In a world where stress levels seem to continue to climb, it’s no wonder that many are searching for new ways to relax. And one of those ways is Reiki – a Japanese technique for stress reduction, relaxation and healing – that is growing in popularity. Indeed, the National Institutes of Health has recognized the increasing use of Reiki on terminally ill cancer patients.

Dr. Laura Luna, new Reiki instructor

SMC Community Ed has been offering Reiki classes for years, and now has a new instructor, Dr. Laura Luna, a psychologist with a long list of academic credentials that includes a Ph.D. from New Mexico State University in Counseling Psychology, teaching and research experience, publications, conference presentations and more. Her primary job is Learning Disability/Mental Health Specialist at California State University, Fullerton.

She has been practicing Reiki since 2011 and became a Reiki Master in 2012 and has been teaching Reiki for almost two years at Cerritos Community Ed.

Reiki is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive.

What got you started in the practice of Reiki?

I moved to New Mexico for my doctorate program in 2008.While I was there I learned about all types of different healing modalities. New Mexico is such a rich and diverse place where a lot of healing happens. Reiki was one of the things that I came across. I was really drawn to Reiki and completed all of my certificates fairly quickly as I loved it so much and found it so beneficial.

What do you like about teaching?

I love creating spaces for people to share their stories, to connect with each other, and to create community. I like the opportunity to be flexible and creative because I never know who is going to come to my classes. I like teaching because it is an opportunity to influence people in a positive way. I see teaching as an exchange of energy so I learn from my students as they learn from me.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

I don’t like to use the word “crazy” because I work with people with disabilities and oftentimes “crazy” is a negative way to describe people with mental illness. I think traveling alone might be the wildest thing I’ve done. To me, it’s not really so novel but when I tell people that I’ve traveled out of the country alone, they are surprised. I love traveling and enjoy doing it alone although I love to have travel partners too.

 

What is your idea of a perfect day?

My perfect day would be hanging out with my dog Cedro at the beach, touching the water and feeling the waves with my feet as the sun sets in the evening.

What is one of the best compliments you ever received?

The best compliment is when my students share with me at the end of class that they never felt so relaxed and so good, or when they tell me they haven’t felt so relaxed in a long time! That’s the best compliment for me! It makes me feel like I did my job with teaching Reiki. The most important thing with Reiki is to be in a state of relaxation. I love that compliment!

What was the last picture you took with your phone?

I looked in my phone and my last photo is so fitting for me. The last photo I took was actually a picture of the hand’s acupressure points. I just got this book about Mudras and I was sending the acupressure points to my friend.

What book(s) are on your nightstand now?

“Living Buddha Living Christ” by Thich Nhat Hanh. “Mudras Yoga in Your Hands” by Gertrud Hirschi. And my study materials for the Psychologist Licensure Exam.

Anything you would like to add?

Yes. I am grateful for all the wonderful things that have come to me through my Reiki practice. Part of being a Reiki Practitioner is to practice gratitude and give thanks. Thank you for this opportunity and I look forward to meeting more students in the future who have a thirst for growth, healing and personal development.

Reiki Level I, an intensive one-day workshop, will be offered Saturday, Oct. 14.

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