A fifth degree Black Belt and martial arts practitioner for 28 years, Dan "Beef" Mazzola does not outright seem like the type to practice meditative Reiki. But since 2004, Beef believes he has been helping his clients heal their pains and stress through the power and the energy of his touch.
Mazzola offers Reiki sessions to locals each week at Villari's Martial Arts Center. His classes have become so popular recently that he's had to turn people away.
During a session, Mazzola will burn incense and play Reiki music which is specifically designed, he said, to work with your body vibrations to have a calming effect. The group will practice meditation and Mazzola will place his hands near the head or hovering over the lower back to try to heal the tension. In his years of practice, he has performed Reiki on cancer and dialysis patients, victims of car accidents and stressed nurses at local hospitals.
Mazzola said he believes he has been able to help almost all his clients in some way, whether it be helping them relax or transferring them the energy they need to get through their treatments and daily activities. One woman who had chronic neck pain after a car accident told Beef her pain would temporarily disappear after a session with him. A dialysis patient reportedly told Beef that his Reiki sessions energized him to go out and do something after dialysis, instead of returning home to sleep as he used to do. Beef's own niece, who suffers from Bell's palsy, has her face go symmetrical for just a few days after a session with him, Mazzola said.
"If it's a placebo effect, it's a placebo effect. Does it help people? Yes," said Mazzola. "Something's going on. Something's happening."
During his classes, Mazzola says the meditation and transfer of energy can be so emotional for some students that they cry or become nauseous. "I put them in such a state that they're facing things," he said. "I think it's a great stress release class for people."
Mazzola holds healing and meditative sessions every third Thursday of the month at Villari's and will also train those who are interested to become Reiki Masters themselves so they too can practice on others.