Healing hands aid Bettsville teenager
By Jill Gosche, email@example.com
Over the course of three years, a Bettsville teenager had been wheelchair-bound and used crutches. She wasn’t able to use her hand or walk, and even a breeze would cause her pain.
But, tonight, 17-year-old Ashley Schwochow will look different as she graduates from Bettsville High School.
“She’s going to be able to walk up there and get her diploma,” said Julie Romanko, Reiki master and teacher.
Romanko has been using Reiki — an energy healing practice — to heal Schwochow for more than five months. Schwochow has reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, a disease her mother, Ann Schwochow, says is incurable.
Schwochow said she found out about her disease in 2004, and it takes over her nerves. She said she’s had 14 epidural blocks and is on morphine and seizure medication.
Ann said Ashley has taken less medication since she started attending Reiki sessions at Romanko’s home near Fostoria.
Romanko — who said she’s had a natural healing ability most of her life but gained her certification in April 2003 — sent the Schwochow family a letter to introduce them to her services.
Romanko said it took the family a month to reply to her letter.
Ann said her family never knew about the therapy until members received the letter, and she started researching it; Ashley was running out of options.
“Something kept telling us to go back to that letter,” Ashley said.
Romanko said Ashley’s first appointment was Dec. 13; her weekly Reiki sessions are about 45 minutes each.
Ann said her daughter saw changes to her body after the first session.
“It’s the Reiki that helped her, and we were glad,” she said.
Feb. 22 marked Ashley’s ninth visit, and she got up out of her wheelchair to walk, Romanko said.
Ashley recalled resting in bed on a typical evening, and she didn’t feel as much pain. She said a voice told her to get up.
“I listened to it,” she said. “I walked out to the kitchen.”
According to information from Romanko, Reiki refers to “Universal Life Force,” or energy surrounding and within people.
“To me, it’s divine in nature,” she said.
Romanko said she sometimes would like to call it love because it makes a person feel good.
“Love is the greatest healer,” she said.
Romanko said a Reiki session is like an energy tune-up.
She can hold her hands above the person’s body but touches the person’s head and shoulders.
The client drives the energy, and the teacher is the channel, she said.
“I am feeling their energy, and I’m feeling the energy that they’re drawing,” she said. “It feels kind of like a pulsation.”
Romanko said Reiki breaks up stagnant energy and gives a boost to sluggish energy.
“It’s very good for headaches, back pain,” she said. “People always tell me they sleep better.”
Ashley said she feels like she has no worries during therapy sessions.
“You just feel really relaxed,” she said. “You feel very open. … You just feel really at ease.”
Ashley said she has been walking without help from crutches or a wheelchair for about three months.
She said she still experiences level-five pain, but 10’s been the worst.
“This is the type of pain level I can handle,” she said.
For more information about Reiki, contact Romanko at (419) 435-4405 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.