“Oceanside resident explores possible benefits of Reiki Therapy”
Saturday July 3 2004
~ Genevre Poirier
Parksville’s Jeff Schmirler used to have up to eight epileptic seizures a day, but he hasn’t one in two months and he contributes it to Reiki therapy. Reiki is a Japanese word meaning “Universal Life Force Energy.” It is a natural energy healing art that promotes relaxation, regeneration and renewed balanced. Reiki treatments are based on the concept that every living thing has a life force. A practitioner helps to balance a person’s life force, which often becomes blocked or disrupted by negative thoughts, feeling and experiences. Schmirler began having epileptic seizures six years ago. With eight seizures a day, he couldn’t work and sometimes didn’t even want to leave his house. “I really don’t know what started them, but I believe stress played a large part,” said Schmirler. “I became very depressed quickly.”
Schmirler used to be an avid surfer and thinks he might have had one crash to many. Whatever the cause, Schmirler was put on several different medications, each with their own side affects. He even looked into brain surgery, but doctors said he wasn’t a suitable candidate. “I was at the end of my ropes,” said Schmirler, “and that’s when I met Taiya Curle, who changed my life.”
Curle suffered from 10 years of brain tumor induced epilepsy, but through brain surgery and energy healing, Curle is epilepsy free and offers her support to others suffering from the crippling disease. Curle was paired up with Schmirler to offer peer support and two instantly
connected. It was Curle who recommended Reiki. She experienced its healing affects and became a Reiki practitioner. “I’m honoured to share my experience with others and help if I can,” said Curle. A Reiki treatment is very simply performed, she explained. It involves moving and energizing the magnetic field around the body. The practitioner places his or her hands upon the client (who is fully clothed) with the intent for healing to occur. The basic treatment consists of 12 hand positions, which cover the major organs, glands and energy centers.
The practitioner doesn’t transfer her energy to the client, but rather channels the Universal from the world and moves the client’s own energy. “If you’re sensitive and paying attention you can actualy feel the person’s magnetic aura,” said Curle. “Usually about five to six inches above the
body, the energy is blocked when you have to move your hand closer to the body.” The client will sometimes feel heat or tingling as the practitioner moves about the body. But, it’s not uncommon to feel nothing, however, most people feel relaxed and rejuvenated when they leave, said Curle. Curle received her level 1 training in 1995 and became a Master in 2001.
She has helped many people with a wide range of conditions from chronic fatigue to cancer. Curle said Reiki does not replace any ‘medical’ treatment, but is a healing aid, which compliments all medical treatments. “Anyone can learn Reiki,” added Curle. “This is not secret talent. Anyone who wants to help themselves or others can learn the technique. The idea is to be open, honest with clear intentions.”
For more information call 248-8302.
“Dancing with Energy”
Parksville Qualicum News
Tuesday Feb 5, 2002
Errington’s own belly dance instructor and Reiki Master, Taiya Windblossom Curle, followed a long and bumpy path to her current health and happiness, battling epilepsy with a combination of western medicine and natural healing techniques that she now shares with others.
A professional actor at age 12 touring with the Caravan Stage Company, Curle enjoyed an adventurous, communal childhood, touring with a family of 25 actors and crew, in 5 wagons pulled by 15 horses. But the onset of puberty delivered more than the usual adolescent issues. Curle began to experience black outs that lead to a ten-year battle with epilepsy.
After CAT scans and MRI’s could not locate a physical cause, doctors prescribed medication. Rather than controlling the seizures, the medication led to unpleasant side affects while the attacks persisted.
Taiya began grade 8 in Errington, but the stress of high school aggravated the black-outs, compounding the difficulty of fitting in with classmates.
“Even though I had wonderful parents and a supportive community, I was constantly stressed and mad at my life because of epilepsy”, said Curle.
Her first experience with the power of self-healing appeared in a negative context. The more Curle worried about epilepsy, the bigger the seizures. As the stress of managing the black-outs increased, so did their frequency.
In 1991 at the age of 15, Curle was introduced to belly dancing by her mother. The spirited movements immediately appealed to her. Dancing was the one activity that relieved the stress of puberty compounded by epilepsy.
“Through belly dancing I learned to appreciate my body. The more I danced, I noticed less seizures and found a source of beauty and happiness in my life.”
After graduating from KSS in 1993, she moved to Vancouver to work in stage management and modeling, then focussed on professional belly dance training. The seizures continued even though she was able to control them for periods of time through diet, creative movement and medication.
Curle trained in Reiki, an energy based healing technique, and again experienced a strong ability to self-heal through movement and energy work.
“Reiki was an introduction to the power I have with my thoughts by working with the Universal Life Force.”
When she felt warning sensations of an oncoming seizure, Curle was able to control it, using concentrated energy.
By 1997, Curle was a successful Vancouver belly dance teacher and performer. She was an active humanitarian, working with traditional middle-eastern musicians to raise funds for Iraqi families. But the seizures grew out of her control and became dangerous in magnitude.
After regaining consciousness in downtown Vancouver, blocks from where the seizure began, friends and family encouraged Curle to return to Errington to heal and undergo more medical testing.
After a long waiting period, ten days of EEG, MRI and CAT scans at UBC hospital located a small benign tumor on her right temple lobe. Luckily, the tumor’s position allowed surgical removal and she was placed on another 6-month waiting list.
Curle thanks the prayers of friends, family and other spiritual healers for the cancellation that changed her 6-month wait to just one day. Eight hours later, the tumor and her seizures were gone.
“It was like being a baby again. I went from a baby to 23 years old during my 14-day recovery. It was a beautiful experience and I was reborn.”
After recovering from brain surgery, Curle taught, performed and studied belly dancing in Australia and New Zealand, expanding her knowledge and skills with the help of international experts.
Curle returned to Errington with over ten years of belly dance experience to rebuild her career as a performer, teacher and healer in the community that supported her through her illness. She founded the Sanctuary, practices Reiki and teaches six belly dance classes per week. Curle feels strongly about the role creative movement has played in her recovery and wants to gift that ability to others.
“Movement was one of the strongest therapies available to me and I want to give that to people. I love to watch people heal themselves by recognizing the beauty in themselves”.
After winning her battle with epilepsy, Curle is a vital, beautiful 26-year old woman, dedicated to promoting the therapeutic value of movement. She sees a strong future for her industry as more people seek self-healing and self-expression.
“I love the path I am on. This is my passion, this is what healed me and I want to share it with others.”