Sophie Fougere, 33, has a calm and friendly manner and charming French accent – all assets when she practices reiki, a Japanese healing art.
Reiki uses a laying-on-of-hands technique in which energy flows between the practitioner and the client.
The benefits are believed to be wide-ranging, including clearing physical and emotional blocks, promoting the body’s natural healing ability, inducing deep relaxation and balancing energy.
Fougere, along with other advocates of reiki, believes the practitioner acts as a conduit, channeling universal energy where it is needed.
“I can feel the flow of energy through my hands, temperature variations and different sensations that indicate a problem and then I know that I need to work in that area,” said Fougere.
She became interested in this work several years ago, while still living in France.
She had previously worked as a real estate agent, but had long been interested in health and alternative healing. She was “drawn to reiki,” after learning about it at an alternative health expo.
“I just knew instinctively that I was meant to do it,” she said.
She attained level two certification, which is common among reiki practitioners. Level three, the highest level, is reserved for those who teach others. After her training was completed, Fougere and her husband considered moving to Charlotte.
Her best friend had already moved here from France and had strongly encouraged Fougere to follow. She and her husband had previously been here to visit and loved how green and sunny it was, with milder weather than the French Alps where they had been living.
More than two years ago, they decided to leave family and friends and start a new life. At the time, they had two young children and Fougere was pregnant with her third child.
After getting the family settled, Fougere started concentrating on her reiki business. She works out of the Rejuvenation Center, located on Fairview Road in SouthPark. Treatments include a whole-body approach, where Fougere concentrates on different chakras (or zones) along the body. The cost is $65 for a one-hour treatment.
Some people use the technique for relaxation, while others have specific problems.
It’s important to recognize that reiki is not meant to replace medical care. Fougere is clear that although it can be a compliment to traditional medical treatment, it is never meant to be a substitute.
While it is not possible to guarantee healing will take place, Fougere has seen positive results in many clients.
Reiki is safe and noninvasive. It is painless, and many people experience a soothing heat sensation. Responses vary, with immediate relief for some, while others need several treatments. As with other healing arts, maximum benefit is usually achieved with follow-up treatments.
Fougere and her family live in the Starmount neighborhood of south Charlotte.
Allison Futterman is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Allison? Email her at email@example.com.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less