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July 25, 2016

I tried Reiki: My first experience with energy healing

The holistic technique helped me to calm my cluttered mind

Mindful Mondays Holistic Medicine
07252016_Energy_Healing Photo courtesy/Phyllis Greco Bucci

Dr. Phyllis Greco Bucci of Holistic Apothecary in Ambler, Montgomery County, practices Reiki, a Japanese healing technique. Practitioners are said to transfer “life force energy.”

Part of living mindfully is always coming from a place of curiosity and keeping an open mind, so when my Aunt Nancy gifted me with a visit to her Reiki guru, of course, I obliged. The two met nearly three years ago, in poetic fashion, high atop a mountain in Sedona, Arizona. After a cordial exchange, they realized that they both hailed from the glorious suburbs of Philadelphia and have been nearly inseparable since.

After years of hearing stories from my aunt about this amazing holistic healer, I was anxious to meet her myself; I am not one to scoff at serendipitous encounter.

I really didn’t know what to expect never having done any “energy work” before.

I walked into Ambler’s Holistic Apothecary and I will tell you that when owner and Intuitive Healer, Dr. Phyllis Bucci Greco, walks into the room, her presence is felt.

I am not sure if it was the smell of the prosperity candles burning or the sound of the wind chimes and her bracelets jingling in unison, but it was immediately apparent that there was something special about this woman. Honestly, I was scared to think anything too loudly for fear that she was reading my mind.

I moved through her showroom (a treasure trove of crystals, oils, etc…) to the Reiki room where I was told to lay on a table, similar to a massage table. Clothes on, shoes off, I worked hard to settle my mind and prepare for the treatment.

To be honest, I had a lot going on that morning. I contemplated canceling because I was so busy at work and couldn’t imagine being able to lie flat on my back in a room and concentrate for an hour without looking at my phone.

I didn’t cancel because I have learned that these are exactly the times when I need to take care of myself the most.

The treatment began with my neck in Phyllis’ able hands. My head was lifted off the table and my neck rolled to the right. There I stayed, told to focus on the rhythm of my breath, “Deep breath in, deep breath out,” until I felt like I was drifting off to sleep.

Later, Phyllis told me, “Did you know that it wasn’t me moving your head at all. That was you. It was you turning away from something in your past that you are not looking at anymore, or not right now.”

Reiki is a Japanese healing technique that loosely translates to “the laying on of hands.” Reiki practitioners are said to transfer “life force energy.” That is the energy that makes up every living thing and is constantly moving through all of us. Think, "Good energy in, bad energy out." 

The treatment continued with more instructions to breathe, with Phyllis’ clenched fists under my lower back. Then, with her open palm hovered an inch above my stomach and opposite hand cupping my knee, she tells me, “Anytime a thought comes into your head, think about putting up a big STOP sign.”

This was the point where I let myself fully relax and just be.

In what seemed like a blink of an eye, I awoke to chimes being softly struck above me. This was to signal the end of my first Reiki session. At that point I was asked, “Were you able to relax?”

I replied, “I am so relaxed I think I am asleep.”

The technique was very interesting and it was so helpful in calming my cluttered mind in the present moment. I have read a lot about Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and to date, this by far the best holistic treatment for anxiety that I have ever tried.

I will be going back to see what else Phyllis has in her bag as she offers many other services such as Feng Shui and performs guided meditations in her studio, which I find to be most helpful.

The moral of the story is to keep an open mind. Try complementary modalities to improve the state of your mental well-being and overall health. Know that you can employ these techniques like breathing and visioning in stressful times. Keep your eyes and your heart open as well. You never know who you will meet, even across the country on top of a mountain.

For more information on Dr. Greco, visit

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Each week, on Mindful Mondays, Christie shares her tips and tricks toward a healthier lifestyle. Give these tips a try to improve your health, wellness and quality of life!

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