Reiki practitioner touts touch

Every Tuesday morning, the North Leaside Women’s Group (NLWG) brings women together from all walks of life to meet new people and learn ways to better themselves.

According to member Paddy Duncan, the group hosts a variety of speakers — ranging from novelists to businesswomen. On one recent occasion, they even brought back an alumnus: Janet Zenwirt, a former NLWG member, who spoke about the health practice Reiki.

“I had a couple of treatments, and I really liked it, but at the time I had a child. Three years later a group of us went to get our training and after a period of time, we offered it to other people,” said Zenwirt.

Reiki is an ancient practice created by the Japanese Buddhist, Mikao Usui. The practice involves placing your hands on different parts of the body, which activates energy, or ki, to help heal the mind and spirit. During the meeting, many of the women were absorbed and intrigued by Zenwirt’s explanation of Reiki and how it can create balance and a relaxed lifestyle.

Zenwirt clarified, however, that she doesn’t believe Reiki goes as far as actually curing illnesses.

According to Zenwirt, the practice of touch can help give people a sense of calmness and acceptance, which can be important in dealing with terminal illnesses such as cancer, when in even a short period of time it can be helpful.

“It’s just the act of somebody spending an hour caring for us,” said Zenwirt. “There is that sense of touch that we crave as humans.”

Most recently, on April 24, the North Leaside Women’s Group featured author Marina Endicott.