Japanese healing featured at library

In a small empty room, at the back of the children’s section of the Terrebonne Public Library, adults gathered last week to learn and share the secrets of an ancient Japanese healing practice. The gathering was the first of what will be a monthly feature at the library.

Cindy Lusco, a master teacher of the art, called “Reiki,” explained to a small group how hand motions channeling positive energy can promote balance and relaxation.

“They say that it was discovered by a Japanese man named Usui,” Lusco said. “The main thing is Reiki is all about love energy. You’re going to notice that the stronger the love energy is, the more that Reiki flows. And you may feel it. You may not notice it right away, but over time you do. And it gets stronger, and I think the more positive you are, the higher your vibration is, the better it comes across.”

Lusco said she learned of Reiki while working as a flight attendant in Atlanta. She said that she knew there was a better way to heal than just taking medicine, and while seeking ways to become healthier she learned of an instructor, and committed herself to learning the art she now shares.

While Reiki promotes healing, Lusco stressed that it should not take the place of a primary physician’s treatment.

“We do this along with your conventional medicine,” she said. “I’m not here to say ‘do reiki and everything is perfect’ because you still have to check with your doctor. It’s not a cure all for everything.”

Joan Pustka, seated in the second row, asked if the healing is physical or emotional.

“All of that, physical, spiritual.” Lusco assured.

“It could be grief, or pain, or a disease, or cancer?” Joan Pustka, pressed.

Lusco said that many people use it to promote healing in the body, and that she personally could attest to its benefits in emotional recovery by improving confidence.

“People do use it for cancer, to help them along as far as recovering from cancer a lot faster. And I do believe that if you really really work at it, you can probably help those people to fight it off.” Lusco said, “So, that’s my belief. I’m not trying to push that on anybody else, that’s just what I think.”

Lusco cautioned her listeners that what she promotes, while spiritual in nature, is not a religion.

“We don’t promote any kind of religion. It’s your own belief.” She said, “But you do draw the energy from the universe, a divine source. If you choose to believe god, then yes, god.”

Lusco said the bible speaks of healing practices and that she incorporates prayer into her own personal Reiki.

When preparing her personal Reiki routine Lusco plays relaxing music, prays to guides such as Jesus and the Archangel Raphael, and then meditates. This can take an hour or more, she said.

“It’s more or less intuition, instinct maybe, sometimes you do feel it. I’ve seen times where I’d be. We call it a scan. We’ll be flowing along, and I’ll feel it stop,” she explained, “It’s not a big bump, it’s just you feel a difference. So, that’s the only way I know how to do it. Your intuition more or less tells you where to move. I don’t follow a set pattern.”

Reiki can also be used on pets, said Lusco, and Aimee Eschete, an attendee who is a level two practitioner, said that it can also be used on plants.

While there are set hand positions, after a Reiki practitioner has become comfortable in their art, they are free to make it their own, said Lusco.

“I don’t personally use those same positions I learned, because once you get too used to the whole process, you don’t have to follow a certain pattern.” Said Lusco, “Because Reiki is going to go where it belongs, and your body does accept it.”

Reiki has 3 levels of training.

According to Lusco, to attain Rank One, learning the hand poisons is key. Rank Two entails learning Japanese symbols, which the practitioner draws in the air with their hand. Rank Three is when a practitioner can transfer Reiki energy across long distances.

After Rank Three is attained the individual may begin teaching to other people.

Lusco provides training for each level at a price of $125 but said that she isn’t interested in making a profit from it. If people can’t afford that price she is willing to work it out.

During her presentation, Lusco stressed the five major teachings of Reiki, or five ideals: choose to be happy every day, choose to be grateful every day, choose to be peaceful every day, work with honesty and integrity, be kind to all living things.

She then added her own rule.

“Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become things,” she said.

Betsy Fakier, said she walked a mile from her home to the library — a common practice for the 84-year-old — because to her self-healing makes sense.

“When I grew up, in my house they had biocidal and milk of magnesia,” she said. “You go to clinics these day and people have gallon sized bags of medicine. I think it’s stupid … You have a little twitch and ‘oh, I’ve got to go see the doctor.’”

Irene Bailey, who’s been a rank one practitioner for 9 years expressed her support for continued Reiki events at the library.

“It’s so beneficial to the community,” she said.

The library will host another free class at 6:30 p.m. on March 22, with future presentations to be scheduled for the fourth Tuesday of every month.

Reiki class