Class carries an aura of good health


January 22, 2001|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THOSE SEEKING RELIEF from life's emotional or physical pains might find help at the "Introduction to Reiki" workshop, sponsored by the Women's Place, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at Carroll County General Hospital.

Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is a Japanese healing technique devised in the late 1800s by Dr. Mikao Usui.

According to practitioners, reiki taps into the universal life force that surrounds all living things. Channeling this force into the body can enhance the effectiveness of medical treatments or ease emotional distress.

"This aura can be felt and picked up," said Michael Smith, a local reiki master who teaches the discipline at Carroll County General Hospital. "It can then be transmitted to others to help heal."

Smith, who has practiced reiki for three years, said people of all ages attend his classes, seeking relief from the stresses of life. In addition to 12 classes at Carroll County General Hospital, he is scheduled to teach this year at Mercy Hospital and Roland Park Country School in Baltimore.

"They all come stressed and leave nonstressed," said Smith, adding that class members often e-mail him, describing how the instruction has changed their lives. "They're interested in learning how we can create the experiences in our lives rather than be victims."

Smith has seen reiki alleviate physical discomfort. When his father was receiving radiation treatment for prostate cancer, he agreed to receive reiki treatments to combat the side effects.

The side effects never appeared, Smith said, adding that his father felt completely well throughout the process.

"He said he felt he could go out and play a game of basketball" after receiving shots, Smith said. "He finally asked the doctor why he wasn't feeling as sick as everybody else usually does. The radiation healed the cancer, and the reiki handled the side effects."

Smith stressed that reiki is as compatible with various belief systems as it is with modern medicine. He said it helped strengthen his religious beliefs.

"There is no dogma and it isn't a religion," said Smith, who is a Methodist. "I've seen Catholics and Protestants in classes. I've also seen treatments on atheists. It just strengthens your spirit."

Fees for the introductory class at Carroll County General Hospital are $10. Pre-registration is required.

The hospital is at 291 Stoner Ave., Westminster.

Information: 410-848-2244.

Grading government

Members of Finksburg Planning Area Council will begin preparing their March scorecard of the county commissioners at their monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at Sandy Mount United Methodist Church, 2101 Old Westminster Pike.

Residents of Finksburg and its environs are invited to comment as the group rates county government and the commissioners in areas ranging from environmental issues to responsiveness to residents' concerns.

Members also will discuss the proposed rezoning of more than 450 acres in the Finksburg area for industrial or commercial use. County Planner Matthew Simmont will explain why the county wishes to rezone the 13 parcels and will answer questions.

Information: 410-239-7840.

A day for the arts

Carroll County Arts Council invites the public to a celebration of Maryland Arts Day on Jan. 30 in Annapolis.

The council is offering bus transportation to the daylong event, which will include opportunities to see the General Assembly in session and a chance to visit with local delegation members. The bus will leave Westminster about 7:30 a.m. and return about 5 p.m.

Cost is $25. Lunch will be provided. The arts council will pay registration fees for the first 20 people to sign up.

Information: 410-848-7272.

Protect Carroll's waterways

Friends of Carroll Streams, a group of county residents interested in protecting area waterways, is seeking members and input at its charter meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 1 at Camp Hashawha on John Owings Road in Westminster.

Members will discuss how individuals can help protect Carroll's streams, and begin planning for the restoration of damaged areas.

Information: 410-239-7840.

Amy L. Miller's Central neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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