One reiki master says she's seen the practice work wonders.
By AMANDA C. DAVIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
Alan Masters is trying to change the way people think about natural healing.
The 39-year-old Salem man is a naturopath, doling out herbs and energy, and exploring alternative healing methods to treat his patients.
Masters practices naturopathy at Nature's Wonders on Aetna Street in Salem.
He holds a doctorate from Clayton College of Natural Health in Birmingham, Ala., in naturopathy, which he says is the treatment of disease with herbs and alternative medicine.
Masters and his staff practice reiki to promote well-being and to provide patients with a noninvasive treatment to aid in recovery.
Practitioners say reiki is the universal life force energy that, when channeled properly, can help heal mind, body and spirit.
Skeptics: The conventional medical community is largely skeptical of reiki and other alternative practices because results are not backed by scientific explanation or proof, Masters said.
"Reiki has been recognized as a different and complete healing science since 1931," he said.
Masters studied to be an osteopath before he decided to go into naturopathy, and says he found that conventional medicine is not always helpful.
Most of his patients come from bigger cities like Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Columbus, where alternatives seem to be more readily accepted, he said.
Most of Masters' patients seek treatment for digestive and autoimmune disorders, as well as other chronic problems, he added.
Holistic health center: Victoria Davanzo runs the Reiki Clinic and Training Center at Treat Yourself ... Center for Holistic Health in Canfield.
The reiki master is also a certified yoga instructor, a metaphysical practitioner and reflexologist.
In her experience, Davanzo has seen reiki ease the pain of torn ligaments and other injuries.
She said a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy sought reiki to sidestep hair loss and alleviate other side effects.
It worked, she explained, but most telling is the story of an 82-year-old woman facing open heart surgery.
Reiki helped to unclog the woman's arteries, eliminating the need for surgery. Davanzo noted the woman's husband is a doctor practicing traditional medicine.
Studying law: Because he believes so strongly in alternative healing, Masters said he's studying naturopathic law at Union College in Cincinnati.
Insurance companies won't pay for naturopathic treatments such as reiki, Masters said, adding that "It's our right to have freedom of choice with the health care we choose."
Masters is certified by the American Naturopathic Medical Association, founded in 1981.
The organization offers membership to doctors of naturopathy, doctors of naturopathic medicine and physicians with other medical degrees.
It has about 3,000 members in the U.S., Canada and 14 other countries.