LEXINGTON, Ky. — For many veterans returning home to civilian life is an adjustment.

The organization Hope for Warriors said a growing number of veterans are seeking holistic medicine following their service careers.

What You Need To Know

  • An organization says more veterans are turning to holistic therapy

  • Reiki is alternative therapy

  • A Lexington veteran says Reiki helps him heal and create new flow of energy

  • The veteran also now practices Reiki

“I've been dealing with depression and anxiety most of my life,” said Jamie Snedecker, an army veteran. Snedecker said his mental battle started young.

"I battled depression, I was actually a teenager and it carried with me, you know, into the Army," he said.

The veteran served in Afghanistan and South Korea, doing two tours.

“I was looking for answers to things in my life and other ways of healing besides medication or other things that didn't really resonate with me at the time,” Snedecker said. 

That's when he found Reiki.

“I like to say that spirit kind of showed me the way,” Snedecker said.

Army veteran Jamie Snedecker shows off the ribbons on his uniform he earned. (Spectrum News 1/Khyati Patel)

In a quiet room with soothing music, Lexington practitioner Misha Miles reset Jamie's energy, healing his wounds using gentle hand movements to guide the flow of healthy energy. She founded Misha's Healing Love.

“There's a tendency for us to bottle up, be strong, and the releasing of that pressure that's inside of me is basically it feels like a flow,” Snedecker said. 

Reiki is alternative holistic therapy. 

“Some of my friends have families and they're really kind of get that support system. I’ve lost some friends since being out of the Army couple over the alcoholism, a couple of them to suicide. And some of them are still struggling,” Snedecker said.

It’s designed to help not only veterans, but anyone healing from emotional wounds and physical pain.

“Reiki is a healing energy that we can't see; the human eye can only see 1% of the energies around it. So Reiki is one of the other 99% of energies in our system that we can interact with once we learn,” Miles said.

This is a mission for Miles, who said the healing therapy invites more light and love by removing the dark, heavy emotions in life.

Following a Reiki session, Misha Miles checks on veteran Jamie Snedecker to review his healing progress. (Spectrum News 1/Khyati Patel)

“Being able to have that energy, that low energy transmuted into love and light higher moving energy in your body, it allows you to see the light at the end of the tunnel or experience something outside of depression and sadness and a lower mood. It gives you hope,” Miles said.

Hope for Snedecker, who finds his monthly Reiki sessions exhilarating.

“To know that, you know, session come in as somebody just placed our hands on you and you lay here still for an hour and you come out of it with a big smile on your face. It's more than worth it,” Snedecker said. 

The Army Aviation veteran is now also certified to practice Reiki.

Miles has been practicing for more than two years.