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Like many nurses, Nancy James likes to ease the pain of her clients and improve their quality of life. What appears to be a regular foot rub is actually a reflexology massage combined with bioenergy therapy treatment.

On a 90-degree summer afternoon, radiant heat can be seen rising up in waves from a sidewalk. The dancing glow of the Aurora Borealis over the Alaskan sky, or Aurora Australius across that continental sky, also paints ever-changing, glowing portraits.

Those images are similar to the energy fields felt or seen around a human being by practitioners of bioenergy therapy, therapeutic massage or Quantum Reiki, an ancient Japanese healing art based on Eastern philosophy.

“Reiki is a natural healing method I can do on my family and friends, myself and on pets and kids,” said Nancy James, a registered nurse.

James grew up in Iowa, attending nursing school in Kansas. Her first job was at Bartlesville, then she worked in Talihina before moving to Hulbert and opening the Clear Creek Wellness Center.

James explained how she first learned Reiki could heal pets after she helped a friend’s dog that had been attacked by two larger dogs. She also worked on her own little dog after a bale of hay fell on it.

“I found a hummingbird that hit the window and held it between my hands and concentrated energy into it. After a minute, it flew away,” she said.

James describes it as “healing energy from God.”

“Using our head, heart and hands, energy flows into and out of you,” James said. “As a nurse, I’ve seen organs in surgery and know where they are. I know anatomy and how the body works. And our thoughts have a lot to do with what goes on in our bodies.”

The American Institute of Holistic Theology defines “Reiki” (pronounced “RAKE-ee”) as is a technique for stress reduction and relaxation, achieved by drawing on the unlimited supply of “life force energy” to improve health and enhance quality of life by treating the whole person –body, mind and spirit.

Feelings of peace, well-being and security result from Reiki energy treatments, which are a form of spiritual healing and self-empowerment.

Light is a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum surrounding us, as explained at the Celestial Lights.com Web site. Light frequencies are perceived and recognized as color through the eyes and brain.

White light reflecting through a prism creates a rainbow with seven colors and frequencies. The human body, in turn, has seven main energy vortices, or chakras, that vibrate harmoniously with the seven color frequencies of a rainbow.

Practitioners believe applying the correct light or sound frequency can clear and restore blockages in the chakras and return the area to its proper functioning frequency. This electromagnetic energy field directly corresponds to the quality of a person’s health.

The health care community is beginning to better understand how Reiki and other energies work helps to bolster the immune system and aid in detoxification. All humans have the ability to use these energies, and many health practitioners – like Japanese doctor Mikao Ushi – believe firmly in its benefits. Ushi uses a process he calls “attunement.”

The traditional system uses the laying on of hands to provide comfort, and directs energy through the hands. The technique is passed from master to student through the attunement process, and while there are many “kinds” of Reiki being practiced today, most believe that ultimately Reiki is simply “universal, unconditional love.”

Reiki practitioners say they only provide the space for healing to occur. The actual healing is up to the person receiving the treatment.

“I’ve given myself two Reiki treatments, and both times I feel like I grew spiritually,” James said. “I did it for 30 days, and it made me more aware, more intuitive and more sensitive to the environment.”

It wasn’t long after her training in bioenergy therapy that her husband, also a nurse, was diagnosed with diabetes.

“We changed our diet drastically and his blood sugar dropped. He’d get cranky every two hours if he did not eat,” James said. “I did some treatment on him, and he’s had no more spells, stopped having hypoglycemic attacks and has had a normal AIC level since.”

Virginia Butler buys James’ handmade soaps at the Farmers’ Market, where she also sells essential oils she blends.

“I like her attitude toward people; she’s very open. And her teaching technique is very structured and organized,” Butler said. “I like the soaps very much. They aren’t made of the harmful chemicals and are more pure than grocery store soaps.”

James admits the soaps are “magical” to her.

“They start with a very caustic chemical, lye, and when you get through, a beneficial product and aroma infiltrates the room,” she said.

Even if she couldn’t sell it, she’d make it, anyway.

“I’ve seen so many people healed by it,” she said. “It’s mild and doesn’t leave any chemicals or dyes on your skin.”

Butler had taken Reiki classes and wanted to get a re-attunement. “It reopens your psyche with a reconnection to the healing field. I have a sense of well-being, and real pain will go away,” Butler said.

Healing is a spiritual process, she said.

An exercise for feeling energy Butler used is forming a shape with the hands like holding a snowball.

“I use it to focus energy over a place on my body that needs healing,” she said.

Other alternative healing methods James uses regularly include reflexology and the “Emotional Freedom Technique.”

“Rivers of energy flow through the body, in meridians,” James said. “[Those are also] treated with acupressure and acupuncture.”

When the energy flow is blocked, a person can develop health problems and pain.“The cause of all negative emotion is a disruption in the body’s energy system,” James said. “Our unresolved negative emotions are major contributors to most physical pains and disease.”

Emotional Freedom Technique releases emotional trauma by tapping into various reflex points on the body, while the patient verbalizes feelings about his or her problem or health issue, James explained.

“At the very least, this technique will increase your energy and improve your mood,” she said. “We’re conditioned to hold in feelings and emotions.”

Reflexology hits reflex points and blood flows into compressed vessels, she said.

“When you press on different parts of the foot, it sends energy to those corresponding organs,” she said. “I encourage people I work on to go home and rub their children’s feet or husbands feet.”

Jahna Hill discovered James at the Briggs School Health Fair, giving free foot massages.

“Oh, man, it felt wonderful! She hit every spot on my feet that hurt. The spots that hurt more, she paid more attention to,” Hill said. “I had a 30-minute massage and she talked to me, yet remained concentrated on what she was doing.”

There are different methods to release the body’s innate ability to heal itself, as soon as you let it, James said.

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