Photo of Hannah Young


By Elizabeth Scala


…I walk onto my unit and can cut the air with a knife.  The patients are milling around the day room, looking bored, tired, and irritated.  As I enter the nurses’ station I am greeted with grunts, grimaces, or not at all.  Staff from evening shift looks exhausted and drained, as if they were ready to leave four hours ago.  I enter the back room, where we give report, and have a sense of what lies ahead of me for my impending night shift.

We have a woman who has bipolar disorder, substance abuse problems, and is delirious from her medications.  She yells and screams for hours on end.  Everyone is tired.  The patients want rest.  Because of the noise, they can’t sleep.  The staff wants a break.  They cannot focus on their work because sometimes it takes all hands to help calm this woman down

Reflecting on this experience, I transport myself about three years back in time.  I feel the anxiety, uneasiness, and frustration.  I hear the noise, chaos, and confusion.  I see the body language, facial expressions, and unhappiness.  I am weighed down by the heaviness.  My spine tenses as my whole body contracts.  My eyes narrow and my brow wrinkles.  I feel terrible.

We’ve all experienced it. We have a week, a day, or even an hour… where things go anything but smooth.  We are faced with sadness, anger, worry, and tragedy.  We must “be strong” through the unknowns of life.  We are expected to act professionally and do our best in every situation.

What can we do to break free from stress?  How can we lighten the heaviness of tension?  What can we do to shift our own experience?

As someone who has had a very intimate experience with taking terrible care of myself and my health, I have been on my own healing journey.  My path has led me to embrace and understand many modalities of wellness: from eating well to exercising, from journaling to reading, from meditation to acupuncture.  Yet I have found, healed, trained, and embraced one modality above any other: the healing energy of Reiki.

Reiki is a Japanese healing modality that shifts energy on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level so that your whole mind-body-spirit is in balance.  Reiki helps clear blocks so the energy can flow smoothly.  When our energy is free-flowing, without disruption, we are healthier and more whole.

Where and when can this practice tie into my career as a busy professional? How can I use Reiki in my personal life? Here’s how Reiki can be experienced and used:

  • Reiki as a self-care modality: At the first level, Reiki is only to be used on the self.  Practicing self-Reiki can be a great way for anyone to recharge, heal, rebalance, and grow.  Doing Reiki on the self allows one to bring a state of peace and healing to any situation.  So like my story above, when we walk into work and feel the tension in the air, if you have been practicing Reiki on yourself you have the ability to shift your energy within so that you assist the outer circumstances and environment in a healing process.
  • Reiki with our work: As the more advanced levels are learned, Reiki can be used as a complementary addition to the standard and usual care practices of every professional role.  Since Reiki energy can do no harm and only is used for healing and good, it can be given to a co-worker to help reduce stress, ease pain, and aide healing.  Reiki can rekindle the bond between yourself, your team, and your clients. Reiki can bring a gentle, healing touch to our career.
  • Reiki in your world: Once one person embraces and accepts the healing energy of Reiki into their life- their thoughts, feelings, and actions will shift.  Others will take notice and question how or why that person is so patient, loving, and trusting.  The people around you in your world will desire the balance, peace, and joy that you exude.  When the vibration of energy is raised, an entire system has the potential to shift.


Coach Elizabeth Scala practices, teaches, and gives talks on the healing energy of Reiki.  Please contact her at if you have questions or would like to know more.