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Dorothea Hargrove remembers the first time she experienced something called energy healing.
It was several years ago during an impromptu Reiki treatment, a practice originated in Japan that promotes physical and emotional healing by transferring “life force energy” from one person to another. Basically, a Reiki practitioner places their hands lightly on or just over different parts of a person’s body for several minutes at a time, transferring energy to heal various ailments.
“I went to a three-day event here in this community that had 15-minute Reiki sessions, 15-minute massages, drumming … just spiritualist people getting together,” the 61-year-old Killeen resident said. “So I had my first Reiki session, and it was phenomenal.
“The way I felt when I got off the table was amazing. I’ve been to acupuncture, acupressure, took Chinese herbs … and in that one-hour Reiki session, my body felt amazing. My whole spirit felt different. The next day, one of my grandsons bumped his elbow and was saying how much it hurt. I just happened to rub my hands together and put my hands over his elbow to see if the pain would stop, and it did.”
That initial encounter prompted Hargrove to start doing research and to begin learning and practicing Reiki and other forms of energy healing. Now, she is a mostly self-taught practitioner who describes herself as a “spiritualist drummer,” using drumbeats to transfer energy, along with other tools or “modalities” like crystals and Reiki.
She acknowledges that “some people think you’re crazy,” but says she has seen energy healing work time after time:
“My experience so far has been with issues like arthritis in the knee or elbow, or their feet have been bothering them. I helped my sister-in-law with … I don’t know the exact diagnosis, but it’s something like Parkinson’s. Her hands had been shaking for two years and I did two healing sessions with her, and her hands have stopped shaking.
“She was able to make two sweet potato pies for Christmas. She couldn’t have done that before.”
Originally from southern California, Hargrove came to Central Texas with the military and has lived in Killeen for 21 years. She is married to husband, Edward, and has four children and 14 grandchildren.
She is certified in Reiki, but one of the primary methods she uses for energy transfer is drumming, a practice that is long recognized in Africa and other places around the world. She uses a handheld drum and makes steady beats over a person to balance uneven energy systems and promote healing.
“I help people with emotional issues (and) physical issues,” Hargrove said. “I had one young lady who came by, and she didn’t profess any physical issues (but) she was just kind of stressed out. So she lays on the massage table and I walk around her drumming. The drum started making a different sound at a part of her body, and I said, ‘Do you have something in that area that bothers you?’
“She said, “Yes, ma’am, I do.’ So I drummed around that area, focusing the healing energy into her body in that area and helped heal what was going on.
“You bring in energy to spread it throughout their body, down to their feet and up through the crown of their head. I work with crystals, and I also work with tongue drums, which are made of metal. I use those (and) you can use bells.
“The energy comes from one source, which we can call whatever someone is comfortable with — God, Christ, divine creator, higher power, divine source, the divine, higher self. Everything has energy. Our actual core existence, in the beginning of time — there isn’t really time in the universe, but in the beginning — we are energy. We don’t have a shape. It’s hard to describe.”
According to ravendrumfoundation.org, various cultures in West Africa and a number of indigenous tribes of North America and South America use drums as “an instrument of spiritual healing” for such things as anxiety, stress, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. One study showed drumming can affect the body’s endocrine (hormone) systems and strengthen the immune system to help heal chronic illnesses.
“I’ve been doing this for about four-and-a-half years,” Hargrove said. “Why do I do it? I really enjoy helping other people.
“I want to assist other people to become aware of their own self-empowerment. When I do my sessions, I show people how to help themselves, as well. I show people different ways they can help themselves. Anybody can do it. Everyone is a healer. You just need to focus or take time to look at your surroundings and be aware … and set your intention. Call out to God or to the universe.
“Let’s say a bee starts flying around you a lot. You can Google anything, like bee spirituality meaning. Find out what that means. Maybe every time you go on a walk, you happen to step in a puddle. You can look up healing energies of water. I’ve done a long-distance healing and a dove stayed right here, six feet away from me, during the entire healing. That was one of my first experiences.
“You learn new things all the time. For me, when I am doing a session with someone, I feel peace and joy and love. I’m way more peaceful. That anxiety I always had has simmered down. Less worry. You just have an overall peaceful state of being. It’s nice.”
Hargrove offers her services on a donation basis. For more information, visit her on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/groups/413731679656012 or www.facebook.com/groups/413731679656012/user/100000520722863.