Starting with the title, Spiritual Activator: 5 Steps to Clearing, Unblocking, and Protecting Your Energy to Attract More Love, Joy, and Purpose—released by Oliver Niño, aka the Spiritual Activator, in March—can sound a little esoteric. But the author and energy healer, who resides near a 40-acre retreat center in Dolores he purchased in 2020, says his methods aren’t as arcane as they might seem.

“I like to take it from the basics,” Niño says. “If you’re talking to your parents on the phone or a loved one and you get into a heated argument, how do you release the negativity?” His suggested strategies include solitary walks in the woods, salt baths, journaling, and laughter.

“If somebody’s never picked up a crystal or used incense and done energy work, it doesn’t mean that they can’t clear their energy,” Niño says. “We’re all born with different tools that feel natural to us. For some people, they love moving their bodies, right? They like exercising, yoga, dancing. Moving the body is a great way to move energy.”

The cover of Oliver Niño's Spiritual Activator book
Photo courtesy of Hay House

If that sounds a lot like what many of us would simply call self-care, Niño is OK with that. The Filipino-born son of two medical professionals who immigrated to the United States when he was 18, Niño spent many years as a buttoned-up business professional. For part of that time, after he’d received what he calls an activation from an energy healing, he lived in what he calls “a spiritual closet.”

“I didn’t want anybody to know that I was a healer,” Niño says. “I had this limiting belief that if they knew that, it would be too woo-woo. I was living a double life. And then in 2015, I walked away from all that, because it was not the calling that I’m on this planet to do.”

Since then, Niño has done tens of thousands of healings with people from all over the world—including celebs such as Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, and James Van Der Beek—and begun hosting multiweek online and in-person healer trainings at his Dolores property, which sleeps 60 and is dotted with features such as pyramids, geodesic domes, and labyrinths. He has stories about seemingly miraculous physical and psychological transformations, but he doesn’t lead with those. “If it happens, it happens,” Niño says. “I don’t want to scare people away with huge claims and promises.”

Instead, he focuses on the power of the mind. For those who struggle with anxiety in public places, for example—perhaps because they are extra sensitive to the energies of others—Niño might suggest visualization strategies like picturing themselves in a bubble or pyramid of a color that soothes them, wearing a crystal to absorb negative energy, or even prayer for the religiously inclined.

“From a scientific perspective, the placebo works because people believe it,” Niño says. To that end, his new book is meant to be a toolkit of sorts, from which readers can choose and layer the strategies that speak to their sensibilities, lifestyles, and cultural backgrounds. If someone finds just one technique that helps them live, in Niño’s words, at a higher vibration, great. If readers feel called to go deeper into their healing journeys via Niño’s online and in-person trainings in Dolores through his company Geo Love Healing, even better.

“Typically, the clue is when you look back in your childhood—there are always things that you love doing, when you feel connected,” Niño says. “You realize, I don’t have to do anything outside of what I have a natural affinity to. It’s not something that people have to learn; it’s something you just have to remember.”