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Open Conversation: Healing Mind, Body, and Spirit

Posted at 12:08 AM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 12:54:37-04

WACO, Texas — When stress becomes too much to handle or you feel that you're on the verge of burnout, there are many options when it comes to your mental health.

Holistic approaches to mental health are gaining popularity as people look for that balance in mind, body, and spirit.

Cassaundra Robertson is an Army veteran. She was medically retired after seven years when she became too sick to serve.

"I was bottling up all of my stress and my trauma and my bad feelings," Robertson told 25 News. "Eventually my body just became so full of everything I wasn't expressing that my physical body started breaking down and couldn't really handle it anymore."

She was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia. After years of taking medication and getting steroid shots, she found yoga and then reiki. Reiki is an energy healing process performed by trained reiki masters.

"Science teaches us everything is energy and energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transferred," Robertson explained. "Reiki is a really great modality we can use to release energy that no longer serves our highest good."

She now credits yoga and reiki for her health turning around.

"Within probably six months, I felt 75 percent better than what I had been feeling," she said. "Within a year I was off all of my medication and functioning completely normally."

The National Library of Medicine published a 2019 reiki study out of Harvard University. Roughly 1,400 reiki sessions were conducted to see its effects on pain, shortness of breath, nausea, depression, anxiety, and overall wellbeing. The results showed that "a single session of reiki improves multiple variables related to physical and psychological health."

Robertson now co-owns Awakened Hearts Healing Institute with friend and fellow reiki master Julie Taylor. The two now work to share the power reiki with the community.

"In reiki, we work on positive mindsets," Taylor said. "We do a lot of affirmations. We start teaching people how to change their thoughts because it really does affect everything in our lives."

While they know there are skeptics to this approach to mental and physical health, they do encourage people to be open-minded.

"I was very close-minded for so many years," Taylor said. "If I had not tried that for myself, I would not be where I'm at today."

The women say if you're not ready to try something like reiki, there are home practices like meditation and affirmations that can also help people struggling with mental health.