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3:39 AM Wed, Sept. 19th

Taking time for the spirit may help heal the body<BR>

Sanders said such methods include Reiki, Bruyere Energy Work and Cranio-Sacral Therapy, which all entail balancing energy to heal.

"When you have trauma, illness or accidents, your energy fields record that," she added. "If you can balance the fields, it eliminates the negative effects of stress."

Other methods of healing, Sanders said, include therapeutic massage ("to alleviate muscle pain and ease stress"), Shiatsu ("using finger pressure to realign balance and restore harmony to the body"), chiropractic care, hypnotherapy and counseling.

The essential tool to healing is "treating the cause rather than the symptom."

At the Shanti Wellness Project, Sanders said they "treat the whole individual. We see each patient as a whole, and we treat them as a whole person."

Rather than trying to correct one problem a woman might have, Sanders said they spend time with her to ask questions about "her lifestyle, stress levels, sleep patterns, diet and exercise. We realize those things affect our overall health."

She said the intent is to treat the "body, mind and spirit" of a person because "we're not just a body. It all blends. These parts are inseparable. I encourage people to try the whole gamut because sometimes you don't know where the relief will come from."

She added that "people can develop diseases from life. Stress contributes to disease."

The Shanti Wellness Project also offers naturopathic medicine, which "uses natural modalities to diagnose and treat imbalances in the body, mind and spirit."

These include physical exams, pain management, hormone balancing, acute and chronic illness relief and an annual pap smear clinic.

Anita Stempel-Lynch, R.N., M.A. and Reiki Master at The Reiki Resource Centre in Prescott, said Reiki is "an ancient healing art with origins in Tibet. It utilizes the universal life force energy that animates all living things."

She said the human body "is not a machine, but energy."

Stempel-Lynch has been an R.N. since 1967 and has practiced in the United States and abroad. She began studying the healing art of Reiki in 1989, and became a master in 1993. She said being a nurse for so long, she lived "in a very objective, clear, measurable environment" for many years.

Studying Reiki helped her to realize that there is "energy that animates all life form and you're more than your physical being."

A Reiki session includes a "powerful, yet gentle touch therapy, which brings balance to the flow of the life force energy within the body."

Stempel-Lynch said the person is fully clothed, and she plays gentle music to help the person relax. She added that people have endorphins and encephalins in their brain that have a similar effect as morphine and they are chemicals produced to reduce stress and mediate pain.

"We're moving energy through the brain to activate the production of endorphins and encephalins," she said.

"Reiki gives you a deep relaxation," she added, and "it can't cure you, but it can help you feel whole."

She said Reiki can help heal stress-related illnesses, such as heart disease and high blood pressure, and added that 85 percent of all calls made to doctors are related to stress.

"If we can help people decrease the way they deal with stress, we can help them manage chronic illness."

Stempel-Lynch emphasizes that while Reiki can help to deal with these problems, it should not be used as a supplement to a person's health care.

"It can be a positive addition to a person's health care program, but not a substitute," she added.

Women are prone to high stress, Sanders said, because they "work around the clock. They're wives, mothers, nurturers. They give all the time and there's nothing to replenish it. It goes on and on and on and she gets worn out."

Along with becoming tired, Sanders said a woman also "rarely has the opportunity to be nurtured herself. She must be renewed so she can go back and continue her hectic life."

Inner healing and holistic health are so essential for people, Sanders said, because it is a way of dealing with the stresses of everyday life. The women who visit the Shanti Wellness Project "have some problems in their life. This gives them the relief they're looking for. They feel important, and they feel loved, and that's uplifting and empowering."

For more information about the Shanti Wellness Project, call 776-5940, or to reach The Reiki Resource Centre, call 717-0506.

Contact the reporter at rbump@prescottaz.com