If you've ever charted your astrological sign to get a better understanding of yourself, you might be interested in Healing by Human Design. This 35-year-old blueprint that began in Europe is a combination of ancient and modern healing modalities such as Eastern and Western Astrology, the Chinese I Ching, the Kabbalah, the Hindu Chakra System and quantum physics.

How it works is your birth date, time and place are entered into a computer system and a blueprint or life's operating manual is calculated according to your specifics.

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This chart can reveal strengths, weaknesses, talents and limiting behaviors that can identify how a person can live a more optimal life. This life map can point to negative patterns, illnesses, bad relationships, financial shortcomings and career challenges.

"What the chart shows us is how you are hardwired, meaning how you process energy," says Karen Curry Parker, life and business coach and creator of Healing by Human Design. "When you understand that piece, it shows you what you are here to do, how you can best leverage that energy so you can work without burning out, how you can work in a way that allows you to make effective decisions. It shows us where you take energy in from the world around — some of us are more sensitive than others — and most importantly in the context of health and wellness, it shows your physiological and energetic blueprint for creating health."

Parker says most of us are taught that there's a one-size-fits-all approach to health. Buy any wellness book and if you follow the advice correctly, you're supposed to lose weight, get healthy, whatever. The truth is that doesn't work for everyone.

Your chart shows you what you can do to be healthy, and it shows the specific energetic configurations that can indicate where you're physically more vulnerable, or where, from an immunological perspective, you are susceptible. Your reading can also reveal particular patterns in terms of behavior and relationships that can lead to potential for health challenges.


"It's just this incredible tool that can give you deep insight into how to stay healthy, how to get to the root of energetic and emotional issues that cause pain in your life and how to do it in a way that best meets your energetic needs," Parker says.

Parker sees a limited amount of clients for one-on-one readings, and she trains other health practitioners to use the system. The website also offers a free chart reading. And her book, "Understanding Human Design, The Science of Discovering Who you Really Are," provides additional information about getting the most out of your chart.

People have used their charts to heal everything from physical issues to depression, financial matters, relationship problems and more. As Parker explained, if someone is trying to get to the root of back pain, the chart can reveal where in the back the pain is located, what energy center is tied to it and look at the spiritual-psychological aspect of it. "For instance, oftentimes lower back issues are related to support and money issues. So as weird as this sounds, sometimes back pain is about being in the wrong job," says Parker.

Of course, if you’re not a big believer in astrology or other alternate healing methods, Healing by Human Design likely won’t win you over. In his Skeptic’s Dictionary online, Robert T. Carroll tackles the topic in his typical quackery manner. Carroll points out that the system based on Alan Krakower (a.k.a. Ra Uru Hu), the creator of Human Design, isn’t much more than a belief in neutrinos carrying information that determines "your unique imprinting" by someone claiming that for eight days in 1987 he went through "a process of mystical deconstruction and an encounter with a “voice.” He asks: "Who would doubt that?"

Receiving your chart is also a lesson in confusion. It’s a complicated diagram that's not easy to figure out. You are likely to need someone translate the information for you, a more expensive option than learning about the system yourself.

However, Parker once used the Myers-Briggs assessment test 25 years ago in her life coaching work until she found that the information she received with Healing by Human Design offered so much more valuable data. "The info I got from Human Design is really tangible and gives me such a concrete way to bring out the best of who someone is."