Interview with Ellen Gregg, Reiki Master Practitioner

I’m a curious guy. When something strange happens I like to ask a lot of questions. Ellen Gregg recently did a long distance reading on me that I covered in the previous article. I wanted to know more about the art of Reiki and Ellen was kind enough to sit in her un air-conditioned office and answer my list of questions. I’m going to include them here just as she answered them. I suggest if you have any questions about Reiki or Ellen ask them in a comment here and I’m sure she’ll answer.

Ellen did not know my medical history. In brief I had a severe case of pancreatitis which left adhesions over my ribcage that feel like a belt has been strapped tightly around my chest. This was caused by gall bladder disease which manifests as a stabbing pain in my upper right abdomen.  I had also burned my right heel badly in a motorcycle accident. The tissue turned necrotic and it took an extremely long painful time to heal with the burn being debrided on a bi weekly basis.

The following is the message that Ellen sent me after her distance reading on July 7, 2010

I just finished your session. You may feel “something” or you may not. I’ve learned there can be a delay between sending and receiving, but typically not by much.

What I noticed: some heat and darkness from your mid-upper chest, some heat from your right side abdomen and some heat from your right heel.

The heat from your abdomen and heel cooled as I delivered the Reiki while your chest took a bit more work. I actually envisioned the darkness being filled with healing light and used my hand to smooth the area over. Have you had surgery on your chest? That’s the feeling I got.

Other than that, I didn’t notice anything else specific. I made sure your body’s energy centers were balanced (Reiki does this, and in doing so helps your body to heal itself, as it’s meant to do) and when I did a final scan I couldn’t detect any heat signatures. That’s a good thing!

I’d suggest drinking plenty of water over the next day. Reiki will continue working for up to 24 hours after a session. It can result in great relaxation, easing of pain and a general sense of well-being.

Blessings and gratitude!
~Ellen 🙂

You’re a Reiki practitioner. I understand that it’s a system of Japanese “healing” techniques that involves manipulating the ki which is a Japanese version of chi. Can you tell us more about Reiki and your qualifications?

It is a Japanese healing modality or technique and it does involve the ki (chi). Reiki (pronounced ray-key), simply translated, is higher self energy; energy of spirit. The word is applied to many types of spiritual and healing modalities in Japan. Usui Reiki is a modality that was discovered by Dr. Mikao Usui following what is described as a mystical experience on Mt. Kurama in March, 1922. He started Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai a few months later with the express purpose to practice and teach Reiki. Dr. Usui was the first president of the organization and he has been succeeded by six others to date.
The modality is officially called the Usui System of Natural Healing. Usui Reiki is practiced differently (more simply) on an international level than it is in Japan due to changes made by one of Dr. Usui’s students, Mrs. Hawayo Takata, when she brought it to the west. The method she developed is much more widely known and used. Reiki bears no religious affiliation.
Reiki, as I was taught and have come to know it, is a way of conducting energy in order to facilitate healing. I act as a conduit, drawing the energy into me and expelling it through my hands and into my clients. In the process, the body’s energy centers (chakras) are balanced, restoring the body’s natural healing ability. I was taught specific hand placements for a human session, which I use. However, I am also guided by intuition and old-fashioned feeling. If, as with you, I feel a heat signature on a body I will place my hand on or just above the area.
One of the things I am ever fascinated by is the energy’s ability to go where it is needed. Oftentimes I will feel heat signatures when I scan a client’s body with my hands, then will begin the session with the hand placements I was taught, and by the time I reach that spot in the course of the session, the heat signature is gone. Other times, as with the case of your chest, the area requires additional attention before the heat signature dissipates.
Distance Reiki, which I used on you given our unneighborly geographical locations, is purely energetic as I am not physically present to conduct the energy. I was taught the basic “how tos” and have since honed them to align with my intuition, instincts and senses. When I scanned you last night with my “hands,” I could literally feel heat emanating from the three points I mentioned to you. Behind my closed eyes, I could also see the darkness – the void – that indicated trauma. The word “surgery” came to my mind and I followed my instincts in repairing the damage that surgery left behind.
I am a level III or – by western standards – a Master Practitioner. I have completed level I, level II and level III trainings in Reiki and received a certificate after successfully completing each level. With each level, the flow of Reiki grows stronger and students are taught different techniques to magnify the flow and therefore the healing. In late October I will be receiving the teaching certification, which will allow me to teach Reiki. I am in the process of preparing for that through required reading and continued practice.

There’s my answer to question one, Joe. Onward! 🙂

On July seventh, 2010 at about 9:55 PM EST you did a long distance reading. Can you tell us more about that and what your reading was?

Joe, I think I may have already answered this one. Let me know if you want me to expound upon it. Wait! Actually, I’ll expound upon it now! 🙂

About distance Reiki: Since Reiki is energy, it is not limited to time and space. That fact is what allows me to conduct distance sessions. As far as the Reiki is concerned, whether a client is on my table in New Hampshire or driving down a highway in North Carolina doesn’t matter. If the intent is present, so then is the energy.
I will admit that I was highly skeptical of distance Reiki – much more so than of in-person Reiki (yes, I am a skeptic, too; my skepticism has been removed when it comes to Reiki). I started practicing it because it was a requirement in order to move on to level III. I had to log and report to my teacher on at least 24 distance Reiki sessions before I could take level III, and so I took a deep breath and did it. My first volunteer lives in – wait for it – North Carolina and is a licensed psychologist and social worker. When I conducted her session she happened to be driving down a highway, heading home from work. When she got home, she found my e-mail reporting my findings from her session: heat signatures from her left ear, left hip and right knee. She replied, using the word “amazed”, that she had been having problems with fluid in her left ear for a couple months and pain in her left hip to a point where she hobbled more than walked. She didn’t comment on her knee. She then went on to report that as she was assessing herself upon reading my note, she was realizing that her ear was completely clear for the first time in months. She then proceeded to stand up and walk – not hobble – around her house; completely pain free. She was grateful and I was incredulous – and grateful. How could this be? Really. How could this possibly be. It just was. I finally accepted it, but it doesn’t prevent me from getting goosebumps every time I send a report to a distant client and they reply with a “How did you know?” or “I haven’t told anyone about that.” Having statements like “I haven’t known what it is to be without pain for three years” thrown into the mix is enough to bring a lump to my throat.

As far as I know you have no personal knowledge of me other than casual contact on facebook. I’ve asked numerous questions trying to discover a connection where you might have learned privileged information and can’t find any. Can you think of any possible connection with me through which you could have learned details of my life?

I can’t think of any connection through which I could have learned details of that nature. I haven’t even trolled your Facebook profile (yet). I remember seeing your name at one point associated with another friend, remembered who you were and sent a friend request. Other than occasionally commenting on or “liking” one of your statuses and, more recently, reading your blog, I have had no contact with you or anyone who knows you on an intimate basis in at least 28 years.

Are you aware of what specific thing you reported that caused me to become interested in this process? (I did not inform Ellen that she’d pinpointed three areas of pain on my body exactly or that that very few people know about the burn on my heel)

I am not. In fact, I asked for more information this morning and still haven’t gotten it. I only know what I sensed/felt in those three areas. It has been suggested to me that I may want to learn more about the human anatomy so I can be more specific when I scan, but I hesitate because I think that would put me in the category of medical intuitive and I’m not sure I want to go there. That all said, I am curious to know what trauma you suffered that left behind what I perceived as a rather gaping hole.

There are a lot of RN’s that are into Reiki. Do you think this is a case of practical healing that the nurses do on the ground floor versus the scientific method of Doctors?

You failed to mention there are a lot of doctors and surgeons that are into Reiki, too. 🙂 Given the fact that Portsmouth Regional Hospital established an in-house Reiki program for its patients about a decade ago along with other hospitals across the nation, and that many hospitals continue to follow suit, I have to say there is definitely a movement behind incorporating Reiki alongside scientific methods. The key here is alongside; there is no versus.
I was taught, and fully agree, that Reiki is an excellent **complement** to traditional medicine. It has been shown to help ease the side effects of chemotherapy and other treatments of that nature. Surgeons have noted that patients who receive Reiki before surgery tend to experience less complications and those who receive it afterward tend to heal faster and require less pain medication. Reiki makes a good partner – not replacement – for traditional medicine.

I had a minor gall bladder attack at midnight. This is a sharp stabbing pain in my right upper abdomen. Shouldn’t I have been healed or soothed by midnight? (Ellen identified “heat” in my right abdomen and said that it “cooled”)

First, I have to say there is no “should” when it comes to Reiki. For all I hold intentions around it and act as a conduit for it, I really have no control over what it does or when it does it, save for a vague knowledge from experience that it usually completes its mission within 24 hours. Second, from experience with other distance clients, specifically, I have to wonder if that was actually an attack. This has happened with two other distance clients who had significant medical issues. One of these instances took place just last week.
A woman who I have known for a couple decades and who lives a couple hours west of me had asked for distant Reiki. I knew she had been having problems with her feet for several months and her left knee for well over a year and perhaps longer. She was in New York at a folk song festival with her mother and sisters when I did her session. She reported feeling a quick, sharp pain in her knee later in the day after I had completed her session. That was followed by her knee crackling and making all kinds of noise as she moved it. After a short while her knee seemed to settle and she has been walking without a limp – and without a knee brace – since.
So, I have to wonder: was it a gall bladder attack? In my experience, not necessarily.

When I was desperately ill a group of army chaplains prayed for me. How would this be different from a long distance reading?

I love this question for its lack of a neat, tidy answer. What I have come to learn about my practice of Reiki is that I have to let go of my ego and simply (or not) have faith that the energy will do what is best. Faith is something I struggle with because I equate faith with religion and I’m still figuring religion out. But I have learned to have faith that Reiki will do what is best with the intentions I set individually for each client, as it’s meant to. I believe prayer is the same from an intention standpoint. Those chaplains intended their prayers to help you in the way that was best for you. That is powerful. That is faith. The question it brings to mind is this: Can prayers, singularly or grouped, conduct energy?


In your opinion how does Reiki fare in Sagan’s Baloney Test?


In my opinion, probably not all that well. Why? Because I don’t believe a truly solid measure of Reiki’s ability has been accomplished due to its nature. That said, I know tests have been conducted in regard to energy healing:
http://www.reiki.org/reikinews/ScienceMeasures.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11251731
http://thejournal.epluribusmedia.net/index.php/op-ed/44-general%20op-ed/154-military-and-va-using-reiki-to-heal-returning-veterans
I will also say that, as Carl Sagan’s Baloney Test suggests, I have done and continue to extensive research on Reiki because the more I learn and the more I do and the more I experience, the more questions I have.

Science Measures the Human Energy Field

My personal philosophy is that of Hamlet: There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Do you think this is a negative attitude or one that hinders Reiki healing?

Not at all – quite the opposite because I agree with Hamlet’s philosophy. In finding Reiki (or, if I listen to others, in it finding me), I have been humbled again and again as long-held, and admittedly rather stringent, beliefs I have held about what is and isn’t possible in this life have been shattered by experience. I’m as much left brain as right brain and so I analyze things to the point of ridiculousness at times. There are things in this world that lie beyond analytics. They just … are. Reiki is one of those things.

The comedian Pat Paulson died in Tijuana while undergoing alternative therapy. His daughter says it was because he didn’t start soon enough. What would your response be if someone like Pat Paulson asked for your help?

I would never deny someone a request for help, but my compliance would come with a reality byte, which is this: Reiki will only ever do what is best. If it is not in the recipient’s best interest to be (miraculously or otherwise) healed, it’s not going to happen.

That’s not to say that I don’t struggle with that byte, because I do. If a relative came to me and said, “Ellen, I was just diagnosed with terminal cancer. Heal me.” I would want Reiki to do just that. I would want the ability – through Reiki or some other unknown healing modality – to remove that cancer and leave behind a happy and healthy relative. It could happen, I like to believe. But there is nothing certain about it happening.

Is that a cop out? A way to let go of any real or imagined responsibility should a person receiving Reiki treatments from me die? I don’t think so, because those I consider to be “in the know” from a spiritual standpoint disallow the praying for someone’s healing from a disease or catastrophic accident. Instead, they pray for what is best for that person and leave the rest up to … Fill in the blank.

The scientist Buckminster Fuller used to demonstrate the Confirmation Bias by convincing people they could feel the rotation of the earth if they were aligned correctly. Some people still believe that they can feel the rotation of the earth even after the joke is explained. How would you respond to someone who claims what you do is an example of confirmation bias?

I would ask them to talk to you, and my stepfather, and my cousin John and the two dozen people I gave distance Reiki treatments over the past two weeks. Two-thirds of that group had never experienced Reiki and so had no preconceived notions. I never tell a client or potential client, “The Reiki will heal your knee/hip/ear/heart/neck/back.” I tell them it has the potential to be very relaxing and (wink) energizing. They tell me the rest of the story.

Ta-dah!! Joe, what a wonderful thing you have done for me! Your questions have incited more questions on my end; more research to be done and discoveries to be made. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity! 🙂

If you have any other questions or need clarification of anything, don’t hesitate to ask! 🙂

~Ellen

Could you give me a brief bio. Like: I’m not a con artist or a faith healer I work at a high school that doesn’t allow sweet drinks and I own three cats and a walrus named freddy

LMAO!! 🙂 Let me know if this will do:
Ellen M. Gregg is office and business manager for a high school. She has worked in the administrative field for over twenty-two years; most of that in the performing arts arena and all of it in the non-profit arena. A performer herself, Ellen has been appearing on stage as an actor and singer since the age of five (favorite roles are Miss Hannigan, Truvy Jones and Melissa Gardner). Ellen has a vast array of interests, including sewing (enjoys creating costumes), cooking (won a local Iron Chef competition a couple years back), writing (plays, poetry, novels-to-be), relating (loves her extensive family and circle of friends) and healing (she is a certified Reiki Master Practitioner, with a Master Teacher certification soon to follow). She also loves to learn and so is constantly reading about and researching her areas of interest. Her current goal is to master both the Gaelic and Italian languages before visiting Ireland and Italy.

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