Barry’s Bootcamp Instructor Finds Surprising Remedy to Depression With Energy Work

"Whether you’re skeptical or not, that thing exists within you, right? And if you want to heal that, then you’re available."

By Amy Spencer
January 8, 2020

Gabriela Short has been physically healthy all her life: She was a gymnast for ten years and is currently a Barry’s Bootcamp fitness instructor and influencer. But when Short learned about seasonal depression in psychology class, she kidded to her friends that she should buy a seasonal affective disorder lamp —“joking,” she told Outlier, “because I didn’t really think that was a thing. Until I realized that I was going through that thing.”

Short didn’t buy the lamp. Instead, when she had bouts of feeling drained or depressed, her approach was always the same: She stayed busy. “It’s literally how I deal with everything,” said Short. “I just stay busy, and if I don’t think about it I’m OK.”

But after breaking up with her boyfriend, Short tried a different approach to address her depression: She visited energy work practitioner Malcolm Ian Cross who has worked with clients struggling with depression, anxiety, sleep issues, as well as mental and emotional blocks. Cross is one of many specialists working in this ancient form of healing intended to harness the universal life force said to be in all of us.

Energy work practitioners like Cross use techniques like reiki — using the energy from their hands with minimal or no physical contact — to transfer energy through or out of a client. They may also use crystals or medicinal plants to help clients heal mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Short was skeptical of the process.

But Cross said clients like Short want to mend an issue inside but aren’t sure it will work, “Whether you’re skeptical or not, that thing exists within you, right? And if you want to heal that, then you’re available.”

Cross was helping Short tap into emotions she’d been avoiding by keeping busy—that she was now pushing through. “This is all emotions that you’ve been suppressing and not even acknowledging,” he told Short. “But you can. And when you do, you’re going to feel much lighter.”

Watch Outlier’s video to find out how Short’s treatment surprised her in a few ways.

About the Writer:
Amy Spencer is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has written cover stories for Parade, Men’s Journal, New York magazine and Glamour and has written three books about happiness and optimism, including Bright Side Up recommended by O, the Oprah Magazine. 

Outlier Disclaimer

This site is for educational purposes and not a substitute for professional medical care by a doctor or otherwise qualified medical professional. The information provided by Outlier Magazine is on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services.

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