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Reiki and Crystals and Chakras, Oh My!

By Meredith Marin

Vacation…a time to relax, rejuvenate, and refresh our bodies and minds. Aruba is home to a thriving wellness community, including spas, yoga retreats, and even a vegan culinary scene. Did you know that Aruba also offers a range of alternative healing experiences that may inspire positive change in your life? Whether you’re looking to heal from pain or injury, or embark on a soul-searching journey, Aruba’s alternative-healing community is one to explore. This is article #3 in a series of three articles about energy healers on Aruba—where to find them, what to expect, and why you should try it.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been on an energy-healing journey, first experiencing Regenesis Healing with Ellen Buermans at Pulse Aruba, and then sound healing with Jamie Bareño at Yogi Vibes Aruba. In between sessions, I’ve done my best to focus on self-care, waking up early to meditate, drink tea, and watch the sunrise. I’ve come to see it like this: A nutritionist, for example, can kick-start your healthy diet and provide information and tools for healing; an energy-healing experience is similar. You can expect mindfulness education, breathing techniques, and a safe space to express your emotions. You can expect to be touched lightly on your back, shoulders, or areas where you are holding pain or tension, or perhaps not touched at all. You can expect a full sensory experience with aromatherapy oils and healing vibrations or sounds. You can expect to walk out feeling like you’re floating or in deep relaxation. But just like a nutritionist cannot do the eating for you throughout the week, the energy healer is not with you when you go home. If you’re looking for a kick-start to emotional, spiritual, psychological, or even physical healing while on your vacation, visiting an energy healer on the island is a must. You’ll be provided with the tools you need to take that vacation feeling home with you.

I experienced two treatments at Island Yoga Aruba, near the high-rise hotels in Palm Beach—Reiki with Laura van Leeuwen, and a week later, Crystal Chakra Alignment with Brittany Waterhouse. In addition to providing energy-healing treatments, both Laura and Brittany also teach yoga at the studio.

Island Yoga Aruba

I found comfort in the Island Yoga treatment room, located within the yoga studio next to its beautiful yoga shalas and vegan garden cafe. Settling into my Reiki session with Laura, I noticed the soft meditation music in the room, the crystals, the burning of cleansing plants such as sage and palo santo, and the insightful cards. I’m becoming an experienced energy-healing client! I thought. I recognize these tools now as staples of the energy-healing experience to bring us closer toward healing—to turn us inward.

When Laura asked me to rest on the massage table, I was ready to jump right in. I closed my eyes and tried to focus on my “third eye” as Ellen (from Pulse Aruba) had suggested, “to give your ego something to do.” Developed in Japan about 100 years ago, Reiki is an energy-healing technique that involves the healer channeling “life force energy” through herself and into the participant via light touches emanating from her hands. As Laura laid her hands on my abdomen, then on my head, face, and back, I entered a deep state of relaxation. I noticed at one point that I was seeing yellow and orange lights and breathing very slowly. At one point, I gasped for air, like I was coming back into my body. I felt as if I were so relaxed that I truly had forgotten to breathe. With all the healing vibes surrounding me, I had started the session feeling pretty great already, but by the end of the session, I also noticed that the tightness in my shoulders that I often carry was gone.

Island Yoga Aruba
Reiki with Laura van Leeuwen

Laura, like Ellen and Jamie, began her journey as a healer through yoga. Laura is a certified yoga teacher and specializes in Yin Yoga, teaching these deeply relaxing classes at Island Yoga. She is a level-2 certified Reiki practitioner. Something interesting I learned from Laura is that Reiki is a tool you can practice on yourself once you are certified. Benefits of Reiki include feelings of rejuvenation and relaxation, an increase in life force energy flowing through you, a sense of well-being and harmony, and pain relief. Migraines are a common issue that Laura treats through her Reiki practice. Laura is open about her own healing journey with those she meets in person, as well as on social media. She shared with me that Reiki has helped her with her fertility journey, as she experiences IVF treatment. Reiki has helped her to stay positive—to know that more energy is devoted to her spiritual journey—and has provided her with the strength to help others dealing with fertility challenges. Laura would love to help others experiencing fertility challenges through the Reiki and yoga she offers at Island Yoga.

A week went by before I returned for my Crystal Chakra Alignment session with Brittany. Living on an island, it turns out, is not all about sipping margaritas on the beach. After a week of work and parenthood, I returned to Island Yoga feeling sleep-deprived and stressed. Brittany assured me that the Crystal Chakra Alignment treatment would help me to feel relaxed and restored. “Clients come to me when they are feeling off balance, or not feeling like themselves, whether because of sleep troubles, stress from work, negative emotions, or interaction with a negative person. Aligning your chakras brings harmony back into your life and into the physical body,” she explained. Brittany also described that when we’re experiencing negativity, stress, or emotional instability, we can feel this manifest as physical symptoms of pain or discomfort. Acknowledging the mind-body connection is a main tenant of the energy-healing community, and I’ve realized that our Western society isn’t set up to promote much mind-body awareness on a daily basis. That’s why so many of us work, work, work, until we are so exhausted that we go on vacation to mentally check out. Then it’s back to the daily grind. What I’ve come to love about energy healing is that it’s a great reminder to pay attention to the mind-body connection in daily life to avoid burnout.

Island Yoga Aruba
Brittany Waterhouse

I lay on the treatment table, and Brittany covered me with a blanket, since body temperature often changes during deep relaxation. She placed a soothing eye pillow over my eyes and sprayed rose-quartz-infused rose water above me. As we began the Chakra Alignment, Brittany spoke about the seven energy centers of the body, which begin at the base of the spine and end at the crown of the head. Crystals assist in opening up and balancing the chakras because of their high vibrations. According to Indian religious philosophy, when chakras are unbalanced or blocked, pain and discomfort can manifest in both emotional and physical ways. Crystals come from the earth, so they represent the living and healing earth energy. As I lay still on my back, Brittany began placing crystals along my chakra energy centers, sharing information and ideas for me to meditate on throughout the treatment. She massaged healing essential oils onto my shoulders and then held my feet for a few moments to help ground me. When she touched my feet, I felt a warmth in my heart and a strong emotional connection. It occurred to me in that moment that the last time my feet were held that way was when I was giving birth to my daughter, as my husband held my feet to ground me. Throughout the rest of the treatment, it felt as if a heavy pillow was resting on my feet, hugging me toward the ground, even though I was only covered by a thin blanket.

Island Yoga Aruba

As each energy healer has shared with me, this inclination to heal others is passed on through a family line of healers. Brittany shared that her grandmother influenced her to explore her fascination with crystals. Her grandmother is a Reiki master and first introduced her to yoga. She also brought her to her first crystal shop and helped guide her in giving her first crystal workshop in Massachusetts. In addition to providing individual treatments, Brittany leads workshops for those who would like to learn more about crystal energies and how to use crystals in their daily lives.

Island Yoga Aruba
Brittany Waterhouse with her tools of the trade.

I’ve learned much about healers in this journey, but the conclusion I’ve come to so far is that the most important healer in this work is yourself, the person seeking healing. I think in the beginning of my journey, my skepticism came from a place of fear—fear of what these healers would “do” to me, or how I would change from my experiences. I’ve been surprised along the way to find that nothing is being done to me; rather, I’m receiving the support and encouragement I’ve always needed to pull me further away from the “fear field,” sending me on a path toward the “love field,” where I know I belong. The work is not up to the healer to heal you—the work is your own. But you are not alone. With energy healing, there is a loving, nonjudgmental presence by your side throughout your journey.

Are you ready for this?

To book a Reiki session with Laura van Leeuwen or a Crystal Chakra Alignment session with Brittany Waterhouse, call Island Yoga Aruba at +297-280-0025 or email [email protected].