Today, I had the pleasure of meeting with a nursing student from Anderson University who is taking a whole semester long class on alternative therapies... how cool is that?! For her final project, she chose to focus on Reiki. She originally asked only for an interview, but I invited her in for a Reiki + crystal therapy session because Reiki, while it can be described in words, is something that in its essence is ineffable, meaning it is beyond words. The best way for someone to understand Reiki is to experience Reiki. She asked some really interesting questions, and I felt inspired to share my responses with all of you!
How are you qualified to administer this treatment/therapy?
The short answer is that I have been trained through The International Center for Reiki Training (www.reiki.org) through the level of Reiki Master. There are three levels of training with Reiki Master being the most advanced level of training one can receive other than continuing education and experience.
The longer answer is that no one can actually master Reiki. Like the Holy Spirit, we are working with the intelligent spiritual life force energy of the universe. My goal is never to claim to be a “Master of Reiki”, but to surrender and let Reiki master me… to become an empty vessel through which Reiki/The Holy Spirit/God works through me. I am qualified you could say because my goal is to get out of the way and let the intelligent energy of the body be the leader. Just like our bodies know how to heal a broken bone and regulate our heart beat, our bodies, if we simply get out of our own way, know how to heal themselves and return to homeostasis. This is a primary function of Reiki: to return the body to a state of deep relaxation, rest/digest mode, where the innate intelligence of the body can take over.
Did you receive specialized education or training? If so, where/when?
Hairstylist - 2006-2014: The role of a hairstylist is much more than styling hair. One often plays the role of therapist, and it is here where I really began to hone my skill of being able to talk to people of all ages and walks of life. It is also where I began to feel comfortable touching people for a living while focusing on a relaxing, spa like atmosphere.
Reiki level I certification - 2012
Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies - College of Charleston - 2014: Religious Studies changed my life forever. I was able to study world religions from Islam to Native American traditions. I had a particular interest in studying Native American healing ceremonies and shamans, mystics from all world religions, and Asian traditions such as Buddhism and Taoism. This is where I found my soul crying out and wishing I could be like one of the mystic shamans I was writing papers about! The intellectual mind has a tendency to hold one back though, questioning if one is worthy enough to be able to hold such awesome wonder in their daily lives as being a mystical shaman. The seed had been planted and awakened within me though while an undergrad for Religious Studies, but it was not at this time where I took my leap out of my comfort zone to follow my soul’s calling. My mind was still winning a bit too much and thought the idea was a bit too fantastical and unrealistic.
Registered Dental Hygienist - Greenville Technical College - 2019: Here is where I began to really focus on addressing people’s health from a preventative stance rather than a reactionary response to disease. I studied human anatomy and physiology, microbiology, nutrition, and was even trained in motivational interviewing techniques to help people come to their own conclusions on how to best address and change their health and daily habits leading to overall healthier lifestyle choices
Reiki level II certification - July 2020
Reiki Master certification - March 2021
Why did you choose this therapy/career?
Reiki, in a way, saved my life. I was struggling with an overuse injury from dental hygiene within only 6 months of graduating and working full-time as a RDH in late 2019. I was facing surgery after a series of unsuccessful steroid shots, and was extremely unhappy and stressed. I was seeking ways to ease my nervous system and to heal my body. I had received an energy healing session from a friend of mine in early 2020, and it was so profound, it prompted me to want to train in Reiki again after receiving my level I certification in 2012. I received my Reiki level II certification and started practicing self-Reiki every day. It calmed me like nothing else had, it brought deeper insights from deep within my heart and soul, and I started to actually peel back the layers and honor what my heart was calling me to do. I did not train in Reiki to begin offering it to others. I trained in it because it was the medicine I needed. In time, it naturally evolved into a business, but it was never my original plan.
Can you provide examples of the success in your practice?
Some of the most prominent and immediate physical changes I’ve seen in clients are with two particular men I’ve been treating:
One in particular came to see me simply for stress reduction as a go-getter 30’s something business owner. He never mentioned to me that he had had an old injury in which he fell on his tailbone that left him with erectile dysfunction and numbness. One day during a session where I was working on his low back, I felt a surge of energy rush through me and then he said he felt a release within his tailbone and pelvic region that reduced his back pain. At his next session, he disclosed to me his history of dealing with numbness and erectile issues, but how since that session his feeling had been restored and he’s been able to experience life with more pleasure and ease.
Another example is the husband of a chiropractor who had been dealing with an outward turned right foot that caused constant, low-grade pain. He was only “duck-footed” on one side and even with his wife being a chiropractor and receiving adjustments regularly, he could not figure out why his body would not align his leg into proper, forward facing alignment. Within a few sessions, we were able to bring his body back into alignment and I literally watched his body bring his foot/leg/hip back into a state of health and alignment. His foot is now forward facing and the pain is gone.
I’ve also experienced supporting people through profound changes and transitions in their lives. One such example was a woman who was feeling very stuck and unhappy in her career. During her session, she was struck with the inspiration to open her own business. She was filled with so much zest for life and inner fire to create her dream that within a week’s time she had created her website and is now a happy business owner.
Other examples of healing are on a psychosomatic level:
I saw a woman dealing with deep pain within her left shoulder/chest region with no understanding of what caused it and had been unable to heal it through various methods. This woman is a massage therapist with many tools at her disposal. I was able to guide her into visualizing what this energy felt like in her body to which she described as a heavy, metal anvil falling onto her. She also described that the way she experienced it was cartoon-like so I quickly thought of the cartoon “Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner” and told her to bring in a trampoline for the anvil to bounce off of so it wouldn’t crush her. She then started to feel protected from the weight of it and we were able to dissolve the metal anvil with the imagery of an acid bath. After the anvil imagery was processed and gone, she began to cry and remembered a very traumatic experience of physical abuse from her partner at the time while pregnant with him sitting on her chest and choking her. She continued to process this trauma with the assistance of Reiki and by the end of the session, her pain was gone, her range of motion had increased, and she said this was the safest she had felt in her body that she can remember.
Another example is of a young boy around 7 years old. His mother reported that he had been experiencing extreme depression since he was born, and that even his teachers had been concerned as he had confided in his desire to end his life to them. During his session, he became so relaxed that he fell into a deep sleep. When he awoke, he said he felt brighter. The next day, his teachers even called home to tell his mother that they could notice a difference within him and to ask what had changed. This was a very profound and immediate change that only required one session. I checked in several months later with the mother to see how her son was doing, and she reported a happy and thriving little boy!
Is this treatment/therapy readily available?
Reiki is one of the most popular energy healing techniques worldwide, and while it is more popular in certain areas such as the west coast of the states and in larger cities, it is quickly growing. In areas where it is well established, you will find Reiki on the service menu of any quality spa right alongside massage and other spa services. My goal is to establish it as the norm within my community and beyond. I am currently training students and would love to see Reiki offered more and more!
Can this therapy/treatment be used for any age/gender/etc?
Yes! I’ve treated all types of people from babies to the elderly, from cis-gender to queer and trans, from those with cancer to those who are simply seeking stress reduction. Reiki is for ALL and all can practice Reiki! Reiki can even be given to animals!
What are the components that go into this therapy/treatment? (materials)
In its essence, there are no materials or requirements other than one having an open heart to access the infinite and abundant source of energy around them. Some people, such as myself include other tools in conjunction with Reiki energy such as crystals, sound therapy, sacred smoke cleansing, etc.
Do multiple sessions need to be done to solve the patient/client's problem?
It really depends on the person and the issue. Just like it can sometimes take years to create a state of chronic dis-ease within the body, it can sometimes take multiple sessions to reestablish a state of ease within the body. Like cars, we require regular maintenance. We need to have a healthy diet, sleep well, and move our bodies often. We need to take care of our physical hygiene such as washing our hands and brushing/flossing our teeth to stay healthy. We also need to take care of our energy hygiene, something that people don’t think about as often, but we are not just physical beings. We are holistic beings with a soul, an emotional and mental body just as much as we are physical beings. Reiki treats the holistic being that we truly are… not as parts, an organ here, a mental health issue and pill there, but the whole being: mind, body, and soul.
In your own opinion, would there be any downside to this treatment/therapy?
Reiki, as spiritually guided life-force energy, can do no harm and there is no overdoing it when it comes to receiving it!
Briefly explain chakras in connecting to Reiki
The chakra system, while not a technical part of traditional Japanese Reiki, is a beautiful tool to explore energy balancing. The chakra system is an ancient system of understanding and mapping the body within the Ayruvedic tradition that developed in India thousands of years ago. Chakras are like energetic organs. For example, our root chakra, red in color and at the base of our spine, correlates to our foundational principles within our body such as our skeletal system, teeth, bladder, kidneys, lower extremities, and our adrenal glands. Our root chakra governs the foundations of our lives such as our basic needs and security, financial and home life, and how connected we are to our body and the earth. When this chakra is within balance, there is health, vitality, and a sense of groundedness. One is trusting, and feels safe and secure. When this chakra is imbalanced, there can be depression, a lack of energy and focus, greed, a fear of safety, or financial instability. Reiki can work with the chakra system to promote balance within each chakra, helping one find balance in all areas of life.
Can this therapy/treatment be done at home? If so, what materials are needed?
Reiki can most definitely be administered at home by the individual. There are no materials needed other than one to receive an energetic attunement and training to channel Reiki energy themselves.
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I hope you enjoyed this in-depth exploration into Reiki and my own personal background! Are there any other questions you have? I'd love to hear them and help answer them to the best of my abilities :)
Thank you Madison for your interest in learning more about Reiki
and for your permission to share these photos!
Best of luck to you in your studies and your professional career <3