Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's Natural

Published Sunday, March 15, 2009 Live Well (Daily Herald)
By Rachel Baruch Yackley

Tense? Overwhelmed? Not feeling well?
Whatever you may be facing, Reiki can bring relaxation, balance, and relief back into your life.

What is Reiki?
Reiki (pronounced “ray-key”) is an ancient noninvasive practice that facilitates stress reduction and relaxation, and promotes the body’s natural ability to heal. This occurs by increasing the flow of energy, what some call Life Force Energy or
Qi, by laying on of the hands.

“Reiki is a hands-on healing modality which balances everyone from the inside out,” said JR Carmany, Reiki master and co-owner of Soup to Nuts in Geneva.

Reiki is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. Although similar to Therapeutic Touch, Reiki is unique in that it can incorporate elements of other alternative healing practices such as spiritual healing, auras, crystals, chakra balancing,
meditation, aromatherapy, naturopathy and homeopathy.

Jeff Stibal, an engineer from West Chicago, is a Reiki practitioner who regularly attends a monthly gathering at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva called a Reiki Share, at which practitioners learn from each other.

Humorously referring to Reiki as “the height of weirdness,” Stibal said, “This is on the other side of logical,” but conveyed that he has been impressed by the positive responses he has received from those he has treated with Reiki.

Benefits of Reiki
Children and adults can experience relief, relaxation, and enhanced healing from Reiki treatments. You don’t have to believe in it, as Carmany points out: “Something just happens, and people feel better.”

Reiki puts the recipient in a state of deep relaxation. It promotes self healing, strengthens the immune system, enhances detoxification, and more. Post surgical issues; injuries, headaches, intestinal disorders, chronic illnesses, stress and a host of
other issues can all be addressed through Reiki.

One friend whom Stibal treated, came to him after being treated for breast cancer.

“After the Reiki treatment, she felt very relaxed and said it recharged her batteries,” he said. “I don’t heal, but whatever energy is there may help her heal, or relaxes her so her body can heal.”

Stibal has also found Reiki to be a beneficial treatment for pain amelioration.

When a friend came to him soon after a double knee replacement surgery, “I gave her a treatment, and she said it was like a breath of fresh air blew the (residual) anesthesia out of her system.”

Barb Baran, Reiki Master and owner of Blue Violet Bodyworks in Elgin, said Reiki treatments have been gaining in popularity.

“I have had people who’ve lost loved ones come in for help, as well as people looking for alternative health treatments, and people who want to open things up and figure out what they need to do for their bodies,” Baran said.

Reiki makes no diagnosis, and is intended to be a complementary form of healing.

How it works
Reiki opens up energy channels located throughout the body, to promote healing. Balance is achieved by channeling energy or by facilitating the movement of
energy through the body.

“It’s more like rearranging energy. We help the body to heal itself; the individual heals herself,” said Carmany, who refers to herself as a “facilitator for free flowing, balancing energy.”

The client typically remains fully clothed, and lays down on a massage table or sits in a chair.

The practitioner may turn down the lights and play soft music. Using her hands — sometimes resting them on the client, and sometimes letting them hover just above the client — the practitioner draws energy from the universe and directs it,
through her hands, to where it is needed. There’s no pain, no rubbing, cracking, bending; just a very gentle, relaxing treatment.

The Reiki experience
Each person experiences Reiki differently.

“I tell people they don’t have to believe in anything; the proof is in the pudding,” Carmany said. “It’s an individual experience.”

Reiki is offered in a variety of settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, spas, health centers, massage therapy businesses, practitioners’ homes and even in
clients’ homes.

Reiki practitioners encourage everyone interested to schedule a treatment, even if someone is just plain curious and wants to learn more about this alternative healing modality.

Reiki classes are offered by Reiki Master Teachers in many community colleges, health centers, and businesses throughout the area.

Although many attribute a spiritual component to Reiki, Reiki does not challenge, nor conflict with any belief system, and you don’t have to believe in anything. The experience differs for each person and everyone benefits — even the person providing the Reiki treatment.

Certified Reiki practitioners
Of primary importance is to find a qualified Reiki practitioner. This person is not a healer. He or she does not actually do any healing, but works as a channel or facilitator of Reiki energy, to assist others in cultivating their own healing.

Reiki is learned in three stages. The first stage involves an attunement that permits physical healing. Typically, a Reiki I practitioner mainly works on him or herself, but may begin to work on others. The second stage enables one to
carry out healing over a distance, and provides more training for treating others. The third stage allows practitioners to give attunements to their own students. Reiki III is the Reiki Master degree. A certificate of completion is presented
at each level.

It is never ethical for Reiki practitioners to take credit for healing, said Reiki Master Teacher Lori Lane, who periodically teaches Reiki classes and gives attunements to practitioners. Clients are encouraged to consult with licensed medical professionals
regarding all medical issues, she added.

Learning and using Reiki is not dependent on one’s intellectual capacity nor spiritual development, and is available to everyone. It has been successfully taught to thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds.

For more information
To receive Reiki treatments, or for more information, contact an area Reiki Master Practitioner:
JR Carmany
Soup to Nuts, 716 W State St., Geneva
(630) 232-6646

Dr. Karyn Mitchell
The Haven, 603 Geneva Road,
St. Charles
(630) 443-9930

Barb Baran
Blue Violet Bodyworks,
2000 Larkin Ave., Ste. 301, Elgin
(847) 697-5522

The Light Heart Center
165 S. Church St., Winfield

Good Samaritan Health and
Wellness Center
3551 Highland Ave., Downers Grove
(630) 275-2640
See Reiki under “specialty massage"

Northwest Community Hospital
The Wellness Center
900 W. Central Road, Arlington Heights
(847) 618-3500

Edward Hospital & Health Services
801 S. Washington, Naperville
(630) 527-3000
Reiki Clinic at the Cancer Center:
Reiki sessions are offered to cancer patients and their support person, the first Thursday of every month.

Provena St. Joseph Hospital
77 N. Airlite St., Elgin
(847) 695-3200, ext. 5767

Find more at:

A personal experience
A few years ago, I had my first Reiki treatment. We were visiting my husband’s brother, Lee, and his wife, Joy, who is a Reiki

During the course of the week, Joy gave me several Reiki treatments. She played soft music in the background, and
applied a scented oil to her hands. After each treatment I felt calm and relaxed, and experienced quite a bit of relief from a
chronic migraine and intestinal problems. The treatments also left me feeling refreshed, as if I’d just had a great nap.

Inspired to learn more, I took a Reiki I class, offered at the Delnor Health and Wellness Center in Geneva, and taught by Reiki
Master Teacher Lori Lane. A few months later I took the Reiki II class at the same location.

I am a certified Level II Reiki Practitioner, but I don’t do Reiki for a living. My daughter and my husband sometimes request
Reiki treatments for a variety of ailments and discomforts. I do Reiki on myself, for anything from a stuffed nose to pain in my
lower back. I’ve bartered Reiki treatments for massages from professional massage therapists, and I work on friends and
relatives when asked.

During my Reiki training, Lane said that while Reiki energy flows through the practitioner during a treatment, it benefits
the practitioner as well as the receiver. So, every time I work on someone else, I feel a bit better, too.

Reiki promotes and provides assistance to all aspects of healing. It’s easy to give and to receive, and it works!