In Japanese reiki translates to spiritual energy or, perhaps, true nature. That means reiki practioners focus on uncovering their own spirutual energy. It’s about developing mental and spiritual focus through the use of meditations and hands-on healing techniques. Maria Kammerer discovered reiki (pronounced RAY-kee) in 2000, when she was in search of something to ease the stress of life. Today, she owns Attune: The Art of Reiki, a Walnut Hills office where she provides this healing practice.
In Search of Healing
At the turn of the century, Kammerer had a baby and a toddler. She was newly married, working on her degree at Northern Kentucky Unviersity, and participating in a leadership, community building, and diversity training program called Public Allies through AmeriCorps. She had chronic pain, too, in the form of carpal tunnel syndrome, plus daily backaches and headaches.
“I never stopped moving, never stopped working,” she says. “I worked really hard, which was my nature, and feeling very run down and so stressed, and my relationships were also difficult because I didn’t feel happy myself.”
She met a reiki practitioner and, without having any clue what reiki was, decided to give it a try. After the treatment, she felt good, like herself again, like it was the best day ever, she says. She went home, hugged her family, and felt grateful for them. After continuing reiki for six months, her physical pain had disappeared.
“I could stop taking Excedrin all the time,” Kammerer says. “We don’t realize how much energy it takes to maintain all of our worries and our anger. We hold it within us. When we receive a reiki treatment, it’s this opportunity to resolve all that in a way that’s gentle and peaceful.”
How It Works
Kammerer accepts clients by appointment. She calls her office a “peaceful oasis.” There’s soft lighting, relaxing music, and candles. Aromatherapy, soft pillows, and organic sheets. The space also offers a picturesque view of trees, chimney tops, and the Ohio River.
Appointments start with the client lying down on a massage table and explaining what stressors are taking up brain space and/or where they’re experiencing pain. Kammerer will then lead the client in meditation to help them be more present in their body, and she’ll participate in hands-on healing, which is a light touch on or over the body. Kammerer describes it as putting her hands in their river of energy to support them in the process of letting go. Carrying stress is like carrying rocks in a wide river, she explains. Those rocks—spiritual and emotional stress—can slow down the flow of the river. That’s what’s happening when stress drains a person’s energy. She helps her clients let go of whatever is in their own rivers. “If you remove a rock or let go, your own energy flows in naturally,” she says.
While reiki is a holistic healing technique, hospitals and other traditional health options can incorporate reiki into a patient’s care plan. On its website, TriHealth calls reiki a safe therapy with no reported side effects. It says reiki may help provide relief post-surgery and with disease-related side effects from treatments like chemotherapy. Cincinnati Children’s also offers reiki to patients at no cost. The hospital lists reiki’s benefits on its website, including improved comfort, coping, relaxation, and sleep, and a decrease in pain, nausea, anxiety, and stress.
Opening Her Own Studio
After her personal experiences with reiki, Kammerer was inspired to become a practitioner and learn about reiki herself. She met with reiki teachers around the world, and she studied in Japan. She also trained—and continues to train—through the International House of Reiki, an Australia-based group that teaches traditional Japanese reiki, and is a member of the Shibumi International Reiki Association, which provides standards and codes for reiki practitioners.
Kammerer opened Attune around 2014 and is currently offering in-person and virtual sessions. One of her recent clients, for example, started coming regularly to treat the stress and pain she experienced from breaking up with her fiancé and searching for a new place to live and a new job. After treatments, Kammerer says, the client could focus better, she found a new relationship and a new job, and her neck and shoulder pain dissipated.
Most clients find Kammerer through world-of-mouth, in large part because her clients feel so much relief, happiness, and peace that they share their experiences with their friends and family. “We all kind of need to feel better in this world,” Kammerer says. “There’s so much stress. When we look for peace in the world, for things to change, it’s really important for us to find it within ourselves, to be that peace, to be the light in our lives and in others’ lives.”