No Guarantees

Twisting staircase, no guaranteesLet’s get straight to the punch line for this post: With Reiki, as with life, there are no guarantees. I wish there were, but there are not.

I’m writing this because as a Reiki Master I often have the following exchange with potential clients.

Client: “Will Reiki help with my . . . [fill in any physical or mental health ailment]?”

Janice: “Reiki will provide a state of deep relaxation where your body, mind, and spirit can reach their full potential for healing.”

Client: “Is there a guarantee this will heal me?”

Janice: “There are no guarantees. However, it will help you achieve a state of deep relaxation where your highest healing good can be achieved. When we’re relaxed our body heals faster, our minds are clearer and more creative, and we can relate with each other more authentically.”

Client: “What percentage chance is there that Reiki will heal my . . . “

Janice: “Reiki is a healing practice. I don’t have a number to quantify it.”

Client: “I’ll try something else with a guarantee.”

What is the something else with a guarantee? Does the medication you take come with a guarantee that it will heal you? Do you know how it heals you? Is it possible that it is your mind and your body’s natural abilities that are healing you?

Dr. Andrew Weil’s book, “Spontaneous Healing,” addresses this exact phenomena where a patient’s body is healed without conventional medicine’s intervention, even in the case of severe and prolonged illness. He writes:

“I regard the placebo response as a pure example of healing elicited by the mind; far from being a nuisance, it is, potentially, the greatest therapeutic ally doctors can find in their efforts to mitigate disease . . . Unfortunately, this view of placebo medicine is very much out of fashion today. . . . If a drug begins to work in too many different conditions, most doctors lose interest in it, because they think lack of specificity means lack of an underlying mechanism. In other words the drug could be — perish the thought! — merely a placebo.”

So, Reiki . . . maybe it’s a placebo, maybe its effectiveness really is all in your mind, and, definitely, there are no guarantees that it will work. Why, then, should you spend your time and money on a Reiki treatment? Here are a few compelling anecdotes:

  • A seven-year-old girl fractured her humerus and required surgery to insert three pins. The post-surgery recovery time was slated at 6-weeks, minimum. The girl received daily Reiki treatments and recovered in half that time – 3 weeks.
  • A 45-year-old man had knee surgery. He asked his wife, a level 2 Reiki practitioner, for treatments on his knee. At his 6-week follow-up visit the orthopedic surgeon was shocked by the speed of his healing. He called in his colleague to show him the progress of healing and recovery that the man had achieved which was what they normally see at 12 weeks or more post-operatively in people 10-15 years younger than the man.
  • A 60-year-old woman, grieving the death of her husband and living with the side effects of chemotherapy treatment for her breast cancer, received a Reiki session once a week for six weeks. After two treatments she reported an improvement in the quality of her sleep and increased energy. After three treatments she reported that the neuropathy in her hands and feet had stopped. After six treatments, she said, “I have my life back.”

Won’t you give Reiki a try? Yes, there are no guarantees, but there is a good chance you’ll feel great and facilitate your body’s natural healing abilities.

Wishing you abundant wellness!

We live and die by the clock

Cast Away“Time rules over us without mercy. Not caring if we’re healthy or ill. Hungry or drunk. Russian, American, beings from Mars. . . . we live or we die by the clock. We never turn our back on it and we never ever allow ourselves the sin of losing track of time.” from Cast Away

Time: It is precious and fleeting.  There are people who exhort us to waste time — to kick back and have a good time.  Then there are people who pressure us to live every moment to the fullest — to seize the moment and “go for it” at every turn. Of course, there are time management experts and many, many songs that center around the passage of time.

For me, the finite aspect of our time on earth can be a real motivator. I’m a person who likes to think things through and reflect on my decisions before I leap into action. Over the years, however, I’ve noticed that sometimes I spend so much time in my reflection mode that the opportunity disappears. This has led me to adopt a favorite mantra, “Do it now.”

This can be applied in all types of situations and is not just for life’s “big” decisions. For instance, my family and I were in our backyard admiring a spring flower that blooms for only a couple of weeks.  We knew that we wanted to take a picture of it to remember its beauty and we said aloud, “We’ll do that later.” I noticed the pattern and I remembered the many photographs that are only pictures in my mind because I hesitated or thought I’d do it at another time. So instead I said, “No, let’s do it now.  There are too many photos I’ve missed because I thought I’d do it later.”

“Do it now” is also helpful for life’s bigger decisions like where to go on vacation, which job to take, and whether or not to try your hand at Tae Kwon Do or hiking the Appalachian Trail or whatever other ambitious task might be on your bucket list. There will never be a “good” or convenient time for a month on the Trail and there probably will never be the ideal economic conditions for going to Bora Bora, but if these are things that will make your life meaningful to you, then I say, “Do it now.”

Perhaps this is bad advice and the savers among us will say, “Plan, be careful, you never know.”  Well, it’s true, you never do know.  You never know when your time on this earth will cease and you never know when the opportunity in front of you now will come again. Living here and now and staying true to your highest intentions and your higher self are good guides for this life. Knowing that this moment might not happen again helps me to live from a place of gratitude and of heightened awareness. When I’m gratefully aware of the goodness in this moment, I can soften around it and choose what needs to be done now.

How do you live from a “Do it now” perspective?  Is the finite aspect of time a motivator for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Top 5 reasons to talk about your grief

When some people hear that I’m a certified creative grief coach, they ask, “Why would I want to talk about my grief?” They think that talking about it will cause them to relive the grief and get stuck there. However, the opposite usually happens and people emerge from grief coaching sessions with the ability to live their lives more fully.  If you’re looking for a reason to talk about your grief, here are the top five:

  1. Holding in your grief is bad for your health. At a minimum, it decreases your immunity and interrupts your sleep patterns.
  2. Grief keeps us from living wholeheartedly.
  3. Remembering your loss honors your past, present, and future.
  4. Talking about grief helps you to process the myriad emotions that you hold.
  5. You’ll feel better!

If you’re ready to feel better and talk about your grief, please contact me!

We don’t diagnose

Medical chart to diagnoseIn every Reiki class that I teach, I say, “We [Reiki Practitioners] don’t diagnose.” It’s an important directive to keep in mind because when we practice Reiki we often notice things about a client’s physical or emotional state. For instance, we may notice that a lot of energy is drawn in at the crown of the head, or that very little energy seems to be drawn in at the stomach, or that the breath deepened when our hands were in the heart region, or that the client was holding a lot of anger or grief inside. Also, a client may ask us at the end of a Reiki session, “What did you notice?” There is a temptation to draw conclusions and make recommendations based on what we sensed and our experience as practitioners. However, it is important not to diagnose for three reasons.

  1. Most of us are not medical practitioners and we are not licensed to provide a diagnosis. This is a legal issue and we must operate within the realm of our profession.
  2. When energy is drawn strongly or weakly in a region of the body it does not mean that there is good health or bad health in that area. We really don’t know. All we know is that a lot of energy was (or was not) moving in that area.
  3. It is much more powerful for a client to come to the diagnosis him/herself. To get there, I often ask the recipient, “What did you feel? What did you notice?”  Sometimes I’ll offer in response, “I noticed that too,” but I always follow the client’s lead.

All of these reasons are important, but I think the third reason is really powerful and potentially extremely radical. Imagine if we were the masters of our own bodies — of our own physical experiences. Imagine if we did not seek the wisdom from others who “know” but, rather we go inside and find that wisdom ourselves. If we listened to our intuition and tuned into the richness of our inner lives, I believe, we would find the answers we seek.

I often say, “You live in your body. Your doctor does not. You are the expert on your own experiences. The doctor is an expert on the experiences of a sample of bodies that lived at a unique period of time and agreed to a particular medical study. He or she is not an expert on your unique experience. Only you can be.”  I believe this can be a radical and empowering perspective. What if I know what’s best for me and act on it and I don’t seek that from someone else? What choices will I make while I’m healthy and when I’m in the midst of an illness if I’m the expert on my own health?

The stopping point for many people in this journey is at the beginning. They want a diagnosis.  They want a name to put on the sensations in their body. They want an identity for their physical selves and their experience that makes them, perhaps, not quite so alone. “Ah, other people feel this. Other people experience this pain and this is what they have done to cope with it. So, then, that’s what I will do too.” It takes the responsibility away from the individual and moves it to someone else. Now an expert provides the “truth” about your body and determines the path to your remedy. Sometimes this works perfectly and there is no reason to even question this approach. However, there are plenty of times when the remedy doesn’t work and we’re left searching for something else.

Perhaps, if we had started off with seeking our diagnosis within ourselves, we would come up with a customized approach that would take into account our unique body and how we live in it. With this remedy just for me, we could create an excellent health experience and make sure it is customized for this unique body that lives this unique life. It’s not to say we don’t benefit from other people’s experiences, rather we blend the potion with the proper dash of “us” to make it work.

What do you think? Could you live in a world where you’re the diagnostician for your own health? What would it look like? How would it be beneficial for you?  Please share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below.

Helping to create wholeness with Reiki

My family received so many wonderful cards this holiday season that I enjoyed reading and re-reading. There was one card, however, that really stood out for me personally. It was from the Wellness House in Hinsdale, Illinois, where I offer Reiki sessions to cancer patients and their families.  Here is the story that was inside the card:

“It was November 22, 2013 when the snowstorm hit . . . CANCER

It stopped me hard and fast along my journey.

I was blinded by the frosty winds of this unprejudiced disease.

But, YOU gave me a compass that guided me to find a new path, albeit untrodden.

The heavy snowy blanket of pain and fright suffocated me.

YOU lifted it; helped me breathe and embraced me with a warm coat lined with comfort and peace.

My boot, no longer fitting me, left me motionless and frozen.

YOU gave me new ones, providing me with strength and purpose once more.

My hands were frostbitten, as the gloves I once wore were now tattered from anxiety and bewilderment.

YOU mended them and with your healing touch, you restored my hands so that I may heal again.


YOU are Wellness House.

But what is Wellness? WEllness is having a healthy life encompassing physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

What a perfect name for such a special place; and it is because of this special place that I was able to be truly present with my children and family during this snapshot of my journey. Those of us entering the Wellness House may have had cancer, but it does NOT have us. We enter through these healing doors fragmented and we leave whole once again.”  by Gaile Sabaliauskas

With my offerings of Reiki, it is an honor and a privilege to be part of helping each person who I encounter at the Wellness House feel whole once again.

Wishing you all love, light, peace, and wholeness!

10 Health-Promoting Reasons to Take a Reiki Class

Hands as in a Reiki ClassAs a Reiki Master Teacher, I’ve noticed that people take Reiki Classes for a wide-variety of reasons. Some people are seeking an addition to their professional practice as a physician, nurse, or therapist. Others are looking for a self-care practice to manage their stress and promote their healthy lifestyle; while some people are inexplicably drawn to the class. They are not sure of the reason that they are there but they are certain it is the right thing to do.

If you’re considering taking a Reiki Class, here are 10 health-promoting reasons to sign up today:

You want:

  1. A self-care technique that is available to you anytime, anywhere
  2. To feel calm and relaxed in your body and mind
  3. To experience inner peace
  4. A connection with the energy of the universe
  5. Greater presence, connection, and mindfulness in your relationships
  6. An additional technique to use in your current work as a caring professional
  7. Better sleep more regularly
  8. The possibility of accelerated healing
  9. To work toward greater mobility
  10. To experience regularly the love and light that is our essence

I hope you’ll join us at an upcoming Reiki Class to experience all of these things and your deepest health-promoting intentions for yourself and those around you.

Wishing you a greater connection to the light and love of the universe.

Reiki: You, Gwyneth, and Demi

MeditatingAh, to be at peace, to be centered, calm, and focused.  Reiki is like the moment during meditation where you are completely at peace, balanced, and free. Though, most people find Reiki to be much easier than meditation.  Perhaps that is why it’s receiving so much attention recently.

Reiki is in the news a lot lately. It’s really wonderful that so many famous people are sharing their experiences.  As I read these articles, I think about what a great opportunity this is for you, as a Reiki Practitioner, to talk with others about our practice and its healing benefits.

As someone interested in the practice or healthfulness in general, this is a great opportunity to delve further into your Reiki journey.  Perhaps now is the time to learn Reiki by taking a class so you can start a self-Reiki practice. Or maybe what resonates more with you is receiving Reiki on a regular basis.  A series of sessions might be just the ticket that guides you in this stage of your life’s journey. (Click on the “Book Now” button below and sign up for a Reiki Power Package of 5 sessions or a Reiki SuperPower Package of 10 sessions.)


If you’d like to read more about what Gwyneth and Demi have experienced and have encouraged others to experience, please read the following articles:

  • Gwyneth regularly receives Reiki and inspired this article in Elle.
  • Demi’s Reiki experience.
  • For a full round-up of famous people involved  in Reiki, scroll down on this page.

Wishing you many wonderful connections with the universe’s love and light!


National Women’s Health Week

National Women's Health Week

Welcome to National Women’s Health Week!  I hope you’ll take time this week to assess your health and the health of the women in your life. How can we support each other to live more healthful lives?

After reflecting on this for myself, I assembled a Self-Care Checklist.  After you read this, please let me know in the comments: What would you add or subtract to achieve your ideal state of self-care?  (Perhaps, like me, you’ve noticed how interrelated many of these activities are!)

For me, Self-Care is:

  1. Relaxation: Meditation, Yoga, Reiki
  2. Creativity: Writing, Storytelling, Music Making
  3. Exercise: Running, Swimming, Hiking
  4. Relationships: Family, Friends, Neighbors
  5. Spirituality: Sense of Purpose, Religion, Service to Others, Time in Nature and for Reflection

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Mind over Medicine by Lissa Rankin

I recently finished reading Lissa Rankin’s book, “Mind Over Medicine.”  There are many insightful nuggets in it. The beginning establishes, through extensive research, the power of the mind to heal what ails us. Lissa then goes on to relay many beautiful stories of her journey and those of others who have used their mind to heal disease. I think many people will find the detailed “prescriptions” at the back of the book to be incredibly helpful.

The part that I keep coming back to is Lissa’s Whole Health Cairn. As I review my own health in each of these categories I notice areas of extreme imbalance. I especially love the way she does not put physical health at the foundation of the whole human system. Indeed it is important, but if the rest of the human experience is out of balance, the others suffer and, eventually, fall (or fail).

Lissa Rankin Whole Health Cairn

Take a careful look at the cairn and notice that the foundation is the “Inner Pilot Light.”  Wow! To me, that’s my intuition. “Wait!,” says my mind, “What about ME?! You can’t trust that intuition! You don’t even know where it is!” Wow, that mind always wants to be in charge! Honestly, it triggers fear in me to build my health there. However, the Inner Pilot Light has never failed me. When I look at some of the wonderful turning points in my life, I see that they were built on my the guidance of my Inner Pilot Light.  I “just knew,” on an intuitive level, that it was right to study Reiki, to marry my husband, etc., etc.

What are your thoughts on the Whole Health Cairn? Do you listen to your Inner Pilot Light and allow it to guide your approach to healthy living in all aspects of your life?  Please leave your comments below!

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