by Mary Helen Darah

Andrea Lynn Diaz

“An important part of my story is that I was raised in a cult-like religious home,” stated Andrea Lynn Diaz, CEO/owner of Awakened to Vitality, Inc., a newly opened healing center located at 5600 Monroe St. “It is a huge part of where I am now.” Diaz feels her desire to heal others stemmed from her painful past. “I started therapy to help me let go of some issues from the past. Anything connected to therapy is frowned upon in my former faith. You are not to go outside the council of the elders. I was in therapy for two years. A couple of years after that, a woman came out saying that she was sexually molested by her ‘cult.’ My girls were five years old at the time. It really upset me because the heads of the organization were telling the elders not to report it to the police. Having two 5-year-old girls, I really questioned what I was doing as a member. I basically chose to leave a very dysfunctional marriage after 20 years,” she recalled. “I left for myself and my kids. As an outcome of leaving my marriage to a man who was part of the ‘faith,’ I was shunned by my family and friends, many of whom I have known my entire life. We separated in 2014 and the divorce was final two years ago. It took me almost a year after leaving the religion before I ‘woke up.’ I kept thinking I was this awful person. I am still shunned by my father. My mom died in 2016 of ovarian cancer.”

Diaz is thankful that her close friend, Barbara, told her about the healing power of Reiki. “I decided to go and try it,” she stated. “I was so nervous. I was brought up to believe that any healing outside of the church was related to Satan or evil. At this point, it was less than two years that I had been out of my religious ‘clan.’ I ended up doing Reiki weekly for three months. It really helped get through that time. I had to be a believer before I did it myself. I was energetically lighter. I felt like I was my authentic self. I took my first class after my first Reiki session. I got my certification in Reiki about a year later.”

Access Conscious Access Bars are used in her practice. “Access Conscious Access Bars are 32 points on the head. When touched, they create a ‘bar’ of energy that removes judgment, viewpoints, stored emotional trauma, and any type of energy that is wearing us down. It does for your mind what defragmenting does for a computer,” she explained. “Anyone struggling with feeling stuck in their life, emotional trauma, AD/HD, stress, or anyone with a negative inner voice—which is pretty much everyone—can benefit from energy work.”

Diaz also offers therapy as a “professional snuggler.” She stated, “I work with autistic individuals and those who need nurturing touch in a safe environment to be held in a non-sexual way after experiencing abuse and/or trauma.”

Clients have expressed positive feedback after having a session with Diaz. “People tell me they are more relaxed, sleep better, and are stronger. They notice choosing different emotions. Instead of anger, they choose laughter. Things get to them less,” she stated. “They have more inner peace.”

Diaz has some advice for those experiencing stress that they can practice independently. “Approach the universe with questions instead of conclusions,” she suggested. “For example, if you get up thinking things will be awful, most likely they will be. Instead, ask what awesome adventures the universe can bring your way.”

In the future, the mom of 11-year-old twins hopes to create, through her business, a place where clients have a safe environment to heal and achieve a higher consciousness. “I love this profession,” she said. “It took everything I went through to find out, to discover, that I have healing capabilities. It is such a gift to me. I’m lucky to be able to share it. It’s my purpose. It’s why I’m here.”