A Portland reiki master bargained with God to heal her and in turn she would help others.
Priscilla Maart, a confirmed Anglican Christian, practices and teaches this traditional Japanese palm healing or hand-on-healing to help participants heal themselves and other people.
The Plainsman spoke to Ms Maart at one of her latest projects, a monthly health and wellness fair at Alliance Francaise, in Portland, on Saturday April 14. She co-hosts the fair with Reiki practitioner Carla Steward, from Kewtown.
The next fair is on Saturday May 12 between 9am and 3pm.
In 2001 Ms Maart had paralysis on the right side of her body, six years after she had fallen down the stairs of a double-decker bus.
“I started feeling numb in my arm and leg. There was a pinched nerve in my neck, which doctors could not pick up,” she said.
The X-rays were inconclusive.
“I bargained with God. I said: If you heal me God, use me then to heal others and He did,” she said.
“Doctors couldn’t help me as they couldn’t find out what was wrong. Chiropractic treatment, reiki and reflexology helped with my healing process,” she said.
Ms Maart believes that God, as creator, has given everyone an innate power, which needs to be activated. “God uses us as channels. We are spiritual beings living in a physical body. Without Him we are nothing,” she said.
She said people needed to activate their power.
Ms Maart runs self-healing workshops, including reiki, Indian head massage and chakra – an Indian healing tradition linking meditation and body focus points, for youth and the elderly.
“You don’t need experience to learn healing,” she said.
She wants to help the community empower themselves.
Ms Maart said the fair creates a platform for alternative healing therapists to build a clientele and also promote their services in the community. “I want Mitchell’s Plain residents to know that there are these services on their doorstep, in their community,” she said.
Residents can also buy alternative healing products.
Therapists at the fair include: reiki; Indian head massage; Swedish massage; reflexology – the application of pressure to the feet and hands; acupressure mat therapy – the use of gentle to firm finger pressure in the pressure points and meridians much like acupuncture does with the use of needles; and zero state therapy – the activation of an energy field within the human body, which could be affected by bodily manipulations, so bringing health benefits.
Fair goers can also look out for or participate in yoga, zumba, belly dancing, tai-chi, drumming and ballet demonstrations, offered by various professionals.
Ms Maart said most of the therapists are not from Mitchell’s Plain but is hopeful that alternative healing will blossom.
Reiki practitioner Gertrude Conrad, from Portland, said the fair was a fantastic opportunity for therapists to meet. “It proves that our Mitchell’s Plainians are spiritually-minded,” she said.
Ms Conrad said the market is growing and that more holistic traders should be encouraged to participate.
She started practising reiki in 2000 but only on family and friends. “Mainly in desperate cases, where a family member is terminally ill or unable to cope with loss,” she said.
“Reiki brings deep relaxation and a feeling of peace,” she said.
Market attendee Zaida Julius, from Lentegeur, said the fair is an amazing opportunity for the community to be informed about the different healthy, natural alternatives available. “It also gives our people the opportunity to exhibit their beautiful home crafts and expose the visitors to great feel-good treats like the superb Indian head massages,” she said.