Our biological rhythms are the symphony of the cosmos, Dr. Deepak Chopra once said. Traditional healers have explored the depths of the mind-body-spirit relationship since time immemorial. And modern science is beginning to take notice.
“I first started studying with indigenous elders, shamans, and medicine men, learning about very ancient healing techniques, and it has grown into a study of quantum physics and how energy, thought, breath, and sound affect matter,” says Palm Springs shamanic healer and Reiki master Mari Mendoza. “What used to be considered strictly intuitive is now being validated by the scientific community on some levels.”
Meditation “can give you a sense of calm, peace, and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health,” according to the Mayo Clinic, and also may help fight diseases ranging from allergies and cancer to high blood pressure. And reputable institutions such as Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore have begun offering Reiki to patients.
“In holistic healing, it’s all about working with the body-mind-spirit,” Mendoza says. “There are many ancient healing modalities that people are using now — acupuncture, Thai massage, and yoga; these are all ancient traditions that are current.”
Other types of hands-off healing, however — shamanism, sound waves, and crystals, for example — demand a deeper exploration and understanding of the complex interplay between the natural, physical, metaphysical, and spiritual.
“Shamanic healers are ones who have connected with a more subtle way of healing,” Mendoza says. “Shamans know about the laws of physics; they know how energy works. But it’s an intuitive science, much like sound is intuitive.”
“When I do shamanic healing, I do a combination of things. It’s instinct for me now, but I developed the capacity to tune into subtle energy. I can look at somebody and sense what’s going on. As I go into a session, I read the person’s energy fields, and as I go deeper into a meditative state, I get a lot of information,” Mendoza says. “Shamans have always been ones to interact between the worlds and get information for healing. I have studied and trained for 20 years, learning and developing that muscle. I think everybody has that; we just don’t utilize it or know that we’re capable of much more than we actually use.”
Mendoza works “layer by layer,” she says, helping to identify issues from dietary habits and past trauma or accidents to chronic illness. “Thoughts affect matter,” she says, “so it’s important to know what the person is thinking. Sometimes they get into a loop where they’re ill and feel like they’re never going to get better, and that causes more stress. So on every level — Reiki, shamanic healing, and the different methods — we’re bringing down stress and balancing the energy fields. We know that stress is the No. 1 culprit for many diseases. When you take down the stress, the body can begin to reset itself.”
Mendoza also uses tuning forks, bowls, and drums for sound work. “Music and sound are something that connects everyone around the world,” she says. “There is a field called cymatics— the study of physics and the effect of sound on the body and how it changes the molecular structure. The shamans knew this for eons. Some of the shamans in the Amazon have sacred songs they know will help bring about healing,” Mendoza says. “It’s not ‘hoochi-poochi’ or ‘woowoo.’ It’s actually science now. There are still areas where they are holding skeptical, but now more and more, there is evidence that healing starts from within.”
“We are at a crossroads right now where modern medicine and ancient techniques hopefully will work more hand-in-hand,” she says. “I think the two can work together.”
Get Well Soon
Reiki is a Japanese word derived from “rei,” meaning spirit or soul, and “ki,” meaning vital force or mind. During a Reiki session, the practitioner works to unblock and balance a client’s unseen life force to create deep relaxation, speed healing, and reduce pain. Practitioners may place their hands just off the body or lightly touch a person’s body. It can also be practiced from long distances.
This modality addresses imbalances in the body’s energy field through the use of sound waves with different vibrations, known as harmonics. The vibrations affect cells, nerves, bones, and fluids, and may also impact people mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Crystals and Crystal Grids
Various colors and types of crystals conduct energy and healing frequencies and focus light. The geometric and regularly repeating structure of crystals is echoed in human physical makeup, such as in bones and collagen. Crystals, because of their inherent structural perfection, are placed on or near a person to rebalance and restore wholeness. Crystal grids are geometric patterns created with specific points of focus, such as for altars or to create an energy force field to promote healing.
Shamanism encompasses exploring ancient relationships with the elements, such as water, fire, earth, air, and spirit, and how they relate to health and wellbeing. The goal of shamanic healing is restoring balance among physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energies. Shamans may voluntarily enter altered states of consciousness to help explore the core causes of these imbalances and cleanse negativity from a person.
Sources: www.marimendoza.com; Johns Hopkins Medicine; www.selfgrowth.com
J. Everette Perry
Try An Alternative
Mari Mendoza Healing Arts provides Reiki, shamanic, sound, and crystal healing, chakra energy balancing, breath work, ceremonies, meditation, and space clearing and blessing. Mendoza is a Karuna (sound-activated) Reiki master and also teaches classes in various techniques.
760-799- 9173, www.marimendoza.com
Visitors to this 38-foot-high, 55-footdiameter, domed “acoustically perfect tabernacle and energy machine” in Landers can take part in 60-minute group and private sound baths. Participants lie on comfortable mats in the sound chamber while a sequence of quartz crystal singing bowls is played. The bowls are each keyed to the body’s chakras (energy centers); the sound baths promote heightened awareness and overall mind/ body relaxation.
Community Drum Circles
Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs hosts a monthly full moon drum circle on the Moroccan Patio in conjunction with Crystal Fantasy. The free events start at 7 p.m. and feature the Desert Rhythms Drum Circle, dancers, psychics, and card readers. All the music is improvised and led by a facilitator. Feel Good Spa treatments, such as energy work, massage, and reflexology, are available at $12 per 15-minute session. Upcoming sessions are July 22, Aug. 21, and Sept. 19.
701 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA