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Luke Mattey Interviews Yael Israel

January 8, 2019

Yael Israel talks about Reiki healing and the fusion of clinical work, clinical social work, and energy healing.

Luke Mattey: Hello everyone, my name is Luke Mattey, here at Sandstone Care. Welcome to our video podcast series, I have Yael Israel here with me. Welcome.

Yael Israel: Thank you, thanks for having me today.

Luke Mattey: Thanks so much for coming on this beautiful sunny day. I don’t know if you guys can see that, but the sun is shining in my eyes, but I’ll try to focus as much as I can. I met Yael pretty early on in my time here at Sandstone, and we’ve chatted a couple of times. And I really find it interesting what she does. I’m not going to steal her thunder, but would like to maybe just first introduce yourself and a little bit of your background. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Yael Israel: Sure. My background initially was with returning combat veterans and their families. I was working here locally at Water Aid, initially in Washington DC, and then later when they made that transition. And I was noticing that there was a gap in care for these returning heroes, that we weren’t prepared really as a nation or a community to address the needs that they were facing. We just didn’t know enough and that there were these hidden wounds.

Luke Mattey: Absolutely.

Yael Israel:  Like trauma, and traumatic brain injury, and all the suffering that came with that. So, a lot of these men and women were either being over medicated or being self-medicating in an attempt to heal and transition. So that gap in care was impetus of me pursuing a degree in social work, clinical social work. And going from there, and identifying different issues that came with that, including substance abuse and addiction, which we’ve seen has been a big problem for folks returning from war. And in general as a community.

Luke Mattey: Yeah, I think so, in the general population as well. So thank you definitely for sharing that. You took your degree in social work and you kind of specialize in that, you have some experience in Reiki healing. Is that correct? Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Yael Israel: I do. So, during the time I was studying, I did some field work, and my first field placement was at Med Star here in Washington DC in the cancer institute. And I was offered some tools and the opportunity to learn Reiki, which is an energy healing light touch massage therapy based on same pressure points as acupuncture, acupressure. And the more I integrated this into my clinical work and the psychotherapy, I recognized the benefits, which were mind, body. They were benefiting people with anxiety, or trauma, sleep hygiene issues, or physical pain. Addiction, those kinds of things.  So, over the course of time, the more I used that in my practice, I was able to basically integrated the two and create a fusion. And so I’m practicing a new modality, which is referred to as therapeutic Reiki, which is literally a fusion of clinical work, clinical social work, and energy healing.

Luke Mattey: That’s great, and thank you for sharing that. I know we’ve talked in past conversations about what a typical sessions looks like. Can you maybe share that with the audience?

Yael Israel:  Sure. So I’ve kind of referred to myself as a mental health investigator. There’s all these factors whatever the issues are, whether they’re physical or emotional. So, I typically like to dig so we have all of the pieces. We need to work from the inside out. So, once I create a rapport with a client and get to know a client, find out where they are. I like to meet my client where they are.

Luke Mattey:  I love that.

Yael Israel:  Identify what their needs are, and start to investigate. And it’s a mind body practice. Typically someone will come in, we’re spending half of the session doing a bit more traditional talk therapy, psychotherapy, depending on what their goals are and needs are. And then eventually transition to the energy work, which facilitates healing. And again, it’s mind, body, and spiritual healing.

Luke Mattey: That’s very neat, and I know when we spoke before, those sessions, they can change. So maybe some more talk therapy at the beginning, less energy healing. But that’s really client dependent, and if I remember correctly, some of the sessions can be rather long, correct?

Yael Israel: They can. Again, there’s all these different factors. So, if trauma is a factor, if genetics are a factor, your environment, we need to modify. And so there’s never a one size fits all.

Luke Mattey: Absolutely.

Yael Israel:  So, sometimes a session might be longer, it just depends on the needs of that client.

Luke Mattey: Yeah, and that’s great that you can be flexible with your time, and you can walk the clients through that. Tell you if you would please just a little bit about your practice. Where you’re located, just for the folks out there, and to maybe some of the other clinicians you work with.

Yael Israel: I have the privilege of working at the Foster Wellness Center, which is in Northern Virginia. Metro accessible, we’re right off the 66. And it is a group of very passionate individuals that collaborate with each other. Everybody has and maintains their own business, but we work very often as a team. So, often I will work with somebody who’s also seeing a naturopath, or is also seeing our acupuncturist, or our functional medicine doctor. And that allows us to really create a comprehensive plan that allows us to provide a continuity of care. I feel like our clients feedback that we get is that they feel really embraced by us as a team. For me that’s the benefit of being part of this group.

Luke Mattey: Yeah, and I love the practice, I’ve been there a handful of times. And just like we talk about here at Sandstone care, that kind of wrap around support, that all-inclusive support. It’s not just you go to talk therapy. Here we get families involved. At your practice, you talk about the naturopath and you have if I remember, a nutritionist. Somebody who works …

Yael Israel: We do, we have a clinical massage therapist. Have yoga practitioners that specialize in trauma. And so everybody’s really focused on the care.

Luke Mattey: And they were all great. So, definitely recommend checking them out if you have the opportunity. So, maybe talk a little bit back to your own practice. Maybe something … you talked a little bit about your background. Maybe what’s one thing that you’re really passionate about that you feel you bring to your practice with your clients?

Yael Israel: Sure. For me, what I’m passionate about and excited about is this new modality that I’ve developed, called therapeutic Reiki, or ThReiki.

Luke Mattey: Nice, I like that.

Yael Israel: And so that’s been trademarked, I’ve been practicing it specifically for about a year. And I’m seeing really great results. It facilitates healing on a clinical level, which is evidence-based. And then in a non-traditional way as well. So, I feel like my clients and our clients as a whole field. We are on this journey together, and we need lots of information. And so once we get all of those pieces, we can create a very client patient-centered practice.

Luke Mattey:  Yeah, that’s great. Using the ThReiki, and getting to the cause of issues. Working through the Reiki piece of it, and then having other resources there to work with a client from beginning to end is awesome.

Yael Israel: Yeah. And I think some people underestimate the importance of touch in healing, because we all come from a different place. And so if that comfort level is there, that creates an even more in tune way of healing.

Luke Mattey: Yeah, that’s great. Thank you so much. And then another thing I wanted to just touch on briefly, if someone were to come to you and have some ThReiki sessions, what’s something they can do? I assume you meet with them maybe once a week, depending on their schedules?

Yael Israel: Yep.

Luke Mattey: So, is there anything that you could share with our viewers that clients coming to you might be able to practice between those sessions, in the other six days of the week?

Yael Israel: Sure. So, I do use a lot of tools to either eliminate or reduce the use of prescription medication. Some of those things are obviously the Reiki. There’s a tool that is used for anxiety, depression, sleep issues. I also practice EMDR, which is very important. So, often I give folks exercises to do at home, which includes those things. Self-care is very important in any kind of recovery or healing. And then I’m also very mindful of connecting people with other practitioners that can help them in between sessions.

Luke Mattey: Yeah, awesome. Thank you so much for sharing all that. What I do want to leave folks with is if you could just briefly talk through your contact information, where folks can find you on the web, or send you an email would be great?

Yael Israel: My practice is Hands on Your Health. The email is handsonyourhealthfc@gmail.com. I also have a website which is yaelisrael.com. Y-A-E-L Israel, like the country, dot com. And there is a lot of additional information there about my background and my approach and my philosophy with my clients.

Luke Mattey: Awesome. Well, it was great having you here, thank you so much.

Yael Israel: Thank you, I appreciate it.

Luke Mattey: My pleasure. Let’s go out and enjoy some of this wonderful sunshine.

Yael Israel: Yes, while we have it.

Luke Mattey: While we can, yes. And I hope you have a great holiday season, and thank you so much.

Yael Israel: Thank you so much.

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