Maria Barresi

When did you first realize you were drawn to Reiki?

I started my formal, professional Reiki training with Joanna in 2010, but my first experience with energy medicine was at age 4, after hugging a tree. Upon feeling a very physical response from the tree, I have been researching and working with energy medicine ever since. I have always felt the radiant energy in people, plants, animals, and gemstones since I was a young child, and I wanted to learn all that I could about energy healing. Gardening before I could walk (always outside with my Dad), I was very well aware of the spirit of Mother Earth, and how powerful she is. I was also introduced to shamans, Yogini's/Yogi's, and herbalists as a child by my Dad, and I really wanted to make whole-body healing a part of my life. When I began my massage training in 2003, both of my teachers were Reiki Masters. After the first time I massaged them both, they both told me that I needed to study Reiki, because my energy was very strong. That was the first time I had ever heard of the term Reiki, and shortly after that is when I began to receive Reiki treatments on a regular basis. I worked with a few close friends of mine who were very heart-centered in their practice, and I fell in love with this healing modality instantly. I knew that I wanted to receive my Reiki attunements to help heal myself and offer this to the community in my practice.

What was your experience like with learning Reiki with your teacher(s)?

Absolutely amazing with Joanna!! I had heard of many different teaching styles for Reiki, and everything I could find in my area were 1 to 2 days classes to receive your attunements, and classes focused more on hand placements and vocabulary. I personally wanted a longer, more in-depth course of study, with a compassionate and heart-centered teacher. I wanted a teacher and program that allowed each student to gain personal development skills, while also strengthening ones intuitive skills so that they can gain confidence in their own unique healing style. I wanted to be in a program that allowed me the freedom to grow and heal with Reiki, and to be able to learn how to seamlessly integrate it into my life and community healing practice. I wanted to be able to trust that my way of experiencing Reiki was never going to be categorized as 'wrong', because our engagement with the vibrant energy was going to be unique. I wanted to be able to believe in my skills as a healer, and that Reiki can be supportive for me and my community in any kind of situation. I wanted to understand how to meet any challenge in my life with using my skills learned from my Reiki training. Joanna has exceeded all expectations I had for my Reiki training, and she is the most compassionate woman I have ever met. She has given me the greatest gift in the world with her Reiki teachings, and I am so incredibly grateful for having her touch my life so deeply and lovingly.

What have been some significant milestones in your Reiki journey so far?

Wow, where to begin?! So many milestones. When I began my Reiki training with Joanna, I was also doing her business development apprenticeship, and this was a very powerful combination for me. I was at the birth of launching my healing practice, and the Reiki training allowed me to break through roadblocks and challenges I was facing that most beginner entrepreneurs deal with. I was able to learn how to get out of my own way and compassionately work through fears that I had about setting forth on my new business, and to always trust that if I am honest with goals, I will be able to achieve them. I learned to be confident, to be compassionate, to be loving to myself and to my community. I was able to heal (and continue to heal) deep seeded trauma within my being, and to be able to give my clients honest hope when they came to me for help with their own trauma's. I've been able to strengthen my intuitive skills, further my understanding of the Chakra System, and how energy can create a positive or negative cycle within our being. I've learned how to create new energy cycles (or patterns) to help make a catalyst of positive change, and release habits/patterns/emotions/cycles that do not serve an individual. Reiki has taught me to be a better, more compassionate, and honest woman.

What level of Reiki training have you completed?

Reiki Master Practitioner

What does your self Reiki practice look like now?

I have been practicing Reiki every single day, multiple times a day, since I began my training in 2010. I always find a way to nourish myself with the energy, and love how this form of healing is an 'instant all-access pass' to nurturing. My daily practice keeps me thriving, and allows me to navigate through my daily ups and downs. I would be a very cranky person if I didn't have my daily practice!

What challenges have you encountered with your personal Reiki practice?

I've never really felt like I have encountered problems with my self-care practice, as I was really happy that I could have access to a modality that fits into my busy life. I've never really had an excuse to not practice my self-Reiki, as it's the easiest and most readily available form of healing I have. I have found that in times of severe illness or if I needed surgery (and I've needed many surgeries), my Reiki community was ready and willing to help, and offer me Reiki (or bring me home-cooked meals to my home!) before I would even ask! I am incredibly fortunate to be connected to a beautiful family of Reiki practitioners, both near and far, and that when I am incapacitated due to illness or family crisis, my self-care practice is supported by these amazing individuals. I am incredibly grateful for my Reiki family.

Do you have a public, professional Reiki practice?


If you do have a professional Reiki practice, tell me about it!

"I am a heart-centered holistic healthcare practitioner and owner of Soul of the Earth Body Works, located in Beverly, MA. I am a Certified and Licensed Massage Therapist, Usui Reiki Master, Herbalist, Aromatherapist, Holistic Aesthetician, Gemstone Therapist, and Shamanic Healer. I graduated from Salem State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies, and majored in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on holistic healthcare in Sport & Movement Science and Psychology. I began my in-depth education in integrative healthcare in 1996, and have been a professional holistic healthcare practitioner since 2003. I am driven to empower others on their journey towards a joyful, peaceful, and vibrant life by offering a compassionate and heart-centered healing practice. My therapeutic techniques include Swedish Massage, Neuro-muscular Massage, Raindrop Technique Massage, Prenatal Massage, Usui Reiki Energy, Gemstone Chakra Therapy, shamanic healing, aromatherapy, and holistic herbal skin care. I integrate each of these healing modalities into each session to help support and nourish your body's natural healing process. I use my intuition to guide me deeper into the story your body is telling me, which allows me to effectively tailor each session to your individual needs. I work closely with clients to learn your specific healthcare goals and needs, in order to offer you the most comprehensive and nurturing healing session on the day of your appointment. My practice specializes in: chronic pain, fatigue and inflammation; Fibromyalgia; Myofascial Pain Syndrome; Arthritis; pre-and post natal care and support; Cancer support and recovery; chronic migraines and headaches; TMJ issues; Auto-Immune issues/disorders; female reproductive issues/disorders; anxiety; depression; stress-reduction; PTSD/trauma; and grief. I also work with athletes and active individuals who have goals to help improve their joint mobility and flexibility, relax muscle tightness, increase recovery time after strenuous activity, and reduce anxiety from competition. As a life-long nature lover, herbalist, Yogini, and gardener, I have been compassionately guided by the sacred, divine teachings from Mother Earth. My deep connection to nature and my life-long dedication to professional development have allowed me to integrate my collegiate and vocational education with intuitive teachings into my holistic healthcare practice. I consistently keep up-to-date with continuing education courses, studying with healthcare professionals from around the world, while also attending annual holistic health-centered conferences and creative business retreats to continually nourish and rejuvenate my practice. My passion for empowering others, and my life-long dedication to learning, drives me to excel in offering compassionate, heart-centered holistic healthcare services to the community. It is a great honor to help you on your path towards optimal health and a vibrant state of well-being in body, mind, and spirit. 

Contact information

My practice is located inside Eternal Balance, at The Cummings Center in Beverly, MA. I can be contacted by email at, by office phone at 978-233-1108, and you can visit my website at

What challenges have you encountered with your professional Reiki practice?

I have found that if clients are a bit apprehensive about trying Reiki, that they are more willing to have it integrated into their massage sessions. After their first experience with it in their massage session, they have the most positive comments on it, and are eager to have more Reiki incorporated into their sessions with me. Clients are curious and ask questions during the session (I am always thrilled to talk about Reiki!), and many of my clients go on to learn Reiki for themselves, as they have told me that they've been deeply touched by how powerful the sessions are. I never really had a negative client experience in my practice, as those who have never heard of it or had an experience with it are very curious, and adventurous souls.

What do you envision for your Reiki practice in the future?

To learn and grow with the teachings of Reiki so that I can continually evolve and heal, to continue to offer my healing sessions in my practice and introduce new clients to benefits of Reiki, to teach Reiki, and to thrive in a supportive and heart-centered Reiki community.

What do you hope and envision for the Reiki profession as a whole in the future?

To be more accessible to everyone, to be embraced by the healthcare profession as a legitimate healing modality, and to be introduced to children and teenagers in schools.