‘Human touch can be a magical thing’

Bill Griffiths thought he had tried just about everything to rid himself of his chronic pain.

Erica Yetman

After suffering severe post-traumatic stress disorder from a vehicle accident that caused serious physical injuries and the death of a friend, Bill Griffiths had just about given up hope.

“I’ve felt pain in places you can’t feel pain, it’s your brain feeling it, and it’s just as real,” Griffiths said.

A crystals and chakra chart Dayna Willar uses during Reiki. Bill Griffiths found a new way to heal through her skills. Erica Yetman/Kicker

That was until he heard of Dayna Willar; a Reiki master and owner of The Reiki Room. He calls her one of his saving graces.

Reiki is a naturopathic healing technique where the healer channels energy into a patient by means of touch, activating the body’s natural healing process and restoring both physical and emotional well-being.

While he says he can’t fully attribute his turnaround to Reiki, it has changed his life in a more tangible way than any treatment he’s tried before.

“I’ve tried acupuncture, I attended a seven-week program on how to manage chronic pain, I’ve been to naturopath, tried different types of specialized yoga,” said Griffiths. “I’d have to sit down and figure it out to tell you everything because I’ve been at this for years.”

Griffiths says he has tried almost every form of treatment imaginable, including practices like electroconvulsive therapy.

“I ended up on a lot of pills for a long time, and it just kept getting worse,” he said.

In 2012, with help from a psychologist, Griffiths began weaning himself off his medications. After 22 months of dealing with drug withdrawal symptoms, he got clean. Today he is proudly medication free.

When Reiki master Willar first met Griffiths, he was a shell of the man.

“First when he came to me, he was very inside himself,” said Willar. “He was very closed off, fearful and withdrawn. He would almost recoil from my touch.

But, Willar says, in time he has experienced serious growth through the program.

“I see him able to use his voice, to stand up for himself, to choose things that help him heal. He’s taking his own health in his own hands,” Willar said.

“He’s learned a lot of different things on how to handle his emotional and mental imbalances, techniques on how to control his anxiety and his PTSD symptoms. A lot of those things have come through the awareness and mindfulness I teach through Reiki.”

Griffiths says Reiki opened the door to a whole new world of healing for him.

“Human touch can be a magical thing,” said Griffiths.