It is said that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. For Lisa Saylan, what is also true is that when the student is ready, that student will become the teacher! After nearly 1200 hours of education at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Lisa Saylan took the bold step forward and became a dedicated—and very busy!—instructor for the college. For the last seven years, Lisa has been teaching a wide variety of courses at SWIHA, including massage, reflexology and Reiki training. Even as a teacher, Lisa says she continues to learn from her students and clients. In fact, she describes herself as a “lifetime learner.”
Lisa learned first-hand that the human body is capable of healing itself when balanced, relaxed, and properly nourished. As a former elite triathlete who suffered from muscle fatigue, tissue damage, and stress, Lisa personally experienced the benefits of massage and other healing modalities during her competitive years and while recuperating from a significant cycling accident. During the process of healing from her injury, she found her way to the Reiki Clinic at SWIHA: “I came in for a complimentary session from a student. I had no expectations. I was just happy to have someone channel healing energy my way. My life changed that day.” When the young Reiki student placed her hands over Lisa’s heart, Lisa began to cry. It was a gentle weeping, and yet on a soul level, Lisa knew she was being drawn to become a student and to learn what this student knew… Lisa knew she was being called to become a Reiki Master Teacher.
Lisa enrolled in the SWIHA Massage Therapy program shortly thereafter. Like many students, she loved having the freedom to customize her training— a unique component of SWIHA’s massage program. Lisa obviously chose Reiki training as one of her specialties, as well as reflexology, aromatherapy, and a good amount of spiritual studies electives. As a part of her 1000-hour diploma, Lisa took the STAR Teacher Training elective, fully knowing that she planned to teach as soon as she was eligible.
Growing up, Lisa had a sister who was in and out of the hospital a lot; it was the volunteers at that hospital who made Lisa’s family’s life bearable. She has always wanted to give back, and so after learning Reiki as part of her massage therapy training, Lisa became a bedside volunteer at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, using her tools of energy healing to help children transition through illness and help their families manage their stress and grief.
As a Reiki teacher at SWIHA, Lisa focuses on spreading the light of Reiki and helping students discover their authentic self. “It is about people healing so they can live a more enriched life with an open heart. They let go of their stories. They get out of that loop. Reiki heals spiritually physically, mentally and emotionally. The more you are in your story, the more you don’t let go of it. Reiki helps you shift your perspective of your story. People can then learn to bless the situation.” Lisa aids her students in realizing that anything that triggers them in life is telling them that there is an opportunity to heal an old wound; once that happens, they can start manifesting what they want instead of holding on to what they don’t want.
Another powerful aspect of Reiki training that her students experience is the ability to put themselves in someone else's shoes. When this happens, they begin to see that other people are wounded. “You learn that people who hurt you did so because they are hurting.” When this happens, students learn to have grace for other people—and that in itself is healing. Part of this path is healing yourself first and focusing on self-care. Each of the three levels of Reiki involves 21 days of self-care. “We must take care of ourselves first— be compassionate to ourselves and kind to ourselves. Then we are able to be a clearer vessel for this energy so people can receive it in abundance.”
Outside of school, Lisa’s life is still filled with Reiki and teaching. In addition to having a private practice, Lisa has been offering Reiki training privately; she is approved by the American Holistic Nurses Association to teach Reiki to Nurses for continuing education credits nationwide. She hosts Reiki shares as an opportunity for people to experienced Reiki and learn about the benefits of this healing modality. She also hosts these events so practitioners can come in and receiving healing—learning and practicing the benefits of self-care. Because most practitioners spend so much time giving, they sometimes struggle to focus on taking care of themselves.
When Lisa is not teaching, she loves engaging in physical activity, like dance, yoga, cycling, and swimming. She also loves exploring and travel. She does admit that she’ll teach Reiki anywhere she goes: “The more Reiki I share, the more torches of light are spread around the globe. Even when I am out, I am still in the flow of universal life force energy. My life is Reiki. Reiki infuses everything!”
When it comes to the future, Lisa explains that, “I don’t have plans the way other people do. Spirit always has more in mind for me than I could ever imagine, so I have given my life over to God. I don’t know what my future looks like. Spirit is going to provide me with 100 times more than I could ever imagine. I am one of the luckiest people I have ever met, and it is because I have trusted implicitly in the divine.”