Tag Archives: Health

Why Reiki?


I have to admit after reading about Reiki I quickly started to analyze what healing energy “felt” like, if it could in fact help my spiritual, mental, physical, or emotional ailments. To further frame my inquiry, I asked friends and family members what they thought about Reiki as a New Age treatment, only to be met with more questions. I realized that I was not alone in my exploration, and that queries about Reiki have even been discussed on mainstream television shows including The Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Oz  discusses New Age treatments such as Reiki, holistic diets, acupuncture, and the 5 Tibetan Rites  in which balance your chakra, meridians, and aura, as well as revitalize your energy and heal ailments. So, before letting skepticism get the best of me, I sought to truly understand Reiki by experiencing it firsthand. I attended the Victory of Light Expo in Cincinnati, Ohio, in which I participated in an universal life force energy seminar and met various Masters/Teachers of Reiki. This is where I obtained the information that many Reiki healing practitioners believe that the universe is full of energy, which currently cannot be detected by any scientific instruments, but can be felt by individual receivers and administered by healing practitioners. I also personally experienced Reiki therapy including the use of essential oils (i.e., aromatherapy) and crystals to clear blockages, in order to rebalance my chakra, meridians, and aura, as well as heal spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional ailments. I went into this venture with a critical and even skeptical mindset, but was extremely shocked at how the Reiki healing practitioner knew the exact places on my body that I was experiencing stress and pain (since as a true skeptic I said nothing about pain or stress prior to laying down on the massage table), and how surprised I was that I could feel the healing energy in both warmth and movement. I was not the only individual inquiring about Reiki therapy or experiencing the healing energy, as there were many others at the Victory of Light Expo receiving Reiki therapy. After these aforementioned emprise, it was apparent that living in pain, whether that be emotional stress or physical pain, is not at all easy and can make individuals extremely unhappy, as they are unable to enjoy life or live life to the fullest. Reiki therapy can assist in stress reduction, relaxation, healing of pain or trauma for ailments such as depression, anxiety, acute and chronic pain, and stress. There are various testimonials that describe how Reiki aided in individual’s medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS) and medically unexplained symptoms (MUS). Examples of MUPS and MUS include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), unexplained headaches, unexplained back pain, anxiety, depression, and acute and chronic pain.

We should realize that there are no side effects (i.e., headaches), risk (i.e., death), or restrictions (i.e., age) for receiving Reiki like there are in the medications we take, the surgeries we receive, or the procedures we have performed in Western Medicine in the attempt to feel better and be healthy. Also demonstrating that there is little to lose and a great deal to gain (e.g., happiness, a healthy life, more energy, and balance) through the experience of Reiki. This does not mean that we discontinue visiting medical professionals. It simply means that if there is a way to be a more balanced, happy, and healthy individual we should embrace the method that supplies us this opportunity. Those who are in pain, stressed, unhappy, or ill should seek out a Reiki healing practitioner to receive Reiki therapy. For those of you who are skeptics, I was one of you until I was a receiver of Reiki therapy. So before letting skepticism get the best of you, try Reiki as this experience will pivot your perspective of both Eastern Alternative Medicine, as well as provide a more balanced and healthy outlook on life. After all what do you have to lose?

To Schedule A Reiki Therapy Appointment Visit: http://www.goodjourneys.net/SERVICES.html or


Also, if you are in Cincinnati, listen to the Waves of the New Age, Tuesdays from 3-5pm on WAIF 88.3FM. 


How Is Reiki Performed?


Reiki therapy is performed with the receiver laying on a massage table or sitting in a chair. The person receiving Reiki therapy simply lays or sits during the therapy, while the healing practitioner transmits universal life force energy to the receiver. Essential oils (i.e., aromatherapy) or crystals can easily be incorporated into Reiki therapy to strengthen the healing energy. During the Reiki therapy session, the Reiki healing energy is directed to the appropriate areas, including both the physical bodily symptoms (i.e., headache), as well as the deeper-rooted causes (e.g., stress or trauma) that often exist within the spiritual, mental, and emotional levels. For example, the physical bodily symptom could be a headache, but the deeper-rooted cause could be stress from work-life balance or trauma from a recent death in the family. As a holistic health and New Age treatment, Reiki would aid in both the releasing of the pain and tension, as well as resolve the stressful or traumatic situation. In addition, some receivers feel Reiki through warmth or heat, while others feel it as energy or movement. This is due to the fact that energy transfer causes the temperature to rise at the molecular level and atoms to increase their vibration, in turn causing whole atoms to move which creates the feeling of both warmth and movement. After receiving Reiki therapy, many individuals will sleep well that evening, as the Reiki healing energy will stay with these individuals throughout the night and continue to heal their bodies, minds, and spirits. Many individuals notice the most change from Reiki therapy, the following morning. Reiki therapy can help adults, children, and even animals. Moreover, since the channel, or healing practitioner, is not working with his/her own energy, they do not undergo energy drainage; but also experience energy movement and balance illustrating that Reiki therapy benefits everyone or everything involved.

Furthermore, Reiki is practiced in various forms, and by unique and different individual healing practitioners. However, to be a true Reiki practitioner one must have received an attunement, as one has to learn which Reiki symbols (e.g., Cho Ku Rei, Sei He Ki, Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen) to use, when to call up the universal life force energy, and how to heal a spiritual, mental, physical, and/or emotional ailment. There are three levels of attunement: Reiki Level 1 –Teaches the basic understandings of Reiki to perform with others or for oneself; Reiki Level 2 –Teaches the three Reiki symbols and their uses; Reiki Master/Teacher (Level 3) –Teaches the final symbols, how to perform classes and attunement for others/students, and how to start your own Reiki practice.

Reiki Attunement Video: 

First Steps to Better Living



In order to truly pivot and embrace both Western and Eastern Medicine we have to take reactionary steps for healing, as well as preventative steps for better living. These simple first steps include understanding the need and effect of prescribed medications, eating more organic whole foods and less processed foods, supplementing your diet with vitamins as needed, and exploring methods that power and heal the soul.

Step 1: Prior to the start of any medication, we should understand the need and effect of prescription medications as they are being ingested into our bodies. This involves discussing all medications with a medical professional of choice, exploring options for possible alternatives, or educating ourselves about the medication and its need. The value to this is that Americans spent more than $300 billion on prescription drugs in 2011, and nearly half of all of these adults have taken at least one prescription drug in the last month, while nearly a third regularly use two or more prescription medications. Through a discussion with a medical professional, I was able to decrease some prescription medications (e.g., cholesterol medication, B12 injections), and enact other options including dietary changes, stress relieving methods, and vitamin supplements, equating in both monetary and health savings.

Step 2: Since food is the cheapest and safest way to maintain our health, increasing the amount of organic whole foods in our diets assists in supplying our bodies with the needed vitamins and minerals to live a healthy life. Providing our bodies with valued nutrients helps to fight illnesses and ailments, or simply ensures a strong immune system. Therefore, before taking a bite, take the time to discern what you are eating, where it came from, and the impact that food has on both your health and the environment. To take these steps eat organic, local, humanely raised foods with a primary emphasis on eating more fruits, vegetables, and grains. In my own personal journey, I have had to stop eating milk, milk proteins, and products containing milk, and start eating more local organic whole foods. I quickly realized that I love local homemade meals, farmers’ markets, and brussels sprouts a great deal more than additional prescription medications and expensive doctor bills.

To learn more visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khF5lije3O4&feature=player_detailpage

Step 3: In the case that we are not able to obtain enough vitamins and minerals from our food, adding a vitamin supplement to our regimen can help assure a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Similar to prescription medications, we need to educate ourselves on the need and impact of vitamin supplements, and discuss these options with a medical professional of our liking to prevent toxicity of any kind. Personally, I have added Omega-3 and Vitamin A supplements to my daily routine to attempt to decrease the progression of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), as well as a Vitamin B12 supplement to help with my low vitamin levels and altered diet (i.e., eating less meat). Every 6 months I have my B12 levels checked by a medical professional, and then every year I also have my Vitamin A and liver levels checked to make sure that I am not suffering from toxicity.

Step 4: Lastly, explore eastern traditional methods that provide health benefits and heal the soul while enabling a happier, healthier lifestyle. These methods can encompass, but are not limited to, exercise (e.g., yoga, tai chi), acupuncture, aromatherapy, meditation, and massage therapy. Health is a state of wellbeing, and the mind and body are interconnected further emphasizing the need to combine therapeutic approaches that are tailored to the individual person and their specific needs. Also, prior to assuming Eastern Medicine is not for everyone, recognize the vast health benefits and healing of the soul that these methods have to offer in a first step to better living. For example, in my own life I have utilized massage therapy to help aid in decreasing stress levels and pain points.

Most importantly, remember that our journey is not about any one tradition or method being right or wrong, good or bad, but a matter of finding a healthy balance in which we as individuals educate ourselves about our own health and pivot to embrace both spectrums for a happy, holistic lifestyle. As an individual on this journey, I believe that I have not come close to exploring and learning about all options, and since my journey is not over I continue to seek new methods that can help assist with current health problems, and life stresses in a holistic healthy manner.


Photo Source: http://goeshealth.com, http://www.malvernhills.gov.uk, http://lifegetinit.fitdv.com, http://www.maureenfoxacupuncture.com, http://www.vegan-magazine.com/2

Embracing All Forms of Medicine


My journey is not unique. Medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS) and medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) are one of the most common problems in modern Western Medicine, and account for 15%-30% of primary care patients. According to a task force of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), “medically unexplained syndromes (MUS) present the most common problems in medicine.” Examples of MUPS and MUS comprise fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), unexplained headaches, unexplained back pain, and chronic pain. Critics believe the reason that MUPS and MUS occur is due to the method in which modern Western Medicine employs doctors and nurses to utilize a deductive formal scientific process in the effort to find the cause of a patient’s problem. Moreover, once discovered, Western Medicine relies extensively on industrially produced medications and conventional medical treatments (e.g., surgery, test/procedures). “There are natural therapies available that are much safer, often more effective, and cost much less” than prescription medications, says Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of the book Real Cause, Real Cure. Therefore, many patients like myself are taking matters into their own hands, and experimenting with alternative treatment methods within the Eastern Medical tradition. Eastern Medicine views health as a state of wellbeing, where the body is vital, balanced, adaptive, and harmonic within an environment in which the mind and body are interconnected. Alternative, Eastern Medicine also engages patients to adjust their diets (e.g., eating less meat and eating more organic whole foods, especially vegetables), introduce exercise (e.g., yoga, tai chi), as well as promote treatment types such as homeopathy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, and massage therapy.

This is not a matter of right or wrong, good or bad, but a matter of finding a healthy balance in which we as individuals educate ourselves about our own health and pivot to embrace both traditional spectrums. In turn, we can create an integrative treatment plan that is a combination of therapeutic approaches tailored to the individual person and their specific needs. For example, individuals with fibromyalgia can introduce dietary changes entailing the avoidance of food additives (e.g., monosodium glutamate [MSG] and aspartame), eating more fish containing Omega-3 fatty acids (i.e., salmon), as well as walnuts and flaxseed, stopping any and all caffeine intake, and eating more vegetables to help reduce the symptoms, particularly chronic pain. Other diseases and illnesses that can benefit from the inclusion of Eastern Medicine are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, acid reflux, and diabetes.

Furthermore, ailments such as pain, stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression , and even a common cold can also be relieved through the use of Eastern Medicine with methods embodying acupuncture, a healthy diet, vitamin supplements, herbal treatments (i.e. chamomile tea), and exercise. For example, individuals who experience insomnia can stop drinking caffeine and start drinking chamomile tea, or take melatonin to aid in sleeping. Also, individuals who suffer from depression can adapt their diet to increase Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as taking an Omega-3 supplement (i.e., Vectomega), since fish oil can have an anti-depressent effect. Lastly, those suffering from a common cold can try the Chinese root astragalus to help fight infection, echinacea and zinc to shorten the duration and severity of the symptoms, and Vitamin D to boost immunity. Food, including herbs and vitamins, is the cheapest and safest way to maintain our health.

Photo Source: http://acupuncturetoday.com

A Personal Pivotal Point


I wake-up around 6am, slowly reach for my water and two oxycodone (pain pills) to help me physically get out of bed, deal with the pain as much as I can, go to work, and strive to live a normallife, or at least try to function within society. Each and every day for six months, my husband kindly drives me to work, as I am unable to drive while taking the concoction of medicines the various doctors have prescribed. Once at work, I do everything I can in an attempt to keep up with the fast pace world, while all I can think about is going back to bed so I do not have to deal with the pain. This year was filled with over ten invasive medical procedures, one unneeded surgery, a rotation of twelve ineffective medications, and endless doctor visits, only to repeatedly hear that no one knows what is causing my pain, and yet there always seems to be a pill that can solve it all. I consistently question how this can happen, how in a society were modern medicine is extremely advanced and insightful―how could my pain be undiagnosable?

Then as I was traveling back from the Cleveland Clinic, I came to the realization that I had to take control over my own health, and not depend on Western Medicine (a.k.a. the practice of medicine) to solve my pain. My first action was to schedule an appointment with a nutritionist. I thought the next logical step was eating and learning how to take care of my body, in order, to figure out a way to heal. While meeting with the nutritionist, I read her my food journal, and then she asked one simple question, “Why do you not drink milk?” I described how I broke out in hives and how sick I became when drinking milk. She then asked me if I was eating other products containing milk, as she quickly realized that I was not lactose intolerant, and I had not “out-grew” my milk allergy ― I was in fact allergic to milk, all milk proteins (e.g., caseins  and whey ), and all products containing milk (e.g., cheese, ice cream, butter). I sat there with her and cried. Could it really be that all this pain was caused by milk? Was it possible that an hour with a nutritionist prospered a diagnosis?

Amazingly, it was possible, and it has been three years since my visit to the nutritionist. Today, I take no medications for pain because I do not have pain. Instead, I have altered my diet  to be milk-free, and take vitamins to supplement and balance my diet. I now eat tofu sour cream, use oil instead of butter, have a great love for sorbet , and have visited many of the best local vegan  and Slow Food  restaurants in town.  Throughout this process, I have gained insight about what is in the food I eat, the value of  organic whole foods  (i.e., food in its most natural state, which means it is not processed or are minimally processed), as well as the benefits of a life that blends aspects of Western Medicine with a holistic lifestyle.

Eating for Health : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6lgzGfPguI&feature=player_detailpage


Photo Source: Jessica Green

Embodiment Wellness and Nutrition


Looking for local holistic health outlets has been a challenge throughout my time writing for this blog. Looking for motivation myself, I have been even more passionate about my search for holistic food options. However, The holistic “gods” shone down on me and brought me the perfect place to tell you all about!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing Melissa Estes and Ryan Domyan from Embodiment Wellness and Nutritionlocated at 574 Buttermilk Pike in Crescent Springs, Kentucky in the Buttermilk Shoppes. Embodiment is what some would call a “nutrition club”, meaning they want to “bring good nutrition to community members”. The point of a nutrition club, for those not familiar with the concept, is to bring together people who share an interest in good nutrition and well-being in a social environment. While the concept of a nutrition club may be foreign to most – don’t let it scare you!

In a coffee shop setting, guests can find sanctuary inside Embodiment in the unique comfortable atmosphere. Entertainment is provided on the TV’s throughout. According to Ryan “we have to get to know you in order to help you”, an approach that not many wellness and fitness coaches have. They support the community in various ways such as getting involved with the Flying Pig marathon and have a marketing board within their store for local businesses to advertise. They specialize in fitness smoothies that can be used as meal replacements or in addition to a healthy diet.

Health coaches, Melissa and Ryan, along with four other wellness team members make it their goal to provide their guests with information on the importance of good nutrition and regular exercise to achieve optimum health through seminars, social events, sporting events, and other community activities. The real holistic health appeal to what they do comes into play in how they interact with their guests, in a no pressure environment, advising guests on not only health and nutrition but wellness of the mind, body, and spirit.

With three certified personal trainers on staff, they can accommodate guests of all fitness levels and body types as well as people in all processes of making the transition to a more holistic lifestyle. Their goal is to “fill the gap between desire and action, giving members the tools to help those that want to make a change for a healthier lifestyle. Providing solution, motivation, education and a friendly atmosphere where they can feel valued and supported with like-minded individuals.”

In addition to being open to all types of people, Embodiment also looks to cater to those with food allergies creating products that are lactose free and use all natural extracts and additives. They pride themselves on their personal relationships with their members as well as being a source of motivation and encouragement for all who are ready to make that lifestyle change. Their eventual goal is to open other facilities and create a larger business including a personal training studio, wellness clinic, smoothie shop and other facilities.

Every first time visitor gets a free smoothie and wellness evaluation so I encourage you to go check it out if you even think you might be interested, I assure you they will motivate you to make a change.

They are holding an open house this Sunday February 26th from 1 – 4 p.m. that I will be attending – hope to see you there!!

574 Buttermilk Pike Crescent Springs, KY 41017

859-331-WELL (9355)

Mon-Wed 7am-7pm

Thurs-Fri 7am-4pm


Hope to see you Sunday!

Peace, Love, and a Holistic You!


Super Foods for a Super YOU!!


We all know Monday’s can be a tad bit depressing, especially coming from a sunny weekend off. Hopefully most of you were lucky enough to have today off in honor of our Presidents! I hope you have had time to reflect on my last post about using food as fuel and have properly fueled yourself up for this week!! I want to talk about certain foods known as “super foods” and their ability to change the way your body reacts to disease and discomfort.

Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food. – Hippocrates

What better way to get your Monday started than with some Super Foods to kick your body into gear?! Dr. Susan Smith Jones is the founder and President of Health Unlimited and writes for the American Holistic Health Association’s Self-Help section. One of her articles that seems very useful is her list of “Super Foods”. She states that “Studies reveal that eight of the ten leading causes of death in North America are directly related to diet. That’s a sobering statistic and yet we are all responsible for the foods we eat. Nobody shoves the food down our throats. Many of us make the wrong food choices every day by consuming foods that were never intended for our body and contribute to most common major diseases.” She offers a list of foods that can help control the likelihood of disease and increase your energy and vitality if eaten regularly.

Many of of us lead busy, hectic lives, leaving little to no time to constantly think about our fiber, magnesium, or folate intake. Thankfully Dr. Smith Jones provides us with a list of stress-free list of fast and healthy foods! For example:

Almonds – What can be easier to snack on when you’re hungry and on the go? Two ounces, or about 40 almonds, give you more than 50 percent of your daily requirement of magnesium, a mineral that’s important for heart health. Almonds are also a good source of calcium, vitamin E, potassium, folate (the plant form of folic acid), fiber and monosaturated fat, all heart-healthy nutrients. In 2002, a study published in Circulation found that after eating about 2 1/2 ounces of almonds a day for one month, participants had significantly reduced their total cholesterol and lowered several other risk factors for heart disease as well.

Grapefruit – As with all other citrus fruits, grapefruit is rich in vitamin C and potassium and very low in calories. This fresh raw juice eases constipation and improves digestion by increasing the flow of gastric juices. One whole grapefruit has only 100 calories and it makes a perfect snack food. Deep inside the white rind and membranes of this fruit (lemons and oranges, too) lies a miraculous group of plant compounds — bioflavonoids, citric acids and pectins — which protect against cancer and heart disease. Grapefruit pectin reduces the accumulation of atherosclerotic plaque in patients afflicted with atherosclerosis and strengthens blood vessels and capillaries.

Tomatoes – Over 90% of this beautiful, low-calorie fruit is water. It’s alkaline and jam-packed with nutrients and phytochemicals. Tomatoes provide vitamin C, potassium, chromium, biotin, lutein and zeaxanthin, alpha and beta carotene, the B vitamins and lots of lycopene, an important part of the antioxidant defense network in the skin. Numerous epidemiological studies have found that people who eat lots of tomatoes are significantly less likely to get cancer. Study results were strongest for prostate, lung and stomach cancer.

While incorporating these foods and more into your diet you can lessen your cravings for unhealthy foods. If that doesn’t work Dr. Daniel Amen provides information on how to control unhealthy cravings! 

Hope this information helps your Monday junk food cravings!Peace, Love, and a Holistic You!drdonley