My Awesome Experience With Reiki, A Crystal, and a Healer’s Visions

reikiFor a while now, I’ve wanted to explore alternative methods of healing. I’ve always been interested in going beyond what’s mainstream. So when I was recently invited to try reiki—a healing technique that I’d heard of but did not know much about—I happily accepted the invitation.

When I think of reiki, I recall an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” in which Debra treats herself to a reiki session and Ray flips out because she’s paid money for “a massage where they don’t even touch you”! But Debra insists that she feels great after the experience.

It’s true that reiki is not like other kinds of massage. Jeanne Placier, a yoga teacher and healer who invited me to try reiki at her new location in Ridgewood, NJ, explained that reiki is an exchange of energy in which the practitioner holds his or her hands just above or lightly on various parts of the body.

I have a feeling that Jeanne’s reiki sessions are beyond ordinary even for reiki. When I walked into her massage room, I felt instantly relaxed. I’m sure this had something to do with Jeanne’s friendly personality as well as the peaceful décor, but there was more to it than that. There is definitely a special energy in her space.

Healing Crystals

Before we started, Jeanne and I talked a bit, and she asked me if I’d like to hold a crystal during the session. I had no idea why she was asking, but I said, “Sure. Why not?” She offered me an amethyst crystal because I’d just mentioned that I’m strongly drawn to third eye energy. While the color for the sixth chakra is traditionally indigo, Jeanne said she likes to use amethyst, which can be used for both the sixth and seventh (crown) chakras.

Later, I asked why Jeanne had offered me the crystal. She explained that the gems enhance the energy-healing experience. “I’ve always been drawn to crystals and colors, especially in jewelry,” Jeanne told me. “As I got older, I started to understand their healing properties and started to collect them to wear, admire and use for healing.”

Jeanne is one of these people who trusts her intuition, and that trust pays off. She went on to explain that sometimes a client has something going on that he or she prefers not to share, but in choosing a crystal, that person instinctively chooses a color that corresponds whatever is going on.

After the session, if the person is interested, Jeanne shares information about the properties of the crystals the person chose. “It’s always dead-on related to an issue they have,” she said. “The experience is inspiring to most clients because they learn that they truly know how to heal themselves.”

My Reiki Experience

Still not exactly sure what to expect, I settled onto the massage table, holding the lovely amethyst crystal in one hand. Jeanne then explained a bit more about what to expect; she told me that people have a variety of experiences with reiki. Some see colors or “something comes up,” she said. “Others report feeling very relaxed and lighter.”

It must take a lot of courage, I thought, to offer this kind of service and trust the outcome.

According to The International Center for Reiki Training, the word reiki can be loosely translated to mean God energy. If the word God doesn’t work for you, call it the energy of the universe or a higher power. Reiki works, says Reiki Master William Lee Rand, by changing the vibratory level of the energy field around a person’s body. The benefits can be physical, emotional, and/or spiritual. During a session, there’s an exchange of energy between client and healer.

The exact nature of the exchange, as I understand it, depends on what’s being worked on—a headache, emotional issue, back pain, or chronic fatigue, for example.

As Jeanne began to work on me, I immediately felt intense heat radiating from her hands, which she held in various spots around my head. I didn’t know until later that she stayed in that space because, she said, “There was a lot going on there.”

A lot going on in my head? Sounds about right, though in recent years I’ve tried to lessen the noise in there with the help of my yoga and meditation practice.

Oddly, I also almost immediately had the sensation that my throat was constricted. It didn’t seem like the type of thing one would experience during a healing treatment, but I definitely felt it, and the sensation lasted for a few minutes. Then I started to feel very relaxed, and I drifted away from the sensation of constriction in my throat.

Light and Color

I was in a more or less meditative state for a while when I began to see an intense bright white light. Though my eyes were closed, my first thought was it must be the sun coming out from behind some clouds and shining through the window. But it was so intense that suspected it was something more. Then, as I focused on the light, it turned green. I waited to see other colors—in fact I tried to see other colors (Is that allowed?)—but I only saw green. The green then dissipated, and I drifted back into a meditative state.

Then again: intense bright white light that faded and turned green. And throughout the entire experience, I continued to feel the comforting warmth that radiated from Jeanne’s hands.

When the session was over, Jeanne asked me about my experience. I told her about the constriction and the white and green light. I already knew that green is the color of the heart chakra, and I suspected that the constriction had some connection. I often feel like I can’t speak my truth to loved ones for various reasons—not so much because I don’t value my truth but because my loved ones have trouble receiving what I tell them. Rather than cause conflict, I often choose to stay silent. The white light, of course, is the crown chakra—my strong connection with intuition and a higher power.

A Healer’s Visions

dollI thought that was the end of the session, but to my surprise, there was more. Jeanne shared some visions that she had while she was working with my energy. She told me she saw a newly paved black road (“like brand new and freshly paved,” she emphasized) and a beautiful goldfinch with bright yellow feathers and a black crown. She also saw a little girl dressed in a pinafore holding an old-fashioned doll, the kind with arms and legs that move.

I paused and digested this, struck by the image of the little girl with the doll. We talked a bit about the obvious symbolism of the “new road” and the bird (which of course, can fly), and I agreed that it was related to the book project I’m working on. The little girl in the pinafore holding a doll made sense to me as well. She was me, of course, and while I’m not quite sure why she showed up, I knew exactly what she was wearing. It was a pinafore with a blue and red flowery print that my mother made for me when I was a child. Just the other day when I visited my mom, she was repairing this very garment, which she’d found in her attic! The doll  was one of two cherished toys that I still have from my childhood; it was a gift from my grandparents, who brought it back from Italy when I was six years old.

The Goldfinch

I left Jeanne’s space intrigued with all of this symbolism and imagery. I knew for sure that a freshly paved black road was important symbolism for my life right now, and that, as always, I was making an effort to move beyond the past. But what about the goldfinch? Its golden color, we’d decided, is associated with the solar plexus chakra—the center of power. And of course it has the ability to fly. But I wondered what else the goldfinch symbolizes.

So I went home and looked it up.

According to Spirit Lodge, as a spirit animal, “the presence of goldfinches usually indicates an awakening to the activities of those beings that are normally relegated to the realm of fiction.” The beings in question include angels, fairies and the like.

And maybe also things like reiki if you have skeptic’s mind going in.

Perhaps more importantly, goldfinches are said to help us understand the value of change. In particular, they can give us the “ability to resolve family conflicts in a healthy manner, creating balance in dealing with different people.” Goldfinches give us an “understanding (of) the power of voice.”

Wow.

So if I put this all together, I need to speak my truth in a new way—a more effective way, I guess, and I can do that on my journey down that freshly paved road. The little girl holding the doll—my former self, a child who always quietly and respectfully held back so as not to get in trouble is no longer who I am.

As Jeanne Says, There’s Always More

Okay, I know that there are lots of ways I could have put the pieces of my reiki experience together, but the point is this: Like yoga, reiki seems to be one of those practices that you turn to for one reason which ends up offering so much more than you ever imagined it would.

As it turns out, reiki is not only relaxing and healing, but it’s an excellent tool for self-discovery, if one is open to that kind of thing. Of course, you’ll need to find a practitioner who is right for you to work with. In my case, Jeanne’s down-to-earth friendly nature (which cleverly disguises her amazing power as a healer) works perfectly for me.

So what about you? If you haven’t experienced reiki, why not give it a try? If you can find a reiki practitioner you click with, you might just be inspired and surprised by all this practice has to offer. If you’ve already discovered the practice, I’d love to hear about your reiki experience!

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Maria Kuzmiak, M.A. is a health and well-being writer with a background in nutrition, psychology and education and a passion for yoga. Over the last 10 years, she has written hundreds of articles, blogs and newsletters for clients in health-related fields, particularly those specializing in yoga, natural medicine, nutrition, and spiritual health and healing. Maria has also worked as a nutritionist, teacher and technical editor. Learn more about her writing at www.wellbeingwriter.net.
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