My Reiki journey began when I was a critical care nurse at Yale New Haven Hospital in the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit. My work with patients recovering from life-threatening conditions and awaiting heart transplants inspired me to take a holistic approach to health care. One of my co-workers, a Reiki Master, invited four of our other co-workers and myself to enroll in her Reiki 1 class. The goal was to create a calming and healing environment within our unit. I then offered Reiki treatments to patients, families, and staff members. The following year, we progressed to Reiki 2, deepening our practice, and now we had indeed created a healing environment within our unit. However, at this time, I was not yet doing daily self-practice.
A highlight of my career was participating in a study facilitated by Pamela Miles, an international Reiki Master, regarding the effect of Reiki vs. beta blockers on heart rate variability. A comprehensive article on this topic can be found at https://reikiinmedicine.org/clinical-practice/reiki-heart-attack-reik/. In 2011, at which time I was considering making a career change, I enrolled in Pamela Miles’s Medical Reiki Intensive course. It was when I started taking classes with Pamela Miles that I was encouraged to start my own daily self-practice and live by the Reiki Precepts. I became a participant in the Meyerson JCC Public Reiki Clinic in Manhattan and their annual Spa Day for women cancer patients. This influenced my decision to remain a critical care nurse and incorporate my Reiki practitioner skills into my work. I found that Reiki kept me balanced, in mind, body, and spirit.
My initial retirement goal was to bring Reiki into the community through patient sessions and presentations. I started offering these sessions at Orange Chiropractic Center in Orange, Connecticut, and Wallingford Senior Center and Wallingford Family YMCA in Wallingford, Connecticut.
I participated in various public clinics, fundraisers, and Yale New Haven Heart and Vascular Center events. I then decided to teach this wonderful practice. I became a Reiki Master, studying with Kathie Lipinski, RN, MSN, RMT, CH at Healing from the Heart NY. Not only would I teach within a community setting but within a hospital as well. Mrs. Lipinski, my teacher, advised, “See where this takes you.” As it happened, it took me to Wallingford Adult Education, which eagerly accepted my proposal to teach.
Teaching within a community setting sounded great, but what about teaching Reiki classes at the hospital to staff? That practice had already been in place by the Volunteer Department. Shortly after receiving that response, I got an email from the Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts Center in Middletown, Connecticut, accepting my proposal to teach Reiki. Here I was with two venues in which to teach in the community. I was grateful for those options, but I had wanted to share my expertise with hospital personnel as well.
As Phyllis Lei Furumoto (the late Grand Master) had always pointed out in her Global Reiki webinars, “Reiki gives me what I need, not what I want.” I teach my students the importance of self-practice, as well as practicing on others.
Teaching Reiki at the Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts Center as a healing art was exactly what I needed. I became very much involved in this wonderful community. It gave me the opportunity to read poetry and short stories by talented and diverse authors, poets, and spiritual leaders at their Open-Mic Everything Goes platform. (I had never considered myself a performer, but this became my Monday night activity throughout the lockdown.)
Reiki practice improved my writing skills, which was necessary for writing the biographies and services for my website. It led me to writing and publishing editorials and profile pages for Natural Awakenings, a holistic magazine. I wrote and published several articles for the American Volkswalk Association, describing the pandemic’s effect on sanctioned walks throughout the country.
Once social distancing became warranted as a preventative measure to stop the spread of the coronavirus, we had to develop other ways to bring Reiki to the public safely. I received many requests for remote treatments as people became more stressed and anxious. I was also asked to teach on Zoom; however, that was one thing I did not feel called to do. As the present Grand Master, Johannes Reindl, said on one of his Facebook Lives, “When we meet again, my chairs will be ready for you.”
The pandemic brought together the “Zoom Boom,” making it possible for all Reiki practitioners to connect throughout the world. The Reiki Association was very instrumental in establishing virtual programs so that everyone could connect , learn, and practice together. We established many different support systems within our virtual communities. Through Reiki meditation Zoom meetings, I have met people whom I would not have otherwise met.
So Reiki did give me what I needed: involvement in the healing arts within the communities of Middletown and Wallingford. As an added bonus, it improved my writing and performing skills. Most of all, I established a connection with the Reiki Association and Touch magazine, which I eagerly look forward to reading.