A healer with a heart

Local energy worker connects body and soul

HEALER A Reiki Master Teacher and a shamanic practitioner, Jeannie David uses her talents to heal people on emotional, mental or spiritual levels. Photo: Marisa Duran

With the aid of technology, our world has gotten smaller. At our fingertips are tools for education, health and other infinite information resources.

People once miles and time zones apart are more easily connected.

Our culture of convenience, while helpful in so many areas, may indeed come at a price—one that conditions people to be less contemplative, less perceptive. Are all of these technological integrations and instant gratification causing people to be less attuned to their own bodies and minds?

There are apps that tell people what their baby’s cry means—a tool that undermines confidence in people’s ability to understand human needs, a convenience that separates people from their own intuition.

But for people like Jeannie David, skills of intuition are never far away. A Reiki Master Teacher and a shamanic practitioner, David uses her talents to heal people on emotional, mental or spiritual levels.

“I always had gifts ever since I was a little girl,” says David. “Some people call it psychic. I prefer to call it sensitive intuitive. I’m also an empath. I do have mediumship abilities—I’m clairvoyant, clairaudient, clairsentient,” meaning she can see spirits, hear them and feel their emotions.

Whether it’s laying on of the hands, communicating with the spirits or using readings or crystals for divination, healers have always been part of human culture.

Among the Inuit or native communities in Alaska, Canada and Greenland, the angakkuq, or medicine person, of was often viewed as a mediator between the spirits and the living.

Often associated with receiving the Holy Spirit, the laying on of the hands continues to be used today in many church practices.

Even the cupules, depressions in the bedrock at Chitactac/Adams Heritage County Park left by local Amah-Mutsun, the indigenous community who occupied the Pajaro River Basin and surrounding areas for thousands of years and may have used the cupules for shamanic rituals, are reminders that such practices are woven into human history.

David’s history with her gifts of insight began as a young child, when she woke up one night convinced that her grandfather was in the room.

“He had a peculiar way of yawning, and that’s what woke me up,” David says. “I remember sitting up against my headboard. And I said ‘Grandpa?’ I remember hearing his voice and I was talking out loud to him. I didn’t see anyone. He said he just wanted to come and say goodbye and that he loved me.”

David said she woke her mom up in the middle of the night to tell her that she had talked to Grandpa.

“Mom got the call the next morning,” she says.

In her 30s, married with young children, David worked in escrow and took classes at Gavilan for enrichment—this time it was an anthropology course. Her instructor had learned under an apprentice of Michael Harner, an anthropologist who was considered the father of shamanism in the West.

When David realized she had been experiencing spiritual interference from her deceased mother, she met with her instructor to do some clearing work.

“Because of the way in which she passed, she did not realize she was in fact dead,” says David of her mother.

It wasn’t until after her own shamanic journey session, that David, then 36, decided to become a student.

That was more than 15 years ago. It led to five years of intensive study.

But David’s journey was just beginning.

In the summer of 2003, David was in involved in a car accident at a Gilroy intersection, which left her with a severe concussion and painful injuries resulting in more than 12 foot surgeries.

“I think I might have broken it because I hit the brake pedal so hard,” says David. “I have nerve damage now. I have five pins in my right foot and four in my left.”

As soon as David was able, she connected with her mentor in Half Moon Bay, where she shared that she had received a message during her accident.

OPEN MIND A self-identified sensitive-intuitive, Jeannie David possessed gifts of insight at a young age. Photo: Marisa Duran

“My accident was not an epiphany.” says David. “It was more or less a sign from the spiritual guides. I was at a crossroads, literally and figuratively. I either needed to do something with my gifts and my healing training or not. I went to my friend and said, ‘I am ready for reiki.’”

David, 51, is now a Reiki Master Trainer.

Reiki is a form of energy work that has its origins in Japan. Though not easily translated directly, the word is a blend of two words: “rei,” meaning “a higher power’s wisdom” or “Universal Life,” and “qi” or “ki,” meaning “life force energy”—what David refers to as simply “healing energy.”

David uses her spirit guides to determine how to approach a client’s situation and whether it requires a clearing, card reading, crystal healing or her speciality, soul retrieval.

Soul retrieval, David says, is when she returns a part of the soul that was lost to a trauma.

“What is traumatic for one person is not usually traumatic for another,” says David. “You are not only welcoming back that fragment of your soul, you are also welcoming back the trauma with which it left. The difference is you might be older, but you are in a completely different place that you are more equipped to handle and process that trauma and work past it.”

David says her clients need to be ready to receive her healing treatments, and she consults her guides to gauge their readiness.

“If you bring a soul fragment back without that person’s permission or it’s inappropriate timing, what is going to happened is it’s going to leave again,” she says.

“My guides are saying ‘no,’” is something David says routinely. She tells people to come back when they’re ready.

Pains or illness originating in specific areas of the body, says David, correspond to metaphysical madalies.

“The gallbladder is an emotional storehouse.” says David. “The chest area, your lungs—that’s your heart chakra. If you get sick, upper respiratory infection . . . that means you took a hit, you got hurt.”

According a book by Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life, which David recommends, the feet, where David sustained severe injuries from her accident, and which she took as a clear message to use her healing work, “represent our understanding—of ourselves, of life, of others. Foot problems (represent) fear of the future and of not stepping forward in life.”

Deb Smith, one of David’s clients, is a fitness instructor with Fate Fitness in Gilroy. David rents an office in her building and was training with Smith. During one of the training sessions Smith was conducting, David stopped, noticing Smith was in pain.

She said to Smith, “Why don’t we take a couple minutes and let’s see if maybe I can help you with your back pain.”

“She did, and it was amazing,” says Smith.

David was called Hot Hands by her instructors and Smith found out why.

“She went in back and held her hands a few inches away from my back and within 30 seconds, maybe a minute, my back felt like I had a heating pad on it, but she wasn’t touching me; it was the energy from her hands warming up my back,” Smith says, adding that David’s palms “were bright reddish-pink from the heat.”

Several months later, Smith was having some abdominal issues and says David cleared her pain.

“Again it was immediate. Within five, 10, 15 minutes my pain was gone,” Smith says.

Some time after that, Smith again returned to David for her services; this time she got a reading.

“I took dubious notes and I can’t tell you how many of the messages we—well, she—received from the cards,” Smith says. “Many of the situations that she said I would encounter did occur.”

In addition to healing and clearing work, David also does attunements, where she channels energy into her students during a sacred ritual.

The ritual or reiki attunement is a ceremony that requires the reiki master open the flow of energy in a student’s body allowing the qi, or life force, to flow freely.

David, who is trained in the Usui method of reiki, says, “There are sacred symbols that are literally slapped into your hands during the attunement process.”

There are three levels of reiki and four sacred healing symbols the healers learn, says David.

If a student is attuned to the first level, “they are attuned to give energy to give reiki to anyone or anything: food for a healthy boost, medication for an extra oomph. Or give reiki—healing energy—back to Mother Earth.”

With reiki level II, David says, students learn more about the sacred symbols and their ability to offer emotional healing and build protections.

“With that, you are able to cleanse more emotional and mental turbulence,” says David.

One of David’s students, Brownell Middle School Assistant Principal Rebecca Mullen, is attuned to reiki level I.

Mullen was teaching David’s daughter in 2011-2012 when she met David and learned about reiki, which was entirely new to her.

“I am not a super religious person,” says Mullen, “but I do definitely believe in cosmic energy and that we feed off the energy of others. That piece really spoke to me, particularly the power of healing through energy,”

David had invited Mullen to get a free reiki treatment “as a kind of end of the school year gift.”

“I went and experienced it firsthand, and it was amazing,” says Mullen. “Anyone who is open to acupuncture, yoga, craniosacral and acupressure—it’s right in alignment with those therapies. Because basically the foundational premise of reiki is using energy and that can speak to a person in any way. Some people believe in that as a higher power, such as God or spirit guides, for myself, I think of it as Mother Nature.”

Mullen continued to see David for fertility issues.

“I used reiki in conjunction with acupuncture, yoga and meditation in order to help myself get pregnant,” says Mullen. “It definitely helped. It also helped give me peace of mind with the process.”

Though Mullen can do reiki for herself, she prefers to go to David.

“I feel connected with the universe when I’m using it. I feel energy flow through me when I’m using it,” says Mullen. “To the skeptic who may say, ‘It’s not true,’ or ‘It doesn’t work,’ I would say, whether its a placebo or not, there is something about the power of the mind and feeling connected and being extremely present with what you’re doing. When I use reiki on myself or my children, that’s exactly what I do, I feel present. I visualize the ailment or blockage, and the universe speaks through me. I really believe in it.”

Mullen believes David is an intuitive.

“There are times when she just knows what’s in store for you or what direction you’re being called to,” says Mullen. “Frequently in reiki or if you were getting a reading from her, that piece will come up.”

Mullen adds that for those feeling reluctant about this approach, there are still benefits to it as a stress reliever, “just to sort of wash the day away.”

“I really want people to open themselves to the possibility and experience it before you make any judgment,” says Mullen. “Just sit down and have a conversation with her, and whether you choose reiki, a shamanic practice or card reading—whatever path you choose—very quickly you learn that she is an intuitive and has a lot to offer. Just open your heart and listen.”

Contact Jeannie David via phone or text at 408.590.6909 or email her at [email protected].

Meet Jeannie David and other metaphysical practitioners at the Lotus Festival, Saturday, Oct. 6 at Hecker Pass Winery. For more information about the Lotus Festival, visit Magical Unicorn Crystals on Facebook or heckerpasswinery.com.

Debra Eskinazi

Debra Eskinazi

Debra Eskinazi is the editor of South Valley magazine.
Debra Eskinazi

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About Debra Eskinazi
Debra Eskinazi is the editor of South Valley magazine.