Why Ashwagandha Root Could Be The Cure For The Western Epidemic of Stress Related Illness

I have decided to post about this important herb as a resource for our growing community searching for healthy alternatives.  Over recent years, I have seen how well it works for so many especially those with diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, addictions, and sleep issues that have astounded me.

I began talking to others and exploring success ratios to my astonishment, which led me to begin working with many practitioners in the traditional broken American healthcare system educating them regarding my experiences personally and professionally. I am pleased to see some doctors, nurse practitioners and psychiatrists/licensed mental health prescribers beginning to consider this herb as a viable alternative to barbiturates, tranquilizers, anti-depressants, or other drugs such as the gabapentin.

As a matter of fact, I was recently diagnosed with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis, and I had stopped taking the Ashwagandha root personally too. As a result, I have decided as part of my own personal treatment plan to start taking this again (including my daily meditation, thyroid anti-inflammatory diet, jikiden reiki practice, and mindfulness as well as increasing my daily Vitamin D3 to attain a more optimum level).

So, here is more information compiled from some trusted sources (listed below) for you regarding this amazing herb.

Disclaimer: Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before using supplements if you have any health conditions.

 

What is it?

Ashwagandha, one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing, has been used in India for nearly 5,000 years for a wide variety of conditions.  One of the best known is its use as an adaptogen, meaning that it helps you manage emotional and physical stress.

The name Ashwagandha is from the Sanskrit language and is a combination of the word ashva, meaning horse, and gandha, meaning smell. The root has a strong aroma that is described as “horse-like.”

In Ayurvedic, Indian, and Unani medicine, ashwagandha is described as “Indian ginseng.” Ashwagandha is also used in traditional African medicine for a variety of ailments.  Don’t confuse ashwagandha with Physalis alkekengi. Both are known as winter cherry.

A member of the Solanaceae family, or nightshade family, ashwagandha is related botanically to potatoes, pepper, and tomatoes.

Why Use Ashwagandha?

Do any of these common symptoms sound familiar?

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor memory
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Low libido
  • Frequent illness
  • Anxiety
  • Low endurance (mentally or physically)
  • Joint pain
  • Neurological condition

The use of ashwagandha can help alleviate these symptoms and support an energetic and rejuvenating sense of well-being.

Ashwagandha as an Adaptogenic Herb

In Ayurveda, there are specific herbs with adaptogenic benefits—ashwagandha is one of them.

Adaptogens are substances (a combination of amino acids, vitamins, and herbs) that modulate your response to stress or a changing environment. Adaptogens help the body cope with external stresses such as toxins in the environment and internal stresses such as anxiety and insomnia.

One of the attributes of ashwagandha is its ability to induce calmness and clarity by regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin and the stress hormone cortisol.

One of the attributes of ashwagandha is its ability to induce calmness and clarity by regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin and the stress hormone cortisol.

Research has shown that consuming ashwagandha may not only reduce cortisol levels but also, as an adaptagen, can “substantially” reduce chronic stress to help your body adapt to and alleviate the stomach-churning anxiety stress can cause. (Mercola)

Research indicates there’s a likelihood that ashwagandha may be useful for helping patients in opioid withdrawal as well as reducing or eliminating dependence on benzodiazapene drugs such as Xanax and Valium.

 

Benefits of Ashwangdha

Ashwagandha contains many useful medicinal chemicals, including withanolides (steroidal lactones), glutathione (powerful antioxidant), alkaloids, choline, fatty acids, amino acids, and a variety of sugars.

While the leaves and fruit have valuable therapeutic properties, the root of the ashwagandha plant is the part most commonly used in Western herbal remedies.

Medical researchers have been studying ashwagandha for years with great interest and have completed more than 200 studies on the healing benefits of this botanical.

Animal studies have found constituents of the herb, including alkaloids, steroidal lactones, and saponins, to reduce inflammation and calm the nervous system.

Ashwagandha, today, is used for arthritis, anxiety, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), balance, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), trouble sleeping (insomnia), tumors, tuberculosis, asthma, a skin condition marked by white patchiness (leukoderma), bronchitis, backache, fibromyalgia, menstrual problems, hiccups, Parkinson’s disease, and chronic liver disease. It is also used to reduce side effects of medications used to treat cancer and schizophrenia. Ashwagandha is used to reduce levels of fat and sugar in the blood.

Ashwagandha is known to help people strengthen their immune system after illness, chemotherapy, or surgery. It is a highly effective, evidence-based remedy for anxiety and stress—by lowering cortisol levels and mimicking the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.

Some people also use ashwagandha for improving thinking ability, decreasing pain and swelling (inflammation), fertility problems in men and women and also to increase sexual desire.

Ashwagandha is applied to the skin for treating wounds, backache, and one-sided paralysis (hemiplegia).

Some key examples of the healing effects of Ashwagandha are:

  • Protects the immune system
  • Helps combat the effects of stress
  • Improves learning, memory, and reaction time
  • Reduces anxiety and depression without causing drowsiness
  • Helps reduce brain-cell degeneration
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Helps lower cholesterol
  • Offers anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits
  • Contains anti-malarial properties
  • Enhances sexual potency for both men and women
  • May be an effective anti-tumor agent
  • Promotes new nerve growth

 

How does it work?

(Per WebMD)

Ashwagandha contains chemicals that might help calm the brain, reduce swelling (inflammation), lower blood pressure, and alter the immune system.

Stress.Taking a specific ashwagandha root extract (KSM66, Ixoreal Biomed) 300 mg twice daily after food for 60 days appears to improve symptoms of stress.

Reducing side effects associated with medications called antipsychotics. Antipsychotics are used to treat schizophrenia but they can cause levels of fat and sugar in the blood to increase. Taking a specific ashwagandha extract (Cap Strelaxin, M/s Pharmanza Herbal Pvt. Ltd., Gujarat, India) 400 mg three times daily for one month might reduce levels of fat and sugar in the blood in people using these medications.

Anxiety. Some clinical research shows that taking ashwagandha can reduce some symptoms of anxiety.

Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).Some clinical research shows that a combination herbal product containing ashwagandha may improve attention and impulse control in children with ADHD. The effect of ashwagandha alone is unclear.

Bipolar disorder.Taking a specific ashwagandha extract (Sensoril, Natreon, Inc., New Bruswick, New Jersey) for 8 weeks might improve brain function in people being treated for bipolar disorder.

A brain condition called cerebellar ataxia.Preliminary research shows that ashwagandha in combination with an alternative form of medicine known as Ayurvedic therapy might improve balance in people with cerebellar ataxia.

Fatigue in people treated for cancer (chemotherapy).Early research suggests taking a specific ashwagandha extract 2,000 mg (Himalaya Drug Co, New Delhi, India) during chemotherapy treatment might reduce tiredness.

Diabetes. There is some evidence that ashwagandha might reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

High cholesterol.There is some evidence that ashwagandha might reduce cholesterol levels in patients with high cholesterol.

Male infertility.Some preliminary clinical evidence suggests that ashwagandha might improve sperm quality, but not sperm count, in infertile men. It is not known if taking ashwagandha can actually improve fertility.

Osteoarthritis.Early research shows that ashwagandha taken along with a zinc complex, guggul, and turmeric might improve arthritis symptoms. The impact of ashwagandha alone is unclear.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).Early research shows that ashwagandha root extract might reduce symptoms of OCD when taken with prescribed medications for 6 weeks better than taking the prescribed medication alone.

Parkinson’s disease.Preliminary research suggests that a combination of herbs including ashwagandha improves Parkinson’s symptoms. The effect of ashwagandha alone in Parkinson’s is unknown.

Rheumatoid arthritis. Early research shows that ashwagandha powder taken for 3 weeks followed by 4 weeks of sidh makardhwaj (a mixture of gold, mercury, and sulfur) slightly improves symptoms in some people with RA. The impact of ashwagandha alone in RA is unclear.

Increasing interest in sex.Early research shows that taking ashwagandha extract daily for 8 weeks along with receiving counseling increases interest in sex and sexual satisfaction in adult women with sexual dysfunction better than counseling alone.

Also, ashwagandha has shown to be beneficial for:

  • Altering immune system function.
  • Inducing vomiting.
  • Liver problems.
  • Preventing the signs of aging.
  • Swelling (inflammation).
  • Other conditions.

 

How to Add Ashwagandha to Your Diet

angelorosa / Pixabay

According to Ayurveda, our bodies are woven from food. The nutrients we ingest are metabolized into the energy and information that form our cells, tissues, and organs. Every day our bodies need essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to maintain our body’s delicate balance.

Ashwagandha is classically taken as a fine powder mixed in honey or ghee. In western countries, it typically ingested in capsule form.

The typical recommended dose is 500 to 1,000 mg. For people who suffer from insomnia and anxiety, having a cup of hot milk that contains a teaspoon of powdered ashwagandha or an ashwagandha capsule before bedtime is beneficial.

 

Special Precautions:

(discuss with your physician before taking Ashwagandha)

Prescription Medications – American Pharmaceutical DRUGS

qimono / Pixabay

Before I go to precautions with Ashwagandha, let’s look at the side effects of some commonly prescribed medications before we judge the side effects of this powerful herb.

Let’s compare. Then you decide which is safer.

What I see as the alternatives being prescribed daily in our traditional healthcare system carry MORE serious concerns.

Many traditional medicinal prescriptions carry side effects ranging from leading to addiction to causing dementia or increase risk for suicide. Yet the medical community is concerned about recommending Ashwagandha because why????

Commonly prescribed medications that carry serious side effects include:

  • Gabapentin (Seizures, Nerve Pain, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety, Depression, Pain): dementia, addiction (which is rarely listed but increasing problem),  suicidal thoughts, life threatening rash, organ failure, blurred vision, kidney problems, could make moods worse, aggressive behavior, chest pain, bloody stools, and more.
  • Lamictal (Seizures, Bipolar, Depression, Anxiety) :carries a black box label that can cause life threatening rashes to meningitis to suicidal thoughts. Irritable bowel type symptoms which is NOT listed.  – – – My story: I was given this drug for PTSD and Anxiety. My IBS symptoms went from 7 days a week to 1-2x a mo instantly when I stopped this drug several years ago.  This drug is also listed on Psycom as “The side effects of Lamotrigine are relatively harmless as compared to other options” REALLY?  “Lamotrigine induced mania is usually treated with Topiramate or lithium” (Pscycom) REALLY? Another DRUG to treat a side effect of this drug?
  • Paxil (Depression, PMS, PTSD, Anxiety): decreased interest in sex, changes in sexual ability, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, numbness/tingling, easy bruising/bleeding, fast/irregular heartbeat, seizures.
  • Xanax (Anxiety, PTSD): hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, slurred speech or difficulty talking, loss of coordination, trouble walking, memory problems, and can lead to addiction.
  • Adderall (ADD/ADHD):  Psychosis Caused By A Drug, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, high blood pressure, seizures, anger outbursts, and can lead to addiction.
  • Synthroid (thyroid): hair loss, nervousness, mood swings, tiredness, diarrhea, shaking (tremor), headache, shortness of breath, bone pain, easily broken bones, chest pain, fast/irregular heartbeat, swellingseizures.

Ashwagandha Precautions:

Pregnancyand breast-feeding: Do NOT use ashwagandha if you are pregnant. There is some evidence that ashwagandha might cause miscarriages.

Diabetes: Ashwagandha might lower blood sugar levels.  If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar closely.

High or low blood pressure: Ashwagandha might decrease blood pressure. Ashwagandha should be used cautiously if you have low blood pressure or take medications for your blood pressure.

Stomach ulcers: Ashwagandha can irritate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. 

“Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Ashwagandha might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it’s best to avoid using ashwagandha.

Surgery: Ashwagandha may slow down the central nervous system. Healthcare providers worry that anesthesia and other medications during and after surgery might increase this effect. Stop taking ashwagandha at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Thyroid disorders: Ashwagandha might increase thyroid hormone levels.

Moderate Interactions

(discuss with your physician before taking Ashwagandha):

Ashwagandha may increase the sedative effects of benzodiazepines such as Valium, Ativan, Xanax, and other depressants. It may also interact immunosuppressant medications. Talk with your doctor before beginning a supplement regimen that includes ashwagandha.

In animal studies, high dosages have been linked to toxicity, including impacts on thyroid function; however, human studies are limited.

Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with ASHWAGANDHA – Ashwagandha seems to increase the immune system. Taking ashwagandha along with medications that decrease the immune system might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system. Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.

Sedative medications (Benzodiazepines) interacts with ASHWAGANDHA – Ashwagandha might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Drugs that cause sleepiness and drowsiness are called sedatives. Taking ashwagandha along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness. Some of these sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and others.

Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with ASHWAGANDHA – Ashwagandha might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking ashwagandha along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness. Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others. 

Minor Interactions:

Thyroid hormone interacts with ASHWAGANDHA – The body naturally produces thyroid hormones. Ashwagandha might increase how much thyroid hormone the body produces. Taking ashwagandha with thyroid hormone pills might cause too much thyroid hormone in the body, and increase the effects and side effects of thyroid hormone.

Medical Caution:  Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before using supplements if you have any health conditions. Laura Joseph and Healing With Spirit are not licensed medical physicians. Ashwagandha is not recommended for women who are pregnant.

 

Need More?

Need some guidance or direction?

Want a holistic health consult?

 

Laura has been providing spiritually based integrative holistic health enrichment services, classes, and programs since 2006. She has experience as a domestic violence advocate, college educator, and over 15 years working in the healthcare industry with multiple certifications in  areas in holistic health, spiritually based practices, healing, and more.

Her primary office is located inside Cohasset Medical in seaside Hingham, MA.

To book a consult, contact us here today.

Recommended Resources:

WebMD: Ashwagandha Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning

The Chopra Center: What is Ashwagandha

Dr. Weil: Ashwagandha

Dr. Mark Hyman:  Are You Suffering From Adrenal Dysfunction?

Dr. Mercola, DO.:  The Healing Wonders of Ashwagandha

Today I Bless My Junk Part 3 – Speaking Out and 10 Tips You Can Do Today To Be The Change

This series “Today I Bless My Junk” has been quite the challenge for me. However, I feel if I am to convey a certain message, I choose to be raw, real and authentic seeing all of me with an unaltered video.

Here is part three in the series of “Today I Bless My Junk”. This topic is on what happens when you speak out and why women wait 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years to speak out.

  • I go into the retaliations and a little bit of my story and my experiences with retaliations. I have only spoken out twice in my life outside this video series, and both times I experienced retaliations that I feel were worse than the abuses themselves.
  • So, why wait?
  • Why speak out now?
  • Don’t be fooled by the bogus apologies.
  • When will it all end?
  • Followed by 10 tips on what you can do today to be the change for the future.

Other Videos in the Video Series

For my other videos in the series of “Today I Bless My Junk #metoo

Question To Ponder

I ask for you to consider one question

Are you part of the solution to systemic abuse or are you part of the problem? The choice is yours and only yours to make.

Please go to my Vlog on Youtube for the following videos.

How Can You Help?

As always, please support my healing journey and my desire to help break the cycle of abuse through healing. There many ways you can do this.

Take action on the things I mention in this video series

  1. Share these videos
  2. Leave supportive comments and let me know what pearl you took away with you
  3. Let me know what you would like to see the next video to be on
  4. Book me for a speaking engagement. I speak on many topics. One of the most common is on healing trauma through holistic and spiritually based practices.
  5. As always, thank you for your support and being a part of my spiritual journey.
  6. Become an ally – Help me become a better speaker, communicator and video producer. Want to volunteer your services to help make that happen? Email me and let’s collaborate.

With love and appreciation,
Laura

Today I Bless My Junk #MeToo Part II: Reality and Stats, Tips for Survivors, Tips for Others

This was a video recorded live through Massachusetts Survivors Outreach Facebook Page on Nov 25, 2017 as a follow-up from the first “Today, I Bless My Junk” which can be found on Youtube.

What I share with you is raw, real and pure stemming from my years of healing trauma associated with abuse. These video series were inspired by all the recent events of the media finally choosing to cover many of the abuses women have been faced with and silenced.

This video summary::

  • Update since last video on YouTube and what happened as result
  • The reality of the abuse epidemic
  • Stats
  • My experiences and vulnerabilities posting
  • Tips for survivors on managing triggers, how to bless your junk, and how to let your junk empower you back to you to wholeness.
  • Tips for everyone else to support survivors and not become a bystander abuser

Are a survivor? Empath? A loved one of a survivor? Bystander? Please join us.

Would love YOUR support.

Other Videos in the Video Series

For my other videos in the series of “Today I Bless My Junk #metoo

Question To Ponder

I ask for you to consider one question
Are you part of the solution to systemic abuse or are you part of the problem? The choice is yours and only yours to make.

Please go to my Vlog on Youtube for the following videos.

How Can You Help?

As always, please support my healing journey and my desire to help break the cycle of abuse through healing. There many ways you can do this.

Take action on the things I mention in this video series

  1. Share these videos
  2. Leave supportive comments and let me know what pearl you took away with you
  3. Let me know what you would like to see the next video to be on
  4. Book me for a speaking engagement. I speak on many topics. One of the most common is on healing trauma through holistic and spiritually based practices.
  5. As always, thank you for your support and being a part of my spiritual journey.
  6. Become an ally – Help me become a better speaker, communicator and video producer. Want to volunteer your services to help make that happen? Email me and let’s collaborate.

With love and appreciation,
Laura

Are Your Old Traumas Making You Sick?

Introduction

Are you still carrying around old traumas and don’t even realize it? Do you know how trauma affects your quality of life, health, and soul in the long term?

Do you suffer from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, adrenal stress, anxiety, addictions, cancer, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and musculoskeletal disorders? This is just a few illnesses and chronic health issues linked to trauma.

Here are just some of staggering statistics:

  • 7.7 million are diagnosed with PTSD in USA. Many who have PTSD are not diagnosed and treated symptomatically. 
  • 40 million are diagnosed with anxiety. Only 33% seek help.

In light of recent cumulative events over the last couple of years and the stigma associated with trauma, I believe these numbers are higher.

Please … join me Wed Nov 1st for a presentation and some experientials on Healing Trauma. (Please scroll for complete event details.)

I will also be sharing my own story including healing and how to heal from trauma which can manifest symptoms emotionally, physically, and spiritually and can show up years and decades after a traumatic incident.

The information I will share is backed by scientific and/or medical research and my own personal and professional experiences.

What you will learn, will enlighten you no matter what form of trauma may be lurking in your past here in this life, generationally, or karmicly.

Please join me as I would really LOVE your support on a topic I’m very passionate about.

Together we CAN make change for a better world beginning with US.

In the meantime, don’t forget to pause, breathe and take a moment for yourself.

With love and appreciation,

Laura





Healing Trauma Through Spiritually Based Practices

THIS Wednesday, Nov 1st 
 12pm- 2pm 
Hingham Public Library, Hingham, MA

Are you still carrying around old traumas and don’t even realize it? Do you know some of the symptoms of trauma? Can you recognize some of the symptoms of abuse?

The topic of abuse … domestic abuse, child abuse. sex abuse … is never an easy one to discuss never mind heal from in a way it does not control your life. It can even be very dis-empowering and even energy draining.

Many victims of abuse struggle with moving forward. Many times we are judged harshly for choosing to love someone who ultimately would hurt us. Many times we are left with devastating scars. Many times we feel we’ve done everything in our power to heal, but somehow the traumatic experiences still haunt us. Just because we were hurt by another, doesn’t have to mean a life sentence. Many times the traditional therapies we have sought out doesn’t seem to be working no matter what we seem to try.

Join us for a deep conversation and how to heal those traumatic wounds as Laura shares her healing journey from abuse, her struggles, her triumphs, and why spiritually based practices saved her life. She will discuss how she overcame the dark days and how she reclaimed her power.

What you will learn

  • The many faces of trauma
  • Trauma defined
  • Effects of trauma
  • Emotional, physical, and spiritual symptoms of trauma
  • Gaslighting
  • Causes of PTSD
  • Trauma and the effects on the brain 
  • ACE Study
  • Trauma and abuse
  • The “Three-legged stool”
  • Understanding the human existance
  • The holistic process theory of healing
  • Stages to healing
  • Healing trauma
  • Medical research and studies to various holistic and spiritually based therapies shown to heal trauma
  • Experience various exercises
  • and more …

Please join us supporting a topic I have been so passionate about since 2006. My goal is to help survivors empower themselves while finding long term healthy solutions to healing from abuse. With these techniques, I hope to break the cycle of abuse through power of healing.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

• This event is for survivors of abuse,

• loved ones of survivors of abuse,

• as well as anyone who works with abuse victims such as LCSW, and advocates.

There will also be time for Q&A.

This event is FREE. RSVP Requested but not required. Call/text your RSVP to 857-880-0365

Come experience the healing and sample various methods of healing techniques and leave feeling inspired. Spend this time with us and explore methods of self-care and healing that will empower you beyond your story and past and break free from the chains of abuse or traumatic event/s.

Discover the power that lies within us all.

When we address trauma (sometimes hidden), we are less likely to get sidetracked by projecting – in this political age that’s very valuable.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER:

Laura Joseph, RMA, RMT is a survivor of repeated abuses, but most notably domestic abuse and systemic abuse. Experiencing many difficult life lessons resulting and complex PTSD and Trauma, Laura had a feeling there was something wrong with her until she rediscovered her gifts, learned spiritually and holistic based therapies, and learned to embrace her sensitivities.

She has a background as a college educator, domestic abuse advocate, Reiki and Meditation Instructor, and allied health professional with a focus on trauma informed holistic care where she has been a frequent guest speaker throughout New England discussing her experiences healing trauma associated with abuse through spiritually based modalities. She has over 15 cumulative years in the holistic and allopathic health fields and has incorporated spiritually based practices and healing since 2006.

Laura believes our body is designed to heal itself. We sometimes need to be reminded how. She is very compassionate and passionate and teaches from the heart what she feels will help humanity heal and break the cycles of abuse through healing.

Laura brings her 12 year journey of acceptance into self discovery, self care, and self love.

She has published many articles on the topics of Holistic Health, Spirituality, Healing Trauma, and Reiki. She is also a frequent guest speaker, writer, and artist.

Laura has a private practice near the ocean on the Weir River in Hingham, MA, where she provides spiritually based holistic health enrichment services and classes. She is also a founding member of Massachusetts Survivors Outreach.

Laura brings her passion, compassion, and wit to assist in bringing out the best in you.

For more information about services and classes, visit Healing With Spirit

Medical Study of the Effects of Singing Bowl Sound Meditation on Mood, Tension, and Well-Being

Laura’s Tibetan Bowls for Meditation on the water.
Cape Cod 2016 All Rights reserved

I am ecstatic to see this observational medical study on the use of Tibetan singing bowls. The study was published involving 62 women and men with the mean age 49.7 years of age. I found the results quite interesting.

The study was published in PubMed as well as Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine:

“Poor mood and elevated anxiety are linked to increased incidence of disease. This study examined the effects of sound meditation, specifically Tibetan singing bowl meditation, on mood, anxiety, pain, and spiritual well-being. Sixty-two women and men (mean age 49.7 years) participated. As compared with pre-meditation, following the sound meditation participants reported significantly less tension, anger, fatigue, and depressed mood (all Ps <.001). Additionally, participants who were previously naïve to this type of meditation experienced a significantly greater reduction in tension compared with participants experienced in this meditation (P < .001). Feeling of spiritual well-being significantly increased across all participants (P < .001). Tibetan singing bowl meditation may be a feasible low-cost low technology intervention for reducing feelings of tension, anxiety, and depression, and increasing spiritual well-being. This meditation type may be especially useful in decreasing tension in individuals who have not previously practiced this form of meditation.” 

Although the study results are brief, I find it promising.  I began using tibetan singing bowls in my work in 2015 as something I felt drawn to do on an instinctual basis for my own healing. As a someone who has a history of trauma resulting in PTSD due to repeated abuses stemming from child abuse to rape to domestic violence to systemic abuse, I welcome this study.

I went through the traditional medicinal route and felt I was given a band-aid with a wound that continued to grow and fester with no relief in sight. So since 2005, I began looking into me. Who I am, and how can I heal especially when my very trust for humanity was so broken. I went up and build my trust in my spirituality.

For me, I understand these ideas:

  1. The human body is made up of mostly water
  2. We are beings that self generate electricity, and therefore vibrate energetically a frequency and vibration out creating a ripple effect.
  3. There is a mind/body connection to all illness and disease
  4. 75 – 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems [1]
  5. How we resonate with our external experiences affect our internal experiences and vice versa. How we resonate with our internal experiences affect our external experiences.
So no wonder the bowls have a magical feel to them.  When I searching for ways to heal my own trauma, I was led on a very spiritual path. Over the years as I worked with myself and others on healing, subconscious changes began to take affect. The more I began to trust my instincts and intuition, the more breakthroughs I was led to.
Needless to say, I was led to these bowls.  I believe it was a culmination of all the personal spiritual and professional work I have done over the years. I feel it was a calling, and the day I was gifted my first bowl, I knew I was onto something special. It mesmerized me and calmed me.
Laura’s Tibetan Medicine Bowl

After the gift of my 5th bowl by another healer as well as my Tibetan bells, I had an epiphany. I was using them in a reiki healing attunement meditation for a group of over 20 healers. I was told how incredibly powerful and amazing the experience was. I was asked if I taught this. I responded ‘no’, because every time is different, and I would not know how to teach something like this. I realized how I would just allow myself to be divinely guided in the whole process from acquiring these beauties to where to place them to order of sound to implementing them in meditations and healing sessions. I could not even tell you what each bowl’s musical note represents. I just know this bowl goes here to acquire this result. 

All I know is the effect they have on me and those around me. This is a modality that has been used by Tibetan monks for hundreds if not thousands of years, but originated in India. 

You can go to bodhisattva.com for a wonderful interview of Lama Lobsang Molam, a monk at a monastery in Swyambu, Kathmandu, Nepal, by Rain Gray on the history of the Tibetan bowls. Here is an excerpt of that interview:

“They say this is a relic that came from India and was used by the previous Buddha, so this is a very precious relic. So, that’s why everybody wants to listen to that singing bowl, the singing, you know, sound. So, many people are making offerings to this singing bowl, and offering money to that singing bowl. So, he said that if someone has pure or not pure karma, you know, if someone has negative karma, their self they have to round, they have to play it with a stick. If someone has a lot of negative karma, this bowl won’t give any sound. It gives sound but, not so nice, it’s very small and not clear. If the person who rings it has pure karma, it gives a lot of singing and a big sound, wang, wang, wang, wang, like this. It gives a big sound. So their saying this is the story of . . . their saying like this. Even he saw, you know. So in Tibet they have three singing bowls only.”

If you have been questioning on how to break through that wall and feel stuck, going to a Tibetan bowl meditation may be of benefit. Tremendous healing can be accomplished with the use and help of these sacred gems.

I would air one word of caution, however.  For those with severe PTSD or anxiety, please find the right teacher. Finding the right teacher who not only understands trauma, but has some training and/or experience with it is important.

Because the bowls create a very powerful frequency and vibration, it creates a metaphoric glass shattering effect which can trigger some emotions that many with PTSD or severe anxiety may still want buried. You must be ready to release those fears, traumas, and karmic cords in order to  heal. Finding the right teacher is key.

Healing With Spirit offers private sessions and a variety of classes that many times incorporates the use of Tibetan singing bowls such as, but not limited to:

  • Self Care for the Empath Workshop
  • Reiki Vibrational Healing Attunement Meditation Groups
  • A Soul Partnership Workshop
  • Private Reiki Sessions
  • Vibrational Healing
  • Sound Bath Meditations
  • Chakra Clearings and Balancing

Private sessions are offered via in office, phone, and skype. For more information, please contact me at Healing With Spirit.

As always,

With much love and appreciation,

Laura  Healing With Spirit

Spiritual Medium, Public Speaker, and Teacher
Usui Reiki Master Teacher
Shihankaku in Jikiden Reiki


To schedule a private reading, to book a private party, or speaking engagement,  please visit www.laurahealingwithspirit.com 

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REFERENCES:

  1. America’s #1 Health Problem; The American Institute of Stress; http://www.stress.org/americas-1-health-problem/ 
  2. Tibetan Singing Bowl History, An Interview with Lama Lobsang MolamBodhisattva Training Co Inc; By; Rain Gray; http://www.bodhisattva.com/singing_bowl_history.htm 
  3. Effects of Singing Bowl Sound Meditation on Mood, Tension, and Well-being
    An Observational Study
    ; Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative MedicineTamara L. Goldsby, PhD, Michael E. Goldsby, PhD, Mary McWalters, BA, Paul J. Mills, PhD
    1. Tamara L. Goldsby, PhD, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, Center of Excellence for Research and Training in Integrative Health, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA. Email: [email protected]


Copy right 2016 All rights reserved. Laura Joseph, Laura Healing With Spirit. May not be copied or reproduced without expressed written consent


My Story of Embodying Reiki to Heal Trauma Associated With Abuse

The Back Story

Yesterday I had a pretty deep conversation with a good friend of mine regarding the struggles to survive fleeing an abusive relationship where I lost my sense of self for over 20yrs. This in depth conversation brought to the surface certain pains and traumas from the abuses the victim part of myself would assume to forget.

However, in reflecting about this conversation and previous ones, it got me thinking about my path on where I was, where I am, and where I am going.  I look back now through a different lens amazed how far I have come since I made that crucial decision to leave an abusive partner who displayed narcissist sociopathic tendencies that nearly killed me more than once.  I am happy to say, his wish was not granted, and not literally buried six feet under.

The Healing Journey

I am still here to not only talk about it, but to share bits and pieces of my healing path to reclaiming my power back in hopes to inspire others on their healing journey.

Probably one of the decisions I made early on was to never doubt my gut or intuition again as it tried to warn me of the dangers that lay ahead at that time.  One of the things that saved my life was my connection to spirit followed by the healing path.

I first had to learn how to trust again and have faith in the unknown which is not simple feat when dealing with the after effects of abuse especially “gaslighting”. I had been beaten down physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. So how do I learn to trust again so I can heal?

How Reiki Helped Me

By embracing Reiki in its full embodiment not only helped me regain sense of self, but my sense of purpose. It helped me to heal the past while staying present, and not let my triggers of the past cause worry or fear of the unknown. It was not easy and I still feel I am a work in progress learning, healing, and growing every day.

This process didn’t happen over night, but over the course of 11 years. I had to learn to surrender to the Universe, which is probably the most difficult task in the entire process. The mind/ego wants to shield and protect you from any repeats of what had happened to you in your past. It is like an loop constantly repeating itself that has to be broken in order to heal and move forward in your life.

I knew I could not trust the system, domestic abuse groups, family, community, and the like as the mighty power of a skillful abuser can sway anyone in their favor creating an avalanche of being re-victimized. So if I could not trust people, who could I trust? Well it was spirit after all that tried to save me from this fate and I ignored the signs.  So I went back to my faith knowing I could trust Spirit. That started the surrendering process leading into my healing.

I started with meditation and started going to church again rediscovering myself in the process. The more I learned to trust in the divine, the more healing took place in my life, which led me down the reiki path. Receiving reiki and learning reiki was the single most best decision I made for myself as it not only changed my life, it saved my life.

However, what I have learned over the years in studying the various different forms of Reiki, is it is not learned in one day as some may believe. I have been learning Reiki now for 11 years and I practice Reiki daily embodying all that Reiki has to offer.

You can not learn that after one class and receive your certificate.  You must master Reiki completely and incorporate it into your life so you can BE REIKI. This process takes years of discipline to develop.

What I wrote in the picture are truly five things you can start to do today that over time will change your life. They stem from the teachings I learned in reiki so I know this to be true. I personally say these in Japanese as a mantra every morning when I wake and every evening when I prepare for sleep. By chanting these precepts, you begin to change the way you see yourself and the world around you.

Moving Forward

This year is the grand year of transformation, a nine year in numerology. It is the year of completion, and I personally look forward to fully and unequivocally shining in my own light at full strength once again. I wrote about the importance of this year in 6 Tips To Guide You Towards Soul-fillment in 2016 if you wish to read more on that topic.

Reiki is more than taking a one day class, receiving a certificate, and laying hands on someone.  I think this is the greatest travesty of misconception of what our Western society believes is important. Reiki is so much more. It is a way of being and a way to self discovery back to soul. Our bodies are designed to heal themselves, so all we have to do is tap into that source energy. Reiki helps facilitate that.  I have been practicing Reiki over a decade now, and even after all this time, I feel like I have so much to still discover about the magic Reiki offers all of us inside and out.

Healing trauma is not easy, but I am so grateful for the system of Reiki and all the teachers I have had along the way to guide me in my spiritual path to healing and self discovery.

For those who are struggling now or feel like you can’t see above water, please keep the faith. I remember days, where I felt like it was the end, and I am not only here, but I am beginning to thrive. You can too.  I am here to help you best I can and so are so many other wonderful reiki healers.

 Tips on Finding a Qualified Practitioner

If you struggle with healing from trauma associated with abuse, here are some tips in choosing a reiki practitioner.
  1. Make sure you find a qualified practitioner who has trauma informed care as part of their training.
  2. Make sure you find a practitioner who has been practicing Reiki for a long time as trauma has its own intricate needs.
  3. Ask questions about the Reiki practitioner’s training and belief system
  4. What system of reiki did they study?
  5. What was included in their studies?
  6. What level of Reiki have they completed?
  7. How long have they been practicing Reiki?
  8. Do they practice reiki every day? (My apologies as many reiki practitioners may disagree,  I feel THIS is the most important question). If they are not practicing reiki every day, how can they possibly understand how to help you? This goes beyond just reiki, but understanding trauma and all its intricate components.
  9. What is their level of experience and training in working with people with trauma?
  10. How many clients have they used Reiki for healing trauma?
  11. Ask how they use Reiki in healing trauma.
This is just a simple guide, but you can also check out the article I wrote on Reiki Can Do No Harm or Can It? for more tips and guidance.

I hope what I wrote helps someone out there in need who needs something to help them survive in order to thrive. Please share the love and compassion.

With love and light,

Laura  Joseph

Healing With Spirit 
Spiritual MediumSpeakerHealer

To schedule a private session, to book a corporate wellness event, or speaking engagement, please private message me

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 © 2016-2018 Laura Joseph. All Rights Reserved. This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns. This article does not share the opinions of Healing With Spirit or its affiliates.  Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

Adventures in Reiki with Surgery

Have you ever employed reiki for surgery?

I don’t normally share my personal stuff publicly, but feel this might help another somewhere somehow and felt compelled to share my surgical story and the power of reiki healing.

For years I suffered from various issues that ultimately led to surgery recently involving my ovaries. Leading up to the surgery itself, I had been experiencing an increasing amount of anxiety and insomnia. I was stumped as to what was possibly causing such a surge of emotions, because I do practice what I preach with lots of rest, ‎healthy eating, exercise, meditation, and self reiki‬. So I was a little surprised as to why the sudden increase.

I feel the source could be part karmic‬ and part life changing. I really don’t want children at this stage in my life, but at same time, I mourn the loss of my own. Without going into details, I suffered years of abuse much of my life. Although, I have spent the last 10 years  working on healing the roots from all the traumas associated with abuse.

So I decided to just sit and embrace whatever emotions‬ surfaced at that time. This is important to pause and ‎nurture‬ the child within while staying present at all times. If this was so called past stuff emerging, I embraced what is. I accepted and through mindfulness based techniques, reiki, and other energy work, I lovingly assisted these issues to past through me.

I also chose two mantras to repeat:

The first one: “I accept‬ what is. I  surrender‬ to what was, and I have faith‬ in what will be. … and so it is.”

The second one is the Gokkai in Japanese or the Reiki Precepts in Japanese: “Kyo dake wa (Just for today).

Ikaru na (Do not anger).

Shinpei suna (Do not worry).

Kansha shite (Be grateful).

Gyo o hageme (Work diligently/dutifully).

Hito ni shinsetsu ni (Be kind to others).”

The surgery experience

I went to the hospital and experienced a phenomenal staff with some profound spiritual experiences which is a story for another time. I will say my surgery was more than a medical procedure for the physical body. That part went superbly well and experienced no pain afterwards. This was part of a larger spiritual journey and healing karmic cords not just in my life, but the lives of those nurses brought into my life to care for me pre-op and post-op.

I recently had my post-op follow-up with my surgeon. Since my surgery, I’ve been doing lots of reflecting and realization.

  1. The more I partner with my soul, unite with soul, live soulful, the more I reclaim my power. I no longer accept the demands or perceptions of what society wants to dictate to me. Instead I trust my soul, and lively more authentically.
  2. The Power of energy healing such as reiki‬ is way under estimated. It is because of the self reiki prep I did pre-op and all the distance healing sent from all of you, I experienced no pain after the day of surgery. I had some discomfort, but nothing worth taking even a motrin for that reiki couldn’t do.
  3. The only complications I had were due to being told by the surgical prep team, I was not going to be fully incubated due to history of brain bleeds only to wake up to realize I was completely out for over 2 hours. I experienced some unanticipated brochiospasms, difficulty in speech and breathing, and faintness. If I knew I was going to be fully put under anesthesia, I would have prepared there too. This only goes to the power of reiki again, because of what i did experience when reiki was used.
  4. My surgeon, although an Osteopath, was a little shocked I took “no” pain meds after surgery. I told her I had a wonderful team of healers and reiki practitioners behind me so it was not necessary. I thought to myself, if modern medicine and our society as a whole would embrace again the ideology and belief that our bodies were designed to heal themselves and used treatment options to embrace this, the drug use in America may look different.

I wanted to share my story, because I wanted everyone to be reminded that our bodies are designed to heal themselves. The power to heal lies within us all.

Not only doing reiki, but living reiki and being reiki is even more important. I thank you for being a part of my spiritual‬ journey‬.

Have a great reiki filled fall day.

With light, love, and appreciation,

Laura
Healing With Spirit 

To schedule a private session, to book a corporate wellness event, or speaking engagement, please private message me

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 © 2015-2018 Laura Joseph. All Rights Reserved. This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns. This article does not share the opinions of Healing With Spirit or its affiliates.  Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

A Personal Message For Those Interested in Learning Reiki or Receiving Reiki

Want to meet or join a reiki healing community?
Interested in knowing more about reiki as part of your self healing?

Want to learn how to do reiki either on yourself or others?

My goal is to help make this world a better place, and help others find their own magnificence and healing within.

As Glenda from the Wizard of Oz would say “you’ve had the power all along my dear”

As someone who worked in the healthcare industry most of my life, I used to get frustrated at where we were headed. This frustration stemmed from patients thinking a pill or vaccine will fix everything including viruses to doctors treating your parts and symptoms not root causes. I’ve dedicated the last 9 yrs to studying and learning holistic therapies and alternatives.

Reiki has by far made the greatest impact in my life personally, and what I’ve seen reiki do for others is like watching your child take their first step. It’s utter magnificent.

I’ve worked on clients with cancer, trauma associated with abuse, spinal stenosis, arthritic pain, eczema, stress, anxiety, ptsd, insomnia, addictions, bad habits and so forth.

I’ve studied Western Usui Reiki with the influence of Mrs. Takata and I use William Lee Rand’s teaching materials.

I’m currently studying other forms of reiki with the emphasis on the “original” non westernized form of reiki with Jikiden Reiki being the primary focus. I was fortunate to have studied with Frank “Arjava” Petter, who is the Vice President of the Jikiden Reiki Institute, Kyoto, Japan.

Along the way, I’ve been honored and blessed to have met some amazing people who have changed my life forever.

My goal in teaching reiki comes from the heart teaching what I’ve learned to help you become empowered and understand we all have the power to heal. Like our founder, Mikao Usui, I focus on the individual needs of the student. Are there guidelines on what to focus on? Yes, but how it is taught changes.

If you are interested in learning more, feel free to private message me or visit www.laurahealingwithspirit.com
Here is a list of upcoming fall dates for upcoming reiki healing days, reiki shares, and reiki certification classes in Hingham, MA
(dates subject to change. Please email us for confirmation):
Open Reiki Share and Healing Day
Dates: Sunday, 9/20, 10/18, 11/15 starting at 3pm.
First come first serve by donation.
Open to practitioners of any lineage who would like to share and exchange and anyone interested in receiving reiki or learning more about how reiki can help with self healing. …

 

Open Reiki Share and Healing Day
Dates: Monday, 10/5, 11/2, 12/7 starting at 7pm.

 

First come first serve by donation.
Open to practitioners of any lineage who would like to share and exchange and anyone interested in receiving reiki or learning more about how reiki can help with self healing. …

Reiki Healing Guided Meditaion and Attunement:

Dates: Monday, 10/5, 11/2, 12/7 starting at 6pm.

 

Registration required

Reiki Level I Workshop and Certification
Sunday, October 11th from 10am-6pm
Open to anyone interested in learning this wonderful Japanese healing modality. Level I focuses on the physical plane. Learn the history of reiki, its various applications of use, hand on techniques, the importance of practicing reiki, receive an attunement, learning the reiki precepts and why they are important and more. Text book included. Lots of hands on training. Recerts available at discount.

Reiki Level II Workshop and Certification
Sunday, November 1st from 10am-6pm
Open to anyone who wishes to progress their reiki training to the next level who have successfully completed Reiki Level I training. Reiki II focuses on the mental plane. Learn the Reiki symbols, receive an attunement to reiki, learn additional tools and training in the applications of use, and additional hands on training. Recerts available at a discount.

Want to learn reiki, but unable to attend these workshops? Inquire about private individual reiki training or retraining.

For more information about services, events, or reiki classes, please visit www.healingwithspirit.webs.com or private message us.

I look forward to sharing reiki with you.

Reiki on …
 
Breathe Reiki
 
Live reiki
 
Be reiki

With light, love, and appreciation,

Laura
Healing With Spirit 
Spiritual MediumSpeakerHealer

To schedule a private session, to book a corporate wellness event, or speaking engagement, please private message me

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 © 2015-2018 Laura Joseph. All Rights Reserved. This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns. This article does not share the opinions of Healing With Spirit or its affiliates.  Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

 

Upcoming 2015 Celebration of Reiki Conference

I am honored to be one of the featured ‘Reiki Reaches Out’ panelists this year for The Reiki Conference on April 26th in Brookline for my work the effectiveness use of Reiki to assist in healing survivors of abuse; domestic abuse, child abuse, and sex abuse. Hope to see you there. This will be a life changing event.

Conference Details:

Conference Theme: Living Reiki

Please discover what the 2015 Celebration of Reiki Conference Program has in store for you.

Sunday, April 26, 2015
8:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Holiday Inn, 1200 Beacon Street, Brookline, Massachusetts 02446
 

Reiki In Unexpected Places Panel – Moderator:  Jacki Katzman.  
Panelists: Lisa Biagetti (Reiki services to Wheelock College students; Reiki services at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital with parents of children with traumatic injuries), Laura Bonetzky-Joseph (Reiki services to survivors of domestic abuse), Judy Bousquin (Reiki services for homeless and poor women at The Woman’s Lunch Place), Frederic Burnett (Reiki services with vulnerable youth in the Caribbean), Matthew McDonald (Reiki service to individuals living with HIV and to the LGBTQ community). Deborah Strafuss (Reiki services to individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers/families)

Laura is a holistic health professional, writer, Reiki Master Teacher, Registered Certified Medical Assistant, and Massachusetts Survivors Outreach (MASO) board member and volunteer, who has worked a cumulative in healthcare for over 15 years.  As a survivor of abuse, Laura discovered a discord in the healing process within abuse organizations, the legal system, and the healthcare system. Laura realized that, by using complementary therapies such as Reiki, in conjunction with traditional medical care, she finally began to heal.  Through her own healing, research, work as a holistic healthcare provider, and volunteer for survivors of abuse, she realized that we have the “cure,” so to speak. Survivors do NOT have to become a statistic in the legal system nor the healthcare system.  The need is great and at epidemic levels.

Laura’s goal is to get Reiki practice more accepted as a viable treatment option for survivors of abuse, solicit the appropriate partners for medical research, provide accredited training for holistic health professionals and allied health professionals, and end the cycle of abuse through healing.  With properly trained reiki professionals, the results of using reiki as a treatment option for victims of abuse are life changing.

With lots of love and appreciation,

Laura
Healing With Spirit 
Spiritual MediumSpeakerHealer

To schedule a private session, to book a corporate wellness event, or speaking engagement, please private message me

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 © 2015-2018 Laura Joseph. All Rights Reserved. This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns. This article does not share the opinions of Healing With Spirit or its affiliates.  Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

The Reiki Effect

Reiki is a Japanese complementary alternative mind body medicine therapy that works with the human body’s bioenergy field. It uses vibrational, or subtle energy, administered most commonly by a light touch to assist the body’s ability to heal itself.

Reiki has gained acceptance and popularity over the years and is widely used and accepted as an effective therapeutic treatment in many medical offices and hospitals across the country.

As time goes on, there are more and more medical studies coming out on the efficacy of Reiki as a viable alternative treatment option. It is also used in conjunction with other conventional medicine treatment options.

This graphic summarizes the benefits of Reiki when administered by a qualified Reiki Professional.

With lots of love and appreciation,

Laura
Healing With Spirit 
Spiritual MediumSpeakerHealer

 

To schedule a private session, please private message me

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___________________________________________________________

Laura Healingwithspirit, RMA, RMT is a Reiki Master Teacher, Spiritual Medium, Public Speaker, and Teacher with over 15 cumulative years in healthcare with the last 7 years specializing in holistic health. She specialized in using Reiki as an effective treatment option in healing trauma associated with abuse such as domestic abuse, child abuse, and sexual abuse.

Services offered: Medium Readings, Medical Intuitive Readings, Angel, Oracle, and Tarot Readings, Energy Assessments and Healings, Reiki, Yuen, Holistic Health, Stress Reduction, Spiritual and Holistic Health Coaching.

For more about Laura, click here.