I was 30 when I began struggling with chronic insomnia.

Night after night I would wake up in the wee hours of the morning and struggle to fall back to
sleep. My mind would race with thoughts about the day and those thoughts would collide with
anxious thoughts about the next day and how exhausting it would be to operate effectively in the
corporate world and care for a young toddler on 3-4 hours of sleep. It was a mess. I was stuck
in this terrible cycle of constant exhaustion and I did not know how to escape.
I tried everything…well mostly everything. I tried aromatherapy and incessantly dousing my feet
with lavender each night praying for a change. It didn’t work. I tried taking melatonin, a natural
sleep aid. It didn’t work. I thought that if well maybe I exhaust myself even more by working out
twice a day that would work. It didn’t. Applying CBD oil and listening to relaxing music before
bed also didn’t work. I felt defeated and out of options.

My Turning Point
One day, a colleague and dear friend noticed my struggle catching me nearly falling asleep at
my desk. I told her about the insomnia that I’d been experiencing and without hesitation, she
invited me to attend a Reiki session hosted by a local church the following night.I was
desperate. So I agreed.
Reiki is Not Witchcraft
Let’s be honest, I didn’t know much about Reiki but always had a deep passion for holistic

health. And since I couldn’t sleep anyway, I figured I’ll spend the night before researching all
about it. What I learned was the beginning of my new journey with Reiki.
Reiki is a form of energy healing that works on the mind, body and spirit of a person. Although it
is said to have originated in Japan, like most holistic practices it can be linked back to Ancient
Africa. As a Scientist AND deeply spiritual person,I am a huge believer in energy. Energy is both
in us and radiates from us in the form of an aura. We can sometimes experience energy blocks
because of the normal everyday stresses of life and not practicing adequate selfcare. This
imbalance can show up in different ways among people but for me it was showing up as chronic
insomnia.
The setting itself was really relaxing.
The room was large and dimly lit with candles.
There were about 5-6 tables that were about 6 feet apart from each other. My practitioner, a
nice gentle woman, greeted me and we chatted for a bit. I told her about the problems I was
experiencing and I could tell that she empathized with me.
I laid down on the table, closed my eyes and within a couple of minutes, I was able to relax and
get comfortable with the light gentle touches of her hands upon my body. Soon after, my mind
started to quiet and I diverted my attention to my breathing. I focused on taking deep full breaths
and before long, I entered a meditative state where I became fully aware and intuned with
myself and that’s how I spent the rest of the session- in this very calming and peaceful space.
Listen, that night I slept better than good. I slept great.

It changed my life.
Not only did Reiki improve my sleep but it helped me to find a place of inner stillness where I
was able to find rest from the anxious thoughts. It led me to explore other holistic methods like
mediation and sound baths. Before long I found myself immersed in all things holistic.
Black girls don’t Reiki?
Although my first Reiki session was a very positive experience, I noticed immediately that I was
the only woman of color.The practitioners along with the other clients were all middle age to
elderly white women. I shared my experiences with my homegirls the next weekend and I was
surprised that most of them had never even heard of Reiki. A few even had a very misinformed
view of what it was, equating it to a form of voodoo and witchcraft. In that moment, I realized
that there was a gap in how the black community views holistic practices,especially Reiki. I
decided that I wanted to step in that gap. I think it’s important that black people know that our
ancestors used these very same practices to heal themselves. I also understand the importance
of having energy work done by someone who looks like you and can better understand your

stressors.
After many more sessions and training courses, I became a certified Reiki teacher. I now offer
Reiki sessions in my community and host an IG page (@aura.alchemist) where I share
inspirational messages for those struggling with anxiety and other mental health issues.My
mission is to introduce black girls to Reiki and all things holistic.It changed my life and now I’m
using it to change the lives of others.