The haircut that heals

Through traditional Reiki exercises and, of course, precise scissors skills, one hairstylist leaves his clients changed from the inside out.

What if your salon experience could go deeper than a new look and a boost in confidence? As a certified Reiki master and yoga instructor, Andy Glickman combines his healing skills with his coifing capabilities to change his clients' hair styles while shifting their energy.

Developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui, Reiki is a hands-on technique for stress reduction, relaxation and healing. Practitioners believe that they are transferring universal energy in the form of qi through the palms, which they believe allows for self-healing and a state of equilibrium. As a hairstylist, Glickman was already accustomed to using his hands to transform the people with whom he worked. "I am in one of the few industries where touching the client is appropriate," he says. "I started as a stylist first, which opened me up to the world of energy healing. Once that door opened I immediately realized how I could combine the two."

Glickman took the salon shampoo—arguably the most luxurious portion of a haircut—and began to work in Reiki techniques. The resulting experience is as healing as it is pampering. "My clients often speak about how relaxed they become, and how they feel as though toxins are being released through their scalp," he says. "Some clients who come in with stress related pain or injury have said that after a healing shampoo their pain subsides. I have even had people say that they have quit smoking and pursued a new career path just based on how the energy made them feel."

A typical session starts with a Reiki healing shampoo at the salon. Glickman instructs a client to take a deep cleansing breath in through the nose and out through the mouth, close her eyes and set an intention. "I then turn on my Reiki and give a 15 minute head massage," he adds. At the end, he places a fresh towel over the client's head and cups his palms over her ears and the base of the skull. "I then ground the energy and invite the client over to my station for a blow-dry."

According to Glickman, this practice is suitable for anyone open to a natural option of stress relief and healing. In particular, women undergoing cancer treatment have said they feel a different level of comfort from a healing hairstylist as they undergo the changes in their physical appearance. "My goal is to heal people one at a time, in any way that I can," he adds. "Self-esteem is at the very core of healing and if I can help someone enhance their looks, feel better about themselves and raise their vibration then my job has been fulfilled."

Glickman practices at The Blue Lotus Salon in Washington's Crossing, PA, the Prancing Peacock Yoga Studio in Yardley, PA, and is available for private healing and yoga sessions.