Melaina Gasbarrino is a yoga teacher, reiki practitioner, and founder of SALT to TREE: a wellness brand founded on the principle that her followers respect the ocean (salt), land (trees), and everything in between. For STYLE Canada, Melaina often writes ‘how-to’ guides for living well. You can read her last one here.

All of the atoms within us and the invisible atoms and particles that float around us, are naturally… energy. When we tap into our bodies energy, we find balance, are open and feel as if a weight has been lifted off our shoulders.

What is energy work you ask? In simple terms, it’s releasing stuck energy within our bodies to open us up to something lighter than that was before.

From traditional healing methods, energy workers have been balancing peoples bodies, minds and souls for centuries now. The concept is now finding its way to main stream culture, and even though there are still some skeptics out there, I’ve seen first hand how energy work makes a profound difference.

First, let’s begin with my energy work experiences. During my yoga training in 2017, I partook in a sound bath session and later a cocoa ceremony. Both ceremonies I felt my heart chakra open, my body feel weighted down and supported by the Earth and a wave of lightness fall upon me. It was pure and complete magic. And so, after becoming a yoga teacher, I dove deeper into healing practices by first healing with reiki, then becoming a reiki practitioner. Having always been a meek and mild person, I didn’t think there was much stuck energy in my body – but turns out I was still holding onto that quiet little girl and not stepping into my full worth. Through years of work with my reiki teacher, Shelly Burton, I released past life trauma, stuck energy in my throat and root chakras and actually own my own self-worth. After the first session with my teacher, I was hooked.

And so here it is, a few types of energy work practices, the science behind them and all the good vibes you’ll feel after a session.

Reiki

What Is It?

Reiki is a traditional Japanese hands-on healing method, where the practitioner acts as a conduit to Spirit to balance your energy centres, bring in love and let the rest go. Bringing high vibes into your being, you release physical and/or mental pains and emotions that rise up, as the practitioner works with you to balance your being.

Reiki opens you up to a deep sense of rest and relaxation, reduces anxiety and stress, mends relationships, and heals physical pain.

The Science Behind It:

Though there is no scientific evidence rooted in this traditional healing method, hospitals around the world have implemented reiki healing as an alternative healing method to helping to speed up the healing process for patients and I’ve had first hand experience in how people feel their energy lift after a session. Here are a few benefits that reiki offers when practiced on a regular basis.

How You’ll Feel:

During a session, it’s all about you relaxing into the space, and opening to release any stuck energy. You may feel like you need to cry or laugh it out, tingling sensation rising through you (energy releasing) or have the need to get up and dance. After a session you may feel lightheaded, and ready to take on the world or the need to relax and further restore the body. A new sense of awakening will wash upon you.

Breathwork

What Is It?

Breathwork… you’re actually doing a form of it right now by just BREATHING! Breathwork, according to the gurus at Mind Body Green is the “active form of consciously working your breath to bypass the mind and enter a different state of awareness.” During a breathwork ceremony or session, you breathe to become aware of your thoughts and feelings.

The Science Behind It:

A 2001 study found that by focusing on your breath for just 10 minutes a day, you’ll lower your blood pressure.

How You’ll Feel:

During a breathwork ceremony you go deep. A breathwork teacher is there to guide you through breathing deeper and deeper and is there to guide you as you release anything that you’re holding on to. You dive deep by simply breathing, letting go of old patterns and stepping into a new space of openness. After a session you’ll feel a release, and a sense of abundance flowing in.

Qigong

What Is It?

Qigong, in its literal translation means energy work. A traditional Asian movement technique, qigong, has been practiced for centuries, and is a form of moving the body, and breathing to focus and harness the willpower within.

The Science Behind It:

In a study on the comprehensive benefits of tai chi and qigong, it was found that by practicing qigong many participants had reduced anxiety, depression and increased bone density and cardiopulmonary effects.

How You’ll Feel:

Focused. If there is one word to describe how you’ll feel during qigong, I personally believe it’s ‘focused’. I say this because during the class you’re only focusing on the movements and your breathe, you’re focusing on raising your eyes to match where your arms are, and just simply feel zoned into the experience. You’re focusing on yourself and letting the rest go. After a session you’ll take that focus with you and ride the current of love as the day turns to night.

Still a skeptic? Step into a room where a group reiki session, breathwork ceremony or qigong class is taking place and you’ll feel high vibes surround you. Your body will become more relaxed, an awakening will occur and the body’s natural ability to heal will be stimulated. The energy we have within is floating through us, ready to release whenever we are ready for it to be so.

Melaina Gasbarrino

Melaina Gasbarrino

Melaina Gasbarrino, is a certified reiki practitioner and yoga teacher. In 2017 she founded SALT to TREE, a wellness and conservation company that integrates the practices of movement and healing to live WITH the Earth. With her innate connection to the Earth, she always knew she was called to heal. Her experiences include teaching in Niagara, Toronto, New York, The Hamptons, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Muskoka, and Mexico.

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