January 23, 2014

How Being An Open-Minded Rebel Changed My Life. ~ Jennifer Harbaugh

In modern society, reiki is considered as a “non-traditional” way of healing.

Reiki practitioners are considered as rebels (in my mind, that’s a good thing) because we choose to not let the westernized medicine to dominate our bodies.

In high school, I was one of those kids who was on their best behaviour. I couldn’t imagine breaking the rules that my parents gave me: no drugs, no sex, no illegal action, i.e. getting a nose piercing or getting a tattoo before I turned 18.

So I was conservative in a sense, just to keep drama out of my life. I went to college but was unlike most of the college students. I didn’t go to parties or skip classes for no reason. I wanted my education. I wanted to get to my goals in a ‘timely manner.’

Once things stopped turning out according to my best plans, everything went downhill; I became that angry and depressed person. I pushed everyone away and felt a lot of resentment towards people who were happy with themselves and their lives. The people who were not good in high school had better lives than me. I was jealous.

“Why did they get success and not me?”

One night recently, out of the blue, a former high school classmate contacted me on Facebook and gave me some comforting words that I needed to hear. He began advising me to begin a journey of self-discovery.

I wondered why he said that to me, then I learned that he was a reiki healer.

Reiki is a technique of spiritual healing that stresses connecting with the seven chakras in our bodies. The seven chakras are the energy centers in our body where our energy passes through. The seven chakras have to be aligned (through reiki), constantly in order for us to achieve a healing process.



I was intrigued by the concept of reiki. I was a hardcore atheist though, so I didn’t believe in anything spiritual or metaphysical. But reiki spoke to me.

My entire life, I was in search of answers to the existence of Christianity and whether or not Darwin was telling the truth about evolution. I didn’t feel like I got the answers I needed or the answers I ‘wanted’ to hear.

When reiki was mentioned to me, I started to see it everywhere. In reiki, that is called synchronicity. Synchronicity is two or more events that are meaningful related. I knew it was a sign to explore more into it. I started doing some research and made an appointment with a reiki healer in the town where I live.

That appointment was a life-changing experience.

In several therapy sessions, the psychiatrist will tell me what my problem is. However with reiki, after the first treatment session, I learned that my throat and heart chakras needed some work.

My reiki treatment that I received from my reiki healer: The room is darkened with a little light, there is a massage table in the center for me to lay on. I lay on my back, arms and legs straightened out. My hands upwards. As I close my eyes, focusing on breathing through the nose. The reiki healer put her hands on me starting at the top of my head for few minutes then next spot of the body until the final touch at my foot. During these moments: I feel my energies being aligned. I feel peace for a moment. No stress. No negative energy. I felt my heart leaping for joy.

It’s the first time that someone ‘unlocked’ the cage of pain and anger that I put my heart in for so many years.

My heart, mind, and soul finally set free. My heart chakra is full of pain, and it’s closed. It won’t let any love or positive energy come in. My throat chakra is sealed because I feel my voice is not being heard. As I return every week to my reiki healer to work on these problems. I see myself changing for the better. I can’t believe it.

With reiki, I began a self-discovery journey, getting to know who I am. Reiki allows me to really explore why is any of my chakra closed and how can I work on it other than using reiki.

For example, I discovered that the pain in my heart is because I haven’t dealt with my past and my voice is closed because of my anger with some people wanting to know why they did this or that, but afraid to voice it.

As soon I identified the obstacles and then broke them down through closure, I finally saw myself changing for the better. Then, I thought, there is something to this. Reiki. This is the answer I have been looking for my entire life. I was not looking for the answers to how the earth exists through evolution or Christianity. I was looking for other, more personal answers.

Why am I here? Why do I exist?

This is for the skeptics: First of all, reiki is not a religion. The practitioners are not trying to convert anyone. In reiki, nature’s energy is being used to heal our bodies. Can anyone give reiki? Yes, anyone can, but they have to go through attunements provided by a reiki healer and study reiki by taking several different levels of class, from level 1 to Reiki Master/Healer.

How does it work? Where do we get the energy from?

Well, of course we get the energy from the universe. From the divinity to the Mother Nature roots. The reiki healer/practitioner is like a conduit between the person who is receiving the treatment and the universal energy. The reiki healer is there to help us receive the universal energy in order to heal.

What kind of healing can reiki do?

From physical wounds (i.e. headaches, illnesses/diseases, etc) to emotional wounds (i.e. depression, anger, pain, etc).

Reiki is mostly beneficial for emotional wounds. For example, if one feels that they have been struggling with life issues, mostly internal issues ranging from low self-confidence to lack of self-discovery. Healing and re-connection with all seven chakras in our bodies helps us learn about ourselves and create that inner peace we are seeking.

For more information on reiki, go to your local reiki healer.

For the past several years, I have been dependent on antidepressants because I felt that I actually had a biological depression. But once I found reiki, I was able to stop taking the antidepressants. I realized that I was not biologically depressed but depressed because the chakras (especially the heart chakra) did not get the attention it needed.

There was nothing wrong with me. I just needed to give myself some self-care, and that is healing.

I learned there was more to natural and holistic healing than Western medicine. I immersed myself in learning reiki, with a goal to become a practitioner so that I could help others the way my former classmate helped me.

(Actually, I don’t say this kind of thing often, but he actually saved my life, just for being there at the right time and place.)


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Assistant Editor: Ffion Jones/Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: elephant archives and Crystal Wellbeing

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