“Raise your vibration.” “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” “Good vibes only.” These are very common phrases in today’s culture—but do we really know what we are talking about? It’s more than just a cute hashtag to accompany a photo of a matcha latte on Instagram. It’s energy---and it’s a very powerful thing that can affect us physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Ever since I was a child, I’ve been able to sense when something was “off,” or “not right” with a person or situation—but I never had the words for it. The slightest change in tone of voice or shift in body language has always raised red flags in me and, although people often dismiss it as “over thinking,” or being “too sensitive,” the truth is that I am rarely wrong, and it can get pretty heavy at times because it increases my anxiety and changes the way I interact with people—and therefore the way they perceive or interact with me.
Lately, I’ve been on a mission to find natural ways of dealing with that anxiety, as well as to try to make sense of some pretty senseless situations. As I searched and put it out into the universe, people started popping up in my life. At first these new connections seemed random but it turned out they all had one thing in common—they were all energy workers/healers. As someone who is insatiably curious, I took it as a sign and began exploring some of the different methods they use—some with great success. I’ll be sharing the experiences here over the next few weeks, starting with my personal favorite and one that I’ve incorporated on a semi-regular basis—Reiki.
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation. The name itself is a combination of two Japanese words that translate to “spiritually guided life force energy.” I first experienced Reiki a few years ago—or so I thought. Then I met Usui Reiki Master Victor Borjas, owner of The Reiki Room, and after one session I realized that what I had experienced previously more closely resembled the Peanuts gang waving their hands over Charlie Brown’s little Christmas tree and hoping for the best rather than any true physical or emotional relief.
When I contacted Victor several weeks ago, at the suggestion of a mutual friend, I was feeling broken, sad, angry, and my anxiety was the highest it had been in years-to the point that it was physically affecting me. I was struggling with some pretty big questions about my own energy and what I was putting out into the world. But when I walked into Victor’s healing space, my anxiety went from a 10 to a 2. I literally felt myself exhale without even realizing I’d been holding my breath. And that was before we even began…
So how does Reiki work? In the simplest terms, it is the process of realigning your meridians or energy centers. Although we have thousands of these centers throughout our bodies there are seven that we use every day: root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown.
“Each one of these represents a different aspect of life,” explains Victor. “When they are out of balance, you can begin to have negative shifts in life including things like anxiety and depression. Once these energy centers are cleared, the body starts to replenish them with positive chi or energy flow.”
Victor became a certified Reiki Master in 2012 after the practice helped him with his own personal issues--specifically, finding a path to sobriety.
“When I got sober, I realized it was about more than just stopping drinking, it was about finding fulfillment” he explains. “A friend gave me a Reiki session and I felt a physical, energetic shift in my body and I realized the importance of physical, mental, and spiritual alignment.”
Victor went on to become “attuned,” by a Reiki Master and formed his own practice. And while he is quick to point out that Reiki is not a form of medical diagnosis or treatment (although some doctors recommend it in conjunction with other treatments, particularly in cancer patients), it can be extraordinarily healing on many levels. It is performed in a soothing setting, often with incense, crystals, music and other healing modalities incorporated, and the practitioner rarely touches the body (which, in case you were wondering, is fully clothed).
No two sessions are alike. During our first session, I felt my body become extremely hot and then icy cold as Victor moved his hands above the different energy centers. At one point I realized I was crying. During another session, I saw vivid colors and felt a more soothing warmth rather than intense temperature changes. Basically, my body responds to what I need or am experiencing in my life in that moment.
“You can go to the gym and release endorphins, you can read books and stimulate your brain, but if your spirit isn’t in alignment than you are missing that third component,” says Victor. “Reiki helps me connect with that and see and feel what’s going on internally that needs addressing.”
For me, that was a lot of sadness, anxiety, and pain, and I have found that Reiki has made me feel “lighter,” more in tune with my body, and more in control of my emotions. It helps me get centered and gives me a calm strength to handle potentially stressful situations without getting “all jacked up” and it’s helped me to learn how to observe, rather than absorb the moods and energies of people around me. It also has forced me to look at my own energy in terms of what I am putting out there, what it attracts, and how it is received. Plus---did I mention it might be the most relaxing thing I’ve ever experienced?
“I think that Reiki is something very special,” says Victor. “When we feel like something is missing or we don’t have a clear direction, it gives us guidance and helps us do the internal work we are seeking.”
I couldn’t agree more! Check it out with an open mind and open heart. You have nothing to lose and only peace and clarity to gain. You can contact Victor via Instagram @the_reiki_room_southtownsa.