This Is About Your Life
I don’t think we can hear this enough: your healing matters. You, as an individual. Your healing is essential for our collective well-being. I interviewed Melina Laroza-Roth to dig deep into what healing is, why it matters, and how energy work and catalyze and support the healing journey.
Melina is a healer. It started when she realized she could channel energy through her hands and direct it in a way that could ease emotional and physical pain. In our modern context, it’s doctors and surgeons and psychiatrists that seem to hold the knowledge and power to heal. When you consider human history as a whole, however, healer has been an honored and sacred role for much longer than any of these others. In fact, when Melina sought out formal training and certification as a Reiki practitioner, her ability to feel and move energy became blocked. The process of seeking external validation for her innate abilities actually prevented her from accessing these gifts for about six months. She’s quick to point out that while she’s open to exploring energy work modalities and learning from teachers, she’s trusting her intuition fully and won’t go into any training that doesn’t feel right—she learned the first time that doing it for somebody else isn’t necessary. She already knows how to do this.
I invite you to step outside of your pre-conceived notions about health, disease, and healing and explore my conversation with Melina through the eyes of a beginner. It may not be for you, but it just might open up something you didn’t know was there. Either way, you’re welcome here. Grab a seat on the couch with us.
MARINA: How did you first realize that you were a healer?
MELINA: It all started in a Tai Chi class. It was the first time I could physically feel my energy in my body, and then I realized that I could channel it through my hands (everyone can!) and intuitively I knew that it could ease someone’s pain. So, I just started doing it one day. That led to meeting spiritual people everywhere I would go. The more open and interested I became, people who could assist or had a story to share would come into my life and share something. A lot of it had to do with my childhood and my dad dying when I was 12 and feeling like there was something missing, but I didn’t know how to fill it or how to get back to being normal or healthy.
Though Melina wasn’t raised religiously, her father taught her about our connection to the Earth. His direct instruction was complemented by what she learned from her mother's way of being. These two different styles, the direct and the indirect, laid a foundation for her to know herself and connect to her intuition early in life and instilled lessons that she continues to uncover and learn from. When Melina talks about getting back to normal and healthy, she has a very deep sense of what that means for her body, mind, and spirit. I’m struck by this because I know that many, many people cannot say the same. I certainly can’t.
MELINA: I did grow up in a way that fostered my connection to Spirit. I was not raised religiously at all. I didn’t have any beliefs that were imposed on me by other people. I knew a little bit about God, but my parents did not tell me that I needed to be a certain way in relation to my beliefs about religion or how we humans got here or anything like that. I learned from my dad about our connection to the Earth and what happens when you pay attention to her. And what it’s like living in a really small village—so much freedom to be connected with nature. I guess that was my church, being connected with nature. That helped me be connected to myself. There were times later in life when I lost that connection to my intuition and to my physical body, but I had had it before so I could feel that it was missing.
MARINA: What does it mean to heal?
MELINA: People really like to complicate things. It’s simple: unblock what’s inside you. It usually stems from beliefs that you developed when you were a kid that led to you thinking you weren’t worthy of love. Removing those beliefs and blocks as much as possible and bring in love—that’s healing. Helping someone love themselves heals everything. It opens their capacity to love other people.
I loved the simplicity of this answer, especially because I’m one of those people that likes to complicate things.
MARINA: Why do we need to heal in the first place? Where are these blocks and beliefs coming from?
MELINA: We are under this illusion that we are separate from each other, that our actions don’t affect other people. At the root of this is an idea that we each need to be singular, that we all need to have our own houses and our own livelihoods and our own everything. That we don’t affect other people or need to rely on other people. But human nature then seeks out families and community. So when we are operating under the American/individualism ideal we are really hurt and missing out on a lot and looking for things to fill the void. We are suffering a lot because of this illusion.
MARINA: Why does it matter if I heal? If a single person heals?
MELINA: We are human beings and we all need connection and when we act out of hurt, we hurt other people. It creates war. Massive scale suffering stems from this.
And the way we combat this? We heal. We “come back to our own center and see the truth: we need other people” says Melina.
There are other reasons, she shares:
MELINA: When you’re really present, other people pick up on that an it calms them down. It’s a benefit for you and for every person you interact with. It changes the whole vibe of the room, the conversation, and the people that you’re interacting with. At a root level, when you’re rid of anxiety, you make better decisions… and those better decisions help the entire web to connect in a positive manner. Then, your blessings come to you. Your opportunities are abundant. You’re listening to synchronicities. And, you’re happier because you feel that you’re living for a higher purpose.
My takeaway? Not only does healing benefit you, the individual, it tangibly impacts the collective. Right now, many people are passively experience their lives, disconnected from their intuition and from the Earth. Yet there’s another, more fulfilling option. Melina explains it like this:
MELINA: At one level of consciousness, you’re a passive robot and life in controlling you. At a higher level, you’re present and grounded in your body and connecting with other people and it’s magic. It has a lot to do with your connection to the Earth. When you understand your connection is creates vitality and other people can pick up on that. You don’t have to be robot—you can feel really happy and connected. It’s possible for everybody. Healing gets you in touch with your own intuition, and tapping into your intuition is a way to have a life that means something. It’s about more than getting through the day—more than doing your job or getting the next level of financial security. Those are a part of what can bring us personal fulfillment, but that’s just a small piece of it. There’s something so much bigger and more special for every single one of us—it’s what we all came here to do. This is about your life. It’s about us all feeling alive and waking up to the biggest miracles that you never thought could be possible BUT THEY ARE. We are not supposed to be suffering—at least I don’t personally think that we are.
It's possible for everybody. We are not supposed to be suffering. As a healer, these are some of Melina’s cornerstones, and I think it’s exceptionally powerful and important that they are. It would be easy to commodify her gifts, to raise herself up on a pedestal and tell others that they need her guidance to heal. We see it a lot—the gurus, the peddlers of snake oil, the magic bullet profiteers. But Melina has a different take on sharing her energy work with the world and her role as a healer.
MELINA: I am someone who does not want to commodify spirituality. I want to help people be their own healer. I have, as a human on this planet, done a lot of work to be able to be the channel that, and that is what I want to share. I don’t want to make anyone think it’s me doing it, because it’s not [it’s Melina acting as a channel for what each individual needs AND each individual being willing to take responsibility for their own healing]. Being on an equal playing field is important because then the client takes more responsibility for their own healing. When you heal yourself, you are healing your community, and that is why it’s important that everyone steps up and starts looking at how their behavior is making a difference.
Melina walks the walk in this regard. She’s a single mother of two boys. There’s a lot going on in her life. So, day in and day out, she’s applying her own healing techniques in her life and focused on self-healing so she, in turn, can help heal others. She still works with clients, but the important difference is that she’s not over-extending herself or pouring from an empty cup. When she says she doesn’t want to commodify this work, what she means is that she’s not on social media posting “7-step Morning Rituals” or “5 Quick Ways to Access Your Intuition.” When I asked why, her answer was poetic in its simplicity: “It doesn’t invite someone to be the best version of themselves.”
She goes on to say our innate connection to our own intuition and capacity to heal is always available to everyone. While tools and strategies and people to help us remember and access those innate abilities are valuable, they shouldn’t be treated as quick fixes or secrets to be held behind a paywall. “I want to help people be their own healer,” she tells me. And that right there is what I think separates the healers from the hustlers; those who serve the collective by serving the individuals and those looking to exploit pain and make a quick buck off it.
I want to help people be their own healer
Our innate connection to our own intuition and capacity to heal is always available to everyone
So all that said, what’s the deal with energy work? What’s a session like? First, let’s get something clear. Melina isn’t here to offer a quick fix (though, dramatic shifts can happen if the right person is open to it and comes in for a treatment).
MELINA: You can’t come in here expecting me to be this magical miracle worker. This is going to be uncomfortable, you’re going to experience sensations you’ve never had or remember things you’ve pushed away for a long time. It is up to you how uncomfortable you want it to be.
Treatments usually last an hour: ten minutes at the beginning to talk and share what the client would like to focus on, forty-five minutes of energy work, and then five to ten minutes at the end to just relax and minimally describe the experience so that it’s anchored into the mind-body connection.
I was very interested in knowing what Melina’s experience is like while she’s giving a treatment. I’ve been on the receiving end of a few different energy work sessions in my life, including one from Melina, and I’ve never asked what it’s like from the healer’s perspective.
“It is so personal to share:, she told me, “but I also want to because I feel like it’s important. Sometimes I feel like people won’t believe it or they won’t get it.” That’s a real concern, but I’ll share something here that she told me toward the end of interview: “I’m not here to convince anyone that this this is real or that this works. I’m just following my path and I’m really excited to be doing this work.” So, for the curious and the open-hearted, here’s what it’s like, in her own words:
MELINA: When I tap into someone’s energy field, I am feeling them. I am feeling their feelings, their past feelings, their blockages. An important map that I use is the chakras. Some feel open and clear and to me that means it’s not blocked, it’s spinning correctly and doing what it’s supposed to do, filtering the energy in and out. If I don’t feel anything, that to me indicates a blockage so I work on trying to clear and release whatever is there. Along with that will come memories or pictures or intuitive messages about something they have gone through/experienced/felt. I can feel if it was recent or if in another lifetime that they wouldn’t necessarily remember. All of that becomes story that I am feeling and moving. It’s important to bring it to the surface so that the client can feel these things too.
Feeling these things and processing them is an important part of the healing process. And while Melina can tap into things that need to be processed and bring them to the surface, it’s up to each individual to choose whether they’re open to experience what’s offered in these sessions.
MELINA: It depends a lot on how in tune and sensitive they are. Sometimes folks aren’t interested in processing or don’t know how, and they don’t feel anything after a session. I can only hope it led them toward something else that would help them. Other times, treatments can lead to dramatic shifts—again, depending on how ready the person is. This work can get someone back into touch with their intuition (to the extent that they’re willing to be in touch with it). This healing is available to anyone that’s willing to give it a try
MARINA: What types of problems or people are best suited for an energy work treatment?
MELINA: I think energy work is right for everybody. I think it can help anybody with anything. Even if it’s a specific physical issue, I think it would help alleviate the pain. At the very least (and this is a lot) it would energetically open a person up so that they’re listening to their intuition more. So that it would guide them toward the right thing to do. It helps in a very foundational way. It might be subtle and people might not think it’s important because it’s not something you can see, but it is something that exists inside of us. That’s not generally valued in this society. I think it helps for everyone—there are just some people that are skeptical and afraid. They probably need it the most.
MARINA: What’s next for you in this journey of sharing your work as a healer?
MELINA: Now that I’ve been doing this more I’ve found it helpful to touch the person physically and manipulate the tissue. I use different modalities in my treatments and each experience is unique to each person. It keeps evolving as I evolve.
Melina currently offers energy work treatments on a sliding scale, true to her belief that this work is beneficial (and therefore should be accessible) to everyone. You can contact Melina by phone or text at (513) 386-4772.
Being a human is complex. Beautiful at times, and brutal at others—brutiful, as Glennon Doyle says. I’m a believer that we can’t do this being human thing alone. That’s why having help along the way, in the forms of friends, lovers, authors, doctors, AND healers is so lovely and important. It really does take a village. We have access to a lot of information thanks to the world wide web, and there’s a lot to be angry and scared about, and it can be hard to know what each of us can do as individual. Share information, sign petitions, and give money are all tangible actions, but so is this: heal. Heal for yourself, and heal for our world.