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Monday, February 08, 2010

Gimme Reiki!

By Beth Lowell

On Saturday, January 30, I participated in the Wellness Gala held at the Unitarian Fellowship, in Morristown, New Jersey. I heard about it through the Holistic Mentorship Network, an organization located in New Jersey but whose members come from around the world. Debbie Peterson started the Wellness Gala a few years ago. Her son had healed from a debilitating disease after she sought help from a practitioner whom Debbie describes as an energy healer. Debbie was so grateful that her son had found relief that she started the gala to bring public awareness to the wide variety of integrative healing modalities that exist. I’d heard she got a good crowd, so I thought I’d try it.

Attending practitioners are required to don gala-caliber garb. There’s live music and healthy gourmet refreshments for the public. It sounded like a low key and relaxing day. As I got settled into my space, I imagined people strolling around to the sound of violin music, sampling the hors d’oeuvres and chatting to the practitioners whose expertise ranged from massage and the Bowen technique to Feng Shui and aromatherapy, to homeopaths and intuitive readers and sellers of salt lamps and crystal jewelry. I sat next to another Reiki practitioner and a shaman. I envisioned talking to people about Reiki for animals, perhaps doing a demo on one of the stuffed animals I brought, and of course, offering Reiki treatments so that people could see first hand how good it would feel to their pets.

I was not at all prepared for what happened next when the doors opened at one o’clock. A flood of people stampeded into the room. I watched as they grabbed my clipboard and started signing themselves up for Reiki treatments. Before two o’clock, my dance card was full.

There were the few who had never heard of Reiki but wanted to try it, and there were those who’d had Reiki treatments in the past. There were practitioners of all levels. There was the woman who had grown used to her hour-long Reiki session at the spa only to be left feeling high and dry when her practitioner left. The spa had hired replacements, but they just weren’t the same. (Having gone through the same thing with many a hairdresser, I could relate to this poor woman’s dilemma.) I handed her my card and noted on the back the address for the editor of The Reiki Digest – surely there was a Reiki practitioner in Manalapan, NJ, who might be able to help! There was the Reiki Master who had been attuned via the Internet and longed for human contact, and then there was the Reiki 1 practitioner who noticed how in tune her cats became when she meditated and practiced Reiki. I didn’t quite understand what she was saying about the massage part, though, and there wasn’t time to get into it as people were lined up so I moved on.

Some of the questions I got were:

Did you channel the energy from my knee into the ground?
Whose energy am I feeling?
Will you tell me stuff about what you’re sensing?
Do you work on birds?
Can you make my dog nice?
Can you get rid of my headache?

By four o’clock, some of the people who had signed up earlier had to leave for the day and would not be keeping their appointments. But it didn’t matter; other people showed up and filled their slots. Finally, I was winding down with the last two appointments of the day. Practitioners had strict orders to finish up by 5:50. It was 5:45.

I heard a woman who had been waiting patiently for the last ten minutes ask the practitioner next to me for a treatment, but the practitioner had blocked out the last appointment of the day so she could get ready to leave. The woman turned to me.

I told the woman that I was sorry and that we were out of time. But the woman persisted. She was one of the hired musicians and had been playing the cello all day. She had a sinus headache and her arms were sore. I couldn’t turn her down. I had little to pack up and so we started. At six o’clock, I put my hand on the woman’s shoulder and apologized that we didn’t have more time, and I told her I hoped I had helped at least in some small way. She gave me a big smile and asked for my card.

It was rewarding to hear from so many people how much they appreciated what I did – but equally or more gratifying was to learn how many people not only know about Reiki, but recognize its importance in their lives. It was really nothing short of amazing.

You can learn more about the Wellness Gala by visiting wellnessgala.com

Reiki Master Teacher Beth Lowell is an animal Reiki specialist based in Morristown, New Jersey, and a frequent contributor to The Reiki Digest.

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