May is a mental health awareness month and we want to share different perspectives of what contributes to mental health wellness. Also, the process of healing varies; including spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical wellness. Check out our first interviewee, Courtni Huile, on our “Heal Talk, Real Talk” channel with National Deaf Therapy. The purpose of this channel is to bring awareness and create healthy dialogue about mental health and other healing approaches. This interview is intended to take upon on a raw approach with authentic questions — on both, personal and professional levels. Enjoy one of our first interview series on mental health and healing. Check out the video below and English transcript is below the video on this blog.
Amanda: Hello, thank you for joining this dialogue with National Deaf Therapy’s Heal Talk, Real Talk. This channel will talk about the topics along the lines of mental health, spiritual health, emotional health, and physical health. As we talk about these aspects, we want to explore how these parts implies in our daily lives. The goal of this is to invite variety people into this interview for an authentic and raw dialogue. The purpose of this is to share the message, information to the deaf community so that we can all learn more from each other and share it to others within our community. So, I would like for us to introduce ourselves and then we can focus on our interviewee and she is one of our first few series of Heal Talk, Real Talk. My name is Amanda.
Megan: Hi, my name is Megan
Courtni: Hi, I’m Courtni.
Megan: Welcome to Heal Talk, Real Talk.
Amanda: Tell me more about what you do as a Reiki Healer…really, this topic is often brought up in our deaf community. Some of the community members have different ideas or definition on what Reiki Healing is. What is better than learning about Reiki Healing from a person who actually practices it.
Courtni: Yea, some people think Reiki is a form of massage therapy for some reason. I think the confusion there is because some of the massage therapists in some states are required to be certified in reiki healing.
Amanda: Oh, really?
Courtni: Yea, I am not sure as to what it is exactly they do, so some people think it is related to each other, but in reality…they are actually two different things. Reiki is a healing performance that absorbs energy from the healer’s hands without touching the client’s body. However, some reiki healers do touch parts of individual’s bodies to channel energy and perform healing. They usually put their hands on part of the body and stay there while they perform the healing unlike the massage therapist would move around their hands on to different parts of the body. So, it is the energy between the reiki’s hand and the individual’s body part that process the healing performance. “Healing” is a sticky word, because people mostly interpretes that as a being completely healed after the reiki performance when it is more about the healing ongoing process in itself.
Megan: That is true.
Courtni: So, most of the time when an individual wants to heal, they would incorporate other parts of healing into their process such as mental health therapy, receiving acupuncture therapy, or seeing a massage therapists as well. Some people prefer to receive reiki healing sessions alone and that is fine if they prefer it that way. So, just making sure that people know that reiki healing and massage therapy are not the same thing…that is usually the common misconception about Reiki.
Amanda: Definitely, thanks for sharing. That’s the reason why we are here to interview you to learn these things. It is often in the mental health therapy journey of an individual, they often want more healing resources which that is where you come in the picture. You mentioned that a lot of people misunderstood that when they receive Reiki sessions and then it is being assumed that they are completely healed right there and then. Could you share more about what the process and journey of reiki healing really looks like if you can share some with us.
Courtni: It really all depends on the person’s character, personality, environment, personal issues, and including culture, too. It is really not the same for everybody and some individual may feel like performing one reiki session on one issue is enough then they move forward to something else to continue other parts of their healing journey. Some individual approach it like therapy session and they would meet once a week to perform the reiki sessions. The main focus is to see what really benefits them in their journey and not ignoring other important aspects of themselves that contributes to healing process. For instance, some may need medication to support their healing process and they go off of the medications to receive reiki sessions..may not really work, it depends on the individual’s journey and needs. There is truly no wrong or right way to do it as long as it fits this person. Hmm, anything should I add to the question — I forgot what was the original question?
Megan: I would like to add something to your comment. You mentioned that healing is a process itself and not a destination. I really like that statement. Could you explain more about that?
Courtni: I think it is a common thinking that general people have…including counselors. We think when a person is healed and that means there is no issues, no problem, you’re healed…that’s it!
Amanda: Right. Like, “ok, all done, set for life, bye”
Cournti: Exactly. I think we need to be careful with that definition. To think that “to heal” is to be “perfect”. The term “Heal” does not mean life looks good all the time. It is not a realistic thinking. Healing to me means that you are able to use your tools the best you can. The tools are what you have learned in all of the therapy and healing approaches, you use and maximize them when things are hard during the times in your life. When you feel anxious, sad, depressed..
Amanda: Then one would know what to do during that time with the tools they have.
Courtni: Exactly, that. Using those tools to gradually get better through those times and learning how to help ourselves during the process.
Amanda: Sort of like maintenance. Like going to the doctor’s office to get regular check ups. It does not ever end there, we will always see our physical doctors to learn more tools and apply them.
Megan: I recently watched a documentary, not too long ago. It spoke about a native tribe community in Canada. There was an interview that I watched of a native person mentioning that “healing never ends, it will be an ongoing journey for the rest of my life.” And when he said that, I found myself thinking, “yes, exactly, that is when a person truly understands the definition of healing if they say that it is never ending. We continue to grow, apply, change, share, connect…that is healing. The journey does not ever complete. I really resonate with that piece of the interview, because it is not often talked about in regards of what “healing” really means.
Amanda: Yes, interesting. I do wonder if….for the lack of better word, the term stigma contribute to that misinterpretation of the term healing, because most of our people within our community and society are taught to be successful and progressive, one must “complete” a goal or something. I wonder if one person learns about what “healing” really means, they may perceive it as heavy and may feel like…”i have to work on this forever?” It does not have to be perceive that way and it can be a wonderful thing. I do wonder if they are looking from that frame of mind because they are being taught from the society that one must have an answer for its goal or plan to be accomplished. So, that was just my random thought as to maybe why most people envision the word “healing” differently that what they are used to or comfortable.
Courtni: I think you are right. It is applicable in the spiritual community, too. There tend to be a lot of pressure on individual within the spiritual community, they think they mustn’t be human. They exclude their human tendencies and to be a spiritual provider, it mean that one goes up higher in terms of humanity. That isn’t true, it is a similar concept of a wounded healer. Wounded Healer is when a person who has experienced the wound and still is healing, they understood the importance of healing journey. That individual can still help other heal and it does not mean that person is completely healed…they can still heal others while being in the ongoing healing journey.
Amanda: Tell me what is it called again? They are called wounded healer?
Courtni: Yes, they are called the Wounded Healer… I forget where the origins are from, but they are called the Wounded Healer.
Amanda: That is new to me, cool.
Megan: I do have a question –out of curiosity, how did you get into reiki healing or how did you get started?
Courtni: (laughs) Reiki really started when I was a kid. It’s a funny story, because I’ve always wanted to “heal” something with my hands. But I didn’t know how to go about it, but it was always in the back of my head. Until few friends of mine mentioned that they were reiki healers and in fact it was some of your colleague who were reiki healers themselves. At that time, I thought to become a reiki healer, you would have to be born with a special gift so I thought to myself, “darn, can’t be a reiki healer.” Eventually, I met a reiki healer who was a hearing person and knew sign language…she posted something on facebook along the lines of that we all can be a reiki healer. If you feel it is your calling, what you are meant to do, and then you can be a reiki healer. I was like really? I didn’t know. Later on, I learned more about Mikao Usui, the founder of Reiki from Japan. He was explaining that he wanted to share the knowledge and skills of reiki healing to the world. I thought to myself, “oh he wants to share.” There was no specific criteria to go in the reiki healing training. To become a reiki healer, you would have to go through the training, yes, but it does not have to be that “special” person who was born with a gift. It really goes back to what we were talking about what does the term “healing” looks like and what it is being defined. An individual does not ever reach to the ultimate and completed journey of healing so therefore we are all able to become a reiki healer.
Amanda: Yes, that is because that concept doesn’t really exist– to be perfectly healed and to be completely healed. And when did you say that you got started into reiki healing?
Courtni: It was just few years ago. I originally wanted to get into Energy Medicine. It is more focus on hand points and heal people through point healing. I wanted to start a workshop with them, but they couldn’t afford ASL interpreters. So, I tried to find another way around to get the training such as online training with subtitles. But you know how it goes, it was hard to get the full support for full accessibility. I finally got on a phone call with that person about the accessibility and this person was like, “you should go into reiki healing.” I thought this person was avoiding the subject to provide me full access to the training, but it didn’t stuck with me at the time to become a reiki healer.
Amanda: Interesting how it led you to where you were supposed to be now.
Courtni: Yea, so that was my shifting point from Energy Medicine to Reiki Healing..just like two years ago and I just completed the training last year December. The training was 10 weeks long and it almost took me a year to complete it.
Megan: You mentioned about the roadblocks into becoming a reiki healer as a Deaf person. I’ve noticed that for many deaf people related to the category of spirituality and healing..those training, courses, certification, and many more tends to be a struggle due to accessibility in regards of interpreters. What was that experience like for you?
Courtni: That was a huge challenge for me, especially the fact that I want to continue my education in other aspects of healing. Those struggles tends to be not being able to have interpreters or receive subtitles on videos. When I chat with a coordinator in charge of these trainings and they would always apologize about not being able to offer these services. I am not sure why this barrier happens quite often in the spiritual community because you would think that they would be more open and welcoming in terms of working together. I do wonder if this is the very reason why we have a difficult time finding or locating a deaf provider in these variety of healing services. I am sure there are more complexity to as to why we do not have enough deaf wellness providers, but accessibility is definitely one of the barriers to encourage a deaf provider to chase their passion and dreams in healing and spirituality.
Amanda: Definitely. I look forward to that changing in the future and hopefully you can get more trainings so that way you can offer those trainings within our deaf community.
Megan: I wonder since you became a reiki healer, have you met more deaf healers in the spirituality community than before?
Courtni: Surprisingly, no. In my class training, there were only two deaf students including myself. That is it, really. People tend to think, “oh that is a lot”, but really, that isn’t enough. Recently, somebody reached out to me and this person is a deaf essential oil provider and she shared that she is also a shaman. I had wondered how this deaf person became a shaman, because of all of the barriers. I will ask this individual on her journey so I can know more, but that was the first deaf shaman I’ve ever met. I do know there are a lot of deaf people in our community have spirituality gifts, but they were oppressed due to communication access.
Amanda: I would like to ask you questions about the reiki session process in itself. I took reiki session few years back myself. This person who did the reiki healing was a hearing man and he has years of experience. While he was going the session on me and pinpointed that my root chakra was “hot”. Is that what you call it, root? I apologize, I am fairly new at this reiki material.
Courtni: Yes, root chakra is call the root.
Amanda: Root, gotcha. So this reiki healer was explaining me why it was hot, because it was blocked. At that time it made sense to me because I was stressed with a lot of things related to work. I didn’t felt grounded at that time. So, when we were done debriefing the session and I came out of the session…I walked out not knowing what to do next, haha! I didn’t know what or how to imply these information that was shared with me. It was hard to imply it on daily basis and consciously be aware of it continuously. I am a mental health therapist myself and looking back when I work with my clients on different tools and tips to imply outside of session. They would come back not knowing how to imply those and I imagine this is how it feels. So, I’m curious as to what the process should look like for the reiki sessions.
Courni: That is interesting that you brought it up. Before I took the reiki trainings, I went and received reiki sessions myself to receive experience. It was similar experience, I would lie down on my back and I fell asleep the entire time. My reiki healer told me that my crown chakra around my head was hot. I had a vision during my sleep that I saw a purple third eye, so I asked the reiki healer what meant. She simply said, “that’s the third eye.” That was it. There was no explanation and I wanted to know more about what it really means. She briefly mentioned that I have a headache a lot. I left the session feeling unfinished, but when I went to the reiki trainings…my teacher explained that reiki healers sometimes convey a message that really has no further explanation that it is already. Sometimes it is just simply handing out the message that is seen and it would be the client’s responsibility to do the work. The client would have to participate in their own healing journey. For instance, like for mental health therapy session, if the therapist works more than the client works for the session…and then there is something wrong with the picture. It is the same idea with reiki sessions, when the sessions are being performed…the healer would convey the message and results of the session itself. Reiki healer would share general pointers on what would generally happen and share few suggestions. I know it is a hard concept to accept when one person wants more from a reiki healer after a session.
Amanda: That is because it is incorporated into our society to want and see result/answer. It is ok to have progress without any answer as you heal throughout the journey.
Courtni: Exactly, it is ok to ask questions about the journey and healing process of reiki sessions. There is no wrong or stupid questions. I think most people feel silly asking these questions because they are not in the spiritual community, but really it is ok to ask as many as you want like what chakra means and many more. It is fine ask away, because really, it is their individual journey and we want to empower them to heal on their journey. One thing I want to add is that my reiki teacher emphasized that when we do reiki session on others — keep in mind, it is their journey. We shouldn’t overly share inputs on what healing process supposed to look like for them. We must follow our intuition and not do the work for them when it is their healing journey.
Amanda: About that, speaking of your intuition. How do you identify the difference? I as a mental health therapist, we go through training to ensure that we are not crossing our boundaries and understanding what is my and their “stuff”. Tell me how you identify yours?
Courtni: That is definitely hard and it takes practice. Sometimes it is hard to see which is their stuff or some random stuff that comes up during the reiki session. It is coming from my fear, my thoughts, and many more. It really takes practice and going to trainings to identify the separation. After awhile I start to understand what it “feels” like when it is my stuff and what it “feels” like when it is theirs. However, I am still learning…
Amanda: It really does tie back to the point that we are a never ending journey ourselves and going through that process is nonstop.
Courtni: The nice thing about the reiki session when performing…I have to turn off my channel and make it between the client and what the message is needing to be sent. So, if something comes up that cause me to feel some feelings…I would know right away that it is the client’s stuff, not mine. The difficult part is when the session is over… I would have to make sure that I am not sharing inputs from my stuff to the clients for a debrief. I wish I could be in tune of my reiki healing channel all day long so that way I can know whom and where the energy is coming from, but that’s not possible. It goes back to us being humans. Humanity is what makes us grow and learn continuously and if we don’t do that and then what’s the point of life? So, that my process/journey so far is to practice and to be able connect to my intuition level without performing reiki sessions.
Megan: I think being honest about your process. Courtni and I did a reiki session last week. We were supposed to facetime prior the reiki session and it is very easy for us to chit chat before the reiki session. Courtni was honest about the process and she mentioned that I shouldn’t over share about my process or journey prior to the session. It was necessary because it helps separate what is mine and what is yours during the reiki session. I had truly appreciate your honesty about your process and what it takes and needs to have an authentic reiki session as possible. I think…honesty and being honest with ourselves during the process is important. Especially in the healing and spiritual community, it is important for us to be accountable and being honest with ourselves with our process…where we are heading and where we are currently at.
Amanda: It is definitely a cherishable, sacred thing to embrace every single day as healers. Well, we have a few minutes left to wrap this up. We try to make this no more than 30 minutes, but truly this topic/dialogue– we could go on for hours. I want to touch base before we wrap up regarding why you think reiki healing is important and how that ties with mental health healing.
Courtni: Reiki focuses on four aspects and that is emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical. So, obviously that one aspect focuses on mental and that is mental health. During the reiki sessions, the reiki energy knows where it needs to go so for instance, if the person is under a lot of stress, or feeling sad, grief, depressed…it will go to the mental aspect. Sometimes that client may not be ready to address the mental aspect and the reiki energy will move its energy to the other aspects. It is similar to mental health journey, if that person isn’t ready to confront their mental health struggles or challenges and then that is ok! That is part of the process, right? So, I think reiki energy is nice, because it respects the pace…whether that person is ready to heal or move forward. There is no judgement in reiki healing which means in reality, it is ok to not move forward all the times and progressively heal all the time. We often forget to compassionate with ourselves during the healing process, we tend to think we should be healing faster or if I am feeling depressed and then I can’t be a good therapist or a reiki healer practitioner, and many more.
Amanda: Or that I’m not a good friend or a good parent, etc…
Courtni: Yea, that…so i think we often miss that compassionate part of ourselves. So, in regards to reiki healing, it does remind the person that it is ok…”this is where you are right now and it is ok.” Reiki healing is never judgemental or never rushing one to hurry and heal. If a reiki healer practitioner ever makes you feel that way and then you will know that’s a red flag. However, delivering messages in affirming, loving, and compassionate way while discussing what are the next tools and tips to help this person move forward along with intuition being in the right place.
Megan: That’s beautiful.
Amanda: That is awesome. This is the very reason why we want to ignite this dialogue to bring this conversation about reiki healing and mental health to the deaf community. All of those four aspects: spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical are all intertwined. We want to thank you so much for your time and oh one more thing, if people want to find you — how would they find you?
Courtni: Check me out on Facebook at Courtni Huile – Reiki Services or at www.courtnihuile.com. Can I say something? I want to say thank you both for uplifting the deaf community and providing access to mental health for the deaf community. It is so important! When I found out that you two were doing it and I was like yes! Can really see the change happening for the better.
Amanda: We are happy that you are part of the process
Megan: It wouldn’t happen without each other for this to happen, anyway. Thank you.
Heal Talk, Real Talk Interview ends.