Energetic medicine combines holistic techniques
Reiki, acupuncture stem from other cultures, need context to understand
September 26, 2018
SAM’s Apothecary in downtown Pullman is, essentially, a folk pharmacy. Owner Kraig Brown sells his products for their unearthly qualities. He believes in energetic healing powers in crystals, essential oils and people.
Once a full-time EMT, Brown said he is a healer at heart. His apothecary doubles as a location for his reiki practice.
Reiki, Brown said, is an energetic healing method developed from Japanese ideas about energy. During a session, a practitioner works with ki — similar to Chinese qi — which Brown describes as universal energy.
Brown said many practitioners start a session by “working with energies” around the person from several feet away. Then, they will use a “laying of the hands” technique to gently touch the body in one spot in order to move healing energy to that area.
Reiki is not the only energetic medicine on the Palouse. Acupuncture also uses a similar spiritual belief system.
Laura Rose Lambert, a local acupuncturist and classical Chinese medicine practitioner, said acupuncture addresses energy as “qi.”
“Chinese medicine is energetic,” Lambert said. “We use the needles as a tool to manipulate qi.”
Acupuncture has become more mainstream, but the concept of energy that is at the heart of Chinese medicine might not be apparent to an acupuncturist’s client. While all acupuncturists are trained to manipulate energy, Lambert said there are some who don’t have a feel for it.
A more clinical acupuncturist, she said, might follow body charts labeling energetic points very closely, whereas a more “woo-woo” acupuncturist will sense the energies intuitively.
Brown’s reiki practice is almost completely intuitive. Brown said he doesn’t focus on charted points, or even the chakra system. He responds to the energy he feels in clients.
“Some practitioners will feel energy, some people will see it, some people will hear it,” Brown said. “I feel it.”
To demonstrate, Brown asked if I was experiencing any aches or pains. I was. He asked me not to tell him where my pains were. Then, he moved his hands around me, about 6 inches away from my body, and after a moment touched four main points of tension and achiness.
I was shocked by his accuracy and precision. He explained how it felt to sense my areas of pain.
“To me, [your aches] felt just fuzzy, just different,” Brown said. “That’s how I feel it.”
He said that, depending on the person, he might sense “fuzziness” like he did around my body, or he might feel a temperature difference or even a twinge of pain around an area.
When he feels a fuzzy spot during a reiki session, Brown said he takes a moment to keep his hands in the area and funnels energy in from around him.
“I channel energy,” he said. “I’m pulling in energy — the energy that’s everywhere all around us, universal energy — and I’m pushing it out of my hands. And then it does what it needs to, to heal.”
Brown said essentially, the body heals itself. The energy allows the body to balance out and self-heal holistically — which Brown described as mentally, physically and spiritually.
All of this discussion of energy healing can feel bizarre to those of us who are primarily exposed to Western medicine. Although reiki deals in healing, as do medical doctors, it is a spiritual practice based primarily on tradition, while Western medicine is based primarily on empirical study.
Julia Cassaniti is a professor of psychological anthropology at WSU. She is the author of the book “Remembering the Present,” which is about the psychology of Buddhism in Asia. Her work focuses on religious experience in different cultures.
“A lot of religious cultural practices are based on beliefs that are not necessarily empirically grounded,” she said. “Anthropologically, regardless of whether things are true, they truly have real effects in people’s lives and behaviors. And that’s what makes them important to look at.”
Cassaniti also said it’s important to think about practices like reiki in a global context.
“If we’re looking at these as ‘alternative practices,’ we want to think about questioning that,” she said. “Alternative to what? To what norm? In fact some of these practices are quite normative and common in lots of places around the world.”
Linda Kingsbury, holistic nutritionist and owner of Spirit Herbs in Moscow, trained Brown in reiki healing. She said in the world of holistic healing, reiki isn’t unusual at all.
“Reiki is just another form of vibrational healing that comes from a Japanese tradition,” Kingsbury said. “A lot of vibrational and energy medicine work along the same lines. The practices came from different parts of the world, but work with the same energy.”
Lambert shared Kingsbury’s sentiment. Nearly repeating what Kingsbury said, she added that reiki falls under the umbrella of energetic medicine.
“We’re all using the same system that Western medicine doesn’t understand,” Lambert said.
Lambert said she has received reiki treatments from Brown, and Brown gets acupuncture treatments from Lambert. She said the two love to discuss their energy work together. Connections like these work to build a specific Palouse perspective on energy work.
Cassaniti said any healing practices are uniquely molded by local needs. Even if Brown’s reiki doesn’t exactly match original Japanese styles, it’s valuable to the people of the area in its own right.
“It’s important to recognize that every practice is culturally and historically situated,” Cassaniti said. “A practice like reiki both has a long history in different traditions and can be relevant for people today in this context because of their own cultural concerns and interests that are particular to this area.”
In Pullman, Brown said stress is the health problem he addresses most with clients. He believes it is vital that people learn to self-heal and address their stress.
“It doesn’t matter what you do or where you work, you have to be able to take care of yourself,” Brown said. “If you don’t know how to do that, that’s something we can talk about.”
The winner of the Business category is Trent Bice, owner and operator of Allegra Printing and Image 360. The Non-Profit Winner is Backyard Harvest and Director Misty Amarena. Backyard Harvest provides fresh fruits and vegetables to local food banks, senior meal programs and youth access sites. Kraig Brown Owner and Operator of SAM’s Apothecary has been named the Rising Star of 2018. SAM’s Apothecary, which opened in 2017, aims to be the Palouse’s go-to source for holistic health and wellness materials and education.
Crystals can offer spiritual relief
Growing popularity of rocks, minerals help some heal physically, emotionally even if hesitant at first
April 18, 2018
Stones like rose quartz or black onyx are often not recognized as healing stones.
SAM’s Apothecary owner Kraig Brown said “healing crystal” is just a fun name given to rocks or minerals. All healing stones have different physical qualities, energies and appearance, Brown said.
“They can be very helpful for anyone,” Brown said. “For example, some crystals can help people calm down, others can block other people’s negative emotions and energies.”
Brown said all crystals have their own energy, and that when pressure is applied, they will emit some of it. Crystals have different energies depending on how they were created. He said they can help us spiritually, emotionally and mentally.
“Even if you feel it’s nothing more than a placebo effect, but it’s still working — then it’s still working,” Brown said.
Crystals can be used in many ways. They can be worn on a chain or bracelet as jewelry. They can also be placed on a bed stand or altar, in a gem elixir or even in a place as discreet as your pocket.
A gem elixir is when a stone is placed in an airtight container, and then the container is placed in a volume of water. The airtight container ensures that no water will actually touch the stone. Brown said the water is supposed to the absorb energy the stone emits, and the water can then be used for the same purposes as the crystal.
Whether you’re using crystals on your own or receiving the energy from a practitioner during a Reiki session or while meditating, Brown said they can be very effective.
“Meditation is time to take time and check in with yourself,” he said, “and to take a personal inventory of feelings in [that] moment.”
Just as each crystal has its own energy signature and helps in a different way, every person’s reaction is different. Brown said an important factor when picking out a first crystal is intuition.
“Being able to have those intuitive discussions with yourself is beneficial,” he said, “because all the information is there, it just has to be acknowledged.”
For those who don’t know much about crystals, Brown can help them find their first. He suggested placing the crystal in dominant hand with the non-dominant hand over it to better sense whether the crystal is right for them. Brown said the dominant hand is better for sensing crystals.
Brown said people should then go through the crystals one by one, noting their gut reaction to each one. Then it’s easy to tell which crystal will be most helpful.
“People who work with crystals consider them to be a thing that can communicate,” Brown said, “and it’s important to every once in a while check in with crystals and see how they’re doing.”
Brown said crystals can start to feel “muddy” from use, and they should be cleansed.
Brown said one way to do this is to place them in salt. He warned that it’s important to make sure they’re in a zip lock bag, or something to ensure they stay off the salt, because salt can damage some crystals.
“To know when crystals are done being cleansed,” Brown said, “religiously check in with them and yourself to know when they’re finished with their cleaning.”
Aromatherapy grows in popularity, uses
March 21, 2018
The recent popularity of essential oils has landed a wide variety on the shelves of many common drug stores, but it’s important to read up before using aromatic products.
Most are made of plant material, though citrus oils use the cold-pressed rind of fruit. This material is first heated, a process that opens the oil sacs in the plants. Most oils at this stage are placed into a condenser and separator, which isolates the plants’ oils from the water.
Essential oils are not evaluated by the FDA and are not meant to treat, diagnose or cure any disease or disease progression. Anyone interested in essential oils should consult a doctor before using, and SAM’s Apothecary owner Kraig Brown said people should make sure they purchase pure oils.
“It’s super important to go to a place [with] pure essential oils that either you can get test results from or you know the distiller,” he said, “because … you want to make sure they’re actually helping.”
Essential Oil Analysis Foundation is a group that produces test results for different brands of essential oils. The Essential Oil Test Reports revealed that many oils are heavily adulterated — with some not containing any real plant material — yet they were labeled as pure.
Brown rebottles oils from Plant Therapy in Twin Falls, Idaho with his label to carry them at SAM’s Apothecary.
After it is inhaled, an oil can promote calm and comfort, and help support respiratory health and emotional stability. Brown said there are many ways to achieve the desired results with an oil, from diffusion and inhalation to using it internally and topically.
Though oils can be ingested, Brown said this should be done under the care of a trained aroma therapist to ensure the oil is being taken safely.
Oils can also be applied directly on the skin over an area of physical discomfort.
For psychological, emotional or spiritual purposes, Brown said inhalation is best. Inhalation methods include diffuser necklaces or bracelets, a few drops on a cotton ball or an inhaler.
Inhaling the oils allows them to register in the olfactory system, which includes senses connected with emotions, like scent and taste. Brown said this could be why people find success with essential oils, especially emotionally.
However, Brown emphasized that adults should not be around oil diffusers for longer than an hour without a break, and that it’s important the diffusers don’t remain on all day or night.
Brown said people should keep track of the amount of essential oil used while diffusing. For regular use, he recommended no more than a 1-2-percent dilution. Brown said this is about three drops in 10 milliliters of water. For use in a roller ball, oils should have the same dilution.
For roller balls, the oils should be diluted with a vegetable oil. Brown recommended jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, argon oil, grapeseed oil or fractionated coconut oil.
If an individual is only using an essential oil for an acute or short-term problem without plans to continue after the area is treated, a 5-percent dilution is recommended. This is equivalent to 15 drops in a 10-milliliter bottle of chosen solvent.
Brown said any oils above a 5-percent dilution become overwhelming for our sensory system and are essentially useless.
There are a wide variety of uses for oils. Oregano, clove and thyme all contain a benzene ring in their chemical makeup that makes them effective at reducing airborne bacteria. Because of these oils’ high concentrations, Brown said to be cautious.
A few oils Brown recommended to ease discomfort are balsam, black pepper and clove. He said these contain a chemical that interacts with the immune system to minimize pain.
Citrus oils and their constituents are one of the main ingredients in cleaning products used for grease and hard-to-remove substances.
Before purchasing an essential oil, Brown advised looking at the bottle to make sure it states the name of the oil as well as the Latin name of the plant. For example, lavender has two strands that can have profoundly different effects. One is a relaxant, while the other could serve as a stimulant.
To get the most out of essential oils, Brown said to make sure they are stored in a cool, dark place. Since the chemical composition of essential oils changes over time, this will ensure they stay safe to use.
“It’s important for everyone to do their own research and have their own knowledge, and to trust their intuition,” Brown said, “and essential oils can definitely aid with that.”
(copied from: https://dailyevergreen.com/28975/life/aromatherapy-grows-in-popularity-uses/)
Homeopathic Remedies in Pullman
Naughty Dog reimagined as Pups and Cups
New owner CJ Robert describes changes, plans for pet-friendly shop
February 16, 2018
The Naughty Dog Coffee Shop, which closed multiple times within the past couple weeks for logistical reasons, has reopened under new ownership as Pups and Cups Dog Cafe.
CJ Robert, who now owns the café with her husband Quincy, said the name change was the result of questions and concerns from community members who didn’t understand the word “naughty” described a misbehaved dog, and thought the name implied the shop used bikini baristas.
CJ, who also co-owns the Cougar Entertainment Center with her husband, said the complaints began before the shop’s original opening in November. One day, while painting the interior, she said, “A lady comes in, like barges in and she [says] ‘I need to speak to the manager.’ ”
After introducing herself as the manager, CJ Robert said the woman told her a bikini barista shop was “completely inappropriate for the area.”
CJ Robert plans to maintain the shop as it was before, though she changed the name to add clarity. She will also include more gluten-free options on the menu and decorate with more local art.
She said encouraging others to live a healthy lifestyle is important to her, which is why she wants to make sure the menu offers alternative options.
She wants to keep the original themes of “naughty” and humor. She said one way she plans to do this is with humorous wall decor, like paintings of dogs and ironic phrases. The goal is to add personality without disrupting the conversation in the shop.
Pups and Cups embraces constant collaboration with other local businesses, she said. For instance, the shop’s tea is supplied by Craig Brown, owner of SAM’s Apothecary.
“The tea variety here seems to be a huge hit,” Brown said.
“People come in,” Robert added, “and they’re like, ‘This is the first time I’ve ever been able to even drink tea without having any sweetener.’”
Robert said she believes this is because of the shop’s brewing methods.
Brown said he values the connections he makes with local businesses, which is why he offered his tea to Pups and Cups.
Steven Mislosky, who was involved in developing the original concept of the store in May, recently came back on as Pups and Cups’ general manager.
In addition to the tea selection, CJ said the shop is the only place in Pullman where customers can get coffee from Spokane brewer Tom Sawyer.
Tom Sawyer black coffee will come from a different country each month. The coffee for March is from Columbia.
“He won’t let any other person in Pullman now ever have his coffee,” CJ Robert said.
Sawyer’s handprint is painted on the wall behind the register, along with the handprints of everyone else who helped develop the coffee shop over the past few months. CJ Robert said she wanted to include local art that would represent some of the assistance she received from community members.
She said she hopes to start a mug club. If she does, customers who purchase a mug from Pups and Cups, and then bring the mug back when they buy a drink, will receive a discount.
The concept of the original Naughty Dog was to be completely pet-friendly, and CJ Robert said under their ownership it will remain so.
She said she is heavily involved with Pullman 2040, an initiative by the Pullman Chamber of Commerce and City Council to plan Pullman’s future in the year 2040.
CJ Robert said an important aspect of the initiative is making downtown more vibrant. This was a key factor in her decision to open the shop downtown.
“You sit here now and you just see empty business after empty business as you’re walking by,” she said. “We want to drum up the number of people walking.”
She said she hopes more restaurants and businesses choose to come to the vacant areas.
CJ Robert acknowledged running a business is hard work, but described herself as a “workaholic” who is up for the challenge.
“I like working 12 hours a day, six days a week,” she said.
Pups and Cups Dog Cafe is open from 12 p.m. – 11 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.
(Copied from: https://dailyevergreen.com/27071/life/naughty-dog-reimagined-as-pups-and-cups/)
Reiki clinic offered at Cafe Moro
Healing session will be hosted by practitioners this Friday at local shop.
February 7, 2018
Reiki is an energy healing treatment that can have many benefits. It can promote deep relaxation and meditation, encourage healing of mind, body, and spirit and provide relief from stress and anxiety.
Reiki has possible physical benefits as well, like easing muscle tension and discomfort, increasing the rate of recovery from an injury and boosting one’s immune system.
Reiki masters Kraig Brown, owner of SAM’s Apothecary, and Shadowalker Rainbowshaman are hosting a complimentary Reiki clinic from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Café Moro, located at 100 E Main St.
They host one complementary Reiki clinic every 2 – 3 months, as an opportunity for people to learn about the practice and experience a short session, Brown said.
“The mini Reiki sessions will last about 15 minutes, and it’s a way to come and relax,” Brown said.
Patients who attend will sit in a massage chair and the practitioner, depending on the needs of the client and where they feel the energy needs to go, will place their hands above and/or on the individual.
Brown began learning about Reiki several years ago and became a practitioner in 2016. He knew he wanted to get into Reiki after his first session.
“[It was] very powerful,” he said, “and at that moment, I knew it was something I had to continue and learn to give it to others.”
Outside the complementary clinic setting, a regular Reiki session can last 45 minutes to an hour. Brown explained what a patient could expect from a regular session.
“It includes coming in, relaxing, getting into the moment, usually having a cup of tea and visiting [with the practitioner], then you move into the treatment room,” he said. “The total time on the table depends on how much energy is needed. After, there is a 10 – 15 minute re-acclimation period, like coming out of any state of deep relaxation.”
The re-acclimation period is necessary for adjusting, Brown said, since deep relaxation can distance the patient from reality.
He said everyone receives and experiences Reiki differently.
“Some people fall asleep, some don’t. Others are very talkative during their session, some people are not,” Brown said. “Though the majority of people go to a place of deep relaxation and treat it more like an energy guided meditation.”
During a session, Brown said it doesn’t matter what state you’re in, and he noticed Reiki is less effective for the individuals who are not necessarily open to the idea of receiving energy.
“Mindset is everything,” he said. “If you don’t think it’s going to work for you, chances are it’s not going to. You need to go into Reiki with an open mind of receiving the energy and showing up for yourself to relax.”
When choosing a practitioner, people may prefer one over another. Brown explained everyone has their own energy. Practitioners serve as an open channel for the Reiki energy to flow through them. Because each practitioner has their own vibe, some of that can be passed to the patient.
Brown recommended coming in for sessions once a month, but patients can do it as often as they want.
“If you’re not a very spiritual person, and you just want to come and relax for the time of your session, that’s all you have to do,” Brown said. “Reiki can, if nothing else, be that one hour of peace from our absolutely crazy world.”
(copied from: https://dailyevergreen.com/26211/life/reiki-clinic-offered-at-cafe-moro/)
Local class teaches empaths to connect
Self-described empath discusses some energy techniques, emotional stability, holistic practices.
January 31, 2018
Empathy, something most people experience, is the ability to share and understand the feelings of another. However, an empathic person is not the same as an empath. Empaths feel empathy, but in a different way.
An empath has the ability to not only relate to others’ feelings and experiences, but also feel exactly what others are experiencing. They can walk into a room and, before anyone says anything, connect to others on a deep level and fully feel others’ past and present, Reiki practitioner Steven Mislosky said.
Mislosky said Reiki is a Japanese laying-of-hands technique with zero body impact.
Sam’s Apothecary, a health and wellness shop in downtown Pullman, offers essential oils, herbs and teas and holistic care items. On the fourth Saturday of each month, they hold a Psychic Psaturday Clinic to discuss one energetic or metaphysical subject.
Mislosky led a clinic about empaths, called “Are You an Empath?” and shared his experience with being one himself. Empaths experience their emotions and the emotions of others with different intensity. Mislosky said that intensity depends on the person, and their connection to the emotion.
“It’s hard at times to tell if it’s [an empath’s] emotion or someone else’s emotion they’re experiencing,” Mislosky said.
Meditation helps Mislosky separate his own emotions from those of the people around him, allowing him to let other people’s emotions go. It’s one of the ways to form a healthy barrier from the emotions he experiences throughout the day. Mislosky noted that meditation may not work for everyone, because everyone is different.
With all the emotions empaths feel every day, Mislosky said it’s not uncommon for them to feel detached and overwhelmed.
To counter this, Mislosky said he sometimes simply has to do something that makes him feel good.
“It doesn’t always have to be a completely meditative process or something you have to go through by yourself,” he said. “It can also be hanging out with your friends and doing something fun.”
Mislosky promoted the practice of Reiki, which he said could work for those who don’t find meditation or other holistic practices beneficial.
It promotes the body’s self-ability to heal. When you go to a Reiki practitioner, they channel cosmos and healing energies, which go to parts of the body in need of them. It can never do any harm, he said.
“Reiki is one of the greatest things that I have found,” Mislosky said, “and I have only found it recently in the past couple months.”
Being an empath can be hard to explain, Mislosky said, and there is a lot to learn when it comes to accepting this ability.
“It’s a semi new thing, the title of an empath, and a lot of research is still being done,” he said. “Not everyone is going to understand it, and people who consider themselves empaths [should] never stop learning about it.”
(copied from: https://dailyevergreen.com/25689/life/local-class-teaches-empaths-to-connect/)
Chocolate event brings residents into local shops
November 6, 2017
Holiday shoppers can enjoy free chocolate and snacks while navigating their way through Pullman businesses.
Participating local businesses will offer free chocolate and holiday deals to store visitors during this annual event. Some businesses may make their own or purchase chocolate to give away, depending on the individual business, according to an article in The Daily Evergreen.
Pullman businesses involved this year include shops found in the downtown Pullman area, such as SAM’s Apothecary and Neill Public Library. Same as last year, the Brelsford WSU Visitor Center will also be giving out chocolates, according to the Pullman Chamber of Commerce website.
Chocolate Decadence will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday. A map of participating businesses can be found on the Pullman Chamber of Commerce website.
Reporting by Nina Willis
(copied from: https://dailyevergreen.com/20806/life/chocolate-event-brings-residents-into-local-shops/)
SAM’s Apothecary hosts essential oils class
October 20, 2017
SAM’s Apothecary is hosting an essential oils 101 course on Saturday from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. The event will take place at SAM’s Apothecary.
The course consists of basic training on essential oils and their importance, according to their Facebook event page. It includes the origins and definitions of essential oils, as well as how to use them safely.
Tickets can be purchased from a link on their Facebook page for $20. Those who are interested in attending or have questions can visit SAM’s Apothecary’s Facebook page or call 208-502-0349.
(copied from: https://dailyevergreen.com/19361/life/sams-apothacary-hosts-essential-oils-class/)
Take time to focus on self-care
September 6, 2017
We’re always told it’s important to take care of ourselves when we go off to college — to remember to eat right, get plenty of sleep and sometimes take a little time for ourselves. But lately I’ve been wondering where to even begin.
I think the most important thing about taking care of yourself this year is learning to stay in the moment, like a mini meditation on-the-go.
Even for just five minutes, during a lunch break or in-between study sessions, take a moment to reflect on everything positive in your life and something you can look forward to in the future.
From experience, I know that may seem difficult to accomplish, especially when it seems like you’re buried in all those essays due tomorrow or that really big group project that only you are actually doing any work on.
A five-minute break from your essay doesn’t usually make a big difference in the end. Take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, listen to your favorite song and then get back to work.
Sure, don’t binge-watch your favorite Netflix show until 4 a.m. every night. Going to an 8 a.m. class on three hours of sleep never works out well.
And even those buy-one-get-one-free carryout Pizza Perfection deals can last three days-worth of meals if you ration correctly — maybe don’t make a weekly habit of it.
But what can I do instead?
Heck, I don’t even know what to ask my dad for when he offers to send me a care package sometimes. But I figured because care packages are a typical college thing, what would I theoretically put in one to take care of myself this semester?
Essential oil diffusers are one soothing option.
Using water and your favorite essential oil, diffusers are a residence hall-friendly alternative to candles, SAM’s Apothecary Owner Kraig Brown said.
This is a worthwhile investment, considering its benefits in your living space. Diffusers will last you longer than a typical candle.
As far as essential oil blends go, I usually prefer citrus scents like orange, especially during an intense study session. It’s energizing and it helps you focus. For relaxation, jasmine and sandalwood always works well for me. There are multiple essential oil blends out there to try.
Brown pulled out an assortment of products, including teas and herbal remedies at SAM’s Apothecary.
“Do things that feed your soul, not just your ego and you will be happy,” he said.
He first showed me the “Remember to Breathe” tea by Isla Botanica, a blend designed to support respiratory health. Considering recent air quality reports, I think it’s more important than ever to remember that we need to breathe well to protect our health.
Returning to college, students have different immune systems from all over the world, making it much easier to get sick, Brown said.
Overall, I think we need to find what works best for us, as individuals. Maybe you find essential oils too strong, or you just can’t stand the taste of tea — keep trying new things because there is bound to be something out there that will work.
(copied from: https://dailyevergreen.com/14506/life/lj-college-self-care-package/)