“Have you ever sat at a traffic light, in a fully enclosed vehicle, and suddenly had the sensation that someone was looking at you? You turn, and sure enough-the person in the next car is smiling intently in your direction.
We’ve all walked into a room, and suddenly gotten a positive or negative vibe-yet no one has spoken a word to us. You feel joy, happiness, sadness, or even anger-for no apparent reason.
Have you ever woken with a start, in the middle of the night, to find your young child quietly standing in your doorway? Just their presence alerted you to wake up.
All of those sensations are related to the body’s energy and its ability to put off, as well as sense, energy even at a distance. The Chinese call it qi. Hawaiians call it mana. And in India, it’s referred to as prana. The body is made up of a powerful electrical system, with nerves and neutrons firing and reacting before we even know it. Energy medicine is the practice of harnessing and magnifying your body’s energetic system, in a way that allows it to be focused and controlled.” – Dr. Dana Schoonmaker, D.C.-ChiroFit, Inc.
Alternative medicine has many benefits, and energy medicine is just one facet of the practice. Stories circulate about people who, after refusing traditional treatments, were able to recover from terminal illness or tragedy through yoga, acupuncture, and massage. Others have benefited from magnetic therapy, UV light treatments, far infrared heat, and even sound or music therapy to relax the brain waves. While some appear to be more fiction than fact, a growing body of research proves that the mind body connection is stronger than many doctors previously understood.
Respected authorities like Dr. Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra and Dr. Lisa Rankin have increased awareness regarding complementary and alternative medicine treatments. Recent polls show that over 40% of Americans have tried one of these alternative therapies, mostly due to lack of success or frustration with Western treatments, as well as side effects from pills and prescription drugs.
Amber Melendy, Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher and founder of Shine on Yoga and Healing Center in Orlando, provided more details on some of these therapies and a to discuss Reiki, a form of energetic touch that can soothe the body, potentially providing relief from stress and pain. Outside of yoga classes and workshops, Amber provides healing sessions such as Jikiden Reiki, Chakra Balancing and Crystal Healing.
Reiki therapy, which grew in popularity after being mentioned by Dr. Oz, whose wife Lisa is a Reiki Master, “I’ve worked and trained with some of the finest medical schools and hospitals in the country, and I know firsthand the amazing miracles we can achieve with modern Western medicine,” said Dr. Oz. “But I also know that for centuries, people around the world have developed alternative therapies to treat the body, mind and soul.”
WHAT IS REIKI
Stemming from Oriental medicine, Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is a Japanese word meaning “universal life force energy”. It is based upon the transfer of energy, from the hands of one person to the body of another, to promote one’s natural healing abilities, and encourage stress reduction and relaxation.
As with other Eastern practices, such as acupuncture, Reiki focuses on opening up disrupted energy pathways in the body (Dr. Schoonmaker says this is similar to short circuits in a house’s electrical wiring) which can be caused by physical, emotional and environmental stressors. Unlike the needles used in acupuncture to physically unblock those circuits, Reiki relies on the healer to use a light touch, similar to massage, to ‘channel’ energy (or qi) through the body for re-balancing.
REIKI WHAT TO EXPECT
The best way to understand Reiki is through experience, but it can be intimidating to try something new without knowing what the treatment entails. I met with Amber for a session to understand what the process entails and how you should expect to feel: before, during and after treatment.
An average Reiki therapy session will include:
- A 10-15 min discussion with the Reiki master before treatment
- The discussion will include aspects of both physical and mental health
- A quiet spa-like treatment room is provided for the client to lie down
- Clients remain fully clothed and are often covered with a blanket to further promote comfort and relaxation
- The Reiki practitioner will lightly place their hands on or above areas of focus to help guide energy
- Some use light massage to create energy and heat in the body
- Sessions can last from 45-90 minutes
Throughout the session there may be sensations of warmth, and occasionally slight discomfort (happiness, sadness, or other emotions), as energy is brought to areas of stagnation. Others report falling asleep or complete relaxation during treatment.
After treatment most report a relief from pain and a greater sense of well-being. Some notice a change immediately and others may notice it within the days following treatment. As with all treatments, the results depend largely upon the health and mental state of the recipient, as well as the quality of the practitioner. Some might feel pain relief immediately, or it could take a few treatments before substantial results are noticed.
If you are interested in trying energy medicine, be sure to check the credentials of your practitioner, their reviews, and be sure that you’re comfortable with their methodologies.
Shine On Yoga
Orlando based Shine On Yoga is a donation based yoga studio in Thornton Park, providing health and wellness services through Founder, Amber Melendy.
The studio offers donation based yoga throughout the week, along with group healing and relaxation/stress reduction sessions for those who may not feel that they can afford ongoing personalized treatment.
619 N. Thornton Avenue • Orlando, FL 32803 • 407-963-1956