Supporting the healing endeavors of all individuals practicing Reiki in the Midwest
By Heather McCutcheon, Midwest Reiki Community
Rose Mattax taught Reiki as a member of the faculty at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois for six years, and now teaches at Little Company of Mary Hospital in the Chicago area. Here’s her story:
After earning her Masters in counseling in 1988, Rose began working with underserved youth through Alternatives, a not-for-profit in Chicago. She had studied Trager therapy after it helped her heal her own whiplash, and wanted to incorporate some form of energy healing into her practice. Trager seemed too hands-on for the traumatized kids she was dealing with, so she kept searching for a better fit. After joining a physician-supervised alternative health practice, American Whole Health, she learned about Reiki, and she knew she’d found something special.
“I had great exposure to a lot of things such as hypnosis, homeopathy and flower essences, but I was attracted to Reiki. My clients were coming into their counseling sessions very relaxed after receiving Reiki, and experiencing a wide range of benefits.”
She found a Reiki teacher and finished her own teacher training in January of 1999. By May she’d left American Whole Health to focus on her own psychotherapy and healing practice full-time.
“At that point I felt much more comfortable practicing Reiki with my clients,” says Rose. “And now it’s rare to see someone who doesn’t expect some kind of touch. If a client comes to me through insurance, with no exposure to touch therapies, I will not introduce the idea until we have a comfort level.”
Appointments are structured much like any Reiki practitioner would conduct a session. They chat for ten minutes or so to assess the needs of the client, then the client moves onto Rose’s table where she channels Reiki or uses other energy healing techniques, and then they evaluate the experience.
Within months of leaving American Whole Health, Rose was connected with the director of an adult learning program at College of DuPage, who asked her to take over as instructor of an existing Reiki course. Rose didn’t hesitate to accept the offer.
“When I was attuned, I didn’t see any lights or feel hot hands, but I instantly had a passion for teaching. I remember being really surprised the other students in my class didn’t plan to teach. In retrospect, that was my attunement experience. It awakened that in me. So when the College of DuPage door opened, I flew into it, even though I had barely nine months of Reiki under my belt at the time.”
Rose developed a series of comprehensive courses that met for 2-1/2 hours once a week. She’d teach two, six-week semesters in fall, Reiki 1 & 2, and two more in spring, Master level and teacher training. Each class was well attended, with between 16 and 24 students, including housewives, college-aged kids, nurses, people seeking personal wellness, and one priest. Over the course of six years, almost every student completed the full course of study.
Tuition was very affordable, and Rose remembers this ruffling some feathers in the Reiki community.
“My boss got phone calls from around the country with teachers complaining about how inexpensive my classes were. I met one person who had paid $10,000 for Reiki training, but I don’t think there are many people paying that anymore.”
College of DuPage’s program got a new director, and website revisions made her course difficult to find. This attrition was interpreted as a lack of interest and budget cuts put an end to the Reiki program. Rose took it in stride as a nudge from the Universe to move on.
Then in 2011 she received a voicemail message from a woman at Little Company of Mary Hospital asking if she could replace one of their Reiki practitioners.
“When I got the message, I called back immediately and said Yes!,” remembers Rose. “I didn’t want to give her one second to consider anyone else. I was thrilled out of my mind to be working not only in a hospital setting, but a Catholic hospital setting. As a practicing Roman Catholic, it’s very meaningful to me to be able to integrate my faith with my practice of Reiki.”
Rose volunteers monthly at Little Company of Mary Hospital’s Wednesday spa days, where she is assigned a treatment room and four cancer patients. The services are free for the patients and Rose doesn’t get paid for her sessions, but she does get paid to teach Reiki classes for patients and their caregivers. Rose struggles with this financial arrangement, as many of us do. We want to share Reiki and get the word out, but does giving it away devalue its worth?
“This is where I’m at with it right now,” explains Rose, “if it’s my job to set the stage and create inroads for the next generation to get paid, that’s what I’m doing. The alternative right now is to risk alienating these valuable opportunities.”
Thank you, Rose, for sharing the benefits of Reiki, and for your commitment to educating others. You have done so much to integrate this valuable healing modality into our Western society and medical model.