This story was written by Faith Maciolek and Taylor Rescignano of the Ithaca College student publication “Ithaca Week.”

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ITHACA, N.Y. — Mayor Svante Myrick and members of the Ithaca community welcomed a new business last month, bringing a new kind of wellness practice to the area.

Margaret Snow, a spiritual life coach, held a ribbon cutting for her new office at the Integrative Medicine Center on W. State Street.

Snow, who has been in practice for three years, offers a technique called reiki to individuals and groups and archetypal counseling, which aims to help clients understand their behavior through self-identified personality types. Snow opened a business in Ithaca in the hopes of making reiki more mainstream.

Reiki (pronounced “ray-key”) is an ancient natural method which can reduce stress and provide deep relaxation.

“I have an office next door to Margaret, and she is really amazing.” said Daniel Kaiya, a Holistic Artist offering Chakra therapy in the Center. “What she’s doing is an incredible bridge between mainstream reality and a holistic reality in a way that very few people pull off…Her reiki is exceptional. I’ve studied with some of the best teachers in the country, easily, and what comes through her is daunting.”

Reiki is not a massage. The client is fully clothed. They can be on a Reiki table, or she can do it while they’re sitting up. She’ll either put her hands lightly on the client or hover her hands over the client and, she says, let her energy come through.

Snow said Reiki has many positive effects. Its uses can range from relieving the physical stress of grief from mourning mothers who have lost children, to calming the anxieties of patients before medical treatments. While Reiki does not cure physical ailments, it does put the body in a “rest and digest” mode which allows it to heal more quickly, according to Snow. She said clinics across the country use Reiki in their chemotherapy treatment centers.

“A couple weeks ago I gave Reiki to a woman whose cancer came back,” Snow said, “and she was really stressed. And I went to her house to give her Reiki. I could see there was a lot going on in her family besides her own stress of having a relapse of cancer… and after I gave her Reiki she said, ‘This is the first time in so long I’ve felt cared for.’”

Snow believes Reiki is a great way for people to take control of their own healthcare. She said many people go to the doctor with a “fix me” mentality, and Reiki gives them the tools to allow their body to fix themselves.

Snow’s archetypal consulting helps clients better understand their own psyche and personality makeup. Archetypes, which are universal symbols such as the Prince, the Mother and the Rebel, are traits every person is born with. Snow said it is another way for people to become “self-aware.”

“I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs…and I’m “IJ” and I don’t even remember what that means anymore,” Snow said. “But I do know that I’m a Rebel. That’s just easy. It’s easy to remember. It’s easy to relate to. So it was just something that seemed easy and made a lot of sense, and people seemed to enjoy it. And they’re proud of who they are.”

Snow said the archetypes people are born with are with them “until the day you die,” and learning the light and shadow sides of each archetype can help them better understand themselves and others.

“It’s important that we know what’s going on with us and why it’s happening,” Snow said. “You were born that way, and it’s okay. You’re living out your life like you’re supposed to.”

For more information on Margaret Snow, visit her website at margaretsnow.com

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.