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Meet Janice Pappas of Janice Pappas Reiki in Ocean Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janice Pappas.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Janice. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
For a long time I believed that my spiritual journey began in the lush jungles of the Big Island of Hawaii. However, if I look really deeply, the journey actually began much earlier than my stay in Hawaii; it began outside an everyday Starbucks on Park Avenue in Manhattan. As is typical of many spiritual journeys, it was sparked by a deep and overwhelming dissatisfaction with the world. Oftentimes, it’s only through deep dissatisfaction that we go on a desperate search for something better.

I was incredibly disillusioned by life (could not see the point of it), and I was unhappy with my profession and my busy, stressful environment. I had spent 3 years of my early adulthood working in New York for a large multi-national bank. I found the work and clientele exciting, but the stress, greed, and materialism of Wall St. became too much.

During this time, something in my psyche was speaking to me: “There must be another way. This can’t be it.” But instead of listening to that inner voice, I covered it up with extra projects at work and exciting vacations. If I had any free time at all, I would disengage my mind with T.V. shows, Netflix, and an endless stream of social engagements and new excursions around the city. But one day it all came to halt.

It was a regular 15-hour work day like all the others, and I was finishing up my projects around 10pm. My team was excitedly planning a happy hour together. Spending more time with co-workers was literally the last thing I felt like doing, but I knew I was expected to attend or it would be deeply frowned upon. One hour and a couple drinks later I was walking home along Park Avenue and experienced a terrifying panic attack for the first time in my life. There was a tiny piece of greenery outside of the local Starbucks, and I fell on the ground crying and gasping for breath. That was the exact moment that I decided to change my life. Anything was better than this. I had ignored my inner voice for long enough.

Fast forward to a year later, and I found myself at an exquisitely beautiful retreat center on the Big Island of Hawaii. I was a volunteering my time by assisting in the kitchen, but mainly I was there to re-group and discover what it was like to experience the sun again after years of artificial lighting. All the classes at the center were free to volunteers, so during my first week there, I decided to be extra adventurous (as we all tend to be in new tropical environments): I signed up for my very first yoga class.

Keep in mind that at this point I was about as far removed from spiritual matters as one can imagine. I was very immersed in a material mindset and skeptical of all the “hocus pocus” manifesting chatter that I was hearing around the center. I didn’t know anyone personally who had done yoga before, and I had no idea what on earth a “chakra” was. Fortunately for me, I was about to get a bold awakening into the power of life force energy.

The first class I decided to attend was something called “Kundalini Yoga.” Of course I had absolutely no clue what that funny looking word meant, but the class was at a convenient time. This “Kundalini” teacher guided us into a lot of arm-flapping, spine twisting, belly crunching, and neck turning. The experience would not have been complete without the bizarre chanting that was to accompany these strange, repetitive movements. At the end of the class everyone laid down onto their backs for deep relaxation.

After all that vigorous movement, I was expecting to experience a nice, peaceful state of half-consciousness, where I might even drift off to sleep. That’s not what happened. Instead I experienced an intense expression of life force energy, the same force channeled in reiki and other healing modalities. It felt like electricity was coursing up and down my whole body for at least 10 minutes. I found the experience to be absolutely exhilarating, more powerful than anything I had ever felt in my body. From that moment on, I was officially hooked on yoga, and I continue to practice regularly to this day.

So what does this have to do with Reiki? Well about 3 years after this experience, I began to feel intense tingling sensations and electrical-like sparks in my hands, arms, and the crown of my head. Because of my experience in Hawaii, I instantly recognized that these sensations were of a spiritual nature and in no way indicative of a severe physical illness. The sparks mostly appeared during yoga and meditation practices at first, but suddenly they were present throughout the day. I happily discovered that if I just focused on them, they would come!

After doing some research (I love to research), I read that these sensations are often indicative of healing energy that wants to be expressed. As fate would have it, that same year I received a Facebook message from a friend that wanted to host a Reiki training at my house. You can’t ask the universe for a louder sign than that! And that is how I became a Reiki Energy Healer. I have since worked on many people and have been in complete awe of this practice many times over. In all honesty, I don’t entirely understand how it works (it’s beyond what science can currently explain), but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Reiki is very powerful. How do I know this? Because I’ve experienced it myself, and I’ve seen amazing transformations in others.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The journey of creating my energy healing business is closely intertwined with my spiritual journey, and no spiritual path is ever smooth. This is especially true in the beginning when significant life changes were required. However, with deep acceptance, the path has become much smoother over time.

I had a typical upbringing where I was taught in school to only believe in the material, physical world and what my five senses could teach me. I was always an analytical thinker; in fact, I am also an ACT and SAT prep tutor. You can’t get more analytical than standardized testing! One obstacle for me on my energy healing path was to accept the reality that this world can be experienced with more than the 5 senses. Essentially, there is far more going on under the hood than most of us can see with our physical eyes. If I denied this truth, then I would be denying my own experience.

One of the major challenges for me was to finally accept this significant change in my worldview and my perception of reality. I had to trust myself and my own experience and learn to question and oftentimes refute societal conditioning. This was not an easy thing to do. I had to perform a few hundred healing sessions with clients and hear those same clients validate my intuition and reaffirm my healing abilities many times over before I could finally 100% accept that this is a legitimate phenomenon that’s occurring, whether traditional science chooses to study it or sweep it under the rug. There is still a part of me that would like to be validated by traditional science, which is why I have a deep aspiration to be included in a scientific study on energy healing one day. I’m fairly confident modern science will one day catch up to what I already know to be true about energy healing.

Another challenge was to fully accept the significant and occasionally alarming physical changes occurring in my body. The more I performed energy healing, the stronger the energy would come. It is similar to any skill you would naturally build in life. The more you do algebra problems, the better you get at that skill. I naturally expected my intuition to strengthen, which it has. I also expected the visual information I receive during sessions to enhance, which it also has. However, I was not expecting the physical sensations to become so overwhelmingly powerful.

Several years ago when I first began energy healing, I could feel the thickness of energy, the tingling feeling, and the sensations of hot and cold. These were very mild compared to what I experience now. Fast forward to the present day and the energy current I experience is so powerful that I usually will feel intense energy in my abdomen and have to release it via strange sounds, which I fondly call my “energy burps.” You can imagine how much of challenge this would be in your daily life when all of sudden your “energy burps” were showing up in your meditation practice, during yoga classes, and of course during healing sessions with clients. I quickly discovered the clients didn’t mind at all; it was something that I had to accept within myself.

Now I see these “energy burps” as an incredible gift. My closest friends describe them as my super power! I know they are a testament to how powerful our energy is and what our brains and bodies are capable of doing. Clients who are able to clairvoyantly see what occurs during a session with me describe amazing occurrences happening whenever the “energy burps” decide to kick in. The “energy burps” also help me to assess what physical and emotional areas in the client’s body need the most work, similar to an energy metal detector. As soon as I stopped viewing the “energy burps” as an inconvenience in my life and started using them as a tool, everything changed.

Janice Pappas Reiki – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I specialize in intuitive energy healing. There are many schools of energy healing that are practiced throughout the world today. I was trained in the Reiki tradition of energy healing which originated in Japan; however, over time I have developed my own system of healing that is based on my experience and intuition and does not involve using the Reiki symbols. In the U.S., the common umbrella term for energy healing is “Reiki” so that is what I choose to call my business practice when interacting with the general public.

Speaking more broadly, energy healing is a healing modality that uses spiritually guided life force energy to promote health, wellness, and vitality. Yes, I know this definition sounds very fluffy. Energy healing is one of those things in life that you need to experience yourself because the explanation falls short. Life force energy is a commonly accepted principal in most Eastern philosophies. Perhaps you’ve heard of Chi, Source, Prana, or Kundalini. The closest concept we have for it in our culture is “vital energy” or the idea of “vitality.” This is the energy I call upon to do my sessions. Furthermore, I am not giving you my own energy (that would be exhausting!); I simply serve as a conduit for life force energy. This means I usually feel more energized after a session is over because that life force has been traveling through me while I’m working.

Most people are often curious about what I actually “do” in a healing session and what is supposed to happen. A common misconception is that sessions must happen in person, and I need to place my hands on the client. While this may be true for some belief systems out there, I have found in my experience that I prefer not to touch the client at all. This gives me much clearer information. I also prefer to do most sessions virtually on video chat (Facetime or Skype). The reason for this is that I am at home in my comfortable space, and you are at home in your comfortable space. There’s also the added benefit that I can “reach” people all over the world. One of my regular clients is in Norway, and she can happily attest to the fact that she can 100% feel my energy. And I can definitely feel hers. The sessions online feel exactly the same as the ones I do in person. Absolutely no difference.

During a session I will focus my attention on different physical parts of the body as well as the chakra energy system. I do not ask for any health information ahead of time so that I can act as a blank slate. I will usually share information I receive as it arises during the session. At the end of the session, I may also offer some tips and advice for practices the client can do at home to enhance the healing.

Everyone experiences Reiki energy in different ways. As long as a client is open to receiving, there is a very high likelihood that he or she will feel something, but that “something” will vary from person to person. Regardless of what is physically experienced, the healing energy is always working. In general, I find that clients who are involved in spiritual practices that increase their sensitivities (such as mindfulness or meditation) are likely to have more intense sensations. Aside from feeling very relaxed, here are some things that clients have told me they felt during a session: tingling in different parts of the body, quick energetic jerk of the body, stomach grumbling, seeing flashes of color, seeing visions, seeing their spirit animals, hearing bells ringing or other sounds, feeling a cool breeze, waves of energy up and down the body, feeling sensations of cold or heat, feeling like there were loving hands on them (even though I had my hands above the body), and feeling the presence of their guides. It’s important to remember that though these things may sound strange, they will not feel scary. In fact, clients report feeling safe, relaxed, and at peace. Clients are often intrigued by what they experience and feel more connected to themselves.

Energy healing as a business is as unique as each individual healer. No two healers are alike and most healers have their own unique approaches. The most important thing is to find a healer that resonates with you. Someone you feel safe with and can trust. One thing I can say is that experience is very important. I am a much stronger channel now than when I first began because of how many clients I have worked with. At this time, there is no fancy instrument to measure which healer sends the most energy; however, I’ve been told by clients that they experience more energy with me than “masters” they have gone to. What makes someone a clear channel are often things that can’t be measured. I practice meditation, yoga, and mindfulness daily. I have cleared toxins out of my body. I give myself energy healing on a regular basis and follow a robust self-care routine. All of these factors contribute to being a stronger channel for life force energy.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Healing and curing are not synonymous. I work in the domain of healing. I strive to provide an environment where clients can tap into themselves and feel their own life force energy. In this way, they can access their own innate healing abilities. A Reiki session can be a powerful catalyst on the healing path. While it’s possible for clients to be spontaneously cured of ailments (spontaneous remission) or chronic pain, this is not a success metric. Improved emotional, mental, or physical well-being is success.

Furthermore, I strive to be as authentic as possible and give my full presence to each client. I never sugar coat things or just say what I think the client wants to hear because that would not be fair to the client. I am always completely honest. If there is an area of concern, the client needs to know that information so they can bring greater awareness to that physical or emotional area in their everyday life.

Another way I measure success is whether I’ve built a strong relationship with the client, and they feel comfortable enough to return and allow me to guide them on their journey. It is deeply satisfying when I have a client who comes to me on a regular basis, and we can learn and grow together over time. The effects of energy healing are cumulative, and I do my best to build long-term relationships with clients so they can achieve greater well-being.


  • Free 15min Phone Consultation
  • 60min Distance Healing Session over Facetime or Skype is $115, and 30min is $75
  • 60min In-Person Healing Session is $145, and 30min is $105

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Barbora Havlickova

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