports, worked on my posture, healed sports injuries, did tension and trauma release exercises and meditation.
I can’t tell you how grateful I am! They have had such a positive influence on my daily life and happiness. I am very happy to highly recommend their work!
I visited Living with The Spirit after my brother committed suicide and I needed help to ground, to get emotional support and to support my over all health. I also needed support for emotional eating, moving forward with my life and to work on the pain in my hip. This is my video about my retreat at Living with The Spirit.
I’m deeply grateful that I chose Living With The Spirit be my home away from home on my healing journey in Thailand. Upon arriving the first day, my immediate impression was a feeling of safety, ease and acceptance in the presence of Sara and Simba.
They embraced me with open arms and a kindly smile throughout my two-month visit. Often we would chat casually about this-or-that, topics related to healing or sometimes not at all, as though we were old friends convening to catch up and exchange ideas.
It felt like family, a family with the compassion and experience to offer hope, guidance and support. Their healing center is a special space for rest and clearing. The necessities of a healthy and holistic life are looked after for guests so that they can care for themselves.
Living With The Spirit is a loving place. I hope to return to visit Sara and Simba soon.
I have had a professional relationship with the team at Living with The Spirit for over two years. I am also a client. Sara and Simba are the embodiment of what a top level holistic service practice delivers. They truly meet their clients where they are at and build from a strength perspective allowing for goal attainment. Their expertise in holistic practice is diverse.
I cannot recommend them highly enough to any prospective business as holistic consultants or to any individual for services.
I was heading to Chiang Mai for a ten day Vipassana retreat and was looking for a place to stay before and after the meditation. Luckily enough I found Living with the spirit. Arriving there I immediately felt welcome, totally safe and taken care of. It was a perfect place to unwind; the treatments, the food, the house, everything adding to my wellbeing.
Sara and Simba are amazing, they intuitively know what you need and have an endless variety of helpful methods for any condition you may have. Living with them made me feel more relaxed, happier, healthier, stronger and more in tune with my life. Together with Eric, they are excellent guides in physical, mental and spiritual matters, standing by your side and showing you new ways of living. And Nuchie, with her sweet presence and great cooking. They feel like family, and I wish I could visit more often but it is a long way to travel. One day I will be back, and until then I am with you all in spirit.
With love //Karin
I spent 3 months at the Living with The Spirit Live In Retreat and I have continued to work with them for almost 2 months for private sessions after I moved out. I originally came for post surgery physiotherapy due to a full hip replacement at RAM Hospital in Chiang Mai.
What does this place mean to you?
Before I came here I started to imagine what this place was all about. All I knew was the information and the pictures I could see on the internet. A healing place where I can do a lot of exercise for my surgery and some spiritual and emotional healing treatment. Then I came here and after the first few days I started to get the feeling that this is much more than I could ever imagine. It’s more like a home, and before I thought it would be more like a school. Like in Harry Potter 🙂
On my second day here I started my detox and my fruit diet and I started to question my choices and I wasn’t hundred percent sure. But Sara was doing the detox together with me and I started to learn more about the process for myself and I realised it is all about our belief systems. It is not just about doing what someone else is telling me to do it’s about doing what feels right for me. I also felt very encouraged by Sara and Simba as they practice what they preach themselves and their trust and faith in the process and also their own results. They are living their philosophy 100%, which gives me confidence and makes me feel safe. This goes for the diet, the exercises and all treatments. Sara and Simba have through their guidance during my healing period become like my spiritual mother and father.
Why did you choose to come to this retreat?
At first it was because of my full hip replacement operation. I was told by my colleague that she had researched this place for me and that this will be the best place to recover from my surgery. At first my plan was to move straight into a condo and live on my own, but I decided to go with the flow and follow her recommendation. During the past month I started to think back about this decision, and what my life would have been if I did not decide to come here first. I can honestly say that I have no idea what my life would look like, but I know that it would be very far from where I am now. I feel the Spirit guided me here.
The first day I walked through the doors here I could feel the vibe. I am a bit sensitive to energies and once I stepped into this place I felt: Wow! And I had the feeling that I need to stay here and spend some time here to cultivate and grow. For the first 2-3 weeks my emotions were up and down and whenever I came back from my sessions I felt very grounded and I felt very at home. This feeling is very important and I feel there is a magic energy here.
How was your experience with the physiotherapy after your surgery?
I did a full hip replacement in March and the physiotherapy here with Simba has been perfect. More than perfect. Simba planned my recovery step by step and for the first two weeks I was thinking that maybe this will be very tough for me. Simba was very patient and guided me as I was learning things for the first time. It was like I was learning to walk again as a child. From day one and step by step he made me feel very safe and comfortable. And we just went very slow and smooth and I did not have any hard time. I think the whole procedure went really smooth and fast, because when I left here last month and I spoke to family and friends no one could believe that I could walk like normal in just three months. But actually when I left here I had already been walking for a month. I walked in to the second followup appointment to the doctor at RAM Hospital without crutches.
Could you please share a bit about your experience with TRE?
I first tried TRE when I was at The Cabin and I only had two sessions there. At that time my hip was very painful so I could not tremor a lot. Even if I tried I could not do it. And I thought it was some sort of stretching exercise and I did not understand what was going on until I came here and had a private session with Simba. Then I experienced the real TRE and Simba explained the whole theory to me about what TRE is. At first I doubted it and about 30% of me was thinking if this really could work. But ok, I will try it and for the first two sessions I did not tremor much and instead it was a lot of thinking going on. I was in doubt, and I felt a little embarrassed and that this is not normal and so on.
But on the third session the tremors just happened by itself and Simba asked what I was feeling. I said that if I don’t think it just happens and if I think it is blocked. Through this I learned alot about how I can use TRE in my daily life and how it is connected to my stress and emotions. When the tremors happen it is really powerful and strong and you have to practice on staying grounded and staying in the now and not letting the emotions carry you away. This is the same as in real life when you are having a problem with something or someone and then you have to stay grounded to solve your problem. Through TRE I learned alot about myself, a very powerful tool.
Could you please explain a bit about your experience with Reiki?
I have heard a lot about Reiki before I came to Thailand but this was my first time to experience and receive Reiki therapy. The first session I loved it already and I could feel the warmth, the energy and the qi moving and it calmed me down. It’s hard to explain but I could just feel it. I still remember it was a session where I previously had cried in my room and my emotions were just chaos and then we did the Reiki. We started the session and Simba said that he could feel some resistance and emotions from me and then after the Reiki session I felt like the door was open I could let out a lot of negative emotions and energy. Before the session I felt really stuck and everything was tight and I was trying to fight against the emotions. But after the session I felt relaxed and open and I could let go.
Please tell us about your new hobby, the ice baths?
I had never tried an ice bath before I came to Living with The Spirit. And the first time I tried it was during my second week here and I looked at Sara and Simba doing it and it looked really normal and that it was something I could do. And then when I tried it for the first time I was aiming for 3 minutes and I got in and the first 10 seconds it felt like nothing. But then my mind started racing, telling me to get out and that it was dangerous. Sara and Simba told me to breathe and relax and my mind told me to get out. The feeling was not only very cold, it was painful and a lot of voices telling me that this is not safe, this is dangerous and they are bad people. Why am I here etc, and I had no idea where these voices came from. And after the first minute I started to breath and all the voices disappeared. The pain went away and I started to go a bit numb and became relaxed. The feeling was still there but the voices became more and more quiet. I could come back to myself and become centered again, and I could start to listen outside again and not only on the inside. First time I did it was about 2,5 minutes and then I got up.
After my first time I could not feel my leg and I almost could not walk, it was a feeling I had never had before in my life. I took a hot shower and after that I could really start to feel the benefits. Before I went into the ice bath my leg always felt super heavy but after I could feel the blood starting to circulate and it felt like I got a new leg. Then I knew the benefits. I could still feel a lot from the surgery but I could feel why this was used as treatment. I did the ice bath once or twice per week during my stay and every time after I did it I always forgot that I had the surgery. It was like I was lighter and the ica bath removed my pain. Since I came to Living with The Spirit I did not use any pain killers. The first night I was thinking about it but I just felt safe here and I was talking to Sara about it. She did not tell me whether to take medication or not but she recommended me to try to go without at first. I decided not to take any painkillers the first night and then I completely forgot about it.
How was your experience with the Therapeutic Treatments?
I really enjoyed the cupping treatments, I did it a couple of times in Hong Kong where they put the fire stick into the bamboo cup. The cupping that we do here is similar but I prefer the cups Simba use that are made from silicone. I think they are more flexible and with the bamboo and glass cups I feel more pain. The silicone cup you can move around with the massage oil and it’s not a pressing massage it’s more like a sucking massage. You can feel the tissue and the fascia move and how you move the navigate energy and move the circulation.
How was your Detox?
The second day here I decided to go with the fruit diet, when I think back about this decision I feel very brave. This is something that I always wanted to do but I did not have the chance in my normal life. Going with friends to restaurants and eating hot pots and sushi, it’s really difficult to have a diet like the detox. Here I have the opportunity and I felt like this might be the only way I can try this out. I think after the second week of fruits I felt my whole body was getting lighter. My heavy emotions were reduced by at least 20% and I felt younger. I know now that my body has improved a lot since my detox and I am much more sensitive to energies. After I moved out from the house I tried to have sea food once. I cooked it and the smell made me feel not so good. And when I ate it and took a bite I ran to the bathroom and threw it up right away. I used to love fish but now I could not eat it. I think this is because my body is still in a detox stage. After that I went back to eating mostly fruit and I feel much better and lighter again. Not only my physical body but also my emotional body. Fruit is fantastic! I also eat raw food, and if I compare it to cooked food I think it feels more fresh and more colorful.
How was it to work out while being on the raw food diet?
I was a bit concerned at first, do I have enough energy to do all the exercises if I only eat raw fruit? But, I realized that I was thinking too much. Fruit can be very energetic, and do not underestimate it. Maybe from appearance I look a bit more slim than when I was eating meat but the energy is still there and in fact it is more aligned. When you eat meat you might have bulkier muscles but the appearance is that your energy is slow. With a raw fruit or raw food diet you are more fast.
In Hong Kong I tried doing deadlifts, I had my trainer but I had a very hard time doing it. It felt very tight in my back and in my shoulders and it felt like something was wrong. At that time I ate a lot of meat. But here I was only eating fruit, and we did the deadlift again and I listened to Simba’s instructions and this time it seemed so easy. It feels like it’s due to improved mobility and my body is more flexible than when I was in Hong Kong. And I feel much lighter, both physically and mentally.
How would you describe the emotional work that you have been doing here?
I think if you decide to come here you need to open yourself up, and trust. When I first came here I still had like 20% blocking inside but then one day after I had been talking with my wife and my family and I had a tough conversation, I came to Sara and I started crying. Then I started asking myself why I was crying, but then I thought if I choose to be here and talk with her I have to open my heart. And in that moment I decided to tell her everything, and then the energy just kept flowing and I gave my energy to Sara and she sent it back with support. It made me feel safe and now Sara and Simba are my family members and this feeling keeps getting stronger and stronger. And even now after I have moved out and started living by myself in my condo here in Chiang Mai, moving out felt like leaving my family. Almost like I was going away for University. And I have not had this feeling in a long time, so it was very important to open my heart and communicate.
What results did you get by being here?
When I started to live by myself and I had some ups and down, and I came back here I felt wow this place is so important to me. It’s like home, every time I come here it’s like recharging my batteries and every morning I go to the Spirit House in the garden. Everything here, even just the little grass is living here. Everything is more colorful here than anywhere outside. This feeling is really strong with me and every time I visit the Spirit House I say please guide me when I am out there and can not see the light. Please guide me and remind me of when I am here and the light that I can feel so strong here and the energy that is strong here. Please guide me to recall it when I am lost. It is really important to me to remember that when I was here it was perfect and I need to recall it when I have a hard time.
Who would you recommend to come here?
Anyone! Hong Kong people. Stressful people.
If you are ready, you need to come. Listen to your Spirit. Trust your Spirit. If anyone who has the chance to go to your homepage and read this, then you are ready.
And that it’s a sign 🙂
Living With The Spirit has been contracted to work with our MENA clients who’s needs can be different to others. Simba and Sara, both understood the intersectionality that comes with this demographic and were able to develop customised programs to suit their cultural and individual needs.
Sara and Simba, were incredible with securing our clients’ confidentiality, and managed the fine balancing act of meeting our clients were they were whilst equally motivating them to reach their desired goals. I highly recommend both of them, and Living With The Spirit, as they have been incredible to work with and were testament to our clients’ recovery.
First and foremost, Thank you.
I felt valued as part of the temporary family Sara and Simba create and host in their home. I felt valued as part of a giving and receiving process – I was receiving the retreat time, the healing, listening, guiding, facilitating that Sara and Simba offered me. At the same time I was a building block in their business and practice. This felt truly nourishing in both ways; for them and their practice and me and my journey – balanced all round.
I felt cared for from the first moment, their patience, in allowing decisions and realities to unfold. In silence of time and space. I felt cared for by the beautiful space they created and offered me to be in. By the nourishing fruit shakes and medicinal foods they offer. By the respect of all those around. I felt cared for by how Sara asked me ‘how I am doing’, casually in the kitchen/household, relinquishing the nervousness of myself to speak out how I am feeling if I hadn’t had a prompt – It really helps to be asked.
I felt cared for by being allowed the space and time to use for quiet, meditative, reflective time. With no pressure or any expectation to do any more than this work I came here for. I felt no judgement. Just allowance.
I felt welcomed by them both with the opening chat to touch base on expectations/desires/intentions for the stay. I felt welcomed with the watermelon they offered me as I arrived. I felt truly welcomed into the home, as if the space was ready and waiting for me since the moment I had decided to come…maybe even before then…
I felt a calm vibe. A clean vibe. A neutral vibe. A healing vibe. A sunny vibe. A safe vibe. A secure vibe. A patient and non judgemental vibe. This is a safe zone, within the busy-ness of Chiang Mai. Where and when I needed to step away from the fast pace, here I could feel safe, secure and nice within the ‘walls’ of the space and the surrounding neighbourhood too. Even though the Chiangmai International airport is never out of ear shot in the city, Living With The Spirit emitted the vibe of a Zen Garden.
As I board my plane to Nepal, even though I left Living with the Spirit 1 month ago, I feel my extended retreat has just now transitioned into a really new thing. Living with the Spirit came with me to Doi Saket, and even further you’ll be with me, still, in Nepal. Thank you for these teachings. I’m feeling strong and positive.
So happy to have found eachother. Let the goodness, learning, growth, presence, understanding, bodily awareness continue to fuel our lives!
Peace and abundance, Fay xxx