by Marlaina Donato
When certified reiki master and instructor Gina Clemente opened her Reiki Healing and Education Center in Saratoga Springs 16 years ago, energy healing had not yet gone mainstream, but her clients knew firsthand the life-changing potential of the modality. “Reiki originated 100 years ago in Japan and helps accelerate the body’s natural ability to heal. It complements a physician’s health plan, and more people are seeking alternatives before extreme measures such as surgery,” says Clemente. “Nurses are being trained in reiki, and more clients are coming to me saying that their doctors recommend reiki. It is also being used in many cancer treatments and pain management facilities around the country.”
Reiki is a non-invasive, hands-on approach to healing that promotes balance in the body, emotions and psyche. Contrary to some perceptions, reiki is not affiliated with any religion. “Just as we have a muscular and circulatory system, in essence, we all have a complex ‘energetic system’ that can be felt by a reiki practitioner,” explains Clemente.
Clemente’s sole intention for her clients is to provide a welcoming, tranquil environment where they can exhale the stresses of life and feel safe enough to let down their guard. “When a client walks through my door, I am honored to be a part of their healing. I greet every person like they are family, and they know I genuinely care about their experience. Learning to ‘be right here, right now’ can help us realize that it’s the only place you need to be,” says Clemente.
The positive, free-flowing effects of reiki can also lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety. Clemente’s clients often report that they feel lighter or more at peace after experiencing reiki sessions. It is also common to hear that it is easier to cope with worrisome, emotional situations as a sense of clarity is gained.
Reiki is a complementary health modality, and Clemente encourages people to try reiki before opting for drastic measures. “I invite people to try reiki even when surgery is inevitable because reiki can lessen pain and stress. I find that many people need less pain medication after a few reiki sessions.”
Animals and plants also respond to reiki. Clemente expounds, “Anything that is living has energy. Many people I have trained learn to help their pets. Just like people, even healthy animals can have occasional physical, emotional and mental imbalances that can manifest as illness if left untreated. Reiki can help strengthen the immune system, strengthen bonds, provide comfort and lessen pain.”
As an instructor, Clemente offers classes and courses for families, friends and co-workers. “When people learn together, they also learn how to help each other at home and in their everyday lives,” she says.
Practicing and sharing reiki kindles a full-circle effect, not only by co-receiving benefits of the universal flow, but inspiration. “It is wonderful knowing that I am a part of something so much bigger and that reiki sessions with my clients not only help them, but also the people they love and interact with every day,” muses Clemente.
Like many practitioners that give much of themselves in their work, Clemente maintains balance in her own life by walking her talk. “Living healthy is simply a way of life for me, so I meditate daily, give self-reiki, and go for massage, energy healing and acupuncture on a regular basis. I also believe that it is okay to say no and keep to a ‘less is more’ way of life,” she says. She lives her philosophy; “Be kind, have a loving approach and always choose faith over fear.”
Gina’s Reiki Healing and Education Center is located at 229 Washington St., in Saratoga Springs. For more information, call 518-791-6565 or visit ReikiHealingWithGina.com.
Marlaina Donato is a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.