Written by: Lorelei Ramirez
Energy healing, oils, crystals, astrology, tarot and more ancient holistic and spiritual practices have been a subject of discussion and scrutiny in the US for quite a while now, especially as they have been integrated into mainstream culture, various fashion media outlets, and upheld by the most successful celebrities. But on the other hand, natural healing such as Reiki has been recognized as an effective healing tool and practice by places such as Mount Sinai Hospital, Harvard, Yale, and Beth Israel Hospital. So, Is it bullshit? Is it real? Or is it a melding of the two through sheer belief? Could be either, could be none, could be a response to the the political climate fueled by the need to not lose your mind. Whatever it is, it’s all around us and we need to begin to understand the reasons why spirituality and holistic medicine are so prevalent in the present day. So, to start, I met with an energy healer.
Galina Grebenyuk is an NYC transplant from Rostov-on-Don, Russia that approaches her practice in energy healing with full force and an unshakeable belief. Upon meeting her you can feel yourself open up, as her steady gaze and boundless information about spirituality, energy healing, astrology and the ancient jewish tradition of Kabbalah, lead you to a place of deep thought where you begin to ask yourself “is there something more than the physical in which I reside?” eventually leaving you wanting to give it a try. And so I did, I met with Lina for two energy healing sessions where she read my astrological birth chart and read me a variety of things about myself that I knew and didn’t know. I was doused with essential oils and sage, wrapped in blankets and rocked into a space between meditation and sleep feeling parts of me heat up, and at times feeling nothing. I went in and out of feeling my body, and not feeling it, holding on to the most essential parts of myself, what I assume to be my spirit, and then seamlessly lulled into a comforting nothingness.
Grebenyuk’s sessions are far more than a relaxing treatment, but an exchanging of information. Her practice is therapeutic in the sense that the session is geared towards your spiritual growth, involving conversations before and after your session, all the while, targeted towards opening up problemed areas in your life. Even as I attempted to stay critical during my sessions, I had difficulty doing so. Grebenyuk’s perspective and approach to healing is heavily influenced by the teachings of Kabbalah, an ancient practice with origins in Judaism that focuses on understanding both the physical in relation to the spiritual. With this approach she guides the session by tying your physical reality into your spirituality working on areas that need attention according to your astrological chart, but also pulling from personal exchanges you both have while you’re in the session. And I have to say, it is effective.
Meeting Galina Grebenyuk was a delight and the sessions, I would say, have expanded the awareness I carry around with me in the day-to-day. I keep in mind the things she told me during the sessions and apply the ones I see fit to certain parts of my life. And after our sessions I had the pleasure of meeting with her again to ask her some questions about her practice, spirituality, and energy healing sessions.
Lina, you’re from Russia where the belief systems are a bit different from here in the US, does that play a big role in your current practice and belief system?
To answer the question precisely, we will need to agree who an American and Russian believer are. I believe that there are as many belief systems out there as there are people, and what I can say is it is, indeed, different here in the US then it is in Russia, but so as in any other country. Growing up in Russia and living in the US for a long period of time gave me an opportunity to pull the most good from both cultures. I was exposed to Slavic traditions and practice of natural healing since birth – nature plays a big role in Russian culture. Being attuned to nature since an early age helped me with my ability to connect to subtle energy fields.
I lived in the US for 12 years during the important time of my life when I was gradually becoming the person I represent at this moment. During these years I’ve discovered the teachings of Kabbalah and the world of holistic healing and a lot of work has been done in regards to the personal evolution and healing, and it’s when I’ve learned much of, what I believe in and practice now.
How did you get to where you are now?
Well, I started as an empath – which is a person who has an ability to sense the feelings and emotions of other people with ease. Tuning into those feelings led me to develop into a professional healer. I learned to channel healing energy and meditation at an early age, a practice no one in my family knew about or exercised. Slavic traditions, that I was raised with, emphasize the importance of nature, natural healing and remedies – I didn’t value that growing up until recently when I realized what it was all about and how much magic, beauty, and richness those rituals add to daily life.
I also studied psychology in a private high school for 4 years. It set the foundation for understanding human nature and behavior as defined by science. Intuitively, I knew that it wasn’t the full picture. It made me question and search for the true essence of life, and along with that, steps to achieving personal happiness and healing that science couldn’t help with. Then, In college, I began exploring astrology and the technology of angels. When I got to the US I continued research about psychology until I discovered the Kabbalah Centre where I began studying theoretical and practical Kabbalah in 2009 which completely transformed my life. In 2015 I took on the exploration of other spiritual practices such as Shamanic and Native American traditions. During this period, also been learning about aromatherapy, crystal healing, Reiki, and CranioSacral Therapy.
But, answering your question, I got where I am right now because I disagree. Disagree with staying the same, disagree with the stagnant energy, lack of movement, no progress, struggle, and hardship; disagree that life is dull and we have no control. It makes me constantly look for solutions to improve and transform myself, try new things and manifest change in my life; now mostly through energy medicine because it is all about energy – how much you are aware of the energy you give and receive. And it is what I am doing for my clients. I help them unchain themselves from the burdensome state of thinking, reconnect with their inner significance (their unique energies), grow into a higher version of themselves, and together we look for the solutions to manifest change in their life.
Ah, interesting! So Lina, How would you explain your practice as a healer to someone that wasn’t familiar with what healing is?
With his famous equation E=mc2, Albert Einstein proved that both the physical plane of our reality of matter and abstract reality of our mind are made up of energy. It is a fact that everything in the Universe is an expression of energy (energy patterns), including our bodies, thoughts, and even emotions. The concept of the universal energy flow is not a new one, yet many have to be reminded that there are metaphysical forces that underlie physical reality. As an energist, I conform to quantum physics and its principles, therefore I believe the energy itself and energy patterns (in a form of crystals, for example) can be used as a healing tool. I exercise a number of different healing modalities of alternative medicine and esoteric therapy which I fuse in my healing practice. Combining the understanding of the metaphysical nature of reality with the body/mind connection allows one to cater to the most profound dimensions of human depth and effectively assist each person in their personal evolution and healing.
Working in many healing modalities makes my explanation of healing kind of broad. Idealistically, healing is a process of establishing a lasting equilibrium in one’s energetic system, a process of becoming whole and well, a process of becoming a powerful, emotionally intelligent, and consciously aware human being. We have to keep in mind that we, as humans, are multi-dimensional creatures and that the energetic system that we each contain includes emotional, mental, psychological, physical, spiritual domains, and essentially, makes us who we are. The domains are interconnected, one influencing another.
Healing can be achieved by releasing stagnant energy within, identifying and removing the patterns that people make to run in circles and feel stuck, releasing the bond of traumatic experiences, activating the body’s natural ability to heal itself, taking a proactive action to improve one’s condition (be it related to physical, emotional, psychological, or mental states), cultivating the practice of self-care and healthy diet, strengthening the spirit (one’s attitude towards life and ability to take an action), self-mastery, connecting to personal energies and inner significance, cultivating the power within (despite how much you have or don’t), and expanding one’s consciousness. Healing is a path of establishing healthy relationship between the body, mind, spirit, and soul, and balance between the physical and metaphysical universe as it appears outside of ourselves.
Simply put, healing is a way to grow. A healer is there to assist, support, guide in a healing process, help you grow, connect with your inner significance, and to enlight. During the session, I explain everything in details, so, by the end of the session, the client is left happy and equipped with the practical tools suitable for immediate application to better their condition, situation, or life. It is certainly can be overwhelming to hear these profound concepts for the first time and as we all know it takes the time to master the life we want, yet small or big steps we take down the road will bring the rewards.
To receive energy healing, do you feel like the client has to be open to being spiritual or thinking about spirituality in some way to benefit from the sessions, or can someone benefit from it in other ways?
If a person says that they aren’t spiritual, it is either that they have a distorted perception of what spirituality is or, please excuse me, they are in a denial and simply lack the information on the topic. It’s like when a person who doesn’t know how to count states that they don’t have two eyes, when in fact they have two eyes. The spirituality I follow derives from the Kabbalistic teachings, an ancient wisdom that predates the Bible or religion. Its definition of spirituality is very much opposite, practical, and down to earth. To be spiritual is to be concerned with all present in the physical universe and, more importantly, to be conscious of its true meaning and the metaphysical forces underlying it, and to be aware of the universal laws that link the metaphysical realm and physical universe.
Kabbalah teaches that if a person wants to attain the highest level of holiness, one must become a part of the physical world. How? By growing in consciousness. However, we have to acknowledge that we are all on different levels of consciousness, and it is a direct reason why some are more spiritually attuned than others. To grow in consciousness, therefore, to grow in life is a constant work and it begins with understanding and mastering one’s unique energies. It is important to be aware of what you create, attract, give, and receive in your day-to-day, your life. Like, how you vibe, what vibe you put out there, and how conscious you are about it.
Describing something as esoteric as a final statement is a lazy effort to define something, a shortcut one takes to escape the actual work. Kabbalah encourages questioning everything. And what I mean here is that the spirituality I practice may appear esoteric to some, yet it isn’t. Also, Kabbalah is meant to be applicable, practical, and practiced in daily life and daily. Everyday routine is the key. I mean even cleaning is a big part of being spiritual. Spirituality doesn’t mean that we have to leave everything behind and shut down from the world.
During my sessions each person benefits according to how open they are to receive. Therefore, whether a person is spiritually attuned or not , they will benefit from the energy healing. It is actually recommended not to think of anything; the purpose of the session is to reach the state when one remains completely conscious, but there are no verbal thoughts in mind. The energy isn’t a physical matter, it never wears out or disappears and will do its work anyway. I would be super bold to define the energy healing as a path to the extended state of consciousness, so, yes, it is highly beneficial and everyone will benefit.
In your healing practice you fuse astrology with energy healing, giving your client an overview of their path , and past lives, and general problem areas before working on their energy. What brought you to fuse the two?
Astrology is an integral part of the teachings of Kabbalah, and its astrological system differs from the conventional astrology. We all have heard the phrase “As above, so as below”. A Kabbalistic astrologer draws the interpretation from the perspective of the Tree of Life system (System of Sefirot) that explains how the energy flows or could be channeled from the upper (higher, metaphysical) world down to the lower (physical) world. As the result, the kabbalistic astrological system is meant to provide an individual with the information to become conscious of the blocks that prevent the harmonious flow of energy and the tools to overcome this blocks. We must understand that the thoughts we think, emotions we nurture, and overall level of awareness to create the unique energy field of positive or negative charge in our body – what in turn affects all we come into contact with. We do create our own reality – it isn’t a lie. The energy we generate, support and attract influences our physical environment and body. Action, so as inaction can influence in one way or another. If you don’t do laundry, clean your home, eat healthily, the results are easy to assume. The goal of fusing the different techniques, methods, healing modalities, spiritual practices, and systems is to provide my clients with the most effective healing experience possible.
There is what’s predestined but there’s also what you make of it. In your practice you don’t believe we are doomed to what is in the stars, but of our own power in this. Could you speak about this further?
That’s what the great Kabbalists teach. The purpose of the kabbalistic astrological system is to obtain information to rise above the planetary influences. A process of transformation begins with a conscious acknowledgment of an event taking place in life. It’s just how it works. When we don’t pay attention to the frictional energies in our life, they become expressed on the physical level: car gets broken, the home gets dirty, the body gets sick, you get dumped, etc. In spiritual language, it is called “to be in darkness” – when you can’t see the forest for the trees. The purpose of kabbalistic astrology is to provide that information so that a person can learn to transform the energetic frictions by exercising their freewill and ,as a result, become a creator of one’s destiny.
The metaphysical realm is often spoken about in philosophical texts, from Aristotle, Plato, Kant, and in modern days Deepak Chopra. Why do you think spirituality, for some, is harder to understand than metaphysics?
The foundation isn’t the “spirituality” defined by Google, but the teachings of Kabbalah. Kabbalah is an ancient wisdom that reveals how the universe as metaphysical (spiritual) and physical domains works, including the secrets of the human dimension. It is believed that the great philosophers like Plato and Aristotle studied Kabbalah and their philosophies are a result of Kabbalah. Again, Kabbalah was meant to be practical and every concept must find its application in life. Another greatest Kabbalistic text The Book of Splendor written in the second century C.E. includes “virtually all information pertaining to the universe—information that science is only beginning to verify today”. There is a complete volume in the book detailing the structure of the human body, the functions of anatomical parts, and the causes of various diseases which modern medicine has only recently discovered. Why some understand the metaphysical nature of the universe and its fundamental laws earlier in life than others can be answered. Because some have been born with unique gifts and talents, been born into families that might’ve already accumulated the knowledge on the topic, had gone through unique life experiences that proved the true nature of some concepts, etc., in other words,
We are all on a different level of consciousness, yet we all connected on a metaphysical level. Why it is harder for some to understand? Unfortunately, a bad experience in life, lack of information, wounds, mistrusts, feeling of separation and so on will block some from being fully conscious. Essentially, You can’t give what you don’t have. It takes effort and hard work to learn to love the neighbor which also includes setting the healthy boundaries and there is all sort of levels of love. I talk about the ultimate state of unconditional love. It is very unfortunate, but there is still a sense of separation in our society and at times we make up a blame towards others or cast judgment based on accumulated life experience, as an excuse to keep the walls high up or a way of protection. But, yes, we are all on a different level of consciousness – a concept I’ve learned in Kabbalah.
What do you think are the psychological benefits of engaging in healing practices?
In my personal observation, engaging in healing practices can help to release stress, reach a state of peace (much like in meditation), heal traumatic experiences, clean up the subconscious, cultivate healthy self-esteem and personal power, become conscious of the way one responses to life stressors, and ultimately, master those responses.
How would you explain energy healing, without saying it’s scientifically proven, to someone who does not have the capacity to open up spiritually?
Energy healing is an alternative medicine, the technology of ancients that promotes holistic health, that can help resolve life issues, bring a profound wellness, balance, and harmony in life, help to release stress, attain a quiet mind, assist in understanding and mastering self aka personal evolution, help to reveal and manifest the full potential, resolve life stressors that prevent to connect to the inner significance. Energy healing is a safe space to explore who you really are, connect to your talents and gifts, learn the tools to manifest the life you desire, become free from limitations set by the environment and those we set for ourselves. Energy healing is a transformative experience, indeed, that won’t leave you the same.
The main goal of energy healing is to promote an optimal well-being, balance, and harmony, and make one grow in life by understanding and mastering one’s own unique energies. I am sure there is no person out there who will deny that there is such a thing as bad vibes, so another thing that the energy healing can do for you is it will not only teach you how to not give out and receive those bad vibes but also how to create and share positive energy with others and how to sustain it in your life. It is a path to become a positive human being that everyone wants to hang out with.
You’re going to start healing classes soon where you will teach people how to cultivate their healing powers and put it into good use, can you tell us a little more about that?
Knowing how much it shifted my energy and my life, I have an extreme desire to share the knowledge I have gained throughout the years learning about spirituality and healing. I am thinking of creating a healer program which will include all I know haha (really my Mercury is in Sagittarius – can’t really keep anything to myself – have to share the very every detail) about healing, cultivating personal power, opening the chakras, so that others can build on it and we can continue growing in consciousness collectively.
Galina’s Website: www.energymedicine.nyc
Photographer: Rachel Thalia Fisher