No matter what we do, what we do matters.
Meet Debbie Davero. Debbie is a Clinical Psychologist and Certified Reiki Master who works with clients suffering from trauma, eating disorders, addiction, depression, and anxiety in Naperville, Illinois. Debbie’s unique therapeutic approach goes beyond traditional talk therapy to incorporate the use of Reiki, an ancient energy healing modality that helps her clients reach deeper levels of insight, relaxation, stress management, and clinical gains.
G: What exactly is Reiki and what’s the easiest way to explain it?
D: Reiki is an ancient healing method which is once again becoming popular in our modern age. The word “Reiki” (pronounced “ray-key”) means “Universal Life Energy”. The origins of Reiki go back to ancient Buddhist scriptures in which a Japanese priest, Dr. Mikao Usui, discovered the foundations of the Reiki healing system. Reiki is a dynamic energy. This energy has different names, depending on cultural background but the most commonly known is probably the Japanese word “Ki”. Since Einstein and the discovery of quantum physics, it has been known that everything that exists is energy: “Energy is all there is”. Science has now proven that invisible energy flows through and connects ALL living things.
In order to simplify the concept of how this works, I found a nice analogy that I like to use between how Reiki works and how the internet works. You see, Reiki is much like the Internet and the infamous “Cloud” function. Both are derived from “unseen energy sources” that are extracted from outside the earth’s surface. We can’t see the Cloud or the Internet but we know it exists through the development and use of computers. Reiki, the Internet, and the Cloud are all similar forms of unseen energy and information derived from outside the earth’s surface used for increasing the flow of energy within our minds and bodies.
G: What are the benefits of tapping into this life force energy?
D: Reiki not only promotes your physical well-being but also has a positive effect on your emotional and spiritual equilibrium. That is why, after a treatment with Reiki, many people feel refreshed, relaxed, clearer and more content with themselves. Reiki is suitable for healthy and sick people of all ages. You can use it to replenish your vital energy, to strengthen the immune system, and to ward off disease. At the same time, Reiki helps in healing ailments and illnesses such as headaches, body tensions, exhaustion, depression and fears, as well as acute chronic disorders of all kinds.
G: How did you find out about Reiki and eventually pursue a certification to become a Reiki Master?
D: I heard about Reiki at various junctures in my search for Holistic approaches to healing trauma, addictions and anxiety disorders. As I was pursuing my certifications in various holistic trainings and embarking on a search for less traditional ways to assist clients in developing coping mechanisms, it quickly became apparent that this “unseen energy” had great potential to truly assist in healing clients and bringing a balance back to their lives physically, emotionally, and spiritually. When working with addictions and trauma, I have found that clients often are out of balance in all those areas of their lives. For me, there was one specific moment that I knew it was the right time to pursue this training and adopting a Reiki lifestyle and practice. From there, I spent close to a year and a half completing the coursework, practicing on myself and family members as well as clients, while working towards receiving 3 levels of “attunements” from a certified Dr. Usui trained Reiki Master Teacher.
G: What are some of the ways you use Reiki in your private practice? What are the benefits you are noticing with clients?
D: I have begun to incorporate Reiki as a tool to help clients heal their physical symptoms of migraine headaches, insomnia, medication withdrawal (especially from benzodiazepines), neck pain, chronic nerve pain, diabetic numbness in legs, broken bones, and inflammation in athletes from muscle overuse. I also have clients seeking Reiki for anxiety reduction and adrenal exhaustion. Clients have all responded positively to the Reiki and commonly schedule their sessions on a weekly basis. Many clients have seen a noticeable reduction in symptoms particularly those surrounding sleep difficulties, increased relaxation, discontinued use of anxiety medication, and in chronic pain symptoms. As a clinical psychologist working with various levels of trauma, I observed that clients needed some more support to calm their elevated adrenaline glands and reducing anxiety symptoms, and Reiki has helped them in that way.
G: How do you begin to introduce and approach the concept of Reiki with your clients? What is the common reaction you receive from clients?
D: When considering to introduce the concept of Reiki to a client, I assess where they are in their spiritual growth and development in their current lives and whether or not they might be open to understanding the energy process. If my intuition is strong and guiding me to share this process with a client, I trust it and begin explaining the energy process of Reiki and how it works as a tool in the healing process. I typically have two responses towards Reiki. One group of clients have sought me out specifically for Reiki treatments. The other group of clients are the ones I approach in session, usually towards the beginning of their trauma and anxiety work. I have been finding that the overall response to trying reiki treatments has been surprisingly positive. At this time, about a third of my clients have tried Reiki and many choose to continue to integrate these treatments into their overall treatment plan.
G: What are the challenges that you face in the work that you do? What are some self-care practices you implement into your daily routine to maintain your own sense of balance and calm?
D: As a trauma and anxiety therapist who works with addictions and depression, I encounter many times when clients might deplete my energy levels. Often times, this energy exchange between clients and myself can feel very draining if I am not practicing self-care practices on a consistent basis. Some of the practices I have implemented into my current lifestyle are very basic. I have scheduled Reformer Pilates into my schedule twice a week. I make sure I eat a very well-balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner often high in protein. I drink plenty of water every day all day and throughout my sessions. I schedule weekly chiropractor and massage appointments to address my own chronic pain and to help release tension within my body. I make sure I try to meditate 20 to 30 minutes a day in my office before I see clients in an effort to stay grounded and reset my adrenaline and cortisol levels. I make sure I get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. I do not drink alcohol much at all. I diffuse a lavender essential oil during all my sessions to help to instill a sense of calm. I set limits on my time and try to make sure I am not over scheduled with clients or social events.
I fight to keep a balance in this respect as to not drain myself and can have regular down time to re-energize and stay connected with my family. I find when I don’t maintain a good balance with setting limits, things begin to fall off kilter and take a toll on my energy levels and ability to focus. However, most importantly, I have my own spiritual director/mentor with whom I meet with often to hold me accountable with my own spiritual growth and development. I also have a couple different therapists in my arsenal of healers that I reach out to on occasion to maintain the personal work I have done over the years, as well as to continue to challenge myself to grow both professionally and emotionally. Oh… and of course...I give myself regular Reiki treatments at night while I relax in front of the TV at night!!!
G: What inspires and motivates you to be a healer?
D: For most of my life, I have been drawn to listening and helping others with their life struggles. I consider myself an Empath and often can feel others’ pain and sadness. I remember when I was a young child, I was walking down the sidewalk in front of my house one day. I couldn’t have been any older than 10 years old? At that time, I vividly recall deciding that I was going to grow up and become a psychologist to help others. At that moment, I was thinking about a close friend of mine who was struggling with not fitting in and getting picked on at school. I spent hours as a young kid and teen listening and consoling others when they were feeling down. I know that I was born into this life to be a healer. My motivation is to spread positive energy, educate and empower clients while providing opportunities for clients to heal. It really is an amazing feeling to see clients make progress changing their dysfunctional patterns and start to live in the light of positive energy!!
For more information about Debbie and Reiki therapy, visit naturalmotivations.com