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Hands-on healing

Health-Today-blockImagine the following scenario: lately you haven’t been feeling well. You’ve been to almost every type of medical and health practitioner. The prescribed pills, supplements and treatments have resulted in some minimal improvement, but you are still not feeling as well as you would like.

A friend recommends complementary treatment; and so you begin your search. It’s a common reality for more and more Barbadians who are exploring the benefits of complementary therapy.

Holistic practitioner Verity Dawson, who operates the Reiki School Of Natural Healing, says there are a plethora of complementary therapies available, and they are not merely alternatives.

Holistic practitioner Verity Dawson

Holistic practitioner Verity Dawson

“We work with doctors because there is a place for chemicals; we do need to balance the body; but in our belief system, the mind, body and spirit unit count. So a holistic practitioner will ask what is going on in your life these days and we’ll spend an hour talking to you.

“Complementary treatment is meant to work hand in hand with whatever else is going on. We don’t say this is the only thing that can cure. A lot of people may think so, but actually we encourage them to go to the doctor.”

Dawson, a certified teacher and life coach, is also a master in several healing techniques, including Sekhem, Karuna and Feng Shui.

She specializes in Reiki, which is increasingly drawing the attention of Barbadians.

Reiki is an ancient system of hands-on healing that treats the whole person –– mind, body and spirit.

“I have been teaching it since 1995, and for me it works. It’s so beautiful; it’s so gentle; it’s non-invasive; it’s multicultural, it’s not a religion. It works on babies, it works on plants, and it works on animals.”

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It’s based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and if that is low, then we are more likely to get sick.


Dawson says stress, which zaps our energy, is at the root of most ailments and Reiki can heal virtually any complaint –– including cancer, diabetes and arthritis, though practitioners stay clear of diagnosis and predicting outcomes.

“The bottom line is stress. And how do you manifest that? You could start badly eating, overeating. You would rather watch television than go for a walk. So for me, I would say stress. And then we have got into this mechanical idea about our bodies.

“So a holistic practitioner will look at the mind affecting the body. Unhealthy thoughts create unhealthy symptoms. Your body is screaming “Look at me! Look at me!”, and we ignore and ignore; and we pop a pill. We cure symptoms and not
the cause.”

During a Reiki healing treatment, the patient lies fully clothed on a treatment table, while the practitioner places hands lightly on or just above the head and torso.

During a Reiki healing treatment, the practitioner places hands lightly on or just above the head and torso.

During a Reiki healing treatment, the practitioner places hands lightly on or just above the head and torso.

According to Dawson, Reiki works by engaging with the body’s chakras or energy centres.

“I’ll like to put it this way: these chakras are like jambusters; they keep the energy circulating in our energetic body; and if there is a problem with the chakras, like traffic at the Garfield Sobers Roundabout, you know you are going to feel it in Wildey.

“So you may have a stomach ache, but the problem is not your stomach. It is somewhere else, and it is our job by putting our hands on to pick up heat in the body. Or, you ask the right questions and you find out what is going on.”

The former president of the Reiki Association says this process is then strengthened by positive affirmations.

“Think about how many times you tell yourself “I am useless”, “I am no good”, “Oh, I made a mistake again” . . . . Stop the negative thoughts. It’s usually a sign of acidity.”

Dawson stressed that a well balanced diet was a must.

“You can’t eat rubbish and be healthy.”

The Reiki practitioner admitted the technique was treated with much reticence by Barbadians in the early stages but stressed that was fast turning around as more people began to experience the benefits.

“People are really opening to it now. Definitely there’s been a shift in Barbados. People are very interested.”

Research has shown that Reiki treatment can be effective for pain management, anxiety, depression, the side effects of chemotherapy and one’s overall well-being.

Dawson is anxious for more medical practitioners to embrace the healing technique, which she notes is widely used in some developed countries.

“In England, it’s part of the national health system. I would love to see it here. In Canada, 20,000 nurses were trained in the use of Reiki because it is pure economics. In the emergency room when nurses administer a trauma patient with Reiki, immediately they relax; so they don’t need so many drugs. The blood loss is less and then everything goes smoothly. So it’s pure economics. Our goal is to get it into the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.”

Dawson stressed that Reiki had nothing to do with the “dark side”, neither was it a religion; and there was nothing you must believe in to learn and use it.

“If you are tired, you’ll feel refreshed. If you are anxious, you’ll feel serene. If you are distressed, you’ll feel comforted. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, you’ll discover a renewed clarity and purpose.

“Everyone heals themselves; we just guide the person to their own healing.”

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