POTSDAM — Sabrina L. Myers said she was left with physical and emotional pain when her 25-year-old husband, Clayton, committed suicide about 11 years ago.
Besides feeling depressed, she suffered from back pain that lingered for months.
At a friend’s suggestion, she decided to try a Reiki session. A Reiki practitioner lays their hands on a person or above them in order to transfer positive energy that’s supposed to promote healing.
After her very first session, Mrs. Myers said she felt noticeably calmer so she decided to continue the sessions.
“It didn’t take all the pain away, but it helped me understand things better,” Mrs. Myers said. “When you understand energy better, no matter what your spiritual faith is, you can understand life and death.”
Fast forward to Saturday in Ives Park, where Mrs. Myers was offering free Reiki sessions to those attending the fifth annual SpiritFest. The 42-year-old is now a Reiki practitioner and coordinates the event each year with her friend, Ryan Meashaw.
She offered visitors a reclining table to lay on that was set up under a giant old tree. A handful of other Reiki practitioners also offered free sessions.
“For some people it’s an overwhelmingly beautiful experience,” Mrs. Myers said. “A lot of people just walk away and say, man, ‘I feel good.’ They’re calmer, more centered, grounded.”
Angel Hall traveled from the town of Theresa for the festival where she planned to try Reiki and have tarot cards read.
“This is the first time I’ve been able to get here. I wanted to check it out,” she said.
Reiki focuses on the concept that energy from the Reiki practitioner is transferred to a person to help them heal emotionally, mentally or physically. It involves having the practitioner place their palms on or above different energy centers in a person’s body. The energy centers are called chakras.
“I don’t actually have to touch anybody,” Mrs. Myers said. “If somebody prefers I not touch, I can just hover over. I can actually do Reiki for someone who is thousands of miles away and I have done that.”
Under a sunny sky, visitors stopped at various booths where they could try Reiki, There were also tarot card readings, palm reading, soothsayers and vendors selling things like essential oils, soaps, pottery and gemstones
Reiki is not affiliated with any religion. The practice originated in Japan where “rei” means universal life and “ki” means energy.
“Basically, I’m using my body as a conduit for energy that’s brought in from the universe, the Earth, the environment, whatever,” Mrs. Myers explained. “I’m taking that positive energy into my body and giving that to another person. I don’t heal anyone. I’m a conduit.”
She acknowledged that some people may find the concept crazy, but she has faith that it can work.
After being trained by a Reiki master, she started practicing on others. Because she earns her living through her pottery business, the Mud Maiden. Mrs. Myers, a Harrisville resident, said she never charges for her Reiki sessions.
“I do this strictly voluntarily because I know how helpful it was for me. It was a gift that was given to me and it’s a gift I want to give to others,” she said.