Ani Patel, Reiki
Ani is a Reiki practitioner and teacher who has performed around 400 healing therapies and taught 140 students internationally over the last thirteen years. She started Reiki when her two children left home to study overseas and she began to suffer from headaches. She felt a transformation after three sessions and began a 21 self-treatment course, followed by Reiki first and second degree levels, and finally a Reiki Master course in the US in 1998.
When Ani is not busy teaching and healing clients, she volunteers once a week in group healing sessions at Faraja. She also feeds communities in and around Nairobi once a week. She has two grown-up children who live in Australia. Look out for Ani’s book, Reiki Energies and Experiences.
Read more about Ani and Reiki at: http://www.reiki.co.ke/reikimaster.html
Ayala Nezah, Lymphatic Drainage
Ayala is a multi-skilled therapist, with qualifications in the Veltheim Method of Lymphatic Drainage, Reiki healing, Body Talk practice and Pranic Healing. She learnt lymphatic drainage in South Africa in 2007, after she had a physical problem that was cured using this therapy.
Although she is originally from Israel, she feels at home in Kenya, where she has lived with her husband and two children since 1997. She is a dedicated member of the Lotus Healing Seva Group (that practice group healing through Reiki), which is a huge part of her life. She also practices Qigong, a form of Chinese physical and mental training for health, martial arts and self-enlightenment.
Grace Kaaga, Massage Therapist
Grace is a freelance beauty therapist who is also part-owner of a small salon in Hurlingham, entrepreneur and mother of an 11 year old boy. She has diplomas in Physiotherapy and Beauty Therapy. Grace has been volunteering at Faraja once a week since August 2010, giving patients relaxation massages and reflexology.
Grace says, “When I come to Faraja, I feel happy the moment I enter. Helping here gives me such a good feeling, especially when I notice the positive benefits of the therapy and when family members of the patients show so much appreciation for the positive changes that occur through what I do.” Grace finds that through massage there is a gradual trust that builds between the patient and the practitioner, which helps patients learn to relax and open up.
Kamal Tolia, Energy Healer/Reiki
Kamal has been practicing Energy Healing for almost 16 years. However she has unofficially practiced Reiki since she was a little girl growing up in India. She suffered from lung, bronchial and allergy problems and found that when she placed her hands on the ‘parts that hurt’, the pain would disappear. She ignored this gift until she received Reiki from her friend in Nairobi and decided to learn Reiki seriously. Since then she has undertaken a wide range of Reiki and related courses from a variety of different disciplines.
In November 2005, she founded the ‘Lotus Healing Seva Group’ with ten other Energy Healers. Through this, she aims to build a community of healers in the world, who use Reiki to heal all living things. The Group now has close to 50 people in Nairobi. They meet once a week and engage in remote healing, through the concentration of energy and ‘prayer’.
Read more about Kamal and Reiki at http://kamaltolia.com/lotus/index.html
Komal Shah, Nutritionist
Komal is a qualified Nutritionist, Naturopathic Doctor and Yoga Therapist. She has a clinic called ‘Health In Your Hands’ in Westlands, Nairobi and also does yoga therapy with Special Needs Children at the Oshwal Academy. As a free lance health writer she writes articles for various magazines. Komal volunteers once a week at Faraja, providing nutritional consultations and, when requested, yoga classes.
Mr. Bhachu, one of Komal’s cancer patients says:
“Meeting Dr. Komal Shah has been a very good fortune for me otherwise it was highly probably that my cancer would have relapsed in a matter of time. She has exposed me to diet control, yoga, natural therapies, and lifestyle changes that are very important to restoring health.”
Lata Shah, Reflexologist
Lata qualified as a reflexologist twenty years ago, mainly inspired by her sister who used to practice reflexology in London. As someone who has also done Reiki Level 2, she finds that the Reiki energy that flows through performing reflexology really complements it. Patients feel both energized and relaxed, which is important in any form of healing. She gets great satisfaction working with patients at Faraja.
In Lata’s spare time, she plays bridge and she also loves gardening.
Nushka Muinde, Counsellor
Nushka is a Clinical Psychologist and has been practicing Psychology since 1969. She has an extensive list of work experience ranging from being a Senior Staff Counsellor to UNHCR personnel in the former Yugoslavia, to lecturing at USIU, Nairobi and Kenyatta Universities.
During her counselling sessions with patients, Nushka employs visualization and meditation exercises to help with the counselling process. She is passionate towards her cause, believing that counselling is essential in the healing of cancer patients.
In her spare time, Nushka likes to garden as well as practice yoga and meditation
Philip Odiyo, Counsellor
Philip has an MA in Psychology and has been counselling for over ten years. He works at the Mvuli Psychological Centre and teaches at the Oasis Institute of Professional Psychology. He also founded the Counselling Office at the Kisumu Hospice and trained nurses in palliative care.
The effects of cancer can vary from person to person and Philip hopes to be there for patients to help them along their journey. Philip gets great fulfilment from what he does, by helping patients recognise a deeper meaning from their experience and by giving them some direction towards resuming a ‘normal’ life.
Philip is currently enrolled in a course in Psychosocial Oncology and in his spare time he likes gardening, reading as part of continuing education, and playing with his children.
Rashmi Raja, Scalp Massage Therapist
Rashmi has been a professional hair stylist for many years working in salons in Nairobi. She voluneers at Faraja once a week performing scalp massage treatments.
Rashmi has always incorporated scalp massage into treatments with her clients at work and thought that it would be beneficial to offer this service to cancer patients as well. Rashmi has always wanted to give back to the community, and Faraja provided the ideal opportunity to do this.
Rashmi is an artist in her spare time and she also practices homeopathy, magnified healing, yoga and Reiki, which she incorporates into her scalp massage treatments.
Rita Shah, Reflexologist
Rita qualified as a reflexologist when she temporarily moved to Australia 10 years ago. Before that, she practiced Reiki and reflexology on herself after going through a series of medical ups and downs during her mid-twenties.
When Rita is not at Faraja she practices from home or from the Wild Earth Spa in Westlands, Nairobi. Her love and commitment for what she does has always had a positive effect on her clients and she is honored to be able to pass that on to her clients at Faraja.
Ruth Njenga, Counsellor
Ruth has counselled and cared for patients from diverse backgrounds. She has over ten years of experience in paid and voluntary work. She is driven by concern, love and compassion, particularly for people with cancer and life-threatening illnesses, and her desire to work towards integrated healthcare in Kenya.
Ruth has studied in the UK and Kenya; her academic background is in Counselling Psychology, Palliative Care and Management Health and Social Care. She is currently enrolled at Lancaster University (UK) for a Doctorate in Health Research specialising in Palliative Care.
While not volunteering at Faraja and working on her Doctorate, Ruth is a volunteer counsellor at a hospital and community and individuals’ homes.
Saida Dharna, Movement Instructor
Saida Dharna is a breast cancer survivor. After her surgery, she took up yoga and movement classes, which helped to reduce her stress levels and assist in her healing. She felt energized and refreshed, and as her flexibility and comfort with the practice increased, she decided that she wanted to help others, especially cancer patients, to learn yoga.
Saida took lessons from her Master and started reading books for guidance. Saida is also a Reiki Master and has taught Reiki to many people. She finds that Reiki makes one very positive and can reduce some of the side effects of certain medications. She also teaches disadvantaged girls how to cook at the Euphrasia Women’s Centre as a way to develop their talents and skills to prepare them for their futures.
Smita Shah, Nutritionist
Smita is a cancer survivor who is thrilled to have the opportunity to uplift the lives of others through providing nutritional advice and being a listening ear to whoever needs it. She finds that a lot of her clients gain inspiration from the fact that she is an example of someone who has had breast cancer and come through with a stronger, more positive, giving attitude.
Smita is a qualified clinical nutritionist and volunteers twice a week at Faraja. She arrives through the doors equipped with a kikapu of food samples to show her clients. She gives them wheat seeds so they have no excuse not to drink wheatgrass juice or chew the grass!
As well as advising on nutrition, she adopts a holistic approach to her therapy, encouraging patients to regain strength and cultivate happiness through visualisation and positive affirmation.
Before her journey through breast cancer, she was at Nairobi Hospice for nine years as a fundraiser. She is a founding member of a charity trust whose mission is to empower rural women and children, through building schools and assisting women engage in income-generating activities.
Sadhna Jamal, Movement Instructor
Sadhna began practicing yoga after the birth of her last child. She wanted to lose weight and was encouraged by her Eritrean yoga instructor to continue practicing.
In Sadhna’s spare time, she enjoys interior designing, reading and looking after her granddaughter.
Sadhna has been conducting yoga classes for over twenty years at a variety of venues both in and outside of Nairobi. These venues include sports and wellness centres, a number of primary and kindergarten schools and ladies’ groups in Vancouver and Adelaide. In addition, she has conducted classes for teachers at a spa resort and the Hindu Council in Mombasa. She has also had the opportunity to work with the St. Peter’s School for mentally handicapped children and individuals with other disabilities.
Suchinta Abhayaratna, Creative Holistic Integration
Suchinta was born and raised in Sri Lanka and has lived and worked in Sri Lanka, the US, the Philippines, Jordan, Egypt and Israel/Palestine. As well as helping others through energy healing, Suchinta has a diverse range of creative interests, including writing, theatre, photography, film, music, reading and gardening. She volunteers at Faraja twice a week, where she conducts group and individual sessions.
Read more about Suchinta and holistic self-care at: http://www.chisuchinta.com/
Suchinta has been a student and practitioner of holistic, energy healing since 1995. As well as working with others, she uses this form of healing for her own healthcare and well-being. Suchinta has qualifications in Theology and Transpersonal Psychology, as well as in Reiki and Mandala Healing.
Vaishali Morjaria, Art Therapist
Vaishali is a fashion designer who studied Art Therapy as part of a counselling course on her BA programme.
She has been practicing Art Therapy since 2005 and has worked with a wide range of clients, including art through psychology with teenagers and women from abusive backgrounds. When Vaishali is not volunteering at Faraja, she teaches Art and Design at Oshwal Academy in Nairobi.
Zippy, Massage Therapist
Zippy is a qualified masseuse who holds a diploma in Beauty Therapy. Since she has been practicing massage for over 15 years, it has become more than just a job for her; it is her passion. She loves to help other people and massage is her way of doing so.
Her vibrant and positive personality is a source of comfort to many clients at Faraja. When Zippy is not at Faraja, she visits people at home, providing beauty therapy and massage services.