ST. ANSGAR, Iowa - It's a different type of therapy.
Developed in Japan in the early 1920s, reiki focuses on energy healing in order to assist in the body's natural healing processes by developing emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. Now, it's starting to gain traction in the U.S.
One form of reiki is sound therapy, which can help relax muscles and the body through sound waves by using drums, gongs, crystal bowls and other instruments.
Licensed therapist Collette Ellison displayed how it works during a health fair at South Square on Saturday. Her family has a history of migraines, but thanks to reiki, she has not had a migraine in nearly a decade. She says it's a great alternative.
"It connects with the frequency that you're at at that time. Depending on which instrument you play and which notes you're playing, it will help to balance those waves. If you have an off center with your energy that you're giving out with the soundwaves you're emitting, this will help balance that."
Ellison offers clients a sound bath, which does not involve water, but rather aims to guide a person into a deep meditative state by using repetitive notes at different frequencies using aforementioned instruments to bring the focus away from their thoughts and into a state of relaxation. She explains how it works.
"The first thing I do is use the drum to slow down the heartbeat. When you have a vibration going, and that's going steadily, your vibration will pick up with that, so it actually slows down your heartbeat. If I'm doing a slow beat, your heart will slow down because it's a natural occurrence."
According to the International Center for Reiki Training, it works in conjunction with regular medical or psychological treatment. Reiki is also not a religion.