Hailed as a remedy for all sorts of modern woes – from relationship issues to work stress and even physical pain, energy healing is creating a serious buzz in the holistic wellness sphere. Reiki, one such therapy, is now available on the NHS to help cancer sufferers and those with depression alike. We booked in for a mind-body reboot to find out more...
What is Reiki?
Reiki is a spiritual technique used to promote healing, stress reduction and relaxation. The word ‘Reiki’ translates as ‘life force energy’ – it’s based on the theory there’s an unseen energy (also referred to as ‘chi’) running through everything on earth. Reiki helps to move energy that is blocked or stagnant; if our energy isn’t circulating as it should, our bodies can’t operate at their best.
What happens in a treatment session?
Following an initial consultation, in which your Reiki practitioner will ask you everything from current worries to any childhood traumas (the latter is known to bring up intense emotions during a session), your healer will use their hands either directly on, or slightly above, the body to channel energy. Unlike a traditional massage, there is no manipulation of the body and you’re expected to lie down, fully clothed (except for shoes and jewellery, which can block energy) for the session. The treatment itself can last from 20 to 40 minutes.
What does it feel like?
While the sensation differs from person to person, it’s common to feel energy in the form of heat, cold or tingling as your healer moves his or her hands over your body. We experienced a lot of cold, but not unpleasant, surges, as well as tingling in certain areas. Interestingly, we were later told these were the areas where our energy was blocked. Many people claim to experience deeper sensations such as seeing spirits, having visions and even smelling certain scents from childhood, such as their mother’s perfume.
How do you feel afterwards?
Refreshed and deeply relaxed immediately after the treatment. That night, we slept right through ‘till our alarm went off (a rare occurrence) and felt calm and level-headed the next day. Dare we say it, we even felt more grounded. We were also unusually thirsty the day after the treatment and were told this is a sign of flushing out unwanted energy, a bit like toxins after a deep tissue massage.
Who should try it?
Anyone and everyone can benefit from Reiki. It can help with stress, anxiety, depression, behavioural problems with children, healing pre-and-post surgery, feeling ‘stuck’ in your life, migraines, broken bones, any trauma to the body, sexual abuse, menstrual issues and even undiagnosed problems. The list really is endless – Reiki is all about giving the body the support it needs to heal itself. Still sceptical? Reiki is now available on the NHS following lengthy studies that prove it can reduce the side-effects of certain treatments, including the negative effects of chemotherapy and post-operative pain. There are also countless stories of clients coming in with physical problems that had stumped their GP, only to be remedied in a single Reiki session.
How many sessions do you need to see results?
While one session helped us to get back on track on an emotional level, we were told further sessions would benefit us even further. Increased self-awareness and emotional sensitivity, decreased stress and renewed energy are just some of the positive effects of regular treatment, so consider booking in once every couple of weeks if you’re looking for a deeper treatment.
Would we book in again?
Absolutely. As alternative therapies continue to garner mainstream appeal (consider the likes of meditation and aromatherapy were once thought of as ‘out-there’), now might just be the time to open your mind to the potential wellness benefits on offer from energy healing.
We visited Shaylini at Third Space Spa in Marylebone, where appointments start from £90. Shaylini is a Visiting Practitioner for a number of five star hotels and resorts worldwide including Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and a writer for The Huffington Post. She is based in London and provides treatments on Tuesdays and Saturdays at Third Space Spa in Marylebone and on Sundays at Harley Street where she also teaches Reiki.
To find out more, visit TheSacredSelf.co.uk