By: Kevynn Gomez
When stress runs high, how does a college student handle this burden in a healthy and positive way? If the popular Humboldt way of healing isn’t your cup of tea, then perhaps Reiki practice would be more up your alley. That’s what Humboldt State student Brittany Buxton thinks. Along with other community members, she’s determined to provide opportunities for students to de-stress through alternative healing.
Brittany Buxton is the president of the Healing Vibrations Reiki Club on campus. It is focused on alternative ways to heal, empower and de-stress. Some examples are yoga, guided meditation, partner healing, sacred mantra chanting and of course, Reiki.
To Buxton, too many students walk around campus with heavy, negative energy weighing them down. But she believes all students can heal themselves by using universal energy channeled into them during quiet, soothing sessions called Reiki circles, part of the larger concept of Reiki healing.
“It’s really based off the premise that everyone is an innate healer,” Buxton said. “I just invite everyone to speak with an open heart.”
As a Reiki practitioner, Buxton wants to help students become an “open channel” to allow the energy to heal them.
Reiki is a spiritual practice that uses innate energy present in the universe to heal. In a session, one person lays down and a Reiki practitioner runs their hands over their body without touching them, passing this universal energy into them.
Christy Robertson is a community member and certified Reiki practitioner working in Arcata. Her experience with Reiki began in 1999 when she was introduced to the idea while attending massage school. Robertson says her initial thoughts are very different from how she feels about Reiki now.
“I thought it was interesting but I was pretty skeptical,” Robertson said.
After being channeled with reiki energy, her skepticism changed dramatically. Robertson says one of her first thoughts immediately after being channeled with energy was, “I get what people are talking about now.”
The practice has three levels to attain. The first begins with being “attuned” by a master to be able to channel energy in the first place.
“Once you receive that attunement, then you can just go do it,” she says about the distinctive way Reiki initiations occur.
The second level allows people to heal others as a practitioner and the third level makes them into a master who can then open the way for others through attunement.
The processes do come with a price tag, with students like Buxton charging a lower price of around $40, and attunement “opening” sessions costing $100, Robertson says.
Both women say Reiki can be extremely beneficial for students due to the stressors found in everyday college life.
“It’s an amazing tool I use daily on myself,” Robertson said. “It’s a great tool for stress reduction and also for helping our body stay in balance.”
Although Reiki healing may be a powerful way to help students relax and de-stress from life, a disconnect still exists between the campus population and community members, they say.
Buxton uses her club and the opportunities that come with it, such as club meeting days and email newsletters, to create a connection between students and community healers.
“I really want to be a bridge to the healers in the community,” Buxton said. “The healers have so much to offer.”
Heidi Bourne is one such community member Buxton reached out to. Bourne leads meditation classes at the Community Yoga Center on the Arcata Plaza. She was invited by Buxton to teach her specialty of mindfulness meditation at a Healing Vibrations Club meeting one year ago.
“I thought it was great,” Bourne said. “I thought it was an honor.”
Although the mindfulness meditation classes Bourne leads in the community are only a few blocks from campus, she also notices the gap between the campus community and the local community.
“I think that in many college towns there is often a separation from the students and the community,” Bourne said.
One way she thinks students can minimize this separation is by trying new things such as Reiki healing or meditation.
“Be curious. Be willing to check something out,” Bourne said.
For Buxton, the Healing Vibrations Club can continue to provide ways to link community members with interested students on campus and means more than simply breaking down barriers.
“That’s really a part of my sole mission on this planet,” Buxton said. “I really want to empower, to inspire. They can heal themselves if they want to.”