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Friday, July 29, 2011

11th Street- The story of the 1st full-time Integrated Therapist in Philadelphia's conventional heatlhcare system

Editor's note: Arlene is a Reiki practitioner, graduate of The Reiki School + Clinic, and an employee at The 11th Family Street Health Center of Drexel University (11th Street). The team at the Reiki School + Clinic, also contributing editors to The Reiki Digest, asked Arlene to share the story of creating a full time (with benefits), salaried position of Integrated Therapy Practitioner at 11th Street. This position, which slowly grew out of an interest in Reiki, turned out to be a valuable resource that answered a wide demand for wellness services in the community. It's a great example of truly integrated cared in conventional medicine.

By Arlene McCullough, contributing editor

Imagine going to your primary care doctor for your annual exam or blood pressure check. At The 11th Family Street Health Center, in Philadelphia, one also has the option of seeing a Integrated Therapist for Reiki treatment. How did this come about? It was facilitated through the skillfulness of Reiki practitioner Jenny Bohrman. In 2007, Bohrman worked at 11th Street as a fitness coordinator along side of the physical therapist. She was also studying to be a Reiki Master Practitioner at The Reiki School + Clinic. Jenny approached 11th Street’s director, Patricia Garrity, with the premise of introducing Reiki to the center.

Garrity agreed, and as Bohrman began working with patients who had high blood pressure, MS and those recovering from strokes, the word got out. Patients desired more knowledge about Reiki, and the staff at 11th Street also began to inquire about receiving sessions. What started as an occasional added service slowly became a daily program. Both patients and staff reported that Reiki helped with stress reduction and relaxation.

Management created time slots for staff to schedule appointments. These sessions enriched the staff; the workplace was calmer and flowed with better teamwork. As a result of these Reiki sessions, committees were established to forge better communications and ideas amongst staff. Jenny, who is now studying to become a physician, reported that it was easy to initiate a Reiki program at 11th Street. She found the staff open and supportive regarding patient wellness.

When Jenny left 11th Street to go to medical school, the administration recruited practitioners to continue the program and hired Tania Alexandra, a former staff member at The Reiki School + Clinic, to perform Reiki and massage, and to offer Yoga classes. Yoga became very popular and patients and staff began requesting more wellness services for 11th Street. When Tania departed for a move out-of-state, Helaina Johnson (also a staff member and Reiki School grad) entered, offering weekly Reiki and massage. Helaina was hired as an interim employee. The desire for wellness services became so paramount that 11th Street created a full-time Complementary Integrated Therapist (CIT) position, complete wit salary and benefits.  As the search for a full-time, paid CIT got underway, Helaina filled-in so services would not lapse.

In 2010, after many months of selective interviews, Kathleen Guidotti was offered the CIT position. Certified in many modalities including massage, reflexology, Reiki, yoga, and meditation, Guidotti had been a practitioner for many years. At 11th Street she works alongside nurse practitioners as well as health/physical therapists. Patients may request her services individually, or as a part of a visit to another health care provider. Some of Kathleen’s services include stress reduction, breathing techniques, massage, Reiki treatment and yoga classes.

Kathleen posts positive affirmations throughout the space, in the restrooms and doors, inviting those who read them to breathe, smile or have a peaceful moment. Staff meetings begin with with meditation or deep breathing. Who knew this would come to pass? When Reiki was introduced at 11th Street Family Health Center, so was the concept of wellness. Reiki created a space for openness to other modalities. It fit with the center’s philosophy of people healing themselves, their community and the planet. From the research I’ve done, it is my understanding that this is the first full-time, paid position for an Integrated Therapies practitioner in any medical or health care setting in Philadelphia.

From my perspective as an employee, the journey of bringing Reiki to 11th Street appeared relatively seamless. At the time, I didn’t know all that was involved. While exploring the evolution of the CIT position for this article, however, I found an appreciation of the hard work and efforts to initiate the Reiki process. The benefits have been enormous. Patients as well as staff have become more educated as well as proactive when participating in community wellness. I have witnessed first hand the transformation in patients' lives. This has made me value working at 11th Street Health Center; my experience of this process has also influenced my own decision to become a Reiki practitioner. After reviewing articles where Reiki is offered in hospitals and clinics, I can see that its influence is becoming definitive. It appears that as time goes on complementary care will be a standard in the future.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Reiki perspectives: special Reiki

Who doesn't know what it feels like to want to be special? Truly, we all have our moments. And Reiki practitioners really are special: our touch can sweetly and dramatically change someone's life. How can be balance the wonder of Reiki touch with our very human emotional needs so that we can have an integrated, healthy life? Read more ...

Medical Reiki classes with Pamela Miles in London and NYC



Even seasoned Reiki practitioners and health care professionals face challenges bringing Reiki into conventional medicine. This seminar teaches you the skills, information and proven strategies you need to succeed.

Special Medical Reiki Class in London, England
September 10 & 11, 2011
10 AM – 6 PM
Class fee: £175 before June 1: £195 after June 1
Cancellation accepted minus £35 until August 1
University of London, 23 Kensington Square

Register here

Medical Reiki will be offered at the New York Open Center October 15 & 16. Contact the Open Center for registration (212) 219.2527.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The weekly waka

a squeaky screen door,
and the song of crickets --
summer evenings on the porch

by Beth Lowell

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The weekly waka

come and gone too soon
summer days
the idle hours spilling
late into the evening

by Beth Lowell

Monday, July 11, 2011

Reiki perspectives: Hot off the press

The United Kingdom has long enjoyed access to a wide range of traditional health care approaches such as homeopathy, herbalism, and more recently Reiki. Now homeopathic hospitals have closed, and the Advertising Standards Authority is clamping down on claims made on Reiki websites. Whether or not you practice in the UK, you'll want to know what happened to one Reiki practitioner and what her suggestions are if you face a similar challenge in your community. Read more.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Please welcome guest editor Mari Hall

Mari Hall

Dear readers,

Please join us in welcoming this month's guest editor, Mari Hall.

Mari Hall, PhD, Reiki Master Teacher and author is the Founding Director of the International Association of Reiki (est.1989). Mari's mission is to inspire people to use their reawakened spirit and values in their personal and professional lives. Her passion is for people to connect to their inner peace and through creative resolution take this out into the world.

Touching into My Own Master Within

By Mari Hall

For many years I searched for the truth outside of myself. It was quite easy to see others as having more knowledge or being more spiritual than myself. I tried various forms of meditation, carried all sorts of crystals in my pocket to help me in what ever I was doing. If something didn’t work then it was of course that I had the wrong crystal that day, or my pendulum was not working properly or worse yet my angels and guides had taken a holiday leaving me to fend for myself.

The problem was that I did not see that there was something so magical I could find in my self and depended on an external source seen or unseen to support me. Now don’t get me wrong - I believe in angels. I am also very attached to spiritual masters such as Mother Mary. The difference now is that I work with them from the center of myself where my love, light, and inner master resides.

I believe that Reiki helps us to come into a place where we can discover this inner source of peace and support. Reiki helps us to create an inner landscape for our meeting with the divine.

I am certainly no different than many of you who may be in Reiki. We all have come to Reiki for many reasons and I would imagine that like me you have experienced big changes in your life and living. I had no idea that the way I had lived my life before kept me energetically outside of my being. I was separate from others but also separate from myself.

After I took my Reiki course my whole life changed. My deep depression lifted. I was more willing to accept what life had brought to me. I took responsibility for myself. I saw beauty and love around me and experienced it inside me. I was living life. I felt whole. The more I changed, the more I responded to others. I was no longer closed. The layers of defense that I had so carefully built up all this time one by one were stripped away as I continued to work on myself by giving daily Reiki treatments. The deepest healing for me was not physical; it was emotional and mental. I began to have hope and trust in life. Even when things happened that normally I would have reacted to by closing or condemning I saw as a gift to help me wake up spiritually.

My life began to have a natural ebb and flow; I was swimming with life, not against it. When emotions came up to be expressed and released. I did not need to understand why, only to do Reiki on myself. I allowed the natural process of coming back into my center to continue. I could see how the world was constructed of people who had forgotten their basic truth of oneness.

But how do we experience this oneness and what will we do from the center of ourselves once we have found it? When we surrender into the practice of Reiki the energy itself becomes our teacher. What I had experienced in the form of change was nothing more than becoming more centered and in tune with other people and our world. It is a continuing process. Each day becomes a miracle as we see and experience this shifting and coming back into our divine nature. As we let go of what we have fought so hard to attain, “the definition of our individual self”, we also realize we are one with all things.

I have felt in my soul that the way to harmony is not climbing above others but to go deep inside myself and bring light to my own darkness. The way to be transformed is becoming one with myself and in this moment I am also one with all others. I have reached the inner most core of my being, the light and the master within.

I have found that Reiki gives me the ability to process life events in a clearer more objective way. By using Reiki on a daily basis to stay in harmony I am better able to handle life’s messages. I know that all events in my life are miracles if I am open to receive them. It is life’s way of waking me up and to come back into the center where the love is. The more resistance I have the more of my ego is involved. I use Reiki to release my need to be right and safe. It is a process that becomes part of your life like breathing. I am not separate from Reiki I am Reiki and it supports me to live a life with much more majesty and grace.

When I want to have a dialogue with my inner master I normally give my self a Reiki treatment first. This is to relax my body, mind and soul. I will sometimes put on lovely uplifting music and find a quiet place to be still. I do not have a body position or special practice. I feel that the intention of connection is so important. I breathe and become aware of my surroundings the smells, the sounds all the things that make up that moment of the day. I use all my senses to become more vibrant and alive. Then I close my eyes and go inside. Each breath I take I feel myself going into to the center of my being and into the light. This is the place I call oneness.

I do not asked to see anyone in the space. What I know in my heart is that this is the place of deep contentment and peace. It is the everything and also the nothing. I sit and bless my day, the people who have come into my life. I give thanks for a good rest and dreams. I send blessings for the people near to me in my heart using the 2nd degree Reiki symbols. I am willing for what ever happens to be there. At times I ask questions and sometimes I get answers however I make no demands. I open and spend time connected to the source within myself.

As a result of my time with the divine my sensitivity has increased so much so that I feel the slightest changes in my surroundings, because I am the surroundings. I am one with all things and sourced beyond measure. It has been a profound lesson for me to experience my relationship to all things on so many levels. I also have realized that when I am with people and I am in harmony I can feel if they are in harmony or not. I can hear the music as we come together. I send them second-degree Reiki energy when I feel a “sour note” so that they can heal themselves and come back in to tune.

Everything is so interdependent. Once you have given yourself this gift of connection there will never be any doubt of these interrelationships. I gaze at the stars at night, feel their energy, and know that this connection also extends out past this world to the universe and what lies beyond. How I treat Mother earth is also an indication of how I treat myself. If I am concerned about her and how she has become contaminated I must also be concerned enough to see how I have polluted my self with thoughts, emotions, food that have become toxic in my body, mind and spirit.

One of the most beautiful aspects about Reiki is the experience of returning to an inner and peaceful core. As more of us make this return we will also see a change in our environment. Instead of making war with each other we can then work together to make environmental changes. We are naturally more response-able to our world. The work always starts within and radiates outward. The journey home is then a profound one because its effects are experienced on a global level.

Our inner landscape that houses our inner light and the master within is then mirrored in our external world. We see the light in all beings and recognize the master in them.


I honor the place in you where Spirit lives...
I honor the place in you that is of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace.
When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me;
then we are One.


The Reiki roundup

Wayne, NJ, USA: Reiki, a Japanese hands-on therapy, works at balancing the body's energy . Tihan, the founder of The Reiki Healing Center of NJ now puts her traditionally trained scientific mind to work to demystify Reiki (pronounced "ray-key"), the Japanese hands-on healing method used for stress reduction, relaxation and to promote healing.

Baltimore, MD, USA: The Reiki clinic at Metro Health offers an alternative to conventional therapy. In a darkened room, used normally for chemotherapy, Reiki practitioner Anita Hayes works on client Fran Gonzalez. Many people, like Gonzalez, choose Reiki to relieve stress. "Reiki really helps to focus your mind, body, spirit and soul," she says.

Syracuse, NY, USA:  A healing energy? Now in hospitals, Reiki musters critics and fans. A controversial healing therapy touted by some as an almost magical stress reliever and dismissed by others as quackery is going mainstream at some Syracuse hospitals.

Vancouver, Canada: Reiki on Morning TV. Tania and Virginia talk about and demonstrate Reiki on Breakfast Television

Harrisburg, PA, USA: Integrative therapy program helps cancer patients through treatment and recovery. The Harrisburg resident found relief through participation in a community-based integrative therapy program in Carlisle called Partners in Wellness, aimed specifically at improving quality of life for cancer patients during treatment and recovery.

Boston, MA, USA: Many patients faced with hospitalization are under a great deal of stress, but thanks to Brigham and Woman's Hospital Department of Nursing’s Integrative Care Reiki Volunteer Program, these patients—and their families—have a way to relax.

Celeb-Reiki Shania!

Shania Twain talked about Reiki helping find her voice on her show, "Why Not?" with Shania Twain.

Music I like to practice Reiki by

The CD I love to play when I am treating clients is "All is Forgiven" by Ashana. I am literally transported into states of wonder and gratitude. The beauty of her voice touches my heart evoking overflowing love and peace.

Ashna's CDs are available on iTunes and

The weekly waka


Reiki energy:
Atmosphere of the Divine.
How I wish I could
Experience its Great Light
In all aspects of my life.

by Colin Powell

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The weekly waka

Community not Collection

A community
cultivates diversity,
seeks non violence,
allowing folks freedom to
live in universal love!

by Glenn Plyler