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MY WNY STORY

Shawn Marie Cichowski BY JUDITH A. RUCKI

Local life coach and reiki master Shawn Marie Cichowski Photo courtesy of Aubri Minerd of Aubri Design

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hawn Marie Cichowski, owner of the WNY Life Coaching Center, is both a reiki master and an integrative health and life coach. She describes reiki (pronounced like “ray-key”) as “hands-on natural healing using the universal life force energy.” Cichowski’s journey began as a work. Eventually, she felt a calling to student at St. Bonaventure University, practice reiki and became certified. “It where she earned a bachelor of arts is a spiritual healing touch practice,” degree in psychology and sociology. she says. “Reiki is not a religion. There She also studied at Thames Valley is no dogma. People feel a spiritual University in London, England. experience; we can heal from that.” The word “reiki” is made of two While in England, she  interned  at Contact a Family, a not-for-profit Japanese words—rei, which means organization for children with special “God’s wisdom or the higher power” and ki, which is “life force energy.” needs.  Her credentials include “The founder of Reiki, Mikao Usui, Meditation/Mindfulness Instructor called reiki  ‘the secret art of inviting as certified by the American Institute happiness and the miraculous of Health Care Professionals, and medicine of all diseases,’” Cichowski registered Dual Reiki Master through notes. Reiki helps enhance healing efforts the International Center for Reiki. A highly skilled professional integrative and restores and balances a person’s health and life coach, she has over energy system. It activates the body’s 10,000 hours of coaching experience.   ability to self heal. Reiki is a very simple and gentle process that usually Cichowski’s interest in becoming produces a profound effect in one’s a reiki master began when she was working with practitioners from well-being and health.   So, what happens during a Reiki Sedona, Arizona, but, at the time, “It did not resonate with me.” As session? The client lies on a table, time went on, she became a yoga fully clothed. Cichowksi explains, instructor for children and became “Reiki is the laying of hands using a light touch. We work with energy. fascinated with meditation and breath

There is music, and I invite people to try aromatherapy.” She will also do a guided meditation if the person chooses. Experts believe our life force flows within the physical body through pathways called chakras, meridians, and nadis. It also flows around us in a field of energy called the aura. Our body’s organs and cells are nourished by the life force, which also supports them in their functions. If our life force is disrupted, function can be diminished in one or more of the body’s organs and its tissues. Reiki is a holistic approach to wellness that unharnesses the body’s energy to focus heat and energy on the areas that need attention. While yoga moves energy through the body, Cichowski says, “Reiki works with life force energy. It taps into universal life force energy. It’s much like everything is energy. When it is flowing, we feel optimal. If it is blocked, we can feel depressed. “We keep energy flowing. Reiki works on an energetic level. It facilitates your energy system. Some people call it ‘vibration.’ If people have blocks, reiki is the key. People feel an energetic shift and are usually not resistant. It is like an active meditation. Reiki is very gentle, it gives power back to the person. In one or two sessions, a person may go into a relaxed state.” Cichowski believes anyone can benefit from Reiki, which works in harmony with other kinds of treatment, including medical care and psychological care. It has been time tested and readily accepted by hospitals. COME HOME TO

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In fact, reiki is offered as part of regular patient care in more than 800 hospitals across the United States. In operating rooms and intensive care units, reiki can benefit sufferers of virtually every known illness and injury, including multiple sclerosis, heart disease, cancer, insomnia, anxiety, impotence, pain, addiction, and depression. Cichowski has worked “with every client possible—athletes, CEOs, children, highly sensitive clients, the elderly, cancer patients, and people who were depressed, suffering addiction, in injury recovery, and those who were anxious.” She works even with animals. “What is right for the client will always be delivered through reiki. It helps with chronic pain issues and overall well-being. The highest-guided energy supports chronic ailments.” She says the benefit of reiki is immediate, and she offers both thirtyminute and one-hour sessions. In addition to personal reiki sessions, Cichowski offers all levels of reiki certification training, ecotherapy, stress reduction/reiki services, and reiki healing workshops. The WNY Life Coaching Center is located at 5500 Main Street in Williamsville. For more information, visit wnylifecoaching.com or call 5606552. FY Judith A. Rucki is a public relations consultant and freelance writer. Readers may contact her via the editor at wswearingen@buffalospree.com with ideas for making the golden years sparkle, sizzle, and shine.

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