Hi! I’m Diana. I’m a reiki master, tarot reader, and licensed massage therapist based in Chicago, IL.
I was born just after a New Moon in Lincoln, Nebraska, and finished my growing-up in southeast Missouri with a woods for a backyard. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with what it means to be alive -- both physically and metaphysically. Myths, legends, and fairy tales were some of the first books I read, and when I was 8, I was introduced to tarot.
Fast forward a few years: in 2015, I had a series of experiences that led me to the path I’m on now. Aerial circus classes brought me into embodiment practice; a spontaneous energy healing brought me into reiki; and a book (this one, if you’re curious) brought me into transpersonal understanding.
We’re in a moment where there is ever-increasing awareness of various healing practices and increasing understanding of the systemic impacts of racism, colonialism, sexism, and capitalism on how knowledge is shared, judged, censored, and permitted to exist. Thinking through the implications of how and why certain knowledge lineages have been suppressed and oppressed over time allowed me to let go of conditioned skepticism and explore these practices more deeply, with an eye critical of both inflated claims and white supremacist knowledge hierarchies. I don’t dismiss ancient practices and ways of understanding the world simply because contemporary science scoffs at it and has yet to figure out how to study it.
I still love science, though -- I pursued a diploma in massage therapy in large part to gain a clearer, more systematic understanding of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and basic pathology. The Soma Institute’s clinical focus put names to the muscles I intuitively mapped when giving friends massages at chamber music camp or stretching my sore back after trapeze class.
My undergraduate education at the University of Chicago laid a foundation for critically reading, assessing, and synthesizing information into coherent knowledge and understanding. By keeping up with relevant progress in science while studying things that have historically fallen outside the realm of mainstream Western medicine, I hope to continue developing a skill set and knowledge base that not only helps me heal & understand my place in the world, but also supports others in doing the same.
Diploma in Clinical Massage Therapy, Soma Institute, October 2017; Illinois LMT license #227.020302
Certified Reiki Master in the Usui Reiki Ryôhô tradition, taught by Yvonne E. Nieves, March 2017
Bachelors of Arts in French Literature, University of Chicago, June 2012
integrate: to create a whole by combining one thing with another
heal: to mend what has been damaged; to return to wholeness
Healers are people who accept us as we are in a way that gives us permission to do the same. My practice is antiracist and antifascist; it is affirmative for LGBTQIA+ individuals; it is inherently trauma-informed; it is intersectionally feminist; it is imperfect and doing what it can to create a more inclusive, diversity-loving, nuanced, and caring world.
We’ve become used to treating the mind, the body, and the spirit as though they are separate entities with distinctly different concerns and only minor influence on each other.
But mind, body, and spirit are just different paths towards the same end: the integrated self.
My aim is to create a context where deep healing can happen. Sometimes an old heartbreak is soothed with the gentle wisdom of tarot; sometimes relief comes with a chest-opening massage; sometimes the tenderness of reiki provides the necessary boost for continued mending.
The decision to mend is important. I believe that integrating with ourselves -- with our pain as well as with our joy -- is one of the most important things we can do. Not only does it allow us to live with greater honesty and fulfillment, it’s also crucial for building a more present, compassionate, and healthful world.
Integrating with our physical body opens us to the wisdom and guidance that rests -- literally -- in our bones. Integrating with our energetic body strengthens our connection to spirit. Integrating with our mind enhances our intuition, clarifies our desires, and increases our self-trust.
Healing is a collaborative process; I and other healing practitioners can only create the space for you to heal. On your part, it takes time, personal investment, curiosity, and openness to changes both small and large. The services I provide are supports for you on your journey, adding a little ease, a little clarity, a little guidance as you make your way towards wholeness.
A NOTE ON TRAUMA-SENSITIVE PRACTICE
My entry into embodiment practice, healing practices, and bodywork more broadly starts with trauma -- my own and that of people I love. Bessel van der Kolk’s amazing book The Body Keeps the Score is a cornerstone in my education and desire to provide healing support, and the wisdom contained in that book directly informs how I understand suffering and recovery.
As such, my professional practice takes as a given the necessity of trauma sensitivity. As described by Molly Boeder-Harris of The Breathe Network, sensitivity to trauma involves “understanding that a survivor may have specific needs that the practitioner should be attentive to, needs that are unlike another client with no overt trauma history.” Trauma sensitivity also means recognizing the prevalence of trauma of all kinds: most of us carry the marks of trauma in some way, whether that trauma is from our own experiences or inherited via epigenetics.
In practice, this means that I pay attention. I pay attention to how clients communicate their needs; I pay attention to my clients’ preferences when it comes to touch; I pay attention to both the overt and subtle cues a client provides. The emotional and physical safety of my clients is absolutely non-negotiable, and I will do everything I can to create a secure space for healing to happen.