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Meet David Shorter of In the Light Reiki in Van Nuys

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Shorter.

David, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
After a year of chronic pain, and increasingly confusing diagnoses, I decided to give reiki a try. I had immediate relief after one visit, so started learning more about it. I found a great reiki master, Marla Mervis-Hartmann, in Santa Monica and started training with her. At the end of a workshop, as Marla was administering an “attunement,” she placed her hands on top of my head and I heard a loud POP right where that pain had been in my neck for over a year. And I haven’t felt that pain again since that moment. I realized then that I had to learn more and someday help others with my own reiki practice. Since then, I’ve thrown myself into energetic healing, intuitive healing, and non-Western approaches to health.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
One challenge is that not many people in the U.S. know what reiki is. They have some strange notions that are understandable. I also have found that some people struggle to justify spending money on self-care. They might spend more on drugs or quick fixes, when in fact the causes of pain and confusion require a different approach altogether.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about In the Light Reiki – what should we know?
In the Light Reiki provides a welcoming space for people to come and work with the universal life force called “chi” or “ki.” Clients enter my studio and we share a little water or tea, sitting quietly for a few minutes to establish a shared space of intimacy.

Sometimes the sessions look like straight-forward energy work, and some look like meditation training, acupressure, or even life coaching sessions. People come to me for a range of reasons, from infertility, to stress management, to help them break through emotional barriers to success. Some come to heal from trauma, sleeping disorders, etc.

Some of my favorite clients have four paws. I have a couple actors working to better understand the difference between acting and being, which is working deeply with energy. Coming to respect how chi works in the world makes all the difference in how we relate, how we find joy, and how we morph out from static states of being, such as “victim,” “daughter,” “soldier,” “widow,” and so on. I can only do this work by meeting people where they are when they show up. In other words, I wouldn’t be true to myself if I said that every appointment looks the same, or that each visitor needed 50 minutes of reiki. Some need more, some need less, some need something else entirely.

So I also maintain a network of professional contacts who might help with herbs, physical therapy, naturopathy, etc.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I wouldn’t be doing reiki at all if it weren’t for several mentors. Most recently, I am thankful for my reiki master, Marla Mervis-Hartmann ( Also, for years I’ve been learning from Rebecca Niday, who uses emotional navigation training. And I’ve been in conversation with many powerful mediums, healers, and curanderos across the southwest since the 90’s.


  • $110 per Reiki Session
  • $18o per Life Coaching Session

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ken Scott Photo

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