Note: For many years I have refrained from posting testimonials and endorsements on my website because each person’s experience is completely unique. One person’s experience of working with me will be entirely different from the next person’s experience. Yet, I have been nudged many times to open up and list endorsements and testimonials on my page. Sometimes I receive these comments and reflections of my work immediately, at other times, many years later. Please honor and respect that testimonials and endorsements are personal experiences and reflections about my work or character; they cannot ~and will not~ predict or indicate the experience(s) you will have. Nevertheless, I hope they give you a broad sense of the experiences people have had in working with me and that listing them here is of service to you and your path.
“Sara Salam is a highly intuitive, energetic guide who both exudes insight and leads with compassion. She will help you heal your past, while unlocking your potential. Sara has a unique set of soft and hard skills that enable her to seamlessly integrate mind-body including Shamanic healing methods that will add a palpable level of intrinsic awareness to any existing training. The experience of working with Sara is as transformative as it is affirming.”
— Frank Smyth
Executive Director, Global Journalist Security
“Thanks so much for your support and sharing your wisdom during the training. … I’ve done a lot of work in sexual assault prevention and trauma psychology, and I think you’re one of the best instructors I’ve seen or worked with.”
— Minal Bopaiah
“I have been fortunate enough to work with Sara in Krav Maga and Fit to Fight and have found her to be extremely motivated and dedicated to her craft and to improving the lives of others. I would highly recommend training with Sara, if you are afforded the opportunity.”
Krav Maga Black Belt, Co-founder of Fit to Fight
Sara is an outstanding instructor…I have seen students come out of her Luminous Warrior program more secure and confident in their abilities to face their fears in any and all aspects of their lives…Sara’s program works.
— Chris Torres
Krav Maga Blackbelt, Owner of N-Flux
Offering the Shamanic Self Defense class to our clients went beyond our expectations. The class not only addressed the physical needs of the women and provided them with practical self defenses, but gave them an opportunity to tap into their inner strength, their spirit and the warrior within.
— Santa Molina
Holistic Psychotherapist, Certified SEP, LICSW
Director of Counseling and Advocacy at the DC Rape Crisis Center
“Sara led a workshop on Compassion Fatigue at my organization which transformed me and many of my colleagues. It changed the way I think about how my brain responds to traumatic circumstances and how I can take responsibility for my own healing and self-protection. Ultimately, I began to participate in Sara’s meditation circles. She has the ability to guide people through the most magical and unexpected guided meditations that never fail to introduce me to insights and new ways to view myself and the world around me. I bought a new home and once again, Sara came and helped my family conduct a cleansing and blessing ceremony I cherish even now.”
Sara has guided me through an illumination and counseled me on creating my own sand paintings. While I have always been open to alternative healing practices, I had never experienced the release of my energy before. I was and am so impressed by Sara’s gift and felt very comfortable and safe in our space. I look forward to many more sessions and encourage everyone to release their energy! Opening blockage can have very interesting effects; I no longer bite my nails!
— Liz O., Program Manager
DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence
As a licensed massage therapist I am very aware of the body’s own ability to heal. Some people are able to harness much of that healing through their choices of nutrition and sleep habits, others pursue their own self awareness and healing through meditation or yoga. Sara offers an additional route to awareness and healing that promotes the body’s own ability to heal. Her methods integrate the cognitive understanding of the human spirit with a practiced approach to the energy needs of our bodies.
I have known Sara for 15 years and can vouch for her professionalism in all her ventures. She is a woman of integrity and compassion… I have had the privilege of knowing Sara during her process of becoming a healer, and have been lucky to have experienced an energy healing session with her. Sara’s compassion is present in everything she does. I left the session remarkably relaxed. In the subsequent weeks after that single session, I had a renewed sense of self awareness that I can only describe as a feeling of tranquil satisfaction.
— Barry K.
Licensed Massage Therapist
I came to Sara because I was in despair about the state of my career, or lack thereof. Through a luminous body testing process, Sara found that this issue was linked to an imbalance in several of my chakras. What I experienced next is difficult to describe in words, but at the end of the session I had nearly forgotten my anxiety over my career. I found myself jumping into a job search with renewed enthusiasm, and I’ve not looked back since.
One session with Sara was better than a whole year of talk therapy and psychiatric medication. After just one Shamanic Energy Healing session, I had let go of anxiety related to the specific issue I came in with. Moreover, I found that I was naturally able to take setbacks in stride. After learning how to practice energetic cord cutting, I am not bothered by some issues that used to get to me, and I am better able to get over triggers that used to send me into a tailspin. Thank you, Sara!
I then returned to Sara seeking my Life Purpose. What I found is a deeper connection to my ancestors, the Earth, and my intuition. Through aura cleansing, chakra balancing, and extractions, Sara has helped me overcome chronic blocks. With my altar to my ancestors, I connect to a power greater than myself, and I feel that I am on the road toward a life worth living.
— Miriam B.
Sara is very gifted in bringing together the mystical with the intellectual and physical, and uses her exceptional teaching skills to guide her students along their path in life. I am very grateful to have worked with Sara and have gained many wonderful gifts through her strong, courageous, and positive spirit.
Specialist in International Trade and Finance
Client testimonial about my work with her before and after a mugging attack:
Sara’s professionalism is characterized by a very clear desire to empower and teach people to use tools and skills on their own and to discover the sensitivities and abilities they already possess. In this sense her boundaries are very clear. While she imparts much knowledge her approach is very student/client-centered where she is guiding and drawing out what the person already has there at their disposal. In this way, the self-defense and energy healing work is extremely empowering as delivered by Sara. She is a conduit and guide and model. Students in her classes come away feeling like they have tapped into inner strength, determination and intuition that they already possessed. I felt as if Sara pointed me towards how to access and harness my knowledge, strength and intuition to use for my highest good.
The work with Sara has had many benefits that reverberate beyond self-defense scenarios into the rest of my life. Most notably, I am more present and conscious of potential ways to react to situations and to see what options for behavioral choices are available to me. This is possible because of a heightened sense of my own ‘intuition’ or knowledge made available through the energy work done with Sara. I’m more in tune with what is happening in my physical, emotional and energy body and sense the boundaries of others and what is happening energetically around me. This is, of course, useful in dealing with self-defense scenarios because a) it enables me to trust intuitive senses of something not being quite right or safe and b) able to trust my judgment about situations that I would not have earlier been able to deal with without being paralyzed by confusion and shock that this was happening.
Two specific instances testify to the importance of combining this awareness of energy and trusting judgment with the techniques and skills of self-defense. The most obvious instance was my experience in successfully using the techniques and presence of mind that we learn in self-defense while fending off an attacker who was trying to mug me. Secondly, the training and energy work with Sara helped to mitigate the aftereffects of the attack incident and to renormalize in a relatively short period of time.
The details of the attack are not important except to say that before, during and after the incident I experienced a heightened awareness of what was occurring. This is not uncommon. I’d experienced this before in trauma situations, however, the difference here was that I was aware of my intuitive sense of danger, and aware of my response options, and in control of my response rather than driven by fear. In this instance, I used the fear to fuel my use of self-defense techniques, and I was confident both in my ability to assess the situation, choose an appropriate response and to react instantaneously. The remarkable difference in this experience and other past experiences was that after having gained a more in-tune and respectful appreciation of my intuition, I was able to trust myself and my judgment while my training gave me the physical and mental confidence to execute a simple immediate response. The success of the incident proved to me that not only were the basic principles of self-defense that I used effective, so were the teaching techniques that brought those principles to a level of instinctual response. I responded immediately as if on instinct, but it wasn’t based on instinct both the physical ability to respond and confidence to choose that option and techniques were based on my training both in the self-defense and the energy work I did with Sara.
Another remarkable aspect of this incident was the rapid shift and release of the negative energy that lingered from the attack. Using tools that Sara taught me, shortly after the incident I was able to be aware of small panic attacks that would happen during intense drills in the self-defense class (where I was being struck or attacked from behind during a simulated attack). It was rather amazing. Before this incident when I had experienced similar panic attacks prompted by secondary trauma in a violent attack, prompted by the self-defense drills, I needed to seek out assistance for help with dealing with the stuff that came up. Now, after working with Sara and identifying some grounding tools to keep me safe, I was able to identify and choose my options for response to the emotional reaction to my ‘fight or flight’ response (the panic attack). It amazed me that I was able to so quickly and relatively easily metabolize the feelings and stay aware and safe. In a short time after the mugging incident, I was back to ‘normal’ being able to function successfully in simulated scenarios. Due to the post-incident work that Sara did with me and using the tools she had taught me, I was able to disassociate the flashes of memories from the attack from simulated violent self-defense drills, from walking in the area where I was attacked and was able to allow the flashes of memories to metabolize in a safe emotional space.
Another benefit that stems from the self-defense focus of [Sara’s] energy work is my changed relationship to operating in crisis mode. When I felt attacked before either emotionally or physically, I naturally would react from a crisis mode in fear. Coming out of a year of living in crisis mode, I lacked tools to help me decipher and respond with anything other than a reactive self-protective behavior, which ironically could be very self-destructive. The energy healing tools that Sara introduced me to have given me both an increased ability to recognize ‘attacks’ or hooks and an array of response options that I feel like are in my highest good. This is exactly the same sense of control of myself and responses that are at play in the self-defense scenarios.
Before [working with Sara], I was coming out of a situation where I had been afraid for my safety, was emotional crumbled and at the point of breaking after having lived in crisis mode for a year. I had a lot of healing to do and remembered a time in my life where I had felt whole and connected and yet, at the time I began work with Sara, I felt disconnected between my mind from my body. The one thing I knew was that I had the determination to defend myself and fight for my right to be safe and to not have anyone tear me down or hurt me physically. Living in a constant state of crisis had worn down my reserves of patience and perspective and had taken a toll on those around me. I was extremely supersensitive to energies of others and had a difficult time determining boundaries and making judgments between their intentions and my fears.
Now, after [working with Sara], I am strong and confident. I have seen instances, mostly on the inside, where my courage and facing my fears has been possible because I am aware that through the energy work and Shamanic healing my thinking and reactions have shifted so dramatically and healing has happened.
— Elaine C.
Krav Maga Student, Survivor